Thursday, April 14, 2011

F550EXR – Random Shots – Review Part 34

I stopped on the way in to the office today to pick up a ticket to go see Bruce Cockburn at the National Arts Center on Friday Evening. I grabbed a nice seat in the third box from the front on the Mezzanine level (lowest level that has boxes) so I will get a great view.

Too bad cameras aren’t generally allowed in there Winking smile

While I was on my way back to the car, I stopped to shoot the garage … because there is nothing more exciting than a parking garage full of cars. What I like about these images is that they are very clean and yet shot at fairly outrageous ISOs …

There is no processing on the garage shots. In fact, virtually none in any of the images in this part.

ISO 2500, f/3.5, 1/30s (that’s pretty low light)

ISO 3200, f/3.5, 1/20s (that’s pretty extreme low light)

I’m sure that you will agree that this camera is pretty magnificent in this kind of low light. Wow …and that license plate above is perfectly readable, as if shot at 100 ISO …

Here I test exposure compensation and open shadows.

3200 ISO, f/3.5, 1/7s, +1EV

That’s pretty nice when you consider that I forced the shadows open by one full stop. And I like the graceful way the camera blows out backgrounds when you do that. No excessive flaring or anything like that. The camera’s flare problem is limited to point source lights.

Here’s a normal exposure.

3200 ISO, f/3.5, 1/13s, 0EV (this is again very low light)

After work, on my way home, I stopped at a farm a few miles out of my part of town and noticed a bunch of cattle … steers I think. They were lying around in the rain and I liked the rather subdued misty background. So I opened the window and shot form the highway.

125 ISO, f/6.1, 1/60s, 39mm (about 213mm equivalence)

That one was straight from the camera, indicating to me that the F550 has pretty good control over tone even in low contrast situations. The detail is pretty decent too.

100 ISO, f/5.3, 1/30s, 66mm (360mm equivalence) – this is a stabilization test

And here is the RAW image … you can see that it was possible to recover more detail from this image. Enough that it is visible at 800px.

The extra detail comes with a small amount of fine grain … but this level of grain is never visible in a typical print.

To boost sharpness without too much loss of acuity, I tried one at 200 ISO and got a pretty nice result:

200 ISO, f/5.3, 1/40s, 66mm (360mm equivalence) again, a test of stabilization

That’s the jpeg … I deleted the RAW as the jpegs stand up very well from this camera.

So I must say that the reach and image quality make this camera one fun companion. Nothing compares. But … the flare issue will bother some people (we’ll see after a few concerts whether I am ready to throw it against a wall) and of course the video has to be proven under concert conditions …

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