Thursday, April 12, 2012

F770EXR Review – Part 3 – A lunchtime walk in the bright sunshine …

I have the F700EXR set the way I like to shoot. I’ll get around to the L versus M controversy and such like a bit later on. I will also be doing the usual ISO ladders etc. But for now, I’m just shooting this thing. It’s really fun :-)

Around noon time, I decided to go for a short walk to the pond where the Canada Geese hang out. It’s about 20 minutes each way give or take, and of course I planned for 20 minutes at the pond, give or take.

But first … A shot in the bright sunlight of the Scotiabank Place, where the Senators will be hopefully advancing their playoff hopes in a few days. This cam has some of the best JPEG distortion control that I have yet seen. Just excellent. Here, you see dead straight lines, which always impresses me with compacts with a great deal of range.

Note: All images displayed here will be from JPEGs tweaked in Lightroom 4, except for two, which are RAF files tweaked to mimic F550EXR RAF files and then processed in Lightroom 4.

F770EXR  100iso  f/3.5  1/600  25mm

And then I zoom in …

f770exr  100iso  f/5.3  1/450  500mm  -.67ev

Note the amazing fine details in the bushes down the right edge and bottom right corner. This lens is smokin’ …

This fence is apparently dangerous when pissed off …

f770exr  100iso  f/5.3  1/340  500mm  -.67ev

Nice detail and color here, especially when you consider that it is through a dirty window in blazing sunlight.

f770exr  100iso  f/5  1/350  104mm  -.67ev

When I arrive at the pond, I start shooting geese. I am dragged away foaming at the mouth raving about goose shit everywhere. This pair paused for a moment in a nice pose. Note the excellent detail in the feathers. This is the first RAF file, cropped a bit. Not too shabby in my opinion. This is one great camera … and yes, at 100% it’s not the prettiest sight. If you can’t stand the heat, get a dSLR.

f770exr  100iso  f/5.3  1/800  500mm  -1ev

Note the –1EV on that last one. The meter on this thing seems to run hot. I’ll know more when I compare the 550 and 770 head to head.

Here’s a similar shot in JPEG, and the white balance is very much different. I don’t really have the option of changing it wildly, since the colors have already been applied in camera.

Still … the detail is superb. This is another crop IIRC.

f770exr  100iso  f/5.3  1/850  500mm  -1ev

With this kind of reach and clarity, the X-S1 is going to have to really shine when I get hold of it. The HS30 is also going to be interesting, since it is already natively supported in LR4.1 …

This looks like a trap to catch unwary people and drain their bodily fluids when they fall on it … I really don’t get how something like that can just sit there on city property …

f770exr  100iso  f/7.1  1/450  25mm  -1ev

As I am walking to the creek (the earlier geese were scattered along the way) I see the building way off in the distance where I shot all those satellite dishes a while back for the F550EXR review. I think this camera outright stomps the F550 …

f770exr  100iso  f/11  1/280  500mm  -1ev

Note the very small aperture there. I see no diffraction effects, which makes sense since f/11 is the second of three stops, and is implemented with an ND filter only. It is f/16 at full zoom that actually has a smaller aperture.

And again, I demonstrate two things: amazing details, and how far away those dishes are at 25mm. The range is remarkable.

f770exr  100iso  f/7.1  1/680  25mm  -1ev

Ok … I need to go work out, so I am going to get lazy from here on in and only show you the EXIF if there is a point I need to make. All the EXIF data is intact in these images, so click on them to get the full sized 800px version and then use one of many EXIF viewers in your browser to view the data if you so desire.

Here is a lush view of the pond. Very pretty … but the water is really low. There is a bridge of land and grass on the right that is usually partially submerged, I think.

This fellow let me walk right up to him. I don’t even need to confirm that this is the other RAF file … I can tell from the color balance. Pretty nice detail, yes?

The geese really began to get noisy and fight. This lasted quite a while. I’ll post the videos when I get the chance. Meanwhile, I caught a few images. This is the first … another one later.

I shot across the pond and got a really great shot of a pair of geese looking right back at me.

The tone and color are superb on my IPS monitor. Here is the wide shot to remind you how much range this camera has.

This thing creates just gorgeous skies. Lots of puffiness in the clouds yet all the detyail is there. Excellent.

A little created “art” here … a duck bathing behind the curtain of bull rushes …

Another lovely JPEG crop. Terrific, although a slight blow out on the white path at the rear is unfortunate.

And the fight breaks out again …

As I walk away, I see a ground hog scamper for his hole. He sits in the hole watching me as I shoot a couple of images.

I start to edge closer and he scampers into the hole itself. So I go close and stand right above the hole … I am so close that I am forced to set macro mode. These are not crops.



Wow … do I ever like shooting this camera. I have enjoyed the F550 for a year, but this thing is winning me over. Of course, there are many tests to run.

No new nits, except that Fuji have changed the AF algorithms while filming. Now you can capture a jpeg without disturbing the video … this is way cool. But the price is that you cannot use this trick to reset focus, so I got four images like this one when I had video set to center focus and zoomed in. Couldn’t get focus at full zoom to save my life.

Continuous focus does work well in 1080p now, hunting much less often. But it still hunts … so Fuji still need to work on their video. If I am really lucky, I will be able to test this thing at a concert on one of the weekends coming up. But I only have about 10 days with it, so I may have to live with something simulated.