Thursday, May 3, 2012

HS25 Review – Part 2 – JPEG at long distance …

I took a moment at lunch on a dreary day to capture some shots of the front yard. A little Robin was wandering about the desert that was once a thick and rich lawn (The Weed Man has been terminated in lieu of another company for this summer … time to give someone else a shot at wrecking my lawn.)

As you can see from the image numbers, this camera arrived in pristine, never before shot condition. Cool. So I naively left the settings at the default – mid for every setting – and shot away at the long end of the zoom. The Robin was between 30 and 50 feet away, so I made use of the zoom for sure.

So here is one of the first shots. Firs thing I noticed is how difficult it is to keep the subject centered at full zoom, especially when using the EVF. I got better at it quickly, because I could not nail any shots without keeping a death grip on the camera. Strange, since I have no such issues with the F7000 and 70-300VR at full zoom, which is 450mm equivalent.

Anyway … here is the shot out of camera, with only resizing done.

Fuji HS25  800ISO  f/5.6  1/250  687mm equivalence

Note the slow shutter. Dreary day at 800 ISO and still a slow shutter. These things require discipline as the light gets softer. For sure.

So of course I prefer to crop that image and give the tone and color a bit of a spike. Here is Lightroom 4.1’s rendering.

So far, I’m a bit disappointed by the resolution at the long end. There are no veins in the feathers. It is possible that Robin’s don’t have much of that, so I’ll move on for now.

The same or another Robin landed on the yield sign in my front yard, so I took a shot of him from about 45 feet away. Here, I am really getting worried about the clarity of the image.

Lightroom 4.1

Fuji HS25  250iso  f/5.6  1/250  -2/3EV  687mm equivalence

This is pretty low ISO and, although I quite like the image – especially the nice bokeh – I am a little concerned about the painterly look at such low ISO. Here is a close crop …

SO that’s a really painterly look. Basically, I see blocks of color rendered instead of detail. Now do recall that I had the F770EXR for several weeks and I shot quite a bit of JPEG with it. And I never got this feeling from it.

Anyway … CS6 takes a crack at it.

As for color. It seems pretty nice, but others are more qualified to judge. Here is the OOC cam color of the dead seed pods on my Lilac bush from 30 feet. The house that looks right behind the bush is pulled in by the massive zoom, it is at least 50 to 80 feet behind the bush.

Fuji HS25  125iso  f/5.6  1/250  -2/3ev  687mm equivalence

And here it is straightened with mild tone and color adjustments in Lightroom 4.1.

I definitely get a stronger feeling of dimensionality from the latter shot. Contrast matters … a lot. And not just lots of contrast, but the right amount.


I like these images, but I am really concerned about the camera’s ability to resolve detail at the long end. I plan on concentrating on that quite a bit. The zoom range is pretty outrageous, but it is surprisingly difficult to stabilize the image in the EVF. The LCD is no better at 30fps, but I start to like it at 50fps.

The controls are good. Very dSLR like. Lots of buttons, and a good feel to them. Looking forward to shooting lots and lots.