This isn’t really a formal review part, but I thought it would be instructive to show how good this camera can look indoors hand held. The stabilization is not what I am used to with the VR lenses from Nikon, but it is certainly serviceable. You just have to keep in mind that stabilization improves your odds of getting a sharp image, it in no way guarantees that any one specific image will be sharp.
So you shoot several and hope for a good one. The more images you capture, the more likely one will be the gem.
So Nick convinced me on Father’s Day to go for his favourite soup, which is also my favourite soup. It edges out both Vietnamese Pho and the Mennonite Chicken Soup that I cook (which is surprisingly similar in recipe and flavour to Pho.)
The soup I am talking about has been blogged here before … it is Malaysian Laksa, a light curry chicken soup that will blow your mind if you can find a good restaurant. The one we frequent is called “The Singapore” and they are packed every lunch hour with people stuffing themselves with Laksa. It is incredible.
So I will admit right up front that I forgot that I had fixed the ISO at 100. But in this case it was a lucky happenstance, because the second of the two images I shot came out crystal clear. Click on the above image to see the 1000px version and you will see how much detail there is in the surface of the chicken.
I was distracted by the fact that I had to switch to JPEG because I had forgotten an SDHC card as I left the house. I had planned to bring the F550EXR in my pocket but the battery was showing red, so I ran up to grab the X-S1 (much less convenient to carry, obviously) and forgot to check the card slot in the commotion. Duh.
So, had I realized that I was at 100 ISO, I would of course have shot something like 5 or more images to make sure one was sharp. I do check every image, and this one looked just fine so I thought nothing more of it. But I was very pleasantly surprised when I opened this in Lightroom and saw what is all too rare with this camera and my shooting style – a tack sharp image.
Close up photography has certainly emerged as a strength of this camera. The lens, when retracted, is very sharp. The sensor is very good, as is already known from the X10. And JPEGs are very good too. Where the weakness lies seems to be in long distance shots. But even then, I will be posting some evidence that this is not always an issue … when I get time to finish the Petrie Island images and post them.
By the way, had I given the camera its druthers, it would have reached much higher with ISO. A faster shutter would have guaranteed a fast shutter, but at the expense of noise. So I am glad I had this particular brain fart.