Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HS50EXR and F900EXR – Review Part 12 – Bad light ISO Ladder Revisited and Film Mode Ladder

I have no idea what happened with that first ISO ladder … but I may be forced to remove it because it is completely misleading. The HS50 is performing remarkably well now, as you are about to see.

So the setup from the good light ISO ladder is retained but the bulb is replaced. Instead of a 42 watt Fluorescent daylight balanced bulb, I have a 7 watt warm white LED bulb. A totally different experience. The 100iso exposure is 2 seconds, so this is definitely low light. I set auto white balance at the beginning, so there is no exposure or color correction here. Just a tiny equalization of sharpness is all (and it must always be done to the M sized image, clearly indicating that Fuji have changed the AA filter’s bias to try to improve L sized images, a very good idea for competitive purposes in the market.)

Same drill otherwise, and same bill too Smile

Rather than show you all the images again, I just cropped the middle fairly large and juxtapose them. I shot 100iso, 1600iso and 3200iso. The progression is always the same, but the truly interesting points are base ISO to show the very best possible image, and 1600 and 3200 ISOs to show the low light social images that are possible.

I continued shooting in M mode at the end and simply shot Velvia, Astia, B&W and Sepia at 3200 ISO. The settings for my new norm, which is 0,0,0,-2 … i.e. factory defaults with lowest noise reduction.

Please remember to click through to see the crops at full size (730px each across, so 1460 across total.)

What you will see:

  • L is crushed, as always in bad light. It sometimes puts up a brave front in bright light at base ISO, but here M size is essentially identical. At 1700 and 3200 the difference is obvious and an easy win for M size. As I have said ad nauseum :-)
  • You are better off shooting Velvia M size at high ISO than Provia L size, which is a surprise to me.
  • Astia looks really nice when there is no excessive contrast in the light.
  • The HS50 is pretty excellent even at these high ISOs. These images are equivalent to 33” prints!

Nice cam, beautiful base ISO images, even in crappy light.