Monday, September 22, 2014

Fuji S1 versus HS50EXR – Review Part 23 – Flare and Dynamic Range when Shooting into the Sun

Now, I must say that I Sol-sourced this test.

Ba da bing!

Ok, that was funnier in my head. Meanwhile, some of you have asked for a test of the flare these two produce and of dynamic range. This will serve both purposes, although again I am not trying to get perfect images. I am getting more and more time limited and have to make do with what time I can spare for more tests.

So my extremely formal method was this:

  • Grab each cam and load and format an SD card.
  • Run outside with both around my neck.
  • Shoot A-prio at 0EV at 100 ISO at f/2.8 for the main scene, then shoot again at f/8
  • Switch cams, and repeat
  • Shoot a few more scenes at f/8, switching cams, rinsing, and repeating
  • Run inside
  • Have dinner (not kidding)
  • Run down to man cave
  • Dump cards and process
  • Write article for blog, maximizing hilarity if possible

Ah, the scientific method in action is such a thing of beauty …

HS50EXR  100 ISO  f/2.8  1/750

There is obviously no rocket science involved, so let’s just look at the first pair of images from the HS50EXR. The JPEG is fairly indicative of what the average photographer will get without any intervention.

The raw image tells us that the HS50EXR has rather a lot of dynamic range. I think the flare below the sun and all over the car on the right pretty much says that there are a lot of internal reflections. Pretty brutal, but flare is expected with the sun in frame. We do like it though, if the flare is pretty :-)

S1 100 ISO  f/2.8  1/220

Note the much longer exposure … 1.5 stops! What a tragic metering difference between these cams. Something we have come to expect is every Fuji cam having a different metering behavior. The firmware team needs a spanking … behind the barn … with a club. Ok, too far …

Cough … what sky?

One supposes that the massive difference in exposure negates the value of the dynamic range test. Bummer. I’ll have to repeat the test with manual exposures so the crappy meters don’t fight over who sucks more.

Well, the sun has a nice star pattern on it. Not bad for f/2.8. Kind of unusual in fact. There is flare that is only slightly more palatable than that from the HS50EXR, and it is in the same places. The tree below the sun and the car on the right.

Now to f/8 …

HS50EXR  100 ISO  f/8  1/90

The flare is more obvious and harsher. And what is with those dots near the sun? Dust on the sensor? In the lens?

The star pattern from the 6 bladed aperture is typical Fuji. It’s ok looking, but excessive here. I dislike the windmill look, preferring a true star.

S1  100 ISO  f/8 1/40

One fourtieth? Really?

Not very pretty flare around the sun … but the star shape is there, sort of.

There are several other views, showing more of the same. You can look at them all here:

Meanwhile, I will leave you with the grandaddy of all the composites … here are all the images in a semblance of order. Enjoy …

The S1 would have done much better had I corrected its awful exposure errors. But such is life … lots of people will wonder why this camera is blowing so many highlights.

The HS50EXR is your camera if shooting into the sun floats your boat. Of course, I think it might be a better idea to get a large sensor camera with some serious dynamic range …