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Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR Digital Camera Review

Features
Handling
Performance
ePHOTOzine verdict and ratings
Specification

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.
The slim and stylish Fujifilm Z700EXR has a touch screen interface for the more tactile amongst us. In this review Gary Wolstenholme takes a look at how it performs, as well as how it feels.

Fuji’s Z700EXR offers the same EXR technology as their EXR range of advanced compacts, but with ease of use and design tailored to more casual shooters. Sitting pretty at the top of their slim and compact camera range, the Z700EXR costs £165 and promises to offer better quality pictures in low light, better dynamic range in high contrast situations and plenty of resolution the rest of the time. The slim style and touch screen interface should appeal to those who like their gadgets with a hint of iPhone, especially as images are changed by dragging your finger over the screen in much the same way as you would use Apple’s mobile phone.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Features
Fuji’s EXR sensor technology has been employed in this camera, but I imagine most people buying this camera will probably leave the camera to its own devices in EXR auto mode. In this mode the camera analyses the scene contrast and brightness to decide if the scene requires more dynamic range due to high contrast, or better noise performance in low light. If the camera deems that the scene requires neither, it raises the resolution to its maximum of 12 megapixels. The idea is that the camera should produce better images on the whole than a standard point and shoot camera.

Although not massive, a 5x zoom, equivalent to 38-180mm on a 35mm camera, is a welcome addition on a camera this slim. The extra telephoto reach will certainly help in those situations where you just can’t get close enough to your subject.

A large 3.5inch touch sensitive screen dominates the rear of the camera. People who’ve gotten used to the latest touch screen mobile phones and other similar gadgets like iPods should feel right at home with this system.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR Key features: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
The 5x zoom lens and the flash are protected by the sliding cover when not in use. The touch screen in quite reflective, which can make it difficult to see what you’re doing in bright conditions.

The usual photographic aids found on most of the latest compact cameras are also included such as, Face Detection, Image Stabilisation, Auto Scene recognition and strangely Pet Detection. I did not have a cat or dog to test the system on, but I did manage to get the dog detection to pick up my partner if she screwed her face up a certain way. She volunteered herself purely in the interests of scientific study. I must add the dog detection also works on my face if I stick my tongue out. A touch and shoot mode is also included, which makes composing off centre a breeze. You simply touch the area you wish the camera to focus on. There is quite a bit of lag on this system, but it is useful for static subjects.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Handling
Having most of the controls taken care of by a touch screen interface means that Fuji didn’t need to make any room for buttons on the rear of the Z700EXR. Instead the camera’s back is almost completely filled by a huge 3.5inch TFT LCD screen. The space around the screen gets a little wider on the right hand side, which provides a little space to rest half your thumb. However, if you have fat fingers, like I do, you may find this design a little uncomfortable to hold. I found I just couldn’t get a good enough purchase on the camera to confidently hold and use the camera with one hand. I also found that when I used my other hand for support, I would occasionally end up with my finger in front of the lens. Of course aspects of the camera’s handling like this can be very subjective, so I would suggest handling one in a shop if you are unsure whether this design is for you.

The touch screen itself is very responsive and the menus are very clear and easy to navigate. Unfortunately the touch sensitive covering on the screen can be quite reflective, which can cause problems with the clarity of the screen when shooting in bright conditions. Other than this issue, it is a joy to use. Playback of images is very iPhone like, a sweep of your finger across the screen is all that’ required to move from one image to the next.

The build quality is very good. The sliding cover that protects the lens and flash is sprung with a nice weight to it and the shiny finish looks very smart, even if it is prone to showing every finger print.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Performance
Focusing is fairly quick, especially when the face detection system is active, which gives the Z700EXr a largely responsive feel in use. In low light conditions the camera can take a while to lock on though, even when the built-in AF illuminator is active.

Exposures produced by the Z700EXR are generally quite pleasing, with the camera only generally being fooled by very large areas of light or dark in the frame, which is typical of this kind of camera. In those particular conditions, having the extended dynamic range can pay dividends.

The camera is capable of recording a fair amount of detail, although I do find that areas of very fine detail, or strong diagonal lines tend to show JPEG-like artefacts, probably due to the nature of the Super CCD EXR. These artefacts are especially visible if the offending area has quite a large amount of contrast at regular intervals in a small space, such as you would get with parallel lines.
Subtle colours are reproduced faithfully, whilst primary and secondary colours seem to have more saturation, making them really stand out. This results in quite punchy looking images from the camera.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
Exposures are generally very balanced. I found myself prone to getting the edge of my finger in shots due to the camera’s design.
Subtle colours are reproduced accurately. The 5x zoom lens is a useful range for a wide range of subjects.

ISO and noise performance
There is no significant noise until at least ISO400, but what can be seen in all images at any ISO setting are the peculiar artefacts. These are particularly prevalent on the fountain, where the jets of water are quite close together closest to the ground. At ISO400 you can see the effects of noise reduction on detail in the image, but the levels of noise are still quite palatable.

From ISO800 and beyond, the levels of noise become much more apparent. I would say that ISO800 will still produce good postcard size prints, whereas the level of detail lost in images taken at ISO1600 and 3200 may only make images taken at these settings suitable for sharing at small sizes on the web.

White-balance
In our white balance test, the Z700EXR left quite a strong warm colour cast when using Auto White Balance under incandescent light and under the warm white fluorescents in our studio. The incandescent preset produces a much more accurate result under incandescent light, but unfortunately the fluorescent preset left quite a strong magenta cast, which may look at little disturbing in images.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR White-balance test: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting
Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting Fluorescent preset in fluorescent lighting

Buffer read/write times
During testing, I measured the delay between shots to be around 1.2 seconds on average when using a class 6 SDHC card, which is very responsive for a compact at this level. The camera is equally responsive during playback, with there being virtually no delay from one picture to the next.

Lens performance
Internal lens designs like this found on the Z700EXR have long been associated with optical issues of their own, and this optic is no exception. The biggest issue arises when there is a strong source of light in the frame. Under these conditions the lens is quite prone to flare and have loss of contrast. In more friendly conditions the lens performs well, with little distortion or colour fringing to speak of. Images show good contrast and sharpness from edge to edge throughout the zoom range.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR Lens quality: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
The internal lens design is quite susceptible to flare and colour fringing. However, in ideal conditions the lens is capable of recording a good amount of detail.
Distortion is kept to a minimum. The macro function allows you to get within about 5cm of your subject.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Verdict
Overall the Z700EXR is an accomplished performer, capable of producing high quality images. Although there may be the odd weakness, such as noise levels not being as impressive as promised, the lens being prone to flare and peculiar Super CCD artefacts in images, it’s strengths may be enough allow you to see past them.

The camera has a high quality finish, is intuitive to use and doesn’t cost too much either. When compared to similar cameras at this price point, it represents pretty good value for money.

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Pros
High quality fit and finish
Slim design
Intuitive touch screen interface
High dynamic range feature
Touch and shoot mode
Good exposure system

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Cons
Super CCD artefacts in images
Lens prone to flare
Touch screen can be quite difficult to see in bright conditions
Noise performance not as good as I’d hoped

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR: Specification

Price £165.00
What comes in the box Charger, Battery, USB cable, Software, Manual
Contact www.fujifilm.co.uk
Lens f=6.4 – 32.0mm, equivalent to approx. 35- approx. 175mm on a 35mm camera
Resolution 12Mp
Sensor size 1/2inch
Sensor type Super CCD EXR
Max. Image size 4000 x 3000
Aspect ratio 4:3
LCD monitor size 3.5inch
Optical viewfinder N/A
Focusing system Contrast Detection
Focusing modes Single AF, Continuous AF (when scene recognition and Movie) Center fixed, Auto area, Place of touch (Touch & Shoot mode)
File types JPEG
ISO sensitivity ISO100-3200
Metering modes EXR Auto, Auto, Touch & Shoot, Scene Position, Natural Light, Natural Light & with Flash, Manual, Movie SP: Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text, Dog, Cat
White-balance Auto, Fine, Shade, Incandescent light, Fluorescent light 1 (Daylight), Fluorescent light 2 (Warm White), Fluorescent light 3 (Cool White)
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV
Shutter speed range 1/2000-8 seconds
Anti-shake mode Dual Image Stabilisation
Movie mode 1,280 (1,280 x 720: HD), 24 frames/sec., 640 (640 x 480: VGA), 30 frames/sec. with monaural sound. Zoom function cannot be used during movie recording.
Media type SD, SDHC
Interface USB
Power Rechargeable Li-Ion battery NP-45A
Size (wxdxl) 91.8 x 59.0 x 20.3mm
Weight (with battery) 146g

The Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR costs £165 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR

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“Fujilfilm XM1 Review [and XA1/XE2 Thoughts]” plus 1 more Digital Photography…

“Fujilfilm XM1 Review [and XA1/XE2 Thoughts]” plus 1 more: digital photography School

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Fujilfilm XM1 Review [and XA1/XE2 Thoughts]

Posted: 04 Nov 2013 10:57 AM PST

A review of the Fujifilm XM1 by Ben Evans from www.EnglishPhotographer.com.

I knew mirrorless cameras were the future when Fujifilm launched their X-Pro1. Small and light like a Leica but with the practicality of autofocus, it had the image quality to live up to its name. When Fujifilm put the same innovative X-trans sensor in the X-E1 I recommended it over its bigger brother.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 1

Well, they’ve just done it again; the new X-M1 has the same amazing sensor in a smaller, lighter, cheaper camera body. Don’t confuse it with the X-A1, which doesn’t have the X-trans sensor. Or with the X100s, which can’t change lenses. Or with the XE-2, which is better but more expensive. We’re paying less, so we get less. What’s missing; and what do we miss?

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The X-Pro1 had a hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder and the screen. The X-E1 lost the optical viewfinder so action and low-light photography was trickier, but gave us an upgraded electronic viewfinder (apparently from Sony’s top-end RX1). The X-M1 has no viewfinder so you have to compose with the screen. In practice this means less battery life, shakier pictures and poor visibility in bright light. But now the screen tilts, which I like.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 2

Gone also is the svelte metal toughness of the X-Pro1, replaced with pretty plastic. But gone too what little weight was there before. I carry too much, so lighter wins every time. If I wanted tough I’d get a Pentax.

The kit lens is back to being a kit lens; cheap and slow with a maximum aperture from f3.5 to f5.6. This also means slower focussing in low light. There’s no aperture control on the lens nor switches for manual focus or stabilization. It’s pretty small and image quality is okay. But better to buy a proper X mount lens; the 35mm f1.4 beats all of Leica’s (it has autofocus!) and Zeiss now supports the system too. Fuji have a sensible roadmap for new lenses, which makes building a kit viable.

With the same lens, the image quality of the X-M1 should match its pricier siblings. Reading around, it seems the different chip may diminish quality slightly, but this could be that the jpegs are tuned to the consumer’s taste for stronger noise reduction and more sharpening.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 3

You also lose out with the controls. The X-M1 is a machined metal dial short of a immersive user experience. You’ll get used to it but its no X-Pro1. But for people who’ll just be using auto or program it’s really excellent and the quick menu is very helpful.

Technology gets faster, and technology gets smaller. The X-M1 is as small as we’d want to go. Some manufacturers have made the mistake mobile phone makers made a few years ago; sacrificing usability for diminutive size.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 4

This points to a characteristic of Fujifilm; they seem to understand what photographers want. Why? They listen. The XE1 had slow autofocus; the XE2 addresses this. The X Series cameras were a bit pricey for many people; the XM1 and XA1 were launched. It’s a pleasure to see a tiltable LCD screen on both.

But there’s a flaw in that clichéd Capitalist aphorism, ‘give the people what they want’ – as Steve Jobs made a billion proving, often they don’t know until you show them. And so it is; the rush to flesh out the X system has led Fujifilm to launch too many cameras, too quickly.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 5

Looking at the images, for the bodies are almost identical, the XM1 has only a small advantage over the XA1. So why pay more? Looking at the XM1, it’s difficult to ignore the similarly priced XE1s rendered obsolete by the XE2. They’re all great cameras, but what’s to choose between them?

It comes down to how you’ll use it. Photographing an international event for charity that required social media engagement, the XM1 with its built-in wifi was the right choice; it’s simple enough to edit the images on a phone using Snapseed them upload them. The wifi is useful then; but surely it would be worth hiring an app developer to enable proper remote control of the camera too.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 6

If you’re able, spend a bit more on the XE2 or the X-Pro2 if/when it’s announced. The quality will be a bit better, and you’ll benefit from faster focussing. Otherwise, compare the used/ end-of-line price of an XE1 against the XM1 and XA1, weighing up wifi and a tiltable LCD on the XM1/XA1 against slightly better quality and a viewfinder (XE1). Ultimately, it’s the quality problem of too much choice; pick one and just photograph with it!

Fujilfilm XM1 Review 7

Check out the new Fujifilm X-Series Video

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Ben Evans is the author of Photography: The Few Things You Need To Know, available at www.GreatBigBear.com. He is an English-speaking Barcelona photographer – www.EnglishPhotographer.com teaching photography with www.BarcelonaPhotographyCourses.com.

Post originally from: digital photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Fujilfilm XM1 Review [and XA1/XE2 Thoughts]

The post Fujilfilm XM1 Review [and XA1/XE2 Thoughts] by Guest Contributor appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Photograph Strangers: The 100 Strangers Project

Posted: 04 Nov 2013 07:17 AM PST

A Guest submission by Matt John Robinson

Liz

The First Stranger

Taking the portrait of a person whom you’ve just met moments before is one of the most exciting—and in the beginning, unnerving—experiences you can have as a photographer. It’s also one of the most rewarding.

The 100 Strangers Project sounded simple enough: gather 100 portraits of complete strangers after getting their consent. For my mostly introverted self, this meant more precisely: interact with 100 human beings I would otherwise never interact with…AND take their photograph.

Jimmy

The prospect seemed filled with anxiety. Yet the intrigue and amazing possibilities that gathered vaguely in my mind were becoming too palpable to resist. I had seen and greatly admired many 100 Strangers photos by Chris Camino, an online photography contact who was working on the project (known on dPS and Flickr as Paco X).

When I realized that a few of his portraits had been taken only an hour away from me, I had to know more. “How does he do it? How does he interrupt people during their daily routine and so boldly ask for their picture? How do they react, and why would they ever say yes?” Chris was happy to share his process and agreed to have me tag along during his next stop in Philadelphia.

He was honest. He was direct. Chris would see something in a stranger and would stop them, letting them know exactly what he admired and why he wanted to take their picture. The stranger, more often than not, would agree! They might even ask how he’d like them to pose; they might even walk to a more appealing background; they might even glow with the flattery of somebody wishing to take their picture. These strangers, for however brief the encounter, would connect with this photographer. They would trust him.

Allen

It was a rush just watching it unfold before me. I knew I wanted to feel the excitement of photographing a stranger myself. I saw a few interesting strangers and would point them out to Chris, secretly hoping that he would goad me into taking their picture myself. And he would. But I wouldn’t. My courage would build up—almost to the point—and a wave of nerves would wash it all away. What if they refused? What if they thought I was just a creep?

Chris spotted another stranger walking across the street with a friend, and I ambled after him. His stranger agreed very kindly after he introduced himself and me. The woman and her friend were both lovely and seemed like very warm and open people. It occurred to me that this was the perfect opportunity: I had already half-met this “stranger,” the woman’s friend, and judging from her personality she was likely to agree.

While Chris was busy shooting, I walked over to his stranger’s friend with as much an air of confidence as I could muster. I told her that I very much wanted to start the same photography project and wondered if she was willing to be my very first stranger. Not only did she agree to have her portrait taken, but she was flattered to be the start of the project. After the shoot, as she started to walk away, she turned and called back with her bright smile, “Thank you for your kindness.” Thank you for my kindness!

Unknown Stranger 1

I was blown away. So blown away and filled with excitement over my first ever street portrait that I forgot the young woman’s name. But I am oh-so-grateful to have met my unnamed Stranger #1 in her Philly’s ball cap. She opened my eyes to how easy and instantaneous it can be to connect with people you’ve never met, and how truly kind a complete stranger can be.

And the greatest revelation: I, as a photographer, have the power to capture the beautiful qualities of anybody I pass by. Or I can at least make the attempt. And anybody with a camera has that power. It might seem silly to photographers who’ve been doing this for ages, but I really think it’s something a lot of photographers haven’t thought about. I certainly hadn’t.

Emily

It was addicting. A piercing set of eyes, an awesome sense of style, or just a charismatic air—it’s all gloriously walking on the street and waiting to be captured by a camera. I returned to Philadelphia several times and also shot at a few places more locally.

I’m a little over halfway through my project now. No matter where I go, though, it’s all the same. I wait until I find somebody with some quality that I want to capture and then simply walk up to them and introduce myself and the project. Often I will let them know what caught my eye. And the majority of the time these strangers agree… and then it’s time to think about the photo.

Marcy

How to: the Posed Street Portrait

The technical considerations I make for posed street portraits are identical to any that you might make when taking any sort of outdoor portrait. You just have to figure it out a little more quickly.

I almost always make an attempt at carefully pairing my strangers with their backgrounds.

Sometimes I will find a background first, and I’ll wait for a serendipitous stranger to happen upon me. Other times I’ll come upon a stranger without having the time to consider a background before addressing them. In that case, I will always ask if they mind if we continue to walk in the direction they were headed until a suitable background catches my eye (it’s amazing how accommodating the strangers usually are).

It’s just my own personal style to really “create” the portrait. Other street portrait photographers take the opposite approach and prefer to photograph their subject exactly where they found them. The hugely popular Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton asks, “Can I take your picture, just like that, right where you are?”

William

100% of my backgrounds are in the shade. I like soft, even lighting, as most portrait photographers do. Working with shade also gives you the ability to shoot any time of day, and midday is actually quite nice. While cloudy skies are appealing because of the ability to shoot out in the open, bright sunny skies make for beautiful shade.

However, not all shade is equal. Sometimes the shadows can still be too heavy depending on how far you are from the open sunlight. For instance, if you’re in the shade of a building, yet there is open sky above you and all around, the lighting may very well be ideal on its own. However, if you’re under the shade of a tree, or on a street surrounded by shade with tall buildings on each side and only a thin strip of open sky, a reflector is usually going to help a lot.

Aside from what’s above you, what the stranger is facing is also important when considering the lighting. If you’re in the shade of a building, and your subject is facing other buildings in the shade, there is hardly any light being reflected sideways and up, so the eyes are going to appear very dark. On the other hand, if the subject is facing buildings/sidewalks/streets that are brightly lit by the sun, their eyes will be nicely illuminated by the reflected light, and you’ll capture a nice catch-light.

For those times when there’s not much open sky or bright surroundings outside the shade, carrying around a collapsible reflector is extremely helpful. You can expand it and have the subject hold it themselves around waist or chest height, depending on the framing, angling it slightly toward their face. This works well when the light is still generally coming from above.

Sometimes, depending on the structures around you and the time of day, the light mostly comes from the side. In this case it is helpful to have somebody hold the reflector on the opposite side the light is coming from (the subject is unable to do this without getting the reflector in the frame), bouncing back the light onto the shadowed side of the face. The strangers I stop often have friends along with them, and they’ve always been happy to assist with the reflector. As soon as the reflector is busted out, the stranger is likely going to ask how you want them to look/stand/pose.

Christian

Posing the stranger can be the second hardest part for a lot of people just getting started, right after the approach. The simplest way, and the way I still use sometimes, is to not even bother with a specific “pose.”

I’ll just ask them, “Ok, let’s get a few straight-faced shots—no smile.” And then after a few frames, warm them up with a joke or two and try to get them smiling (or just ask them to smile).

The way they are standing and holding their arms isn’t important if you’re just shooting head shots. The pose matters when moving out from the head shot, and for that, I’ve done all sorts of things.

You can just start backing up and capture their natural pose while they’re not fully aware that you’re actually capturing the entire body (this is all assuming you’re shooting with a prime—zooming out from the head shot and continuing to fire away would work great as well).

One of my personal favorites is to have the stranger sit down in a specific location that I think will work well with them. I’ll sit down myself exactly where I want them to sit and show them generally how I would like them pose. The stranger will follow suit with their interpretation and usually ask for more direction. I’ll follow with something like, “However your body feels comfortable,” and then start taking photos. At that point I’m looking through the viewfinder and beginning to frame my subject.

Ben Sarah

When it comes to composition, I am a heavy “rule of thirds” guy, especially with the eyes. The rule of thirds isn’t as much a “rule” as it is a way that our visual system scans the frame. For whatever reason, placing key points of the photograph on the thirds lines, or at their intersection, really focuses our attention during visual processing. This is dramatically true for portraits especially.

Placing the subject’s eyes on (or above) the upper third line gives them a much larger impact (try it yourself: on the same image with two different crops, place the eyes on the middle horizontal line and then place it side by side with the eyes on the upper third line).

I also avoid the “floating head.” That is, I almost never frame the subject from just their neck up, leaving their face to be the only thing in the frame. Including a good part of the shoulders in a headshot is key in grounding the subject within the frame and giving them their proper space. It’s a similar element to not cropping the subject at the knees or elbows.

There are of course exceptions to both of these compositional guidelines (you can see them in my own portraits), but they are a great place to start and it’s hard to go wrong when following them.

Katelyn

And finally, the lens and camera settings. Choosing the lens greatly depends on how much of your subject you’re really aiming to capture.

I focus primarily on head shots because of the intimacy it provides through a strong connection with the eyes. Because my primary goal is to come away with a good head shot, I always shoot street portraits with my 85mm f/1.2 lens.

I love the 85mm focal length for several reasons. For one, there is no distortion. Shooting a headshot with a 50mm or wider is going to make the center of the face appear subtly bulbous (and super bulbous if you’re down in wide angle territory). This can be mostly corrected in post, but why not get it right in camera?

More importantly, the 85mm gives you perfect working distance, which is especially important when working with strangers. Standing two feet in front of a stranger with a 50mm lens to get a head shot can feel pretty “in your face” for them. With the 85mm, you’re a bit further back, yet you’re close enough to easily continue communication—to continue chatting and helping them to feel comfortable.

Conversely, if you’re shooting a 200mm, you’re going to be pretty far away, and may have to raise your voice a good bit. You begin to lose your subject’s connection to the camera. And in a street setting, you really might not have enough room to back up, especially if you’d like the option to capture a full length.

I almost always shoot with a very large aperture for head shots in order to isolate the subject through a shallow depth of field as much as possible. For my personal tastes, I don’t mind having the ears and tip of the nose blurred. In my opinion it just places even more emphasis on the eyes, and well, I am in love with a good pair of eyes. It also naturally softens the skin of the forehead and cheeks, which is an added bonus.

I shoot in manual, choosing my aperture and then adjusting my shutter speed to properly expose. I won’t shoot an SS below 1/100 and will boost my ISO if needed from there.

Christina

I hope this post was helpful for anybody interested in outdoor portraiture, and especially those who might be interested in starting this amazing street photography project. It’s a no-brainer that my people skills have improved and I’m a lot more comfortable interacting with complete strangers. And of course, my portrait photography has improved a great deal. All the while, it has been so much fun. If you’re interested in the project, check out our Flickr group for the 100 Strangers Project.

Matt John Robinson is a portrait photographer from Allentown, Pennsylvania. See more of his work at www.mattjohnrobinson.com and connect with him on Facebook and Flickr.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

How to Photograph Strangers: The 100 Strangers Project

The post How to Photograph Strangers: The 100 Strangers Project by Guest Contributor appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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Testimonials on Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom…

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Item : Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom

Category : Point & Shoot digital cameras

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Features :

  • 4-megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 11-by-15-inch enlargements
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Description :

Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical ZoomUpdating the popular S400 Digital Elph, Canon’s PowerShot S410 is both elegant and powerful. It features a 4-megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom, and movie mode for videos of up to three minutes. Elegantly designed and super compact, the S400 has a protective stainless steel shell with a celabrite finish, which mixes metals and ceramics to produce a tough cool-toned exterior that is visually stunning. It also features Canon’s new Print/Share button, which helps you quickly connect directly to a printer or send an image via e-mail.

Optics and Resolution

The 4-megapixel PowerShot S410 can capture 2272 x 1704 images for photo quality 11 x 14 print enlargements. It also has 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, and 640 x 480 resolution modes. The 3x optical zoom lens has a focal length of 7.4-22.2mm (35mm equivalent: 36-108mm). It also has a 3.6x digital zoom.

Movie Mode

The PowerShot S410 features 3-minute QVGA (320 x 240) or QQVGA (160 x 120) movie clips with sound recording, full playback and in-camera cutting and editing. Individual video clips are limited to three minutes in length.

More Camera Features

  • 9-point Artificial Intelligence autofocus (AiAF) for fast and sharp images, even with off-center subjects
  • 1.5 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD (118,000 pixels)
  • Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
  • Built-in flash with auto, red-eye reduction, and slow sync modes
  • Record a voice memo of up to 60 seconds and attach to images
  • Shutter speed: 15 – 1/2,000 seconds
  • White balance control: Auto, pre-set (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H), or custom white balance
  • Continuous shooting: 2.5 frames (maximum 5 images)
  • 2x to 10x zoom into captured images while reviewing via the LCD

Canon Technology Features

  • Digic Imaging Processor: While much technical discussion of digital cameras centers around the optics and the CCD sensor, the complex task of image rendering is the job of the image processor–the “brains” of a digital camera. Canon’s latest, exclusive DIGIC Imaging Processor significantly enhances digital camera performance in numerous areas. DIGIC’s high-speed signal processing is combined with high-capacity buffering to give Canon digital cameras fast response and continuous shooting capability unmatched by other digital cameras. DIGIC delivers longer battery life and beautiful, rich color rendition with far fewer white saturation problems. And DIGIC’s unequaled precision delivers clear, noise-free images that are demonstrably superior.
  • iSAPS Technology: Canon iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) technology dramatically improves the performance of AF (Autofocus), AE (Auto Exposure), and AWB (Auto White Balance). By analyzing a huge volume of photography data, accumulated over 60 years and the manufacture of over 150 million cameras, Canon engineers arrived at statistical relationships among focal length, focus distance, scene brightness, and other factors. Equipped with this “fore knowledge” Canon PowerShot cameras can optimize AF/AE/AWB settings for any given scene more rapidly and more effectively.
  • Multi-point AiAF: Canon’s wide-area, multi-point AiAF (artificial intelligence autofocus) automatically selects one or more focusing points based on factors, such as subject position and motion. AiAF works in conjunction with iSAPS Technology to more quickly and accurately achieve autofocus under a wide variety of shooting conditions. You get fast, accurate AF whether you hold the camera horizontally or vertically, with stationary or moving subjects, with off-center subjects, and even in low-light/low-contrast lighting.

Direct Printing/Sharing

The PowerShot S410 introduces a new Print/Share button that speeds and simplifies printing to compatible Canon and PictBridge enabled printers and one-touch image transfer to Windows XP, Me, 2000, and 98 computers for use with image processing programs, uploading to the Internet, or placement in e-mail. When connected to a Canon Compact Photo printer, a Movie Print mode divides the selected clip into equal parts and prints thumbnails of a maximum 63 equally spaced frames onto a single sheet of Postcard Size Paper.

Storage and Transfer

Images and video are stored on CompactFlash memory cards (Type I only) and the included 32 MB card holds approximately 21 images at the Large/Fine setting. Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB 1.1 connectivity, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based Windows Me/2000/XP and Mac OS 8.6 or later computer without installing any software.

Power and Size

The camera is powered by rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-1LH). With the LCD on, you will get approximately 190 shots. It measures 3.43 x 2.24 x 1.09 inches and weighs 6.5 ounces (without batteries).

What’s in the Box

This package contains the PowerShot S410 digital camera, 32 MB CompactFlash memory card, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-1LH), battery charger (CB-2LS), USB and A/V cables, and wrist strap. The supplied software on the CD-ROM includes browsing and printing software ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac). Other software includes PhotoStitch, plus photo and movie manipulation software ArcSoft PhotoStudio and VideoImpression.

Terrific snapshooter, if lacking in manual functions

For about 80% of people, this camera is going to be a dream come true.

Simply put, it’s the pinnacle of ultra compact digital camera technology. With a 4 megapixel resolution with a better sensor than almost all of its competitors in a body the size of a pack of cigarettes, the Canon S410 is fabulous. The buttons and other physical factors of the interface are all well designed: the zoom and shutter button are in the same place for ridiculously easy one handed operation. The function knob on the upper right provides easy access to several shooting & playback modes. Compare this to other recent sexy, ultra-compact powershooters by Casio & Fuji (Think Z4U and A340) and you’ll understand why this is a superior camera.

Other pros:

-Canon STILL uses Compact Flash media, which is significantly cheaper than xD and sD, which a good 90% of other brands use. I have yet to see a downside in everyday use (don’t ask me about extreme temperate conditions or whether the various media…

Something for many, it is definitely a joyous moment simply getting this unique stuff. A fantastic feeling exactly like your blood stream boiled by extreme temperature that make you intend to have a go whatever matters. Just chilling out on your deck or screwing around in your buddys while using Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom is also not a bad ideas. It’s one of several Canon great idea which make it convenient capable to do various things with respect to the individuals interests and hobby. I at the same time, it’s just like my each day hardly ever apart using this Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom, for the reason that I have found a lot of fun utilizing as my secondary routine to delight me, really because of the Canon that managed to make it so great and convenience for my live. You might be male’s, ladies, teenager, grown ups, it really is no typical reason not to ever looking this unique product, because identical to whatever stated before you will likely have your own way enjoying using this type of Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom for your media to achieve your joyful moment.

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 Testimonials on Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom at Canon

Testimonials on Canon PowerShot S410 4MP Digital Elph with 3x Optical Zoom at Canon

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Product Critiques : Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical…

nitadigitalcaera.blogspot.com ® Product Critiques : Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical Zoom from Canon

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Item : Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical Zoom

Category : Point & Shoot digital cameras

Brand : Canon

Features :

  • 3.2-megapixel sensor captures enough detail to create photo-quality 10-by-14-inch enlargements
  • Canon 2x optical zoom lens with 3.2x digital zoom
  • 9-point autofocus; movie mode; PictBridge compatible
  • Store images on Secure Digital (SD) memory cards (16 MB card included)
  • Powered by NB-3L battery pack (included with charger)

Description :

The Canon PowerShot 3.2MP Digital Elph Camera with 2x Optical Zoom is ultra-compact but big on convenience and features. The Print/Share button lets you quickly print directly to your printer or upload images to your PC. Features: 3.2-megapixel resolution; 2x optical zoom and 3.2x digital zoom for a total 6.4x zoom; 16MB Secure Digital memory card; 9-point artificial intelligence autofocus (AiAF) for accurate, automatic focus, and movie mode with sound; 1.5″ low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD; 2048 x 1536 pixels for photo-quality 8×10 prints or medium-quality 11×14 enlargements; real-image optical zoom viewfinder; built-in flash with auto, red-eye reduction, and slow sync modes; and voice record function. The ultracompact and highly stylish Canon PowerShot SD110 updates its predecessor, the SD100, with Canon’s new Print/Share button, which helps you quickly send your photos directly to your printer or upload them to your PC. The SD110 also features 3.2-megapixel resolution; 2x optical zoom; nine-point artificial-intelligence autofocus (AiAF) for accurate, automatic focus; and a movie mode with sound.

Optics and Resolution

The PowerShot SD110 offers a 3.2-megapixel CCD sensor that produces images up to 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, for photo-quality 8 x 10 prints or medium-quality 11 x 14 enlargements. Other resolution modes include 1,600 x 1,200, 1024 x 768, and 640 x 480. The superb all-glass 2x optical zoom lens has a focal length of 5.4-10.8mm (equivalent to 35-70mm in 35mm photography). It also incorporates a 3.2x digital zoom for a total zoom of 6.4x.

Movie Mode

The PowerShot SD110 lets you capture high-resolution 30-second video clips with sound at 640 x 480 (10 frames per second). You can also capture 3-minute movies at lower resolutions: 320 x 240 and 160 x 120 (both at 15 frames per second).

More Features

  • Quick Shot function reduces the time lag between pressing the shutter button and starting exposure
  • Nine-point artificial-intelligence autofocus (AiAF) for fast and sharp images, even with off-center subjects
  • 1.5-inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD (118,000 pixels)
  • Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
  • Built-in flash with auto, redeye reduction, and slow sync modes
  • Record a voice memo of up to 60 seconds and attach to images
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000-15 seconds
  • White balance control: Auto, preset (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H), or custom white balance
  • 2x to 10x zoom into captured images while reviewing via LCD
  • Continuous shooting: 2.2 frames (maximum 12 images)

Canon Technology Features

  • DIGIC Imaging Processor: While much technical discussion of digital cameras centers around the optics and the CCD sensor, the complex task of image rendering is the job of the image processor–the “brains” of a digital camera. Canon’s latest, exclusive DIGIC imaging processor significantly enhances digital camera performance in numerous areas. DIGIC’s high-speed signal processing is combined with high-capacity buffering to give Canon digital cameras fast response and continuous shooting capability unmatched by other digital cameras. DIGIC delivers longer battery life and beautiful, rich color rendition with far fewer white saturation problems. And DIGIC’s unequaled precision delivers clear, noise-free images that are demonstrably superior.
  • iSAPS Technology: Canon iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) technology dramatically improves the performance of AF (autofocus), AE (autoexposure), and AWB (auto white balance). By analyzing a huge volume of photography data accumulated over 60 years and the manufacturing of over 150 million cameras, Canon engineers arrived at statistical relationships among focal length, focus distance, scene brightness, and other factors. Equipped with this “foreknowledge,” Canon PowerShot cameras can optimize AF/AE/AWB settings for any given scene more rapidly and more effectively.
  • Multipoint AiAF: Canon’s wide-area, multipoint AiAF (artificial-intelligence autofocus) automatically selects one or more focusing points based on factors such as subject position and motion. AiAF works in conjunction with iSAPS Technology to more quickly and accurately achieve autofocus under a wide variety of shooting conditions. You get fast, accurate AF whether you hold the camera horizontally or vertically, whether you have stationary or moving subjects, with off-center subjects, and even in low-light or low-contrast situations.

Advanced Printing

The camera features Canon’s Print/Share button, which illuminates when a successful connection is made between the camera’s USB port and a PictBridge-compatible printer or Windows PC. When it is lit, pushing the button will print the currently displayed image (based on the printer’s default PictBridge or Direct Printer settings) or automatically transfer the image to your PC. When connected to a Canon compact photo printer, the camera/printer combination allows for “movie-prints” (sequential frames of a movie clip printed as thumbnails on a single card) and photo IDs (passport-style ID photographs).

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Direct Photo Printers

For large-format desktop printing, try one of the Direct Photo Printers which allow you to print directly in one of two ways: plugging the compatible PowerShot camera into the Direct Photo Printer using the supplied cable, or simply inserting a memory card with a supplied adapter. You can also connect the printer to your computer, for more options. Print high-resolution, borderless images in postcard size or as 8.5 x 11s within minutes.

Storage and Transfer

Images and video are stored on tiny Secure Digital (SD) memory cards; the camera is also compatible with MultiMedia cards (MMC). The included 16 MB card holds approximately 21 images at the large/fine setting. Images can be downloaded to either a Mac or PC via USB 1.1 connectivity, which means the camera can be connected to any USB-based computer running Windows Me/2000/XP or Mac OS 8.6 or later without your having to install any software.

Power and Size

The camera is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-3L). With the LCD on, you will get approximately 210 shots; with the LCD off, 550 shots. It measures 3.35 x 2.20 x 0.94 inches and weighs 5.82 ounces without batteries.

What’s in the Box

The package contains the PowerShot SD110 digital camera, a 16 MB Secure Digital memory card, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (NB-3L), a battery charger (CB-2LU), USB and A/V cables, and a wrist strap. The software supplied on the CD-ROM includes the browsing and printing programs ZoomBrowser EX (Windows) and ImageBrowser (Mac). Other software includes PhotoStitch and the photo- and movie-manipulation programs ArcSoft PhotoStudio and VideoImpression.

You will never take pictures the same way again… fabulous

I own three digital cameras and a pricy SLR and the Canon SD110 has made all the others obsolete. This camera changed my photo-taking behavior and excitement, and now I always carry it in my bag or pocket. First, you should know Canon and Nikon make the best digital cameras – primarily because they were smart in outsourcing electronics to the best Chinese component manufacturers (Flextronics, Celestica) and used their own industry-leading optical lenses. I prefer Canon because of ease of use (both camera and downloading to PC), braoder range of sophisticated features, rock solid reliability, accessories (you must get the cute leather case… all your friends will ask!), and the cameras just *look* and *feel* infinitely cooler.

The SD110 is a small, powerful, high performer even among its Canon peers. Though I provide a balanced view below, as a connoisseur of every new technology out there for cameras, I can attest this little machine boasts a ton of horsepower…

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In hopes significantly a Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical Zoom allows you to relaxed. Get the morning having Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical Zoom.

 Product Critiques : Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical Zoom from Canon

Product Critiques : Canon PowerShot SD110 3MP Digital Elph with 2x Optical Zoom from Canon

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“5 Adorable Pet Photos [and How to Make your Shots even Cuter]” plus 1…

“5 Adorable Pet Photos [and How to Make your Shots even Cuter]” plus 1 more: digital photography School

Link to <a href='photography' target='_blank'>digital photography</a> School

5 Adorable Pet Photos [and How to Make your Shots even Cuter]

Posted: 03 Nov 2013 10:57 AM PST

A guest post by by Erin McNulty – Pet Photographer and author of Snapn Paws – currently 33% off at SnapnGuides.

Want to get photos of your pet that will make everyone say “aaawwww”? Here are five of my top tips for capturing cuteness.

1. Get down on their level

Adorable pet photos 1

One of the easiest and most often overlooked techniques is to be on the same level as your pet! By being at eye level with them, you will create a connection which translates into a more intimate, engaging photo.

2. Use Props

Adorable pet photos  2

Does your pet have a favourite basket, bed, or toy? If so, incorporate these into your photos. Make sure whatever prop you are using is one that your pet is happy and comfortable around, and don’t force any behaviour that makes them stressed or wary – this will show through in the photos

3. Engage in Play

Adorable pet photos  3

A lot of pets have a sixth sense for when a camera is being pulled out, and will immediately turn their back or engage in a vigorous grooming session to avoid it. By engaging them with a fun toy, you will distract them from the camera as well as capturing some great natural expressions.

4. Get up Close and Personal

Adorable pet photos  4

Want to create a more interesting shot of your pet? Focus in on the little things that make them so cute – whether it be their big puppy dog eyes, their magnificent whiskers, or their tiny little paws.

5. Let them be Themselves – and be Patient!

Adorable pet photos  5

Your best shots will always come when you observe and capture their behaviour, rather than forcing them into unnatural poses. It may take ten minutes or an hour to get that perfect shot, so be patient and calm – pets pick up on your mood!

Want to learn more about Photographing Pets? Check out Erin’s brand new eBook – Snapn Paws over at our sister site SnapnGuides (currently 33% off).

Post originally from: digital photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

5 Adorable Pet Photos [and How to Make your Shots even Cuter]

The post 5 Adorable Pet Photos [and How to Make your Shots even Cuter] by Guest Contributor appeared first on Digital Photography School.

The Power of Black & White

Posted: 03 Nov 2013 07:37 AM PST

The power of black & white photography

If you read my articles about long exposure photography and intentional camera movement in the landscape you may have noticed a common theme amongst the photos illustrating the articles – most of them were in black and white.

I’ve been thinking about the reasons that black and white photography appeals to me. Regular readers of my articles will know that I’m a big fan of tonal contrast in both colour and monochrome work. I use it as the basis of many of my compositions and it helps me create atmosphere and mood.

But things became clearer today when I read an interview with Joel Tjintjelaar, a well-known fine art photographer who works exclusively in black and white. He is one of the leaders in the discipline of long exposure photography (I interviewed him myself as a case study in my book Slow).

The power of black & white photography

In the interview Joel talks about photos representing the vision, or the essence, of the artist rather than reality. Black and white, in addition to being a beautiful medium in its own right (he uses words like mysterious, nostalgic and dramatic to explain its appeal) is a step removed from reality. Add in changes in tonal values achieved in post-processing, the surreality of long exposure photography techniques and the manipulation of light (also in post-processing) and you finish with a photo (or a work of art, depending on your world view) that is an expression of the artist, rather than the original subject.

Make sense? There are many ways of expressing yourself creatively in photography, and black and white is just one of them, but it certainly is a powerful medium. Trends come and go. Whether it’s the fast film, high grain techniques popularised by Robert Farber and Sarah Moon in the seventies, or the Photoshop based techniques of modern times such as using texture layers or HDR, most of these are ephemeral. They won’t be remembered as anything more than dated trends in decades to come. But black and white will endure.

The power of black & white photography

Learn more about black & white photography

Now that I’ve piqued your interest you’ll no doubt want to learn more about black and white photography. I’ll write about that in the future, but first I think it’s a good idea to go have a look at the work of some of the best black and white photographers out there. I’ve picked out five of my favourite photographers from 500px – looking at their work will help you appreciate the true power of the monochrome image.

Have a think about the following points while you look through their portfolios:

  • Why do you think these photographers have chosen to work in black and white? How would their images look if they were in colour?
  • How important is tonal contrast in the composition of their images?
  • How important are other elements of composition, such as line, texture, form and shape? How does black and white emphasise these elements?
  • How important is light in these images?
  • How far removed from reality are the photos in these portfolios? How do they express the photographer’s vision?

Here are the links:

Hengki Koentjoro

Hengki is an Indonesian photographer who creates beautiful black and white landscapes (read my interview with him here).

Sabrina de Vries

Sabrina is a young Dutch photographer who creates black and white portraits. Some of her work is in colour, so it’s a good chance to compare the way she works in both mediums.

Andy Lee

Andy is a professional film maker and photographer who works in black and white. Tonal contrast is a strong element of his work.

Joel Tjintjelaar

You should definitely take a look at Joel’s work. One of the interesting things about the way that Joel works is his painstaking attention to detail – he may spend 40 hours working on a single image before he is happy with it. This approach is very unusual.

Michael Diblicek

Michael shoots both the landscape and architecture. He is another photographer who uses tonal contrast really well (read my interview with him here).

Mastering Photography

Mastering photography ebook

My ebook Mastering Photography: A Beginner’s Guide to Using digital cameras introduces you to photography and helps you make the most out of your digital cameras. It covers concepts such as lighting and composition as well as the camera settings you need to master black and white photography and take photos like the ones in this article.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

The Power of Black & White

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Pentax Optio X90 Digital Camera Review

Features
Handling
Performance
ePHOTOzine verdict and ratings
Specification

Pentax Optio X90: Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.
In this review, Gary Wolstenholme takes a look at Pentax’s latest flagship bridge camera.

It seems the race to have the largest zoom lens on a bridge compact camera isn’t about to let up just yet. The Optio X90 from Pentax comes equipped with a whopping 26x optical zoom lens covering a range equivalent to 26-676mm on a 35mm camera in a reasonably compact and lightweight body. One of these cameras will set you back around £230, which doesn’t seem bad when the enormous zoom range is taken into consideration.

Pentax Optio X90: Features
The 26x zoom lens is obviously the lead feature of this camera, offering an amazing amount of flexibility of composition in a compact lightweight package. The lens covers a range equivalent to 26-676mm on a 35mm camera, which will provide quite a wide angle for when you have to shoot in a tight spot, and super-telephoto suitable for wildlife and action shots, where you can’t get close to the action.

Behind the lens lies a 12.1 megapixel CCD sensor, with CCD-shift stabilisation, which will be necessary to make the most of the huge zoom range on offer. The sensor also has a sensitivity range of ISO80-6400, which should make the camera suitable for low-light shooting, if the performance is up to the job.

A 2.7inch LCD screen with a resolution of around 230,000 dots and a electronic viewfinder with a resolution of around 200,000 dots are provided for composing and reviewing pictures. The EVF has a diopter adjustment dial on the side for easier viewing without spectacles. Saying that I found the EVF easy enough to use with my glasses.

Pentax Optio X90 Key features: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
For a super-zoom bridge camera, the X90 is surprisingly small and light, weighing only 428g with battery and SD card. A 2.7inch screen and Electronic Viewfinder are providing for composing and reviewing images.
An improved Li-Ion battery has been added to the X90, which promises to give 50% more life on a charge than its predecessor’s battery. The huge 26x zoom lens extends roughly two inches at maximum telephoto.

High definition video clips at 720p resolution can be recorded and viewed on a compatible HD TV via the supplied HDMI output. The HDMI output will also allow pictures taken with the camera to be seen on a HD TV at higher resolution, leading to a more pleasant viewing experience.

Other features include a 1cm macro mode for shooting close to your subject, an improved battery and a raft of manual and automatic exposure modes, to keep those after simplicity or creativity happy.

Pentax Optio X90: Handling
Much of the Optio X90’s body is made from blue-coloured plastic with a slight metallic lustre to it. Personally, I’m not really a fan of the finish, although the materials used feel to be good quality.

The camera is very lightweight for such a huge zoom range, weighing only 428g with the battery and SD card installed. Due to the light weight, extra care needs to be taken when taking pictures at the telephoto end of the zoom as I did find it difficult to properly steady myself adequately. The image stabilisation system does help with this, but it still pays to be careful.

Rubberised plastic finger grips are provided to help attain a little more purchase on the camera body and as a result my grip on the camera feels very secure indeed. The finger grip on the front of the camera is quite shallow though, and will feel more comfortable to hold for those with smaller hands.

Pentax Optio X90: Performance
The exposure system the X90 is equipped with works very well in a wide range of conditions, especially when the face detection feature is active. In these situations the camera’s meter is very difficult to fool indeed. In contrasty scenes, the multi pattern metering system tends to produce bright exposures keeping detail in the shadows, at the expense of the highlights. This will mean shots of backlit subjects should be well exposed. In cases where they aren’t exposure compensation can be activated through a range of plus or minus two stops.

Colours tend to be rendered accurately by the X90, especially primary colours, which have just enough saturation for a punchy, vivid look, without overdoing things. Skin tones are reproduced accurately also.

In use I found the X90 to be reasonably responsive, especially at the shorter end of the zoom. There is a little noticeable shutter lag throughout the zoom, which can make shooting action quite tough, as you have to pre-empt each shot. As you zoom towards the telephoto end to the zoom range the autofocus slows down, taking a few seconds in some cases to achieve focus at maximum telephoto.

Pentax Optio X90 Performance: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
Exposures are very accurate when the face detection system is active. In high contrast scenes, the X90 tends to expose for the shadows, blowing highlights.
Bold primary colours are rendered well. The autofocus can be a little sluggish at maximum telephoto, making it a challenge to take shots of fleeting moments.

ISO and noise performance
Noise performance with the X90 is typical of many other compact CCD based digital cameras, with images up to ISO200 showing no significant signs of noise. At ISO400 the softening effects of noise reduction can be seen on fine detail, even though the levels of noise still appear quite low. This trend continues, with each ISO setting showing increasing levels of noise and softening due to noise reduction, although images at ISO800 should still be suitable for postcard size prints. Beyond this setting the snowy appearance starts to take over and colour saturation suffers due to the camera’s attempts to reduce coloured speckles in images. Images taken at ISO3200 and ISO6400 should still be suitable for sharing on the web at small sizes though.
White-balance
When shooting under incandescent light, the X90’s auto white balance seems to perform quite well, leaving only a slight colour cast in images. Under the same conditions the incandescent preset also performs very well, producing very accurate colour. Under the warm white fluorescents in our studio, the auto white balance system performs less well, leaving a very strong amber cast in images. The fluorescent preset perms better in this case, but there is still quite a noticeable magenta cast in images.

Pentax Optio X90 White-balance test: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
Auto white-balance in incandescent lighting Auto white-balance in fluorescent lighting
Incandescent preset in incandescent lighting Fluorescent preset in fluorescent lighting

Buffer read/write times
I recorded a delay from shot to shot in single shot mode of 2.8 seconds on average when using a class 6 SDHC card, which is pretty typical for a camera of this type. Although this isn’t too disappointing a result, those wishing to use the camera to record fast action may find this delay a little frustrating.

Lens performance
In general, the 26x zoom lens appears to perform well, producing images that are sharp from edge to edge. Due to the massive zoom range distortion can be quite noticeable. At the wide end barrel distortion is prevalent, which may pose issues when photographing subjects with straight lines, such as architecture.

The lens appears to be quite resistant to flare and ghosting and only slight amounts of chromatic aberration are visible in extreme contrast situations. A 1cm macro mode is very useful for close-ups, allowing items to be almost touching the front element of the lens. This macro ability is only available at the wide end of the zoom though, so subject magnification isn’t that high.

Pentax Optio X90 Lens quality: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
A fair amount of barrel distortion is present at the wide end of the zoom range. Pincushion distortion is noticeable at the telephoto end, but the level isn’t overly disturbing.
A 1cm macro function is great for close-ups. Shooting distant subjects is possible tanks to the 676mm equivalent telephoto.

Pentax Optio X90: Verdict
A zoom range of this level is certainly an interesting prospect and will definitely suit those looking for that kind of flexibility, while being able to travel light. The camera performs well, producing images with good clarity at sensitivities of ISO200 or lower. Given the huge telephoto at your disposal it would’ve been nice if the camera performed better at higher sensitivities though.

Overall, it is a very interesting camera, that works well, but does have it’s weaknesses, such as the ISO performance at high sensitivities, slow autofocus at the telephoto end and barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom range.

If however the light weight and flexibility outweigh those weaknesses for you, then this camera is certainly worth a look.

Pentax Optio X90: Pros
Light weight
Enormous zoom range
Generally accurate exposure system
Clarity at lower sensitivities
Image stabilistion

Pentax Optio X90: Cons
Quality it higher sensitivities
Barrel distortion at wide end of zoom range
Slow AF at telephoto end
White balance performance under fluorescent light

Pentax Optio X90: Specification

Price £220.00
What comes in the box AV cable, USB cable, AC cord, Li-ion rechargeable battery, battery charger, strap, lens cap and Arcsoft Media Impression 2.0 for PENTAX software
Contact www.pentax.co.uk
Lens 4.6 – 119.6mm f/2.8 – 5.0 (approx. 26 – 676mm in 35mm format)
Resolution 12.1Mp
Sensor size 1/2.33inch
Sensor type CCD
Max. Image size 4000 x 3000
Aspect ratio 4:3
LCD monitor size 2.7 inch
Electronic viewfinder approx. 200K dots
Focusing system Contrast detection
Focusing modes 9-point AF, Spot AF, Auto tracking AF Infinity-landscape, Manual Focus, AF Point switching
File types JPEG
ISO sensitivity ISO80-6400
Metering system Multi-segment metering, Center-weighted metering, Spot metering
Metering modes Programs: AutoPicture, Movements, Anti-shake, Movie, USER, Manual, Av, Tv, P
Scene modes: Auto Picture, Sport, Digital SR, Movie, Manual, User, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, Landscape, Flower, Portrait, Backlight, Half-length Portrait, Night scene, Night scene Portrait, Stage Lighting, Surf & Snow, Baby, Kids, Pet, Food, Fireworks, Frame Composite, Party, Museum, Sunset, Digital Wide, Digital Panorama, Green
White-balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light (W, D, N), Manual setting
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV
Shutter speed range 1/4000 – 1/4 sec. 4 sec at most (Tv, Av, M, Night Scene mode setting)
Anti-shake mode CCD Shift Shake reduction
Movie mode HDTV (1280×720), 15/30fps, VGA (640×480) 15/30fps, QVGA (320×240), 15/30 fps
Media type SD, SDHC
Interface USB, HDMI
Power Rechargeable D-LI106 Lithium-ion battery
Size (wxdxl) 84.5 x 111 x 110mm
Weight (with battery) 428g

The Pentax Optio X90 costs £230 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Pentax Optio X90

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“Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review” plus 1 more Digital Photography…

“Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review” plus 1 more: digital photography School

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Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 12:37 PM PDT

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review.jpg

Welcome to Mark II of the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, a neat, surprising camera that could sit happily alongside an upper level snapper (like a dslr) in the camera bag. Unsurprisingly, it is priced at the upper level of compact digicams.

It has a reasonably fast Carl Zeiss f1.8, 3.6x optical zoom, imaging to a 20.2 million pixel CMOS, enabling the capture of a maximum image size of 5472×3080, leading to a 46x26cm print.

[embedded content]

Video can be captured in AVHCD or MPEG4, up to a Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution.

Yes, you can shoot still shots in the middle of a video recording but with a click or two on the audio.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II review back.jpg

The body is made from aluminium and has a tiltable (up/down) LCD screen that responds to touch commands as well as tilting up by 84 degrees and down by 45 degrees. There is a (pricey) turret viewfinder to allow clear viewing in bright light that fits into the camera’s hot shoe; this shoe also accepts a clip on LCD screen, external flash or a microphone adaptor.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review top.jpg

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Features

The camera control layout follows the usual Sony pattern: at extreme left is the flash cell; centre of the top surface is the multi interface shoe (or ‘hot shoe’); to the right is the power button, zoom lever and shutter button; nearby is the mode dial with positions for intelligent and superior auto exposure (!), PASM, movie, memory recall, sweep panorama and scene selection (presets for portrait, sports, macro, fireworks etc).

Function button.jpg

Rear: the familiar movie record button is on the top right corner; beneath it is a really useful Function button that offers exposure correction, ISO setting, AWB, the D-RANGE Optimiser and access to a wide range of effects … such as posterisation, pop colour, partial colour, retro, toy camera effect (in colorisations such as cool, warm, green, magenta). You could spend days with this item!

The D-Range Optimiser shoots a bracket of three shots with different exposures; the camera then overlays the bright area s of the under exposed image and the dark areas of the over exposed image to create an image with improved gradation. A single image with the ideal range is saved.

Menu 1.jpg

Menu 2.jpg

Nearby is the menu button which displays a super wide range of options. Newbies should pay deep attention to this menu … it all happens here! If you find a specific function is not working properly, it’s most likely because a ‘box’ in the menu has not been ticked!

Lower is the control wheel. Here you can select options for flash, self timer, burst shooting and exposure compensation. If your camera happens to be set to auto or intelligent auto you can access a range of picture effects, change image brightness, colour etc.

The central button of the control wheel locks in tracking focus to the subject nearest centre frame.

Lower still is the replay button and one which doubles as the image trash action and gives access to a useful information bank. I guess the latter gives the game away with the RX100: it is really a high priced beginners’ camera! Oh well!

Sweep panorama.jpg

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Pano 1.JPG

Sony, IMHO, has by far the best sweep panorama feature of all compact digicams: you can pan right, left, up or down and capture panos in enormous sizes. Like: 12,416×1856 pixels!

NFC

This is also Sony’s first NFC camera. Wassat?

Near Field Communication is designed to enable users to instantly share images with other NFC capable devices, such as Android smartphones, tablets, laptops or even TV.

The company’s strategy behind NFC is to simplify the connection of its RX100 II to smart devices. Once connected, users can remotely control the camera’s shutter release from the mobile device, quickly receive the captured image via WiFi and upload the transferred images straightaway to a social networking site.

But is NFC just Bluetooth or Wifi? Maybe.

Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication for more info.

Snoopy 2.JPG

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review Yacht.jpg

Distortion

No problems at either end of the zoom. A well corrected lens.

Startup

In just a little over two seconds the camera came to life after the power was tapped. Then I was able to fire off a run of shots as fast as I could tap the button.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review ISO Tests

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 100.JPG

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 400.JPG

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 800.JPG

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 1600.JPG

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 3200.JPG

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 6400.JPG

Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark II ISO 12800.JPG

At ISO 1600 sharpness dropped off slightly but noise was low. By ISO 6400 these factors were a little worse. By ISO 12800 sharpness was down further and noise up — but not by a large factor.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review Verdict

Quality: just above average.
Why you would buy the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II: compact; fast Zeiss lens.
Why you wouldn’t buy the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II: limited zoom range for your needs; LCD screen tilts are limited.

A surprising package in such a tiny body.

User guide.jpg

I felt the manuals to be inadequate: aside from a 37 page PDF basic guide in English and a Web-based user guide with no search facility, that was all. For a camera at this price level you could at least expect at least a decent searchable PDF manual.

Otherwise, a very good performance.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Specifications

Image Sensor: 20.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi pattern, centre-weighted, spot.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Sensor Size: 13.2×8.8mm Exmor R CMOS.
Lens: Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* f1.8-4.9/10.4-37.1mm (28-100mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/2000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 2.5, 10 fps.
Memory: Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC and Micro SD/SDHC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 5472×3080 to 2592×1944.
Movies (pixels): 1920×1080, 1440×1080, 640×480.
LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (1,229,000 pixels).
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, AVCHD, MPEG4.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 160 to 25600.
Interface: USB 2.0, micro HDMI, WiFi, DC, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 102x58x38 WHDmm.
Weight: 281 g (with battery and card).
Price: get your hands on a Sony DSC-RX100M II Cyber-shot at Amazon here.

Post originally from: digital photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review

The post Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review by Barrie Smith appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Breaking Down the Creative Process

Posted: 02 Nov 2013 08:37 AM PDT

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the creative process. When we talk about “creativity,” people generally end up putting themselves into one of two categories– creative or not creative. I’m always amused– and a bit leery– when people who consider themselves creative say that they have no creative process. That ideas “just come” to them. I’m not buying it. I can’t help but ask if ideas really do just come to them, or have they refined and streamlined their process to the point that they don’t even recognize it as a process? And if there really is a process, can someone who thinks they aren’t creative follow a series of steps that can help them become creative? The truth is, everyone has creative potential.

Graham Wallas (1858-1932) was an English social psychologist and co-founder of the London School of Economics. In Art of Thought – The Model of Creativity, written in 1926, Wallas broke down what we now refer to as the “creative process” into four distinct stages– Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Implementation. I’ve seen his approach described in several sources recently and over the years, but few ever seem to give any proper credit to the source material, espousing these thoughts and concepts as if they were original ideas. And so, Graham Wallas– this one’s for you, with my thanks.

guyer-photography-graham-wallas

Preparation

It sounds simple, and maybe a bit obvious, but this first step really does lay the foundation for the entire process. Writers write, read, research, and revise. Musicians practice and rehearse. They listen to music– sometimes their own, sometimes that of their influences. Painters experiment with color and visit museums. They sketch. As a photographer, what are you doing to prepare? Do you have influences and inspiration? Do you look to other art forms? How will you nurture an idea once it’s formed? We all draw from different emotional resources, but one thing that every creative has in common at this stage in the process is that the steps can actually be pretty boring. We may enjoy walking through museums or scouting locations, and they may get the creative juices flowing,  but they are not the exciting part of the process. Preparation is, quite simply, evaluating your creative options and beginning to come up with a plan.

Incubation

For me, this is where the fun begins– partially because half the time I don’t even realize it’s happening.  This is the stage where those first hints of a hopefully great idea are bouncing around in my head.  This is when I’m sitting in the car at a red light and happen to notice how the sun is hitting an object.  This is the stage when I’m flipping through a magazine  and an off-handed remark in an article brings the whole project into focus (no pun intended).  During the incubation step your conscious AND subconscious minds are working on the idea.  Wallas talked about the incubation stage being one where no real direct thought was given to the project or idea. Have you ever tried forcing an idea? It doesn’t usually work, right? Just like you sometimes have to take a break and clear your head, diverting your thoughts to other problems or projects– or to nothing at all– during the incubation stage may be just what you need for you to find yourself at…

Illumination

This is the “A-hah!” moment.  When this moment hits, your creative urge is so strong that you just have to get the idea out of your head and into its medium (camera, canvas, paper, etc.)– usually to the point that you have no problem ignoring or losing track of everything else going on around you.  The biggest problem with my illumination moments is that they usually happen at the most inconvenient times (in the shower, driving, middle of the night, etc.). It’s going to happen when it happens. You’ve had all these preparatory elements bouncing around– incubating– inside your head that when they do finally snap into a coherent form, it’s almost like the wheels on a Vegas slot machine coming to rest in perfect alignment.

Implementation

This is where your idea sees the light of day.  You’re taking conscious, positive steps towards executing your idea. Remember, though, that implementation in and of itself does not mean that your idea is going to be a success. This is also the point where a good creative begins to evaluate the idea and determine whether it was a good or bad idea.  Until you have something tangible to show for your idea, it’s almost impossible to decide whether this theoretical notion you’ve been nurturing through the process can be a success.  How many times has the idea or image in your head not matched the photo in your camera?  For every great idea, there are several I wish I’d never had.

Bringing it All Together

Obviously, we’re not talking about flow charts or checklists. Each of these “steps” is really more like part of a gradient– soft edges overlapping as you move from dark to light. As you know from your own experience, sometimes this process runs start-to-finish in the blink of an eye, but it can also take weeks. You just never know. While they may not always be clearly defined as you process each idea or project, it can be extremely helpful knowing what they are and how to identify them. Being able to recognize where you are on a creative journey can often be the confidence boost you need to see something through from preparation to implementation.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

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Breaking Down the Creative Process

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Fuji FinePix F20 Digital Camera Review

With Fuji’s Real Photo Processor II technology and Intelligent flash system, as well as Anti-Blur Picture Stabilisation and an attractive outer packaging, you get a lot for your money with the Fuji F20.

Specifications Fuji FinePix F20

  • Sensor: CCD – 6.3Mp
  • Image Size: 2848 x 2136
  • Optical Zoom : 3x
  • Lens range: 36-108mm, f/2.8-f/8.0
  • Focusing: TTL Auto
  • Macro: 5cm
  • White Balance : Auto, Custom, Fine Weather, Cloudy weather, Florescent Light 1, 2 and 3, Incandescent
  • ISO Range: Auto (400), Auto (1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
  • Exposure: Program AE, SP, AP
  • Shutter speed: 4-1/2000sec
  • Metering: 256 multi-zone TTL, Average (zone), Spot
  • Monitor: 2.5in. TFT LCD (150k pixels)
  • Movie Mode: Yes
  • Scene Modes: Auto, Manual, Natural Light, Natural Light with flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower, Text
  • Storage: xD Picture Card
  • Batteries: Li-ion Battery Pack
  • Video Output: Yes
  • Size/Weight: 94 x 57 x 27 mm – 150g
  • Transfer: USB

Competitors within a similar price range to the F20 include the Samsung Digimax S730 (£105), the Panasonic Lumix DMC L560 (£95) and the Kodak Easyshare C653 (£99).

Modes and features Fuji FinePix F20
The F20 has five ISO settings ranging from 100 to 1600 and various scene modes. Aside from the automatic settings, (Auto, Natural Light, Natural Light with flash, Portrait, Landscape, Sport and Night) there are several scene modes which consist of Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Museum, Party, Flower and Text. All the scene modes are pre-programmed in order to get the best results when shooting in specific conditions. The choice of white balance settings is also quite extensive and include Auto, Custom, Fine Weather, Dull Weather, three florescent light settings and Incandescent (tungsten) light. There is also the option of Anti-Blur Picture Stabilization, which involves the use of a fast shutter speed anf Auto ISO for action shots to avoid blur and camera shake, rather than being a more expensive CCD-shifting mechanism. Other features are the inclusion of Fuji’s Real Photo Processor II technology, designed to reduce noise and deliver enhanced colour reproduction, as well as their Intelligent Flash System to achieve the optimum combination of high sensitivity and natural skin tones. Macro mode functions as close as 5cm and the options here are simply macro on or macro off. There is also a self-timer mode which gives a choice of a two or 10 second self-timer and an unusual, at this price point, but useful function, which allows the user to adjust the brightness of the LCD screen.

There’s a shortcut menu button called the F-mode and here are ISO options, Quality settings and FinePix colour options which include a choice of Standard, Chrome or Black and White images. I can’t really understand why two of these options are listed seperately to the the main (shooting) menu, though, and it seems it may have been better to put these functions with the rest. Disappointlingly, the items that appear on the F-mode button can’t be customised. In the shooting menu there are the Mode options, Exposure Compensation settings, Metering options, White Balance menus, High-Speed Shooting function, continous shooting, AF mode menu and the set-up menu.

Build and handlingFuji FinePix F20
Located on the top of the camera are the power button, shutter release and still image to video switch. On the rear side of the camera is the zoom rocker, playback button, joypad, display options, anti- blur button and the F-Mode menu. Underneath are the battery and card compartments which are easily accessible, and to the side are the AV out/DC in connections.

Contrary to the what the price may suggest, the F20 doesn’t feel cheap at all, and the overall design and build of the camera are high quality and quite appealing.

The functions and menus are easy to use, but I wasn’t impressed by the F-mode menu button as described earlier.

Flash options
Flash options of the Fuji F20 are Auto flash, Red Eye Reduction for portraits in low light conditions, Forced Flash, Supressed Flash, Slow Synchro plus Synchro with Red Eye Reduction. The working range of the flash is 6.5m which is pretty good for a compact.

Fuji FinePix F20Performance
The auto focus of the F20 is reasonably good, kicking in almost immediately, and for subjects with less detail, within a few seconds. In the continuous shooting mode test, the F20 was capable of producing five shots within the 10 second test period, and was ready to fire again after three seconds, which is reasonably good for a compact. In the colour checker test, the blues were a lot brighter than they are in the chart, which is almost always the case with compacts, and so the resulting colour mixes were also a slightly different shade. The reds and the greens though, were impressively accurate, as were the oranges, browns and the skin tone colours. The Macro mode functions as close as 5cm and gives a good qulaity close up with lots of detail in the petals and the centre of the flower.

The portrait shot taken in manual mode is also accurate with plenty of details in the eyes, skin and other areas of the picture. The shot taken in portrait mode also retains a good amopunt of detail, but also makes the skin appear softer and gives a warmer tone, smoothing out lines and imperfections in the process. The landscape shot has mild colour fringing in the areas around the trees, but overall the shot is of good quality and colour rendition is reasonably accurate.

Fuji FinePix F20
While red, green and skin tones are an accurate representation of the colour chart, the blues colour mixes appear much brighter.

Fuji FinePix F20
The Macro Mode shoots from as close as 5cm and provides a good close up shot with lots of detail in the subject.

Fuji FinePix F20 The portrait shot in Manual mode retains plenty of details in the hair, face and all other areas of the pictures. Fuji FinePix F20 This shot, taken in portrait mode, makes
the skin appear softer, smooths out lines
and imperfections and gives a slightly warmer tone.
Fuji FinePix F20
The F20 zoomed out at wide-angle.
Fuji FinePix F20 The camera’s 3x zoom gives a good amount of detail and a high quality result.
Fuji FinePix F20 Although there is mild colour fringing in some of the shady areas, the overall colour rendition of the landscape is good. Metering appears to have concentrated on the darker parts of the picture with the brighter parts in the sky slightly over-exposed.

Noise tests
In ISO ranges 100-400 the quality of the image is good, and there is plenty of detail. By ISO800 some noise is starting to appear and the image is becoming slighty fuzzy, and at ISO1600 the noise is clearly visible and all parts of the picture are grainy, but no more than you would expect for such a high ISO setting.

Fuji FinePix F20
The ISO100 test.

Fuji FinePix F20
The ISO200 test.

Fuji FinePix F20
The ISO400 test.

Fuji FinePix F20
The ISO800 test.

Fuji FinePix F20
The ISO1600 test.

Verdict
For a budget price camera, the Fuji F20 scored well on all accounts. Images are clear, retaining good detail, and, with the exception of the blues, the rendition of colours in the colour chart test were impressively accurate. The build of the camera is good and the design is stylish, not at all what you would expect from a lower-priced camera. ISO tests showed that while there was a lot of noise and detail loss in the highest setting, lower settings were acceptable, and remained relatively clear. Additionally, the F20 is easy to use, and an ideal starter camera for any newcomers to digital photography.

Plus points: Fuji FinePix F20
Fuji FinePix F20Much better build quality than expected
Fuji FinePix F20Attractive, good quality design
Fuji FinePix F20Accurate colour rendition of reds and greens

Negative points:
Fuji FinePix F20Function button can’t be custom configured

FEATURES:
Fuji FinePix F20
HANDLING:
Fuji FinePix F20
PERFORMANCE:
Fuji FinePix F20
OVERALL:

Fuji FinePix F20

The Fujifilm Finepix F20 costs around £105 and is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here.

All product images in this review were taken with the Canon EOS 400D.

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Sony Cyber-shot Rx100 Mark Ii Review

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review
http://feedly.com/k/1iDjBfO

Welcome to Mark II of the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100, a neat, surprising camera that could sit happily alongside an upper level snapper (like a dslr) in the camera bag. Unsurprisingly, it is priced at the upper level of compact digicams.

It has a reasonably fast Carl Zeiss f1.8, 3.6x optical zoom, imaging to a 20.2 million pixel CMOS, enabling the capture of a maximum image size of 5472×3080, leading to a 46x26cm print.

Video can be captured in AVHCD or MPEG4, up to a Full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution.

Yes, you can shoot still shots in the middle of a video recording but with a click or two on the audio.

The body is made from aluminium and has a tiltable (up/down) LCD screen that responds to touch commands as well as tilting up by 84 degrees and down by 45 degrees. There is a (pricey) turret viewfinder to allow clear viewing in bright light that fits into the camera’s hot shoe; this shoe also accepts a clip on LCD screen, external flash or a microphone adaptor.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Features

The camera control layout follows the usual Sony pattern: at extreme left is the flash cell; centre of the top surface is the multi interface shoe (or ‘hot shoe’); to the right is the power button, zoom lever and shutter button; nearby is the mode dial with positions for intelligent and superior auto exposure (!), PASM, movie, memory recall, sweep panorama and scene selection (presets for portrait, sports, macro, fireworks etc).

Rear: the familiar movie record button is on the top right corner; beneath it is a really useful Function button that offers exposure correction, ISO setting, AWB, the D-RANGE Optimiser and access to a wide range of effects … such as posterisation, pop colour, partial colour, retro, toy camera effect (in colorisations such as cool, warm, green, magenta). You could spend days with this item!

The D-Range Optimiser shoots a bracket of three shots with different exposures; the camera then overlays the bright area s of the under exposed image and the dark areas of the over exposed image to create an image with improved gradation. A single image with the ideal range is saved.

Nearby is the menu button which displays a super wide range of options. Newbies should pay deep attention to this menu … it all happens here! If you find a specific function is not working properly, it’s most likely because a ‘box’ in the menu has not been ticked!

Lower is the control wheel. Here you can select options for flash, self timer, burst shooting and exposure compensation. If your camera happens to be set to auto or intelligent auto you can access a range of picture effects, change image brightness, colour etc.

The central button of the control wheel locks in tracking focus to the subject nearest centre frame.

Lower still is the replay button and one which doubles as the image trash action and gives access to a useful information bank. I guess the latter gives the game away with the RX100: it is really a high priced beginners’ camera! Oh well!

Sony, IMHO, has by far the best sweep panorama feature of all compact digicams: you can pan right, left, up or down and capture panos in enormous sizes. Like: 12,416×1856 pixels!

NFC

This is also Sony’s first NFC camera. Wassat?

Near Field Communication is designed to enable users to instantly share images with other NFC capable devices, such as Android smartphones, tablets, laptops or even TV.

The company’s strategy behind NFC is to simplify the connection of its RX100 II to smart devices. Once connected, users can remotely control the camera’s shutter release from the mobile device, quickly receive the captured image via WiFi and upload the transferred images straightaway to a social networking site.

But is NFC just Bluetooth or Wifi? Maybe.

Take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication for more info.

Distortion

No problems at either end of the zoom. A well corrected lens.

Startup

In just a little over two seconds the camera came to life after the power was tapped. Then I was able to fire off a run of shots as fast as I could tap the button.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review ISO Tests

At ISO 1600 sharpness dropped off slightly but noise was low. By ISO 6400 these factors were a little worse. By ISO 12800 sharpness was down further and noise up — but not by a large factor.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review Verdict

Quality: just above average.
Why you would buy the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II: compact; fast Zeiss lens.
Why you wouldn’t buy the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II: limited zoom range for your needs; LCD screen tilts are limited.

A surprising package in such a tiny body.

I felt the manuals to be inadequate: aside from a 37 page PDF basic guide in English and a Web-based user guide with no search facility, that was all. For a camera at this price level you could at least expect at least a decent searchable PDF manual.

Otherwise, a very good performance.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Specifications

Image Sensor: 20.2 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multi pattern, centre-weighted, spot.
Exposure Modes: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Sensor Size: 13.2×8.8mm Exmor R CMOS.
Lens: Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* f1.8-4.9/10.4-37.1mm (28-100mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/2000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 2.5, 10 fps.
Memory: Memory Stick Duo, PRO Duo/PRO-HG Duo/SD/SDHC/SDXC and Micro SD/SDHC cards.
Image Sizes (pixels): 5472×3080 to 2592×1944.
Movies (pixels): 1920×1080, 1440×1080, 640×480.
LCD Screen: 7.6cm LCD (1,229,000 pixels).
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, AVCHD, MPEG4.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 160 to 25600.
Interface: USB 2.0, micro HDMI, WiFi, DC, remote.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 102x58x38 WHDmm.
Weight: 281 g (with battery and card).
Price: get your hands on a Sony DSC-RX100M II Cyber-shot at Amazon here.

Post originally from: digital photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review

The post Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 Mark II Review by Barrie Smith appeared first on digital photography School.

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Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale 2013 Sony Alpha A290L 14.2 MP Digital…

[BLACK FRIDAY SALE] Sony Alpha A290L 14.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens

Black Friday Sony Alpha A290L 14.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens

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