Sony Cyber-shot W200 Digital Camera Review

Sony Cyber-shot W200 front leftDo you want more resolution than an electron microscope, image stabilisation and a lens given the seal of approval by Carl Zeiss? Then take a look at this little beauty from Sony, all resplendent in shiny silver with shiny chrome sides and extra shiny bits on top.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 Specifications

  • Image Size: 4000×3000 pixels

  • Lens: 35-105mm f/2.8-5.5 (3x zoom)

  • Focus: Nine Area Multi-Point AF/Centre

  • Macro mode: 2cm

  • Exposure: Program AE/Scene modes

  • Metering: Multi-Pattern

  • Monitor: 2.5in. TFT LCD

  • Movie Mode: Yes

  • Storage: 31Mb Internal, Memory Stick DUO, DUO Pro

  • Batteries: Li-ion

  • AC Adaptor: Optional

  • Video Output: Yes – HD 1080

  • Size/Weight: 91x58x27mm – 142g

  • Transfer: USB 2.0

There’s a horde of choices if you want a compact with 12Mp resolution. The Panasonic DMC-FX100 has 12Mp and a wide angle 28mm lens, but will cost you £60 more, Casio have the EXILIM EX-Z1200 which has a similar spec and is a mere £14 more expensive, or you could go mad with the titanium-clad Canon Digital IXUS 960IS which has 12Mp and a 35mm lens with 4x zoom, for another £140.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 sideSony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Modes and features
Other than the power and fire buttons on the top of the camera, all the other control functions and features are squashed into the space next to the LCD screen on the back. The tiny mode dial houses Program, Manual, Auto, ISO Auto, Soft Portrait, Twilight Portrait, Night, Landscape, Scene mode and Video modes. There has been a trend to pull the most common modes out of the Scene menu onto the dial, and leave the more esoteric options for the user to rummage for. Same again here, except that a trip to the Scene selection menu is rather like winning a mystery holiday only to find yourself in Skegness. There are options for fireworks, snow, beach and extra high sensitivity. And that’s your lot. The extra high sensitivity mode by the way reduces the resolution to a paltry 3Mp which rather negates the point of buying the camera in the first place. The other ISO mode on the dial – which brings up the title, Extra Sensitivity, isn’t that at all. It’s an Auto ISO function that selects from 100-3200 depending on the light available.

What’s interesting is that there’s even a Manual mode there at all. Obviously no-one will be taking a light meter along for the ride with the W200 so good news then that it constantly meters the scene and provides a guide to whether the picture is over or under exposed. You can therefore change the shutter speed or the aperture, though there’s only f/2.8, f5.6 and f/8 to choose from. When the modest 3x optical zoom is used, these then scale up to f/5.5, f/11 and f/16. Now, having a widest aperture of f/5.5 at the end of the 3x zoom makes the lens pretty slow in terms of light gathering. One nice touch is that a little live histogram can be displayed in the corner of the LCD, showing a graphical alternative to the EV numbers saying whether you’ve got the exposure right or wrong.

The scene and ISO modes all allow a little user control over the proceedings. Normally, just whether face detection, bracketing, red-eye reduction, Steady-Shot and exposure compensation are employed. The Manual and Program modes expand things with a choice of metering systems – set once and leave alone – and also colour modes and focus point selection. Here there’s a choice of using the central spot to focus with, a central area, or a multi-point focus system. You can’t select individual focus points with this though.

Of all the features shoved in here, the face detection which adds additional processing to ensure mugshots are clear, and the SteadyShot image stabilisation are worthy of note. The latter item is optical, detects movement and compensates within the lens itself. The dynamic range optimisation feature simply evens out the histogram so shadows are lightened up.

Finally, and unusually for a compact these days, there’s a tiny optical viewfinder. To be honest, this is so small it’s like squinting the wrong way down a kids telescope.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 batterySony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Build quality and handling
Build quality is high, with a brushed metal finish front, plastic chrome bits, and a sprung battery/memory card chamber. In case you were wondering, it takes Sony’s proprietary MemoryStick Duo and PRO Duo cards, which are now so small they’re like an SD card anyway. Sony could do everyone a favour by just using SD cards on these cameras.

The lens is solid, and unfurls gracefully, while the buttons on the back are all raised enough to use without finger-fumbling trauma. Even the mode dial and joypad controller are relatively easy to use, despite the fact that everything is packed in tighter than Japanese commuters in the rush hour.

The LCD screen looks nice enough, until you realise that subtle shades of single colours all merge into one. The red petals of the flower on the noise test images look like a single block of red. The menu selections are clear and easy to use however, once selections have been made, the text for them is overlaid on the screen and this looks awful. The settings are barely readable – whether that’s the resolution of the screen or the anti-aliased font is hard to say. It looks pants though. Which brings me to the styling of the camera. Despite being solid and well made, with a quality finish, the design is lacklustre from the front and rather ugly from the back.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 flash options
Well, there’s Auto, Forced On, Forced Off and Slow Synch on the main options and Red-eye reduction on or off in another part of the menu. You can also apply flash exposure compensation as well.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 LCDSony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Performance
The lens whips out in less than three seconds which is good for a compact with a protruding lens. The multi-point focussing system gets confused easily, and isn’t recommended for macro work. In fact none of the focussing systems are particularly good when using the telephoto end of the lens and it will wander then give up, even on areas where there is obvious detail.

The macro mode is supposed to work at up to 2cm as well, but this seems wishful thinking more than anything else. In practice it was impossible to get it to focus on anything closer than 4cm. That’s still pretty good, but it isn’t top of the class.

All of which is little preparation for what happened in the burst mode test. Bearing in mind that this is a 12Mp camera, expectations weren’t high as rival cameras haven’t exactly sprinted over the finishing line in this test. The W200 on the other hand captured a staggering 21 images, all at 12Mp, in the 10sec test. That’s actually better than the Pentax K100D Super digital SLR that was reviewed last week, and the images are double the resolution.

Accessing menus is easy enough, and selecting a new parameter is a matter of moving the selection with the joypad. However, confirming the selection is done by… nothing. Strangely, there’s no need to press the central button or anything else for confirmation, just press the Menu button to clear the screen. This is contrary to most other cameras, and while it saves on a button press, it’s initially disorientating as what you are doing would cancel the selection if using other cameras. The other point is that essential items like exposure compensation, which have a dedicated button on other cameras, have to accessed through the menu here. In operation, when combined with the live histogram, it is easy to use and give instant feedback, but it’s just slow to get at.

When it comes to image quality, the 12Mp resolution almost guarantees plenty of detail and that’s certainly the case. Fringing on white areas is a constant problem, whether it’s something in the landscape or a white collar on clothing. The overall quality is okay, test shots show areas lacking sharpness and detail.

The colour chart shows a predictable case of bright blues and lively red, so that blue skies and skin tones will all look perky, though the skin shade on the chart is a little ruddy. Greens tend to be more subdued and natural looking.

AP portrait mode
The skin tones are okay, though there’s a lack of detail, and there are some artefacts. The colour is good though the wall is blue.

portrait scene mode
The portrait scene mode lightens the tones and removes the artefacts. As before the AWB turns the background blue.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 colour chart
The colour chart features bright blues and reds, leading to lively skies and healthy complexions. The greens are more natural.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 macro
The macro mode gets in to around 4cm, which is pretty decent for a compact, though not class-leading.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 canal
Landscape mode uses auto ISO and has set the aperture to f/5.6 when it could have done with more. There is noise and -0.7EV was required to hold any detail in the sky.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 canal 2
Landscape mode again, this time the W200 has used f/8 and tweaked the ISO to 125. Exposure compensation required again and there is some noise and lack of fine detail.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 landscape test
The landscape test shows a lack of detail in the grass, noise and colour fringing on everything that’s white.

 

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Noise tests
The detail in the ISO100 test is very fine as you might imagine with a 12Mp image, though it’s not particularly sharp towards the edges. There’s a little variation in the grey card, but it’s very hard to detect and this is a very good result from such a high resolution compact. At ISO200 there is some purple appearing in the shadows of the grey card and in the card itself, but still nothing to worry about. At ISO400 there’s noticeable purple and green blotches in the grey and black card areas. The image is also slightly softer. At ISO800 the noise is now hard-edged so is apparent in the solid colour areas. It’s not bad though, and there is still detail in the red petals though the central yellow area is now quite soft. Moving up to ISO1600 this is where tings usually start to go wrong. The solid colour areas are now quite noisy and the lower petals have lost detail. Noise has affected the image throughout making it softer, the colour paler and lacking in detail, however, this is still better than many compacts, and especially considering it’s a 12Mp camera. Noise control kicks in for ISO3200, which still means that the grey card is noisy, but at least it’s all one colour. However, the flower itself is now more like an artist’s impression than a photograph, lacking any real detail.

Sony Cyber-shot ISO100
ISO100 test.

Sony Cyber-shot ISO200
ISO200 test.

Sony Cyber-shot ISO400
ISO400 test.

Sony Cyber-shot ISO800
ISO800 test.

Sony Cyber-shot ISO1600
ISO1600 test.

Sony Cyber-shot ISO3200
ISO3200 test.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Verdict

The LCD screen is a let-down, there’s no doubt about that, and there are other issues like the lacklustre focussing ability, the macro that doesn’t do what it says on the tin, and the stuffing of lots of features into the menu system.

There are good features like SteadyShot optical image stabilisation and face detection that automatically kicks in when portrait mode is used. But again, there are far too few scene modes for a compact, and aside from the whopping 12Mp resolution, the lens functionality is modest at best with no wide angle setting and just a slow aperture, 3x zoom. Noise control is very good, with a usable ISO1600 mode, and things only getting silly at ISO3200, but design and control layout are bland and cramped.

The W200 is okay, it does a job with the high resolution, the ISO performance is better than any other 12Mp compact and the burst rate is tremendous, but everything else drags it back down into the pack. Like the image stabilisation, this is a SteadyShot purchase, but rather an uninspiring one.

Sony Cyber-shot W200 rightSony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Plus points:
Massive 12Mp resolution
Staggering burst mode
Up to ISO6400
Face Detection
Optical stabilisation
Very good noise control

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 Minus points:
Very limited lens
Poor LCD screen
Focussing not great
Too much in menus
Buttons cramped
Dull design
Limited scene modes
ISO3200 like a painting

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W200 costs £225 and is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here.

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

…M-Monochrom B&W Digital Camera Review by Dale: Digital Photography Re…

Notes: This review covers my use of the Leica M-Monochrom (‘MM’) camera for general-purpose black and white photography, shooting JPEG format images only. The MM camera is made by Leica in-house as are the other ‘M’ camera bodies, unlike some of the compact camera series that are made by Leica’s partner manufacturers. Many ‘M’ camera owners use non-Leica lenses on their cameras, in some cases using adapters to match the lens with the Leica mount. I’ve had experience with two ‘M’ film cameras with Leica 35 and 50 mm lenses, but with the MM camera I’m using only the Leica Noctilux lens. Since this is my first Leica digital interchangeable-lens rangefinder camera, my experience described here is with the Noctilux lens only.

Since the MM camera costs approximately $1000 USD more than the new ‘M’**, and the MM camera is black and white only, some customers might find the price a bit high. The most probable reason for that is the relatively small quantity of MM cameras made versus the huge demand for the new ‘M’ camera. In spite of the relatively high price, the MM camera (like many Leicas) will retain its value quite well down the line. The Noctilux lens I noted is huge, very expensive, and has a maximum aperture of f0.95, making the DOF extremely narrow in some cases. Other Leica lenses such as the new 50 mm APO Summicron F2 are less expensive, much lighter in weight, and offer better resolution and DOF than the Noctilux. I’m not aware of any zoom lenses that Leica makes for the ‘M’-series cameras, but some of their zoom lenses for the ‘R’ series are adaptable to the ‘M’cameras, as well as some third-party lenses.

**When I refer to THE ‘M’ camera, it’s a new camera whose model designation is simply ‘M’. Otherwise, references here to ‘M’ designate the ‘M’ series such as the M8, M9, and M-Monochrom (‘MM’).

The MM camera has a full-frame (24×36 mm) sensor sporting 18 megapixels. Since those pixels don’t use color filters etc. to generate color, all of the pixels are used to create the black and white image, which should yield higher resolution than (for example) the Leica M9. I’ve seen some amazing detail with my JPEG-only images, and shooting RAW would yield even better results. I have a number of samples on my dalethorn site now – some very good quality, and some just for experimentation. MM images are always in the 3×2 format, following the 24×36 sensor size. JPEG images are always saved in the “24-bit” multi-layer RGB format, just like color images on other cameras – apparently however the layers in MM JPEG images are all identical black and white layers.

One thing to watch for with the MM is accumulation of dust etc. on the glass plate in front of the sensor. Even though that plate is covered by the shutter when changing lenses, and even though I mounted my only lens just once onto the camera (and very carefully in a dust-free room), I can count about 9 visible spots against an image of a clear blue sky when viewed at 100 percent. All told, this is probably better than average sensor cleanliness for an interchangeable lens camera, but it does point up the need to be careful when changing lenses, and to use a dust-free blower now and then before mounting a lens onto the camera body. I bought the Giottos Rocket-Air blower, but I can’t describe its effectiveness since it didn’t blow away whatever is on the MM sensor’s glass plate now.

The MM monitor screen on the rear is typical of small cameras – it’s clear and detailed and bright enough for the things it’s used for (settings, image playback etc.), but can’t be used for focusing. Since there is no “Live View” with the MM camera, there’s no option to have a magnified image for focusing on the monitor screen. One of the best ways I’ve found to focus with the rangefinder (when time and space are available) is to move to the shooting location, set the estimated distance to the subject on the lens, then move slightly back and forth until the split objects converge. Many times that’s easier and more effective than trying to focus the lens from a static position. I keep a default setting of 800 for ISO, and change it only when the other settings don’t permit a fast enough shutter speed for handheld shooting. I’ve found in practice that the combination of light levels and subject contrast etc. make a much bigger difference in the appearance of noise in the final image than ISO per se.

Many times when I read where a user says that they get “Great results at ISO xxxx” (substitute any high ISO value for the x’s), I think they’re assuming subject and lighting values that they’ve most often worked with, and their experience may not be the same as other users. The MM camera shutter is described as “Focal Plane, Metal Curtains, Vertical Travel”, and it makes (to my ears) quite a lot of noise, at least compared to compact cameras with their electronic shutters. In experimenting with the other shutter settings (Discreet, Soft) I don’t hear any difference. Perhaps that has something to do with the lens I’m using – don’t know. dslr’s in normal mirror-flip mode make more noise as a rule, and have more of a “thunk” vibration than the MM. In fact, if there were any possibility of the MM’s shutter vibration adversely affecting its image sharpness, I haven’t seen it when viewing any number of images at 100 percent (i.e. “Pixel-Peeping”).

The MM camera shutter dial has settings for 8 seconds to 1/4000 second in half-stop increments, plus ‘B’ and ‘A’ (automatic, based on aperture and ISO). With the MM camera the aperture is strictly manual (set on the lens), while the ISO can be set to Auto, or discrete settings from 320 to 10000. There is a “Pull 160” ISO setting, but the owner’s manual states that that setting uses a lower contrast range, so I avoid it. The Noctilux lens also has half-stop aperture settings, but other lenses may vary from that. If someone were using a lens that had important differences which could affect the MM’s performance or the accuracy and useability of the rangefinder, ideally that lens will have the electronic sensors that the MM camera can read and work with accurately. One downside to using the large Noctilux lens with the MM is that it blocks as much as 1/3 of the rangefinder’s image area.

The MM tripod socket is dead center, which is good considering that the lens I use is quite heavy, so there’s little or no issue with balance. Unfortunately, to get at the battery when it runs low, the MM’s bottom plate has to be removed, and so the camera has to be removed from the tripod. The good news is that any quick-release tripod plate can probably be left attached to the MM’s bottom plate, so after replacing the battery and re-attaching the bottom plate, the camera can be placed back onto the tripod immediately. Some camera manufacturers warn about attempting to use a tripod mount with a thread that’s greater in length than the camera socket depth. Checking my own tripods, none of their threads exceed 4.5 mm in length, so anything longer than that must be uncommon.

Camera forums are rife with complaints about the price of replacement batteries, and I always recommend carrying at least a second battery so shooting can continue if the first battery runs down. Contrary to what many people suggest – saving money with third-party batteries, I consider the price difference and if it’s huge, I need to know why. Before I could even consider a very cheap battery, I would need several independent reviews that affirm the quality of that particular battery as well as the reliability of the manufacturer of that battery. On top of that, I would need to know that if their battery damaged my camera, they would pay to replace my camera promptly. Lithium-ion batteries can be very dangerous. If the price difference were less than my expenses in replacing a defective battery (packaging, shipping, time wasted, loss of battery for a period of time), I would certainly get the camera manufacturer’s battery.

There were a set of videos released by Leica at the introduction of the S1, M9, and X1 circa September 2009, which detailed Leica’s development and marketing plans for their full lineup of cameras going forward from that date. I would recommend those for anyone who wants to know more about the company and its products, and why they command the prices they do. Those videos should be available on Youtube et al, and they should provide some background that will make the M-Monochrom design and Leica’s other designs more understandable.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and
do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any
affiliated companies.

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

Fujifilm FinePix S100fs Digital Camera Review

Why bother with a dslr? Fuji have decided that it’s easier to stick a huge zoom on a camera and pack it with pixels. Enter the S100fs.

Fujifilm Finepix S100fs Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Specification

  • Optical zoom: 14.3x
  • Resolution: 11.1Mp
  • Sensor type: CCD HR
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2880pixels
  • Colour: Black
  • Focal length: 28-400mm (35mm equiv.)
  • Viewfinder type: Electronic
  • Movie mode: Yes
  • Screen size: 2.5in
  • Card format: xD/SD/SDHC
  • Battery model: NP-140
  • Weight: 918g
  • Size: 133.4 x 93.6 x 150.4mm
  • Minimum focus distance 1cm
  • Screen resolution 200000
  • File formats JPEG/RAW
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Flash type: Built in
  • Face detection Technology: Yes

Very few models fall into the same classification as the S100fs. The Leica V-Lux 1 at £590 has a lower 10.1Mp resolution, slightly smaller 12x optical zoom and a slightly smaller 2in screen. However, optical quality outshines with the DC Vario Elmarit lens and of course there’s the prestige of owning one.

Feature wise, you could look at the Canon Powershot G9 at £504 with fully manual controls, hotshoe and slightly higher resolution. The Canon only has a 6x optical zoom though.

Fujifilm Finepix S100fs Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Modes and features
At first glance, the S100fs looks very exciting with small indications of superior specification such as optical image stabiliser on the front of the lens, 1cm macro written on the side of the lens barrel and a flip out screen.

Starting at the front, it’s impossible to miss the 28-400mm f/2.8-5.3 lens with manual zoom and image stabiliser. The AF emitter is tucked away in the corner of the chunky hand grip and even a PC sync socket has joined the party, located at the bottom just under the lens barrel. This port is used for linking the camera to studio lights.

Drooping over the lens like a melted candle is the built-in flash which has its own button to pop it up. The flash is supported by an external non-dedicated hotshoe for attaching an extra flash gun. The top plate houses the large mode dial and thumb wheel which is for making adjustments to levels such as the shutter speed or aperture. ISO and exposure compensation buttons can be found just in front of the thumb wheel with the shutter release surrounded by the power switch, taking prime spot on the grip.

The sides of the camera have plenty to keep you busy, too. The continuous shooting button is located towards the top with the image stabiliser button just below. The focus mode switch is also there and is a small switch that needs to be operated by the thumb. It’s a horrible switch that’s tough to operate and if you haven’t got long fingernails, could really hurt your skin due to the amount of pressure you need to apply. In the switch is a small button that acts as the one-touch AF button.

On the other side is the card bay. The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs is a dual format and takes xD and SD memory cards. xD aren’t the easiest card to get in and out of this camera and they’re capped at a 2Gb maximum storage capacity. SD are available up to 8Gb and my Lexar 4Gb card went in with no problems.

If that wasn’t enough for you, the back of the camera has even more features to immerse yourself in.

Fujifilm Finepix S100fsThe back of the S100fs sports six buttons, one being Auto Exposure lock which also has one of those tough switches for metering modes. The other buttons are for switching between the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and the screen, accessing playback, face detection functions and display options for scrolling through the on screen information being on, off or joined by the rule of thirds grid.

The sixth button is to access the menu and the navigation pad sits around it. This pad is for working your way through the menus and it also doubles up for quick access to macro, self timer and flash functions with the fourth button being employed as a zoom to check quality. This is for users that like to manually focus and pressing the button will zoom into a portion of the image so you can check that focus is sharp before shooting.

Scrolling through the options on the mode dial and a mock display of the dial will animate on the edge of the screen to save you having to look at the real one.

As well as Auto, two scene modes and PASM options, the mode dial also has two custom function settings, a video mode and an option called FSB.

Fujifilm Finepix S100fsThe FS in the title of the camera stands for Film Simulation, but it’s by no means a new feature from Fuji. They’ve been adding different film simulators in their cameras as far back as the S5000 5 years ago. The options in this menu are different however. Four different film types are available and they are Provia, Velvia, Soft and Portrait. Each setting gives a brief description of what it does and the type of photography it’s best suited to.

Alongside the film options is a small chart that shows the settings to the D-Range, Colour, Tone and Sensitivity.

The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs has three Dynamic range optimisers. According to the Fuji website, the settings available of to 100%, 200% and 400% mean that the dynamic range is getting close to negative film. It increases the range of whites to blacks available on the image, showing more detail.

The EVF still makes everything look like you’re using a camcorder and I doubt that will ever change. The white balance tends to adjust itself continuously and comes into the correct cast when the shutter release is pressed half way down for focusing. It doesn’t suffer from motion blur, which is great, and the purple banding sometimes found under and over windows is only present for a split second.

The Exposure Compensation button is manipulated using the thumb wheel just behind it. Despite the convenience of close locations, both hands are needed to use it. During operation, a histogram comes up to show how under or over-exposed the shot is, backed up by the image darkening or brightening in the screen.

If all this wasn’t enough for you, the drive mode has seven separate options including Dynamic Range Bracketing, Film Simulation Bracketing, AE Bracketing and top or last seven continuous shooting. They’re on top of long period and top 50 (only shoots at 3Mp). Interestingly, switching the camera off during download does nothing. The camera will complete its action before switching off which is a great safety precaution.

Fujifilm Finepix S100fs Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Build and handling
The plastic exterior feels very tough and there isn’t a part on the camera that feels badly made. Fuji is one of a selected few brands that I grew up with, so I know what they’re capable of as my first SLR was a Fujica ST-800. The battery bay has a little play, but the movement feels steady as though it’s purposeful.

Looking at the lens barrel it seems heavy and stiff but I’m surprised to feel a smooth, free play to it. Looking through the viewfinder as I move the zoom from wide angle to its full telephoto, the focus can’t cope with the swiftness of the zoom and it does get thrown out of focus for a few seconds.

Because the thumbwheel, zoom and buttons are so well put together, I’m still really amazed to see the smaller switches that are used to adjust the focus and metering modes. They are tough to move and using your thumb and knuckle of your forefinger (I found this the most convenient), your skin will be torn to shreds in a matter of days.

The 2.5in screen flips out to a 90 degree angle and has a second hinged plate sat directly behind so the screen can extend to the angle pointing up or down to 45 degrees. To pull the screen out, you have to get your finger under the bottom and flip it out that way. I discovered that this wasn’t the easiest thing to do when the camera is sat on a tripod.

However it’s a sturdy screen with positive movement, not just some whimsical affair that was stuck on when the designers thought it would be a good idea.

Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Flash options
As mentioned in the tour of the camera, a built-in flash is situated crouching over the lens barrel. This is activated by pressing the button on the left of the camera and the flash will pop into action. It’s a mechanical trigger as the flash will spring up whether the camera is switched on or not.

Activating the flash means it will switch on in auto mode. Flash on and Slow sync are also available. Red-eye removal is found in with the face detection button on the back of the camera. This feature is software based, so the S100fs doesn’t have a red-eye reduction feature.

The hotshoe is non-dedicated, so even dedicated flash will fire from the camera. Bear in mind that any dedicated flash units won’t be able to use their dedication features. Flash units must be adjusted manually.

Fujifilm Finepix S100fsFujifilm FinePix S100fs: Performance
The colours on the landscape mode blow me away. The grass is a lush, rich green and there’s good detail, but the fringing is horrible. Bright purple banding on the white bars at the edge of the lock and also on the windows of the building. Moving to the roof of the building, which is a typical place to find fringing, and a green stripe runs along its edge.

I’m disappointed with this result from a camera that is otherwise turning out to be quite sterling.

The colour chart has given good results. The primaries aren’t as vibrant as I’m used to, but are still boosted. The tones are evenly balanced with the white coming out brilliantly. The skin tone colour is a little on the pale side, but may improve if the film simulation was changed to portrait.

I shot the same scene in three of the four different film simulations: Provia provides good detail and a balanced yellow of the rape seed flowers, while Velvia gives the shot a more greenish cast on the flowers. The Soft film mutes the colours slightly. This is a change from Fuji’s previous film settings. Older cameras had Colour film, Slide film, Sepia and Black & white. These were simple, but had a noticeable change in the image. The Slide mode, for instance, would cool the image down slightly just like Fujichrome.

The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs has two macro modes. the closest having the capability of getting in as close as 1cm.

This is a great feature, but the lens is so huge, that getting so close in means light can’t get through and a longer exposure is needed. With that in mind, a tripod is necessary for this mode as the shot I took of the peacock feather is just over three seconds long. The problem is that because some light was getting in at the top left corner, the long exposure has over exposed that area.

Three portrait modes are available, excluding the baby portrait mode, designed to give more freedom to your work with as little effort as possible.

Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Noise test
The ISO has two separate areas which deal with the true ISO at 11Mp and an equivalent which has to drop the resolution.

The true ISO ratings give excellent results. Noise only starts to sharpen at ISO1600, but at ISO3200 the quality really starts to drop off and detail is lost in the petals.

In the equivalent modes, ISO1000 drops the resolution to just over 3Mp which will automatically degrade the image anyway compared to the full size resolution. ISO6400 drops the resolution to 6Mp and detail in the petals is barely noticeable with purple splodges on the grey card.

Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Verdict
I like the different film simulations available and the handy chart showing the Dynamic Range, Colour, Tone and Sensitivity. These features are extremely useful for photographers of all skill levels to broaden the creativity.

Fuji have picked up on the fact that people still like film and have put a lot of effort into recreating realistic film effects for the S100fs using their Film Simulation mode. Photographers still using film because they don’t like the processed colours of digital or those, like me, who have a nostalgic affection for film, will find this feature highly beneficial and great fun to use.

One question I have is: Does this mean that Fuji will end film production? We’ll have to wait and see.

If you’re a film photographer thinking of breaking into digital or a digital user wanting a film camera as back up just to achieve the tones and saturation that make films such as Velvia a photographer’s favourite, be sure you take a look at the S100fs.

Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Plus points
Loads of features to keep you busy
Good colour reproduction
Great noise results
Flip out screen
Super close macro
Different film recreations
Huge zoom
PC sync for studio lights

Fujifilm FinePix S100fs: Minus points
Large camera
Chromatic aberration present
Sharp switches on metering and focus modes

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

The Fujifilm FinePix S100fs costs £412 and is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here.

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

No Title

Nu i butiken kan ni finna detta! Lite kärlek på burk till din käraste eller till en vän , eller till någon som betyder mycket för dig. Två halsband var den ena kallar jag, “Sea Of Love”. en silver kedja med en snäcka. Samt en sötvattens pärla som hänger där bak av halsbandet. Den andra heter ,”Soft Love”. En guldkedja med ett tyg hjärta med vita prickar. Med en sötvattens pärla där bak. Dessa kostar 299kr st i butiken NyponStina på Sofiagatan 5 på söder i Stockholm. Finns också dessa hjärta örhängen för 139kr. Finns bara ett par kvar nu. Eller hjärta ring för 119kr st.

Photography Tips

Comments are closed

Sensible Plans For Camera Clarified

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Cookies or Cupcakes: If you’re purchasing the cookies or cupcakes, check with your local bakery. Nikon Digital Cameras. She had to pay the store $6,355 and was then sentenced to three years of probation…

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

Picking out Fast Products In Camera

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

…can return or exchange it if anything goes wrong with it. Nikon Digital Cameras. While many modern cameras have some UV protection built into the lens, it’s not enough. We also went to Mass MOCA (museum…

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

Scenery Digital Photography Tips for Beginners

In case you are have an expectation utilizing photos of various striking vegetable garden places through pengalengan, ubud-Bali, white sand park in Lombok it will oftimes be a very fun-filled adventure. You will come across fantastic vistazo because of new charm. Since it is often a great perception, you’ re reasoning that one could develop a nice […]

via http://www.creativeportfolio.net/scenery-digital-photography-tips-for-beginners

Photography Tips

Comments are closed

Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18 55mm f/3.5 5.6G AF…

Nikon D3200 hrs a. 2 MP CMOS Camera with 18 55mm f/3. 5 5. 6G AF S DX VR Lense and Sigma 70 300mm f/4 5. 6 SLD DG Macro Lens

Nikon D3200 24. a couple MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera through 18 55mm f/3. backside 5. 6G AF Lenses DX VR Lens moreover Sigma 70 300mm f/4 5. 6 SLD DG Macro Lens

  • Nikon D3200 24. 2 MEGA-PIXEL CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body – Nikon 18-55mm f/3. 5-5. 6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens (Includes manufacturer’ s supplied accessories) friction material
  • Well Padded Variable Compartment Gadget Bag through Pockets & Strap – Pack of LCD Display area Protectors
  • Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5. 6 SLD DG Macro Lens through built in motor – 52mm UV Protection Filter – Motivation 5pc Deluxe Lens Look after & Cleaning Kit friction material
  • 32 Gigabyte SDHC Lay hold of Digital Memory Card – Lay hold of Digital USB Card Reader – Universal Memory Card Wallet friction material
  • Full Size 59″ Tripod W/Case – Jumpstart Manual on Digital SLR Cameras – INCENTIVE!! HDMI cable for HD TV connection – Free 21 Quality Prints (Promo formula|code calculatordecoder} # on invoice) friction material

The right level of image quality, a well-known way of sharing. Nikon D3200 HD-SLR camera: Don’ regarding let the D3200′ s small size and price mislead you-packed inside this intuitive HD-SLR is serious Nikon power: a 24. a couple MP DX-format CMOS messf

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

Pentax X70 Digital Camera Review

Pentax take a tentative step into the world of bridge cameras with the X70. Offering 12Mp, low sensitivity of ISO50 and a massive 24x optical zoom.

Pentax X70Pentax X70: Specifications
  • Zoom: 24x optical
  • Resolution: 12Mp
  • Sensor size: 1/2.33in
  • Sensor type: CCD
  • Max. image size: 4000×3000
  • File type: JPEG
  • Sensitivity: ISO50-6400
  • Storage: SD, SDHC
  • Focus types: 9-point AF, Spot AF, Auto tracking AF
  • Normal focusing: 40cm-infinity
  • Close focusing: 1cm-50cm
  • Metering types: Multi-segment metering, centre-weighted metering, spot metering
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
  • Shutter speed: 4sec-1/4000sec
  • Flash: Built-in, wide: 0.2-9.1m (ISO Auto), tele: 1.7-5.1m
  • Monitor: 2.7in LCD, 230,000dot, AR (anti-reflective) coating
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Power: Li-Ion battery
  • Size: 82.5×110.5×89.5mm
  • Weight: 390g (excl. battery and card)
At £370, the Pentax X70 offers a 12Mp CCD sensor with a huge 24x optical zoom, low ISO50 sensitivity and 1cm macro facility. The Nikon Coolpix P90 at £360 also has a 24x optical zoom, a 12Mp CCD, slightly higher ISO64 sensitivity and 1cm close focusing.

Alternatively, for a larger zoom, you could try the Olympus SP-590 UZ at £277 with a 26x optical zoom, 12Mp CCD, low ISO64 and 1cm macro.

Pentax X70

When the camera is switched on it looks like any other bridge camera.

Pentax X70

Zoomed out, the lens comes out an uncomfortable amount.


Pentax X70: Features

As the first bridge digital camera to come from Pentax, the X70 doesn’t have any other model to compare with in it’s own range but has plenty from other manufacturers to go against. Pentax have been well-known in the past for placing huge zooms in normal sized cameras or normal zooms in tiny cameras from as long as 10 years ago when film cameras were the norm.

In those days, Pentax led the way putting a zoom as long as 200mm in a compact camera. Granted, the camera was the size of a brick but they really showed their panache with the Pentax Optio S and it’s collapsible lens system.

Today they’ve given us a camera with a huge 24x optical zoom which is an equivalent of 26-624mm in 35mm terms. This zoom can be extended using a digital zoom to as much as 3900mm although using that zoom can cause problems with image quality and stability.

To combat the problem of camera shake, the X70 is fitted with Pentax’ Shake Reduction technology to steady the images and at the wider field of views, this works really well. The idea of a large zoom is to crop in conveniently to far away subjects and a 24x optical zoom simply exacerbates camera shake too much for hand held shooting. This means you need to have a tripod or some kind of support to help steady the camera. A small table top type should suffice if you don’t want to carry a larger model with you.

Pentax X70

The top plate plays host to the command dial, exposure compensation and necessary power button. The shutter release is found slightly forward with the zoom switch.

Pentax X70

A smaller-than-expected 2.7in LCD screen sits below the electronic viewfinder.

Other useful features include aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 or 1:1 along with overexposure compensation which stops burn out on whites when it gets too bright. A Digital Wide function can stitch two images together to give an image equivalent to 20mm. This is good as long as it works well enough and the stitch is seamless. I’ve used these before in the past and they are very effective but can give problems if there’s a sudden change in weather such as the sun going in.

 
The built in flash hunches over the lens and electronic viewfinder with a large command dial to the right. This gives speedy access to the ever popular auto scene mode which will analyse the scene and select the appropriate mode. Program, aperture and shutter-priority are present as is manual.

There’s also a normal scene mode for selecting the mode yourself and a user option for custom setting. Next to the command dial is an exposure compensation button, the power button which has a cool little green light when you switch the camera on and the shutter release sits slightly forward. The rocker switch to zoom in and out is wrapped around the shutter release button. So that it’s easily available to use without even looking.

On the back, the 2.7in LCD screen takes up most of the space and is 230,000dots with an anti-reflective coating to help you see the image on the screen in bright light. In a world where articulating screens are becoming more apparent, I think Pentax have missed a trick here as it’s not the most easily used at low angles.

You can switch between the LCD screen and viewfinder by pressing the EVF/LCD button in the top right corner. The viewfinder isn’t the best as I think it’s a bit too dark and not very pleasing to use but it does save battery power which is good if you’re out for the long haul.

Pentax X70: Build and handling

It’s a similar design to the other bridge cameras on the market which is a normal compact, with a grip and a stupidly big zoom lens barrel stuck on the front. However it seems to have a mild air of concept cool about it. Maybe it’s the sharp lines that run down the flash or the moulded corners of the shoulders. Either way, it hits me as slightly different in styling to other bridge cameras and I like it.

Pentax X70It’s lightweight which can be deceivingly negative as it feels badly made but I don’t think it is. It’s well balanced with no particular weight being distributed to any side. If anything, the lens is the heaviest part of the camera but doesn’t put any pressure on the front. It does cause a problem when the lens is extended to its full magnification but that’s hardly surprising.
I’m surprised to see a plastic tripod mount with a camera of this calibre. I think with a lens this big, decent support is a necessity and to give a plastic mount is a little thoughtless when the tripod bush is going to be a high traffic area.

One other area is the lens cap. It’s a simple slot on type that uses suction to attach itself to the camera although a small loop is available for attaching a strap. However if you switch the camera on without removing the cap first, the camera forces it off. A sensor to flag up a warning would be nice in case it ruins the lens motor.

Playback is a little slow with few actions being able to be performed until the picture on the screen has finished rendering. Zooming into the image is one such action and even when it does finally start it’s very slow.

Pentax X70: Performance

Continuous shooting mode has three options of low, medium and high. In low mode, the camera takes seven images in 1.5sec which is pretty fast but compare that with medium which takes seven images in 0.3sec and there’s a significant difference in speed. Not only that but it can then be pushed to 21 images in 1.75sec which is pretty phenomenal. The camera has to drop to 5Mp to be able to perform at this speed but if it could maintain this performance over a longer period, it would be going into Casio EX-F1 territory as 60 frames would take just three seconds.

Shutter lag results ranged from 0.16sec to 0.20sec which is on the lower end of acceptable. Most cameras have a standard of 0.08sec but recently a couple of Nikon models have been halving that. Pentax would need to keep up with this advance in technology if they want to stay competitive.

Pentax X70Colour rendition is typical for a compact recording in JPEG with primary blue being saturated the most. Other colours could be richer, such as yellow or red, but they don’t pose a problem. Earth brown and forest green are rich enough and I like the skin tone tile for pinkness.

There’s a little colour in the pastels down the left side of blue, orange and brown but these can easily be bleached out so it’s a good performance from the X70 to record them. Mono tones are nicely balanced.

Pentax X70On a bright day it’s nice to get out and take pictures and knowing your camera can handle adiverse dynamic range will give peace of mind and also make your work easier. The Pentax X70 has coped with the bright background and dark foreground nicely. It’s not the most extreme of opposites but there’s detail in the lock where it’s darker towards the bottom.

Colour fringing is minimal with only a tiny coloured strip running along the white bar. One problem I encountered time and time again was purple banding from the screen. When the camera was pointing towards an area of brightness such as a window when I was inside, a got purple colour bleeding over from the light source.

I like the portrait image, the skin tone is balanced and not too warm while the detail in the hair is good. Using flash has removed any shadows and added catchlights without bleaching any skin or getting nasty reflections on the glasses.

Pentax X70

In the portrait test, skin tone is balanced and not overly warmed.

Pentax X70

Using flash removes shadows, evens the skin and adds catchlights.

There are three colour settings in the menu with the default setting of standard being accompanied by bright which boosts the colour slightly and mono which changes everything to black & white. These can work nicely in the correct setting but if you’re going to use black & white you may as well convert in an editing suite.

Pentax X70

Natural colour.

Pentax X70

Bright colour.

Pentax X70

Mono tone.

Pentax X70

Helicopter in the distance.

As an interesting point, I took an absent minded shot of a helicopter that I could only just make out. It was a dot in the sky because it was so far away. The Pentax X70 managed to zoom in on it, focus on it and record enough detail while freezing the rotors. I’m really impressed with this image simply over the sheer mechanics of finding such a small item in a massive expanse of blue and focusing on it.

Pentax X70: Noise test
Sensitivity expands from ISO50 to ISO6400 which is slightly wider than other cameras in this class. This will in turn lead to a slightly smoother image at the low setting but ISO50 will only be available when Bright Area Adjust has been unticked in the menu system.

It looks like noise is apparent even at the lowest setting but there’s detail in the petals and I don’t think it’s imposing until ISO400 where it becomes significantly more aggressive. Detail begins to dissipate in the petals and coloured blobs start to appear in the grey tile.

By ISO1600 noise is a reall problem so with two more settings to go the only thing to do is cut the resolution. This is because a certain amount of noise is created by the heat generated from neighbouring pixels as they work. By dropping the resolution, this spaces them out so the surrounding area is cooler. The Pentax X70 drops down to 5Mp as a measure of damage control but it’s still significant.

Pentax X70

The ISO50 test.

Pentax X70

The ISO6400 test.

Pentax X70: Verdict
For the first camera in the superzoom range, Pentax have done quite well. I think they’ve started as they mean to go on by putting one of the largest zooms available in the camera. A lot of the other features are found on basic compacts and I think are simply there to bulk the camera out and keep it uniform with the rest of the range.

Noise needs to be addressed and I wouldn’t mind seeing a little extra oomph in the colours although they’re not unappealing.

Pentax X70: Plus points
Large zoom
Nice design
Decent build
Good weight distribution
Excellent focusing at extreme distance
Nice portrait results
Fringing is controlled well

Pentax X70: Minus points
Bad noise control
Plastic tripod bush on a camera that will use it a lot
Colours could be punchier

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

See the video review of the Pentax X70 here:

Pentax X70 video review

The Pentax X70 costs around £370 and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Pentax X70

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed

Canon: Digital cameras, camcorders, lenses, and printers

70+ years of photographic excellence

Canon History

Starting in a small apartment in Tokyo, Canon released their first camera, the Hansa Canon, in 1935. Their goal was to produce a high-quality Japanese camera, and they succeeded. Since that time, Canon has diversified into other fields and continued to expand their photographic capabilities. Today, Canon’s digital imaging equipment is revered as some of the best in the industry and their gear is sold around the world.

Digital Camera Reviews

Comments are closed