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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:10 pm 
Any progress or first thoughts regarding a review of of Fujifilm's Finepix S5 Pro.

I've read reviews that suggest that there is a noticeable benefit with regard to dynamic range and trueness of colour. I've also read that the interpolated pictures from two 6.17 Mpixel CCDs gives higher resolution than a standard 6Mpixel CCD ... offering image resolution similar to 10Mpixel. It sounds like a good technology for improved image quality that may be more practical for none-sports shooting. I'm keener on image quality personnally.

Since this CCD interpolation approach seems to be Fujifilm's main selling point it would be nice to know how well this feature performs in practice.

I like that this camera makes use of the Nikon D200 body ... as I was leaning towards this body ... based mostly on comfort of holding and feeling of balance when using a 18-200mm zoom lens in the shops. I don't mind that its bigger and a big heavier ... seems to fit the job for me.

Lets hope that Camera Labs can get their (your) hands on one of the S5 Pro bodies to see how well it performs ... particularly with Nikon (Nikkor) lenses.

Still contemplating the purchase ... but the Nikon lenses are swaying me towards their bodies / compatible bodies.

Mike.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:44 pm 
I strongly recommends the Canon Rebel XTI (400D)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:10 pm 
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Hi Mike, I'm currently weighing up whether to test the S5 pro. It's certainly a very interesting camera, but our resources are limited and there's much more demand for reviews of more affordable or mainstream products.

Since it's based on the D200 though, I may however do a mini review just looking at the sensor and processing. If we go ahead with this, are there any tests you'd like to see us do for it? I realise its key selling point is a higher dynamic range, so I'm currently thinking of ways to realistically test and measure this in practice.

Any suggestions welcomed!

Gordon


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 Post subject: Dynamic Range ...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:00 am 
Hi CameraLabs Forum,

Gordon, I’ve done a bit of reading regarding the dynamic range considerations of dSLR photography. What I would propose is to isolate camera performance from post processing and subsequent image visualisation on displays or printed material. Good descriptions of dynamic range and its measurement are given by :


I would suggest to follow the procedure described on the imatest website … http://www.imatest.com/docs/tour_q13.html . The author of this software has another very informative web-site describing dynamic range / tonality … http://www.normankoren.com/digital_tonality.html , amongst other photography considerations.

These descriptions provide a lot of detail as to the use of transmission charts for the characterisation of the dynamic range. The use of step transmission target provides a good measure of the sensors ability to distinguish between contrast levels for a particular ISO setting.

If one captures a high contrast image what can one do with it? Some of the high-end displays out there can display images with 5000 and more contrast levels. Plasma displays and the new LCD displays would therefore allow you to view such images. However, high-contrast printing processes only offer around 200 contrast levels. To improve contrast on printed and on electronic media one needs to bias the information in the scene to include contrast indicators; features that the human brain interprets to aid it to see enhancements in contrast. Such image features can include boundary shapes and subtle adjustment of colouration. I would be interested to know if the process Fujifilm is using includes such feature enhancement.

Some people would find pure image quality as being the most important factor here but others would find benefit in having the process of arriving at a “contrast enhanced” scene more automated. Ultimately, a camera that can achieve good contrast enhancement would be able to offer at least suggestions for enhancement of its JPEG output. The obvious advantage of JPEG output is that it increases the shot-capacity of a camera. One may want to base their work more on JPEG capture backed up by a few RAW pictures of the scene / event. JPEGs with more enhanced shadow and bright-contrast detail (at the expense of mid-range contrast) would be a desirable target for camera output, I would have thought. Another advantage of enhancements of contrast in JPEG output would be to improve the display of scene histogram data with which I believe in most cameras the white balancing is being judged.

Mike.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:29 pm 
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That's an interesting remark, as it questions Gordons policy to test the cameras at factory defaults (FD).
For me it is still not resolved whether the D40x sensor and processor have the same level of noise/sharpening as the D80, as both comeras do not have the same/comparable factory defaults. that also holds for contrast/"punchiness".
On the other hand, FD will be the settings that many people use, so a judgment of the quality at FD is certainly of high value. But perhaps Gordon could add more information as to whether different settings could get a camera look closer like a reference, e.g. the D40x to the D80 or D200.
Gordon, what do you think?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:33 pm 
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Hi guys, thanks for the suggestions...

As you know I already use Imatest to analyse several of our results. Norman Koren's also a great guy, so it's certainly possible that we could do something further with his software in the future.

I'll have a think about it. One important aspect for us though is not to over-complicate our reviews. There's already a lot of testing, results and analysis for each of our reviews, and to do more, would simply mean publishing fewer reviews. It's all about finding a balance...

I am interested in dynamic range though, so will certainly give testing of it more consideration.

Gordon


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 Post subject: Update ...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:11 pm 
You've probably come across this too ... There is a quick review of the dynamic range tests that dpreview use.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0011/00111 ... crange.asp

Simple test process, useful information and easy to cross-reference.


Mike.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:14 pm 
I can't make my mind up regarding cameras and time is running out. Based on what lenses I have read reviews on, the Nikon is a good brand choice ... in terms of performance/capability and cost.

Thus, I'm working myself up to a decision to purchase either a D80 or a D200. I can see little technical benefit for justifying the D200 but it just feels so nice and balanced in my hands. Urh! And now there's the Finepix S5 to think about.

A users comment I came across (can't remember which web-site as I've been doing far too much surfing recently) regarding the Finepix S5 suggested that the loss in resolution was noticable and that contrast enhancement was only slightly noticable. It didn't sound like a comment from a time-waster but they didn't give any definition of size the image that was being viewed nor what medium it was being viewed on. This can make all the difference. Give me scientifically justifiable details please!

I keep on thinking that I am missing something regarding Canon's lens mix. Many people have suggested that Canon have a great lens mix ... but there really on the pricey side compared to Nikon, particularly if your looking for image stabilization. I can't fault their performance ... of the reviews I read ... but come on why are they that bit more expensive, and some?

Also, I'm definite about not seeing the need for a zoomable wide angled lens. Played with a few lenses on a variety of bodies and zooming gives little benefit considering the downside ... poorer optical imaging / aberration performance.

I also played with a Kodak V705. Nice wide angle performance plus postering of images into a panoramic view. Might use this for the near future rather than go ahead with a wide angle lens. BUT the 10.5mm is very nice.


Mike.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:15 pm 
I'm guessing that both of these cameras have the ability to set their shutters in the open position with the camera turned off ... Its just a question that didn't occur to me until now.

Mike.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:16 pm 
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"shutter open": Huh?
The aperture is open when the cam is off.
The shutter should be closed, I assume...

And, yes: The features of the D200 over the D80 were not worth the money for me!

As to wide-angle zooms: Well, I own the 10.5mm so I made my decision. But with a Canon body I'd have certainly gone for the 10-22mm zoom. Why? Shooting wide-angle really really poses a great stress on the resolution because of the many little details. So it's very critical not to have to crop afterwards. This can be avoided if you zoom in to the right crop. But it has to be a sharp zoom!

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Last edited by Thomas on Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Hi Mike, both the D80 and D200 can expose their sensors for cleaning but like all DSLRs, the power is still very much on.

Gordon


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 Post subject: Tombomba2 ...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:25 am 
Hi Thomas,

I would expected that resolution issues would show their head with a wide angle lens, particularly in the deeper sections of the field but I didn't whitness any over pronounced issue with the 10.5mm that I tried. To be fair I only had the opportunity to take pictures of buildings along a road that stretched about 500 meters into the distance. The results seem to be pretty well detailed. I think that for landscape photography some distant detail will start to be an issue particularly around the edges of the photo.

I'm not expecting that it would be a perfect representation of the real world, just close to the physical limits which should realise something thats quite nice to look at!

Mike.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:22 am 
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Oh, to make sure, Mike: The 10.5mm is sharp as chips! That was why I gave the Sigma 10-20mm back.
It suffers at the edges,when you defish it though. Which is to be expected as the software has to interpolate quite a few pixels...

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 Post subject: And Action ...
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:19 pm 
Many thanks to all those that advised me and the few shop keepers that really allowed me to play with their kit ... having a few bodies and lenses for demo purposes in a shop certainly is a good way to sell the higher priced models ... it worked on me.

I have finally made my decision and purchase a D200 body and an accompanyment of lenses (nikkor 18-200 mm VR and nikkor 10.5mm fish-eye). Having spent quite some time using the D200, D80, Canon 400D and Pentax K10D in (and outside the door of) shops and viewing the results on a PC ... my decision basically came down to which of the models I preferred to hold and could afford and find the right accompanyment of lenses. Given that I could use my preferred choice of lenses with the D80 or D200 I focused on these two cameras.

It was easy to sell the D200 to me as it just feels so right. Maybe its because it is heavier than the others that it feels more connected to you. Its larger size certainly made it feel more comfortable to view a scene through the viewfinder.

So, I'm all prepared for my honeymoon trip. When I have processed some decent photos I'll post them on a flickr account.

Again, many thanks for the advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:04 pm 
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Excellent choice Mike! Congrats on your purchase and we look forward to hearing how you get on... It would be great if you could do us a user review when you've got used to it...

Have a wonderful trip!

Gordon


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