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Tuesday, 26 August 2008


I think the days of the superzooms are over. Too bulky/expensive for the price. And we are getting more and more superzoom dSLR lenses.

Any plans on reviewing the new LX3? I'm quite interested to see how it performs!

People enjoy the tools of their trade. Some must even be in love with their camera gear. Its obvious. Fuji this. Canon that. Nikon the other. Subjective "proof" that one tool is better than another!

I'm sure everyone's images are as good as the "proof" of the superiority of the tools they use. Right?

I have yet to witness a viewer of finished photographic art walk up to an image and without prior knowledge accurately determine the camera and lens used to make the work.

Amazing comparison, though rather daring. I fear iso 1600 will not yield a result this even. As an S100FS owner myself (over 2000 pictures by now) I concede it's difficult to love this beast, but all in all it does a fine job.

I recently shot my Canon G9 at the same scene as my Pentax 645 loaded with the new Tmax 400. I used a similar focal legnth on both cameras and the levels of detail were very similar when viewed @100% on the computer screen. Very similar. Of course I need to shoot the little Canon raw at iso 80 to keep it in line but still the image quailty is amazing considering the puny sensor and all. Now if the major camera companies would quit playing the megapixel game and started adding features like fast AF and less shutterlag we would really be on to something.

I can see a big difference in highlight handling between these two cameras. It's something that doesn't seemed to be talked about as much as shadow noise but, for me, the small sensor doesn't render images with the same 'transparency' (then again, I really like transparencies!)

Dear Thiago,

I think Fuji overreached themselves with this lens, which I have some serious issues with. More on that in Part 3.

Dear Hugo,

Your fears are well justified, although the differences are not as monstrous as I expected. Next installment...

Dear Tim,

I don't understand what you're talking about. I see the words, but "transparency" doesn't mean a thing to me as an image characteristic. So I can't tell you if you're seeing something real or reading something into the illos that doesn't exist.


Before anyone pixel-peeps too hard, keep in mind that for a typical monitor, the 100%-scale illos are like looking at a section of a 27"x36" print! Looking too closely isn't realistic.

Also remember, illos are illustrative, not proof.

pax / Ctein

that thing doesn't look much smaller than many slrs that are out right now.

Ah, if only Minolta was still around to put this 2/3" sensor in an updated A2 body. It was already as near the perfect "one size fits all" camera as there's ever been.

I can't help feeling that this is yet another example of what I believe to be true. That the cameras inbuilt software has a greater importance to image quality than the sensor. It is a real shame that camera manufactures rush to produce bigger and better hardware takes precedence over delivering the best quality.
I always enjoy Ctein's thoughtful contributions to the art and science of photography.

There's no question that the Finepix S100FS does a lot better than one might expect, especially if you use good technique and know how to use software to mask its flaws.

By the way, one flaw that's clearly evident in your examples is chromatic aberration. Take a look at any of the brightest highlights (those around the cups, for example) and it's easy to see. No big deal, though. There are many lenses that cost a lot more than the Fuji S100FS that have as much if not more CA. In either case, it's easy to remove with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

I'm looking forward to more results and revelations.

Dear Michael,

Part 2 will do a lot to validate your belief.

Dear Gordon,

It's not chromatic aberration. I wish. All will be revealed in Part 3, wherein I beat up on the lens.

pax / Ctein

Ctein, 'raw' is not an acronym. Therefore, please use it properly, as in 'raw egg' and 'raw image'.

Ctein, interesting start!

I have been interested in this camera since it was announced. I very much like my S6000 for very much the same reason you like yours, its there, its inexpensive and it performs 'well enough.'

One point not mentioned is the bridge camera lovers Mantra: "Far less chance of dust."

My word, my K100D is a dust magnet; any pollen, dust, smoke particle, nuclear fallout, or what-have-you within a 20 mile radius is drawn directly to its sensor every time I change lenses! Maddening is a mild word for my feelings at this!

I really look forward to parts 2 and 3.

"My word, my K100D is a dust magnet; any pollen, dust, smoke particle, nuclear fallout, or what-have-you within a 20 mile radius is drawn directly to its sensor every time I change lenses! Maddening is a mild word for my feelings at this!"

Which is exactly why I bought the Olympus system. I have not had one dust mote in over three years...best in the entire marketplace.

Dear TM,

There's no consensus on "RAW" vs raw. I'm in the RAW camp. I believe Mike is in the raw camp. If/when the dust settles one of us will switch camps. Until then, shrug.

You may enjoy the following discussion:


(Minor correction to Mike Sisk's comments: There was an acronym associated with it when the very first RAW/raw camera came out. Doesn't matter, though. English, even scientific/computer English, has enough exceptions to the "acronym=caps/non-acronym=lower-case" rule that it's custom that will prevail,not pronouncements about what's proper.)

I'm not going to discuss this further. RAW and raw partisans, please gather behind the bar after closing time. Knives and broken bottles may be permitted as part of the discussion ("rules? In a knife fight?!").

I won't be there, so you guys have fun!

pax / Ctein

One more thing: "Ctein, 'raw' is not an acronym. Therefore, please use it properly, as in 'raw egg' and 'raw image'."

He is correct - it is a state, not an acronym. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format

I'm a nut on syntax and grammar, like Seinfeld's Soup Nazi.

"I'm a nut on syntax and grammar, like Seinfeld's Soup Nazi."

Not to chide you, Michael, but I have to say that's a pretty funny statement--unless Seinfeld's soup Nazi really *was* a nut on syntax and grammar.


Mike J.

So, is it RADAR or radar?

I think that "RAW" came about as an nod to an extension in a DOS non-case-sensitive 8.3 scheme, such as an "XLS" or "DOC" file.

"So, is it RADAR or radar?"

Radar is an acronym: Range And Detect Aerial Reconnaisance.

Next question.

I might have got the e420 and pancake lens had they been out when I shopped for my first DSLR
Or not, my Dad did give me all these Takumar and Super Takumar lenses....
And it does work so well with them
Perhaps I ought just mount one asnd leave it on, rather like a big version of my GRD first gen ;)

When I did a course in radar electronics theory in 1969, taught by a guy who was in on the development in Britain during the war, radar stood for RAdio Direction-finding And Ranging. :-)

People ask why you would buy a camera like the S100fs when it's nearly SLR size. I've bought one for travelling - 28-400mm in one lens, no need to change lenses or carry extra weight, good performance (if not quite at SLR level), RAW ;) and a great price AUD777. I'm happy. I leave next week for Europe.

I'll add my 2 cents to the "RAW" vs "raw" debate.

Because it doesn't appear to be an acronym, there's no "rule" or convention that requires the word to be capitalized. But I don't believe that means it shouldn't be, either. In English, there are no rules, only usage guides.

Personally, I would opt for capitalization, if only for consistency in expression. The construct, "...downloaded the RAW file..." is more like "...JPG file..." than it is like "...big file...". The word is being used in an adjectival sense, but I don't see it a simple modifier; it implies more. It is more restrictive than a simple modifying adjective, because it implies a specific kind of content. In the end, what matters is consistency of understanding for readers.

My personal opinion is that it is more clear to most people to use "RAW" than "raw", because that usage more closely expresses how we think of those files.

"Radar is an acronym"

Exactly, then shouldn't it be RADAR?

As a Brit, on the question of the subtopic, the right answer is:

RAdio Detection And Ranging

As to the subject of photography, I use a 6MP Canon IXY Digital 800 IS which I can carry on my belt when I don't or won't carry my fabulous but heavy and bulky SLRs--which is 99.99% of the time.

"" Radar is an acronym: Range And Detect Aerial Reconnaisance."

The acronym is actually RAdio Detection And Ranging. Next question :-)

I realize I'm just being obnoxious, but I might also point out that in conventional copy editing, we don't capitalize the words (or the letters in the words) that an acronym comes from, unless they're proper nouns and would ordinarily be capitalized. So if published in a book, the sentence would be written, "RADAR is an acronym for 'radio detection and ranging,'" or "Leica is a name originally derived from 'Leitz camera.'"

I might also point out that "acronym," which is actually a very recent word, refers specifically to an initialization that is pronounced as a word. So 'laser' would qualify whereas 'USA' would not. I believe all initializations (also called initialisms) must be capitalized--the controversy there being whether the letters should be followed by periods or not. Which, although trivial, is actually an involved topic with an intricate history, and (still) strong partisans amongst copy editors. And that might lead to a controversy as to whether periods can only be called periods when they end a sentence, and must otherwise be called "dots." And of course we could then argue about whether the British pronunciation of "controversy," con-TROV-er-sy, is proper, or the American CON-tro-ver-sy....

Impertinently yours,

Mike J.

P.S. And on the substance of the raw issue, I have to say I find myself convinced by KeithB and Robert Roaldi. So I'm personally going to go from 'raw' back to 'RAW.'

It's startling how much difference the software in the camera seems to make *in RAW images*. Theoretically most of the software modification is *supposed to* happen AFTER that.

It's good to have some reviews, it is important to have if somebody want to buy.

Personally i have the Fuji 6500 (6000 in USA) and also the S100FS.

Some of the reviews are very extreme from normal use, and for somebody who want to make some money or professional pictures... it's normal to have an SLR.
I made super pictures, in lot of place and it's unbelievable the quality.

I wait for other parts of the review, when will they be posted?

Thank you

Kiss Dezso,
All 3 parts of the review have been posted. Check later in the blog....

Mike J.

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