Monday, 12 March 2012

Looks like Fujifilm are doing the right thing...


The issue with "orbs" has been well-publicised for a while now, and although they don't affect every shot by any means, it's annoying when you get them.  More inexplicable was Fuji's decision to launch the XS1 when they knew their sensor had this issue.

However, it looks like Fuji have finally acknowledged that they have a hardware issue that can only be resolved with a new sensor - see the information linked below:

Link to DP Review site re Fuji press statement

I haven't seen too many orbs with my camera, but as the weather has got better, they're becoming more prevalent.  A quick snap on the dog walk yesterday gave me quite a crop:

It may not be obvious at the size you can view on this blog, but the image above has orbs in double digit numbers, of which five are easily visible when viewing at the kind of size that would fit a computer screen, and 2 or 3 still easily visible on a 7" by 5" print.  Night-time cityscapes are even worse unless you really up the ISO.

Bottom line for me is that until this issue gets fixed, I can't use the camera for some of the circumstances that I had planned for it - not least an upcoming family holiday to sunnier climes where the combination of reflections from strong sunlight, plus likelihood of orbs when shooting waves, means I can't rely on the X10 to produce the goods until the new sensor is available.  The GF-1 is back out of the camera bag and I'm reminding myself what a nice camera it is....

Hopefully in a few weeks we'll hear more about the sensor replacement programme, but in the meantime I'm lumbered with a camera that has a major flaw affecting the occasions when I wish to use it, whose secondhand value has now plummeted until a proper fix is available.  Hmmmmm.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Using the Pro Low Light setting

When you're shooting stationary objects, this setting can be surprisingly good, and is worth a go. 

Only available as 6MP jpegs. the camera takes multiple exposures and combines them into one file, aligning them as it goes along (handholding seems to work fine) and processing out random digital noise so you end up with detailed and perfectly acceptable files at higher ISOs (even 3200 is OK).  The camera does seem to veer towards overexposure in this mode, so I set some -EV using the compensation dial, and also tend to darken the shadows a little in post-processing. 

I'm also wondering if this is about as good as things are likely to get in tackling the dreaded orbs in night time shots - shooting at higher ISO should keep them to a minium, and using this mode should also help with the noise.  Another experiment for another time....

In the meantime, a couple of quick shots taken at home.  The watch is ISO500 (and looks great even at 100%) but poor old Beethoven had the noise turned up a little - ISO1000.  These kind of shots would have been unheard of from a small sensor camera until very recently: