Tag Archives: fujifilm

Photography: Compact Cameras: Horses for Courses

I always have a bunch of cameras laying about the house. Their batteries might not always carry a charge, but the cameras are there – almost ready for action. Today I woke up to drizzle, so, naturally I grabbed the first camera that came to hand and wandered out into the garden. Selecting the little flower symbol – I think they call it ‘macro’ – but I prefer ‘little flower symbol’ because I deign  to be different – I began snapping anything that looked attractive. The camera was a Fujifilm T400, which was pretty ‘whoo’ in it’s day, back in 2012. It has a 10X zoom and sixteen megapixels, so it should be pretty good, even on a dark, drizzly day. It took this picture rather well, I thought…

But bedamned if it would capture a dripping Love in the Mist properly. Every shot had at least one area out of focus. So I went back inside to fetch a 8 megapixel 3X zoom Pentax Optio E40, which dates back at least four years farther. It couldn’t capture the feather for love nor money – every shot focussing on the concrete below. But it captured the Love in the Mist just fine…

Which just goes to show that you can never have too many cameras, and that you can’t trust the one you’re using to do the job in every case. Clearly photography, at least for compacts, is a case of horses for courses. You just have to know which horse to back on which course. I suggest you take a minimum of five on any field trip – tucked into the many little pockets you find in a fisherman’s sleeveless jacket. I do – and my neck only aches a little when I get home. Okay, it aches a lot: but I’m old, so I have to accept that. Yes, I suffer for my art.

This fabulously pointless photography lesson was brought to you by Tooty Nolan: Man of Many Talents – some of which are vaguely useful.

Photography: As in Film, So in Digital

Back in the days of my youth, I was, as now, a bit of a happy snapper. Of course then it was all Kodak Instamatics and 110 cartridge cameras. I discovered, quite quickly that there were distinctive differences in film stock. Kodak film gave a bright, colourful print. Fujifilm, conversely, was more subtle, bordering upon clinical. Of the two I favoured the more honest Fujifilm – though looking back through old photos, I wonder if those halcyon days might be better remembered in a more bright and colourful Kodak manner. As I took my daily constitutional today it came to my attention that I was carrying two cameras – made by Kodak and Fujifilm. “Hmmm,” I mused, “I wonder if, in these digital days, the old ways still hold true.” Or, to put it another way, are Kodaks still bright and cheerful, and Fujifilms all clear and sensible? The obvious way to answer my simple question was to pause my route march and take a couple of snaps. So I did. Here are the results. Which one is the Kodak; and which the Fujifilm?

Not a lot of colour here, but those greens in photo number one sure look…er…green . So, yep, judging by this test, it’s the same as it ever was. Maybe I’ll conduct a few more tests, just to make sure. After all – any excuse to show off my photos…

Three Cameras, a Shade, and a Potted Plant

Funny (innit?) how different cameras see the same thing…er…differently. Take, for example, the lamp that stands, beside a pot plant, in the corner of my sitting room. I often use it to test a newly acquired camera. Surely three pictures, taken within seconds of each other, would appear identical. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? So let’s see. Picture Number One was snapped with a tatty old Fujifilm J10 boasting 8.2 megapixels…

Notice how the autofocus had concentrated upon the pot plant? Well, with me standing in the exact same spot, it would be reasonable to assume that the second shot, via a 14.1 megapixel Canon Ixus 130, would look pretty much the same – only clearer. Well I thought so anyway…  

No, I wasn’t standing over by the door honest.  But what about a camera that falls roughly half way between the two megapixel extremes? How would that compare? I tried a 10.2 megapixel Samsung D1070. The result…

…was not what I expected. Which, I think, just proves that it isn’t the eye behind the camera that selects how a picture will look: it’s the sodding software. How very disappointing – even if the pictures aren’t.

Photography: Aint Nothing in a Megapixel or Two

If you’ve been a regular reader of mine for any length of time, you’ve probably sussed that I rather like handy little compact cameras. Whenever I pass a charity shop or some such, I have great difficulty refraining from stopping by and running an eye over their camera collection; and even more avoiding a dip into my wallet. Most of those I find are quite old – digital cameras having been with us for a relatively short while, but evolving almost as quickly as the creatures in the film ‘Evolution’. As a result of this, the cameras that I haven’t been successful in rejecting seem to fall into two categories. The older cameras are mostly 5 megapixel models; the newer, 12 megapixels. Of course I have others, some of which I actually bought new, and I’ll include a few of them here too. Well, over Christmas, the house was bedecked with festive lights that looked pretty, but gave out (what could only be described as) some piss-poor light – especially for photography. Cue one of my comparison shoots.

Standing in the exact same spot at the top of the stairs, I snapped the same nighttime window with a plethora of cameras. Those cameras being the ones with both memory cards and live batteries inside them or cameras that weren’t in the glovebox of my car or the attic ‘studio’. Here are the results…

5 megapixel models…

Vaguely interestingly the Kodak takes a considerably darker picture. And the Fujifilm A500 and the Sony P10 are barely distinguishable. But, in my mind, the last shot – the later (but still 5 megapixel) Sony W15 – is a clear winner. So even cameras with the same number of pixels vary considerably. And adding or subtracting a few don’t make an ocean of difference either. Next up are 4 megapixel and a 6 megapixel varieties from Olympus, and an 8 megapixel Hitachi…

Well you can see that 2 megapixels do make a slight difference in performance; but what the heck happened with the Hitachi? Very warm and spectacular, but hardly accurate.

So then it’s on to the 12 megapixels. I use the Fujifilm (the one that takes most of the Earplug Adventures shots) as the base shot. Again the Kodak is darker…

But the most honest was the Nikon. So it just goes to show that you really don’t need to fret about how many million pixels a camera boasts: it’s more about other stuff – like lenses and software. And just to emphasise this, here’s the same shot with a 20 megapixel Canon…

Most important of all though, is the dope behind the camera. A smart one will know how to work all the knobs and buttons to take a better picture. Sadly that dope wouldn’t be me.

 

Photography: Just How Many Million Pixels and How Much Zoom Do You Need On a Bright Sunny Day?

That’s quite a title. Perhaps if I used an acronym… P:jhmmpahmzdynoabsd. No, that’s no better. Well, anyway, to the point of this post…

I’ve posted about megapixels; I’ve posted about zoom length; and I’ve posted about light. Well today I’m posting about all three. The reason for this is because this morning I went on a bloody huge bike ride (by my standards), and I took five cameras along for the ride. At one location I decided to test them against each other in conditions that, I believe, levels the playing field, so-to-speak: bright, BRIGHT, sunlight. First I snapped a picture of a weathered park bench: then I snapped another from the bench itself. Nothing clever; just a point and shoot with each camera without using any of the device’s special features. The first shot is taken just a few paces from the subject bench. The second shot looks across the valley to the opposite hillside. No zoom is used on the former: full zoom is used on the latter. See what you think. I was shooting into the sun, with minimal shade supplied by a large beech tree to the left of shot.

The cameras used in order are:

3.1 megapixel Sony Cybershot

5.1 megapixel Fujifilm A5oo

7.1 megapixel Kodak C743

12.2 megapixel Fujifilm J30

16 megapixel Nikon L830

To the bench…

3.1 Sony

bench by sony

5.1 Fujifilm

bench by a500

7.1 Kodak

bench by c734

12.2 Fujifilm

bench  by j30

16 Nikon

bench  by nikon

Well at first glance there doesn’t seem to be a vast amount of difference between them. When you go in tight the difference in quality is more observable. A certain degree of evening out did occur when I reduced the photo sizes for web use. But it does look odd (to this technological heathen anyway) how it appears that I was standing at different distances from the bench when I took each piccie. Something to do with wide angle shit I expect.

Nice subject though, in a nice place too. Lucky old me.

Now the long shot did surprise me. Perhaps I hadn’t noticed how hazy the air was when I pressed the shutter button; or maybe it was the barely filtered sunlight. I dunno. See what you think. One thing’s for certain though: they’ll never give me a guest slot in Practical Camera!

Same order as last time…

hill by sony

 

hill by a500

 

hill  by c743

 

hill by j30

 

hill by nikon

Well one thing is obvious: neither of the cameras can handle the brilliant white sky on the horizon. Well that’s fair coz neither could my eyes. Another thing is the x34 zoom of the Nikon. BIG ZOOM! But what about the ancient Sony? Where the hell did that zoom come from? It says on the side that it has x3 zoom with an extra x3 digital zoom. I guess the digital zoom kicked in automatically, but without my spectacles on I couldn’t see the icons (or image for that matter) on the tiny LCD screen. But isn’t digital zoom supposed to be utter shit? Not on my sturdy old Japanese Sony it isn’t!

So in summation…well you make up your own mind. Me – I’m strictly a point and shoot genius: I know squat about photography.

One last thing though. I also own a 12 megapixel Kodak that appears to equal the 12.2 Fujifilm in every way. But when I zoom in on a photo produced by it on my computer, it pixellates WAY more than the Fuji. Can someone explain why? Does it have a crappy lens or something?