One thing that brought a warm feeling was the Film Simulation options. A lifetime ago I used Fujifilm almost exclusively, shooting on transparency. One of the company’s major successes was Velvia. A super saturated ISO 50 film for still life – food, product shots, anything with bags of colour really. Well it lives on as one of the presets here.
Multiple modes enable shooting in any environment, but keep a tripod handy
It’s technology doing its best in emulation of course, as it is simply an algorithm now, but the Velvia brand was a cornerstone in photography. Likewise with the Provia RDP 100; a legend in neutral tones, especially on skin. You either shot this or the Kodak equivalent, if you used the same processing lab, which ran 24 hours a day, you used this. It was the workhorse transparency film for publishing, in fact any professional photography, and is the Standard preset here.
Astia, brings up the rear with a softer colour/contrast look, 'a more subdued look', again from Fuji’s film stock history. There is also the obligatory black and white and sepia modes if you want to throw away your options (colour-wise) at the moment of capture.
The top dial takes you through the different modes available. In Auto mode only a few parameters can be set, but one that is very useful is the upper ISO. This allows you to decide where the ceiling is, before the shutter starts getting into shaky handheld territory or you start shooting noisy images up the top end.
The eponymous EXR function suggests it must be important and it’s the technology behind the sensor adapting into three modes, which are fairly self-explanatory, namely, Resolution Priority, High ISO & Low Noise, and D-Range Priority. Being in any of these modes will get the best result this camera can offer. The Auto feature, appears to take this decision for you, though it should be noted that in Auto, and Manually selected D-Range the resolution drops to 6Mp. This might be too much of a drop for some people having bought a camera with twice that advertised.
The slow lens means flash will be essential in some circumstances
Film simulation bracket (FSB) takes three successive images, one in each colour mode (standard, vivid and soft) to get a cross section of what might have been captured had you used the other 2. There is also AE and Dynamic Range bracketing all in all, offering plenty of choice when back at the computer. There are also scene modes such as beach, snow, fireworks and the like.
Next page: Sample Shots
It's worth looking at the EXIF on the telephoto shots; most of them appear to have been shot at ISO400, which never helps a small sensor. The light looked good though, so I'm not sure why it did that...
That telephoto lamppost shot is shaken too - there's a double edge on the highlights which gives it away.
If you want a simple way to find out the EXIF when browsing with Firefox, there's a neat AddOn called FxIF:
"Is that 12 Fuji Fantasy MP (ie, 6MP) or 12 Real MP?"
Are you referring to the earliest generations of SuperCCD whose "interpolated" resolutions were promoted as the real thing? That hasn't been the case for a good five years or more, as far as I am aware.
Re: Stay short
"These cameras are reasonable for the casual shooter, but just a waste of money for people who want a decent long lens for nature photography."
There does seem to be a steady parade of decent bird shots (of the feathered kind) produced by people with this camera and/or the S100FS, though. They claim that a big benefit of a bridge camera for bird photography is the relative silence compared to SLRs.
Is that 12 Fuji Fantasy MP (ie, 6MP) or 12 Real MP? What's the resolution in RAW mode?
Those telephoto shots are *nastily* soft, but it seems to perform reasonably well (for the price) at 3200. I expect the 30x zoom on Fuji's latest model will be even worse at the long end.
These cameras are reasonable for the casual shooter, but just a waste of money for people who want a decent long lens for nature photography.