The ISO is well thought out with strict ranges that the camera will adhere to: plus you get standard manual selection of 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200. Auto gives you ISO 160 to 800. High ISO Sensitivity auto takes you from 160 to 1600. There is also a fixed range auto offering ISO 160-200 and ISO 160-400. With this option you are better keeping it on the latter to minimise the opportunities for noisy pics.
The articulating back offers greater versatility in tight spots
That said, the P100 does well past ISO 800, but really you do need light with a lens that might be closed down to f5. Alas, lots of functions like ISO have to be accessed from the menus numerous key presses to make changes. I think to save time and frustration you’d gravitate towards the auto ISO option and hope the best settings are used. Indeed, this is one area where I think it would have been better to have a button for quick mode changing.
I did like the Bracketting feature where it will take 3 shots of varying under and over exposure. Also I liked the idea of follow sports mode – though not nearly quick enough with objects coming towards you. In fact, the hit rate in general isn't that great with the autofocus. Pretty simple compositions seemed to take it just off what is acceptable, even when relying on the excellent rear screen.
Variable positioning is ideal for video shoots
Speaking of which, the articulating screen is superb for viewing low angle, getting down really low for super macro shots or tilting down to get the over the heads shot in a crowd. You just have to remember that you have it! It packs away so neatly.
I thought the White Balance selection was excellent too especially with it offering three types of fluorescent adjustments. If you are willing to get it out of Auto, here it can give you some true looking overrides. Ideal for when you know you are in mixed lighting and you don't want it to go changing hunting half way through some sequences.
Is it just me?
...who thinks that rating the battery as 250 shots is just stupid? it'd be fine for an SLR without constant display which you can look through all day without taking a shot. But I feel that a usage time in muntes would be more appropriate for devices that require an always on display screen / electronic View finder. I suspect that saying it lasts for just 2 hours (on time based on 30 seconds per shot) ) might change some opinions.
All my Nikon's have this.
Maybe it's just me...
Maybe it's just me, but I think the pictures were quite noisy? Even the ISO 100 ones seemed noisy. Weird.
1) NTSC/PAL ceased to mean anything much when the CRT died - every flatscreen is progressive and supports all frame rates. PCs/media centres, etc, etc ONLY support progressive. So interlaced footage is only notionally supported as a transmitted stream which must then be deinterlaced either by the source (PC, etc) or destination (the plasma/LCD)
2) any DVD writer or player in the last 10 years will playback oldie worldie SD resolution PAL or NTSC footage if you insist on burning it. if its a UK player - you just need to set the region to UK - nothing to stop you still burning NTSC MPEG2 footage.
3) In HD, there is no such thing as 'NTSC' - there are various different frame rates, all supported by all HD tvs - 1080p30 is not 'HD NTSC'.. it is just 1080p30 - it is as valid as 1080p24 or 1080p25.. ah well except there is in fact, no such standard, only 1080p24 - why ? because it would be bloody stupid - the only reason there is a different frame rate between PAL and NTSC is the difference in vertical lines count - hence the extra bandwidth on NTSC being available for more fps.
NTSC DVD SD: 720x480, 29.97fps
PAL DVD SD: 720x576, 29.97fps
e.g: PAL has more definition, but has less temportal information. i.e. NTSC is not 'worse'... a common mistake people make - for fast moving scenes it may be significantly better....
this difference in vertical line count was due to the ANALOGUE NTSC vs PAL standards.
It ceased to mean much at all when we went digital, and ceased to mean anything at all when we went to HD...
so in HD there is:
720p (1280x720) and 1080p(1920x1080)
thats it! not a different size for UK and USA.
There are various different frame rates in the standard - these are there to support various different content types and are various trade offs between resolution integrity vs temportal data for a given framerate.
They have precisely FA to do with countries, or NTSC/PAL.
In reality, the artificial 720p25 and 1080i50 that were put into the standard were very much transients to support upscaling of SD content. They have FA other reason to exist. I can't think of a single device that shoots 720p25, and 1080i50 is hanging on only in the HDCAM/AVCHD standards and is rapidly losing favour to progressive - I'd expect it to disappear in the next few years to be replaced by progressive p30 and p60 as we are already seeing in cameras such as the EOS series.
In reality, the vast majority of HD currently is in 30p, 24p (movies), and 60i (sport).
Let NTSC and PAL die a death please.
From Amazon, the E-PL1 is £500, so hardly the same kind of money as the P100 (£300). It also comes with a 3x zoom rather than a 26x zoom. If you want a 26x range you'll need to lug around several more lens. If you want a viewfinder you have to pay more for that, too. It probably gives better quality pictures, though. It's a very different kind of camera.