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Old Mar 17, 2007, 5:24 PM   #1
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I have a FinePix V10 that was purchased in Dec '06. It hadn't been used much but the pictures that were taken were okay; mostly outdoor shots. Well this week I took a number of indoor flash shots at a family function and am a little disappointed in the results. I think I get better shots with an old Casio 3.3mp camera. The pictures have what I guess is "noise" - looks like confetti throughout the images. I thought that this camera was supposed to be good in low light use.

Anyone else have these similar results? I looked at the samples in Steve's review and don't see what I'm getting. Could I have a defective camera? Or, is something setup wrong?

Attached is a piece of one of the photos. Everything was set to "AUTO" and the metdata says the ISO was 640.

Thanks,
Larry
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Old Mar 17, 2007, 7:15 PM   #2
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Don't know why the camera (or you) selected ISO 640 on a flash shot. The flash pic on Steve's site (also taken with red-eye reduction) utilized an ISO of 64 - no noise. It was also taken in Portrait Mode...I don't know if that had anything to do with the ISO setting. Check your quality settings, and take some more pics...get that ISO down.

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Old Mar 18, 2007, 1:36 PM   #3
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Hun, Thanks for the tip. When I took the shots everything was set to AUTO, the ISO included. I just tried some shots after setting the ISO to 64 and, you're right, no speckling. I assume the high ISO was chosen because of the lowlight conditions. Should the ISO be left on 64 unless I'm shooting in low level natural lighting? Is this typical of these cameras to automatically choose a high ISO even though flash is being used?

Thanks,
Larry
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Old Mar 18, 2007, 2:29 PM   #4
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Larry,

I'm not familiar with your camera model, however some cameras default to a higher ISO when using flash, probably to increase the flash range. ISO 64 is great if you can get away with it. If you need a little more flash range, or higher shutter speed, nudge the ISO up a little. I would keep it at 200 or less, if possible. When shooting in available light without flash, you'll need to get the ISO up as high as necessary to get the shot. If you get the noise again, try using some of the software out there to clean it up.

the Hun

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Old Apr 23, 2007, 12:10 AM   #5
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Hi Leoop,

I have used the V10 for a short period of time and find the same problem with noise. I find that noise starts to become a problem at ISO 400, and the ISO 800 pictures are as bad as the one you posted. I compared the pictures I took with the full-size F30 sample pictures from camera reviews on the web, and found that the picture quality of ISO 400 of the V10 is comparable to the ISO 1600 of the F30.

From research, I understand that the V10 uses the older 5th generation 5 MP Fuji CCD, like the one used in the credit-card camera Z1/ Z2/ Z3. Apparently the low light performance of this older CCD is nowhere as good as the F30 (F10/F11/F20)'s 6 MP 6th generation CCD.

HOWEVER .... once you mentioned that
Quote:
I think I get better shots with an old Casio 3.3mp camera
You need to know you must be careful judging the quality of the pictures on your computer screen, especially for the high MP (say 5+ MP) pictures.

This is because when the pixel count of the picture goes well above the pixel count (resolution) of your computer screen (eg. tube monitor: 1600 x 1200 (UXGA) = just under 2 MP), the "grains" on the picture are being "magnified", when you are viewing the picture at full size. The higher the MP count of the picture compared to your computer monitor's highest resolution, the larger the effect of magnifying "imperfections" (eg. fuzziness, jaggedness) of the pictures. The best explanation I can come up with is seeing things through naked eyes versus through a magnifying glass - the edge of a fly's leg may look nice and smooth through naked eyes, but at higher maginfication of the magnifying glass you can see that it is full of thorns and spikes.

The best way to judge the quality of the picture is to print it out, at the print size you are most likely to use. Pictures like the sample you posted may look acceptable and rather good on a small print (like 4" x 6" we are all familiar with).

Another easier but less precise way to compare the V10 and your old Casio is to take the same pictures with the V10 and Casio at their highest MP and quality setting, then "resize" (more precisely, use the "re-sample" function of photo editors) to shrink the V10's picture to the identical resolution (pixels x pixels) as the Casio's pictures. True this is NOT an absolute comparison because the V10's picture has been modified, but this way you shall see that many "imperfections" on the V10 pictures are now "gone" (I mean no longer visible on the computer monitor).

Despite what I just said, I believe the quality of the F30's pictures in dim light is superior to the V10, at any ISO except the lowest one(s), when the pictures are compared on the computer screen at identical screen resolution.
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