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Old Jun 28, 2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default F70EXR : Blurred mountain pictures

Until this year, I was the lucky owner of a F100fd. Alas, I lost it. I subsequently bought a F70EXR.

I use my camera mainly for landscapes, as a frantic hiker.

After a few months of use, I am a bit disappointed, for a few reasons. I shall not enumerate all of them (I suppose some are simply a matter of trial-and-error), but shall refer only to my main concern : while I met no serious problem of focusing when hiking in flat countryside, an astounding high proportion of the pictures I took on two successive outings in the Alps were oddly blurred. I tried to understand myself what the cause of it is, but could not find out : I suppose this is not caused by motion (on the first example below, exposure time is 1/250 second, and I have no reason to shake more than last year).

As you can see, the foreground is probably not so blurred as the background - but indeed the background was the main topic of the pictures, and I focused on the background (probably on the sky-line, though it is hard to be sure of course).

Does somebody guess the cause and suggest a remedy ?

First example :

Name:  DSCF0751.jpg
Views: 934
Size:  137.4 KB

A few exim data : ISO100 ; f/7.1 ; exposure time 1/250 s ; focal length 6 mm
Picture taken in P mode.

Second example :

Name:  DSCF1925.jpg
Views: 998
Size:  116.4 KB

A few exim data : ISO100 ; f/7.1 ; exposure time 1/125 s ; focal length 6 mm
Picture taken in EXR mode, the camera rightly choosing "Landscape program"
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 4:20 AM   #2
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You need a larger f stop to focus on more I would have thought? Can you manually select an f number with that camera? There's no way f7.1 will give you focus on such far away objects.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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Frankly, I have noticed the same issue . probably it is the camera's fault. I wonder if someone could upload a similar picture taken with a different camera. Unfortunately I get the best results shooting object not too far away. The camera seems to perform abominably poorly when shooting landscapes. I get the impression that it is useless for such kind of pictures .
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 2:16 PM   #4
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Have you tried on "A" already, i believe this is the setting for landscape or the largest aperture anyway, i just tried it and it did not went any higher than F8. maybe someone else knows a trick to do this.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 5:09 PM   #5
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But what results did you get? Blurred picture or not?
I was so excited about f70 when I was reading about it here. And now I am thinking about buying another camera (when I get depressed ). But I don't know what to lock on . Any recommendations? (small, not too pricey, good picture quality ) Too many eggs in one basket?
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 2:53 AM   #6
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I'm sorry , i did not have such a "view" here around to test that kind of depth, also i did not notice that you are not using the HS10, so different camera here.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 6:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quix0tic View Post
You need a larger f stop to focus on more I would have thought? Can you manually select an f number with that camera? There's no way f7.1 will give you focus on such far away objects.
Actually f7.1 is perfectly fine on this camera. At a focal length of 6mm as stated and f7.1, even if the camera was focused to only 10ft (probably less, I didn't check) then it will be in focus from about a foot out to infinity.

Camera shake won't be a problem at that shutter speed so I'm thinking either something majorly dirty on the lens or something it out of alignment. How do close up shots look? Also you mention that some are in focus, did you get some that were OK from the same day? The bottom of the frame is looking OK but the top seems to be where the issue is.

The F70EXR does produce some amazing photos, one of our moderators uses one (well actually his gf has taken it off of him now so she can use it most of the time LOL) so I would say this is not normal and it needs checking.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 3:32 AM   #8
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Grego, sorry to hear you're having problems with your F70EXR. I bought mine a few weeks ago, and feel I might be able to offer a little insight into how to get the best from it:

First of all, let's clear up the aperture issue: the F70EXR is a single aperture lens, in which the f-number is determined by the selected focal length only. So, you have f3.3 at 5mm, up to f5.6 at 50mm.

It may sound strange for a camera to have only one aperture, but there is method in their madness, because any attempt to stop-down the lens would result in noticeable diffraction blurring. Even as it is, diffraction is limiting the resolution of the camera to about 5MP anyway, which is why it's rather pointless to operate at the full 10MP. Note that other P&S cameras with similar lenses (in terms of maximum aperture) are equally compromised.

You may be wondering how the camera is reporting a selected aperture of f7.1. Well, the answer is that, when the camera runs out of shutter speed, it employs a 2-stop (approx) Neutral Density filter to give a stopped-down effect. So, when it reports f7.1, it actually means f3.6 plus ND filter.

You may also be wondering why the camera ran out of shutter speed when it can go up to 1/2000 sec. Well, when you are in expanded dynamic range mode, the camera actually takes 2 concurrent exposures, one at the headline shutter speed, the other (electronically) at either twice the speed or 4x the speed. So the shutter speed is limited to either 1/1000 or 1/500 sec.

It looks to me that the camera was in EXR Auto mode, and it selected DR400. But this should have little bearing on the image blurring that you seem to be having. At 6mm and f3.6, distant objects should be sharp whenever the camera is focused at more than a few feet. Possibly the contrast-detect autofocus got confused by the low-contrast distant objects, and decided to go to miminum focus distance???

Personally, my advice for similar situations would be to focus on a contrasty object a few tens of feet away, recompose (with shutter held at halfway), and shoot. That way, you ought to get a good depth of field right to the horizon.

I haven't had the opportunity to try and duplicate your problem scenario, but when I do I shall report back.

However, it sounds to me as though you're not happy with the camera more generally, and it occurs to me that this must be a common complaint with this model. My advice would be to avoid all the "intelligent" modes, such as EXR Auto - the camera will get it wrong 95% of the time.

For instance, if there is a significant bright highlight in the frame (especially near the centre), the camera will assume that you're interested in capturing all the highlight detail, and wind-in DR400 (say). The result will be (unwanted) highlight detail, at the expense of a low-contrast "flat" main subject. And the photo will look 2-dimensional and poor.

Now, I'm happy to operate in DR400 on sunny days, as it gives me more latitude regarding getting the right exposure, BUT I will sometimes need to post-process the results to get good-looking photos. (I usually adjust the tone curve, actually using Canon software as the Fuji software doesn't seem to like my PC). However, don't be deterred, once you get the hang of it, it's great fun and only takes seconds.

Finally, I VERY STRONGLY recommend you read and take note of Hards80's "sticky" thread at the top of this forum.
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Old Aug 1, 2010, 3:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentode View Post
Grego, sorry to hear you're having problems with your F70EXR. I bought mine a few weeks ago, and feel I might be able to offer a little insight into how to get the best from it:

First of all, let's clear up the aperture issue: the F70EXR is a single aperture lens, in which the f-number is determined by the selected focal length only. So, you have f3.3 at 5mm, up to f5.6 at 50mm.

It may sound strange for a camera to have only one aperture, but there is method in their madness, because any attempt to stop-down the lens would result in noticeable diffraction blurring. Even as it is, diffraction is limiting the resolution of the camera to about 5MP anyway, which is why it's rather pointless to operate at the full 10MP. Note that other P&S cameras with similar lenses (in terms of maximum aperture) are equally compromised.

You may be wondering how the camera is reporting a selected aperture of f7.1. Well, the answer is that, when the camera runs out of shutter speed, it employs a 2-stop (approx) Neutral Density filter to give a stopped-down effect. So, when it reports f7.1, it actually means f3.6 plus ND filter.

You may also be wondering why the camera ran out of shutter speed when it can go up to 1/2000 sec. Well, when you are in expanded dynamic range mode, the camera actually takes 2 concurrent exposures, one at the headline shutter speed, the other (electronically) at either twice the speed or 4x the speed. So the shutter speed is limited to either 1/1000 or 1/500 sec.

It looks to me that the camera was in EXR Auto mode, and it selected DR400. But this should have little bearing on the image blurring that you seem to be having. At 6mm and f3.6, distant objects should be sharp whenever the camera is focused at more than a few feet. Possibly the contrast-detect autofocus got confused by the low-contrast distant objects, and decided to go to miminum focus distance???

Personally, my advice for similar situations would be to focus on a contrasty object a few tens of feet away, recompose (with shutter held at halfway), and shoot. That way, you ought to get a good depth of field right to the horizon.

I haven't had the opportunity to try and duplicate your problem scenario, but when I do I shall report back.

However, it sounds to me as though you're not happy with the camera more generally, and it occurs to me that this must be a common complaint with this model. My advice would be to avoid all the "intelligent" modes, such as EXR Auto - the camera will get it wrong 95% of the time.

For instance, if there is a significant bright highlight in the frame (especially near the centre), the camera will assume that you're interested in capturing all the highlight detail, and wind-in DR400 (say). The result will be (unwanted) highlight detail, at the expense of a low-contrast "flat" main subject. And the photo will look 2-dimensional and poor.

Now, I'm happy to operate in DR400 on sunny days, as it gives me more latitude regarding getting the right exposure, BUT I will sometimes need to post-process the results to get good-looking photos. (I usually adjust the tone curve, actually using Canon software as the Fuji software doesn't seem to like my PC). However, don't be deterred, once you get the hang of it, it's great fun and only takes seconds.

Finally, I VERY STRONGLY recommend you read and take note of Hards80's "sticky" thread at the top of this forum.
Welcome to Steve's and glad you are enjoying your F70.

I'm not sure where the information on the first element came from but looking at all the data sheets, including the info below from Fuji this is the aperture range.

Aperture Wide: F3.3 / F6.4, Telephoto: F5.6 / F11.0

If it were fixed I can't see how they would legally be allowed to advertise otherwise and also I can't see how they could use anything else for light control through the lens for obtaining correct exposure.

I would like to hear more as I don't have the camera so always keen to keep up to speed with what is going on etc.
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Old Aug 2, 2010, 2:03 AM   #10
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Hi Mark1616, and thanks for the kind welcome.

Yes, I agree the aperture situation looks a little bizarre, but let me give you my reasons for my conclusions:

1. The F70EXR manual states "Aperture: F3.3/6.4 (wide angle), F5.6/11.0 (telephoto), uses ND (Neutral Density) filter".

2. In use, at 5mm, for instance, and in P mode, the aperture value will stay at f3.3, the shutter speed varying until it hits its limit (which varies according to the Dynamic Range setting), and then the aperture suddenly switches to f6.4 (the shutter speed plummeting).

3. Kim Letkeman's blog has drawn those very conclusions - please see the following article (paragraph 3):

http://kimletkeman.blogspot.com/2010...s-details.html

The above is one of several of his articles mentioning this issue.

Perhaps his most useful article, in general, is this one (it's how Hards80 arrived at his settings recommendations, if I remember correctly):

http://kimletkeman.blogspot.com/2009...t-it-mkii.html

Regarding the camera in general (or the "EXR" system, to be more pricise), I think it's a really good innovation from Fuji, and they're to be congratulated. To those unfamiliar with the concept, they've come up with a sensor which allows the pixels to be split into 2 side-by-side groups. More info here:

http://fujifilm.co.uk/presscentre/ne...ex.php?id=1378

This gives the opportunity to take 2 photos at the same time, one at (up to) 4x the (electronic) shutter speed. These are then combined to give an expanded-dynamic-range image.

The only problem with this is that excessive use of this mode can result in the main subject of a picture being of low contrast (in order that the low/highlights details can be accommodated). This has, I think, resulted in user disappointment. (However, this problem is one that can be easily corrected in the "darkroom").

To sum up, I think the F70EXR is a clever camera, with a very good lens, but is perhaps more suited to the experienced user who doesn't want to lug a DSLR around all the time.

By the way, in case you're wondering at my forum name, it's because I'm an electronics engineer who was brought up in the days of the vacuum tube (and a pentode is a flavour of tube, or "valve" as we say over here), and I'm also a Pentax person. (Talking of which, are Fuji the Pentax of the P&S world?)
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