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Old Mar 19, 2004, 12:17 PM   #31
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For all who want to get involved, here is a preliminary draft of the letter I wrote. I took some time and effort. Corrections, suggestions and coments appreciated (except from pookiepookie)

We are the proud owners of the FinePix S7000 camera. Many of us have other Fuji cameras and use your film based products extensively. Overall we are satisfied with the product. There is one major shortcoming that we were hoping you might be able to help us with. The native JPEG compression is too high and degrades the images stored in JPEG format by the camera by introducing digital noise.

This is listed in all the digital camera review sites as a major flaw with this particular model. It is possible to adjust JPEG compression amounts with software modifications. Would it be possible to offer a modified camera firmware to allow the user to adjust the compression level of the internal JPEG algorithm? I have seen similar updates from other manufacturers; in fact Fuji has done it for the FinePix F700 which can now be made compatible with PictBridge by updating with free firmware.

If you could help in this regard it would be most appreciated. Not only that, it would make a very good camera into a fantastic camera and correct the major deficiency cited by every review of the product (image noise.) It would also do wonders for Fujifilm’s consumer image (look at the digital camera forums everyone complains about image noise with the S7000 as well as the lack of firmware updates for digital cameras.) If Fuji proactively fixed this problem people would be more inclined to purchase this or another Fuji product knowing the manufacturer supported them with needed updates. Sony has done this with the DSC-D700 as follows:

range expansion:

Before upgrade
ISO100 1/30-1/2000 seconds
ISO200 1/30-1/2000 seconds
ISO400 1/30-1/2000 seconds

After Upgrade
ISO100 1/8-1/2000 seconds
ISO200 1/15-1/2000 seconds
ISO400 1/30-1/2000 seconds

Before upgrade
Fixed at 1/125 seconds.

After upgrade
The self adjustment in proportion to surrounding brightness.

Toshiba and Minolta have also released similar firmware updates to improve, add features or fix problems with their products and consumers commend and support them for doing it. Both Toshiba and Canon have released firmware updates to allow users to use larger media (Canon released a FAT32 update to allow owners to use 4Gig Microdrives, something we would also like for the S2, S7000 and S602) these companies are applauded for this in the media, forums, internet, traditional publication reviews and more importantly for your considerations by consumers in the form of return business! We know Fuji would enjoy similar favor from the digital camera enthusiasts as well as general consumer population. It would boost you companies popularity tremendously and no doubt have a very favorable impact on your sales and market share.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and thank you for any effort you can make on behalf of this request. Your time, effort and kind consideration are most appreciated by all of us.
Respectfully,

So what do you think?
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 1:55 PM   #32
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A seven [7] name petition, yes divedr, that should certainly get the full attention and resourses or Fuji.

The camera is presently capable of exactly what your petition demands, simply by adjusting the settings to RAW or 12 MP F.

This is something Fuji is perfectly aware of, use the correct format...

So your petition is for a fix for what it is already capable of, amusing...but misguided.
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 2:29 PM   #33
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The s7000 is an awsome product as is but, add my name to the petition. You might include a comment that S7000 users might be willing to pay $$ for the right FW update. The camera is too good to consider upgrading and, Fuji's newest products are hard to justify the cost of replacement.

.....An ASA 100 (or less) sensitivity option would be extremely useful. That alone will likely reduce the noise complaints. [The JPEG compression thing is technically difficult to buy. 12MP-F (98-99%) and 12MP-N (93-95%) are pretty damm close. I doubt reducing the 6MP compression agressivness will buy much. What might produce interesting improvement is for Fuji to change the interpolation of the sCCD to skip the uplift to 12MP and go directly (somehow) to a raw and/or Fine 6MP PIC. Maybe the s7raw.exe architect can figure this one out.]

.....The suggested speed range extensions/changes are nice but how about an F11?

.....The VGA movie mode should NOT disable the zoom.

.....The forced 3MP downgrade when selecting ASA800 should not disable the digital zoom feature. I shoot hockey PICs and need a fast shutter and sacrificeing the big file limits off-camera cropping. The additional didgital zoom while taking the 3MP/ASA800 PIC would compensate some.

.....The FAT16 2GB limit is no big deal. My opinion is that multiple 1GB CF's (and/or XDs) and swap-outs are logically better.
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 3:05 PM   #34
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johnimage, you raise a good point , I might be willing to pay for as you put it "the right firmware update." But still I wish Fuji would give it to us for free like other manufacturers do.

I think you are right ISO 100 would probably fix the noise issue entirely but I don't know if that is technically possible. Full ISO range in all modes would be nice too (but I think that is a dream.) I think less compression is possible because when you post process a RAW file you can produce a 4-5Meg JPEG without any observable noise. The problem is many of the cameras features are not available in RAW mode (of particular interest to you might be continuous shooting for sporting events which is not available in RAW mode.)

If you want to tweak this letter or post this idea in other forums you might know of where we may get a favorable response please do so.

There is also a considerable amount of noise on this thread (and forum for that matter) so I have developed and implemented a local "pookiepookie filter" if anyone wants a copy please pm me and I'll e-mail it to you!
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Old Mar 19, 2004, 5:26 PM   #35
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You seem to be one very unhappy camper divedr,

"http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=21718&highlight="

"The S7000 is a powerhouse. With Adobe Photoshop CS to post-process RAW files it produces spectacular photos. In 12 megapixel "fine" mode it takes seriously good photos.

Having owned at least 10 digitals (Sony, Toshiba, Fuji, Canon, etc...) I can honestly say this is one of if not the best for the price. The only thing that could make it better would be firmware which allows for internal JPEG compression variability.".


You have owned at least 10 digital cameras, yet you bought another, obviously unacceptable one. Now you want it to be different than it is... can we say owned "at least 11 different digital cameras"?

Why not do some research, find one that actually meets all your requirements, buy it, and be content?
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 11:07 AM   #36
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I found a contact person at Fuji's NE headquarters (via a friend in the same building, different company!) Evidently they are hard to find and out of courtesy I was asked not to publish the name or address.

I want to send this letter or a revision based on your suggestions or additions. Another forum member and myself are looking into the noise issue and it may not be related to compression as we initially thought. It may have to do with ISO settings or something else. I also think if anyone knows of another forum where we might find some other interested parties, we should wait until we have posted the letter there and have greater numbers.

Then we can organize, assemble a list of names and send the letter via mail to Fuji's contact directly.
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 6:11 PM   #37
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Take a look here, they also send a petition to Fuji ( about 200 users signed for it) but noe results.

http://www.s5000.net/forums/yaBB/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 9:49 PM   #38
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Default I like the ISO 200

One thing I do like about the Fuji is that the ISO 200 does as good a job as other cameras at ISO 100. Take a look at some other cameras at ISO 200 and the noise is almost untolerable in some brands. Especially the ones that start out at ISO 50.

I think the compression issue is the real issue in most cases at least for me. I would really like to see some lower compression settings on the smaller 6MP/3MP image sizes.

As for Photoshops RAW converter, I have compared the fuji one with the RAW and the 12MP fine and there really apprears to be little difference. It is nice to be able to change settings with Photoshop but thats an expensive piece of software. More expensive than the camera. You can use the Fuji converter and then modify the images just as well with a less expensive program like Ulead Photo Impact.
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Old Mar 20, 2004, 11:51 PM   #39
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Firstly...

1) I'm still for petitioning FUJI for a firmware update to address some quirks of the s7000.
2) Since the s7000 is a 12MP native-mode camera, can we avoid concentrating so much on its 6MP output. I certainly do not want to campaign them to concentrate on the 6MP quality.
3) If we talk about noise, can we better define what it looks like?
(I'm not really sure what to look for. I just see great PICs)

Secondly... Regarding the compression myth .....

My personal tests so far show that jpeg compression has little to do with any visible-definable noise issue. Besides, it is not "aggressive." The S7000's 12MP-Fine JPEG compression is typically measured at above 98%. The 12MP-Normal output is about 3 or 4% less.

We all know that the 12MP presentation on a CRT is huge. The grainy stuff especially visible in blue-sky is sometimes considered noise. Some refer to this as a natural Fuji sCCD-effect. In my test prints, it is difficult for me to detect any other visible imperfections at up to 300% PS size. At 400% and higher, color fringing and color aberrations (mostly on edges) become visible but, so does "Pixelation."

The difference between 12MP-fine and 12MP-normal on these imperfections is miniscule. So, any JPEG compression differences are not at all obvious. In fact, PICs appear better (to my eyes) when using the 12MP-Normal. I now use the 12MP-Nprmal setting exclusively. (The smaller file size has many advantages.) Likewise, differences between 12MP-F and 12MP-N are indistinguishable on 8x10 prints from my Color860, even with a magnifying glass.

What few shots and tests I've taken at 6MP are limited. The 6MP (normal) jpeg compression is indeed a bit more than the 12MP-Normal (approx 90%). But, I think any noise, noise amplification, and other imperfections are unlikely attributable to compression.

I am unsure why the fuss at 6MP anyway. My guess is that the 6MP images from the s7000 could never compare to 6MP-native-mode cameras anyway. This is likely due to the additional Fuji processing done to reduce the native-mode12MP interpolated output down to selected 6MP.
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Old Mar 21, 2004, 11:43 AM   #40
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Quote:
My guess is that the 6MP images from the s7000 could never compare to 6MP-native-mode cameras anyway. This is likely due to the additional Fuji processing done to reduce the native-mode12MP interpolated output down to selected 6MP.
Actually, if you use the Fuji S2 as a reference...... it's 6MP downsampled files sizes still contains slightly more useful resolution then 6MP native cameras it has been compared too in controlled tests.

-Chris
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