View Full Version : Will I be happy with a F10?
01-03-2006, 08:51 PM
After nearly a full week of studying dcresource.com and dpreview.com, I have narrowed down my first digital cam choices to the Canon 450/550, Sony DSC 90 or 200, or the Fuji F10.
I am really drawn to the F10 on account of the low light sensitivity. Can this cam be used indoors at night with typical room light conditions without flash? I have concerns about redeye, whether they be realistic or not, and want to eliminate it upfront as much as possible. This is why I was considering the Sony cams until I read about their propensity for dust infiltration onto the sensor! My only concerns with the Fuji would be redeye with flash, no optical viewfinder, and some reports of slight purple fringing.
Any comments from F10 owners would be gratefully appreciated.
01-04-2006, 07:54 PM
Of all the concerns that you mentioned, the purple fringing is what bothers me the most about my F10, but it is only an occasional problem. It helps a bit if I dial in some negative exposure compensation. I notice it the most when taking pictures of something dark against a bright but cloud-filled (i.e. white) sky, especially when the dark object is backlit. As a rule I try to avoid taking pictures like that because I find that they don't turn out very well anyway, regardless of the purple fringing problem.
Redeye with flash - yes, it happens, but you'll see that with almost any compact digicam; the flash is simply too close to the lens. Using the red-eye reduction setting for the flash helps a bit, but usually I just do some editing in Paint Shop Pro afterwards.
The lack of an optical viewfinder doesn't bother me nearly as much as I thought it would. In terms of visibility, the LCD is very usable in dim lighting because it "gains up" automatically. Outdoors in bright sunlight, viewing an image on the LCD is more difficult, but I find it sufficiently visible to compose my shots. If I really need it, there is a way to brighten the LCD by pressing a button.
These concerns aside, the F10 is really a wonderful little camera and IMO the good (high ISO capability, battery life, generally excellent image quality, reliable autofocus) far outweighs the bad.
Edited to correct: In the first paragraph I originally said, "bright, cloudless sky." I meant to say, "bright but cloud-filled (i.e. white) sky."
01-04-2006, 08:37 PM
Thanks for your comments. A few follow-up questions if you don't mind...
Regarding the purple fringe, we have a lot of bright, cloudless days where I live. Will landscape problems be a problem for me (mountains against the sky, etc.) unless I use the exposure compensation?
I've been really concerned about redeye with the Fuji and Canons. It seems the only cam that doesn't have a propensity towards redeye is the Sony. However, I'm intrigued by the low light sensitivity of the Fuji and hope I can get away without using flash for a lot of my indoor shots (at least during the day). Regarding flash, does your F10 perform well with full automatic control of ISO or do you manually lower the ISO? One person on dpreview.com said he was not happy with flash photos with auto control of ISO.
Regarding the post processing software. Do you have a recommendation for someone new to digital cameras? I want something that is good for redeye removal. I heard about Adobe version 9 Elements CS2, but it is quite costly.
PS I enjoyed your gallery. Your folks look like delightful people!
01-04-2006, 10:49 PM
Ack! Sorry, I didn't mean to say "cloudless sky." I meant to say, "cloud-filled sky," i.e. when it is just about completely white. I've edited my post above.
I don't think I've ever had problems with blue, cloudless skies and purple fringing (sadly, here on the wet coast of Canada, that's a weather condition we don't see very often).
To be honest, I never use auto ISO on my F10, although I've put it on auto ISO for the sake of testing (some of the results are posted on my site). The camera does tend to choose higher ISO's than I feel is necessary, and, as a result, higher shutter speeds than I really need (I can hold the camera pretty steady down to 1/60s, which is average) - it's as if the camera errs on the side of caution.
If I'm outdoors, I always set the camera to the lowest ISO, which is 80. The only time I increase it is when the camera tells me that the shutter speed has dropped below 1/60s (the shutter speed is displayed on the LCD when you half-press the shutter button - one of my favourite features of the F10).
If I'm indoors with artificial lighting and I need to use the flash, I take into account the camera-to-subject-distance and the focal length that I'm using, and set the ISO manually (e.g. if I'm about 8 feet or more away and I have the lens at maximum telephoto, I set the ISO to 800, or else the subject will likely be underexposed). I've had the F10 long enough now that I'm familiar with how it performs, so this isn't such a big deal to me.
But a lot of users, especially new ones, will be very put off at the idea of having to fiddle with the camera. The good news is that if you're indoors with normal room lighting and you set it to auto ISO, the camera will usually choose 800, and the F10's ISO 800 is relatively clean, so you'll still end up with good pictures. I've read your thread over at dpreview and I know that a couple of people have been telling you conflicting things, but in a way I think that they're both right. I can certainly see both points of view, anyway. You'll get good results with the auto setting, but you'll get even better results if you get familiar with your camera and learn to choose a few settings on your own.
Regarding post-processing software, I have to confess that it's never been my forte. I do very little with my photos, and only fix red-eye if it's absolutely atrocious. From what I've read, Adobe Photoshop Elements is very good and there are a lot of how-to books published for it, so it would be my first recommendation. It isn't actually all that expensive - maybe you're thinking of the full-blown Photoshop CS2, which is what pros use and costs hundreds of dollars. Jasc (now Corel) Paint Shop Pro is the only one I've ever used and I like it just fine, but of course I can't compare it to anything. I've also heard some good things about Ulead PhotoImpact.
Thanks for visiting my gallery, BTW. Yeah, my folks put up with my photography obsession; sometimes you can even get me to admit that they're pretty awesome parents. :)
01-05-2006, 11:00 AM
I want to add a little word of caution about red eye. You mentioned that the Sony (can't remember which model) was immune from the problem. I don't think so, it might have been the test conditions... I still have to find a compact cam whose flash doesn't induce redeye, it's just too close to the lens. Every now and then I get redeye with my large external flash on the EOS350D!
01-05-2006, 11:01 AM
Therefore, if you want a compact, just go with what you feel comfortable with, and don't worry about red eye... Because if you use the flash you WILL get red eye :D
01-05-2006, 09:07 PM
Thanks to the both of you for your kind replies.
Have either of you tried the Fuji E-900? Someone on dpreview thought it might have less redeye on account of the pop-up flash.
Stephanie: Did you ever consider the F11 I was reading about on dpreview? Apparently it was never officially released in the US but some folks have bought it with US warranty from Hawaii. I understand the main differences over the F10 are better resolution LCD and A&S priorities. How do you find the resolution on your F10 LCD?
01-05-2006, 10:30 PM
I have not tried the E-900, although it makes sense that the pop-up flash would produce less red-eye. My previous digicam was the Olympus Camedia D-460Z, which also had a pop-up flash, and I experienced less red-eye with that camera than I do with my F10.
I purchased my F10 back in May, which was long before the F11 was announced. The F11 has not been released in Canada, either. I would seriously consider purchasing it, though, if it became available in this country, because I would really like to have aperture and shutter priority modes. However I don't think it's enough of an upgrade for me to purchase a grey market version, or even one with a U.S. warranty only (too much of a hassle, if I need repair work done).
I don't have a problem with the clarity of the LCD on my F10, I'm satisfied with it. Sure it would be nice if the resolution was higher. But it's enough for me to tell, most of the time, if the picture that I've just taken is sharp or not. If I'm in doubt I use the zoom function in playback.
01-06-2006, 12:42 AM
I too did a bunch of research and decided on the F10 for the same reason as you.....no flash in lower light. I'm still toddling around with it but last night I took it with me to dinner at a friend's...this friend happens to be a well reagarded photographer/artist and curator at a major museum....and I gave him the camera to play with.
He LOVED it. He uses large format cameras and I though he would object to no viewfinder...but he rolled his eyes and said does not matter one bit. I agree. I thought I'd mind it, but I don't...plus it gives me more flexibility in positioning myself for a shot (well the canon has a really flexible LCD...but not as big).
Also makes shooting more discreet...(heehee)
I'm no use on the purple fringing...haven't experienced it yet.
good luck. its fun to research this stuff!
01-06-2006, 09:21 PM
That's a pretty valuable endorsement from your friend. Thank you for sharing that.
Did you consider the F11 at all? I'm pretty sure my choice will now be between the F10 and F11.
Stephanie: if you could do it over again and could get a non-grey market F11 for $90 additional USD, would you do it?
Aren't these sites great? It is amazing how much you can learn from the reviews and aren't the people fantastic?!
01-07-2006, 12:15 AM
If the F11 had been available in Canada at the time that I purchased my F10, absolutely, I would have paid the extra money to get it. I want to have as much control as possible over my pictures. In fact, before I bought the F10, I was certain that my next digicam would have aperture and shutter priority modes, and manual focus ability. I use a film SLR (still) and was in love with the fact that I could have almost that much control in a compact camera.
But even more important to me was being able to shoot at higher ISO's without worrying about too much noise. So when the F10 came out and got such good reviews for its low light capability, I decided that I just couldn't wait anymore!
I'm still really hoping that the F11 or its successor will be released in North America some day.
I really like this forum too, and the main site. Jeff's reviews are great; they tell me what I want to know without getting too technical.
Let us know what you end up buying and be sure to post some pictures!
01-18-2006, 11:09 PM
I wanted to thank everyone here for all their information regarding the F10/F11. I have purchased the F11 from Shirokiya in Hawaii and very highly recommend this retailer.
Special thanks go to Stephanie for all her thorough and prompt information. :)
If anyone is interested, you can read more about the information I obtained about the F11, USA warranty, Shirokiya, FujiFilmHawaii and FujiFilmUSA, etc. at www.dpreview.com. Their server is down right now so I can't provide the direct link, but go to FujiFilm Talk forum, and search for my post using keyword Shirokiya.
01-19-2006, 12:14 AM
Let us know how you like it!!:D
02-13-2006, 08:25 AM
Have you any feedback on the F11?
I bought the S9500 and tobe honest, a) I find it to be more cumbersome than I'd hoped, and b) Out of the 200 shots I have taken, I'm only happy with 10% of them!!
It has an annoying feature of keeping all your changed settings ISO etc even when you switch to one of the "Auto" settings... (nightshot, Natural light etc...)
I'm thinking of chopping in for the F11 as I want to go back to a P&S camera, but have the ability to use manual where I want! But the key thing for me (as it seems to be for most on here) is to be able to shooty indoors without flash, and come out with a good picture! The other is moving subjects, mostly outdoors, but again occasionally indoors.
Any feedback would be great, and if you can post some pictures, even better!
02-13-2006, 12:36 PM
Yes, I did purchase the F11 and so far have been very happy with it. It seems to be a very well built camera. The large screen is great and the menus are very easy to learn. I been mostly using Manual mode, where one can control nearly everything except the aperture and priority selection. I have found it very user friendly, and at the same time, a camera that at least for me, has more to learn done the road - such as the aperture and shutter priority modes.
So far, I have only been playing around with the low light capabilities of the camera. Coming direct from an old Nikon FE, I has always equated low light = use flash. I didn't have an appreciation for the warmth and ambience of a photo taken without flash. For the past two weekends, I have been poking around at our local museum experimenting with the low light capabilities of the F11. I have been very impressed. While everyone else was using flash like crazy, I simply flipped on Natural Scene mode (which auto ranges up to 1600 ISO) and clicked away. Many times the shutter speed was pretty slow (I'm talking as slow as 1/10 sec or so) but I found by bracing myself against something, I could get a pretty good shot.
If you go to dpreview.com, you should read the review on the Canon SD 450. In that review, they refer to the F10 as the "benchmark for a P&S camera". That's a pretty strong endorsement if you ask me! You should also read the F10 review on dpreview.com, if you haven't done so already.
Sorry, no pictures yet. I am totally new to this and need to explore various photo hosting sites.
I do recommend however, you surf over to the fuji forum at dpreview.com. They have a MUCH more active board than this one and I have learned tons from the fine folks there.
If you decide to go with the F11, let me know and I will tell you a great place to buy one.
02-17-2006, 08:11 AM
Cheers for the feedback, and apologies for not replying sooner.
I am now Cameraless and am looking at my options...
Did have a look at an F11 the other day, nice looking camera.
Had a brief look at the Fuji Forum over on the site and you're right, a little more active than this.
I will scan through there in depth soon and see what I can pick up. In the meantime, if you work out any pics then if you can upload them, fantastic!!
02-19-2006, 12:16 PM
I have just bought the Fuji F11, and think very highly of it so far. Pictures are very good and it is nice to handle.
However, the two things I could wish for are firstly and most obviously an optical stabilisation and secondly I find the AF-assist lamp that the camera uses to focus in darker condition very, very wrong. I am sure this could be in a different colour and intensity.
It is bright green!
It really is this colour. Forget making a secret snapshot. People do turn around, when they see the green light, so I tend to press the button halfway down so the camera can focus and hold it there until people forget about me again to make the shot.
It is really very bright! You can't repeatedly hold the camera close into peoples faces without making yourself very unpopular. It makes you almost squint, when you turn the camera on yourself to make a photo.
Two days ago at a birthday party with a typical rather dark houseparty illumination, one of my friends had one unknown specimen of the Lumix DMCFX range, which has a mild and soft orange AF-assist lamp combined with panasonic's optical stabilisation. The experience of taking snapshots with this camera was much more pleasurable than with my F11, which I took out of its pouch for only a few shots, as not to get thumped on the head by someone, after my host complained about the bright light in her face.
However, already from the Lumix's screen it became obvious,when zooming in, that my friend would not have a single printable shot, as the pixeling was much worse than my few shots with the F11.
P.S. JUST READ HOW YOU CAN SWITCH OFF THE AF-ASSIST LAMP IN THREAD: green focus light...can you get rid of it?
Go to page 2 of your set up menu and loo for AF illuminator. On-off.
02-19-2006, 07:54 PM
Yup. Easy to switch off. I take lots of photos in movie theaters, and I turn it off.
It will stay in OFF mode until you clear it...at least in SP or M...
02-26-2006, 04:28 PM
I just bought the F10 and I'm having "grainy" issues with the pictures. I have tried with and without a flash and they just look grainier to me than my Olympus C4000 images. Am I doing something wrong?
Here is a picture I took, indoors, with the flash:
I don't know how well the graininess shows up in that example, but maybe you can see it.
02-26-2006, 05:28 PM
I just bought the F10 and I'm having "grainy" issues with the pictures. I have tried with and without a flash and they just look grainier to me than my Olympus C4000 images. Am I doing something wrong?
I can't read the EXIF data off of your picture so I can't tell what ISO your F10 was using. But keep in mind that if you have the camera set to auto ISO, it will choose whatever it deems necessary to capture a properly exposed scene while keeping the shutter speed fast enough to prevent blur. In my opinion, sometimes it chooses ISO's that are unnecessarily high, and higher ISO means more grain.
So, let's say that your F10 was using ISO 800. You will probably notice more grain in the photo than in a similar photo taken by your Olympus C4000. But it's not really a fair comparison because the Oly only goes to ISO 400 and, I believe, won't go to it very often even in auto ISO mode because the grain and picture quality would be horrid. If you want a true comparison you have to manually set both cameras to the same ISO. Where the Fuji really shines is in higher ISO's (400 and above) compared with other compact cameras using the same higher ISO's. But the F10's ISO 400 will still produce noticeably grainier pictures than ones that it takes at ISO 80, for example.
So, to reduce grain in your pictures, manually set the ISO to the lowest that you can get away with, and by that, I mean, watch your shutter speed. Anything slower than 1/60s may produce blur due to camera movement, and if your subject is moving you'll need faster shutter speeds to capture it's movement as well.
02-26-2006, 06:06 PM
Well, that would explain it. I didn't realize it but, for some reason, I was using AUTO mode for that shot and I had set the ISO to 1600. I must have done it the other day and forgot about it.
Some of the shots I used the Natural Light setting. The whole reason I wanted this camera was to be able to take indoor shots with minimal use of the flash.
02-27-2006, 09:16 AM
The F10 (and the upcoming F30) is still the best compact camera for taking hand-held indoor pictures without flash (the Panasonic models with IS are good too, but only with subjects that don't move).
I don't like to use Natural Light Mode, though, because it almost always pushes the ISO to 1600, even if ISO 800 (which is far less grainy) will do.
If you have the time to do this when you're taking pictures, I would recommend manually setting the ISO instead, and checking your shutter speed to see if its fast enough. If you're shooting indoors, most of the time ISO 400 or 800 will do if there's natural light coming in from a window. If you're relying totally on artificial light, you'll usually have to depend on ISO 1600, unfortunately. But that's still better than most compact cameras which will not even give you that option. Plus, the F10's ISO 1600 pictures look decent when they're reduced to proper viewing size, and will probably look okay when printed out to 4"x6" (although I've never tried it).
02-27-2006, 01:36 PM
If you have the time to do this when you're taking pictures, I would recommend manually setting the ISO instead, and checking your shutter speed to see if its fast enough. If you're shooting indoors, most of the time ISO 400 or 800 will do if there's natural light coming in from a window. If you're relying totally on artificial light, you'll usually have to depend on ISO 1600,
Totally agreee with it. Just take your time n play with the ISO. It will definitely give u better pics. :)
Try avoiding the Natural Light mode if possible... when you are indoor,just try to play with the ISO, you will definitely be amazed how well the pics will turn out without using the flash.
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