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shatterspeed
02-04-2009, 03:55 PM
Anyone excited about this?

I just have one question in mind. It says, full-manual, but I don't see any Shutter priority in the details. Can anyone clarify if Shutter is in fact included in this new killer toy by Fujifilm?

tim11
02-04-2009, 05:27 PM
Don't trust Fuji M mode. On mine it simply is P mode on some other cameras. I am as baffled if S priority mode is included and after checking Fuji website I'm no clearer to the truth either.

bascom
02-05-2009, 12:18 PM
This Japanese site has sample F200 photos:

http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=hp&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdc.watch.impress.co.jp%2Fcda%2Frevi ew%2F2009%2F02%2F05%2F10144.html&sl=ja&tl=en

A lot of barrel distortion on the wide angle shot of bricks. Otherwise they look good to me.

Beowulff
02-06-2009, 04:13 AM
I'm confused too LOL.

I was interested to read about the new EXR sensor array HERE (http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/F200EXR/F200EXRA.HTM). Seems to make a lot of sense to me (theoretically), but like all these "great" new ideas, I guess time will tell?

Cheers :)

cdifoto
02-06-2009, 04:49 AM
Look at the mode dial. If there's no A/S setting, it doesn't have Aperture or Shutter Priority. "M" has always been Program mode. Fuji are sleazy in that regard. I also don't see why the the "low noise priority EXR" has to be a SHOOTING MODE. It should be a processing function independent of the exposure mode chosen. In other words, I should get that EXR quality in Av, Tv, M, or any other idiot mode on the camera. I shouldn't have to switch to EXR and give up some control to get it. It also shouldn't cut my resolution in half.

I'll wait for the F300EXR. Hopefully they'll smarten up by then.

malamut
03-13-2009, 12:59 PM
Another look at the mode dial (and at the already-published user's manual) show that, this time, Mode P is really named Mode P, and Mode M is a real Mode M. In addition, there is a mode A (mode P can be switched between P and A using a menu entry).

There is no mode S, but also no need for such a mode. The aperture has only two settings. Fixing the shutter speed and letting the camera choose one of only two aperture settings doesn't make much sense. Just use mode M, choose one of the only two apertures (usually open aperture, I reckon), choose your shutter speed, and there's all the mode S you'll ever need with this camera. :)

By the way, some reviews on other sites suggest that the EXR really can deliver. Dynamic range seems to be bigger than with any other compact camera (including those with a SuperCCD SR), and HighISO performance looks a bit better than with F30 and F31fd.

@Jeff: if you ever do a F200EXR review, please have a look at how it behaves in 'normal' modes (Auto, P, M) with picture size set to 6MP. It has already been verified that then setting DR to more than 100% will automatically switch the camera to EXR DR mode. Some people have also suggested that choosing DR=100% and a high ISO setting, e.g. 3200, will automatically switch the camera to EXR SN mode. Since the special EXR SN mode which can be chosen manually is limited to ISO1600, this would be an important issue. Please include 6MP ISO3200 pictures in your review, if you are doing one - no-one else has done that so far.

Best Regards,
malamut

dotbalm
03-20-2009, 05:16 PM
There is no mode S, but also no need for such a mode. The aperture has only two settings. Fixing the shutter speed and letting the camera choose one of only two aperture settings doesn't make much sense. Just use mode M, choose one of the only two apertures (usually open aperture, I reckon), choose your shutter speed, and there's all the mode S you'll ever need with this camera. :)

Best Regards,
malamut

How can you say there is "no need" for a S mode?

How can you deterministically and reliably freeze motion, whether at a kids' birthday, the zoo, or sporting event (we're not talking dslr + pro glass, just someone with a p&s at one of these venues)?

How about flowers and foliage which inevitably bow to the wind?

How about bugs in flight, birds in flight, kites, a toddler giving his mama a kiss?

None of these is within reach of the F200's capability unless either the fixed iris or the ND filter + fixed iris provide the aperture needed at a given ISO (and focal length).

It would be more accurate to say it wouldn't be "useful" - i.e., it would be terribly frustrating and of limited capability - to have only two shutter speed choices given a fixed ISO since the aperture can only be A or B at a given focal length.

And yet... they include aperture priority. MG

It's a poor implementation imho. If they kept the price "down" by not providing a traditional p&s aperture, they blew it...again...mho.

Rooz
03-20-2009, 10:08 PM
the shot to shot and AF times are a greater inhibitor to those action sequences you were talking about. looks pretty solid to me.

dotbalm
03-21-2009, 08:44 AM
the shot to shot and AF times are a greater inhibitor to those action sequences you were talking about.

The original question is regarding S mode on a p&s.

The ability to acquire focus and shoot in a burst is of dubious use if the moving subject - whether it's a flight, a flinch or a flitter - is blurry.

Subject blur ruins every shot for which it's not intended, and it's virtually always intended.

S mode is the solution to the problem, but shot-to-shot times and AF target acquisition are important. All the systems need to work well together, but they are not the greatest inhibitor given AF lock, and they are not expected on a p&s.

Many of the shot types I mention are typical p&s subject matter, both regularly and occasionally and S mode (plus AF lock) will facilitate sharp captures.

Nothing kills a photo like blurriness (or blown highlights), so I'll take one sharp image over any number of blurry ones where focus was nevertheless achieved and shot-to-shot times yielded many pics.

With S mode, I can anticipate a shot, lock focus and get the one shot, sharp, w/o fast shot-to-shot or AF times. I can also mitigate camera shake such as taking a shot from a boat or idling vehicle, in addition to utilizing OIS (as in "belts and suspenders"). Shutter lag is a big deal and contributes to shot-to-shot times, but it can be dealt with given AF and AE lock.

For birds in flight and more challenging shots, shot-to-shot and AF times can be critical, so serious birders will choose another solution, but the occasional "birder" is best served by S mode on their p&s. Bugs don't solely alight on a flower and leave, they flit from flower to flower, sometimes hovering and returning to the same one. So AF time isn't critical, it can be locked.

There are so many other moving subjects on a daily basis, at venues, events, celebrations and around the house that w/o a solid S mode one is relegated to the usual p&s hit-and-miss motion blur.

Certain grab shots just won't come out. I can be on one swing while my son is on another and still take a sharp pic though both of us are moving.

I don't know any p&s users who don't want sharp subjects, but not all of them want to lug a bridge or dslr cam w/ outstanding shot-to-shot and AF times.

It would be interesting to know how many p&s cams there are with those two features that don't have S mode.

Of the three features - S mode, *fast* AF times and *fast* shot-to-shot times - you'd be more likely to find a p&s with S mode, which is why this p&s a fair target for scrutiny re S mode.

cdifoto
03-21-2009, 09:03 AM
Shutter Priority mode isn't the only answer to avoiding blur.

There are other ways. Like an ISO high and an aperture wide to guarantee that the shutter speed you want is the minimum. Or all Manual if your camera supports it.

Serious birders and action photographers aren't going to be using a pocketable P&S, or even a superzoom bridge camera for that matter. They're going to be using a digital SLR and the big daddy optics.

I'd even venture to say that most folks carrying a pocket size P&S at social functions aren't even moving away from Auto. They probably don't even know what those other symbols mean.

dotbalm
03-21-2009, 12:16 PM
Shutter Priority mode isn't the only answer to avoiding blur.

There are other ways. Like an ISO high and an aperture wide to guarantee that the shutter speed you want is the minimum. Or all Manual if your camera supports it.

Serious birders and action photographers aren't going to be using a pocketable P&S, or even a superzoom bridge camera for that matter. They're going to be using a digital SLR and the big daddy optics.

I'd even venture to say that most folks carrying a pocket size P&S at social functions aren't even moving away from Auto. They probably don't even know what those other symbols mean.

Re your 1st sentence, that is why I stated what I did in the 5th sentence of my original post.

Re your 2nd sentence, of course, but you are backing into it in A mode, not deterministically setting it. In M mode, yes, but most people would have an easier time with S mode than M mode, since S mode is more 'automatic' than M.

Re 3rd sentence - of course, as previously stated in my 2nd post, but that doesn't mean casual shooters with a p&s should not get the shot or back into it with A mode. Why not leave out A mode? The DOF on a small sensor camera enables limited control for shallow DOF. If anything, this is a more dubious feature in a p&s than S mode.

Re last sentence - yep, but the question by the OP was re S mode. And this poster is not the only one who would like to deterministically set the shutter speed, and perhaps the ISO, and let the camera choose the aperture. In this camera's design, with only 2 aperture values per focal length, it's severely limited...moreso than most p&s'.

cdifoto
03-21-2009, 12:48 PM
Re your 1st sentence, that is why I stated what I did in the 5th sentence of my original post.

Re your 2nd sentence, of course, but you are backing into it in A mode, not deterministically setting it. In M mode, yes, but most people would have an easier time with S mode than M mode, since S mode is more 'automatic' than M.

Re 3rd sentence - of course, as previously stated in my 2nd post, but that doesn't mean casual shooters with a p&s should not get the shot or back into it with A mode. Why not leave out A mode? The DOF on a small sensor camera enables limited control for shallow DOF. If anything, this is a more dubious feature in a p&s than S mode.

Re last sentence - yep, but the question by the OP was re S mode. And this poster is not the only one who would like to deterministically set the shutter speed, and perhaps the ISO, and let the camera choose the aperture. In this camera's design, with only 2 aperture values per focal length, it's severely limited...moreso than most p&s'.
They're all different means to the same end. The point is you don't need a shutter priority mode...especially when the aperture choices are extremely limited.

dotbalm
03-23-2009, 11:28 AM
They're all different means to the same end. The point is you don't need a shutter priority mode...especially when the aperture choices are extremely limited.

I agree with your first sentence. However, there are more convenient (and deterministic) means and less convenient means. I believe the camera's pinhole + ND filter design makes it far less convenient or even capable of capturing and entire major class of photos where the subject moves or the camera shakes beyond that which OIS can compensate.

Re the second sentence, this is where I see a distinct difference of opinion. What I stated in my original post, 3rd-to-last sentences re not "needing" S mode was:

It would be more accurate to say it wouldn't be "useful" - i.e., it would be terribly frustrating and of limited capability - to have only two shutter speed choices given a fixed ISO since the aperture can only be A or B at a given focal length.

To that I'll add another scenario, if there were a S mode and aperture were dynamic as we'd expect it in that mode, it would only have two options, thereby causing the camera to have to use auto-ISO, and then what it's doing is jumping up or down in stepwise fashion re not just speed and ambient light if using flash, but also re noise.

For the above reasons S mode wouldn't be useful.

Given that the camera has M and P modes doesn't - again, imho - mean it's not needed. That's all.

I see your points, my view is different in some ways. Have a good day.

cdifoto
03-23-2009, 11:42 AM
I think we can agree though that the camera is half-assed. :D

dotbalm
03-23-2009, 12:33 PM
I think we can agree though that the camera is half-assed. :D

LOL, cough cough.

Totally...

malamut
03-27-2009, 05:38 AM
...oops... I just noticed I missed a few postings before sending my reply - the matter was already set. So I've re-writen this posting completely. Sorry for that. :)

Anyway: If you want a mode S in the sense of 'setting shutter speed but letting the camera choose everything else', what you really need is AutoISO for the modes A/S/M. And sadly, Fuji never includes this in any of their cameras (many people, including myself, have quite often complained about that on fujifilm.de).

With the inclusion of AutoISO, again, Mode M on the F200EXR gives you all you need. Just choose one of the two possible apertures and set the shutter speed to whatever you want.

Please don't forget that one of the two F200EXR aperture sizes uses an ND filter (which is necessary due to diffraction). A 12MP compact camera simply doesn't have enough aperture flexibility between open aperture and diffraction-limited aperture to employ a real and useful Mode S. Hence, while you surely want to have a mode S on a DSLR, it is simply pointless on cameras of the F200EXR class.

Best Regards,
malamut

EXR
04-01-2009, 10:42 AM
Please don't forget that one of the two F200EXR aperture sizes uses an ND filter (which is necessary due to diffraction). A 12MP compact camera simply doesn't have enough aperture flexibility between open aperture and diffraction-limited aperture to employ a real and useful Mode S.


actually not, the F200 has two real apertures. you see also some diffraction-problems when using the small aperture, but they are suprisingly little.

dotbalm
04-01-2009, 11:19 AM
actually not, the F200 has two real apertures. you see also some diffraction-problems when using the small aperture, but they are suprisingly little.

Would you please show us your Fujiflm source which states the F200 has two real apertures, as in physical openings letting light in?

How is it possible that with two real apertures and an ND filter that that camera doesn't have more than two f-stops at a given focal length?

A single fixed iris + ND filter on or off is how the F200 would achieve 2 f-stops at any given focal length. That seems to make more sense given Fujifilm states it uses the ND filter to achieve an additional stop.

Reference: Fujifilm F200 EXR manual pdf, Specifications section, page 108:

"Aperture F3.3/9.0 (wide angle), F5.1/F14 (telephoto), uses Neutral Density (ND) filter."

Please note when Fujiflm is dentoing ranges from X to Y, it uses a hyphen "-", not a slash "/".

Example - see Focus Range below Aperture in same Specifications section:

"Focus Range Approx. 45 cm (1.5ft)-infinity (wide angle), 80 cm (2.6 ft)-infinity (telephoto)"...etc.

Last, for the f-stops obsevered in exif that are not the ones above, that is due to the zoom and thus focal length not being at either extreme, but in between. In that sense the fixed iris has a range and the ND filter correspondingly lets in less light at any of those focal lengths. So more than four different f-stops *in total* can be observed across the entire focal range, but they are constrained by a fixed iris, the addition of the ND filter and the effective focal length which can vary, thus 2 f-stops per focal length.

f-stops are described below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-number

f / # = N = f / D

where: f = focal length, D = diamter of entrance pupil (iris, aperture) and f / # is denoted by convention as N, as in f N, f 3.3.

EXR
04-01-2009, 12:19 PM
Would you please show us your Fujiflm source which states the F200 has two real apertures, as in physical openings letting light in?

No, but you actually can see it when looking in the lens, I also noticed increasing DOF with the smaller aperture.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/9058/61875653.th.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=61875653.jpg)
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/2129/74044871.th.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=74044871.jpg)

dotbalm
04-01-2009, 01:58 PM
No, but you actually can see it when looking in the lens, I also noticed increasing DOF with the smaller aperture.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/9058/61875653.th.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=61875653.jpg)
http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/2129/74044871.th.jpg (http://img5.imageshack.us/my.php?image=74044871.jpg)

Did you take these photos of your F200?

Was this in Aperture mode?

Was this the only observable difference when you varied the aperture WITHOUT varying the zoom?

If so, you just proved my point.

Macro shots of my F30 shows what appears to be a hexagonal iris, but regardless...the attached photos appear to show a fixed iris (pinhole), which is my understanding.

What I see here, ASSUMING THE FOCAL LENGTH DID NOT CHANGE is a small concentric ring in what appears to be the iris in one of the photos.

Are you suggesting that ring does *not* contain the ND filter?

The internal reflections changed, so I don't know if the capture camera position changed, the zoom (focal length) of the F200 changed, or what.

Instead will you please do the following three tests with your F200?

This should take less than five minutes:

Mode: Aperture mode for ALL tests

Zoom: Once set for each test, DO NOT CHANGE IN THAT TEST (sorry for caps)

Test 1 - extreme Wide zoom, Aperture mode

- Vary the aperture from as high and low as you can, find the extemes and any in-between f-stop values
- Mark down how many aperture choices (f-stops) you have.

Test 2 - extreme Tele zoom, Aperture mode
- repeat steps in Test 1

Test 3 - Middle zoom between full wide and full tele, Aperture mode
- repeat steps in Test 1

In any of the three tests above, did you mark down more than two f-stops? If so, can you let us know how many and what they are, at least at the extreme wide and tele?

EXR
04-01-2009, 02:36 PM
Did you take these photos of your F200?



yes



Was this in Aperture mode?

Actually I used manual mode to get 8s shutter-speed to get more time to capture the photos, as in live-view mode the camera always uses the maximum aperture.



Was this the only observable difference when you varied the aperture WITHOUT varying the zoom?

Yes, both where at maximum wideangle-setting only variing the aperture.



Macro shots of my F30 shows what appears to be a hexagonal iris, but regardless...the attached photos appear to show a fixed iris (pinhole), which is my understanding.

Thats true, it is a pinhole-aperture, but there are actually two different pinholes.



Are you suggesting that ring does *not* contain the ND filter?

After inspecting the pictures I am pretty sure it is a combination of both things, there are two different pinholes, but the difference is not enough for changing F3.3 to F9.
I think the second aperture seems physically around 5,6 (at wideangle) and the rest to go down to F9 is achieved with a ND-filter.



The internal reflections changed, so I don't know if the capture camera position changed, the zoom (focal length) of the F200 changed, or what.

Both shots where handheld, so of course there are differences in the capturing-angle. As I said the only setting on the F200 that have changed is the aperture from F3,3 to F9.



Instead will you please do the following three tests with your F200?

This should take less than five minutes:


I dont have time to do this now but I can tell you there are only 2 apertures at each zoom-setting, but I am pretty sure there are physical two different apertures, but the slower combined with a ND-filter.

dotbalm
04-01-2009, 03:58 PM
I dont have time to do this now but I can tell you there are only 2 apertures at each zoom-setting, but I am pretty sure there are physical two different apertures, but the slower combined with a ND-filter.

Thanks for the quick reply, I appreciate the info.

You know what? No need to do the tests, as you've confirmed only two "apertures" at each zoom setting.

I snipped most of your answer, but the part above goes to the meat of the issue and is actually not quite what I thought initially, but I agree with you. Looks like there is the main pinhole iris, then another smaller aperture that goes part of the way in reducing light, but isn't so small as to cause major diffraction problems, and the ND filter takes it the rest of the way, all in one unit. Interesting. Well, that's my take du jour.

Thanks again.

NezumiChu
04-04-2009, 05:31 AM
I would have thought that the 'Sports' mode would take care of that... Otherwise, as cdifoto said, you can just choose a wide aperture and high ISO.

Anyway, for the OP, Aperture Priority is real, but does indeed consist of only two apertures, wide open and stopped down. Mostly, this will be all you'll want, but I think it is a poor implementation when it would be simple to allow full control. I guess it's the same view that's behind using the old, slow lens from the previous models instead of updating to a 2.8. Fuji have a great idea here in the new sensor, but they've shoved it into an old camera to see if it sells. If it does, I predict they will improve the lens and the control options and put a version of this sensor into a larger body (probably a larger sensor). Still, it is the most interesting thing to hit the ultra-compacts for quite a while, and there are some unexpected benefits, even in this 'prototype'. Jeff's review should be fascinating.

bertiebond
04-11-2009, 09:28 AM
after seeing the f200 review is 'But is it better than a f30?', either the f30 was such an amazing camera i wonder why the hell it still isn't production, or Fuji have gone backwards so much since.

from the review, it sounds like f200 is decent, but if someone turned up right now and offered me a f30 in one hand and a f200 in the other, the choice wouldn't be a forgone conclusion. 2-3 years after the f30 was discontinued, please come back...

having broken 2 f30s, frankly, if they could stick a f30 into an olympus sw tough body, i'd bite the hand off.

Dark Cobra
04-11-2009, 10:02 AM
I was generally disappointed by the results in the review (which Jeff did a good job on by the way). You can clearly see the overall softness that Jeff encountered and the limited aperture thing is a let down as well. Yes, it has one stop advantage in low light capability (yawn).

However, it takes too steep of a let down in other areas to get there IMHO. The whole EXR sensor trick is interesting and I give Fuji praise in at least trying new things (unlike Canon which has become totally stagnant in risk taking). However, overall this is not Fuji's best effort as others have remarked with the f30 as case-in-point.

dotbalm
04-11-2009, 11:15 AM
Yep, as expected in several ways. Good job on the review. The two apertures per focal length is a problem for those who don't want to use ISO compromises when controlling for shutter speed. The subject motion disappointments are just starting to come out. It's a good camera, but falls short in its hamstrung package. My F30 - notwithstanding the dust - and in competent hands would never be shelved by the F200.

Re the sports mode comment some time back, I ignored it because usually a camera will juice up the ISO to achieve the right shutter speed, and how could that not frequently happen to the detrement with only two aperture possibilities per focal length.

Fuji's hype and aspiration for the F200 remind me of playing catch when I was 7 or 8. Long story short: "Nice throw...no catch."

Dark Cobra
04-12-2009, 01:31 AM
"Nice throw...no catch."

I love that quote.

EXR
04-12-2009, 06:22 AM
Actually the review is wrong when saying that you can only use the nice EXR-features in EXR-Mode. Sure, the camera doesn't tell you this in other modes, but when u lower the resolution to 6mp the camera always uses SN or DR mode(which in reality aren't 2 modes either, they are nearly the same, just with different parameters). The only exception is the when you manually select the EXR-HR-mode or the camera selects it automatically in EXR-Auto-mode, then the camera is using HR-mode, even when u set 6m.
I don't have the possibility to compare the F200 with a F30 but I compared it with a S6500 which has the same sensor and IQ at high ISOs is much better on the F200. Sure, there is a bit more grain on the F200, but there is much more low-contrast-detail and much less color-bleeding on the F200.

Dark Cobra
04-12-2009, 10:06 AM
Well, on balance I think Fuji should be commended for venturing out to try new things. However, I fear this is all a bit too complex for most buyers. Just too many variations and modes going on with this camera. If as you say, even Jeff got it wrong on using the EXR feature, then imagine what so many others are going to go through.

malamut
04-14-2009, 06:23 AM
even Jeff got it wrong on using the EXR feature, then imagine what so many others are going to go through.Well, Jeff could really have known it, since it has been pointed out to him long before the review was finished (for example: in posting #6 of this thread). Nevertheless, Fuji's documentation on EXR usage is really poor. Let's hope that they'll get the docs right for future EXR cameras.

I still think that the F200EXR is a fantastic choice for beginners. They just need someone who sets the resolution to 6MP in the beginning and tells them never to look back. :)

Dark Cobra
04-14-2009, 09:35 AM
Hmmm, I'm not so sure the Fuji F200EXR is a "fantastic" choice for beginners. Clearly, there is a degree of sophistication regarding the intricacy of the settings. The message you left for Jeff to follow in posting #6 is:

"if you ever do a F200EXR review, please have a look at how it behaves in 'normal' modes (Auto, P, M) with picture size set to 6MP. It has already been verified that then setting DR to more than 100% will automatically switch the camera to EXR DR mode. Some people have also suggested that choosing DR=100% and a high ISO setting, e.g. 3200, will automatically switch the camera to EXR SN mode. Since the special EXR SN mode which can be chosen manually is limited to ISO1600, this would be an important issue. Please include 6MP ISO3200 pictures in your review, if you are doing one - no-one else has done that so far."

- this is not exactly the kind of thing most "beginners" are going to want to encounter. If Jeff missed it or for whatever reason didn't chose to do this then how likely would a beginner tackle this? It is definitely a capable camera for sure, providing you're willing to adjust all this extra stuff. However, I could be totally wrong on this and you could be totally right. I'm hoping Jeff sees this and shares his thoughts.

NezumiChu
04-17-2009, 09:50 AM
EXR, that's very interesting and useful advice, and very poor of Fuji not to include it. Since I have decided to buy the camera, I'll be very interested to see how this works. Certainly, I have noticed in several photos that DR seems to work better at reducing noise in low light, especially at 800%, and retains more detail. I also think the noise is more attractive and grainy than most compacts I've seen.

dotbalm, I don't really understand your comment about shutter speed. If the shutter speed is short, then both you and the camera will first try to open the aperture. When it is as wide as it can be, the only other way of maintaining correct exposure, on any camera, would be to increase sensitivity. I can't see any way around this. It won't matter how many real apertures you have. And long shutter speeds will only depend on the smallest aperture. A more direct way of controlling it would be welcome, however.

DoF is another matter though. Comparisons with the LX3 show clearly that f8 on the Lumix has more DoF than f9 on the Fuji by quite a bit, and I think the estimate earlier of f5.6 (or less?) is about right. Suits me, though, as getting shallow DoF on a compact was always harder...

EXR
04-19-2009, 09:37 AM
Just too many variations and modes going on with this camera. If as you say, even Jeff got it wrong on using the EXR feature, then imagine what so many others are going to go through.

Well, I actually think it is a compromise between marketing and simplicity.

Fujis marketing is quite strong on its unique-EXR-sensor, so of course they need to show the user what he got ;) They have done this with the EXR-position. On the other hand it is a lot simpler to let the camera to choose the correct mode depending on your settings. You actually donīt need to know which mode the camera is using, if you want to shoot with 12MP the camera only can choose HR-mode, but you donīt need to set it manually. If you set 6MP or lower, it would be quite stupid to choose HR-mode, so why should the camera do it? It is actually a lot simpler this way, as resolution is the only thing you have to choose and you donīt have to deal with all the fancy "modes".

Additionally of course this support Fujis claim having "3 sensors in 1" while rather having only 2 in reality, there are only 2 real sensor-modes, one exposure for the whole sensor or two exposures for each pair of photosites, and the last one can use different exposure-values for each of the photosites.

From sensor-site SN and DR-mode are the same and in reality also noise is about the same in both modes, so there is no need to distinguish between this two modes (besides marketing-reasons of course)

NezumiChu
04-19-2009, 09:56 PM
EXR, I sort of understand what you're saying, but I don't really agree that there are only two modes. According to Fuji's explanation, in SN mode adjacent photosites are merged and given the same exposure, while in DR alternate sites are given one of two exposures. Both these operations therefore cannot be done simultaneously (or I might have misunderstood this?). I do agree that reducing the size of the image can make a dramatic improvement in low light, but it is not clear what is going on here, as SN never shows unless you are in that mode, whereas you can set a d-range value without being in EXR. My own early observations (I have only just bought the camera) are that a high DR value (especially 800%) is better than SN in low light/high ISO shots. It reduces glare in highlights (I wasn't expecting that, but probably should have), and seems to retain more detail with less and finer noise, especially dark noise. I find this very interesting, as I have seen this is some samples on the net, too. This effect is in low light shots.

What are your thoughts?

NezumiChu
04-20-2009, 08:03 AM
I have just noticed that when I set DR to 800% in EXR, and ISO to Auto (1600), or any other setting, the camera never seems to actually choose an ISO higher than 200, even in very low light, and consequently underexposes. This does not happen for lower DR values. I only noticed this tonight when checking DR against SN shots for noise. I had assumed that it would choose an appropriate ISO for the conditions up to the maximum set, but it did not. In fact, it used the same aperture and shutter values as the other modes did at 1600, but still chose 200. I cannot find any mention of this quirk in the manual. It is very disappointing, because I was wanting to confirm its use for low noise, but it appears now this may be a result simply of a lower ISO. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

On a positive note, I spent a couple of hours solidly shooting night photos, and this camera is absolutely terrific to use at night, and the performance surprised even me. Even with a slow lens, I've never seen another compact really come close. If they could give it another stop, it would be unbeatable. A real low light compact.

EXR
04-20-2009, 11:50 AM
EXR, I sort of understand what you're saying, but I don't really agree that there are only two modes. According to Fuji's explanation, in SN mode adjacent photosites are merged and given the same exposure, while in DR alternate sites are given one of two exposures. Both these operations therefore cannot be done simultaneously (or I might have misunderstood this?).


Thatīs true, but both modes (SN and DR) are doing nearly the same.
Both take 2 exposures at the same time and combine them in one picture, the only difference is that SN-mode uses the same exposure-value for both, while DR uses up to 2 stops difference in exposure. (the 3rd stop with DR800 is achieved like on F100/S100fs and some other cameras, by underexposing the whole image and lifting the shadows in processing, and therefore canīt be used at base-ISO)

You can even select manually DR-mode and force it to DR100, which is completly equal to SN-mode. Therefore you donīt have to select between DR and SN. In reality you only need DR-mode and eventually set it to DR100 (or let the camera do this automatically)

I think thatīs the reason, Fuji didnīt include a EXR-mode-switch, in the advanced shooting-modes, because it would be redundant, but of course they need the EXR-mode for showing-off.

The combining of the 2 exposures will always reduce image-noise. You can do this also with a regular camera, when using a tripod in a static scene. You can just take several shots and combine them in one picture, noise will be reduced with each addidional photo. Also when using exposure-bracketing and combining them to one DRI-image you will also reduce noise.

Of course a underexposed shot will always have more noise than a correctly exposed shot, and therefore noise should be a bit higher when increasing DR, but in reality I hardly found any visible difference in noise.



I do agree that reducing the size of the image can make a dramatic improvement in low light, but it is not clear what is going on here, as SN never shows unless you are in that mode, whereas you can set a d-range value without being in EXR.

As I said, the only difference between DR and SN is the different exposure-values of the 2 photosites. So the camera doesnīt need to tell you which "mode" itīs using, it is clear from resulution and DR-value.



My own early observations (I have only just bought the camera) are that a high DR value (especially 800%) is better than SN in low light/high ISO shots. It reduces glare in highlights (I wasn't expecting that, but probably should have), and seems to retain more detail with less and finer noise, especially dark noise. I find this very interesting, as I have seen this is some samples on the net, too. This effect is in low light shots.

What are your thoughts?

Well I donīt really know what you mean. What I have seen is, that noise is about the same at SN and DR100-400.
DR800 is a little bit different, as it still only gets 2 stops from the sensor and one additional stop the "old" way as on the F100.
Therefore DR800 uses ISO 200 and shows more shadow-noise then ISO100-shots.

But, what I found quite annoying is, that DR800 always uses ISO200, there is no way to use a higher sensitivity with ISO800, therefore you might have compared DR800-ISO200-shots with others at higher sensitivities.

I was on holiday last week and used the F200 for about 400 photos, this is the first time I could get a bit more expierience with the new camera.


A few things I wanne mention:

As I said DR800 always uses ISO200, which is quite bad, as DR800 is really nice for nightshots nicely lit streets, but ISO 200 is usually not enough, you would need 400-800 (although the IS is suprisingly good, especially compared to the old Fujis and give you not perfectly sharp but still usable photos at quite slow speeds)

Next, the camera seems to alter exposure-metering when selecting DR manually compared to Auto, decreasing exposure about 1/2 stop. (even when you choose DR100)

As generally known, DR only extends highlight-range, but you can always choose positve exposure-compensation to extend shadow-range, which is sometimes necessary especially when selecting DR800 (especially keeping in mind that selecting DR manually usually decreases exposure)

At default settings the screen is a bit inaccurate in the highlights (Fuji I need a histogram!), I sometimes thought the camera has cliped the highlight and wondered why the camera still selected only DR100 and reshot with higher DR, but on my computer-screen I realized that the original photos where perfect.
I also noticed, that the LCD-backlight not adjustable, and the brightness-setting just changes the contrast-curve (therefore highest and lowest settings are unusable)
But I noticed, a setting of -1 represents the photo more accuratly, especially the highlights look more real.

One problem I also noticed can be the limited shutter-speed-range in combination with only 2 apertures and especially with DR.
The fastest possible shutter-speed of the sensor seems to be 1/2000s.
But with DR400 this means, that the regular exposed photosites have a minimum speed of 1/500 (the underexposed then 1/2000)

This means, that there are situations where correct exposure with open aperture is 1/600s, therefore the camera has to stop down and use 1/80s, which is quite slow at 140mm. (of course IS saves the day mostly)

NezumiChu
04-21-2009, 04:05 AM
Thank you EXR for your very comprehensive reply.

What you say about DR 100 makes a lot of sense to me in relation to SN, and I am prepared to agree with you. I only hesitate because I am still analysing my photos and I have noticed a difference in noise value and appearance between SN and full res reduced to 6mp and 100% dr. However, I need to look at a lot more examples to confirm this, as noise varies from shot to shot anyway. I am aware of the phenomenon you mention with regard to multiple shots combined to reduce noise. However, I assumed this was as a result of averaging of random noise. I'm not sure this can explain what the EXR does, but I am not a technician. It is a fascinating idea to consider in relation to future technologies, though...

As I mentioned in my second post, I, too, am annoyed by the ISO200 limitation in DR 800. But your explanation of this is very clear, and I now understand why this is so (although I think the manual should have at least a footnote to that effect). I am probably better off using 12mp at ISO200 and doing the same thing is PP if I want. I will try it and see if the result is better or worse. I did not know about the altered metering, thanks for pointing that out. I have refrained from using EXR Auto simply because of the abominable continuous AF. I understand why it is used, but I wish I could turn it off even in that mode if I don't want 'intelligent scene recognition'...

According to the manual, 1/1500 is the fastest shutter, so even worse. However, I have noticed more apertures (i.e. as exposure value equivalents) than mentioned in the manual. For example, 3.5, 3.6 , 4, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6... Not sure about the long end.

I shall try to be more specific about what I find re noise and DR/SN. The reason I started looking at DR for noise effects in the first place was because of two sites where the f200 and LX3 could be compared in low light, and I noticed that high DR seemed to do slightly better than SN, and consistently so, resolving more detail. I will have to look at these again in light of what you have told me.

Thanks again for the discussion, it is most interesting, and I think this camera represents an enormous improvement technically. All it wants is a more refined and flexible implementation.

Matt

EXR
04-21-2009, 07:34 AM
As I mentioned in my second post, I, too, am annoyed by the ISO200 limitation in DR 800. But your explanation of this is very clear, and I now understand why this is so (although I think the manual should have at least a footnote to that effect).


Actually I donīt understand this limitation, I think it may be even a bug in the Firmware.
Since DR800 only takes a underexposed shot with the sensor set to DR400, there is no reason not allowing higher sensitivities. Of course you canīt use the lowest sensitivity in this mode, but you can use DR up to 400 with 12MP up to ISO3200, which uses the same method to extend DR (so DR200 is limited to ISO200+ and DR400 to ISO400+)




According to the manual, 1/1500 is the fastest shutter, so even worse. [\quote]

1/1500 is the fastest the camera will use (M and A-modes are limited to 1/1000), but Iīm sure the sensor can use up to 1/2000.

1/1500 wouldnīt be a problem either, because this would mean if you have 1/1500 at the fast aperture you would still have 1/200 at the slow.

The problem is when using DR400 the limit for the "normal" photosites is 1/500, while the limit for the underexposed photosites is 1/2000. This could lead to quite slow shutter-speeds at the long end. Of course you could still use Aperture-Priority and select manually the fast aperture, which would lead to a slightly overexposed image, although it is not so problematic, as the camera can still get information from the underexposed photosites.

[quote]
However, I have noticed more apertures (i.e. as exposure value equivalents) than mentioned in the manual. For example, 3.5, 3.6 , 4, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6... Not sure about the long end.

There are exact 2 apertures at each zoom-setting, F3,3 and F9 for wideangle and F5,1 and F14 for the tele-end. Each focal-lenght between of course has 2 different aperture-settings, because aperture changes with focal lenght.

NezumiChu
04-22-2009, 08:18 AM
I don't really pretend to understand the ins and outs of it, so I have no idea why DR800 is limited to 200ISO, but some of the street shots I took the other night were great with this setting, provided they got enough light. A higher ISO limit would be great, so if you are right about it being a bug, at least it might be possible to fix it. I have had a chance now to compare quite a few shots at different settings, and I absolutely agree that there is no difference between SN, DR100 and HR at 6mp. Also, I now have concluded that at least most of the apparent difference I thought I saw between DR and SN in samples on the net was probably due to no more than camera shake. I'm sure there is no actual difference in the output, as you have already said.

There is, however, a difference in noise between film simulations. Velvia shows more noise (and more contrast and sharpness), Astia, despite being described as 'soft' shows more noise and sharpness than Provia, which is the softest, least contrasty and least noisy. The differences are slight but noticeable. I know you can only choose DR800 when using Provia (or B/W).

What I still don't understand - but I'm sure you can explain - is how EXR Auto can choose DR400 and SN at the same time. What method is it using to achieve DR if it is exposing all photo sites at the same value in order to achieve SN?

Btw, I didn't mean to imply that those were all real apertures, although I did initially misunderstand your point about the max shutter speed; I've got it now. How many EV does the ND filter give, then?

The more I use this camera, the more impressed I become with its image quality, especially in low light where I am enjoying it tremendously. If they can fix some of these issues, which could mostly be done by updating the camera itself, it will be incredible. Really interesting company, Fujifilm. Btw, there are some honest samples on their own site that don't try to hide the noise at high ISOs. The gallery from Masumi Takahashi is interesting, too.

EXR
04-23-2009, 04:50 AM
I have had a chance now to compare quite a few shots at different settings, and I absolutely agree that there is no difference between SN, DR100 and HR at 6mp.

With high sensitivities there is quite a lot difference between HR-6MP and the other modes. While noise is roughly the same, this is clearly achieved by much higher NR when shooting in HR-mode. Because Fujis NR is quite good in leaving high-contrast-detail intact there may be scenes in which you canīt notice much difference, but DR/SN will give you much more low-contrast-detail an colors stay quite intact while the start to bleed out at ISO800 with HR-mode. Also remember, the only way to take a 6MP-image in HR-mode is manually selecting HR and picture-size of 6MP, in every other mode the camera will not choose HR-mode.



There is, however, a difference in noise between film simulations. Velvia shows more noise (and more contrast and sharpness), Astia, despite being described as 'soft' shows more noise and sharpness than Provia, which is the softest, least contrasty and least noisy. The differences are slight but noticeable.

Yes, the standard-mode has the least contrast, while the higher contrast may eliminate some noise in the shadows it certainly makes noise in the rest of the image more visible.



I know you can only choose DR800 when using Provia (or B/W).

Yes, contrast in the other modes is to high to make sense for such high DR.



What I still don't understand - but I'm sure you can explain - is how EXR Auto can choose DR400 and SN at the same time.

There is no way to do this, when you manually select SN you canīt set DR and the camera always chooses one of the "2" modes, and it always will select DR when it is necessary, which makes sense, as there is not much difference in noise between SN and DR, even if DR800 is selected.




Btw, there are some honest samples on their own site that don't try to hide the noise at high ISOs. The gallery from Masumi Takahashi is interesting, too.

I also like the way the camera does NR, not blurring everything away and therefore allowing a lot of detail even with ISO1600 without a real unpleasant noise-pattern.

I think the decision is better than with the good old 6MP-sensor, when they tried to get clean ISO800 at any cost. Altough Iīm not sure if it is economical a good decision, I heard from some people that the F30/31-ISO800-shots are much cleaner, not seeing the additional detail captured from the F200 and that you can always produce F30/31-quality with additional NR, but you can never go the other way around.

EXR
04-23-2009, 06:49 AM
I have had a chance now to compare quite a few shots at different settings, and I absolutely agree that there is no difference between SN, DR100 and HR at 6mp.

With high sensitivities there is quite a lot difference between HR-6MP and the other modes. While noise is roughly the same, this is clearly achieved by much higher NR when shooting in HR-mode. Because Fujis NR is quite good in leaving high-contrast-detail intact there may be scenes in which you canīt notice much difference, but DR/SN will give you much more low-contrast-detail an colors stay quite intact while the start to bleed out at ISO800 with HR-mode. Also remember, the only way to take a 6MP-image in HR-mode is manually selecting HR and picture-size of 6MP, in every other mode the camera will not choose HR-mode.



There is, however, a difference in noise between film simulations. Velvia shows more noise (and more contrast and sharpness), Astia, despite being described as 'soft' shows more noise and sharpness than Provia, which is the softest, least contrasty and least noisy. The differences are slight but noticeable.

Yes, the standard-mode has the least contrast, while the higher contrast may eliminate some noise in the shadows it certainly makes noise in the rest of the image more visible.



I know you can only choose DR800 when using Provia (or B/W).

Yes, contrast in the other modes is to high to make sense for such high DR.



What I still don't understand - but I'm sure you can explain - is how EXR Auto can choose DR400 and SN at the same time.

There is no way to do this, when you manually select SN you canīt set DR and the camera always chooses one of the "2" modes, and it always will select DR when it is necessary, which makes sense, as there is not much difference in noise between SN and DR, even if DR800 is selected.




Btw, there are some honest samples on their own site that don't try to hide the noise at high ISOs. The gallery from Masumi Takahashi is interesting, too.

I also like the way the camera does NR, not blurring everything away and therefore allowing a lot of detail even with ISO1600 without a real unpleasant noise-pattern.

I think the decision is better than with the good old 6MP-sensor, when they tried to get clean ISO800 at any cost. Altough Iīm not sure if it is economical a good decision, I heard from some people that the F30/31-ISO800-shots are much cleaner, not seeing the additional detail captured from the F200 and that you can always produce F30/31-quality with additional NR, but you can never go the other way around.

NezumiChu
04-24-2009, 09:17 AM
You may be right about HR-6mp, but it is also possible to see differences between shots in the other modes, and within the same shot. That is, a lot of things affect sharpness and contrast, even colour, that are not easy to control. I think there is a slight difference in the actual EXR-HR mode at 6mp, although not sufficient to notice if you're not directly comparing. But there is a bigger difference if you use the other 'HR', which is just any mode other than EXR. At 12mp, EXR-HR seems indistinguishable from Auto or P at 12mp. If you reduce to 6mp though, then EXR-HR seems to have a bit more NR and a different colour balance, and not quite as sharp. At 6mp, neither is really 'HR' anymore, yet both show similar noise reduction compared to 12mp. Wonder why. Although I think the differences are too small to concern me, I would choose Auto or P rather than HR at 6mp, even compared to SN.

There is a way to select SN and DR at the same time, and that is by setting EXR-Auto, which can then select SN with a DR >100. I do not understand how this is possible, so I presume one of these is not the same as if selected manually. As you say, the noise is going to be the same, but the display will still say 'DR 400, SN', for example.

I totally agree about the application of NR. At least if you have the detail, then you have room to move with your own NR if you wish. Sometimes, I prefer noise, especially grainy noise like this has. But, as you say, you cannot replace lost detail.

I got a spare battery today, though - that's one thing not improved over the f30...

EXR
04-24-2009, 11:18 AM
There is a way to select SN and DR at the same time, and that is by setting EXR-Auto, which can then select SN with a DR >100. I do not understand how this is possible, so I presume one of these is not the same as if selected manually. As you say, the noise is going to be the same, but the display will still say 'DR 400, SN', for example.

Now you are telling me this I also noticed it.

After exploring some pics I think they still use DR-mode despite writing SN in the EXIF-data (another hint, that both modes are nearly the same ;) )

Pictures look the same as when manually selecting DR (although itīs quite tricky to get a valid comparison, because the automatic scene-recognition will get in your way ;) )
The picture clearly show more DR than the same photos in manual SN-mode or in P-mode with DR100, and they are not altering exposure, so the only way is to underexpose the second set of photosites, which is actually referred as DR-mode ;)


I got a spare battery today, though - that's one thing not improved over the f30...

True, but itīs not that bad, I got around 450 shots with one charge and a lot of reviewing.

NezumiChu
04-27-2009, 01:21 AM
The picture clearly show more DR than the same photos in manual SN-mode or in P-mode with DR100, and they are not altering exposure, so the only way is to underexpose the second set of photosites, which is actually referred as DR-mode ;)

I mostly agree, although I do sometimes see slower shutter speeds in EXR which might explain how it keeps noise down (just more light in shadows) while still underexposing half the sites. But I certainly don't see this consistently (and, as you say, the scenes make it hard to keep things equivalent, although I do try to compensate). But maybe there's a threshold value that still keeps sensitivity up and noise down, even when adjacent sites are unequally exposed. Whatever, it's not only clever, it also makes choosing modes a lot simpler (you have already said this).


True, but itīs not that bad, I got around 450 shots with one charge and a lot of reviewing.

I haven't done that well, but certainly more than advertised (makes a change from getting half of what's claimed...). Always good to have the spare on trips and long walks, though.

I have been experimenting with NR tools, and find I can do even better on noisy f200 shots than with other compacts just because of the nature of the noise artifacting. I wasn't sure if it would be better or worse, but Noise Ninja, for instance, seems to deal with the graininess very well. Given this, it is possible to consider even more than one stop advantage. If only it had an f2 lens...

matt

EXR
04-27-2009, 12:47 PM
Perhaps I found out why DR800 is limited to ISO 200: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilms100fs/page16.asp

As you can see, the S100fs loses about 1 stop in shadow range due to noise when shooting at ISO400.

While Iīm quite sure, the F200EXR wouldnīt lose as much at 6MP, maybe it still would make the DR800-mode quite pointless at higher ISOs, as you wouldnīt get much more DR anymore, because of losing in the shadows, what you win in the highlights.

NezumiChu
04-29-2009, 06:10 AM
Well, I must say I don't really understand DR800. If it's shooting at base ISO, then shouldn't that mean that 200 only brings it one stop up in the shadows? So, is it using the two pixel layers like in 400%, then getting the one stop extra by underexposing and bringing the shadows up with processing? I can't imagine it would lose much at 400 compared to the S100fs. When I shoot DR800 at night, it basically underexposes by two stops, but I never see musch of this back in the shadows. That is, they remain two stops underexposed. I know this, because I can manually underexpose two stops with precisely the same exposure result in both highlights and shadows. So, in low light, I don't get what it's doing. I expected it to be better than just underexposing at the equivalent of DR100, but I guess I shouldn't expect to see much at night unless there are really bright highlights. Even in bright light, I'm not sure why it would be too degraded at ISO400. At ISO 200 and 800%DR, I do get a bit of noise in very deep shadows, and the same shot at ISO400 and 400%DR has worse highlights and a bit more noise, even in brighter parts of the image (although in this case I used Velvia, which would have increased that a bit). But the noise levels were still very low. I don't see why DR800 would be any worse at ISO 400.

Basically though, I'm not seeing much improvement with DR800 over what I could do myself in software. And at night, it doesn't seem to do anything at ISO200, and I have also had more success using DR400 and boosting in PP afterwards. I haven't done enough comparisons at different light values yet to really say if it's worth it, but I'm not convinced that it really needs to be limited to ISO200. Maybe they just decided that if anyone noticed some degradation, they would think it wasn't worth it, but it's not really that accessible anyway, and most people using it manually could probably cope with some noise at higher ISOs. Personally, I hope they decide to lift that limit.

EXR
04-30-2009, 11:50 AM
Now there is a review of dpreview.com including a DR-test, which shows why DR800 wouldnīt make any sense at higher ISO: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf200exr/page9.asp

The camera is losing about a half stop in the shadows with ISO200, so shooting at ISO 400 most likely would lose at least another half stop.

Then DR800 wouldnīt give any benefit in DR, as you would lose as much in shadows as you win in highlights, DR400 + exposure correction would have the same effect.

NezumiChu
05-01-2009, 03:11 AM
Thanks for pointing to the review - the one we've all been waiting for.

I wonder if you would really lose that much, though. You might be right, although it is pretty hard to see the result for 800%. And, even with a bit more noise, there are times when even night shots have very high contrast with bright lights and glare but very dark shadows. Anyway, I can still do it myself and choose whether to put up with the extra noise or just shoot with higher ISO straight out.

Basically very good review.

NezumiChu
05-03-2009, 08:58 AM
...except I really wish they would do ISO tests in low light, rather than up to 8 stops brighter than most people interested in high ISO performance would be shooting. This does make a difference - even if the amount of detail retained in SN is not much greater than HR, it still has markedly less and better looking noise than HR, and much more contrast in low light. After all, it is not a high detail mode but a low noise mode (HR is for detail...). Overall, the shots just look better - but only in low light. Same goes when up against the LX3, which has good detail but really ugly noise in low light. Detail alone is not the whole story. Even Jeff's reviews don't show low light hand-held performance, which is a pity, as that's what most people are interested in when it comes to high ISOs.

EXR
05-03-2009, 12:23 PM
Thats true, the high-ISO-tests are not really meaningfull. Not just the lot of light, but also no objects with low-contrast-detail, the objects used donīt really suffer from NR.

You can see the real advantage from SN-mode in this shots: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf200exr/page8.asp

The real advantage is not the reduced noise, which isnīt that much lower in the resulting image, but this is achieved with much less NR and as a result there is a lot less smearing of low-contrast-detail and more contrast at high sensitivities.

NezumiChu
05-03-2009, 10:11 PM
Yes, I've had a chance now to really have a detailed look at the review (which is still very good overall), and you have to really think around the test shots to make them meaningful in the context of real life photography. However, I guess that's always the case, and studios are a lot easier to control, and you have to look at the totality with sample pics, etc, etc. And, in the end, it still comes down to what you actually need for your circumstances. For me, I have dozens of cameras, both film and digital, and just wanted something I could keep in my pocket and use one-handed if necessary, and at night. The f200 fits the bill beautifully, although I thought long and hard about the LX3. So, for me, it came down to compromising the fast lens, but getting better noise and more flexibility in a smaller package. After that, it's probably meaningless to put these cameras beside each other outside of a special purpose (like high speed flash sync, for example). For the pictures, I'm sure I'd be happy with either, but I'm also sure I use the Fuji more than I would the LX3 simply because it is so easy and flexible. And I like the look of the results. Makes me really look forward to the next stage in its design. But an LX4, with no lens cap, a longer (but just as fast) lens and better looking noise would sure tempt me...