Fuji HS20 Raw Versus Jpeg…. Part3

Fuji HS20 Raw Versus Jpeg…. Part3

In Conclusion.

When reviewing the images compared side by side RAW to Jpeg, you can see almost immediately that the RAW images while better than their original state still require further “Tweaking” to get them to the Jpeg level. Added to that that each shot has to be cropped in post processing is annoying as it negates the whole reason for shooting 16:9 in Jpeg. Thats how I wanted the image to be and its an extra processing step that just makes the job just that bit more arduous.

HS20 RAW file unprocessed
ISO 400 @ f8 – 1/3000 sec

 

HS20 Jpeg file unprocessed
ISO 400 @ f8 – 1/1300sec.

Detail wise I would argue that there really isnt sufficient gain in detail between the two formats to justify all the work needed to improve a RAW image file to that of a Jpeg.

The two images above are the unedited files straight from the camera. Its easy to see that the Jpeg has more going for it than the RAW, other than image size. The RAW file was shot at 110mm and the Jpeg at 66mm. It is understandable that the longer focal length image will be darker than the Jpeg, however this was the speed that was automatically set by the camera for the image when I selected the RAW button. While it isnt entirely fair to compare these images it does give a reasonable comparison of what the camera produces before processing.

There still isnt enough in the RAW files of the HS20 to convince me that all the extra work required to process the images is going to result in a superior image to that of the processed Jpeg. Given that you are able to save considerably more images on the memory card in the camera when shooting Jpeg, plus the considerably faster write times of the Jpegs really makes it a no-brainer.
Shoot Jpeg and enjoy photography, or shoot RAW and spend too much time missing shots, and post processing your images.

Posted by R. McKenzie at 3:19 PM  

54 comments:
  1. Hey, I appreciate your indepth reviews! I’m a Cloudy Nights member too (A-L-E-X) and I really need your help in picking between the Sony HX100V and Fuji HS20EXR for astrophotography, IR, panoramas, HDR and general photography. I would like to know which is better in high iso and long exposures— Fuji Pro Low Light Shot with SN EXR or Sony Twilight Mode and which could I see more stars in? I’m using a Nexstar 8 SE mount to track!

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  2. No contest. HS20 without doubt.
    The constellation shots I did with the HS20 were done using the camera in the EXR mode resolution priority and manually focused. I picked a second mag star to set focus and then left it at that.
    If you are piggybacking on the scope and can set up a accurate alignment that helps heaps. Bear in mind that to get the maximum exposure time you need to be working at the wide 24 to 50mm end of the lens and use a series of shots and stack them. Its amazing how much data 10 20 second frames contain when you run then through a good image stacking program. The most important reason for my saying the HS20 is the manual focus and manual zoom lens.
    Dont use pro low light or any of the other low noise settings other than manual at 16mp of SN at 8mp.
    I found ISO 200 a good starting point as well.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/113588280921888334019/HS20Astrophotos#
    I would be interested to hear how you get on,
    Cheers
    ralph.

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  3. Thanks, because of your wonderfully informative reviews and information (btw I am also on dpreview!) I have decided to purchase the HS20EXR. I also saw some wonderful IR photos this camera takes on there (most newer cameras dont do this well) and another bonus is the 58mm thread size— I have a ton of 58mm filters I use with my Olympus E-520, including IR, and plus I can get 58mm teleconverters to extend the camera beyond 1000mm and perhaps come close to having the moon fill the frame. I was going to buy the camera from beach/buydig but they have some mixed reviews, so I am going to drive over to BH Photo and get it there (even though they charge sales tax.) Do you recommend I use any sort of light pollution filter with this? I’m thinking my 1.25″ SkyGlow Imaging filter I use with my scope would not work with this camera (too small) and I would also be interested in finding out if there is any way to combine this camera with the telescope for even more reach!

    I will be posting quite often with updates, I would love to contribute to your site in any way that I cank, I have been up the last three nights reading all this wonderful info you have presented here 🙂 So you would do ISO 200 and 15 sec exposures? I think 30 sec exposures are limited to ISO 100 if I’m not mistaken.

    From what I’ve been reading, the sensor doesn’t overheat any more than any other sensor does it? I think a firmware update fixed the problem. Hopefully the firmware is already applied to the camera; if not I will do it myself 😛 It’s really interesting how all the user reviews from Late September onwards have been very positive on dpreview (four or five stars.) Perhaps a combo of users learning the best settings + the new firmware!

    One last question for now, do you think the HS20 may be the last bridge camera Fuji offers that works with AA batteries? That would be sad indeed, but reading about the X-S1, I dont think it would use AA batteries.

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  4. PS I think you would like these—- these are pics of Saturn shot with a teleconverter on an HS10, I bet the HS20 could do even better!

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1012&message=38447655

    And here is the IR thread I was referencing— look at those IR pics, they are better than the IR photos I shot back in 2003 (back when digicams were better at IR). My pics with my old Coolpix 4500 are on the last page (remember that camera– it was so easy to couple it to a scope lol, too bad Nikon killed that line, that was the last Nikon I ever bought!)

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1012&message=38927399

    Compare his pictures to mine at the end of the thread (particularly his OOC last shot vs mine), maybe the HS20 is even better at IR than my old Coolpix 4500 was!

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  5. Actually when I think more about it, I shouldn’t need that Skyglow Imaging filter if I can couple my camera to a scope would I? The telescope’s aperture would be a good elixir to light pollution issues 😛

    As for piggyback astrophotography, wouldn’t a 1.25″ filter be too small regardless of how far it was placed from the lens or the zoom factor used? I’m wondering where I could find a filter of the right size hmmmmm….. I have a 58mm Hoya R72 IR filter which I saw being used in a light pollution filter review on CN, but that’s the only 58mm filter I have that could serve that purpose.

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  6. Yes now that people have got to grips with their HS20’s I’m seeing a lot more feedback on the positive side. The Flickr HS20 groups are showing some very nice work.

    I think you may be right the X-s1 looks to be heading for the lithium block style batteries. I hope not as I am a huge fan of AA powered cameras. Its why I will eventually buy the Pentax Kr DSLR. (or one of the reasons).

    Yes you can use the HS20 coupled to the scope. I dummied up a temporary connector to my 100mm Refractor and main does it have some pulling power. I set the lens at 80mm to reduce the field of view. With the 8inch scope you have it may vary a bit. I left the eyepiece in as well as (25mm Plossl) and tried it that way and it seemed to give a fairly well lit field of view.
    You wont know until you try a few setups to see what works, and yes 30 seconds at ISO 100. I found there wasnt much in it between 15 seconds at ISO 200 or 30 at base ISO, so went for the increased sensitivity for more light gain.
    Keep at it.
    Cjeers
    ralph.

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  7. Thanks for all the help, Ralph! Does the max shutter keep getting halved as one goes up in ISO? IOW, is the max shutter at iso 200 15 sec, iso 400 8 sec and 4 sec at iso 800, and so on?

    Did you use the camera with a 2″ eyepiece when you connected it to your refractor? That seems like the best bet because of the width of the lens. 1.25″ may cause too much of a tunneling effect. You wouldn’t recommend 1.25″ filters with this set up, would you?

    One other question— what gives the best image quality at higher iso if I choose to stick with 16 mp….. manual mode and exr auto? I seem to remember you mentioned this somewhere before. Thanks!

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  8. BTW what do you think of this noise comparison, Ralph? I dont know about this review—- the Sony cant be this much better in higher iso can it?

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Sony_Cyber-shot_DSC_HX100V/high_ISO_noise.shtml

    Personally, even in those crops, I prefer the Fuji’s brighter lens and better preservation of detail. I’m sure the Fuji’s noise isn’t this high, just going by your results, there seems to be something faulty in their review. At least they did say that Fuji Pro Low Light is better than Sony Twilight mode.

    Here is another on the same site, comparing normal shooting to EXR SN.

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Fujifilm_FinePix_HS20_EXR/EXR_noise.shtml

    What do you think of all that, Ralph? More noise than what you’ve seen from the camera? Maybe the firmware update not only fixed the high temp problem of the sensor but also lowered the noise (coming from CCD cams, I do know the two go hand in hand!)

    BTW my camera and accessories just shipped from Buy Dig today! They said I got the last of them, they are out of stock now (I guess lots of people are buying them!)

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  9. The Shutter speed reduces with higher ISO but can also be influenced by the amount of zoom as well. The camera will limit aperture depending upon zoom, which is normal in zoom lenses anyway.

    No the Sony isn’t that good, its good but no better than the HS20. Thats probably the worst (or one of them) sites on the internet. I wouldn’t believe anything they print. They clearly show no understanding of how to use the HS20. The HS20 is designed to be used in EXR modes not Program Auto mode. Frankly the half wit who did the test should be fired.
    Put the HS20 in either EXR 16mp or 8mp mode and it will smoke the Sony.
    You will also notice in the second (Low Noise ) crops that they couldn’t even get the SN mode crops the same size. Disregard anything you see here, its totally unreliable.

    Even what digital’s review showed a lack of how to set the camera up. The EXR technology has been around for a while now but most users and reviewers still have very little understanding of what the EXR modes can offer. I take you have looked at one of the test I did recently?
    http://akiwiretrospective.blogspot.com/2011/09/reviewing-hs20exr-updatept3.html?utm_source=BP_recent

    When you look at the ISO 3200 images theres no contest really. Shot correctly at ISO 3200 the HS20 will smoke the Sony every time, that where the EXR tech really come into its own.
    AR45 (Alan) had the Sony for a while, sold it to get the X10 I think. He took really good shots with the Sony but what he’s producing now with the X10 using the EXR tech is a long way better. Thats why I also expect the X-S1 when it arrives to blow the pants off the competition. If it doesn’t Fuji will have shot itself in the foot and that would be tragic.

    Cheers
    Ralph.

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  10. Thanks, you’re very informative, I totally agree! And even in those crops they show, the HS20 preserves detail at high iso while the Sony doesn’t. Call me old fashioned, but I would rather have detail with some noise rather than no detail with less noise….. noise can always be removed or lessened by software later, however detail cannot be brought back. Heck, I was even impressed with their IS06400 crops! (That’s the highest that can be used in EXR mode and 8 MP isn’t it?) What’s the highest iso you’d recommend for good printing at 7.5×10 inches, Ralph? I’ve also heard it’s a good idea to set NR to Low and Sharpening to Low?

    I cant wait to get the X-S1 either, but meanwhile the HS20 looks awesome, and if is their last high end AA battery cam, I want it…. it’s supposed to be delivered today, I can’t wait 🙂

    I’m curious about something, you said to avoid Pro Low Light Mode, is there a reason why? I was looking to have the camera stack images the way astronomical software like Registax does. Is there any way to do this in camera?

    I’m running to the door every time I hear a noise haha, the camera should be here sometime today.

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  11. At 7.5 x 10 in good light I see no reason you shouldn’t get a good print at ISO 3200 and a good 5 x 7 at ISO 6400.
    ISO 3200 is the maximum for EXR modes, higher ISO is available in P mode but comes with reduced image size.
    Pro low light requires you to be very still as in tripod still to avoid blurring of the image. For your astro image stacking you will need to be using manual mode. Pro Low Light takes 4 very quick images, no where near long enough for the night sky.The only control you have in Pro Low Light is the Ev can be varied to shooting conditions.
    No in camera stacking unfortunately, so I too use Registax.
    And I know what you mean about running to the door too 🙂

    Cheers
    Ralph

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  12. I got the camera today and I am so shocked at how light it is (maybe the weight is just well distributed?) Silly reviewers were talking about how large and ungainly it was—- I dont see that at all. So stacking is best done with software like Registax then. I keep marveling at your astropics, were those done in Manual and 16 MP mode? You should try IR sometime, I think you would love that— it’s so surreally artistic, it makes you feel like we are living on an alien world 🙂

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  13. Great to here you got the camera Alex. Yes the astro pics I did were in manual mode, camera set to manual focus and full sized image(16mp).
    Noise reduction set Low as well and I used lowest aperture available which was F5 or there about at 50mm (equivalent).
    The real beauty of using Registax is it deals with both Luminance and Sensor noise extremely well, hence its popularity with astrophotographers.The stacked images were only four frames but once they had been stacked and cleaned up the sheer amount of detail was a big surprise. At about the 12 second mark I was starting to see star trailing. It would have been nice to have piggybacked on a EQ6 mounted scope of something like a Meade or celestron.

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  14. Thanks for all the info Ralph, can EXR be enabled in Manual mode? I dont know if you have it or not but Im considering getting the remote, on dpreview someone mentioned that it gives finer control of shutter speeds—- I assume you used iso 200 and 15 seconds? Would you recommend a light pollution filter, and if so what size?

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  15. You get some of the processing benefit from EXR even in manual mode if you set your image size to 8mp (medium). From tests I did it appears that the pixel binning and extra noise reduction is still operating, you just cant access any of the extra features Like Dynamic range. A remote if one is available is a good option, I’m pretty sure Amazon has them if your local supplier doesn’t.
    Yes 15 seconds at ISO 200 was what I used, anymore and star trails became evident.

    As to to a L.P. filter, without knowing how bad it is its difficult to say. I would be inclined to ask some of the more experienced A>P’s at CloudyNights about that. Anything you place in the light path may reduce the quality of the image you get as a by product of the filter, so I would say use with caution.
    If the remote is able to keep the shutter open for a bit longer (20 seconds) you could use the B (bulb) setting. At the end of the day its going to come down to experimentation and what works best.
    As I live on a small mountain there is only a small amount of light pollution from a couple of towns and that remains very low on the horizon, so generally I can rate my night-sky around the 1.5 mark.(1 = Best & 5 = worst).In my opinion I would do a bit more astro research while learning how the camera behaves. One of the real improvements over the HS10 is the manual focus. When used you get a nicely magnified image of what you are focusing on making the HS20 considerably easier to use for night-sky work. This implementation in the HS10 was very poor.
    With the HS20 the Focus Check is normally off and you will need to turn it on in the settings menu. It will dim what you are looking at when running so you need to pre-focus the camera on a good 1st magnitude star to be sure your focus is right, fine tuning the focus can be surprisingly delicate and requires small movements. I generally use average metering then pre-focus using AF then switch to manual focus and fine tune, it generally saves a lot of hassle.

    At the moment Orion in starting to rise here and by 11.00pm at night is high enough to get some shots.
    If shooting piggy back or off a tripod I use between 50 & 105mm, set from the lens gauge on the barrel. This keeps me in the 15 sec zone and also between f3.6 & f4, so I’m not sacrificing aperture for zoom, it also means I can maintain most of the constellation in the field of view.
    Dont forget to turn the LCD brightness down as low as it will go. I nearly wiped out my night vision leaving it on my daylight settings.

    Have fun,
    Ralph.

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  16. I think I should stay away from filters for now because 15 seconds doesn’t seem to be long enough to be worth it in terms of light pollution, even though I live within miles of NYC and my visual limiting magnitude here is 4.5. Thanks about the focusing tips, it sounds a lot like my Nexstar 8 SE’s delicate focusing lol. Sounds like 80mm or so is the “sweet spot” for this lens, isn’t it? 🙂 Orion is my favorite constellation and I want to get a decent image of M42 with this camera! My other favorite shot which I could never get with my narrow field ccd cam is M31 in Andromeda. I hope those are not beyond this camera?

    I was worried about the night vision issue! It’s why I stopped using CCD Cams (I also have the Meade DSI 3 color), even with turning down the brightness on my computer screen it still killed my night vision! I’m hoping I will be able to get similar image quality results (or maybe even better) with the HS20, without sacrificing my night vision! Do you think this camera can rival uncooled color ccd cams like that, Ralph?

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  17. Raw vs Jpeg… Hands down I always shoot in RAW. I would highly suggest to anyone, shoot in RAW for a few weeks and see that the benefits far out weight any negatives… I use the HS20. The first few week I had it I was using a 8Gig class ‘4’(Only writes at 4Mb per sec) SD card. Now I shoot with a San Disk class ’10’ SD card that writes at 30Mb per sec. You do need to use A high speed SD card as each RAW Image is around 24Mb a piece. Your camera will Be slow if you try to use a cheaper card, Upgrade and see the difference. You can see my work that’s done in all RAW at this link: http://www.pronaturephotography.com

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  18. Raw can be manupulated by opening in different exposures then combined into one HDR image using special software often gives wonderful images, I like to play in RAW. Another option is openingwith different white balance and combine to get very weird images.

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  19. This is exactly why I hadn’t bought a compact camera since 2005…… compact cameras seem to have gone backwards….. as back then the majority of them had RAW, and now it’s only Fuji and Panny who make compact cameras with RAW. That camera I had been using since 2005 was the venerable Olympus C-7070 which was quite quick *(for a compact anyway) in RAW. I also wanted to wait for an EXR camera that gave me at least 7 megapixels in EXR mode, as that is how many you need to get 300ppi in a 7.5×10 print.

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  20. I am using one 8 gig San Disk Class 6 card, I hope that’s enough for now. Honestly though, I miss the days of Compact Flash, those cards just felt more “solid” and “durable” I feel nervous just having one of these little cards. The lifetime warranty helps a bit.

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  21. Truth be told, the compact market has been going backwards rather than forwards, as the last compact I had bought before this was the Olympus C-7070, which had an amazing feature set. Besides Fuji and Panny, most have stopped supporting RAW and dont even support filters! Besides Fuji and Panny, everything I have seen from the other manufacturers isnt as good as my old prosumer cameras that are over 5 years old! This is what I’ve had in the past….. Nikon Coolpix 990, Coolpix 4500, Olympus C-7070 and Olympus E-520 and now the Fuji HS20EXR. I still have the last three. Will never buy Nikon, Canon or Sony. I liked Oly but they’re having financial difficulties. Fuji is a breath of fresh air that’s actually bringing some innovation to the compact camera market, still I wish they’d take on some of Oly’s feature set, including the direct live histogram feature (shows areas of overexposure in red and underexposure in blue before you take the shot making it really easy to use full manual mode) and their feature for mapping out dead pixels at the press of a button (stuff you would have to send in the camera and have a tech do.) I also wish they had a 2×2 mode where they combined four pixels into one—- the sensitivity of that mode would be amazing, even if it turned a 16mp cam into a 4mp one. My Meade DSI-3 astrocam does that, but the results are in black and white— probably because it doesn’t use the color filter when doing that kind of binning. Even with the loss in megapixel, the images seem much sharper and more detailed in that mode and much less noise.

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  22. The other thing I miss from the Oly C-7070, which I know we probably wouldn’t get back is the dual usage of Compact Flash and 😄 cards…. CF always just seemed so much more durable than any other kind of card and I liked having two cards in my camera at the same time.

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  23. Hi Mark
    My feeling is that shooting the HS20 in Raw is defeating the purpose of the EXR technology, which is to couple superior noise reduction and image quality in a Jpeg format.

    For those comfortable shooting and processing RAW images, then that’s a user choice.

    My point is and was the same as the discussion regarding EXR Vs RAW at Dpreview, that using EXR can pull back more lost highlight/shadow detail than you get from the base RAW files, which is where Fuji was no doubt aiming.

    My own experience with the new Jpeg(EXR) engine is that there is now so little between RAW & Jpeg in the HS20 that’s there really isn’t sufficient gain to warrant the extra processing required.

    This is now being born out in the X10 as well as people are starting to realise what the X10 EXR can do. Its also why shooting RAW in the X10 is more of an secondary issue, and some folks are finding the change difficult to comprehend or deal with.

    Like everything change takes a while to get comfortable with. It was only a year or so ago that people were starting to appreciate what the EXR sensors could do for compact cameras.

    All in all its a fascinating direction Fuji is leading us on, and I for one am salivating at the thought of what the XS1 and new mirror-less Fuji will bring to the table.

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  24. Ugh here’s another bad reviewer

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cameras-and-camcorders/cameras/digital-slrs-hybrids/fuji-finepix-hs20-955473/review?artc_pg=4

    This review seems to be all over the net on different sites, it ranks the HS20 lowest in resolution (18, compared to Sony 24 and Nikon 20— which is a 12 MP cam!) about average in noise (about the same as the Sony) and dead last in DR according to DxO analyzer (isnt that supposed to be only run on RAW files, how is that being done since Fuji is the only one who supports RAW out of this bunch?)

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cameras-and-camcorders/cameras/digital-slrs-hybrids/fuji-finepix-hs20-955473/review?artc_pg=5

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  25. BTW Ralph, it really is nice that Fuji is bringing larger sensors back to the compact market— we hadn’t seen 2/3″ sensors since the days that the first 8 mp cameras came out about 10 years ago!

    PS take a look at those two links and please tell me how that reviewer could have used DxO to say that the HS20 ranks dead last in resolution and DR. Wonder what mode he was using lol?

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  26. Thanks…. A question then…. In EXR mode I can still use RAW or Jpeg… So why shoot in Jpeg?

    When I shoot waterfalls especially it seems to really help to use the manual mode & RAW, latter it seems i can bring back any detail that would have been lost by pre-jpeg processing.

    Any help here would truly be appreciated as i always like learning more.

    Or is there an even better dslr, for around the same price?

    Alex, why do you say you’ll never buy Nikon or Canon?

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  27. Because their compact cameras have regressed since when I had the Coolpix 990 and 4500, which were gifted astrocams. I then moved onto the Olympus C-7070 and the E-520. I’m never going to get an APS DSLR because I exclusively print 7.5×10, and I’m done with conventional DSLR, because I’m so used to having all the information displayed onscreen (live histogram and all the exposure data, because I shoot exclusively in manual mode), that I need a camera with an EVF (thus it has to be mirrorless— also these are better for astro because the mirror creates a vibration that affects the fine focus when coupling the camera to a telescope.)

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  28. Hi Mark.

    Perhaps the best answer is to set the camera in EXR resolution Priority 8mp and shoot with RAW+Jpeg.
    This was what I did originally. I set the Sharpness to hard, there is no detail loss doing this and it means very little if any PP sharpening required.

    Do a series RAW & Jpeg in Dynamic Range as well.

    This means that the same exposures and settings will be applied to both images at the same time.

    Note that the DR range is kept in the RAW the same as the Jpeg when in DR / EXR modes.
    Which is why I feel the Jpeg is sufficient.

    A lot of people shoot NR Low & Sharpness Low. Again that’s a user choice.
    Process the Jpegs first if necessary as this will provide a benchmark for the RAW processing. If done the other way round you can wind up over processing the Jpeg.

    If you compare the images and you have shot them well, the Jpeg should be of good enough quality so the RAW is not required. A lot of folks do this and store the RAW as well as a backup. Not a bad idea if you are shooting in an environment where you may not ever get back to.

    Thats what I did to see where the gains were between RAW and Jpeg. In the EXR modes an exposing correctly I quickly found that the RAW wasnt ever required. If I screw up a shot, which I do on a regular basis, then that’s my fault not the camera,its also where shooting RAW + Jpeg can have an advantage.

    Best DSLR at the moment for a large number of reasons, The Pentax Kr with kit lens package.
    At $1100.00NZ dollars it is going to be cheaper by several hundred dollars when the new XS1 comes out. Retail for a HS20 here is still $800.00 NZD.

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  29. Hi Alex
    Dont sweat the reviews.
    I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The reviewers haven’t got a clue on how to shoot the EXR cameras. They persist in using Auto modes.

    When I look at a camera review the first page I look at is the conclusion. If I’ve done my homework I will already know a good deal about what I’m looking to buy.

    Anyone buying a HS20 without a good amount of experience is making a fairly large mistake unless they really do want to improve their photography.

    Heres what I found on Tech-radar’s conclusion page.

    “We liked
    In terms of incorporated features the HS20 easily impresses with its: movie-making options, RAW compatibility, battery life, AF tracking, image stabilisation and improved 360 panorama mode.”

    “We disliked
    Relatively speaking the HS20 failed to impress in terms of picture quality when shooting in scene or auto modes. However there are several ways users can eradicate these problems with a little manual investigation. ”

    The second paragraph says it all. Why test in modes that absolutely fail to take into account the major part of the HS20’s technology.

    You will notice that the EXR modes aren’t referred to anywhere in that article. The most important of all sections in the review ” Sensitivity & Resolution” completely fails to out line shooting in the primary mode for this camera. “EXR Modes”.

    Just another example of the idiots running loose in the outhouse.
    The only reviews I put any faith in are those from Photography Blog and DPreview and even then , they often miss certain settings and modes with some cameras.

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  30. The ironic thing is the last thing you’d want to do with a camera like this is use scene or auto modes….. it wastes most of its abilities. I really wish they would get rid of those modes altogether. I rarely ever even use shutter or aperture priority, I love the control you get with full manual mode, especially with an accurate histogram.

    The other ironic thing is, they found the noise levels the same as the Sony camera. Can you imagine how much better it would be in EXR SN mode? And how much better the resolution numbers would be in EXR HR mode? Ralph, you have the know how and intelligence to do a better review than these people (as you’ve already shown), if there was some way to get your hands on DxO analyzer, could you run those same tests they did, but use the EXR modes the camera has dedicated to getting the most out of it? I imagine it would blow all those other cameras right out of the water.

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  31. I can add a few words to the review— from what I have used of it so far, the HS20 has been a pure joy to use and having so many features plus such a versatile zoom lens means this is the only camera I need to carry with me.

    *Ralph, one thing you could check for us maybe is that the folks on Dpreview keep saying this camera is more like 22-660 or 23-690 rather than 24-720….. can you compare it to your HS10 and see if the zoom numbers are a bit off? I actually like having a bit more at the wide end, so it’s not a problem or anything, but I would like to know if the actual focal lengths are a bit off with the HS20. I was thinking it’s probably longer than 660, as I saw a comparison done with a 675mm lens and it was more of a zoom like that, so perhaps we’re dealing with a 32x lens here– 22 to 704mm? I’d love to know what the actual focal lengths of the wide and tele end of the zoom are 🙂

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  32. Yep its 22-680. As the saying goes you cant beat the physics.
    Theres an online calculator you can use to check this. http://www.digified.net/focallength/
    just put in the 126mm or 4.2 mm focal length and select the 1/2 sensor size(HS20)and it will tell you that’s its 22.7 wide and 680 telephoto end.

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  33. Ahhh, so it’s the exact same lens as the HS10, but a slightly larger sensor? Ralph, have you done any experimentation with teleconverters that work well with this lens in case I want to come closer to filling the frame with the moon? Thanks!

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  34. Hi Alex.
    No tele converters available locally so haven’t bothered with them.
    Having said that some of the folks at DPreview have done that. “Joms” comes to mind, however I think that they only had a mixed result.

    I would ask in the FujiFilm forum and see who bites, so to speak 🙂

    ReplyDelete

  35. When I looked at accessories at BH Photo the Raynox 2.2x which goes for 280 seems to be recommended as well as “safari-guide.com” Check out this review, it actually seems to be decent….

    http://www.safari-guide.co.uk/fujifilm-finepix-hs20exr-digital-camera-review.php

    Here is the Raynox on this cam:

    http://www.safari-guide.co.uk/raynox-dcr-2025pro-super-telephoto-conversion-lens-review.php

    ReplyDelete

  36. Well this may actually prove to be more informative:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1012&message=38003086&changemode=1

    It’s a very old TC, one that I intended to get many years ago to use with my 3mp and 4mp cameras. It was unavailable at that time from local camera dealers that sold some of Raynox’s other products, so I didn’t get one then. But about a month or so ago I noticed that things had changed and now it was available, so even though I already have Sony’s 1758 (1.7x, 58mm thread) TC that I’ve used with the HS10, I thought I’d try Raynox’s 2.2x TC, also with the S100fs.

    What I found was that where the Sony TC provides slightly better resolution, the Raynox TC greatly reduces the resolution, and images shot without the TC have pretty good detail at maximum focal length, but when the Raynox was used (on a good tripod, of course) the TC’s images shown side-by-side were extremely blurry in comparison. The camera had no problem focusing, it’s just that the DCR-2025Pro is really an inferior product. You can see this by working out the math to see what you’d get from its “High-Resolution 260-Line/mm” with different size sensors.

    The S100fs has a 2/3″ sensor which is about 8.8mm x 6.6mm. The HS20EXR has a smaller 1/2″ sensor, about 6.4mm x 4.8mm. If they had pixels spaced at the DCR-2025’s 260 lines/mm, the S100fs would have a 2288×1716 pixel sensor, about 3.8mp, and the HS20 would have a 1664×1248 pixel sensor, roughly 2mp. Is it any wonder that the Raynox DCR-2025 produces very poor images? On old 4mp cameras with relatively large sensors, the 2025 would be a useful TC. On today’s higher resolution cameras it’s a total failure, and on the HS20 it would not only be wasted money, it would produce vastly inferior images.

    t Sony’s much smaller VCL-DH1758 actually weighs more (256 gm), fits the HS10 pretty well and unlike the 2025Pro, produces slightly more detail, not a lot less. Nikon’s made an old 1.7x TC that used ED glass, weighed a lot more than these two, and produced much better images on various P&S cameras. Not surprising since it cost almost twice as much as the Raynox.

    . The Nikon TC E17ED is the best TC out there but to heavy to hang on most lenses, the Sony VCL-DH1758 is the one to go for with the HS10/20.

    btw

    I use a Canon TC-DC58N for my teleconverter and the results are close to the olympus. At the time I got it the olympus and the canon were the only options available

    Perhaps it is possible that the raynox 2025 tc is not such a good teleconverter. But what is the alternative? The Sony vcl-dh1758 may be great but nobody is selling it anymore. Raynox on the other hand is still producing/selling their stuff.

    ReplyDelete

  37. So the Sony TC may not be available, dont know about the Nikon though.

    ReplyDelete

  38. I want to come close to filling the frame with the moon with this camera?

    I actually have three options

    1) I have a telescope so I could just shoot through the 1.25″ eyepiece afocally— not sure what the image quality would be though (possible vignetting and dont know how well the focus would be nor the loss of detail with all that glass in between and surely some megapixels lost to cropping.)

    2) Get the Sony VCL-DH1758

    3) Get a different TC (any suggestions)?

    ReplyDelete

  39. Hi Alex.
    My pic would be to start with the scope.The sheer light gathering power should mean you will have more image data tp work with.
    One thing people forget doing this sort of thing with the HS series cameras is to set the metering to spot. Dunno how long it took for me to work that out, but a bit of time went by before the penny dropped 🙂

    ReplyDelete

  40. Thanks, Ralph, that is what I will do 🙂 I would be nervous using 1200mm fl without a tripod anyway. In your experience, what’s the slowest shutter speed that can be handheld at the long end of the zoom?

    ReplyDelete

  41. Hi Alex
    Check out my ZZ Top Images here http://akiwiretrospective.blogspot.com/2011/04/hs10-and-night-concert.html?utm_source=BP_recent
    Theres a link at the bottom to more. I was averaging around the 1/40 sec mark. I think there were a couple at 1/20, all handheld.

    Cheers
    Ralph.

    ReplyDelete

  42. Thanks R. McKenzie, & Alex!

    ReplyDelete

  43. Thanks, Ralph— so with a 2x telephoto I could probably do 1/80 at f/5.6 and iso 100 which is around where my moon shots usually end up.

    ReplyDelete

  44. Dont know if these are any good, but I just got myself 58mm lenses– a 2x teleconverter, a 0.45x wide angle and a bunch of close up lens from +2 to +10, the lenses are all threaded for 67mm filters.

    ReplyDelete

  45. Hey, Ralph, I have a question— when we use 4 MP mode, is that 2×2 binning? In theory that should be even more sensitive, since four adjacent pixels make up 1 large pixel. I wonder if that’s what the camera does when it’s set to ISO 12,800 and if this kind of binning is available manually if we just set the camera to 4 MP with whatever ISO we want? This should significantly increase the sensitivity of the sensor and reduce noise levels even more than EXR SN mode in 8 MP…….

    ReplyDelete

  46. I think you will find the all the camera is doing is taking an 8Mp photo then saving it at a lower
    file size. It would be nice if it did up the sensitivity but the cameras doing exactly the same as you or I would in PP work and saving at the smaller file size.

    ReplyDelete

  47. Ralph, did you see my ISO 1600 images and full crops? 🙂 The IQ is better than my DSLR’s! 😛

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1012&message=40118638

    ReplyDelete

  48. Nice job Alex Good to see you have had a chance to click the shutter a bit.

    I have seen images taken with the HS20 that are the equal of some of the entry level DSLR set. Thats mostly down to the photographer knowing his/her stuff and getting the most from the camera.
    The DSLR is still going to spank the HS20 overall but that’s to be expected. I still dont want to trade the long zoom just for IQ. There are more variables to the equation than that. Something a lot of the DSLR purists cant grasp.

    Have fun & Merry Xmas
    Ralph.

    ReplyDelete

  49. Ralph, how accurate is the live histogram with the HS20 in Manual mode?

    ReplyDelete

  50. I’ve always found it to be reliable. The LCD can be abit out depending on the brightness you use so when it counts I make a note of the Histogram. To date its always been good.

    ReplyDelete

  51. Thanks for the help, Ralph! 🙂

    One other question I had was, does this camera have an electronic shutter or a mechanical one?

    ReplyDelete

  52. Good question Alex.
    I remember asking Fuji that here in NZ a while back.
    According to Fuji its a combination electronic & mechanical shutter system. I havent seen a schematic of the HS20 so I cant tell you exactly how that works. Perhaps one of our readers may be able to shed some light on that, or start a Dpreview Forum thread. However the way its been there lately, dont hold your breath on getting a straight answer.

    ReplyDelete

  53. Yes, unfortunately that forum has become a bit of a zoo lol. Happy New Years, Ralph 🙂 I sent a comment your way on one of your new posts about the new cams that just came out 🙂

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