Someone I am is waiting for my courage (forgotten_aria) wrote,
Someone I am is waiting for my courage

low light performace 100 HS and f100fd

In April 2009 I bought a fujifilm f100fd for $250 because it reported to have good low light performance and would go to an amazing 12800 virtual ISO. Mainly for taking pictures of taiko on a dark stage. At the time, I wrote a review about it's low light performance.

Since then it's acquired an interesting issue. Hold the power button it turns on in gallery mode. Try to turn it off via the same power switch, nothing. Press the photo button, it goes into photo mode. Try to get it back into gallery mode, nothing. I've been turning it off by opening the battery case. It still takes photos, and if you open the battery case and turn it back on, you can get it into gallery mode, so it's usable, but annoying. I've been using it for a while in this broken state. (I even started to fill out a service email, while I was writing it, the camera started to work properly again, so I deleted the email, at which time it stopped working properly again.)

Then I bumped into an article that canon had come out with a new low light series, the HS series. So I got the low end one for $125 (turns out two weeks later it was $105, sigh.) (Still not sure if I should have sprung for the 300 HS, but I couldn't find a difference that was worth the price.) So I decided that before I retired the f100fd (I'm hoping someone will want to buy it for parts since it's mostly working) I thought I would compare the two cameras.

First I tried a very dark room, I set the fujifilm to ISO 3200 (max of the canon) and forgot to force the canon, so it was on auto ISO.
100 HSf100fd

I was holding the cameras touching eachother to try to simulate as closely as possible the same consitions. You'll notice the 100HS has some motion blur, but it "autoISO" to 1600. The colors are much better, however on the 100HS. Fujifilm got a lot of the low light performance by being splotchy when it wasn't certain.

Then I turned on one room light.
100 HSf100fd

This time the auto ISO picked 800. The fujifilm is extremely blotchy and keep in mind they designed the camera to go up to ISO 12800 at reduced resolution, and it's only set to 3200.

Lastly I wanted something in a constant motion, so I got out my cat's spinning toy and forced the canon to ISO 3200 now.

100 HSf100fd

There is still some motion blur on the canon, but not much and the color and contrast and just clarity are SO MUCH better than the fujifilm. The canon picked 1/80 shutter speed f2.8 apature, the fujifilm 1/85 f3.3. I couldn't quite get them to take a picture exactly at the same time and the toy would start and stop, so it wasn't a perfect comparison. I really need something that spins at a constant rate.

So I think I am in general happy. The color and performance are dramatically better in the 100HS, even if there is a bit more motion blur. I'd gladly make that trade off.
Tags: cameras, canon, fujifilm

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