Sunday, January 04, 2015

A Match Made in Heaven?



Post-Script: Here's a view looking through the Olympus VF-1, taken with my Lumix G5. It's actually much brighter and sharper than what this might imply.

Did you notice how the brightly lit back wall in the viewfinder photo above is nearly blown out? That's a RAW FILE from a camera (the Lumix G5) with a much larger sensor than the little X10. Now here's an example from the X10, shot in yellow-filtered black & white in the EXR mode, in very high contrast light. This out-of-camera JPEG image was barely adjusted and resized; I made no attempt at making it look pretty. Notice how much detail is visible in both the highlights and shadows, with much more room for adjustment, if desired.

You might be wondering why all the trouble to make a half-broken, low-end, small-format digital camera useable again. Well, the X10 has what's called an EXR sensor, meaning that it's effectively a 5MP sensor with extraordinarily good dynamic range, that can also be configured as a 10MP sensor, with normal dynamic range, if so desired. As you can see from the above images, it boxes well above its weight class.

Also, there's its smaller-than-a-Leica-yet-Leica-ish styling and haptics, with a sensor large enough to exhibit good image quality yet small enough to possess intrinsically wide depth-of-focus (an attribute not well appreciated in this age of excessive bokeh), very useful during quick-changing scenarios while photographing out and about in public.

For the curious-minded, here are my X10 settings. Image size: medium, EXR mode: Dynamic Range 400. Together, these two activate the chip's high-dynamic 5MP mode. Then I use aperture priority, with film mode set to either Standard or yellow-filtered B & W; and focus either auto with center spot or manual with pre-focus set to five feet at F/4, which renders images in focus from 2.5 feet to infinity, with zero focus lag and instant shutter response.

Fujifilm X10 portrait via Lumix G5; typecast via Smith-Corona Silent.


Blogger Bill M said...

First time I've heard of that view finder. I need to do some investigating to see if it will fit my wife's Canon. It looks perfect for that camera. My Panasonic/Leica pocket camrea has an ELV. Nothing to brag about, but it works when the screen is washed out.

5:33 PM  

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