F770EXR 500mm performance (untouched JPEGS)

Started Mar 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Altruisto
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F770EXR 500mm performance (untouched JPEGS)
Mar 3, 2012

In my recent review of F770exr, some members (jcmarfilph) asked for full telephoto shots to assess the quality of such a claim in a small pocketable superzoom camera. They asked too for untouched samples to avoid the mistreatment of Jpegs (Adobe doesn't support this camera as for now). It's tough for me to deliver flat OOC Jpegs, but I'll swallow my pride. Yesterday, during the midday break, I visited Tunis Zoo to get you subjects with fur, hair and fine detail. It was a sunny day with harsh light (I wouldn't complain), quite tough conditions for any camera. I didn't have much time, so I set the camera as usual at 8MP, P Mode, Auto ISO1600, DR400%, and started shooting. I allowed original images viewing from the thread, you'd better check the images that way, I don't like Dpreview forum photo viewing module, it compresses images.

What was really impressive is the camera ability to get precise focus time after time at the telephoto end. I don't think it's a camera for birder (500mm isn't enough), but I think the whole range is usable in this gem.

Even without any PP, highlights aren't burnt in this shot. The bird was in direct sunlight.

I measured depth of field of F770exr, with subject 5m away at 16 cm which is quite limited. Pay attention to your focusing. These storks were close one another, but only one is in focus.

It was quite difficult to set the focus on the eyes here. But I quite like the result. Depth of field is thin.

Monkeys are cute! They were quite posing.

Lens is tack sharp in the center at full resolution. This is quite astonishing. Look at the monkey fingers in this image. You could see dust on them. (well, I think dust...)

Unfortunately corners don't seem that good. At 92mm, 500mm equivalent, only 1/3rd of the image beam is tack sharp, than sharpness decreases smoothly but quite a bit towards the corners. For portraits like shots, it's not so bothering, but don't count on F770exr to get you those distant sceneries. This is the kind of portraits you can get (mix of limited depth of field and corner softness, don't mistake one for the other).

So is F550exr lens better at full telephoto? No way. At 70mm, 380mm equivalent, the closest I can get to F550exr telephoto end of zoom, F770exr is sharp throughout the whole frame. I provide you here with set of images comparing full telephoto to intermediate focals.
First, a hippopotamus (I'm lazy)

Then, a peaceful gazelle.

Finally, a wild boar.

Quite a difference in homogeneity of sharpness, But I tend to like the full telephoto zoom for portraits and close-ups. It simulates pretty well limited depth of field (though there's some already).

So what's the longest focal you could use to get acceptably sharp detail throughout the image. I measured it at 78 or 80mm, 435mm equivalent. Photos are a fraction less sharp than at 70mm, but there's no harsh falloff. Another comparison.

This is a comparison between 92mm and 78mm on a plain surface to avoid depth of field issues when checking sharpness in the frame.

I could get quite close to the palm trunk (less than 2m!) at full telephoto. This urge me to assess the camera macro performance in a another thread.

Before leaving the zoo, I wanted to try the zoom on human subjects. This one is tack sharp. You have to place your subject face or the element you want to attract attention to, near the centre to avoid blurriness.

This one is not neatly focused, but I add it to show you what kind of subject separation you could get with F770. Bokeh is quite nervous, my Olympus 45mm f1.8 can be reassured, I'm not getting rid of it any soon.

Some final images at different focals from that visit to the zoo. F770exr acquitted itself bravely. Only quirks are related to the zoom responsiveness (worse than P7000) and precision (big steps, zoom ratio indication though is a nice addition, instead of a simple bar).
Thank you for taking the time to read this test.

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Photography has to remain a pleasure, keep PP minimal!
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owning a Nikon D90, and a Nikon J1

Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR Nikon Coolpix P7000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5
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