EX2F ISO400 to ISO800 quality change and ISO800 RAW

Started Sep 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Noam Gordon
Forum MemberPosts: 73
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Re: EX2F ISO400 to ISO800 quality change and ISO800 RAW
In reply to Trottingwolf, Sep 30, 2012

Hi

Coincidentally, I am just about to pull the trigger on the EX2f for my dad. I was impressed by the spec and (owning a Panasonic G3) I also think the articulated AMOLED screen is a huge benefit, especially in my sun-bathed country. The other contender is LX7 (My dad wants the 24mm end).

However, like you, when I inspected samples online (e.g. at Imaging Resource), I was appalled by the IQ drop at ISO 800 detail. It is so awful that I suspect it's an early firmware bug - possibly in the sharpening algorithm more so than in the NR algorithm. There is an obvious blockiness, contours are jaggy - possibly some 2x2-pixel kernel misbehaving.

I do hope that Samsung will fix it, but one can never know. I still ask myself if this is a price I'm willing to pay for having the articulating screen. You seem to think that it is, and I tend to agree, especially since my dad is never going to print large (although cropping latitude would still be welcome).

I downsized the ISO800 samples from the web to 8Mpixels, 5MPixels and 3MPixels and the resulting images looked much better at the pixel level, so this downsizing could be a workaround solution.

My question to you is what about the IQ when setting the EX2f to output a 8M or 5M jpg image? If the bug is not evident with these output resolutions, then this could really be a reasonable solution, at least until the firmware is fixed. I would greatly appreciate it if you checked it out and possibly uploaded a few samples.

Finally, regarding the reduced-sharpness setting in-camera, this could also be a valid workaround (although it would unnecessarily take some of the crisp from low-ISO shots). However, one thing worries me: The user manual (p. 93) says that once you adjust image parameters (contrast/sharpness/saturation), you can no longer use Smart Filter effects or Face Detection options!!! Now, this is a real shame and invalidates this solution (my dad does want to use these features).

Can you comment on that? How are these limitations actually imposed? Are these features "greyed out" until I go back to Image Adjust and reset all three sliders (ugh), or are the adjustments automatically (and silently) reset the moment I choose Face Detection or a Smart Filter?

Thanks a lot for you report and thanks in advance for your response. I really need this feedback as my dad must make the purchase now (going to a trip abroad soon).

P.S. RAW is not an option for my dad.

cheers

Noam

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