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6 Megapixels?

Fujifilm knew they weren't fooling anyone this time around, enough has been written about their SuperCCD technology for them to know that consumers weren't going to be caught out by marketing hype this time around.. Indeed there's no mention of "6 megapixels" on the camera itself, and even the retail box states "3.3 megapixel CCD, 6.0 million pixel file", which is pretty much the end of the story.

The 6800Z then captures 3.3 million pixels in a honeycomb pattern, this is then processed to either a 6, 3 or 1 megapixel (or VGA) image. Obviously on the way up from 3.3 to 6 the cameras internal algorithms are having to "create" pixels which weren't captured by the sensor, and it's also not clear what's involved in going from 3.3 megapixel honeycomb layout to 3 megapixel square layout either...

3M (2048 x 1536) 6M (2832 x 2132)

So, what about the images? Well, they clearly don't carry 6 megapixels of information, having said that at the full 6 megapixel size (2832 x 2132) they will, in general, look very good printed up to A4 (8 x 10; ~280 dpi) and will also look very good sized down to monitor viewing resolutions (1024 x 768 / 800 x 600). Indeed, this is where the 6800Z really shines, shoot at either 6M (2832 x 2132) or 3M (2048 x 1536) and reduce the images down later (in a good photo package) for use on the web and you'll not be at all disappointed with what you see, easily a match for most other 3 megapixel digital cameras.


Colour

Keeping up Fujifilm traditions the 6800Z doesn't disappoint, colours are strong and vivid yet accurate (in good light). The 6800Z delivers the kind of colour reproduction that got us all so excited by the S1 Pro, other manufacturers should take note and try to improve their cameras to get somewhere close to this kind of vivid colour reproduction.

Image taken at 6M (2832 x 2132) Fine.


Lens distortion / sharpness

Something I commented on briefly in my 4700Z review was the fact that I felt the lens was letting down the overall image quality, the same goes for the 6800Z. As you can see from the samples below, the first a random shot taken from the 400 or so we took, the other two staged. The lens is simply not sharp at its corners and far worse (as we'd expect) at full wide angle, this is a shame really because other than that (towards the center of frame) sharpness is good and the camera is obviously capable of capturing lots of detail.

Images taken at 6M (2832 x 2132) Fine.

Lens distortion / unsharp at corners Center of frame for comparison
Corner sharpness at full tele Center sharpness at full tele
Corner sharpness at full wide Center sharpness at full wide

* Apologies for the nasty white balance in the two resolution chart shots, they were taken under incandescent light with white balance set to incandescent... Go figure.


Hair Moiré

Again, we've seen this before, but Fujifilm's SuperCCD sensors to tend to be prone to the introduction of moiré patterns into the image, the 6800Z is no exception. I used the name "Hair Moiré" because that's where you're most likely to see it, on the tips or detail of hair.

Image taken at 6M (2832 x 2132) Fine.

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