JPEG Image Size & Quality
Standard Test Scene
The FinePix F700 provides four image size options on the Photo Mode menu, these are labelled as 6MP, 3MP, 2MP and 1MP. The camera does not allow you to select different levels of JPEG compression (quality). In addition there is also a CCD-RAW option which creates a .RAF file which can be converted using the supplied RAW File Converter LE. It's interesting to note that the large size of the RAW files indicate that Fujifilm are recording distinct values for both the primary and secondary photodiode for each pixel location.
To give an impression of what some of the combinations of image size and quality produce the table below is a cross reference of some of them:
- CCD-RAW: 2832 x 2128 *
- 6MP: 2832 x 2128 *
- 3MP: 2048 x 1536
- 2MP: 1600 x 1200
- 1MP: 1280 x 960
* Larger image processed from 3.1 million pixels
Images below are cropped 240 x 100 area of the image magnified
200% (nearest neighbour).
|6MP: 2832 x 2128|
12,939 KB .RAF file (not available for download)
|3MP: 2048 x 1536|
|2MP: 1600 x 1200|
|1MP: 1280 x 960|
While it's difficult to see JPEG artifacts (except maybe at the 2MP setting) it's clear that the F700 doesn't produce the cleanest images otherwise. Unfortunately there appears to be quite a lot of sharpening artifacts, very strong white halos around dark areas as well as very high contrast. These two things added together lead to quite a harsh looking image.
The F700 provides very little control over image processing parameters, which is a pity because I feel that the standard parameters won't be to everyone's taste. From the camera menu you can set image sharpness to one of three settings. From the Photo Menu you can choose one of three color modes (normal, chrome - high color saturation, B&W).
To my eye there is very little difference between Normal and Hard, certainly in terms of visible sharpness. As I commented above I found the F700's sharpening to be too harsh, this is either down to too much sharpening or an unsophisticated sharpening algorithm. The Soft setting certainly removes some of the sharpening artifacts but does require you to sharpen the image later in post-processing.
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