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Image Quality

Overall image quality was very good, resolution is high and colour balance is excellent (in fact colours are this cameras strong point, it laps up skin tones and loves bright colours. It has the same strange noise artifacts I found on the MX2700 although they do seem to be slightly less.

I'm very happy with the images in the samples gallery and I feel they are the best way for you to judge the image quality for yourself.

Artifacts

Although the MX2900 boasts higher resolution of 2.16 megapixels (effective) I'm still not convinced that it has any benefit over the lesser resolution CCD's of the Coolpix 950 or Oly C2000Z. The MX2900 suffers from the same flat colour noise and artifacts seen on the MX2700 (close-up) and definition of fine details can someitmes be affected by this.

The crop shown right highlights an example of this problem, you'll find other examples of this flat-colour noise in the examples on the previous page.

That said, this crop is a good example of good definition (in good light) and overall good image quality from the MX2900 (it's just not _quite_ good enough).

Compared to the Nikon Coolpix 950

The side-by-side image comparisons below compares the performance of the MX2900 to that of the Nikon Coolpix 950 taking a shot of a standard test poster. Both shots were taken within minutes of each other, same lighting (natural light through window about 11EV) two sets of samples were taken the first in FINE JPEG mode (around 800KB for both cameras) the second in each cameras TIFF mode. Note that the MX2900 has a slight border top and bottom because of its additional 200 pixel resolution.

A 200% blown-up crop of the image is shown below each thumbnail to give an immediate comparison of exposure accuracy, colour accuracy and sharpness. The sharpening setting on the MX2900 was set to the mid-point. You can click on the thumbnail to download the original image (warning.. the TIFF files are VERY large and on a slow modem will take several minutes to download).

Fuji MX2900
 
Nikon Coolpix 950
 
JPEG FINE, 823KB
JPEG FINE, 770KB
Cropped and blown-up 200%
Cropped and blown-up 200%
Fuji MX2900
 
Nikon Coolpix 950
 
Hi TIFF, 4258KB
HI TIFF, 5633KB
Cropped and blown-up 200%
Cropped and blown-up 200%

My general conclusion from this simple test is that although the MX2900 appears slightly sharper this is down to the in-camera sharpening which also produces the unfortunate white halo around contrast areas (such as the figures on the clock face above). Overall the Coolpix 950 seems to win out with more natural colours, better dynamic range and no visible artifacts.

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