Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Started Mar 24, 2009 | Discussions thread
OP Ezzelin Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

I went out earlier on a long walk to take lots more pictures and break in the camera. Once again, I'm still impressed with the image quality (for a compact camera) and all the various manual features. I'm having a lot of fun with it, and the camera is very usable. For those wondering if the ISO can still be quickly adjusted (I think I remember someone asking about that) the Direct Print button can be set to ISO, so one press of that button can bring the ISO menu up quickly. I've been using Focus Check and Focus Lock a lot more now, as well, and both are features that can be very useful for getting sharp focus. IS continues to perform minor miracles, even at zoom and in low light, and high ISOs are noisy but not too much compared to other cameras. There is a general lack of much color noise at any ISO, and the luminance noise is fairly low. Also, it's fairly high frequency, and looks a lot like film grain, so it's some of the less objectionable noise that I've seen. The processing is overall pretty good, with a lack of color blobs or stuck pixels at higher ISO. The most obvious trade off is a slight lack of sharpness at 800 and 1600 ISO, although at times things can still be pretty sharp. I've seen some people remark that the camera smudges out detail, and in certain cases it can, like any compact camera. However, compared to other cameras I'm seeing a lot less smudging, especially compared to other cameras in this sensor size and resolution class. Honestly, I need to make myself use ISO 1600 more. I've shied away from it so far, but looking at the test shots again at imaging-resource reminded me that it's not too bad.

I took a lot more photos, starting at early evening and ending at night. The new shots start here (there's a link to a zip containing the original files in the comment):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezzelin/3383989297

One more neat thing I've found is that the camera can take fairly good macro shots at just shy of 50mm equivalent (47ish). Right around that point, the camera switches from 15cm min focus to 35cm min focus in Macro mode. So if you zoom to the focal length right before the switch, you can take fairly close macro shots at a good working distance with nice DOF control and very low, if any, barrel distortion. The minimum f stop is still 4.0 at this focal length, as well. It's certainly a good sweet spot for the lens.

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