Big Zoom and Wide Angles

The Pro90 on it's own offers you a huge range of focal lengths, everything from 37 mm (equiv.) to 370 mm (equiv.). Add the optional WC-DC58 0.8x wide angle converter (which screws directly onto the front of the lens barrel) and you now have a widest angle of 29 mm. The shots below were all taken from the same point at gradually longer focal lengths, the first using the WC-DC58, the last with 2 x digital zoom (boo, hiss).

Remember, the image on the left is a thumbnail of the whole image, beside it, on the right is a 100% (1:1) crop out of the image.

Thumbnail 100% Crop
Optical Wide Angle + Optional WC-DC58 converter (29 mm equiv.)
Optical Wide Angle (37 mm equiv.)
Full Optical Zoom (10x, 370 mm equiv.)
Full Optical Zoom + Digital Zoom 2x (20x, 740 mm equiv.)

Lens quality seems to be pretty good (though I'd have to be honest and say not as sharp as the G1), at full tele we see chromatic aberrations creeping in to the contrast between light and dark objects, again, this is something we've seen before in these big zoom digital camera lenses and is no more than I'd expected to see. Having said that it's easy to shoot at full zoom without these artifacts becoming obvious. The wide angle converter performed very well, sharp and distortion free with no colour cast, an indispensable accessory for every Pro90.

I'll say nothing about digital zoom other than sometimes it's useful for getting in close for an image which will be reduced in size later...

Image Processing Adjustments

The Pro90 allows for control over three aspects of the cameras internal processing algorithms. You can alter the sharpening, contrast and saturation of images. Although these settings are available in RAW mode they are not applied to the image in-camera but are stored in the RAW image headers as the default settings for the TWAIN acquire module.

Contrast adjustment

Contrast -1 Contrast 0 Contrast +1

Sharpening adjustment

Sharpening -1 Sharpening 0 Sharpening +1

Saturation adjustment

Saturation -1 Saturation 0 Saturation +1

Other adjustments

Black & White Sharpening -1, Contrast -1  

Contrast "-1" offers a flatter image, this look really depends on your taste or chosen output, though I preferred it. After that I'd say leave Saturation alone, at setting "0" it's perfectly ok, the Sharpening algorithm is a little aggressive, most people will be happy with Sharpening "0" but I preferred to use "-1" as this avoided amplifying the visibility of noise and the dark halo's associated with in-camera sharpening. (NOTE: all other sample shots in this section of the review use the default "0/0/0" setting).