Samstag, 28. April 2012

Fujifilm Finepix F770EXR review: testing for corner softness

Last year, the Fuji Finepix F550EXR has been beaten by the Canon PowerShot SX230hs  in my test. In between, Fuji brought a small upgrade with the F600/660, which should solve the problem of too dark movies in low light. But  problematic lens construction remained the same since the F300, and so did the problem with the border and corner softness.
This year Fujifilm released the new F770EXR which brings a new lens, a 20x zoom with 25-500mm. Such extreme zoom ranges are usually at the expense of image quality, so the expectations regarding image quality has been rather low. But despite the even larger focal range compared to it's predecessor, the first shots I saw on the internet, looked quite promising, much better than what I knew from the F550EXR.

A first test with a hedge demonstrated a significantly better result than last year with the F550. The corner and edge blurring is only minimal and for a zoom lens these are absolutely normal. The very good SX230 is not better in that area even zoom lenses of system cameras that cost more than the F770 alone are not free from it.
So this has been a very encouraging first test. Fuji got the main problem of the last F-generation under control, so I am looking forward to further testing of the F550.

Sonntag, 1. April 2012

Apple iPhone 4 vs. HTC Incredible S camera comparison

I had an HTC Incredible S for a few days. It is not the right phone for me. The displays black value is too high, more a gray than a black. And though it feels solid, I personally consider it as too heavy. It is in the same class as the popular Samsung Galaxy S. Compared to the Galaxy, the software of the Incredible is much better. Samsung decided to stop updating the software of the Galaxy, unfortunately the last release of the SGS firmware has been a buggy and laggy one. HTC on the other hand became the vendor with the best software support even for older devices. So my first step has been to upgrade the firmware to Android 2.3.5 with Sense 3.0, and Android 4.0 ICS is already announced. A big compliment to HTC.
In general, I consider Sense as the most polished variant of Android. Nearly everything looks better then on stock android.
But as I also had an Galaxy S2, there is no reason for me to keep the Incredible. This is not a fair comparison, but if you once get used to the speed, brilliant display and great camera of the S2, there is no need to use the Incredible S until you get it really cheap and are not willing to pay the extra money for the SGS2.
So I did not write a complete review for the Incredible S, but I want to share a few comparison photos and videos with you.

All HTC phones before the Incredible S are well known for their crappy cameras. Though HTC phones had their strengths, like the mentioned high software quality, the cameras where just rubbish. The Incredible S has been the first HTC phone with a stronger focus on the camera. And the result does not look too bad against the iPhone 4, instead some pictures of the Incredible s look better than the iPhone 4 shots. And the iPhone 4 which has been known for its good camera for quite some time. The Incredible's camera is not great, but at least average.

Incredible S video

iPhone 4 video

Comparing the video results of both phones, without going too much into detail it's a draw in my eyes. Depending on where you stop the video, you will see some parts are better on one phone and vice versa.

To sum it up: if you are looking for a phone with a very good camera, then go for a Galaxy S2, iPhone 4S or Nokia N8. If you are instead looking for a phone with a good software, the camera is not so important for you and you get a good offer (not more than 60% of the SGS2 price), then the Incredible S might be worth a try.