From: Bob Donahue on
I take a lot of pictures at car shows. The digital cameras I've had to date,
have trouble rendering white cars in direct sunlight. You can't see the
curves of the body panels, they come out pure white with no shading! Cars
that are not white come out beautifully. I'm in the market for a new "point
and shoot" camera. I've narrowed my choice down to the Fujifilm FinePix
F100fd or the Nikon CoolPix 610. Both of these models are advertised as
having special "dynamic range" modes. Which one would be my best bet for
avoiding washed out highlights?

--
Bob D.


From: David J Taylor on
Bob Donahue wrote:
> I take a lot of pictures at car shows. The digital cameras I've had
> to date, have trouble rendering white cars in direct sunlight. You
> can't see the curves of the body panels, they come out pure white
> with no shading! Cars that are not white come out beautifully. I'm in
> the market for a new "point and shoot" camera. I've narrowed my
> choice down to the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd or the Nikon CoolPix 610.
> Both of these models are advertised as having special "dynamic range"
> modes. Which one would be my best bet for avoiding washed out
> highlights?

Bob, you may be able to save money simply by setting the exposure
compensation on your existing camera to -1/3 stop - i.e. just under-expose
a little.

Fuji have made CCDs in the past with dual sensors at each pixel - large
sensors for the main parts image and smaller sensors for the bright parts
of the image. This technology I would be inclined to trust, although I
have not used it myself. I don't know if the F100fd includes this
technology, but it appears that it might. You may need to use RAW mode to
make the most of this, and it's not obvious whether the F100fd has RAW..
A small-sensor camera offering up to ISO 12800 I would not trust, as it's
simply beyond the laws of physics to produce a reasonable 12MP image.
Check for yourself before purchase!

http://www.dpreview.com/news/0801/08012407fujif100fd.asp

David


From: ASAAR on
On Sat, 30 Aug 2008 23:40:55 -0400, Bob Donahue wrote:

> I take a lot of pictures at car shows. The digital cameras I've had to date,
> have trouble rendering white cars in direct sunlight. You can't see the
> curves of the body panels, they come out pure white with no shading! Cars
> that are not white come out beautifully. I'm in the market for a new "point
> and shoot" camera. I've narrowed my choice down to the Fujifilm FinePix
> F100fd or the Nikon CoolPix 610. Both of these models are advertised as
> having special "dynamic range" modes. Which one would be my best bet for
> avoiding washed out highlights?

Possibly the camera you already own. Which one is it? As David
mentioned, a slight amount of exposure compensation may give you
back the missing white highlights, although it may require more than
a -1/3 stop reduction. If your camera can show histograms on
playback, it'll show pretty clearly if you're pictures are being
overexposed. Some cameras also combine a "blinking highlights"
feature that will show the highlight problem areas.

As for the better camera, I'd say probably the F100fd, but that's
a guess since here (USA) the Coolpix S610 has no reviews since it
isn't yet available. B&H indicates that they'll be getting them in
October. If it's anything like the similarly spec'ed CoolPix S600,
the Coolpix P60 and Panasonic's LZ10, Fuji's F100fd clearly
outperforms them for detail and image quality, most obviously at
higher ISOs. Only a little was said about the CP S600's D-Lighting,
and the example primarily showed improved shadow detail. More
attention was paid to improving dynamic range in the F100fd's
reviews, so here's some of what was said. Links follow :


> The FinePix F100fd's adjustable Dynamic Range adjustment helped
> in harsh lighting as in the portrait shots above. You can see that
> highlight detail in the white shirt is off the chart in the first two images,
> but increasing the dynamic range helped to bring out more detail
> in this area, as well as in the shadows and midtones.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/F100FD/F100FDA.HTM


> My overall impression of the F100fd is that it does exhibit a bit more
> range than most, if not all compacts I've tested in the past, but the
> impression is not from this comparison alone. Surf shots with the
> F100fd showed consistent retention of detail in the white water portion
> of the waves rather than lost highlights typical of most other cameras.
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3440



http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3426&review=nikon+coolpix+s600


http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3451&review=nikon+p60


http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3441&review=panasonic+lumix+lz10

From: John on
Hi Bob,

Have you thought about a camera that shoots in RAW mode, which gives you
much greater control over the end result.

Regards,
John.

Bob Donahue wrote:
> I take a lot of pictures at car shows. The digital cameras I've had to date,
> have trouble rendering white cars in direct sunlight. You can't see the
> curves of the body panels, they come out pure white with no shading! Cars
> that are not white come out beautifully. I'm in the market for a new "point
> and shoot" camera. I've narrowed my choice down to the Fujifilm FinePix
> F100fd or the Nikon CoolPix 610. Both of these models are advertised as
> having special "dynamic range" modes. Which one would be my best bet for
> avoiding washed out highlights?
>
From: ASAAR on
On Sun, 31 Aug 2008 05:55:47 GMT, David J Taylor wrote:

> A small-sensor camera offering up to ISO 12800 I would not trust, as it's
> simply beyond the laws of physics to produce a reasonable 12MP image.
> Check for yourself before purchase!

I wouldn't trust this comment unless it's reworded slightly. Are
you sure that you didn't mean to type something like :

> I wouldn't trust a small-sensor camera's ISO 12,800 offering . . .

Many cameras, including the F100fd and some from Casio, Panasonic
and Olympus offer very high ISO settings at reduced resolution, and
that doesn't mean that these cameras can't be trusted. When used at
lower, more reasonable ISO settings they can produce very good
images. The F100fd's image quality at ISO 12,800 isn't very good,
but nobody that is at all familiar with small sensor cameras would
expect it to be. In fact, it's not all that bad. It won't produce
great or very good quality 4"x6" snapshots, but what it does produce
will be usable, and better than what many other small sensor cameras
can do at much lower ISO settings. Reduced resolution or pixel
binning leaves a lot to be desired, but it's better than the
alternative, which is usually a totally unusable image.