Finepix HS20 EXR images blurry/noisy at full size

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ravendhi, May 18, 2011.

  1. ravendhi, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011

    macrumors member


    I did some searching through the forum, but could not really find an answer to this...

    I was recently gifted a brand new Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR. It's an immense jump from the pitiful little point and shoot I used to use, and I'm having a lot of fun experimenting. However, there's one issue I'm running in to that I don't quite understand.

    It's a 16MP camera, and takes some beautiful pictures -- until you view them 'actual size' in Preview, PS, or whatever. At full size the picture is noisy and loses most of its detail. Please see the attachment... the image is a screenshot of a full sized photo taken just last night.

    Every picture I take performs this way - when you view the image smaller than actual size it looks fine, but at actual size the image is blurred and noisy. Is there some setting on the camera I should try to tweak (this model seems to allow a lot of manual settings) or is it just a fluke of the camera?

    Thank you!

    Attached Files:

  2. #2
    Have you read the manual yet?
    What is the ISO setting?
  3. macrumors member


    The manual is kind of bunk. It doesn't do much more than tell you what the different parts of the camera are. It explains the automatic settings/modes, but doesn't give any information on DIY settings.

    I've attached the image info. ISO was at 400 - though it doesn't seem to matter what I set the ISO as, all the images I take turn out this way at full size.

    Attached Files:

  4. simsaladimbamba, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
    The shutter speed was 1/6 second, which is very long for a handheld exposure of a moving subject.
    If your focal length ("zoom setting" or lens) is 85mm, you should at least have an exposure time of 1/85 second.

    Also look in the many available tutorials and guides about how to properly use manual settings on cameras (regardless of model).

  5. macrumors member


    Thank you very much! I'll do some more googling, now that I sort of know what I'm even looking for. :)
  6. macrumors 65816

    Did you sharpen your images in photoshop, or in the camera?

    I think you're simply expecting too much from your pictures. Consider the following:

    1) It's a 16MP camera, which you're viewing at 100% or 1:1. That equates to a print size of about 5 feet wide. In other words, huge.

    2) It's a 16MP camera with an exceedingly tiny sensor. The sensor in the camera is 6.4x4.8mm, making each pixel only 1.3 microns wide (contrast that to the 8.45 micron pixels of a bigger camera like a D3s). At a focal length of 9.7mm and an f-stop of 3.6, you are losing (a lot of) image resolution due to diffraction. According to the diffraction calculator on this page, a camera with the given sensor dimensions, focal length, and f-stop will become diffraction limited at 6.1MP. Meaning, in theory, there is only 6.1MP of resolvable detail in the image you took. You cannot fix this, diffraction is a consequence of optical physics. The only solutions are bigger pixels (larger sensor) or a wider f-stop.

    4) With such tiny pixels, and seeing that the shot was taken at ISO400, the in-camera noise reduction is blurring out fine detail in order to reduce the noise. The picture looks slightly blotchy and this is from the noise reduction. A lower ISO would help here. Also possible that JEPG compression artifacts are smudging away detail in the small crop you posted.

    5) Your camera sensor probably has an antialiasing filter on it to prevent moire. This will further rob you of sharpness unless you sharpen in post to counteract (but not completely undo) the effects. Most cameras have an AA filter and is another reason why some post-process sharpening is needed.

    6) You said it was taken handheld and with a slow shutter speed. This certainly isn't helping, although I don't see any obvious evidence of motion blur in the image. I think this is more a combination of the above 5 factors. If this really is a 1:1 crop, I'd say it's actually quite excellent considering the shooting conditions (1/6s handheld). You are easily able to discern fine hair structures and also resolve detail in the eye reflection, as well as texture in the iris itself.

    Basically, what you see is normal and there's not much you can do about it other than apply sharpening to your images and adjust your expectations to a more realistic level. ANY image taken from a digital camera will need sharpening for best results, no matter the camera model.

  7. macrumors member


    First off, I want to thank you for this reply. I believe you are right; I was simply expecting too much from this particular type of camera.

    I haven't done anything to the above image, short of screen cap it for sake of posting. That's exactly how it came out of the camera.

    I realize it's not going to be as good as something from a dSLR. I'd give my left arm for a real dSLR, but right now I can't afford it. I couldn't have gotten this camera on my own...

    As it is, I think I need to look in to some local classes - if there are any - and learn the basics, instead of just blasting away with my camera and (once in a while) getting lucky... Maybe once I get better with composition/etc, and actually learn what happens when you adjust things like f-stop, etc, I'll clear out my savings and get a decent dSLR... and live up to my own expectations ;)

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