Vacances en France and looking for X10 Orbs ( long post )

Discussion in 'Fuji Forum' started by nippa, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    Armed only with my X10 and a new lens hood my wife and I set off to a friend's house in Northern France last Friday.
    This was to be a final test for the dreaded Orbs and to see if the camera was really worth taking on our long haul trip next month.
    By the time we reached Folkestone to board our train a heavy mist was rolling in off the English Channel and the light was very poor.
    The crossing under the sea takes 30 minutes with about 5 cars in each level of the double decked carriages.

    DSCF1324-1.

    DSCF1330.
    Doors seal each carriage before departure.
    On the other side of the Channel the weather was still grey but this shot shows the closest I came to orbs throughout my stay.
    I doubt if my LX5 would have done any better
    DSCF1332.

    The following day and still overcast with light rain and a trip to Abbeville Airport where my wife's friend had heard that we could hire a Micro Light Aircraft (ULM in French ) as a birthday treat for her husband.
    The place was a throwback to the 1960s and very neglected as was this Mystere IV gate guardian. Such a shame. In my youth I'd spent many happy hours flying around this region and got to know its airfields well.
    It was from here that German Bombers would fly to bomb my mother in London during WW2!

    My friend's wife said the airport hotel here has an amazing write up in Trip Advisor.
    I didn't bother to look ; actually it reminded me of the Travelodge near to The Alamo - a memory I'd rather forget
    DSCF1341.

    DSCF1348.

    The next day at Le Treport but still not Orb or Flare weather
    DSCF1412.

    DSCF1405.

    [​IMG]

    DSCF1382.

    DSCF1388.

    On Sunday at Le Crotoy and the sun shone brilliantly - so much so that I couldn't see the LCD.

    DSCF1540.

    DSCF1528.

    DSCF1460.

    DSCF1476.

    DSCF1556.

    These are just a small sample of shots but this last shot interests me because when I first had the camera I took many into sun pictures and all displayed more flare than I cared for.
    It's easy to say that the lens hood helped but I can't see how that could be with the sun in shot. Any ideas?
    So concluding..at ISO400 auto no nasty orbs seen from reflective water and possibly the shallow lens hood is worth having .... I just failed to tell my wife what it cost even at the latest Amazon price!
    Using Velvia more and more now as I love the colour.
    Yup the X10 is still a keeper but I think I'll just dump Fuji now ; their PR is awful.

    (Hosting on Photobucket actual image quality is much better than shown here)
     
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  2. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    You are making me hungry - Pancake Tuesday today - so here in France we are celebrating the English tradition - just made 9 great pancakes and will now sit down and eat them

    some good shots in there once you get past the "Relais de l'Europe"- the weather always helps

    bon appétit!
     
  3. Julien

    Julien SC Top Veteran

    749
    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Julien
    I thought Pancake Day was a photography event, I'm disappointed! :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Nice photos!

    The orbs are MOST likely to show up in urban night shooting with a lot of direct light sources shining more or less at the camera. At long exposures and low ISOs, they're almost guaranteed in those circumstances. They can also show up on very bright days with a lot of direct reflections catching the sun. And sometimes with direct reflections on water. I did a couple of thousand shots in the first several days I had mine and only saw a few orbs, so I was one of the people who originally poo-poo'd it as a problem. But after seeing so many examples and knowing I'd shot a lot on a few VERY bright days in NYC, which is rife with reflective surfaces, and a fair amount of night shooting as well, I went back through my remaining shots from those few days of shooting with a fine tooth comb. And it turns out I had a lot more of them than I'd originally thought. Most of them were not large enough to affect the shot, but a lot were and just happened to be on shots that I didn't like enough to go into and process, so I hadn't noticed them. But they were notable enough that if I'd spent any time with those files, I'd have seen them for sure. And an awful lot of my night shots had them as well, some worse than others, but definitely there. Out of those couple of thousand photos, I only have a few hundred left at this point to go through. I have to assume that a similar percentage of my total rejects would have had orbs if I'd really looked at them. Of my daytime shots, the orbs showed up in several, but I'd say there were only 2-3 that were bad enough that I might not have used the shot, or might have tried touching up around the orb. But of the handful of remaining night shots, almost all of them showed some orbs and most were actually pretty bad. And I didn't shoot that much at night with that camera because I also had the X100 and EPL3 along. So considering how few night shots I had and the percentage with orbs, I'd have to say I probably wouldn't trust this camera for urban night time shooting, which is really a drag because its otherwise pretty great for a small sensor camera in low light.

    So now I'd say it just comes down to a matter of personal tolerance. Many of my shots that have orbs I wouldn't notice without really looking for them - others are notable enough to bother me if I'd tried working on those shots. Its still a pretty small percentage of photos taken, but its enough to scare me off taking this as an ONLY camera if I want to travel light, particularly if I'm planning to do any night shooting in brightly lit areas (which I really like doing a lot of, although not long exposure tripod shots, which is where the problem is at its worst). But that "only camera when travelling light" is sort of what I bought the camera for in the first place, so now I'm really unsure about it. I've seen so many wonderful photos from this camera (even taken a few good ones myself) that are NOT affected by orbs that I'd hate to give it up, but I'm concerned that its enough of a problem to affect my confidence in enough of the types of shooting I do to wonder if its going to serve its purpose for me. For sure, if you're conscious of the conditions that cause them, you can often work around them, but in some cases they're going to be unavoidable and each of us just has to figure out for ourselves whether the risk/reward works with our own personal tolerances. Its an amazing enough camera that I hope they work it out in the X20 or X11 or whatever follows it, and can do so without messing up the amazing low light and DR capabilities of this little camera. But I can't claim, as I initially did, that its a non-issue. Its an issue, its just a matter of how MUCH of an issue for each person's type of shooting and personal tolerance. I wouldn't recommend against getting this camera, but I wouldn't recommend FOR it either now, at least without giving it a good solid workout during the return period and seeing if its a problem for YOU.

    -Ray
     
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  5. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    crêpe with Golden Syrup, (treacle), orange juice, lemon juice, sugar and my wife had a little crème fraiche .......... not all at once, (or together), I must add for the sake of decency
     
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  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Great photos Nippa!!!

    Agreed with what Ray wrote above. Strangely though, I also have had a few long exposure low ISO photos that did not have any severe "orbbing".

    At the end of the day, I really have to go looking for the orbs to find them. So they don't really bother me.
     
  7. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    After much deliberation my X10 is going back to Amazon UK for a full refund even though it is outside the return period.
    There was no problem returning the product, in fact , after today's dpreview test I would guess that they're expecting a lot more

    My ideal compact would be an X11 with a proper Bayer Sensor.
    Fuji you were so close and yet so far!
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I have to wonder whether the orbs are somehow directly linked to how far they push that sensor. I don't know enough of the technical end to do more than base speculation, but that little sensor is capable of an awful lot more than any similarly small sensor I've previously seen. Mostly with the EXR functionality turned on, but I wonder if that pixel binning thing affects it with or without EXR engaged? It just seems very possible that a downside of the increased sensitivity of the sensor could result in the extreme "blooming" that happens on blown highlights. Maybe I'm totally full of it, but I'm really curious. Because I'd love to see an X11 or X20 or whatever they're going to call it that still uses the EXR sensor IF they can get the highlight thing right. With just a straight Bayer Sensor, I wonder if it wouldn't just be another point and shoot with incrementally better capabilities than the LX5/S100/XZ1/etc, just based on its incrementally larger size? With the EXR technology, I find it pretty special, but clearly flawed. Whether the flaw is an issue depends on how an individual shoots and how sensitive they are to the smaller orbs (which happen pretty frequently - its the BIG ones that happen rarely but get passed around the web like chicken pox. I'm personally fine with the camera in daylight conditions - I've had orbs but most it takes a near 100% crop to find, with only a few large enough to really hurt a shot. But the camera doesn't cut it for me for night time shooting in urban areas. Its sensitive enough in low light, but I had an awful lot of distracting orbs in my night shots (even at relatively higher ISO), to the point where I wouldn't be comfortable taking just this camera on nearly any sort of "light travel" trip I'd ever take.

    If they can get the orb thing worked out within the context of the really capable EXR sensor, its pretty close to the perfect small all-in-one travel camera. WIth the orbs its not (for me at least) and with a Bayer sensor, I'd have to see the results, but I'd be doubtful. Whether they can combine its great capabilities AND get rid of the orbs is a question I don't know the answer to.

    -Ray
     
  9. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    At least with a Bayer Sensor we'd get resolution to match the excellent lens.
    It was the lack of resolution ( and here I have the advantage of comparing with Dlux4 , LX5 , m4/3 and aps-c cameras) more than the Orb problem that caused me to depair.
    At no stage during my ownership did I find the EXR mode to offer advantages that aren't available on other cameras.
    Colours are great and low noise gave it the edge over the LX5 but perhaps it's just the thought that Fuji took advantage of us enthusiasts by releasing a premature product that caused me to baulk at continued ownership.

    I'm tempted to try the new Canon but I'd like to hold one before I make up my mind.
     
  10. dbarnett66

    dbarnett66 SC Regular

    37
    Dec 20, 2011
    East San Diego County
    The resolution has been bothering me too. My camera maybe going back as well. I could live with the orb issue, but my photos were not tack sharp as I want them to be. I really feel torn about this and was surprised to see your post on this EXACT issue.
     
  11. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    My X10 was supposed to go back today but I thought I'd leave it until I try out the new Canon GX1 ; Amazon seemed easy about this.
    Well , I've now got the GX1 and the battery is charging as I type so by tomorrow I should have some images to post.

    Whereas the X100 and X10 have a "wow" factor and just makes you want to hold them the GX1 is just a boring black brick - although smaller than expected.
    The GX1 doesn't do Macro and for me that is a major disadvantage ... I'm starting to think that I shall have to keep both cameras.
     
  12. Julien

    Julien SC Top Veteran

    749
    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Julien
    nippa, I think you meant G1X, not (Panasonic) GX1.

    For what I've seen of the Canon cam I agree with you. No wow factor for me.
     
  13. nippa

    nippa SC Top Veteran

    561
    Aug 7, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Dennis
    Oh Dear .. G this G that. What is it with Xs and Gs!

    Well the battery has charged and initial IQ looks fantastic from the Canon in the fading light but....compared to the Fuji the camera looks and feels crude.
    Even the menu systems seem to be straight from my last G camera - a G9 - with a poor LCD. The controls are nowhere near as nice as the X10.
    I seem to be shooting before pressing the shutter down halfway..back to read the manual.

    Making me realise more that the X10 is a flawed gem.
     
  14. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Nippa,

    Haven't there been other Fuji cameras with the same sensor architecture (other than the X10 and X-S1)? Do any one them exhibit the orbs problem?

    That might be one way to get at whether it is the EXR sensor or a software problem.

    - Jock
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    They've had EXR sensors before these two, but much smaller P&S type sensors. And these are the first two cameras with this problem, as far as I'm aware (and for as much as I've seen written about this, I'm sure it would have come up!). It can't be purely software or you'd think this recent FW update would have made a difference, which it didn't. Or it may be that by tweaking the processing algorithms far enough to eliminate the orb problem also reduces or eliminates the capabilities that make this sensor so special up the point the highlights blow.

    So, on one level or another, it seems pretty obviously a sensor issue.

    -Ray