So my choice of the bad light ISO ladder as my first full comparison started a world-class caca storm regarding the acuity of the lens, the default settings for noise reduction, and the ever so tiresome HR versus DR mode debate.
Ultimately, you choose what you want to shoot and live with what happens. I can only show you what I am seeing and how I interpret it.
Alex asked the question today – is the HS50EXR at 0,0,0,-2 (the last being noise reduction) essentially equivalent to the F900EXR, which of course does not have the ability to “tune” these settings (how about it Fuji? that would be a real treat.)
To answer that, I shot a quick test out my window on a cloudy day … 500mm, 100ISO, DR400, M size (duh), and HS50 settings at 0, 0, 0, –2. I think the crops say –2. but that’s what happens when you deal with an inconsistent interface that requires you to understand nonsense settings. (-1,0,+1 makes a lot of sense as a scale … –2,0,+2 does not as it has no meaning and raises the inevitable confusion over the missing ones :-)
So here are the crops … do note that these are the moral equivalent of looking at a 33” print … (when I say 46” print, I am of course looking at L sized images, and sometimes I say that when I mean M size so I hope that people will simply assume that to mean “poster sized.”)
And there you have it. The settings are essentially identical. I find that the HS images come out with a slightly nicer tone curve, very slightly flatter. The sharpening is about the same between the two, although here it was the same in my defaults shot and slightly less sharp in my –2 shot. I believe that’s an IS statistical anomaly and that you should be touching images up with capture and / or output sharpening anyway. In bright light the NR is about the same on either 0 or 02 settings.