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[filmscanners] Re: Vuescan - slightly OffTopic

Al Bond wrote:

>  I've been thinking of getting a small digital compact,
> preferably one that outputs raw files (like the Canon S50) so I have the
> choice
> of how to do the post processing.

I have an S50 as a pocket camera. I wanted something to do digitally
what my Rollei 35S has done for 25yrs.

You're right to want to use Vuescan for processing its RAW files, Canon's
FVU is unspeakably atrocious, and with the S50's files is stupidly limited
to changing only white balance. GOK what the point of that is. Bizarre.

I have to do a fair amount of post-processing in PS, with 16bit TIFF's from
VS - adjust levels, increase saturation, drop to 8bit/ch, use Colour
Washer. But it's the best workflow I've found.

But note that RAW files from an S50 are nothing like as rich, versatile and
wonderful as RAW files from a 10D (which I use with the excellent Capture
One - have asked them to please support the S50, but no sign of them doing
so:( ).

In fact I'm fairly disappointed with the S50. It works very well in bright
light at ISO100, but things go rapidly to shit in dull/dim conditions. The
optics have a vaguely smeary character wide open - sharp, but a bit
vaseline filter. CCD noise @ISO400 is worse than the 10D at ISO3200. AF
locks on well enough, but isn't precise enough for reliable use <2m in poor
light. The optical v/f is terrible, like a Brownie 127, and wildy
inaccurate. Despite the RAW and nice features like the histogram review,
highlights are easy to blow.

The UI is rather good, and instantly recognisable to anyone who's used a
10D, but the small sensor brings all sorts of real limitations. Despite the
RAW, it's basically a snapshot camera, not a serious one. Where it's
impossible to tell the difference between pics taken with my Rollei35S
and a Canon SLR with prime lens, the S50 is *way* behind the 10D most of
the time. Only on a bright day at ISO100 can it approach maybe 70% of what
a 10D achieves. An s50 with a 10D sensor and a proper v/f would be a far,
far better camera. If a bit bigger and quite a bit more expensive, fine -
it'd be worth it. Personally, I don't care about zooms on this sort of
camera - it's asking too much.

I'm still looking, for a 35S replacement, but I don't think it's going to
happen until we get away from such silly, small sensors. The forthcoming
Epson and Leica/Panasonic r/f's look interesting, but I'll believe it when
I see it.


Tony Sleep - http://www.halftone.co.uk
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