TEST 03: SHOOT­ING

Op­er­a­tional re­sponse and pic­ture qual­ity count above all else…

Australian T3 - - STATE OF THE ART -

The PEN-F’s touch­screen mon­i­tor is a boon for shoot­ing and re­view­ing

With the Fu­ji­film’s price and build putting it into semi-pro ter­ri­tory, the per­for­mance has to be of a high stan­dard. Though it’s not out­wardly ob­vi­ous, the cam­era has been re-worked from the in­side out. It’s no sur­prise there­fore that it’s swift to de­ter­mine fo­cus on the au­to­matic set­ting, and fast to write even the high­est-res­o­lu­tion 24MP im­ages to card – quick enough, in fact, that it rapidly be­came an ex­ten­sion of our own arm. Un­doubt­edly, there are lim­i­ta­tions, too, such as the fact that it can pro­vide just 330 im­ages from a full charge (even in power-sav­ing mode), com­pared with 900 shots de­liv­ered by most con­sumer DSLRs of the same price. In terms of pic­ture qual­ity, it of­fers bags of de­tail in ‘Fine’ res­o­lu­tion JPEGs, though com­mon com­plaints like pur­ple fring­ing crop up in ar­eas of high con­trast, such as where branches of a tree meet a blue sky.

Per­for­mance-wise, the res­olul­tion of the PEN-F’s viewfinder was enough to con­vince us we’re look­ing through an op­ti­cal ver­sion. Oper­a­tion zips along, so the cam­era han­dles like we’d ex­pect a DSLR to – there’s no sense in wait­ing for it to catch up. Like the Fu­ji­film, there are dig­i­tal ef­fects: our favourites be­ing vivid colour and a ded­i­cated mono­chrome op­tion. The touch­screen mon­i­tor is a boon for both video and stills shoot­ing and re­view­ing, as it not only tilts, it also swings out par­al­lel to the body and an­gles to face the sub­ject. Op­er­a­tional di­als pro­mote an over­all more con­sid­ered ap­proach to pic­ture tak­ing, and im­ages are sharp from cen­tre to edge.

The GX85 is the eas­i­est to get to grips with from the off. We used it with a 12-32mm zoom lens, which main­tains com­pact pro­por­tions by virtue of need­ing to be man­u­ally ex­tended be­fore use – a slight an­noy­ance (and a mi­nor gripe). How­ever, im­ages are bright, colour­ful and crisp. There’s also a fea­ture whereby the cen­tral por­tion of the on-screen im­age is au­to­mat­i­cally en­larged in tan­dem with the cam­era find­ing its fo­cus, en­abling sharp­ness to be ex­am­ined at the point of cap­ture.

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