TEST 03: SHOOTING
Operational response and picture quality count above all else…
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.