13 Oct Throwback Thursday: Fujifilm F10
Source: DP Review
Back in the film era it was perfectly possible to buy a compact camera that could match an SLR in image quality terms. Sure, you might lose out on some advanced features, and for the most part you were stuck with a fixed lens, but deep inside, whether you were shooting with an Olympus XA or an OM1, the image was formed on a frame of 35mm film.
Fast forward to the mid-2000’s and photographers without the need – or funds – for one of the new breed of ‘affordable’ (sub-$1000) consumer DSLRs had to swallow a much more serious compromise. The minuscule sensors found in pretty much every model on the market in 2005 meant cameras that were limited to around ISO 320 or 400 (or if they went higher, they did so using hideous pixel-binning techniques – more on that later).
It’s no coincidence that smartphones, which use similarly diminutive sensors (though with the advantage of a decade of hardware and ISP development) still suffer from similar limitations when shooting in anything less than bright daylight. On top of the terrible low-light performance, all but the best compacts in 2005 were also still plagued by slow operation and poor battery life. Things were getting better, slowly, but the inability to produce decent results in low light was not one of them.