Macro Photography Test: Sony DSC-HX60 vs Fujifilm X10

I used to spend many an hour with my old Panasonic TZ20, rummaging around hedges looking for bugs to snap. I’ve had my Fuji X10 for a couple of years, but never done any macro photography with it, and my Sony DSC-HX60 is a recent purchase, whose cheap price was the decider against the much more expensive Panasonic TZ60. With a nice sunny evening yesterday I decided the time was right to test them both out. First of all, the full photo as taken, straight out of the camera:

Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

On seeing these photos I was quite disappointed at the lack of sharpness, and wondered if these two cameras, the Sony a lot newer, and the Fujifilm newer and higher spec, were as good as my 5 year old Panasonic TZ10. The depth of field is pretty similar which surprised me somewhat, given the superior sensor of the X10. I cropped the images at 100% in the centre to see what the quality is like at full size.

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Fujifilm X10

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

100% Crop of Dandelion Taken with Sony DSC-HX60

There’s not much difference in quality, but the Fuji seems to have focused on the stamen (tentacle type things growing out towards the lens) where as the Sony has focused on the centre of the flower and petals, further back. One thing that I will have to look into is setting macro mode on the Sony, as that was not something I could see how to do, and had to rely on automatic settings. One thing the Sony does have going for it over the Fujifilm is more natural colours, with the Fujifilm producing a more orange tinge.

I’m also keen to dig out my Panasonic TZ10 and photograph the same flower. It could be that the new Sony was a false economy at the keen price, and I should have been looking at the new model Panasonic. Overall though I’m quite disappointed, which is not a new feeling during my photography experiences!

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