Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/01

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Subject: [Leica] Digital N* 990 / Genuine Fractals
From: "Robert Rose" <>
Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 18:35:08 -0700

I start off by confessing that I am a committed Leicaphile, but I gotta tell you about this camera.

I got a Nikon Coolpix 990 for the office, and decided to try it out over the weekend.

Wow.  This is some advance over the other digitals I have used.

Also, I must sing some praise about Genuine Fractals, a program that comes bundled with the new camera.  It allows you to enlarge any image by increasing the file size, and keeping the apparent sharpness.  Much better than simply using Photoshop alone; and it works as a Photoshop plug-in.  Here is how it works:  You save the image as an stn file rather than psd or tif, and then when you next go to open the file it asks you in a dialog box what size you want.  So, if you saved it as a 9mb file, simply open it as a 20mb file.  This is worth looking into even if you scan your images.

The 990 images are extremely sharp and beautiful and very saturated.  The file size of the fine image is 9 mb when it opens in Photoshop.  An 8x10 showed no signs of pixelation.  The 8x10 showed the same level of crispness and detail and contrast that I have come to expect from my Leica lenses.

One complaint was that highlights easily burned out, but then there is a contrast control that I have yet to play with.

The screen can be swiveled, so it can be used like a Rollei, at waist level.  If you turn off constant autofocus and beeps, then the camera is also entirely silent.  There is also a b&w mode, although it does not decrease the file size.

Shutter delay is much improved over previous digitals models I have used.

But don't toss the M6 just yet.  Focus in low light seems to be a challenge for the 990.  Also, you need to keep a bushel of AA batteries with you.  I also would not bet on this camera in a rough and tumble environment.  Finally, the 16mb chip only holds 10 or so fine images.

Bob Rose