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Photography blog review of R8

Well, the samples in this review looks really terrible. That's for sure. But as I pointed on dpreview, most of these samples are taken with ISO800 and similar high values! And at second, all of them were taken with "normal" sharpening. I'm sorry, but R8 sharpening is too strong even at Soft. This is what makes the samples look like water painting.

The ISO800 is far beyond possibilities of all "tiny" sensor cameras...not only Ricohs. I wouldn't even think of using ISO 800 with any camera without RAW. And these ISO800 samples are a great examples why. But because there is no RAW in R8, we need to use all available camera settings to gave the output images less processed look.

The first thing I did after turning the R8 ON was sharpness to Soft and color depth to Neutral. The second thing I did was ISO set to AutoHi 400. There is really not much use of higher ISO.
I just registered, since I consider buying the r8 (the pana tz5 and fuji f100fd being the other options).
The r8 is(was) my favorite (macro, size, lcd, some other features), but indeed the pictures do not look good, so perhaps I should wait. What on earth is the NR algorithm they use doing..
I have a question:
Is there a scene mode / setting that only chooses high ISO if it is really unavoidable? So first aperture to wide, increase shutter speed till shake really becomes a problem (given lens focal length), perhaps use fill-in flash and it all fails increase ISO?
Has someone ever produced a table for R cameras with the setting the camera' chooses with decreasing light availability (for different modes and wide/tele settings)?
Capping the ISO is one option apparently?

Thanks for any suggestions!