We've already mentioned the quick and accurate auto-focus, now we want to talk image stabilization. Long zoom lenses are notoriously prone to camera shake. Just a slight wobble of your wrist and your composition dances all over the place. If you don't have a tripod, you're relying on a steady hand to get a sharp shot and not a photo with everything all out of focus. Image stabilization helps to negate some camera shake, and the FH25's image stabilization system is clearly at work whenever you zoom out to the longer ranges, helping you get a clearer picture.
Easy Zoom in Action
We've already mentioned the Easy Zoom button, here's what it looks like in action. In the first shot, we started out at the widest 28mm for a landscape photo. In the second shot, we've tapped the Easy Zoom button once and the camera had zoomed in 10x. This is in iA mode, so we're getting the extra 2x zoom with Intelligent Resolution (IR), which means the image is being cropped and enhanced. The third shot is a contrast shot of the same place, but at 8x zoom, fully optical and without digital enhancements. There is a difference in quality; the IR enhanced shot has more noise, but unless you're pixel-peeping, you won't really be able to tell. The last shot is the camera fully zoomed out to 22.5x - it's all digital zoom on this one. It's an impressively far range, but image quality takes a corresponding dive, and the resolution goes down to 9MP.
Resolution & ISO Performance
When it comes to resolution, the FH25 produces an unexpectedly high 2000 x 2000 LPH horizontal and vertical results on our test chart. That means it captures a lot of detail for a compact camera. And then there's the high 16-megapixel image size (if high megapixels float your boat). ISO performance is also good, we're getting usable images up to ISO 800 (the next step up of ISO 1600 is a no-go).