thanks. pics were post-edited using photoshop. sony seems to have a signature 'creamy smooth' look to its pics, or perhaps it could be due to the fact that im using the 'real' color setting. it also needed some boosting in the sharpness, particularly for distant buildings, but overall im more than happy with the F828's ability to render fine detail and generally accurate exposures. not surprisingly, i wonder what all the fuss was all abt re: purple fringing cos if its there it most certainly wasnt noticeable. the noise part im ready to accept since they occur mainly in 'blank' shadowed areas only and is to be expected for long exposures. im happy to say that im more than happy with the F828!