Thanks for your post.
Not sure what time of the day it is where you are, so maybe you can't shoot a test shot, but could you photograph a car please? The edges and smoothness of something like that speak more to me about the quality of the imagery than a brick wall, where noise could be confused with texture.
I like the way you think re: setting it to deliver (cleaner) 8 MP images.
Do you know of F900EXR samples online? Google doesn't turn any up. I loved this little note on the Fuji site:
No, I couldn't find any sample images either, just had to order the camera and make my own.
It's after sundown now and very dim, but here's a quick one at ISO 3200 and 1/12 sec handheld, not too bad for a P&S. I think this is about the limit for a reasonable image, probably crisper at higher shutter speed. And I did PP in ACR, higher NR and a few other tweaks. Low res full image followed by 100% crop.
Thanks, that was nice of you.
The noise isn't bad, and is monochromatic, implying you dialed in a fair bit of color noise reduction in Camera Raw.
Still, that's impressive performance. Who, a decade or so ago, would have thought even at web sizes we could have such smooth, clean high ISO imagery from small-imager pocket cameras. I wonder what it's going to be like in another decade... See in the dark eyeglasses...