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Old Jul 31, 2003, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Canon S45 - Extremely blurry corners at wide angle

Hi all,

I have a Canon S45 and have been using it as an "everyday camera" for almost 6 months already. I have read lots of reviews and comments which are mostly positive about this camera, before I decided to buy one. At first, I didn't notice any "problem" with the shots for the first few months, I even found the image to be very sharp. Until recently I took the camera to the forest for a shoot-out, I even brought my tripod to ensure sharp pictures at low shutter speeds. As I was looking forward to see razor sharp images after uploading the pictures to the PC, and what a disappointment!

I opened these images on Zoombrowser and zoom them to 100%, found soft pictures everywhere. At first, I thought it's because my tripod wasn't sturdy enough which caused the camera shake, but immediately I noticed that it's impossible; because the images are all sharp in the centre portion with "unacceptably" blurry corners. Being a photographer for so many years I was pretty confident that these pictures were “technically” error free. The camera has been well-kept and maintained, never been dropped or damaged. All pictures were shot with standard settings without “fancy” effects, at ISO 50 and superfine mode to ensure high quality, a few were even shot at RAW mode. I observed that shots taken at widest angle setting got the blurriest corners (which is only 35mm!); those pictures which were taken at larger apertures (F2.8 – F4.0) even showed blurry to double “ghost” images. For an $800 + Tax CAD camera, I think this is totally unacceptable, my 20-35 mm Tokina for my EOS 5 can do way better than that!

I’m just wondering anyone who owned any one of the following Canon Powershot S-series digicams (S30/S40/S45/S50) has got the similar problem. Or is there any way to overcome this problem, such as firmware update etc., I just updated the firmware not too long ago. If not, then my camera must be defective in one way or the other.

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Old Aug 1, 2003, 7:34 PM   #2
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I've been interested in buying a new digital camera, and the S50 has been my top choice. Reviews say the image quality is excellent, but when I looked at the test photos in the review at imaging-resource.com I noticed the blurry corners, especially in the pictures of the house and the musicians poster. The soft focus that Canon is known for doesn't bother me, but this uneven sharpness does. The same subjects shot with other cameras that I've checked out (Minolta F300, Pentax 550) are sharp from corner to corner.

In addition to professional reviews I've also read as many owner comments as I can find (epinions, Amazon.com, etc.) and a number did comment on the blurry corners. The issue was also discussed in the forum at dpreview.com. I think this is a matter of the camera's optics and isn't something that can be corrected in firmware.

This problem and the tilted image thing have scared me away from the S50 a bit. But, the alternatives that I've looked at that have the right features and size have other problems. I still like the S50 best overall but will keep looking for an alternative.
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Canon S50... please decide carefully

I just read the new review of S50 from dpreview, and the overall evaluation is only average, the editor even claimed that the image quality of S50 is not as good as S45!! In other words, all the imperfections of S45 are being amplified and worsen. I filed a complaint to Canon regarding the blurry picture corners of my S45 and still pending their analysis, no conclusion has been made rather it's a hardware problem or "normal situation". To be honest, I'm not very happy with this 800 bucks S45 so far, and can't imagine how the pictures of S50 will look is it's worse than the S45. Please make your decision carefully my friend :roll:
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 1:22 PM   #4
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I know I am happy with my S50 so far. Everything seems fine, but I am no expert. I haven't had my camera long enough to really comment on it. I am not sure I would notice everything either. I am a novice.

Three things I do know:

1) Every digital camera seems to have something wrong with it. Digital cameras are far from perfect, from the inexpensive to the very expensive. Maybe people would be much happier with buying regular 35mm cameras instead of digital cameras.

2) Dpreview is just one review site, many other review site rated the S50 very highly. The DP reviewer put his own spin on it. Meaning, he did not review the camera on its own individual basis, but concentrated on comparing it to the S45 and other cameras, some not even in the same class I believe. The reviewer was upset because Canon keeps putting out S series cameras with out upgrading too many features each time. I personally believe rating a camera on the fact that it did not live up to your expectations of what the next series should be, instead of on it's own qualities, is wrong. If you look in the forum there, you will see an entire thread on the subject of his review. Why anyone would believe just one review from some stranger is beyond me. At least compare reviews, do research, talk to other owners, etc...

S45 owners want to believe their camera is better, S50 owners want to believe their camera is better. It may be hard to get a real unbiased technical review of who is technically right, since some review sites don't seem to do more than a quick review of a camera they have not had long.

3) Regardless of what camera you buy, you have to learn how to use it. That means not just learning the controls, but learning how to shoot the photographs too. Some people can also master software better than others. After doing much research on a camera, and visiting lots of websites, I have realized that a lot of people simply do not know how to use the expensive cameras they are buying. Heck, I am now one of them, but I hope to learn, and I hope to take this seriously. I can't put the blame on my $500 camera, just because it cost $500.00. I have to know what I'm doing. A lot of pics on the web are from people who don't know what they're doing.

and...on one more note...I was reviewing some pictures of the Nikon 4500 at one time. I thought they were AMAZING. I thought the cameras were AMAZING. I didn't think the photos were manipulated in software, I didn't think anything about anything, except WOW, that camera must be GREAT! I couldn't figure out how they got such a picture. Then, I found out the pictures were taken using a $1,200 Swarovski lens and a tripod. Who knows what other equipment. I don't have a $1,200 lens, and I doubt I am ever going to have a $1,200 lens. My point is, what you see, may not be what you're getting. Maybe a Nikon 4500 took that beautiful pic, but maybe it was attached to a $1,200 lens. I am sure that is not the case with every great pic of course, it's just an example of how a digital camera may not be what you think it is. What you see on the net may not be what you think it is.
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Old Dec 6, 2003, 10:36 PM   #5
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I have an S-40 and just thoroughly examined my pictures after you spoke of your bizaare problem. In some pictures if I view them at 100% and examine the tippity tip of the bottom corners it looks like they are ever so slightly more soft than the rest of the image, but this may just be a depth of field issue. I'd have to do some test shots to be absolutely certain. Even though I have lots of pictures, they are not good for this kind of comparison. I am into photography and have taken gobs of pictures. Many of these are at slow shutter speeds (nature, waterfalls, etc) with a tripod. I consider myself very picky and do not consider this a problem.

BTW....If you paid 800 bucks for an S45 you paid waaaaaaay too much for a camera. I got my S-40 for 395 and that was a year ago. When they replaced it with the S-45 to put the Digic chip in there, they upped the price despite the fact that it didn't make make much of an improvement (no difference really for the average user). I absolutely cannot believe that you shopped around.
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