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Old Apr 19, 2008, 7:44 PM   #1
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Update: after using the Canon SD890IS for 8 days. Bottom-line: confused and somewhat disappointed.

I bought it just before leaving on vacation a week ago --- to take pictures while traveling in Toulouse and Rome. The pictures looked great on the camera LCD...however, I have mixed feelings seeing them now on a higher definition PC screen.

I took about 300 photos in total. I originally thought, viewing them on my laptop Windows PC, that most seem "softer" than I would ordinarily like ---- almost all required "sharpening" and tweaking using Picasa (I would have expected a few like that...but almost all?).

I then moved the pictures to my 24" iMac --- and the majority appeared significantly better. Some required tweaking, but this time only a handful.

In general, outdoor shots taken at a distance (landscapes, buildings/sites further away --- over 50' away) and in strong sunlight appear OK. Most things closer up are not that sharp.

So, right now I am confused --- is it me and my unfamiliarity with a new camera? is it the camera? both?

I bought it at the local Costco (which has a great return policy), and I am seriously considering returning it. I'll then wait a bit for a few more serious reviews.

But, I am very disappointed. The ergonomics of the camera were superb: very easy to handle; controls are very good; fits comfortably in jeans pocket; documentation is OK (some control setting explanations are not the greatest in the world). But, my primary consideration was image quality --- and I think this may be its weal point.

I'll be interested in hearing other users' opinions as well.
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Old Apr 22, 2008, 3:53 PM   #2
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I am going to guess your closer in shots are perhaps not sharply focused, because the camera chose a point other than the one you expected. Have you considered setting the Center for your Auto Focus Frame mode, and then position the item you want to focus on in the center, press your shutter button half-way to set focus, exposure, etc., then re-compose your shot, and press the shutter button the rest of the way down.

Also, if you choose to use AiAF, then pay attention to where it places the green rectangles for focus and exposure. This may confirm why what you expected to be in focus is not.

Your owner's manual also offers suggestions on hard to focus subjects beginning on page 97.

just some thoughts,
Dennis
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Old Apr 22, 2008, 6:22 PM   #3
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Thank you. I am continuing to "experiment" and trying to keep an open mind.
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Old May 15, 2008, 8:47 AM   #4
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Just an update: I did recheck all my sample pictures and the "focus spot" was indeed where I wanted it to be on all pictures. So, I decided perhaps I got a bad camera and exchanged it for a new SD890.

Net: same problem --- very "soft" pictures with almost all requiring significant sharpening and "tweaking" in Picasa (or iPhoto) before printing. Very disappointing.

So, I am back to the beginning again. I have used a friends SD790 and the image quality (out of the camera) is SIGNIFICANTLY better than what I had with the SD890. The onky thing holding me back is the 3X optical zoom -- I did like having the 5X zoom on the SD890.

I am also considering the Olympus Stylus 1010 as an alternative --- comes highly recommended from a local camera store owner (who is well thought of around here, so I do trust his opinion), but I have found almost no independent reviews or feedback on it yet.
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Old May 15, 2008, 8:58 AM   #5
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I'd get a Panasonic with a Leica lens - very sharp pictures. The FX 35 and TZ 5 look very good to me.
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