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Old Oct 9, 2009, 3:27 PM   #1
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Default Canon sx10 or sx20

hi everyone, I'm a newbby on this forum and on shooting pictures. I want to buy a semiprof camera. What do you think about Sx10 and Sx20?
Which one is better?
What other cameras can you suggest for me in that range (short of money)?
Thank you so much in advance!!
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Old Oct 10, 2009, 6:21 PM   #2
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I passed on both the Canon SX-10 and the SX-20 due to their ISO limitation. Any thing at ISO 400 and above produces mucho noise. Instead, I purchased the Canon XS instead.

If the old budget is hard pressed, the very highly respected www.keh.com, has a Panasonic FZ-18 (18X optical zoom) for $205.00 right now.

The Panasonic FZ-18 was very well reviewed and that is a good price.

Have a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 16, 2009, 1:16 AM   #3
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Default Canon SX10 or SX20

mtclimber,... he was asking about large Zoom P&S. You went to the XS which is a DSLR, and you didn't mention what lens you got with it to get up to the 20x zoom range,...or what it could cost.

I have the XSi, and you are right, with the kit lens the ISO settings at 400 are good. But on the SX10, they are not that bad for a much lower price Camera THAT INCLUDES THE 20 ZOOM. Also, that lens starts at f/2.8 but f/5.7 zoomed. It all comes back to where you want to spend your money and how much you have.

I have noticed a large difference in image quality or sharpness between the SX10 and the SX20 when looking at the sample images in Steve's review of both cameras. Take a look at the shots of his wife and child for both cameras and I think you will see the SX10 is much sharper image.
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Old Oct 16, 2009, 10:36 AM   #4
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trigger 1937-

Thanks for the heads up. That was my bad. I use the highly rated Canon 55-255mm lens on my Canon XS, which effectively gives me 14.3X when compared to the kit lens.

And yes, I agree with you, the image quality of the SX-10 seems to beat that of the SX-20. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 16, 2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Default SX10 and SX20 IS Review

Sarah,... you just made my day. I don't know why it took me more than a year to see this. It is so clear to me,..but the question is,... WHY. What is the item that can cause this. They are both the same lens, and both the same Digit 4 chip,... so it has to be either the 12 MP sensor that can not get as good a image or some difference in the focus setup that caused the difference in image quality. It could be something as simple as the default compression settings used in the P&S cameras such that they use more sharpening or some other setting.

On my Canon XSi I compained about the same problem. I could not take a sharp image. The P&S cameras control the DOF better and they have very tight settings of sharpness, etc. when they save an image. However, on the Canon XSi, they don't do any sharpening of any saved image.

Since I have all 3 cameras, is there a way I can do a test to prove which camera has the best image. I can't control the S3 IS or the G7 but I can control and change the sharpness settings of the XSi

Why does it have to be so dam hard.
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Old Oct 17, 2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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trigger1937-

This is just my opinion. However, I am guessing that the image quality is better on the Canon SX-10 rather than the SX-20 due to a factor called, pixel density. To get the required 12, million pixels on the same size imager as you will find on the SX-10, on the SX-20, the individual pixels, had to become (1) smaller in physical size, and (2) be placed closer together. Thus, the photo receptors in each individual pixel are smaller and can only take in, or accept less light. Crowding the pixel placement also reduces accepted light.

So, to overcome this smaller pixel size and the pixel crowding, a new processor (Digic 4) is used and the image output is increased, the signal volume is increase, as well as the compression, to compensate for the loss in processed light: the result is, I am sorry to say, reduced image quality. It is very much like your sound system, you can only increase the sound volume so much before you begin to loose sound quality and clarity. You must also understand that point and shoot cameras have a lot of, in camera, image sharpening and image processing because the expectation is that point and shoot camera users will NOT post process their photos in most cases.

Now camera manufacturers look upon DSLR cameras in an entirely different way. They EXPECT that DSLR camera users will post process every single photo. Therefore, the camera manufacturers do NOT do as much: noise reduction, sharpening, and in camera, image processing, as is done in typical point and shoot cameras.

DSLR cameras also have in ability to change the sharpening, contrast, and saturation in the camera, if the DSLR user desires. So, between the in camera adjustments, just mentioned, and the post processing, that is where the image quality is going to be obtained to meet the needs of the DSLR user.

Of course, there are some exceptions such as the Nikon D-40, D-40X, D-60, D-3000, and D-5000 that do more in camera image processing than other DSLR cameras such as those produced by Canon, Pentax and Sony.

As I mentioned, I am currently shooting with the Canon XS and have an XSi enroute to me as I write this. I don't mind post processing and sharpening during the post processing. However, I have a good friend who also uses the Canon XS and prefers to keep her XS in camera sharpening pushed up to the max, as that is the kind of photo she is used to seeing out her old point and shoot camera.

The bottom line is simply this: to get your best image quality from a DSLR camera you have to post process and be fairly good at post processing. Have a great weekend.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 17, 2009, 11:39 PM   #7
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Default Canon SX10 or SX20

Sarah,... Thanks again for you feedback. I've heard a similar comment from others that it is all about the sensor current size and that by going to 12 MP is what has cause the reduction in image sharpness. I've gone to as many sites as I can find to compare the APC-C sensor cameras at anything below 12 mp. I have yet to find one where the image quality is as good as any of the 10 mp cameras. It is not by just a little bit, but by a whole lot. Here is a better question,... Why should any company have to release 10 new cameras every 6 months, and each of them only differ by minor elements?????? It seems to me if you have a great product, it would be more efficient to produce 500,000 of one model than 20,000 of 20 models.

So,.. I am curious why you would buy an XSi camera. I have one I'll sell you for real cheap,.. and I have the Canon Service Center test data to show that it is "Within Specifications". I also just compared the Canon 350D pictures with the same kit lens and the 350D images are better????

How can this be. Does Canon think everyone out here is just a bunch of dummies and will buy anything that has this years date on it.

I continue to do more testing on my XSi and reviewing the images I have taken over the last year. My only conclusion is that the AutoFocus function of the XSi, is just not repeatable. Seven our of eight shots will be out of DOF focus and therefore not sharp. Every now and then I get one that is in focus for some reason. I'm talking AF on simple things that Have very high contrast and excellent light. I had been trying everything to come up with some kind of adjustment in my shooting to compensate for the errors I get,... but the answer is,..nothing works all of the time.

I would have to say I think this unit is "Front Focused" by 1/2" to 3/4" on 80% of my shots. If the subject is high contrast and therefore easy to focus, it comes out right most of the time.

Sarah,... if you are getting an XSi,.. what lens would you use to get sharp images. I would really like to hear your results once you get the XSi.

Last edited by trigger1937; Oct 17, 2009 at 11:42 PM. Reason: Added new question.
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Old Oct 18, 2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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trigger1937-

Thanks for the post. When Canon produced the XT, it soon became evident that they had a focusing problem. The XTi was supposed to address that problem, and in large measure it did. However, there was still a gremlin afoot. The XTi had exactly the problem that you discussed: under good lighting conditions, the focus was reliable and repeatable. However, there were times, particularly when you got into an dimly lit environment, that the XTi missed the focus, and you got a fuzzy photo.

Once again the Calvary at Canon rushed to the rescue, and we got the XSi, which all in all was an impressive camera. Understand that the processor had been upgraded as well as these progressive changes were made. That was done to also address the focusing problem. You can see a trend here. Canon has now been through 3 generations of cameras, and that focusing problem is still hanging around, albeit as a progressively smaller problem with each generational switch. That is why when the 500D was suddenly introduced, it was given an entirely new designation, the T-1. Canon wanted to break with the Xxx series. Does the 500D /T-1 model fall in to the 300D family line, I am really not sure. However, it seems clear that Canon felt a corporate need to do something entirely different to either end the 300D family, or to plow entirely new ground.

Now let's look at some Canon Corporate policy. The XT, XTi, and the XSi are seen as part a parcel of the 300D evolution. These cameras listed were sort of a family of cameras that were somewhat less than Canon's normal or standard family of DSLR cameras: the 20D, the 30D, the 40D, and the 50D, and above.

With most Canon XSi cameras, you can determine rather quickly whether the camera is one of the so called "good batch" or not in terms of focus reliability. My plan is this of the focus is good and consistently reliable, then I will keep the camera. If the focus is inconsistent and not really reliable in all conditions, then I turn around and sell the camera. It is as simple as that. The XSi I have coming will not be the only DSLR I have. So, I will never be without a DSLR.

I also have a Pentax KX coming sometime in the next 10 to 14 days. That is a 12mp versus 10mp camera, using Sony's new imager that is also found on the Sony A-500/A-550, and the Nikon D-5000/D-90 cameras. So I guess you could say I am in a "wait and see" mode. Why all the DSLR cameras? I have taught Photography for years and have been doing more and more DSLR workshops in the last 12 to 18 months.

Your what lens question: the new 18-55mmIS lens is a much better kit lens, but I like a little more reach, so I have a Sigma 17-70mm lens that I am currently using on the XS, and I also used it on my XT as well. I will immediately use the Sigma 17-70mm lens on the XSi because I am very familiar with it focusing habits and it will allow me to test the XSi rather quickly. I also have the Canon 55-250mm lens that I use a lot and it will be put to use in the same way.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 12:33 AM   #9
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Default Canon SX10 or SX20+++XSi

Sarah,... You are one of the first people I've ever heard confirm such a problem with Canon Cameras. I've come across some more information that I put into another post on this web site but I think it will be more usful in your hands than in other. I wish I would have found you while my 1 year warranty was still in effect. I would have somehow convinced Canon to refund my $$$.

You mention selling it,...as if that is something easy to do. As far as I have seen, it is just the opposite unless you practially give it away.

I've been searching all over the net looking for reviews of various lenses. I won't mention the site but I found someone that primarily does detail reviews on lenses. He just also happened to compare the Canon kit lens to some of the other lenses he has tested. They have also been doing a year long study on IS and just how it works and how to test how effective it is.

In doing this he did a lot of testing on the AutoFocus function of lenses, including the kit lens, with the XSi. His findings about how the AF system works indicates there are "DEAD ZONEs" on each lens that the Camera can't (or won't) try to reduce or fix or adjust. It is something similar to the tolerance between two gear teeth on the lens motor. The other effect is that the AutoFocus to get the best Blur results does not repeat, especially if the focus point is approached from far and then near, or in other words, from the front or the rear. The Canon new "Contrast AutoFocus" function, either by design, or via software, gives up once it get the first point decision. Multiple depressions of the trigger can sometimes give a better result. This is not a Phase detection autofocus which I think they had in the XT and the XTi.

Do you have someplace where I can view some of your shots with the sigma lenses, especially from a Canon body.

I've been complaining for a year about how much worse my XSi pictures are compaired to my S3 or my G7. When I look at how tiny the lenses are for the G7 it is easy to see how the Autofocus system can do a much better job, and the lens has a wider aperature.

I shot a lot of new pictures today with my XSi and the 75-300 mm lens. Once I set the Camera up correctly on a tripod and did a range of shots, I was much happier with it than my 18-55 mm. The ability to manual focus is not that great on the telephoto but it is twice as good as the 18-55mm.

Since you teach digital photograph,... what would you suggest would be a fair test of the XSi and the 18-55 mm lens. I've tried to shoot some portraits with it but I can never get a clear one when I look at 100%
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Old Oct 20, 2009, 10:51 AM   #10
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Trigger-

I have never had a focusing problem when using the Canon XS with the kit lens or any other lens for that matter. Yes, I have had problems with focusing using the Canon XT and XTI cameras, as I explained in a previous post.

I have attached a simple still life photo sample taken with the Canon XS and the Canon 18-55mm kit lens. In fact, for the sake of convenience, I often keep a Tamron 18-200mm lens on the XS as my walk around lens. Now we know that either Sigma's or Tamron's 18-200mm lens are not famous for their sharpness. However, I have no complaints about the XS focusing with that Tamron 19-200mm lens.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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