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Old Jun 19, 2005, 10:07 PM   #1
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For those of you who own this supposed 'top-of-the-line' Canon SD camera, I don't know what you've been seeing but this one day owner of the SD500 is very disappointed with the picture quality. This, after having read numerous reviews and opinions by other users. For one, purple fringing can be found in daytime, bright sunny picture settings. Also, the colors look way too vivid for my taste (i.e. the 'green' color of grass look too strong). Noise level is also something to be concerned of (I set all my ISO to 50, the lowest possible and yet the pictures tend to still look soft). The final insult is the blurry image I got one of my pictures I took today.

I am really regretting that I sold my S400 on Ebay over the weekend. If you ask me, the S400 does a much better job at producing more accurate pictures. Heck, even when you view the pictures at 100% on your PC monitor the JPEG compression isn't as strong as the SD500's. The biggest benefits of the SD500are it's super quick startup mode as well as its shooting pictures, which is very impressive.

Perhaps I'm being a too critical here and should give the camera another chance. Good thing is I have 14 days to return it to fry's electronic storewithout having to worry about a 15% restocking fee other stores typically charge these days.

Anyhow, judge for yourself. I have attached three pictures.

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Old Jun 19, 2005, 10:08 PM   #2
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Sample 2 (blurry shot!)
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Old Jun 19, 2005, 10:10 PM   #3
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sample 3 (the color and depth of the macro flower shot look unnatural IMO)
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Old Jun 19, 2005, 10:54 PM   #4
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I don't know too much about photography to feel comfortable in analysing a picture, but I'll give it a try.

I feel that in the first picture the scene seems to be overexposed. I this in both the sky and the sidewalk. Maybe that this caused the color to appear unnatural, but I am not sure if that is the case, but maybe that setting the camera to neutral colors would help too. Neutral colors would probably also help for the 3rd shot.

As for the second shot, it doesn't look too out of focus, but the problem may be due to the AiAF focusing system which could be focusing on the wrong part of the image, thus giving you an out of focus image. To correct that you could use another focus type such as center for example and have it focus on the precise thing which you are photographing.

As for the noise and purple fringing, well probably that the second could be diminished by using a smaller aperture, but generally speaking I do not trust that much the high MP small sensor cameras. I know the G6 has the same number of MP on a sensor the same size, but still, its much bigger and has a better lens. I would tend to prefer if they would reduce the number of pixels and use bigger sensors(stay in the 3-5mp range for the most part) and don't go smaller than 1/1.8". It can be done making a small camera, the proof is the SD500(which has 7mp tho.)
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Old Jun 20, 2005, 4:11 AM   #5
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Yes they do look blurry.

I`ve got myself a cheap Canon A510 and it produces really quite good pics.

Have a look at : www.pixagogo.com/philippeluyckx

Album : taken with canon a510


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Old Jun 20, 2005, 11:31 AM   #6
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I hate to say this, but I'm afraid the SD500 is going back. If you compare the SD500 to the older Elph series cameras (i.e. S400), the difference in picture quality is night and day. No way the SD500 is worth $500. Perhaps the predecessor to the SD500 will be greatly improved.
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 5:52 AM   #7
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In the case of the second and third pictures, yes they are pretty bad and maybe there is something wrong with your camera. I have the Powershot S70 which I think uses the same senso , and have been very pleased with it.

As for shot one, you are shooting into the sun. I have yet to see a digicam that wouldn't cause purple fringing in these circumstances as the contrast is too high. This is also true of alot of SLRs fitted with cheap lenses.

A EOS 1Ds Mk2 with the 28-70 f/2.8 L series lens might be able to control the fringing, but that is a very expensive kit and probably beyond most of our budgets.

Maybe try the same shot with the light to the side or behind you? This is an idea I've only just become aware of, as I've never understood what caused the fringing.

Either way, yours looks like it can't focus so send the blighter back. Steve's samples look alot sharper so something muct be wrong.
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Old Jun 25, 2005, 12:37 PM   #8
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I just looked through Steve's sample pictures and they aren't oversaturated. Check in the menu that you don't have is set to vivid photo. If not, you might have gotten a bad camera.

In your sample 2 the camera seems to be focused on the tower. It has to focus on something.

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Old Jun 25, 2005, 11:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for your honest feedbacks. I tried again today and took more shots. I turned off the photo effect. Should I not even bother to use the vivid mode?Even when I turned off the photo effect off, some of my pictures still come a bit soft. The daytime shots I took at the beach and park, I turned off the flash mode in some scenes since I figured there is enough sunlight casting. People pics came out very well (nice natural looking skin tones).

Well, here are few more pics from today. I'm still struggling with flower pics. It seems that it's a hit and miss thing for me. Often times, the lower yellow light blinks indicating that not enough light is present even when there is some, if this makes sense. I tried adjusting the EVFsetting to a higher leveland to no avail, I can't get it to work. And when it did focus, the image of the flower would be soft and out of focus. The sample I have attached is one of my better pictures albeit there is still a loss of detail.




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Old Jun 25, 2005, 11:52 PM   #10
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More sample (I had to raise the EVF level of the statute since the shadow was pretty heavy casting over it; the downside to this pic is that when you blow it up to 50%, you can see massive purple fringings around it; at 100% it's very noticeable. I guess this is the biggest drawback to the SD500).




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