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Old Aug 27, 2010, 4:06 PM   #1
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Default Superzoom vs DSLR, I'm disappointed by DSLRs

My friend bought a Canon t1i. We went to take pictures of outdoor scenery to take his t1i for a spin, and so he can embarrass my Fuji S1800.

My friend has a t1i with a 28-90mm and a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 II USM Lens.

When we compared pictures, we were immediately impressed by the t1i's color. It made my S1800 look dull. Then we looked at the pictures at 100% to look at details. To much of our surprise, my S1800 was beating the t1i with the 28-90mm lens in terms of detail, sometimes quite a bit due to t1i focusing at an area instead infinity. The 75-300mm was noticeably sharper (we can tell which images were taken by which lens), but not noticeably sharper than my S1800. I saw a picture taken by the t2i of a parrot that was nearly pixel perfect sharp at 100% where it was focused. So I expected the t1i to be razor sharp at 100%, considering the sensor size is about 13 times larger than my camera, and destroy my S1800. I was disappointed.

What the t1i did well was noise control. It was noticeably less noisy than my S1800 in every picture. And of course it does high ISO all the way to 1600 very well, at least much much better than my S1800 (as expected). The focusing time was also excellent.

I am quite disappointed by DSLRs. My friend is pretty pissed too. I expected the image quality of a $1000+ camera to embarrass my S1800 in every way, but I didn't get that. Is that the truth? I seriously think a high end superzoom like the Panasonic FZ35 can beat a t1i in image quality, considering my S1800 is pretty average in image quality. That can't be right. What is wrong?

EDIT:

I accidentally "cut" and paste (instead of copy and paste) the folder of his pictures when transferring from my hard drive to his memory card (he used my card, and since I only had one card reader, I had to copy to hard drive to compare pictures). I had the intention of keeping his pictures, but for some reason I still "cut" his pictures. That's why I didn't post comparison pictures on my first thread.

I did try to use a file recovery software, but I got less than 1/3 of his images, which makes comparison pictures hard to find. Nevertheless, I found them. They're probably not the best comparison pictures that we took, because I couldn't recover the first 30-40 pictures, which is most of our shots taken just for sake of comparison, but this is what I recovered.

I can't find a good comparison picture for the 28-90mm lens, so I just chose a picture that accurately represent the true quality of the (rather crappy) lens. For the S1800 I chose a picture of a wall that both of us took just for detail. Unfortunately I couldn't recover that image, otherwise it would have been the perfect comparison to show how the t1i with 28-90mm lens was inferior to the S1800 where both were perfect shots. Nevertheless, this S1800 picture is used to compare the brick wall and plants of the two camera, even though they're taken at different places.

These pictures are the original JPEG pictures, uploaded untouched, because I've always strongly believed this sticky thread's idea

Canon t1i with 28-90mm lens

S1800 wall and plants

Canon t1i grass 75-300mm

S1800 grass

Last edited by chengbin; Aug 28, 2010 at 7:48 PM.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 4:28 PM   #2
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The problem with the sharpness of your friend's photos is that the camera is a lot better than the lenses he's using.

Also, remember that the T1i is a 15MP camera, while the Fuji S1800 is 12MP. When looking at yours at 100%, you should be looking at his at about 85% to get the same perspective. When looking at his at 100%, you should be looking at yours at about 120%.

But the biggest problem is his lenses. With the Fuji S1800, you're stuck with the one lens you've got. But with the T1i, you can pick and choose the lenses you use, and the ones he's using are holding the T1i back.

As far as image quality goes, the lens is more important than the camera.
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Last edited by TCav; Aug 27, 2010 at 4:33 PM.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 4:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
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The problem with the sharpness of your friend's photos is that the camera is a lot better than the lenses he's using.

But the biggest problem is his lenses. With the Fuji S1800, you're stuck with the one lens you've got. But with the T1i, you can pick and choose the lenses you use, and the ones he's using are holding the T1i back.

As far as image quality goes, the lens is more important than the camera.
Wouldn't my S1800 have a very low quality lens considering it is a $200 camera? His lens alone is more expensive than my camera. Yes, his lenses are considered low quality for DSLRs, but wouldn't my S1800 take considerably lower quality pictures than the t1i with low quality DSLR lens since the S1800's lens would be considerably lower quality than even low end DSLR lens?
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 4:50 PM   #4
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Your S1800 also has a smaller image sensor, so the lens is smaller and easier to make, and therefore, easier to make well.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 4:58 PM   #5
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Would this be a good match for the t1i, or would it be too good?

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...917e33c6bben02

How about this?

http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/...1cfd0c6617en02
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 5:46 PM   #6
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Both of those are better quality lenses than what he has with the . Also as you mention something else you will see is the shallow depth of field that you can get, unless you look at the focused area you are likely to see soft results. Shallow depth of field is desirable in many situations but you have to be aware of it and how to use it. I would make sure that centre point focus is used so you are telling the camera where to focus rather than letting it guess.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 6:02 PM   #7
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Yup, we looked at the focused areas (otherwise it would be very unfair).
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 7:00 PM   #8
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Would this be a good match for the t1i, or would it be too good?
There's no such thing as "too good".

The 70-300 IS USM is better than the 55-250 IS, but it's also bigger, heavier, and more expensive. Either of them will run rings around what he's using now.
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Old Aug 28, 2010, 6:49 AM   #9
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I've not used the lenses in question, so I'll let that to others. I'd expect that stopping down one or two stops would make a marked difference in sharpness, as this is normal for sensors this size.

If you can find one to use, slap a 70-200 f4 (either version, but IS version is better) and you will see what the camera is capable of.

In good light, the difference between small sensor and large sensor cameras isn't huge. Well lit scenes will only be noticed by pixel peeping. The problem is that it's not the norm. In normal daylight situations, there are areas of bright and areas of shadows. That's where larger sensors begin to show their benefit. They can capture the bright without loosing detail better, while at the same time capture detail in the shadows that the small sensor looses. In dim light, the DSLR can function and the P&S will have given up and is already back in the bag.

The degree of how important this is varies from individual to individual. If its not critical to you, you'd be wasting money going with the DSLR. If you on the other extreme and you need the very best performance in all lighting, you will spend a ton on full frame cameras and the lenses that are needed to support them. Many find the sweet spot in between with the crop sensors.

DSLR's have another advantage in that action photography is much easier because of the optical viewfinder.

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Old Aug 28, 2010, 7:47 AM   #10
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@fldspringer

That's what I've noticed. The high ISO capabilities of the DSLR makes low light shooting possible.

Can anyone comment how good the 18-55mm lens that come with the kit?
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