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Old Dec 28, 2004, 3:26 PM   #31
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MarkoB wrote:
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Well, I assume you are going to check all photos first and you'll throw away the bad ones. That's #1 reason for having a digital camera, isn't it.

The next step would be resizing. You'll need full size files only if you are going to make large prints (8x10" or bigger). You'll make yours friends unhappy if you email them dozens of 8 MP photos. You'll need to resize the photos if you are going to create a web page. And, finally, it makes no sense to make 4x6" prints from 8 MP (megapixels) files. It'll just be waste of time and storage space/bandwidth. The max. resolution of photographic printersis 250-300 ppi. Therefore, you won't really need anything more than 2 MP files (about 1200*1600 pixels). BTW, don't touch the original files. Save the resized copies in a different folder.

Once you've resized the photos, you'll wan't the sharpen them a little bit, won't you? Too much work? Not really. If you've got the exposure, white balance and framing right, you can batch process the photos. All decent photo editing programs can do that. You'll only need to process manually thebad (underexposed etc.) photos you want to rescue.

The photos still look a bit dull? Well, because you are going to batch process them anyway, why not add a slight contrast / saturation boost? It will only cost you a second or two per photo. Still looking dull? Add a local contrast enhancement: sharpen the original photo (before resizing) using a very large radius (30-50) and low amount (10-15 %). Again, it'll only cost you a few minutes per a hundred photos.

That's why I don't see soft photos as a huge problem.8 MP files are simply an overkill for most purposes and I'd have to post-process them anyway in order to make the files smaller. In such a case, adding USM or a custom tone curve to the list is no problem.
Hi Mark

I was exaggerating about printing out 1000 pics, I usually print a very small percentage on my Epson inkjet.... and I don't mind some post-processing.

If I want to make prints from a large number of files, eg family gatherings, I'll simply copy all the files I want onto a CD ROM and take them to the local photo store. Theycharge the same per4x6 print regardless of file size, so why bother resizing? If I'm sending pics through email, I will resize them to 800x600.

What I'm finding is that I can print most of my Canon G2files (4MP)without much post-processing, sometimes none. With the testphoto I took with the A200, I spent the better part of an hour getting an 11x14print that was acceptable to me...and comparable to a Canon G6 file printed with no post-processing. Of course, this wouldn't take me as long if I did it more often.

I think that a casual digicam user,someone who isn'ta photo enthusiast, would finditonerous if they had to post-process every file they wanted to print ... socameras with extra in-camera processing may be more suitable for them.

I guess we need to be aware of how we use a camera and purchase accordingly.

season's greetings

....Santos
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 3:51 PM   #32
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Catbells wrote:
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Still undecided on whether the A200 is up to scratch compared with the CP8800, I've studied these two images from DC Review in which the reviewer commented thus:

After comparing those, I'd say that the Coolpix has slightly better color accuracy, while the A200 has slightly better sharpness (after my experiences with the A2, I can't believe I'm saying that).

He further went on to say: At high ISOs, the DiMAGE does a bit better than the Coolpix, in my opinion.

I certainly agree. Comparing shots at Digital camera Resource, the CP8800 does appear to have saturated images which look better than the A200 - probably for the same reason that most people turn up the colour on their TVs to make Westerners look more tanned.
Hi Catbells...

I'm still waffling between these two cameras as well, and the Canon G6 is the dark horse that still has a chance...

I read the dcresources review closely as well, and noted his comments about the greater sharpness/resolution from the A200. ( Idid wonder briefly if he got his images mixed up..heh )

One thing that caught my attention was that the cameras were on a tripod, and theimage stabilization was turned off.Is it possible that the IS is somehow responsible for the softer images on the A200? The 8800 has IS applied to a lens element, the A200 has IS applied to the CCD.

I may have to go back to my local storewith my tripodfor yet another round of testing.

cheers.....Santos
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 6:30 PM   #33
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Santos wrote:
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I'm still waffling between these two cameras as well, and the Canon G6 is the dark horse that still has a chance...

I read the dcresources review closely as well, and noted his comments about the greater sharpness/resolution from the A200. ( Idid wonder briefly if he got his images mixed up..heh )

One thing that caught my attention was that the cameras were on a tripod, and theimage stabilization was turned off.Is it possible that the IS is somehow responsible for the softer images on the A200? The 8800 has IS applied to a lens element, the A200 has IS applied to the CCD.

I may have to go back to my local storewith my tripodfor yet another round of testing.

cheers.....Santos
Hi Santos, thanks for your replies

There's no doubt in my mind that the Canon G6 is a damn good camera. The results that I've seen posted are, without doubt, outstanding.

Unfortunately, it doesn't have an EVF. The EVF provides me with a 'through the lens' view of the subject, thus eliminating parallax. My wife's Canon A80 even suffers this - during the take of landscape shot when I managed to loose the farm next to a lighthousein positioning a figure in the foreground. Also, the zoom range is tad restricted on the G6 at only 4 times.

I'm still bidding my time but coming down on the side of A200.

I'll be watching to see what you eventually decide upon - keep in touch.
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Old Dec 28, 2004, 11:07 PM   #34
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Catbells wrote:
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Hi Santos, thanks for your replies

There's no doubt in my mind that the Canon G6 is a darn good camera. The results that I've seen posted are, without doubt, outstanding.

Unfortunately, it doesn't have an EVF. The EVF provides me with a 'through the lens' view of the subject, thus eliminating parallax. My wife's Canon A80 even suffers this - during the take of landscape shot when I managed to loose the farm next to a lighthousein positioning a figure in the foreground. Also, the zoom range is tad restricted on the G6 at only 4 times.

I'm still bidding my time but coming down on the side of A200.

I'll be watching to see what you eventually decide upon - keep in touch.
I've had a Canon G2 for about three years, so I'm used to the optical viewer and don't really mind it.As you pointed out, they do suffer from parallax error, but on the positive side, they can stillbe used in near darkness or in blazingly bright light when EVFs start to sputter. I really do like the G6,but itsLCDis too dimin bright daylight and is difficult to see, otherwise I'd have purchased a G6 months ago.

The most useful zoom range, for my use, is the 28-200 on the A200, but I'd be happy with either the 35-140 on the G6 or the 35-350 on the 8800.

I'm starting to lean back towards the 8800 for acouple of reasons...

1.whenever I see a picture from an8800, my reaction is "great picture" whenever I see a picture from an A200 my reaction is "not bad, but sure could use a hit with the Unsharp Mask"

2. ergonomics... and this is completely subjective .... after handling both cameras a number of times, the 8800 feels "better" to me. the slightly larger size and extra weight seems to give it a more substantial feel.

I'm waiting to see if prices drop substantially in the new year. I saw the Olympus 8080 discounted by 150 CDN$ in one of the local stores today, but the Nikons and KM's haven't changed.

cheers....Santos
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 12:05 PM   #35
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Hi Santos

Given your concerns about quality and functionality (and given the equal street price of ~ $625) wouldn'tthe OLI 8080 be a candidate for your short list? Of course, the OLI doesn't have manual zoom and it doesn't have IS (with 140mm 35mm equ. really necessary?) BUT in all the tests I have seen or read in terms of picture quality it's probably unbeaten. I bring this up as I'm torn between the two models - and in addition considering PANA FZ20.

BTW, this thread esp. MarkoB's,Catbell's and your comments have been very helpfull in terms of sorting my thoughts on quality. ThanX.

Pheinstein
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 1:05 PM   #36
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pheinstein wrote:
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Hi Santos

Given your concerns about quality and functionality (and given the equal street price of ~ $625) wouldn'tthe OLI 8080 be a candidate for your short list? Of course, the OLI doesn't have manual zoom and it doesn't have IS (with 140mm 35mm equ. really necessary?) BUT in all the tests I have seen or read in terms of picture quality it's probably unbeaten. I bring this up as I'm torn between the two models - and in addition considering PANA FZ20.

BTW, this thread esp. MarkoB's,Catbell's and your comments have been very helpfull in terms of sorting my thoughts on quality. ThanX.

Pheinstein
Hi Pheinstein...

Yes, the Oly 8080 was actually my first choice originally. The picture quality is outstanding, probably the best of the camerasI've looked at.The zoom range is a very useful 28 - 140 mm.The lens is fast and sharp, andit takes filters and lens hood without additional adaptors. I actually liked the shape and the larger size and weight. The lack of a manual zoom andIS didn't bother me too much.

As I mentioned earlier, I use the LCD almost exclusively. And if you've ever used a fully articulated LCD screen, you'll know just how wonderful it is for a variety of camera angles.

My biggest problem with the Oly 8080 is that the LCD screen is flip up (and down) only, not fully articulated. If you want to use the camerain portrait mode, you either have to use the EVF, or hold the camera out about a foot in front of your face tp use the LCD. By itself that isn't so bad, but I also found the LCD screen difficult to see in bright daylight. It's a bit dim, contrast a bit too high, and colours a bit muted....and... ithas a very reflective surface making it difficult tosee under these circumstances. I tried adjusting the LCD settings a number of times, but just couldn't make it user friendly. So...although the pictures were outstanding, I found this camera uncomfortable and somewhat unpleasant to use. It really pained me to pass it up, but that's what I did.

For me, the process of taking the picture is an important part of this hobby, finding a great view to photograph, composing the shot, moving about for a better viewpoint, waiting for the sun to come out or an interesting person to walk by...all of these things are fun for me. Having a camera that you actually enjoy using is also important, or else you'll leave it at home.

My choices now are down to the Nikon 8800, the KM A200 and the Canon G6...and possibly the Nikon 8400 for that 24 mm lens...

The Nikons and A200 have the best LCDs and EVFsthat I've seen for use in bright daylight. The Canon's LCD in bright daylight is it's weak spot, but I like everything else about it, so I'm still considering the G6.

Any camera is going to be a compromise. I would suggest that before you make any purchase, try to borrowthe camera for a short while, use it under the conditions that you normally would.

good luck with your purchase decision...

cheers....Santos
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 3:06 PM   #37
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Santos wrote:
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I'm starting to lean back towards the 8800 for acouple of reasons...

1.whenever I see a picture from an8800, my reaction is "great picture" whenever I see a picture from an A200 my reaction is "not bad, but sure could use a hit with the Unsharp Mask"

2. ergonomics... and this is completely subjective .... after handling both cameras a number of times, the 8800 feels "better" to me. the slightly larger size and extra weight seems to give it a more substantial feel.
My sentiments exactly based on Steve's Review of the CP8800 & A200 & this sample shot of the CP8800 on the left. The CP8800 stands out, even on a dull day the colours are vibrant - I liked it. But then having taken a similar shot with the A200, I noticed detail in the end wall of the white building that was washed out in the CP8800 - overall, I didn't like it, the colours looked drab even after applying some post editing.

So,
1. does the CP8800 look better because it's more has more contrast & lacking in detail or

2. does the A200 look worse 'cause it's dull but contains detail.

Also look at the detail/colour in the hanging tiles of the adjacent building - the A200 looks far better - more accurate.

The A200 has much more 'in camera' adjustment on 'contrast' / 'saturation'. It also has an option for 'vivid' colours. I've downloaded the comparative images from Imaging Resource and the A200 starts to compare with the CP8800 when contrast/saturation is applied.

In an ideal world, I would like to have both the CP8800 & A200 on trial for day (or two) to check them out thoroughly, then I'm sure that I could make the right decision without ultimately wishing that I'd bought the other.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 3:30 PM   #38
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When I compare the two pictures, I ask myself - would the Nikon picture have been much nearer to the A200 picture if it had had less exposure? I suspect it would have made quite a difference.
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Old Dec 29, 2004, 4:12 PM   #39
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Catbells wrote:
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So,
1. does the CP8800 look better because it's more has more contrast & lacking in detail or

2. does the A200 look worse 'cause it's dull but contains detail.

Also look at the detail/colour in the hanging tiles of the adjacent building - the A200 looks far better - more accurate.

The A200 has much more 'in camera' adjustment on 'contrast' / 'saturation'. It also has an option for 'vivid' colours. I've downloaded the comparative images from Imaging Resource and the A200 starts to compare with the CP8800 when contrast/saturation is applied.

In an ideal world, I would like to have both the CP8800 & A200 on trial for day (or two) to check them out thoroughly, then I'm sure that I could make the right decision without ultimately wishing that I'd bought the other.
I think Mark's post from Dec 23 is worth reading again..he says...

"... Sigh.

More in-camera sharpening = better camera?

You need to realize that resolution and apparent sharpness are not synonyms. Aggressive in-camera sharpening migh make the photos prettier, but it can also introduce sharpening artefacts. Sharpening does not improve resolution. It can only enhance existing detail by making edges more contrasty. This can also be done in postprocessing.

The amount of in-camera sharpening varies as well as the default tone curves. Most digicams also pump up the color saturation, even rediculous amounts, resulting in clipped/overcooked reds etc. Vivid color also tends to make to photos appear sharper(decrease color saturation and you'll see). That's why you should not compare cameras using straight-from-camera photos. You should a) tweak the in-camera settings or b) post process the photos in order to reach comparable brightness, sharpness and color saturation. Othervice the comparisions make no sense - you'll simply pick the photo with most vivid colors / highest sharpness (edge contrast).

Try the following test: take one photo and create different versions of it by sharpening / softening it more, increase or decrease color saturation, apply a steeper tone curve etc. Then try to pick the best one.

At least in my case, at the first glance high contrast and vivid colors always look better than neutral/realistic color and an oversharpened photo looks better than soft. However, if all photos have neon-like colors, I'll soon be feeling sick. Same as eating too much candy... "

Also Herb's comment about the exposure is a good one. The two photos show how different camera meters can interpret the same scene. The A200 has done a better job of keeping highlight detail on the light wall, but at the expsense of some shadow detail.

So...where does that leave us...? Here's where my mind is currently at...

The A200 has slightly better resolution, more accurate colour, shows finer detail, but has less contrast and less edge definition, so the pics out of the camera don't have that extra "bite"

The CP 8800 has more saturated colours,higher contrast, higher edge definition,it has that "bite", but may sacrifice small detail..

Sigh....decisions, decisions.... I could probably live with either camera, but I still think that for me it's going to be a matter of which camera "feels" better and which features are more important....

Santos




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Old Dec 29, 2004, 4:38 PM   #40
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Here's another 8800/A200 comparison. Both pics are 100% crop from the original jpegs. In camera setting was at highest jpeg quality for both, ISO 50 for both. Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to use the same focal length for both, I wanted to see how good they were at full telephoto, so the Nikon is taken at 350 mm, the A200 at 200 mm.

cheers....Santos


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