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Old Jan 14, 2008, 2:37 PM   #1
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I recently got an Olympus FE-240 and my previous camera was an older Nikon Coolpix 885 that I inhereted. I was just playing around with the Olympus and I must say, the images aren't as sharp as I expected. The Nikon, although with smaller resolution, seems to produce a little crisper image with a greater area of the photo in focus for most images.

I'm new to digital cameras, but I kind of expected the Olympus to be a big step up. I like the features of the Olympus, but the images are just a bit blurrier.

My question is...are these two cameras in the same class or am I making an unfair comparison? Should I really be comparing the slimmer point and shoot to the older, larger camera?
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 5:22 PM   #2
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I've played around with a FE-240, and it's not a bad little camera...but keep in mind what it is...a small, relatively inexpensive camera almost totally devoid of manual adjustments. You have no manual mode, no aperture and shutter priority settings. Another drawback to the Oly in comparison to your old Nikon, is that the Oly has a smaller sensor, and more than twice the megapixels...more into less usually hurts overall picture quality.

However, your problems seem related to lack of sharpness and depth of field (area in focus), as opposed to noise or graininess. The only way we can know for sure what is causing the problems, is if you can post a couple of pictures directly to this forum (not through a photo website).

When you say the pictures with the Oly are 'blurrier', that can mean several things. It can mean out of focus, it can mean blurred due to camera shake, it can mean blurred due to subject movement, there is a setting in the camera which is causing 'soft' pics, or it can mean that the lens is just not as good a quality as the Nikon. I'd be willing to bet that the camera settings can be adjusted to improve your pictures and satisfaction with this camera.

So, post a couple of blurry pics, and we'll take a look.

the Hun

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Old Jan 14, 2008, 6:12 PM   #3
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Thanks. Below are a couple photo comparisons that I did earlier. I labeled them by camera.

The more megapixels for a smaller sensor idea makes sense. The problem is definitely worse inside, which makes me think maybe the fill flash is a little stronger on the Nikon. But that's just an uneducated guess. There is still some image difference with outside shots, but messing around with the Oly modes seems to help - the "Auto" mode has been the worst so far.

With the inside photo, you can see the cookbook titles are much clearer in the Nikon photo. The outside photo is a little better, but there's still a difference, especially in some of the houses in the background.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 6:14 PM   #4
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The first Nikon photo.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 6:15 PM   #5
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The first Oly photo.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 6:15 PM   #6
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The second Nikon photo.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 6:16 PM   #7
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The second Oly photo.
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Old Jan 14, 2008, 7:26 PM   #8
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Interesting photos. I think your Oly may be flawed. Did you take those pictures hand held or on a tripod? If hand held, could you retake them on a tripod, or otherwise hold the cam relatively motionless just to make sure?

The first thing I noticed, in the Oly outdoor shot, is that The Tacoma is pretty well focused, the lanterns on the house are in focus, the tree in the foreground is in focus, but the tree directly across the street from that tree is terribly out of focus, as is part of the house that's for sale, yet the next house down is back in focus again.

Looking at the indoor Oly pic, the cabinet knobs in the center of the pic are in focus, the teapot on the stove is in focus, but the cookbook off to the right, and the cabinet knobs on the right side of the picture are out of focus, yet the knife and glass seen in the right foreground are relatively in focus.

There are a couple of items that show up in the EXIF, I'm not sure about, like creative program, low gain up, and digital zoom 1. I'm not sure how they relate to default modes in that particular camera.


Regarding the flash, the Oly is rated a bit more powerful, however, it may also be more sensitive to reflection, like from the white cabinets, thereby shutting down a little prematurely.

I agree, the Nikon pics are sharper. However, from my very limited experience with the FE-240, it is capable of much better results.

the Hun

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Old Jan 14, 2008, 9:16 PM   #9
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Thanks. The pictures were all taken without a tripod and I think I was just as steady with all of them. I've also forwarded the photos from the camera shop where I got it for their advice. It seems to me that the right side is almost more out of focus than the left side, and there are some funky things going on with certain areas of photos out of focus. A mystery for sure.

Anyways, thanks for taking the time to take a look.

Sounds like a bum camera - Olympus is going to take care of it for me. Very helpful folks to work with.
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