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Old May 24, 2012, 6:09 PM   #1
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Default Point and Shoot outperforming DSLR?

I'm currently working with 2 cameras, a Canon Powershot SD780 IS and a Canon Digital Rebel ds6041. I'm trying to get the most accurate shots possible of my paintings, indoors against a white wall, and I'm finding the PowerShot way better.

Is this right, or am I just not using the Rebel correctly? This is my first time trying a DSLR, and my plan was to take the photos in RAW format, but every shot I take turns out grainy (raw or jpg), with a lot of noise, and completely inaccurate in terms of color. I've been trying this for 2 days on various settings, with a variety of lighting setups.

Now, the PowerShot is probably 6 years newer and has 12.1 MP vs 6.3 I believe, but I'm told I shouldn't worry about MP. I need high-res print quality images for press.

I know I'm pushing the PowerShot to its limit, but I'm not sure about the Rebel. Is the Rebel just too old for the job?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old May 24, 2012, 6:53 PM   #2
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... but I'm told I shouldn't worry about MP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nether View Post
I need high-res print quality images for press.
Huh?

If you need high resolution, a 12MP image will work better than a 6MP image, regardless of which cameras they came from.

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I know I'm pushing the PowerShot to its limit, but I'm not sure about the Rebel. Is the Rebel just too old for the job?
You haven't really given much information about why the images from the powershot are better than the images from the Rebel (except for the resolution), but it's possible that the Rebel's lens is also not up to what you're trying to do. The previous version of the Canon 18-55 kit lens was not very good, so that could be contributing to the lesser image quality.

Are the images you're getting fromteh Powershot still not good enough and you need something better?
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Old May 24, 2012, 7:54 PM   #3
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No, the PowerShot images still aren't good enough. It may have to do with the jpegs losing quality as I edit them... even if I simply crop and "straighten" the photo, the image loses 1/3 or more of its file size, and the resolution diminishes significantly. I can avoid this by converting to TIF immediately, but when I save as a JPEG, it appears compressed again.

The lens on the Rebel reads "Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-55mm". I think it is simply the resolution with the Rebel that is the problem, though it seems to exaggerate the light also.

I guess it would help if the photos could be uploaded as tifs straight from the PowerShot. Is this possible?
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Old May 24, 2012, 8:55 PM   #4
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From what you describe, it sounds to me as if you have the DSLR set to a hIgher ISO setting than you should be using. For the best quality from it, you should set it to the lowest ISO possible, and have enough light on the painting for good exposure. Use aperture priority, and set the lens to about 2 stops down from wide open. Use a tripod. Unless you are familiar with color spaces and how to work with Adobe RGB, be sure the camera is set to sRGB, and use a manual white balance setting suitable for the lights you have, or set a custom WB using a gray card.
It also sounds as if your editing program is not performing lossless rotations, and/or your jpeg setting is too low.
If your camera can take the images as .tiff files, you should be able to upload them to your computer that way. Are you using camera related software to do the uploads? What operating system?

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Old May 24, 2012, 9:26 PM   #5
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Hi Brian

I tried the ISO on the rebel between 100 and 400. I don't think that's the problem, but the white balance may be. None of the pre-sets seem to work well with the lights in the space.

You're right that my editting software was not doing lossless rotations on the JPEGS. The point and shoot won't upload as TIF. Instead, I've been opening the JPEGs and converting to TIF immediately, then carrying out all editting in TIF format using XnView and Photoscape. This solved a few of my problems I'm pretty sure my software was the biggest issue.

My OS is Windows Vista. Do you have any other freeware recommendations? Those programs seem to work for me now.

Does anyone have experience with the Rebel 6041? Is the camera usable despite its age?
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Old May 25, 2012, 5:40 AM   #6
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Don't "straighten". That will reduce the sharpness of an image considerably.

If you need high resolution images (and, trust me, you need high resolution images), forget the 6MP Rebel and do the best you can with the 12MP Powershot. The Rebel's 6MP sensor and kit lens are not up to what you're asking of them.

All JPEG images are compressed (and not in a good way), and each time you edit and resave them, they get compressed again. Converting your JPEGs to TIFF is a good idea, but it doesn't eliminate the problem entirely. Get the image as close to the way you need it straight from the camera, by adjusting the camera's settings. If you think you need to adjust an image, adjust the camera to address your issue, and take another shot.

In your situation, you should resist any temptation to do any post processing.

If you can't get satisfactory images from your Powershot, get a better camera. But 4,000 x 3,000 pixel images from your Powershot should be good enough for what you want to do. You just need to figure out how to coax them out of your camera.
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Old May 25, 2012, 8:54 AM   #7
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The sensor on the DSLR is several times larger than that on the P&S, and is capable of creating excellent quality prints, in larger sizes than the P&S, if in good condition and used correctly.
Without a lot more information on your setup, and some sample photos to examine, I really can't advise you any further. Your best bet is probably to have a professional take the photos. That way, you can concentrate more on your painting.

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Old May 25, 2012, 4:00 PM   #8
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Thanks all.

So I stuck with the PowerShot, and I think the images should suit my needs. I'm posting a few below for those who are curious (and in case anyone can see something I'm doing wrong/ tell me how to get better shots).

The first two are completely uneditted; the third has been gamma adjusted in XnView to make it a bit punchier.





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