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Old Nov 17, 2004, 10:11 AM   #1
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I'm trying to decide between the Sony P150 and the Panasonic FX7, but I think my question is better under newbie help than which camera to buy.

After looking at Steve's sample pics, I see that the P150 has less noise but the colors are dull and flat. The FX7 has great colors, but there are artifacts.

My question: Would be easier for me to fix the saturation problem or the noise problem? I have Photoshop CS. What are the best methods for doing so?

I'm no pro, just a mom who takes lots of indoor shots of her kids (point-n-shoot). I don't want to have to spend a lot of time processing the pics after I take them. But of course, there's no perfect camera. Almost all my pics will be printed 4x6, so I don't know if noise will be a big issue for me. Any thoughts?

Sorry in advance if I posted in the wrong forum! I hunted around the forums for an answer but didn't find anything that specifically addressed this problem.
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Old Nov 17, 2004, 11:48 AM   #2
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(You refer to "noise problems" in the subject, but in the post you refer to artifacts. I assume you mean the same thing.)

While it is easy to remove noise with software (neat image and noise ninja both do a great job) noise destroys detail. The more noise you have, the less actual detail you have (what neat image and noise ninja do is calculate what it thinks should be at that pixel that is noise, and then replace it. In many cases it works well, in many it doesn't.)

So while I find that it is easy to remove noise with software, you generally product a better picture when you don't have to remote noise but are only altering contrast or saturation.

To answer you second question, there is an explicit command for adjusting saturation. I believe it is titled "hue, saturation, …." and something I forget. It is fairly easy to use.

For noise removal, the truly best way that I know to remove it is with a plugin like the two I named above. You can play trick with selections and Gaussian blurs… but that doesn't help you when you need to remove noise from the subject (in the sky it works great, in a face it looses detail.)

Does that help?

Eric
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 9:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, eric. So as I understand it, it's possible to remove noise but the quality of detail is compromised,whereas if you change the saturation at least you're not losing any pixels. So it's probably a safer bet to go with a camera that takes clearer pictures with flat color than one that takes noisy pictures with vibrant color, right?
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Old Nov 18, 2004, 11:30 AM   #4
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Don't pay to much attention to the sample photos when figuring out which camera to get. Those are taken with the camera's default settings - some have the default set to higher saturation, contrast, ... So one camera might get a better picture out of the box, while the other might be better with a little tweaking of the default settings.

To get a better idea, lurk in the forums for the specific camera and see if there is a great deal of talk about problems.

If your aim is 4x6" prints, just about any camera will do the job for you. Look at features that are important to you. For indoor shots, likely an external flash will be the most important single feature. Lag time will also be important with active subjects.
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 10:21 AM   #5
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In my opinion, Less noise and lower contrast is probably better, everything else being equal. (Small amounts of noise can be removed without trouble, large amounts compromise the quality of the picture and reduce the size you can make prints.)

The reality is that everything else isn't equal. I agree with BillDrew, that after looking at some pictures (to give you a general idea under controlled conditions) I would then spend time in the forum for that brand camera. See what people say about it.

Also, think about what type of photography you will do. Think about what matters. Does it have to fit in your pocket? Does it need good manual controls? What about the flash? More wide angle, or longer zoom? With answers to these things, you can then really think about features which will let you do it.

Finally, go to a store and actually hold the camera. See what it feels like and how big it actually is. Pictures of cameras are rarely substitutes for getting you hands on it.

Eric
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Old Nov 21, 2004, 10:47 PM   #6
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Thanks, Eric. I found a P150 at Sears and wasn't all that impressed. It was little bigger than I had thought it would be. The indoor shots didn't seem very good (poor color and exposure). It was hard to tell, though, because there was no memory stick and the cable tether was super short so I couldn't really test it out. Now I have to track down an FX7 -- no easy task here in Puerto Rico. Thanks for your help!
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Old Nov 22, 2004, 10:54 AM   #7
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Glad to help. I remember the first time I went to look at the 10D (the camera I eventually purchased.) I was surprised how big it was. So I always tell people to check out the camera first.

Eric
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Old Nov 24, 2004, 1:39 PM   #8
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We don't have a P150 but an earlier version (P92), and an FX7 . I'd say theyre both excellent camera. While the FX7 has Image Stablizer, the Sony is so ergonomically designed (hence it's very easy to 'stabilize' it on your own) and the flash coordinate nicely with shutter speed and other settings, that it's very easy to take sharp, beautiful shoots in low light. The Sony is bigger but it uses AA batteries so pocketting around 600 shots a day (bring extra batteries with you) is no big deal. The FX7 can take from 70-75 shots ALWAYS WITH FLASH to 300+ (continuous use, say, like in 2 hours) on a full charge; with one extra battery, I get around 250 pics a day, and that's fine enough. (The battery depletes so quickly at first it might make you feel nervous). The FX7 might be slightly noisier but not to the point that you would be upset by it. Focusing on the two are almost the same, but since the 'focus box' on the Sony changes shape and size, it looks cool and more intuative. The Sony might have a cool color cast but on the FX7 it 's a similar thing (read other people's opinion). In a nutshell, if size does matter, and you wanna boast 'legendary' Leica lens, go for FX7, otherwise choose the P150, you have 7MP and Zeiss lens. Remember though, SD memory is much cheaper, now it's like $90 for 1GB (SanDisk Ultra II). I give two cameras the same rating.
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