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Old May 10, 2007, 2:47 AM   #21
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There are 2 possibilities.

1. The XTI you were playing with has a problem. There have been some reports of XTI bodies which underexpose by about 1 stop. In order to address this one either dials in exposure compensation or sends the camera in for repair.

2. You need to learn how the metering system works on the new camera.

Look, there's really no reason to buy a Canon at all. If it's not working for you then there are a bunch of good alternatives.

But fldspringer's snapshots are not in the realm of anything that is impossible with the XTI or any of the other entry level DSLRs. Pentax, Nikon, Olympus, Canonor Sony can all produce excellent results. But all of them will require you to learn more about photography and to learn how the metering system on the camera you choose works. All of them can dial in pretty much any kind of colour boost and sharpening you choose. So once you learn a bit about whatever camera you choose you will be able to get P&S type shots. But if you're after P&S shots why not just get another P&S?

The reason they don't apply extra saturation and sharpening by default is because switching those settings up high can introduce colour and sharpening artifacts which are basically impossible to remove afterwards. So if you want them you can put them in but if you don't then they haven't ruined your shot. On P&S cameras they just go ahead and do them anyway and take the risk of the artifacts because most people won't notice them, they justsee that the shot looks crisp and vibrant.

So ANY of the DSLR cameras can be made to look like your Kodak. You just need to read the manual to figure out how. No PS work would be required. (As a matter of interest you can fully automate a set of standard adjustments in PS too, you don't have to do each picture individually. Once you know how processing all your pictures in PS isn't actually much work at all.)

As to the minor differences between the cameras of the same class, well they make a difference in brochures and review sites, but in the real world they are mostly irrelevant.
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Old May 10, 2007, 7:36 AM   #22
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Kelly H wrote:
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Norm,

Thanks for posting. I have been playing with the Xti and I can not get a photo to come out anywhere near as good as yours or fldspringers and definitely not as good as my old p&S. I would have to photoshop all of the ones I took with the Canon because they were too dark. I wouldn't mind some but not all.

Thanks again!

Kelly
Hmmm, how to respond?

First, the XTi is a great little camera. If I were to buy one, I'd skip the kit lens and plan on spending some extra bucks for something decent. Your problem wasn't caused by the lens, however.

DSLRs have the ability to control the exposure much more than point and shoot cameras do. That is a double edged sword. Using the canned modes such as "auto" will only take you so far. Its ok to rely on them to start out, but if you want something to use this way in the long term, there are point and shoot cameras that will be better choices. Its just too easy to mess up photos with DSLRs with all the settings.

I'm not against the canned modes in the consumer DSLRs. In fact, I still use the "sport" mode of my camera alot. I simply like the way it makes adjustments when I shoot in condition that vary. If you are choosing DSLRs, however, you will be better off becoming a student and learn the ropes to get the most from the camera. If your willing to become a student, a DSLR is a great choice. If you don't want to tackle the learning curve, a point and shoot is probably a better choice.
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Old May 10, 2007, 10:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Using the canned modes such as "auto" will only take you so far. Its ok to rely on them to start out, but if you want something to use this way in the long term, there are point and shoot cameras that will be better choices. Its just too easy to mess up photos with DSLRs with all the settings.
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If your willing to become a student, a DSLR is a great choice. If you don't want to tackle the learning curve, a point and shoot is probably a better choice.
Quote:
All of them can dial in pretty much any kind of colour boost and sharpening you choose. So once you learn a bit about whatever camera you choose you will be able to get P&S type shots. But if you're after P&S shots why not just get another P&S?

I want to take better photos. That's one reason that I am venturing into "DSLR land". I don't mind learning - I did actually anticipate having to learn the settings - that would be fine. I would just like to know that while I'm in training that I could rely on the Auto mode to give me a decent photo if I'm in a situation that I'm not comfortable experimenting.

Kelly



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Old May 13, 2007, 11:12 PM   #24
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Also consider trying Fuji Cameras like the S-9100 which is a non SLR. All of the Fujis I have used give me excellent fresults without editing.

dave
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Old May 14, 2007, 3:21 PM   #25
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I went from compacts to Superzoom to entry level DSLR and all models took good pictures straightaway. My only sustained DSLR experience is with the Nikon D40 which gives great JPEGs, and no one has so far suggested this camera as a possible option for you.

The professional reviews emphasised the good JPEG images, and if you look at user reviews on Amazon or Dpreview, virtually all first time DSLR converts are very happy with their initial results. There are many detractors of this camera, but it is an excellent choice for an entry level DSLR, and has a good kit lens for the money (I also bought a wide angle Sigma 10 - 20 mm, so can make a comparison). I still like my Sony H5 with 1.4 Teleconvertor and itsgood at ISO400 for full frame bird shots, but the Nikon is brilliant in low light at up to ISO1600.

Ignore any negative comments and at least trythe D40for yourself. Do a search on Ken Rockwell and read his take on the D40 compared to his D80 and D200. I'm sure that all the entry level models fromCanon, Nikon, Olympus and Pentaxcan give great results with experience, but some seem to require more tweaking than others, and some have better kit lens than others. For example, if you look at Steve's review sample pictures with the Rebel XTi, the sharpness of the standard images is superb, but they weren't taken with the kit lens!

Keep reading and checking all the options, and that the lenses that you might need in future are readily available and that you can afford them. The more research you do before purchase, the more likely you will be happy with your choice!
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Old May 15, 2007, 10:45 PM   #26
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Photo4 and 1eyedeer - can you post a couple of photos using the kit lens and the auto setting?

Thanks!
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Old May 16, 2007, 11:32 AM   #27
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I have not figured out how to include more than one image so will have to post twice to try and illustrate a point. The first image is a "snapshot" taken with my D40 on Auto with the kit lens - my Casio compact or Sony H5 would have produced a similar image in terms of exposure and colour, and I haven't felt the need to post process it.
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Old May 16, 2007, 11:55 AM   #28
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The image is posted again after a few seconds of correction for exposure and a little unsharp mask in Paintshop Pro - you should be able to see a little more detail. If necessary, I would do this to the pictures my wife and I take with other cameras. Usually, its some cropping rather than exposure on the other cameras. My feeling from my short DSLR experience is that out of the box my camera gives good punchy colours with accurate white balance in good light, but the standard matrix metering does not behave in the same way as on the non DSLR cameras that I have used, i.e., if you are focusing on a mid tone with a bright sky the sky will be over-exposed. I can either meter of the sky, and then use the in camera D-lighting to brighten the mid tones, or apply exposure compensation where required, or use the other metering modes. There are explanations in these forums, but I still don't understand why the matrix metering of "lesser" non DSLR cameras seem to be more effective. Having given this warning, if you do want to progress further, an entry level DSLR is the way to go for rapid response and focusing, low light capability, lens interchangeability, subject isolation through background blurring, etc. And its fun learning! Just don't expect perfect results straight away and be prepared for the extra costs of new lenses, bounce flashes, tripods, polarising filters, etc!
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