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Old May 6, 2008, 10:15 PM   #11
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AndyfromVA wrote:
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Since the OP does not like the pictures on his Canon S5 and the Canon SD870 has the same processor, the same sensor and the same number of pixels, I doubt if he'd like the photos on the SD870.

It seems to me a good 12mp camera with a large sensor would give him more acceptable pictures. Perhaps a Canon G9, A650IS or SD950IS. Or perhaps a Fuji F50fd.
Andy, sorry for the stupid dumb question, but would you mind telling me how do I know if a camera has a large sensor?

what exactly is the spec I should be looking for??

Concerning the G9, I did check some pics on this and other sites and found no difference from the S5 in terms of detail. The same applied to the FZ 18 that someone recomended. I did no see any sharpness or better detail in these two when compared to the S5 or to the old faithfull A70.

A SRL camera would give me a better detail and pixel definition? I did check some pics on the samples page of a few SLR and sincerely, couldnt find much difference in terms of pixel definition or detail or sharpness. I found MANY differences from non SLR cameras in other aspects, but not this particular one.

My last 2 questions are:

. ANY SLR camera will produce a better picture in terms of detail, sharpness and countour definition of the objects on the picture, and a lot less softness, OR it depends on the specs of the SLR camera. Is there a rule of thumb like "any SLR will produce better results. a bad SLR will be a better camera than a UZ or PointandShoot"??

. Seems like what i want from a camera I will only get from a camera with big sensors and less megapixel. Such a camera exists??? Do i need to shop for used cameras instead, like old G2, which was excellent???

THANKS!!


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Old May 7, 2008, 1:41 AM   #12
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No actually, you will probably find that according to your standards most DSLR cameras will produce worse pictures.

Smaller P&S cameras dial in a lot of extra sharpening, DSLR cameras don't. The reason is that sharpening produces artifacts which can be impossible to remove once created.

Most DSLR users are willing to spend extra time and effort in pursuit of better image quality, but that means softer looking pictures at the pixel level (by which I assume you mean 100% zoom in photoshop, you still haven't said exactly what you mean).

If you don't mean 100% zoom then you may simply be getting resizing artifacts from your image editing software. For example a picture at 50% or 25% zoom in PS looks great, at 33% or 66% it looks absolutely horrible, different algorithms are used for the sizing. Possibly your old camera had fewer pixels which means less resizing artifacts, which makes you think it is sharper.

Try resizing your pictures in photoshop using bicubic interpolation to get to your desired output size and then tell us if you still think your new camera is worse than your old.
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Old May 7, 2008, 4:03 AM   #13
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i can tell the difference between pics taken on my fuji s9100 and my canon 30d at a glance, without anyone telling me which is which. there is less noise on my 30d at ISO800 than on my fuji at ISO 200, but also the pics stand up to pixel peeping a lot better.

most of the pics you are seeing online have been shrunk and processed by people who are doing them either to their own taste, not yours, or are saving them at lower quality so they'll be faster to load. and also a lot of people don't set their shutter speed high enough, which is often the cause of a pic being not as sharp as it could be.

and there can be more contributing factors, as well. my husband's got a samsung dslr as a walkabout camera, and the jpg quality isn't as good as the raw pics. also a lot of cameras let you dial in quality, so that you can use less or one thing and more of another to get the sharpness and saturation that you want.

but honestly most of the pics that look that good at a pixel level didn't look that good out of the camera - they've been processed.
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Old May 7, 2008, 7:56 AM   #14
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Ok, I think I better explain myself again since its not that clear. Here´s exactly what I want:

I have a Canon A70, it is my first digital camera. I bought it in 2002/2003 after an extensive research online, and with the help (opinion) of users of this very forum. At that time, I was between the Sony P7 and the A70. What made me decide for the A70 were the pictures at this site sample page for both: i remember quite well the pic of a car being washed, and in the A70 pic I could see clearly the details and imperfections of the floor, while on the P7 there was this "blur" and lack of detail. There was also some foliage on the distance that on the Canon looked as perfect as possible, while on the Sony it was also blured, noisy. This same diference applied to all the sample pics I inspected, and i inspected MANY.

So now I got myself an S5, which I payed here in my country twice the price I paid for the A70. Its a newer camera, more advanced, more pixels, modern! So I expect twice the quality of the A70. And Im NOT getting it!!!

99% of the pics I take with the S5 show signs of SOFTNESS already when inspected at 50% zoon on the camera LCD. When I check them on windows, using the default Windows XP image browser and click twice on the zoom tool, I can see that the pics have a very blurry contour line to all the subjects, specially the main focused ones. The skin of my kids is always pale, with no detail, no sharpness at all, the lips are always flat, and you cant see those lines that you usually have on your lips, like cracks, you know?

The worse thing is: if i take another pic of the same subject or of my kids, in the same position, same lightining, same ISO, same camera position, etc, etc, the A70 pic is MUCH more defined and detailed when I check it on PC. As I saind, I dont put in a 100% zoom, to inspect at pixel level. Just two clicks on the zoom (+) is enough to reveal huge softness.

And YES, I have tried all possible combinations of settings on the S5, including turning OFF all the assistance like focusing, movement, etc, etc.

What I want?

I want a new modern camera that can produce BETTER pictures than my A70!! Simple as that.



Did I made myself clear enough??


If not better, at least AS GOOD as the A70 pics. And im talking about detail, contour, skin definition.

I dont need 200x zoom, I dont need 12 megapixels (i NEVER print my pics), i dont want any fancy stuff except for excellent representation of details, specially my kids faces when I take a simple picture at a 1,5 / 2 meters distance from them!!!

A70 can do that in a heartbeat, why in Gods name S5 CANT!!!???!!!

Since I bought the S5, ive been reading many cameras reviews and checking sample pics and im impressed how bad they look if you compare them to sample pics of cameras from 4-5 years ago, in this very site!! Sure, they now have 20X zoom, can handle 20 megapixels, have unbeliveable strong flashes, but whats the point, if they cant represent the details of your skin on a close shot?????

Im surprised, because when i read the IMAGE QUALITY of the reviews on dpreview.com, the most common comment is: "pics look unispiring when inspected at pixel peep, softness is present and images look flat, but if youre not picky like that, you will be more than satisfiedwith your7x5 prints!".

Well,IM PICKY LIKE THAT!!!! :evil:

Again, I humbly ask the help of the more experienced photographers of this forum to please help me out and suggest me a good camera that would fulfill the role of my beloved and deceased A70!!

THANKS!!!

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Old May 7, 2008, 8:44 AM   #15
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Maybe you should look around for a used A70?

I still think my original suggestion is the best - get a DSLR. It's obvious that you'll never be satisfied with any of the recently released point and shoot cameras.

Edit - here are two suggestions for inexpensive DSLR's that will give you much better picture quality than any point and shoot:
Nikon D40
Olympus E410

In the US, you can buy either of these two cameras with a kit lens for less than $500.
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Old May 7, 2008, 9:13 AM   #16
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mabhz wrote:
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99% of the pics I take with the S5 show signs of SOFTNESS already when inspected at 50% zoon on the camera LCD. When I check them on windows, using the default Windows XP image browser and click twice on the zoom tool, I can see that the pics have a very blurry contour line to all the subjects, specially the main focused ones. The skin of my kids is always pale, with no detail, no sharpness at all, the lips are always flat, and you cant see those lines that you usually have on your lips, like cracks, you know?
Do you mean like the sample portrait in Steve's S5 IS review here? Note, this is the full size straight from the camera original:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...s/img_0159.jpg

Quote:
The worse thing is: if i take another pic of the same subject or of my kids, in the same position, same lightining, same ISO, same camera position, etc, etc, the A70 pic is MUCH more defined and detailed when I check it on PC. As I saind, I dont put in a 100% zoom, to inspect at pixel level. Just two clicks on the zoom (+) is enough to reveal huge softness.
Something just doesn't seem right with your description. Can you post examples of where you took the same photo with both cameras?

I find it very hard to believe that if you downsize the S5 IS image to the same size as the A70 image, that the S5 IS image isn't going to have more detail, as long as exposure is good with both. From tests I've seen, it's capable of resolving far more detail compared to the A70 (real detail, versus perceived detail due to sharpening).

Canon is using less aggresive sharpening algorithms in it's newer models. So, that's probably what you're seeing (the A70's sharpening algorithms are probaby increasing contrast at edge transitions more to give an illusion of a sharper image).

Using a touch of USM (Unsharp Mask) should rectify that if bumping up the camera settings for sharpening doesn't make you happy.

P.S.

Scroll down through this thread and you'll see my posts showing how sharpening impacts photos from a newer Canon model compared to your A70. That's probably all you're seeing (the older A70 is sharpening them more in camera, giving the you the illusion of more detail in the images).

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo....php?id=573822

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Old May 7, 2008, 2:45 PM   #17
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Jim, thanks for taking the time and helping me out. I remember you from the time I was deciding between the A70 and the P7, about 7 years ago!!! You also tried to help me out when my A70 CF card screwed up. Thanks a lot, man!!



JimC wrote:

Do you mean like the sample portrait in Steve's S5 IS review here? Note, this is the full size straight from the camera original:

Yes. But to me, that seems like a MACRO picture. I can get an excellent pic like that if I stand 50cm from my kids face and use MACRO. I get excellent details. But if i step back two or three steps, and stand anything farther than 1,5 meters from him, i get that blurry soft contour thing.



JimC wrote:
Something just doesn't seem right with your description. Can you post examples of where you took the same photo with both cameras?



YES!!! I think it would make things a LOT easier, because you folks would be able to actually SEE what im talking about and even tell me if my camera is damaged. But i dont know HOW to post full 3 Mb pics here. Could you please tell me how to??

I have another funny situation comparing the two cameras: about 3 meters from my apartments living room window, I have this huge beautiful tree. I took many close up and wide shots of the part of the tree that is exactly in front of my window, about 2PM, and the S5 pics show no detail of the leeves or brenches, if you do one step zoom. The A70 shows almost the exact picture quality when zoomed out, and many more details if you zoom in, but of course its not perfect if you zoom to much!



JimC wrote:
I find it very hard to believe that if you downsize the S5 IS image to the same size as the A70 image, that the S5 IS image isn't going to have more detail, as long as exposure is good with both. From tests I've seen, it's capable of resolving far more detail compared to the A70 (real detail, versus perceived detail due to sharpening).



Not sure if its the same thing you are talking about, if you mean Photoshop editing, but i configured the S5 to take pics at the same pixel size as the A70 (dont remember right now the exact values). I shot many pics with the S5 at maximum pixel size and then at medium pixel size, and compared them on the PC. Found no difference, so I started using always it at medium and always with SUPERFINE setting.


JimC wrote:
Canon is using less aggresive sharpening algorithms in it's newer models. So, that's probably what you're seeing (the A70's sharpening algorithms are probaby increasing contrast at edge transitions more to give an illusion of a sharper image).

Using a touch of USM (Unsharp Mask) should rectify that if bumping up the camera settings for sharpening doesn't make you happy.


Well, i would gladly pump up the camera´s setting form sharpening if I know how to do that and if that really helps!! If the way of doing that is messing with the CUSTOM COLOR settings, chosing Sharpness and increasing to the max, I already did that and nothing changed. Took some shots of the same subject, same situation/light/distance with default sharpness and maximum sharpness and found no difference.


JimC wrote:
Scroll down through this thread and you'll see my posts showing how sharpening impacts photos from a newer Canon model compared to your A70. That's probably all you're seeing (the older A70 is sharpening them more in camera, giving the you the illusion of more detail in the images).

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo....php?id=573822



I will do that. Thanks, Jim. And please, if you have more input on my "problem", please, do contribute, because im counting on the help of all the folks on this forum, which proved already to be great and helpfull. THANKS!



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Old May 7, 2008, 2:57 PM   #18
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Not sure if its the same thing you are talking about, ifyou mean Photoshop editing, but i configuredthe S5 to take pics at the same pixel size as the A70 (dont remember right now the exact values). Ishot many pics with the S5 at maximum pixel size and then at medium pixel size, and compared them on the PC.Found no difference, so I started using always it at mediumand always with SUPERFINE setting.
That may be part of your problem. The camera's downsizing algorithms may be causing some softness if you're not taking the photos at the full resolution settings. The camera's sensor is going to capture a full size image. If you select something smaller, it's going to downsize it, and some algoirthms are better than others).

To post a sample here, you'll want to downsize the image to around 640 to 700 pixels wide first.

I'd suggest using something like the free Irfanview

After you open an image using File>Open, go to Image>Resize/Resample. Leave the box checked to retain the original aspect ratio (dimensions of width to height), and make the longest side abvout 640 pixels. That will be fine for checking settings. Then, Save it to a new filename (so you don't overwrite your original) using File>Save As (picking a folder that you want to keep it in).

Set the jpeg quality to around 80% and leave the boxes checked to retain EXIF (you'll see a box pop up with a jpeg quality slider when you use the Save As choice and select jpeg as the file type).

As long as it's not too large (dimensions or file size), then you can attach a photo using the browse button you'll see at the bottom of your entry screen when typing a new post. You can insert one photo per post that way (so, just make another post in the same thread for another image).

You'll want to use a similar technique for other images you take for use with wallpapers. Simply downsize the photo you take to the desired dimensions using software. Then, use an editor to sharpen if desired. That's the way you'll want to compare detail from the two cameras (using the full size images as a starting point, and then downsizing them to the dimensions needed for display).



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Old May 7, 2008, 3:11 PM   #19
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Hummm....... I´sure I cant argue with your experience and imense knowledge compared to my ridiculous knowledge of this specific area, but.... I have about 20 comparation pictures in the same conditions taken at medium pixel and at full camera capabilities (8 mp), and i have scrutinized them extensively on my PC, zooming to the details of leeves, skin, eyes, etc, etc, etc. And i have found NO difference, except for the SIZE of the pic if I choose to display it at original size on screen.

Again, i am NOT disagreeing with you because I m aware how little I know and how much you know, but its difficult for me to believe my eyes are sooo messed up that I couldnt see any difference in these comparing pics. And believe me, im a VERY detail oriented person. My professional job depends on my capacity to pay attention to little detalis, so my brain is used to that kind of scrutiny...

And concerning the post, my question was more directed to how post here pictures at their original size. I know how to resize them and how to post a resized pic here, but i really want to show you folks the pics at their full size. Is that possible?

Thanks again!
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Old May 7, 2008, 3:23 PM   #20
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The question is how you're comparing the photos you took at different sizes.

If you're viewing both at 100%, that's not the way to compare them. You'll want to downsize the full size image to the desired viewing size and compare them that way.

IOW, a downsized image from a higher resolution sensor should have more detail from a lower resolution image that has not been downsized, because of the way demosaic algoirthms impact the full resolution photo, with pixel information averaged together after downsizing for best results.

That's also the way you'll want to use images from a digital camera (downsize them for the desired viewing size, versus trying to crop them to get them small enough to fit on a screen). You start out with a larger image with the higher resolution model, so if you try to compare both at 100% viewing size, you're comparing apples to oranges (the subject in the higher resolution image will represent a much larger percentage of the screen compared to the subject in the lower resolution image if you framed them the same way, so that's going to look softer if you don't downsize it so that viewing sizes are the same).

As far as showing us full resolution images, that's an even better idea. The best approach for that would be to open a trial account with a photo sharing site like http://www.pbase.com and give us links to the images. They allow 10MB with a free trial account (which should be enough for a similar photo from both cameras).

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