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Old May 5, 2008, 11:01 PM   #1
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Hi all...

I have read over 30 camera reviews here and in other sites, and since my quest was unsucessful, I would like to ask the opinions of the pros on this site.

Im looking for a camera that would take very nice pictures when examined at pixel level inspection.

I have read many reviews and the most common sentence is: pictures are uninspiring and lack sharpness and detail when inspected at pixel level.

Well, im looking for a camera that would surprise me at pixel level!!

Heres more details of what im looking for and what i dont need:

- 99,9% of my pics are of my kids, taken indoors, at night, and using flash;

- i dont need any kind of zoom, let alone 15x;

- i NEVER print my pics, i alway see them on my PC or the TV, and MANY many times i crop certain areas of the pics and use them as wallpapers (thats why i NEED pixel level detail and sharpness!!);

- i would like a 640x480 movie at 30fps, please;

- flash recharging time is interesting to be at minimum;

- No need for SLR!! Actually, dont need an expensive cam.



So, please, please, please, please, could someone point me a camera that could do that?? All im asking for are pictures that look nice and detailed when zoomed in on the PC!!

I have an old Canon A70 that I was more than happy with until ir broke. I have an Canon S5 that im completely UNHAPPY with because of lack of detail and sharpness on all he pics when checked at pixel level.

From what i read on this and many foruns, looks like I need a camera with a large sensor and less megapixels, like the A70 was.



Could someone PLEASE help me out???



THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!


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Old May 6, 2008, 5:26 AM   #2
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A Nikon D300?

Seriously, you're going to find imperfections with every digital camera if you "pixel peep". If you're that demanding, you ought to buy a DSLR, which will give you much better picture quality than even excellent point and shoots like the Canon S5IS.
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Old May 6, 2008, 6:23 AM   #3
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mabhz wrote:
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- i dont need any kind of zoom, let alone 15x;

[snip]...i crop certain areas of the pics and use them as wallpapers (thats why i NEED pixel level detail and sharpness!!);
Errrr...... That's probably why you do need to look at a camera with more optical zoom.

If you need to crop your photos so much that you need to see pixel level detail, you're doing way too much cropping, especially for monitor display.

If you crop a photo to make it look like you used a focal length twice as long (twice as much optical zoom), you only have 1/4 the original pixels left. If you crop a photo to make it look like you used 4 times as much optical zoom, you are down to 1/8 of the original pixels, etc.

If you want more pixels representing your subject for better detail, frame the image so that your subject occupies a larger percentage of the frame without cropping. If you can't get close enough, use a longer focal length lens (more optical zoom).

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Old May 6, 2008, 7:09 AM   #4
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What Jim said.

Plus, you need to adjust your expectations. Viewing a digital file at 100% magnification on a monitor will ALWAYS give unsharp looking pictures. That is true whether you are using the cheapest P&S or a $40,000 medium format digital back.

Back up on the magnification to around 50% or even better 25%, if you don't have enough pixels for that then you need more optical zoom as Jim has pointed out. Which is just another way of saying that you haven't composed the shot properly, and there isn't a camera at any price that will fix that problem.
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Old May 6, 2008, 7:32 AM   #5
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mabhz wrote:
Quote:
- i NEVER print my pics, i alway see them on my PC or the TV, and MANY many times i crop certain areas of the pics and use them as wallpapers (thats why i NEED pixel level detail and sharpness!!);

...

So, please, please, please, please, could someone point me a camera that could do that?? All im asking for are pictures that look nice and detailed when zoomed in on the PC!!
What's the resolution of your PC? ... of your TV? If you won't ever print your photos, you don't need a camera that produces images at any higher resolution than that.

And when you zoom in tight on any image you are going to see pixelation. Put an eye loupe to a photo in a magazine, and you'll see pixelation.

A pixel is a picture element (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel). It is the smallest part of a picture. No single pixel will render detail; it takes large groups of pixels to render an image.

'Pixel peaping' is like judging a great masterpiece by viewing it through a microscope. That will allow you to see clearly each part of each brush stroke, but you will miss even the subtle details of, for instance, the bridgeonthe river that appears over Mona Lisa's left shoulder (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:M...ound_right.jpg).

If you want the ability to zoom in to any significant level, you need a lot of resolution (i.e.: lots of megapixels.) But remember that if you are going to use a 12MP image as your desktop wallpaper, remember that your computer is going to spend a lot of time figuring out how to display that 4,368 x 2,912 image on your 1,280 x 1,024 screen. For that purpose, your computer will run faster if you stick to 1,280 x 1,024 images for your wallpaper.

I think you may have fixated on a meaningless measure of presumed quality. If you want to crop and zoom, you need a lot of megapixels.
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Old May 6, 2008, 9:19 AM   #6
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Folks, thanks A LOT for all the comments and explanations!!

I know all of them and agree with all of them, still.... noone answered my question in the first place!!!

I understand that people find unreasonable to look for perfection at pixel level, but still, Im NOT looking for perfection, but rather to the camera that handles BEST the equation detail x sharpness.I know there is no magical solution, but you all are pros and KNOW that this varies from camera to camera, and is totally dependent to how big the sensor is versus the megapixel, and how the internal processor will try to smooth the image and remove unwanted noise.

Im looking for a camera that would do the minimum amount of softening of the taken picture, specially when using flash.

So, could some nice gentle heart and understanding folk on this forum tell me which camera today, aside from SLRs, give the best result in terms of SHARPNESS and contour detail??

I know these things vary a LOT from camera to camera, i just dont have the time and patiente to read through ALL the reviews in this site to find the right camera that will deliver what I want.

Just to add my 2 cents, i dont agree that ALL cameras will put bad results when you inspect the picture pixel size. My old A70 puts BETTER pictures when inspected at pixel level than my brand new S5, yet the A70 is worse in many other aspects. But regarding the most important thing to me, the A70 is better than the S5!! And I did many pictures of the same subjects, in the same condition (lightning, distance), using the same ISO and almos same configs on both cameras!!!

Could someone please answer my question?

Which is the best camera today, apart SLRs, in terms of picture sharpness and detail?? I dont want any kind of softness.

THANKS!!



PS - and by the way, TCav, I dontagree! TheS5 has almos 3 timesthe megapixels of the A70, and yet the A70 puts much better pics in terms ofdefinition and sharpness. If you take a close pictureof a humam face, the A70pic allows you to see all the skin inperfections and details, while the S5 looks like you processed itwithPhotoshop using a blur effect. Got my point?




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Old May 6, 2008, 10:36 AM   #7
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mabhz wrote:
Quote:
I understand that people find unreasonable to look for perfection at pixel level, but still, Im NOT looking for perfection, but rather to the camera that handles BEST the equation detail x sharpness. ...
The equation is 'sharpness = detail'. Varying levels of sharpness may be a result of sensor resolution, lens quality, or processing, but sharpness is detail.

mabhz wrote:
Quote:
PS - and by the way, TCav, I dontagree! TheS5 has almos 3 timesthe megapixels of the A70, and yet the A70 puts much better pics in terms ofdefinition and sharpness. If you take a close pictureof a humam face, the A70pic allows you to see all the skin inperfections and details, while the S5 looks like you processed itwithPhotoshop using a blur effect. Got my point?
That is a result of processing, either in the camera or on your PC, and can be controlled if not eliminated.

The Sony A100 was criticized for it's high ISO performance but praised for it's detail. The Pentax K10D was praised for it's high ISO performance but criticized for it's poor detail. Both these cameras used the exact same image sensor, and either could do as well as the other if a few simple settings were adjusted.
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Old May 6, 2008, 11:02 AM   #8
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IMHO, to get sharpness and detail you need to have a sharp focus and no camera movement during the picture taking process. All of my experience with poorly focused or somewhat fuzzy photos is due to improper focus and/or not being careful while pressing the shutter button. This is true whether I was using my 3 MP Kodak DC4800, 7 MP Canon A620, or today my 12 MP Canon G9.

If I didn't pay attention to what the camera wanted to select as the focus point, then my primary subject may not end up being the item focused on. That's why I like the Flexizone or Center options. In Macro mode, I use Manual focus. I also prefer to use a tripod in lower light situations, or in Macro. My G9 has IS, but it doesn't really eliminate camera movement if I am not careful with slower shutter speeds. We all may think we are not creating camera movement during the picture taking process, but the results will show the actual movement. It is usually not the camera's fault.

The Canon S5 is a good camera, from what I have read/seen. It does apparently have some focus issues that need to be worked around. Here is a blog discussing these issues for the S2/S3/S5. So, it's been around for a while.

http://www.digicamhelp.com/camera-logs/1/index.php

The A70 has a 3x zoom, while the S5 is a 12x zoom. The longer zoom will magnify camera movement when zoomed to bring the subject in closer. This is further magnified if it does not focus on the person or subject you want. These two issues will always give disappointing results. Perhaps it means you must learn to work with the new hardware?

Here are examples of sharp S5 photos; http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/canon,s5


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Old May 6, 2008, 12:57 PM   #9
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In answer to your original question, which camera to get, I would suggest you get a Canon SD870 IS.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...non_sd870.html

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ca...IS/index.shtml

You said you don't need much zoom, and you take indoor photos, so you will most likely use the built-in flash. You should be happy with this little camera.

Dennis


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Old May 6, 2008, 2:07 PM   #10
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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.
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