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Old Jul 20, 2010, 7:35 PM   #121
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Olympus E-620. Looks like a nice camera with some great reviews.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 8:20 PM   #122
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the e-620 was 2009's tipa best entry level dslr, like the pentax k-x was tipa 2010's best entry. Both are excellent cameras.
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Old Jul 20, 2010, 8:28 PM   #123
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Koolpc-

If shooting at high ISO settings is a priority for you, then the Pentax Kx is the #1 choice due to it higher ISO capability and larger imager. That is not to say that the E-620 is a second grade DSLR camera. It only recognizes that the E-620, while a very good DSLR camera, tops out at ISO 1600, as both shoturtle and I have both said previously.

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Old Jul 21, 2010, 3:44 AM   #124
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I knew the depth of field would be small, but was expecting something to be in focus clearly. I used the aiming points on people at a distance and at written displays, but none of them seemed to have the subject in clear focus. The Auto Mode on the A450 popped the flash up and took a pic of the sales rep. The best shot of all, but still not the clarity I was expecting. I will use photoediting software. What changes should I make to it. i.e. sharpen etc. I have Photoshop cs2 available to me. And am trying out photoplus 4x from Serif. Also PhotoZoom Pro 3. Time for some tinkering me thinks.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 4:34 AM   #125
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Didn't like the A450 at all. Big and clunky design. The Nikon d3000 felt awesome though. Still got reservations on the K-x.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 8:29 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eye will View Post
I knew the depth of field would be small, but was expecting something to be in focus clearly. I used the aiming points on people at a distance and at written displays, but none of them seemed to have the subject in clear focus.
I don't think you're understanding how the AF systems work. By default, most dSLR models use a wide area focus mode, and will try to find the closest subject, even if that subject is not the one in the center of the frame. My guess is that you were thinking the curved brackets in the middle of the frame were where your subject was supposed to be placed. That's not the way it works.

Here's how the Sony viewfinder is going to work (with 9 AF points, represented by the small light gray squares in this image):



If it sees a closer subject near one of the outside focus points, it may lock on it instead.

Here are your choices for how to set it up (and it's going to default to Wide Area):



The K-x has 11 focus points and will work the same way by default unless you change it's settings (it may use an outside focus point if it can find a closer subject). We don't have a K-x review online, but if you look at our K7 review, you'll notice it says this on one of the pages discussing Autofocus:

"The K-7 also continues the use of their 11-point (9 cross type) autofocus system. In automatic operation (AUTO) the camera recognizes which object is nearest and chooses that object as the main focus point."

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...ntrols-41.html

The K-x AF points are setup different compared to the Sony, with 3 rows of three towards the middle of the frame, the one focus point on each side of the frame (for 11 AF points total).

If you were taking photos of a distant person and had anything in the frame closer, the cameras probably locked on something closer, even if it was nearer to the outside of the frame.

With the Sony, when you half press the shutter button, the active focus point the camera selects will briefly illuminate and go back out, and then give you a steady green light at the bottom of the viewfinder indicating it locked focus when it achieves an AF lock using that focus point. So, if you're not selecting your focus point (which I almost always do versus letting the camera pick it), you'll want to pay attention to the focus point it selects (watching for the point that illuminates) to make sure it's your desired subject.

You can also override that behavior in Wide Area mode at any time by pressing and holding the center button in the control pad to lock focus using the Center AF point instead.

You can also set the camera to use Center Point only versus selecting the AF point Automatically (where it always uses the Center Point).

Or, you can can set it to Local so that you always select the AF point yourself if desired, as shown in chart above (using the control pad, where you can watch the selected AF point illuminate briefly while switching between them).

The K-x won't show you the selected AF point in the Viewfinder. So, there's no good way to tell what it locks on unless you set it yourself (which you can do via the LCD screens; you just can't see it in the viewfinder).

You can set it to Center Point only in it's menus. Or, you can set it to use the 5 points closer to the center (so that it will ignore anything under the outside focus points).

You'll have to decide if not having the active AF point displayed in the viewfinder is a big deal or not. If you're not used to that, it may not make any difference (although with it's default mode, you may find it's not focusing on what you want later, with no way for you to know the AF point it selected by watching your viewfinder display, so it may be better to set it differently using one of the other options, depending on the conditions you're shooting in).

Quote:
The Auto Mode on the A450 popped the flash up and took a pic of the sales rep. The best shot of all, but still not the clarity I was expecting.
You'd need to post samples of the images you took (including the EXIF in the header) for us to see what was going on.

It may not have even been the Autofocus causing the problems (but, I'd suspect that was an issue if you were using an Auto mode trying to shoot someone further away with closer subjects in the frame, as it may have selected any one of the 9 AF points available by default if it saw a closer subject under one of them).

It may also have been shutter speeds that were too slow when the flash wasn't being used causing blur from subject movement (as you may have needed a higher ISO speed than used by default, or any number of things could have caused the issues).

With a store demo, there's no telling if it's been banged around, settings changed, etc., either. It wouldn't surprise me if someone had changed the MF/AF switch on the lens to the MF (Manual Focus) position either, so that camera was not even trying to autofocus before you took the photos and/or turned shake reduction off so that camera shake was a larger factor. :-)

If you get a chance to try them again, make sure those types of things are set correctly (MF/AF switch set to AF, any shake reduction switches turned on); and it probably wouldn't hurt to reset the cameras back to factory defaults (most of them will have a RESET option in their setup menus for that purpose).
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 8:50 AM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eye will View Post
What changes should I make to it. i.e. sharpen etc. I have Photoshop cs2 available to me. And am trying out photoplus 4x from Serif. Also PhotoZoom Pro 3. Time for some tinkering me thinks.
That's a matter of taste. Most dSLR models use less aggressive image processing by default for things like sharpening, contrast, saturation, etc.

But, most are fairly "tunable", with a variety of picture styles/scene modes, ability to set sharpening, contrast, saturation and more higher if desired.

For example, some Sony users prefer to use the "Vivid" picture style setting and increasing Sharpening to +1 or +2.

Most point and shoot models are set to give you a "punchier" image by default. There are tradeoffs either way.

Personally, I keep my camera settings relatively neutral. If you have some of that type of thing set too high, you can end up with sharpening halos at high contrast edges, blocked shadows and/or blown highlights if contrast is set too high, etc. So, you have to be careful not to "overdo" the camera settings used. A lot of it is a matter of taste. For example, I sometimes "cringe" when I look at photos from some point and shoot models, as sometimes they're just plain over sharpened with visible halos around leaves and more, with too much contrast for good dynamic range. Yet, others may look at those same photos and think "wow, what a great camera". ;-)

Most image editors have the ability to give you some basic adjustments (for example, contrast, saturation, various types of sharpening), and some have more advanced features. You'll have to decide what works best for your needs.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:17 AM   #128
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Canon 1000D ver Nikon D3000, which of these 2 is the better camera as they are priced quite close here in the UK. Thanks
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 3:02 PM   #129
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They are about even in performance, 1600iso is their max. I would go with the olympus e620 if you were considering either the 1000d or d3000. It is a better camera
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 3:51 PM   #130
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Once again, I agree 100% with Shoturtle-

The Olympus E-600 (cheaper) or E-620 would be a better choice than either the Canon XS/1000D or the Nikon D-3000. I own a D-3000 and it is a "dud" compared to the E-600 or E-620 (I own both cameras).

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