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Old Mar 30, 2006, 7:58 AM   #1
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Cant do wont do like many others i feel, post prosessing , what i would like to know as do lots of other busy people i bet is a selection of small cameras for every day use that produce SHARP photos out of the magic box, IVe used / tried many cameras over the last two years and i now wish to buy something that will fit in my pocket / purse that i know will produce ultra sharp 6 x 4 prints from the photo developer shop , some like the fuji f 10 / 11 i read are not sharp good but need pp also the canons ,never found a small camera that can produce razor sharp images straight out like my Panasonic fz 2 or my old konica 500 kd yet ,Tried so many and returned maybe 6 cameras in the last three months and still looking for the razor sharp pics camera without any need for diy p/ p all seem unsharp , any ideas any one got a list of good uns and ones to avoid like p /p dumys like me ? and a lot of others i bet .
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 8:20 AM   #2
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There are many different opinions on what looks good. What you need is a compact that offers at least 5 separate levels of adjustment for sharpening, contrast and saturation so you can get the look you want without PP.

You might give the Casio Z750 or new Z850 a look. The lens came out very high in the dpreview resolution tests and sharpening, contrast and saturation have separate adjustments with 5 choices for each.


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Old Mar 30, 2006, 8:28 AM   #3
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Thank you , only thing is i need a decent flash and the casio 750 has a poor flash range i think i read ?Any one got one ? can advise ,any other small cam owners thoughts on the casio or others that might be what im looking for . thanks .
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 9:21 AM   #4
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rodo-

Yes, the Casio Z-750 and its AA battery powered twin, the Z-120 have a flash range of 7 to 8 feet. I use and inexpensive slave flash to take care of the range problem.

Two other cameras you want to look at are the Canon SD-450 and SD-550. Steve classifies the SD-450 image as "...simple superb..." The A-620 has also gotten high scores.

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Old Mar 30, 2006, 1:24 PM   #5
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Both the A and SD series Canons have only a single setting of "Vivid". I'm guessing that increases the contrast and saturation and maybe the sharpening. If that doesn't satisfy your need for a crisp image you don't have to post process right out of the camera you are out of luck. Both series have exceptionally good lenses and the vivid setting might be all you need. Since you don't seem to mind returning cameras they might well be worth a try. Make sure to try the vivid setting before you reject them though. The A610/620 isn't really a pocket camera. The SD550 has a very strong flash but is a good bit larger and heavier than the SD450.

I think you would be better off with a camera you can fine tune the output if you aren't into post processing. The Z120, Z750 and Z850 also have a very good lens and the output can be refined to your liking a lot better. The Z750 and 850 are actually lighter than the SD450 but a tad larger.

The Z850 has a much stronger flash. You can even take 3 full resolution flash shots in a second with it. It is a new release and the price hasn't come down yet.

The Z750 and Z120 do have a flash assist that works quite well. It does increase the noise and you wouldn't want to make a 16 X 20 for you wall from a flash assist shot without some noise reduction, but for small prints and normal full screen viewing it works well.

I took this shot with a Z750. I used a tape and measured 25 feet from the front of the fireplace. The dark wall is another two feet back. The light on the left is off and the one on the right has only a 16 watt bulb to keep me from tripping over things, so it isn't contributing to the light enough to consider. The shot was taken at night with no other lights on. If you view it 100% so you have to scroll around to see the entire thing you can find noise.

25 feet from face of fireplace with flash assist. I shoot soft so I did add a little sharpening to bring it up to normal. I had the settings far below default on my little sharpening program. Unfortunately it usually strips the EXIF Contrast and saturation were also set low and I didn't do anything to correct for that:



This is a blow up of over 100%. I included the brown fireplace surround which shows noise more than anything else in the photo. There is definitely noise there but you have to blow the image up to see it.



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Old Mar 30, 2006, 2:07 PM   #6
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Slipe -

You are entirely correct, however, most newbies, are not savy enough to increase the ISO to extend their flash range. Under the auto settings, the flash range is 7 to 9 feet when using all the auto modes. At least that is how it works on my Z-120.

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Old Mar 30, 2006, 2:15 PM   #7
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MT - Do you not have a "Flash Assist" setting in the menu? You can just leave itset on the Z750 and it automatically switches over if you need it. I guess I stand corrected if it isn't on the Z120. I had assumed most of the menu was the same.

I don't use it because Shadow/Highlight in Photoshop does the same thing and you have more control. But it seems perfect for someone who doesn't want to mess with things.

Edit: It isn't the same as just cranking up the ISO BTW. It is fairly sophisticatedlike shadow/highlight if you use that. Shadow/highlight is very similar to contrast masking where you make a monochrome negative of the image and overlay it with the full image.

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Old Mar 31, 2006, 12:07 AM   #8
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Thank you for your great info here , are you saying no other brands do sharp but sharp .just casio and canon ? I was wondering if blur might be contibuting to my observations with not finding a camera sharp out of camera ? tried my moms Canon Elf 750 she just bought and she seems to get blurry photos , we looked at some she shot in London, she boght the new camera round last night, i tried it and found even with flash hard to get sharp results , mind you these 750 Canons show a red shake warning on any setting / or lighting situation day or low light shots it seems !, she is returning it today because of the constant shake warning and it seems blur in most of her shotsas the camerasales man recomended her to try a Panasonic fx 9 as a answer to her blur and shake warning problems , just wonder if ive been seeing blur not unsharpness, as i mentioned in my first post my Panasonic Fz 2 is razor sharp in good light .or indoors with flash , and that has ois ,
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