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Thread: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

  1. #1

    Default Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Hi Bros,
    I've been thinking of getting a 40D, but after witnessing my friend's compact camera shootout with another friend's 40D & some expensive lens, its obvious that the compact camera's pictures are so much sharper than the 40D. Makes me hold on my DSLR purchase and reconsider getting a compact camera. The lenses used were kit lenses 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 100mm 2.8 macro, 10-22mm canon: all the pictures taken together wif the compact camera lost out hands down to the compact in terms of clarity and sharpness.

    Anyone else have the same experience? He's using P mode and they tried max zoom and some macros. trust me, you don't need to be a connoiseur to tell that the compact is way sharper and clearer than the 40D (and all the above lenses). Could it be the 40D is faulty?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    40D is in the semi-pro range, and it has an (thick?) AA filter, so edges aren't that defined. You are expected to bump up the sharpness in-camera if using jpg, or sharpen it with post-production.

    Try shooting the same lenses on a 450D, they will look sharper straight out of the camera.
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    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by gunawan View Post
    Hi Bros,
    I've been thinking of getting a 40D, but after witnessing my friend's compact camera shootout with another friend's 40D & some expensive lens, its obvious that the compact camera's pictures are so much sharper than the 40D. Makes me hold on my DSLR purchase and reconsider getting a compact camera. The lenses used were kit lenses 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 100mm 2.8 macro, 10-22mm canon: all the pictures taken together wif the compact camera lost out hands down to the compact in terms of clarity and sharpness.

    Anyone else have the same experience? He's using P mode and they tried max zoom and some macros. trust me, you don't need to be a connoiseur to tell that the compact is way sharper and clearer than the 40D (and all the above lenses). Could it be the 40D is faulty?
    You are having the misconception of thinking that a DSLR will give you better results instantly. Comparing to a PnS, a DSLR gives you more control over the image making process but they won't mean much to you if you can't use the controls well. Without seeing any photos, my guess is that the user of the DSLR has limited experience.

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    My crystal ball is for cleaning .. so can't say much without seeing some pictures. But keep in mind that between shutter pressing and seeing a picture there are some things happening in between called in-camera post-processing. Secondly, no DSLR comes with built-in guarantee for good pictures. It's the person behind the cam that makes the difference. Knowing how to setup the cam and which parameters to use is more important when using DSLR. Plenty of examples in web showing that skillful photographers can take stunning pictures with PnS cams.
    Would be interesting to some of those pictures with a direct comparison DSLR vs. PnS - including EXIF data.

  5. #5
    Member Buggy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    before you conclude, here are some qns to ask yourself.

    are the same settings used in both cameras?
    are the settings correct in accordance to light condition, distance and handholdability?
    why P mode?

    settings here means a lot. shutter speed, aperture, iso, focus, etc...

    i would think it's more of the user's misjudgement that the end product from the 40d came out undesirable.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    It is quite a common FAQ about why the pictures from compact cameras appear to be better than straight out from a DSLR, not just in terms of sharpness, but also in terms of contrast and colour vividness. The reason is that, like Headshotzx mentions, consumer cameras already have the images "pre-tweaked" in-camera because it is believed that the average consumer is not going to bother with much post-processing. On the opposite end of the scale, there are cameras that produce RAW images, which many first-timers get a shock at the apparent appalling image quality from the RAW files. And this issue applies to all brands, not just Canon.

    If you want the DSLR to produce similar results from a compact, you can simply up the saturation, contrast and sharpness values by "+1" or more.

    Compacts and DLSRs are fundamentally different machines meant for different purposes. At first glance, you might be right in your assessment. But if you know how to bring out the best in your images, coupled with the inherent superiority of the DSLR's noise control, even the cheapest current-model DSLRs will beat the best of compacts.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by gunawan View Post
    Hi Bros,
    I've been thinking of getting a 40D, but after witnessing my friend's compact camera shootout with another friend's 40D & some expensive lens, its obvious that the compact camera's pictures are so much sharper than the 40D. Makes me hold on my DSLR purchase and reconsider getting a compact camera. The lenses used were kit lenses 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 100mm 2.8 macro, 10-22mm canon: all the pictures taken together wif the compact camera lost out hands down to the compact in terms of clarity and sharpness.

    Anyone else have the same experience? He's using P mode and they tried max zoom and some macros. trust me, you don't need to be a connoiseur to tell that the compact is way sharper and clearer than the 40D (and all the above lenses). Could it be the 40D is faulty?
    I'm currently a user of 20D and DSLR has features to shrapen the photos at the camera level, but why would you want to do that when photo editing at PC level gives you more contol over the photo outcome. Because, once the photo is sharpen by the camera, it is very difficult to make further amendments to the photo.

    As for my camera sharpness setting, it is always set to the lowest.

    According to a Canon document, P&S shrapness is by default set to the highest while DSLR like Canon 1Ds, 5D etc are set to medium or lower.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by billpepsi View Post
    I'm currently a user of 20D and DSLR has features to shrapen the photos at the camera level, but why would you want to do that when photo editing at PC level gives you more contol over the photo outcome. Because, once the photo is sharpen by the camera, it is very difficult to make further amendments to the photo.

    As for my camera sharpness setting, it is always set to the lowest.

    According to a Canon document, P&S shrapness is by default set to the highest while DSLR like Canon 1Ds, 5D etc are set to medium or lower.
    My Pana fz5 has better sharpness out of camera....but prefer Canon450D ..cause i can shoot in raw and can post process it to the colour i like and sharpness i like...
    The detail that a DSLR can capture is very scary at times... (must ps away the pimples)
    OLympus EP3 17mm..

  9. #9

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by gunawan View Post
    Hi Bros,
    I've been thinking of getting a 40D, but after witnessing my friend's compact camera shootout with another friend's 40D & some expensive lens, its obvious that the compact camera's pictures are so much sharper than the 40D. Makes me hold on my DSLR purchase and reconsider getting a compact camera. The lenses used were kit lenses 18-55mm, 55-250mm, 100mm 2.8 macro, 10-22mm canon: all the pictures taken together wif the compact camera lost out hands down to the compact in terms of clarity and sharpness.

    Anyone else have the same experience? He's using P mode and they tried max zoom and some macros. trust me, you don't need to be a connoiseur to tell that the compact is way sharper and clearer than the 40D (and all the above lenses). Could it be the 40D is faulty?
    I think you should get a compact. It's cheaper. Get a DSLR only if you know it can get you better results

  10. #10

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    A lot has been said. And I concur with most of it. Point and Shoot compact cameras already come specifically optimized for a particular use. A dSLR is a camera that enables the photographer to unleash greater creativity. Both are good. Go figure.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Alot more creativity for the DSLR, most definitely.

    DSLRs were meant to be made as workhorses for you to unleash your creativity. From camera equipment to camera settings to PP, all of them need careful consideration to bring out the best in a picture.


    One more thing is considering what you want to use that DSLR of yours for.
    Just simple family-fun at the beach or more serious portraiture to event coverage?

    You get much more "hands-on" with a dslr. Also, if you're interested in lightings and stuff like that.. you'll be hard pressed to get a good system to pair up with a PnS. Neither have i actually seen people use their PnS with external flash units either (for the rare case where their compacts have a hotshoe).

    Other than that, is responsiveness. Even for a DSLR, i sometimes find the shutter lag to be not as quick as i would like. My mechanical film bodies give instant reaction.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Hi Headshotzx and bros who replied. Many thanks for sharing. My friend's just started in DSLR, which may explain the results... I've just got the photos and will share here. btw, what and where is that AA filter? Tks again.

    erm, how do u upload the images? I tried clicking on the 'insert image' but it ask for my url, its in my hard disk, so what's my hard disk's url? (pardon my ignorance ..)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Oh **** man, ferrari lose out to a subaru wrx, the feeling is lousy. But its okay, most of us here will have to go thro that stage to be wiser, its like looking at that tv commercial showing the guy shooting the horse galloping, 90% of viewers accepts the message that...if I gonna owns one of that...I'll be able to produce picture like that.

  14. #14
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    PLBV

  15. #15

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by gunawan View Post
    Hi Headshotzx and bros who replied. Many thanks for sharing. My friend's just started in DSLR, which may explain the results... I've just got the photos and will share here. btw, what and where is that AA filter? Tks again.

    erm, how do u upload the images? I tried clicking on the 'insert image' but it ask for my url, its in my hard disk, so what's my hard disk's url? (pardon my ignorance ..)
    Please read the guides in the newbies section. It explains the steps necessary to upload your images to a web server then link them here.
    Alpha

  16. #16

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Ok, managed to struggle to get these fotos done up. What do u guys think?

    40D, 100mm 2.8 macro:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_C7WaSWbnC5...00mm+macro.JPG

    Compact Camera SX110:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_C7WaSWbnC5...anon+sx110.JPG

    Both the above taken hand held, at 1/50 shutter, as close as possible within AF range. try zooming 100% & 200% and see the difference in sharpness and clarity.
    ------------

    Canon 40D 55-250mm lens:
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_C7WaSWbnC5...40d+55+250.JPG

    Compact Camera SX110:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_C7WaSWbnC5...0150+sx110.JPG

    Both the above taken at max zoom, hand held. 40D taken at P settings, f8. zooming in at 100% & 200%, a lot of detail is missing in the 40D as compared to the compact camera. Focal point is at the right side of the square metal structure on the yellow horizontal rig.

    What's your opinion? and, wat is this AA filter that is causing the lack of clarity? Manythanks for sharing.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    I can only comment about Macro, since I have done some shoots in that range.
    Based on my experience.

    1. Taking macro at that distance, f2.8 wouldnt work. The DOF is too much and will cause bokeh effect at places where you don't want. For example, one of my shoots on orchids with protruding "lips", at least a f/8 to 11 would be required to keep the picture generally sharp.

    2. I dont know about Compact cameras f/ stop. I dont think 2.8 is included. So its shortfall has become its advantage in this marco shot.

    PBG4
    Last edited by powerbookg4; 7th December 2008 at 01:44 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member velasco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    but the DOF on the 40d is gorgeous.


    i am still using a compact camera , i am contented with the outcome i can increase sharpness digitally but i still cannot deny the limitations i have to encounter.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    Been reading some posts up here and looking at the pictures. If you asked me, the photo produce by 40D looks so much more natural than the compact.


    Factors contributed to 'assumed not as sharp':

    1) Both picture were taken at different magnification, thorns taken by the compact camera fills up almost entire frame, 'more_pixel-per-thorn' is higher, of course compact look sharper in this case.

    2) The 40D image seem to be taken at a big aperture, the DOF is too big and the focused object is not very clear in the pic.



    Factors of how compact might seem better choice than some ppl:

    1) smaller sensor, smaller lens can be build, much easier manufacturing, and simple process to produce a high clarity small lens to fit the small sensor.

    2) Some image might look better than a highend DSLR with a cheapskate lens.




    Factors of how DSLR sensor still produce a better picture:

    1) Imaging, same amount of photons were taken by 2 sensors. Smaller compact sensor squeeze the photons for each diodes, and bigger sensor distribute less photons for each diodes, the diodes can produce more vivid color and quality.

    2) Most DSLR lens are big for a reason. The physics behind how light defract through each layers of optics has a 'minimun' size in order to reproduce the image for a acceptable quality at the end to the sensor. Yes you can produce a small SLR lens for the same range like the compact camera, but you see no engineers from any companies do that because they know the quality will be disappointing.



    Just some personal 2-cents worth. If any experts out there into how opticals works please clarify!
    Last edited by RayDream; 7th December 2008 at 02:13 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Compact Camera sharper than DSLR

    crazy 100mm macro using 1/50 handheld

    i think can expect some handshake ontop of thin dof @ 2.8

    2nd shot can see the compact is applying digital sharpening @ the black black area with alot crosses and probably be a boost in sharpness as well

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