dSLR vs Point & Shoot

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Urban Grimshaw, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Urban Grimshaw

    Urban Grimshaw TPF Noob!

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    Serious question (and not the usual 'what should I buy?'). Possibly in the wrong place, but here goes.

    I own a Canon 350d. Nice camera by any means but it has one flaw. Every snap needs sharpening in Photoshop before it's worthy of being looked at.

    I also own a very old digital point and shoot and have used a fair few others. And almost every snap comes out pretty much spot on.

    Why is that? Why are £100 range point and shoots out-perfoming the vastly more expensive 350d?

    I know there's the age old answer - Well it's a very complex camera, young man, maybe if you learned how to use it...

    Thing is, I'm not new to photography. dSLRs I'm admittedly a little wet behind the ears with. Surely though, a dSLR does the exact same thing as a point and shoot when set to auto? Shouldn't the results be at the very least on par with an inferior P&S?

    I've heard various reasons ranging from the kit lens not being worth the dead skin off my feet to dSLRs naturally not sharpening images to allow for more room in the processing/Photoshopping stage....

    Did I just get an iffy lens? Could I even expect a noticable improvement from a quality piece oif glass? Anyone else had these issues? ...cos it drives me nuts!
     
  2. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    Are you in fact using the kit lens (18-55)? Could you post an example or two for us to check out? What P&S are you comparing it to?
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The kit lens, while not great compared to most SLR lenses...is still probably better than most P&S lenses.

    Here is what I think...most P&S cameras are preset to increase the contrast, sharpness, saturation etc. While most SLR cameras have a few settings, the basic or default settings probably have much less processing than the digicam.

    Also, if you shoot in RAW (which you should, with a DSLR) then none of those settings have been applied and it will most likely look a little dull in comparison.

    If you like, you can go into the menus of your camera and crank all of those setting way up...but it's much more flexible to do those things with software than it is to do it with the camera.
     
  4. Urban Grimshaw

    Urban Grimshaw TPF Noob!

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    That's something I've been thinking about too. I was going to mention contrast, saturation, etc, but thought I'd keep my rant brief before people begin to stick pins in their eyes. Good answer, my somewhat uneducated mind would be inclined to agree with you.

    Anyways, a few snaps.

    This one isn't too bad. Still sucks in my opnion though, and this is on the better end of the scale. Resized.

    [​IMG]

    and a crop..

    [​IMG]

    A fairly typical, average shot. I'll admit, I could be at fault on a lot of my shots, but still, I have 3 of these and they all look the same. They more than suck.

    [​IMG]

    Again, one of the better ones. And again, not sharp.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    P+S are often working harder than you realise and they also have the ability to stop the aperture down to f64 in SLR comparison terms.

    First!!! If you're saving only to JPEG then make sure it's on the finest setting, better still for tests use RAW, or just use RAW for everything ;)

    On the DSLR watch the shutter speed, do a few shots at about 1/500 to guarantee no camera shake, and a tripod or some support. Try to shoot at about f8 - f11 on the kit lens, if the speed starts to drop do what the P+S does for you on the sneaky, turn up the iso to 400 or 800.

    If all that fails try a diffent lens.
     
  6. simonkit

    simonkit TPF Noob!

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    As already suggested you probably need to "tweak" your JPG settings on the DSLR.

    Regarding DSLR kit lenses my own personal experience is that they can be very disappointing - I recently moved from a "prosumer" Konica Minolta A200 to a DSLR (Samsung GX-10) & was initially disappointed in image quality. The kit lens was certainly not as good as the KM "fixed" one.

    I immediately bought a Sigma 17-70 & the difference was incredible, photos are pretty awesome now !!

    By most accounts too the Canon kit lenses are some of the worst around so this could well be the issue. However before spending money try adjusting the in-camera jpg settings

    simon
     
  7. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    P.S. In the 3rd photo that woman is a giant, she's ha'f as big as the house!
     
  8. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don’t think the issue is that you’re not using RAW, if you’re comfortable with JPG and do not want to do a lot of editing when keep using it.

    Are you shooting in auto, program or DOF mode? These can make a different is sharpness, (auto mode controls the ISO). Could be the focusing points combined with auto or DOF mode.
     
  9. chris_arnet

    chris_arnet TPF Noob!

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    what aperture is the camera using? if your using the largest one (smallest f number) it wont be sharp with most lenses. Most lenses are designed to get sharp around f/8 or so ("f/8 and be there") and stay sharp throughout the higher f- numbers. another reason i always shoot manual.
     
  10. Jestev

    Jestev TPF Noob!

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    P&S cameras often can beat DSLRs on Auto simply because that's what they are made to do. DSLRs are mostly made for the user to tweak the images later.

    Kit lenses, espcially Canon's, are pretty dumpy... try it with a better lens.

    The images also look like you moved. It would be easier if you could give us some EXIF information.

    I always use manual, and I have never had a shot on my DSLR that I thought could have been done better on one of my digital P&S's.
     
  11. Urban Grimshaw

    Urban Grimshaw TPF Noob!

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    Tried it.

    Tried it on all apertures to rule out any DOF issues.

    That's what I've heard.

    Dainty houses, innit.

    All modes. But I'm very careful with the point of focus, so I rarely use auto, and if I do I still make sure what I'm focused on. That's what annoys me, when you pay so much attention to the point of being obsessive about it... I have taken pictures on f11, high shutter speed and been sure that I couldn't possibly be out of focus. And yet the results say otherwise.

    Not sure about the EXIF data, but these were all taken on bright sunny days, which is one of the reasons I posted these particular ones. Neither do I have many originals lying about. I would assume around 250th / 500th shutter speed but I can't guaratee that.
     
  12. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    People don't spend thousands of dollars on lenses for nothing.
     

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