My advice is to "test" it by going out and taking lots of nice pictures. If, and it's a much bigger "if" than it seems on these forums, you find a consistent problem with your pictures, do some testing to see what's happening. But don't pixel peep and measurebate your way into the insanity of many obsessed camera owners who post on forums..
Do you "test" everything you buy, or do you just start using it and find out if it works? I am testing our new coffee maker right now. It should be ready by the time I finish typing this..
Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...
Set aside several hours, with fifteen minutes at the start, a two hour gap, and then perhaps three hours. Bring your tripod and your computer..
Go to the store, pay for the camera, open the box, and plug in the battery charger and the battery, and get it charged fully..
This takes a couple of hours, so leave, go have breakfast while reading the instruction book..
Make a check list shutters speeds, apertures, contrast levels, saturation levels, white balance settings, focus distances, focus automation settings, multishot (like a motor drive) settings, and so on..
You need this check list in order to make sure you check everything, in every combination..
On some index cards or, even better, on pages insiode a spiral notebook, write in big characters applicable info say 50mm f2 on a page and then 50mm f2.8 on another, and so on. You'll take pictures of various scenes with this notebook inserted in th4e shots so you can keep track when looking at prints..
Find the brightest spot in the store where they'll allow you to take over the space, load the battery, put the camera on the tripod, and get to work..
Just systematically work through your checklist. You may need to borrow flood lights from the store..
After you've got to the end of the list, put the memory card into your computer and duplicate and then sharpen the shots taken to test focus, so you end up with the same frames "plain" and sharpened..
Take the memory card to some lab Costco is great if there's one nearby, Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, etc..
Get 4x6 prints made of all the images, and 12 x 18 of the focus check pictures..
For focus check, you need to shoot wide open, one stop stopped down, some middle f stop like f11, and one stop short of minimum, f16 if the lens goes to f22, for instance).
Focus around 5 feet and around 25 feet for these tests, plus, if you're going to shoot closeups, around two feet, but only at the smaller apertures f8, 11, 16 because shooting wider open up really close is too much of a depth of field problem..
Getting the prints will take another hour and a half, perhaps..
Find some place to spread out the pictures and, thanks to the notes in each shot on the spiral notebook, you can make sure that Canon did not spot you as a sucker and slip some camera that failed in quality control into the shipment to your local store..
You might try the same experiment with a XTi, / 400D at the same time. You'll be amazed how close the pictures are in quality, and how much less the XTi costs..
Monday or Tuesday mornings, just as the store opens, is a good time or, even better, get the battery charged the evening before, so you can intrude on the store as early as possible in the morning, before many customers arrive..
Now THAT is a good test. ;>).
Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...
He seems to be spending his life testing the 1d3. There is some what of an agreement that the 1d3 does not consistantly AF in hot sunny conditions when the subject is comming directly towards you and you are shooting WO with super teles..
This is not exactally a test you can do in a store. And realistically I am not sure how much instore tests help determine how good a camera is..
Normally when I get new toys I first start the battery charging and then read the manual till the battery is charged. Then I take a few test shots while on a walk in the park next to my house. I shoot birds, dogs, squirles, flowers, plants, trees, maybe people. I do try and shoot both RAW and jpg I'm M and P modes. I also test to make sure the shutter speed and f stop dials work..
Then I got home and install the software and convert the images. Only a few times has this procedure not convinced me that everything was fine..
For my Sigmonster I went home, set up a tripod in good light, and did the dollar bill test and the yard stick test. For the dollar bill test you pin a crisp flat dollar bill to a cardboard box and take a pix of it in MF and AF at f8 with a fast shutter speed using MLU and remote release. For the yardstick test you place a yard stick at about a 45 degree angle and focus on the 18 inch mark and shoot the same way as the dollar bill test..
This should tell you about any AF issues as well as back or front focus issues. With my Sigmonster the problem was my poor long lens technique and after a little more experience I was able to resolve that issue by dealing with the loose nut behind the camera..
Personally I think there are some folks who look for problems with cameras and lens that work just fine. Not to say there are not real problems with some products, but I would be a happy camper if I was as good a photographer as my camera is a camera.Those who forget history are condemned to go to summer school...
As BAK pointed out, somewhat tongue-in-cheek (I hope...), this is not really practical. You can open the box, borrow a battery from the display model, stick the camera on P mode and take a few shots of the nice salesperson just to make sure the thing does work and isn't stone dead. That's fair enough, and quick. After that take it home and read the manual, then play....
You are buying the camera from a (presumably) reputable bricks-and-mortar store. It will have a 12-month warranty. If a problem appears after you get it home, just take it back. The ease with which you can do this makes it worth (IMO) paying a little extra to use a real store..
....the salesman put in a charged battery, a memory card and mounted a 50mm 1.2/f L on the camera..
I took it over to have a good look to make sure the body was perfect and clean. Then I turned it on and switched to P mode, shooted some on people, close subjects,etc. I found it's focusing speed was faster than my 350D. Nice!.
Then I tried continueous focusing and continuous shooting mode(6.5pps), shoot on some people on the street. Very impressive speed!.
But I still needed to preview the pictures check correctness in focusing and exposure. They all looked fine. (though highly magnified previews will not give a sharp image, I already learnt from my 350D.).
Pressing the flash button, the internal flash poped up. Took few shots. The exposure was accurate. Good!.
I was interested in the new feature - Live View. So I asked the salesman to teach me shooting on LV. Well... interesting but I doubted it useful to me (I realized LV is useful later)..
Salesman showed me all the items in the box and checked the serial no. of the camera. Finally I paid money and brought my 40D home happily.In the evening I took it back to the store to have replacement. Guess what?.
I found two tiny spots on the focusing screen when I pointed the camera to the sky. They were more clear when pointing the camera to sky without a lens. I am sure they were not dust and I opined that they are blubles in the glass screen. This may not be a common defect, but you may check it before you leave the store...
I have read many threads in these forums that seem to go to the nth degree in determining that there camera is perfect. I just want a camera that takes really nice shots to my satisfaction for landscapes, street scenes etc..
I certainly wont be spending a lot of time trying to work out if this or that pixel is not working properly..
I am more concerned that the camera operates as it is supposed to and that I am satisfied it is OK and does what is expected of it..
Thanks for you advice. Once I get my 40D next week I will be jumping out of my skin to start using it, both to make sure it works correctly andd that it's results are what they should be. I do find the forums a really valuable source of information and I have learnt a lot from various threads.Squizzy..
Thats a comprehensive outline of exactly the sort of thing I was after. I am in Australia by the way..
I dont have another DSLR to compare, so will have to rely on my visual review of whether the camera is doing it's job..
Do you think it is OK to take the cmarea home and be in your own environment for testing, rather that spend a lot of time in the shop before making a decision about the camera..
The camera store I intend to purchase from have a 2 week return policy, so that would also give me a bit of breathing space to use the camrea, get used to it's functions and determine if it is OK or not? I like your yard stick concept, it seems simple and will obviously show up any immediate problems.
Thanks Mike. I had been tossing and turning for some time in deciding whether to buy through a web based coy or a bricks and mortor shop and have decided to go with the B & M option, because I can talk face to face with a salesperson versus an email..
THis is my 1st DSLR. I have a pany FZ20, which is really good, but not the capability of a DSLR - the reason for the upgrade to DSLR. So it means I have a steep learning curve and as in the past will no doubt rely on really good info from these threads, particularlyt eh beginners thread for info..
Really appreciate your help and most likely will be asking more questions after I get my 40 DSquizzy..
....the salesman put in a charged battery, a memory card and mounteda 50mm 1.2/f L on the camera.I took it over to have a good look to make sure the body was perfectand clean. Then I turned it on and switched to P mode, shooted someon people, close subjects,etc. I found it's focusing speed was fasterthan my 350D. Nice!Then I tried continueous focusing and continuous shootingmode(6.5pps), shoot on some people on the street. Very impressivespeed!But I still needed to preview the pictures check correctness infocusing and exposure. They all looked fine.
Took fewshots. The exposure was accurate. Good!I was interested in the new feature - Live View. So I asked thesalesman to teach me shooting on LV. Well...
Of the camera. Finally I paid money and brought my 40D homehappily.In the evening I took it back to the store to have replacement. Guesswhat?I found two tiny spots on the focusing screen when I pointed thecamera to the sky. They were more clear when pointing the camera tosky without a lens. I am sure they were not dust and I opined thatthey are blubles in the glass screen.
What did checking the serial number identify. Does that tell you you have a current model and how do you establish that the camera you are about to buy has the most up to date firmware. It seems current version is 1.0.5 is that right.Squizzy..
There are features you might never need that you won't be able to test unless you have specific equipment. What you describe is not practical..
The factory where they build them - they run all sorts of tests and you'll have to assume it works until you have a reason to believe otherwise..
As for developing your own settings that's a matter of personal taste and we can't do that for you..
You are, as they say, on your own..
Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..
That is interesting that you would say that, because I have only had my 40D for 1week and had pics developed and you could see this smill white dot on my prints. when I called canon about it they said it sounded like a dead pixel. so I have taken it back and exchanged it but have not decided if I wanted to keep it or not. do you still have your 40D? if so do you like it?..