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why does my canon powershot SD800 take better pix than my EOS rebel XTi?
I just received prints that were taken by a canon power shot SD800 and my new canon rebel XTi. there were only several from the XTi but they were very blurry. I called canon customer support to ask why and they said the XTi shots were not as sharp as the power shot's because the auto-focus was better on the SD800 than on the XTi and that I needed to practice the art of my photography instead of just snapping pictures. the canon rep said to get crisp focus on the rebel I needed to take it out of auto-focus and focus manually (the shots were a CU of 2 girls smiling, not something I would imagine the camera having problems focusing on, even though it was indoors). I replied that manually focusing is now a bit of a problem with my bifocals. could the auto-focus on the power shot really be better than on the rebel?..

Comments (18)

How about you post the pictures ? .

Sandy sk wrote:.

I just received prints that were taken by a canon power shot SD800and my new canon rebel XTi. there were only several from the XTi butthey were very blurry. I called canon customer support to ask why andthey said the XTi shots were not as sharp as the power shot's becausethe auto-focus was better on the SD800 than on the XTi and that Ineeded to practice the art of my photography instead of just snappingpictures. the canon rep said to get crisp focus on the rebel I neededto take it out of auto-focus and focus manually (the shots were a CUof 2 girls smiling, not something I would imagine the camera havingproblems focusing on, even though it was indoors). I replied thatmanually focusing is now a bit of a problem with my bifocals. couldthe auto-focus on the power shot really be better than on the rebel?..

Comment #1

Because a dSLR has shallower DOF. Learn to use your camera then blame it for your mistakes. Try to use the sweet spot of your lens usually f/8 and use a tripod and self timer.VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #2

As the Canon rep said, you need to learn the XTI. While I don't necessarily agree about using manual focus, you can't simply pic up a DSLR and expect to get great pictures out of it. You have to learn photography, and learn the camera, and practice, practice, practice..

Sandy sk wrote:.

I just received prints that were taken by a canon power shot SD800and my new canon rebel XTi. there were only several from the XTi butthey were very blurry. I called canon customer support to ask why andthey said the XTi shots were not as sharp as the power shot's becausethe auto-focus was better on the SD800 than on the XTi and that Ineeded to practice the art of my photography instead of just snappingpictures. the canon rep said to get crisp focus on the rebel I neededto take it out of auto-focus and focus manually (the shots were a CUof 2 girls smiling, not something I would imagine the camera havingproblems focusing on, even though it was indoors). I replied thatmanually focusing is now a bit of a problem with my bifocals. couldthe auto-focus on the power shot really be better than on the rebel?.

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Comment #3

Sandy:.

That is very sad that the Canon CS rep would give you that mis-information and advice you posted. It's almost unbelievable they would say that. You should post that in the 300/350/400 forum and it will recieve a whirlwind or replies from the many very helpful 400D (XTi) users..

I only have a little time for a response, but there are several reasons this happens and there is no reason to worry..

Almost all people who start using a DSLR coming from a point & shoot (P&S) camera, like your SD800, are initially disappointed in the results. A P&S camera generally provides a much sharper, vibrant and saturated picture than a DSLR picture that has had no processing (by the camera or post processing) ..

A P&S camera lens also has much less depth of field so it is much easier for all pictures to have a sharp focus..

About the XTi, it is a great camera with a lot of features and adjustments to learn. It is capable of taking better photos than your SD800 after just a little practice. You will also be able to use auto focus and not manual focus. It's crazy that Canon would suggest manual focus..

Basic things the XTi will do for better pictures.

1. menu based adjustments for sharpness & saturation. These will give your XTi pictures the pop your P&S pictures have..

2. Focus modes. These are adjustable from single point (center) to all points. The red dots in the viewfinder are the focus points..

Also were you shooting on the "green box" automatic mode or another mode? That makes a huge difference in how the camera responds..

And, read the manual.Good luck..

Sandy sk wrote:.

I just received prints that were taken by a canon power shot SD800and my new canon rebel XTi. there were only several from the XTi butthey were very blurry. I called canon customer support to ask why andthey said the XTi shots were not as sharp as the power shot's becausethe auto-focus was better on the SD800 than on the XTi and that Ineeded to practice the art of my photography instead of just snappingpictures. the canon rep said to get crisp focus on the rebel I neededto take it out of auto-focus and focus manually (the shots were a CUof 2 girls smiling, not something I would imagine the camera havingproblems focusing on, even though it was indoors). I replied thatmanually focusing is now a bit of a problem with my bifocals. couldthe auto-focus on the power shot really be better than on the rebel?..

Comment #4

I wrote the following posts some time ago, they may be of interest..

No matter which dslr you buy..

Heavily consider the following. there are NEW DSLR owners' writing in all over these forums on this subject.when changeing from a p&s to a dslr, there is a huge difference..

When you take p&s out of the box add a memory card and a fully charged battery you can now shoot and take very good pics..

BUT, you cannot do this with dslr. the camera HAS TO BE SETUP first. you have to adjust the contrast/saturation/sharpness/shooting modes(color style or whatever it is called) to your likes. if you don't it is quite likely you will disappointed with results. your p&s will likely outshoot the dslr..

To setup-you have shoot a test shot make ONE adjustment reshoot check pc screen readjust, until you are satisfied. and you do this with each of the adjustment types. then you have all the custom adjustments in the menu to check and if wanted change..

When done you can put the camera into AUTO or PROGRAM and get reasonably nice shots. I would advise at first staying with jpeg. as you learn about the camera and photography you can then go to the other shooting modes and try RAW if you wish..

Dslrs are made to see the shot through the optical viewfinder not through the lcd. this is true of almost all dslrs including the k10d. there was a thread.

Not to log ago about who would want a dslr with a preview lcd, al,most noone wanted one.dslrs and color..

If you mean heavy saturated colors then no dslr is going to do that. they are not made to give strongly saturated colors. they are made to give ACCURATE COLORS. not heavy saturated colors..

This is not the same thing at all. too many people who come from a p&s are very disappointed in th dslr colors, because they are not bright and saturated. this is because they are and have been using a p&s which has been giving them saturated and incorrect clors for so long that they think it is the right look. nothing could be further from the truth. the p&s colors are wrong, wrong. the camera manufactures know that the public buys high megapixel and heavy saturated colors and is what they make and sell to the public..

But the slr/dslr is a whole different world. for the dslr accuracy of the scene in terms of view and color is a religion rpt religion. you want accurate color that is what you are going to get with dslr. but they will not be the bright saturated colors of a p&s. ytou can with adjustments in the menus up the color is dslr, but it will not look the INACCURATE CARTOON COLOR of the p&s..

If you are wishing to buy a dslr for more and brighter color, save you money the p&s is what you want..

Not too long ago a new owner of a dslr was on these forums talking about the poor color of his new dslr. it seems as if he was shooting on an overcast day. many many people replying to him told him that cloudy day shots give the most accurate color, which they do. he couldn't believe and get over that idea. he also owned a p&S previously.you might be interested in this; which I posted a while back..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=23677257..

Comment #5

To setup for jpeg with new camera-.

There are 4 functions that may be adjusted. the color mode(or whatever it is called) satuation contrast and sharpening. I assume you are using a calibrated monitor. simply selrect a scene immediately outside your house. hopefully it has lights darks and colors. all settings in the camera are at zero or default.

Go on to each of the other adjustment settings. the object is to get the monitor scene as close a possible to the real scene outside. do not be cncerned if the finished monitor scene has enough color for your tastes; the amount of color can be adjusted in pp. you are going for accuracy between the 2 scenes. the real and the one on your monitor.

The adjustment process could take several hours. but once done leave the settings alone. at this point you know that the canera will accurately make the best pics possible of the scene. after I se my dslr up 3+ yrs ago about, I have not ever moved the settings..

If I needed/wanted more color or whatever that is what pp is for. I also try very hard to do my composing in the camera and crop heavily in the pc. my thinking is why buy a 10mp camera and crop away 40%. you are then no better that a 6mp that is not cropped. besides which the cropped 10mp is noisier..

I would not adjust the contrast to get more DR. to me you just have to get used to the idea that digital has DR limitations. I shoot slides for 32yrs; the DR in digital and slides is about equal. I never had a problem. with DR limits exposure and lighting shoulld/ can be adjusted to compensate. if you want more headroom in your camera for taking jpegs, use adobeRGB color gamut. it gives slightly more headroom...

Comment #6

As others have pointed out, P&S compacts are set up to have vibrant, saturated colours and quite a high degree of sharpness applied so that the pictures have more 'pop' straight out of the camera. You can adjust yours to do this if you want, or you can get the same effect afterwards using photoshop (or something like it), which takes a little learning..

Re. focus: also as others have said above, the Canon rep telling you to use manual focus is just daft. the AF on your camera works very well. There are three possible reasons why your pictures might have looked blurred..

1. The shutter speed was too slow, in which case there will be camera shake and all of the picture will be blurred because of this..

2. Assuming the shutter speed was OK, the AF might not have chosen the area of the picture you thought. You need to be careful of this with multi-zone autofocus systems: sometimes they try to outsmart you and focus on the background, or something irrelevant in the foreground, rather than the person in the middle of the pic. There should be a visible indication in the viewfinder as to which AF point is being used (a flashing light when focus is locked). It could easily, for example, focus on the front rim of somebody's hat, several inches infront of their face, instead of the face. If you find that this happens you can select just the centre autofocus point..

3. The depth of field was too low. Bigger sensors in DSLRs require longer focal length lenses, which in turn have a narrower depth of field. The Canon kit lens at 55mm, and wide open at f/5.6 (entirely likely in low light), with a subject distance of 10 feet away, has a depth of field of plus-or-minus 1 foot either side of the focus point. See.

Http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

- so if you had a group of people and focussed on the front ones, the row behind could be out of focus. With a compact camera and it's much smaller focal lengths the depth of field gets much bigger and everything is in focusMike..

Comment #7

Also,.

If I was sold a $1000 camera/lens and the salesmantech support told me I had to use manual focus because the autofocus does not work; I would ask why are you selling a camera that is designed wrong made wrong or broken? sell me a camera in which all the parts work. if he says no I would take my business elsewhere...

Comment #8

I pressed 'post' by accident before I had finished....

As others have pointed out, P&S compacts are set up to have vibrant,saturated colours and quite a high degree of sharpness applied sothat the pictures have more 'pop' straight out of the camera. Youcan adjust yours to do this if you want, or you can get the sameeffect afterwards using photoshop (or something like it), which takesa little learning..

Re. focus: also as others have said above, the Canon rep telling youto use manual focus is just daft. the AF on your camera works verywell. There are three possible reasons why your pictures might havelooked blurred..

1. The shutter speed was too slow, in which case there will be camerashake and all of the picture will be blurred because of this..

2. Assuming the shutter speed was OK, the AF might not have chosenthe area of the picture you thought. You need to be careful of thiswith multi-zone autofocus systems: sometimes they try to outsmart youand focus on the background, or something irrelevant in theforeground, rather than the person in the middle of the pic. Thereshould be a visible indication in the viewfinder as to which AF pointis being used (a flashing light when focus is locked). It couldeasily, for example, focus on the front rim of somebody's hat,several inches infront of their face, instead of the face. If youfind that this happens you can select just the centre autofocus point..

3. The depth of field was too low. Bigger sensors in DSLRs requirelonger focal length lenses, which in turn have a narrower depth offield. The Canon kit lens at 55mm, and wide open at f/5.6 (entirelylikely in low light), with a subject distance of 10 feet away, has adepth of field of plus-or-minus 1 foot either side of the focuspoint. See.

Http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html.

- so if you had a group of people and focussed on the front ones, therow behind could be out of focus. With a compact camera and it's muchsmaller focal lengths the depth of field gets much bigger and.

Everything is in focus from just in front of the lens to infinity, so accurate focussing is much less of an issue..

Just make sure that (i) shutter speed is OK (at least 1/60 sec, or faster) (ii) the autofocus is locking in to the right part of the field of view, and (iii) the d-o-f isn't too narrow (e.g. don;t have a group standing deep with several people way behind the front row, instead have them side-by-side). if you need a faster shutter speed or narrower aperture, increase the ISO or use flash..

Best wishes.

Mike..

Comment #9

Sandy, you've been given some good advice in the replies here. I think a DSLR actually amplifies the mistakes people are making so it can be quite important to use program modes or scene modes which optimise the settings for a particular usage situation until you become more proficient. The most important thing is the hold the camera steady; if you get camera shake warnings (or blurred images) try using a higher ISO setting like 400 (usable higher ISOs are one of the main reasons why people get DSLRs) so that the shutter speed can be higher..

To make your photos have more 'pop' like the 800 you can increase the sharpening in the camera menu and also the contrast. Of course this can also be done in Photoshop or similar programs later. Another thing that may help here is to download the Focus Magic plug-in which handles sharpening quite fluently without you needing to get your head around USM settings..

Soon your photos will look as good as those from the 800 and you'll also have the potential to take them much further in terms of cropping and post processing..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #10

Sandy sk wrote:.

To take it out of auto-focus and focus manually (the shots were a CUof 2 girls smiling, not something I would imagine the camera havingproblems focusing on, even though it was indoors). I replied thatmanually focusing is now a bit of a problem with my bifocals. couldthe auto-focus on the power shot really be better than on the rebel?.

Tell me, is it any space between the girls? Is it any chance you focused through that space on the background?..

Comment #11

Had the shutter speed to slow, which could be the result of low ISO and or small aperture..

If you were in "P" mode or green box mode or a scene mode, the camera can only do so much without some intervention on your part of at least checking to see what the SS was and upping the ISO if needed. No auto ISO on the Xti..

Or you were to close and beyond the minimum focus distance of the lens- not likely though..

Or you had it on all focus points and it focussed on something other than where you were "aiming" good possibilty.

Of course there could be other reasons as well. But those that say you need to practice and practice and that it's harder to get good shots out of than a P&S are mistaken..

With the much greater high ISO capability, the much faster AF, the much faster operation- shot to shot, shutter release etc.....

It's actually easier to get good photos out of a DSLR..

The camera jpeg output can be set up to look just like a P&S ie. over sharpened, over saturated with way too much contrast if that's the look you want..

Read the manual, set up the camera- take some photos..

Gene..

Comment #12

Mike703 wrote:.

- so if you had a group of people and focussed on the front ones, therow behind could be out of focus. With a compact camera and it's muchsmaller focal lengths the depth of field gets much bigger andeverything is in focus.

This kind of talk makes me nervous of buying a DSLR. Are you saying that it's impossible to get sharp group shots if the subjects are not in front? DSLR can focus on one spot only? I want to switch to DSLR over P&S to get better and noise less low light shots but also want to get good, non blurry and sharp enough family shots at least. Are DSLR cameras good for animal, portrait and landscape shots only? Sharp shots (all subjects..ie group/family) are a no no with DSLR? Please make me feel better guys...

Comment #13

Spade357 wrote:.

Mike703 wrote:.

- so if you had a group of people and focussed on the front ones, therow behind could be out of focus. With a compact camera and it's muchsmaller focal lengths the depth of field gets much bigger andeverything is in focus.

This kind of talk makes me nervous of buying a DSLR. Are you sayingthat it's impossible to get sharp group shots if the subjects are notin front? DSLR can focus on one spot only? I want to switch to DSLRover P&S to get better and noise less low light shots but also wantto get good, non blurry and sharp enough family shots at least. AreDSLR cameras good for animal, portrait and landscape shots only?Sharp shots (all subjects..ie group/family) are a no no with DSLR?Please make me feel better guys..

It means the slr has to be adjusted to give you the depth of field you require for any particular shot. In your specific case it's a group shot which requires a large depth of field. To some extent some SLR's try to overcome the photographer having to know how to do this by the inclusion of scene modes. I've never used scene modes, I fail to see how a piece of silicon and a knob could be smarter than a photographer when the goal is to get the shot the photographer wants. The camera is not a mind reader..

Long story short, with a SLR you have a wide range of capability, you have to learn to use it because the camera cannot think better than you can. Depth of field is just one example of the control a SLR gives you, and in return demands you use properly. With the correct lens, aperture, exposure, and composition the SLR will produce better results than a compact, especially in poor lighting conditions...

Comment #14

Mrxdimension wrote:.

Spade357 wrote:.

Mike703 wrote:.

- so if you had a group of people and focussed on the front ones, therow behind could be out of focus. With a compact camera and it's muchsmaller focal lengths the depth of field gets much bigger andeverything is in focus.

This kind of talk makes me nervous of buying a DSLR. Are you sayingthat it's impossible to get sharp group shots if the subjects are notin front? DSLR can focus on one spot only? I want to switch to DSLRover P&S to get better and noise less low light shots but also wantto get good, non blurry and sharp enough family shots at least. AreDSLR cameras good for animal, portrait and landscape shots only?Sharp shots (all subjects..ie group/family) are a no no with DSLR?Please make me feel better guys..

Like what MrX said, above..

A DSLR does require a little more that you know what you are doing. of course it is possible to get a good depth of field for a group shot: use a wide angle lens (you probably would anyway for a group) and stop the lens down a bit. No problem. the example I gave above assumed a moderate telephoto lens at it's widest aperture, a situation which is always going to give a relatively small depth of field..

But you can turn this to your advantage, and do things that you cannot do with a compact: particularly in portrait shots you can throw a distracting background out of focus to get a nice appearance of the subject being isolated. Almost impossible to do with a compact because of the inherently much greater depth of field..

With just a little practice and experience you can get a lot more out of a DSLR than you can with a compact, and the learning process is fun. Don't be put off!.

Best wishesMike..

Comment #15

Jeff9329 wrote:.

Sandy:.

That is very sad that the Canon CS rep would give you thatmis-information and advice you posted. It's almost unbelievable theywould say that. You should post that in the 300/350/400 forum and itwill recieve a whirlwind or replies from the many very helpful 400D(XTi) users..

I only have a little time for a response, but there are severalreasons this happens and there is no reason to worry..

Almost all people who start using a DSLR coming from a point & shoot(P&S) camera, like your SD800, are initially disappointed in theresults. A P&S camera generally provides a much sharper, vibrant andsaturated picture than a DSLR picture that has had no processing (bythe camera or post processing) ..

A P&S camera lens also has much less depth of field so it is mucheasier for all pictures to have a sharp focus..

That would be much greater DOF..

About the XTi, it is a great camera with a lot of features andadjustments to learn. It is capable of taking better photos thanyour SD800 after just a little practice. You will also be able touse auto focus and not manual focus. It's crazy that Canon wouldsuggest manual focus..

Basic things the XTi will do for better pictures1. menu based adjustments for sharpness & saturation. These will giveyour XTi pictures the pop your P&S pictures have.2. Focus modes. These are adjustable from single point (center) toall points. The red dots in the viewfinder are the focus points..

Also were you shooting on the "green box" automatic mode or anothermode? That makes a huge difference in how the camera responds..

And, read the manual.Good luck..

Sandy sk wrote:.

I just received prints that were taken by a canon power shot SD800and my new canon rebel XTi. there were only several from the XTi butthey were very blurry. I called canon customer support to ask why andthey said the XTi shots were not as sharp as the power shot's becausethe auto-focus was better on the SD800 than on the XTi and that Ineeded to practice the art of my photography instead of just snappingpictures. the canon rep said to get crisp focus on the rebel I neededto take it out of auto-focus and focus manually (the shots were a CUof 2 girls smiling, not something I would imagine the camera havingproblems focusing on, even though it was indoors). I replied thatmanually focusing is now a bit of a problem with my bifocals. couldthe auto-focus on the power shot really be better than on the rebel?.

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #16

You might also expect photos that are on the soft side if you shoot wide open with a poor quality lens. Better quality lenses generally do much better wide open than lesser lenses do..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #17

One thing you're probably used to doing with your little Canon is half pressing to focus on something, then moving the camera to frame the scene..

If you do this with an SLR, you'll likely end up with a blurred photo for the reasons other people have already stated..

Try to get the hang of selecting different focus points manually so you don't have to move the camera much or at all after you've focused..

Having said that, if it's sunny enough or you're using a tripod, you can get around the problem with apertures of f8 or smaller (biggger number). Don't use too small an aperture though or your photos will look blurry because of diffraction. Experiment to see what happens with different apertures..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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