Disapointed with the quality of shots with S4i, help please!


Link Posted 08/07/2004 - 12:53
Hi there

I picked up an S4i last week because it is such a small camera it will allow me to take it everywhere and I assumed that being a 4 megapixel camera the quality would also be good even with the diminutive body.

So far I have been extremely disapointed with the pictures I have taken and was hoping someone with more experience of this camera could point me towards the optimal settings.

I am using the program function on Max resolution and 3 * quality which I think is the best quality posible though I am unsure as to which ISO or focus setting is the best for default shots.

When I select the Quick mode it seems to choose only 1* quality.

Compared to my 3 or 4 year old Canon Powershot which is only 2 megapixels the shots with the S4i are really terrible. There is no clarity, the image is blurred and the detail is just not there. Yes I can take picture with a slightly greater resolution but when the quality is considerably worse it doesn't matter which is very disapointing. If I compare the same picture taken on my old canon powershot with one taken on the pentax it is almost as if the Pentax shot is simply a compressed by 50% jpeg of the canon picture. It really is poor. Blurred with artifacts, almost as if the shot was taken at 800x600 and blown up. Maybe I shoudl lower the res to 1600x1200 to improve things?

Perhaps I am doing something terribly wrong but I don't believe so and perhaps my expectations were too much for such a small camera but I at least expected comaprable pictures to a 4 year old camera with half the pixels and at the moment the Pentax isn't even close.

Help please.


Link Posted 02/08/2004 - 16:24

Examples of this can be seen at the site above. The photos of the car are taken with another 2 or 3 year old 2 megapixel camera and are far superior to the Pentax which I used to take the photos of the computer.

This one in particlular iullustrates what i am talking about. See how the monitor looks like it is bowing out at the top? The quality is also pretty poor across all the pictures.

Have i got a dodgy camera or are they all like this?

George Lazarette

Link Posted 07/08/2004 - 18:02
The bowing in the television shot is because you are using a cheap zoom lens on a wide-angle setting. All consumer point and shoot cameras will behave in a similar fashion. Note how the effect is more pronounced when the straight edge is close to the edge of the picture, and also when it fills the frame (which suggests you are using a smaller focal length).

If you want some advice on your other problems, why not take the same picture with both the Canon and the Pentax on the same settings, as far as you can, and put both side by side on a web page where people can view them. Don't do anything to the images except resize them. If you don't still have the Canon, just post the Pentax pics. But take them outdoors in good light, preferably in the morning or late afternoon. Most problems with indoor pics are down to bad lighting.

Don't let the web software do anything to the images. In the ones you have shown, there is no EXIF detail, so it is impossible to know what settings you were using.


Link Posted 09/08/2004 - 20:39
Hi George, thanks for the reply. The shot above was taken with the Pentax s4i at maximum quality settings and the highest resolution admittedly not in great light conditions.

The link I posted above links to a page with examples of shots with both the pentax and Canon cameras. If you look at the car page and then at the close up shots I took of my MOT placed on the carpet there is no distortion at all and this is in point and click mode with the Canon. There doesn't seem to be any distortion at all as far as I can see whereas with the Pentax it is obvious in all the shots.

I think I just need to accept that the pentax sacrifices quality for size and it certainly perfroms better outside. I sent the same picks to Pentax to ask their opinion and they could see nothing wrong so I guess I just have to make the most of it.
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