S100 sharpness and auto settings

Started Nov 13, 2011 | Discussions thread
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S100 sharpness and auto settings
Nov 13, 2011

I got the S100 a couple weeks ago, but unfortunately I wasn't able to spend too much time with it, due to having to go on a long business trip. I did try to compare it with my 4-year old A650 though, and I have to say the S100 just doesn't seem to take images that are as sharp as the A650. Some of you may remember the "wall of letters" photos I posted a couple weeks ago, in which images taken by the A650 were a bit sharper than those taken by the S100. Well I took a few more photos, with both cameras mounted on a tripod, at different focal lengths. The S100 certainly produces a lot less noise than the A650, but it's just not as sharp as the S100 (and in some cases it is a LOT blurrier). Here are a couple of the comparisons:

I'm not sure if the sharpness of the S100 could be improved by adjusting any settings (I did have the "High ISO NR" set to Low). I also know that those comparisons aren't totally valid, since the settings aren't exactly the same, but I wasn't able to get the S100 to have the same settings as the A650 (for example, for the fully zoomed in shot, the S100 wouldn't let me go lower than F5.9). But regardless, I'll be shooting in auto the majority of the time, and it seemed like the A650 does a better job picking settings in auto mode (that would include the white balance setting, as the S100 images appear a bit too yellow).

I wish I could have used the camera a bit longer to see if I could have gotten advice from you guys to improve the image quality, but last night was the last day I could return the camera, so I decided to return it. I just can't accept a $430 camera taking images that I feel are subpar to a 4-year old camera. I really wanted to like the S100, since I love the ability to run CHDK, plus the fact that I had the 10% off coupon, and the fact that it was made in Japan instead of China, but I'll have to keep looking.

EDIT: here are links to the originals in case you can't see them:

A650 at 10.7mm: http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/5597436687/download/1538528
S100 at 10.8mm: http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/5597436687/download/1538531

A650 at 25mm: http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/5597436687/download/1538530
S100 at 26mm: http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/5597436687/download/1538532

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