a bit confused: practicality of DSLR vs non DSLR cameras

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
jrtrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,883
Re: Question for everyone about JPEG image quality

jackdan wrote:

Assuming the OP does not process her photos, should the quality of the OOC JPEGs be a main consideration?

I would think so.

I would have thought that since manufacturers know most users of P&S cameras are unlikely to PP that the OOC JPEGs would be better from P&S cameras. My wife primarily uses a Canon s110, but the OOC JPEGs need to be PP. On the other hand I can get a pretty good OOC JPEG from my Pentax K30 by careful selection of the camera settings.

I am not saying DSLRs produce better OOC JPEGs. What does produce the best OOC JPEGs? Would a cheaper P&S be more likely to produce OOC JPEGs that do not need to be processed, since a cheaper camera would not be intended for an enthusiast?

My (limited) experience is that it's a camera-by-camera assessment, whether P&S or DSLR, and also involves each person's perception of what a good picture looks like.  Different cameras are set up by their manufacturers to provide certain tonal values, saturation levels, sharpness, etc.; some strike me as good at default settings, and some don't.  Some have facility to adjust the different parameters to my liking, and some don't.  And of course, a camera that doesn't satisfy my tastes might be just what someone else considers wonderful.

I could not get good OOC JPEG's from my Sigma SD14 DSLR, so I always shot raw with that camera.  An old Sony Mavica FD-200 gave me great out of camera pictures.  A Panasonic TZ1 could not give me good OOC JPEG's, in part because it did not have separate controls for contrast, saturation, and sharpening (these were tied together into picture adjustment choices like "vivid" or "natural," neither of which I found fully satisfactory).  A Pentax W20 blew highlights very easily, so I had to reduce exposure and contrast to protect them, then post-process to regain normal-looking contrast and brightness (results then were quite acceptable).  I could not find a combination of settings that made me happy with a Panasonic FZ35.  My Ricoh CX3 gives me great out of camera results, though in some conditions I need to switch to its 2-exposure HDR mode.  My Fuji S200EXR wasn't bad, but I often needed to open up shadows in post-processing.  After setup of image parameters, a Samsung GX-1S DSLR and Olympus E-450 DSLR gave great OOC pictures.

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