Resolution or ruggedized?
But you cant have both together?
If this is the price to pay for a ruggedized body is mushy results I'll stick with a normal camera and a cover:
Olympus Mju 790 SW (7.1 MP)
versus Canon Powershot A650 (8 MP)
Look at the roof and the brick work - the cheaper powershot is clearly getting the detail. In defence of the 790, I almost wonder if the shot is suffering from hand shake. Can anyone check the EXIF on both files?
Shoot the Light fantastic
The two shots have different exposures:
The first shot (olympus) is f/5 at 1/250s.
The second shot (canon) is f/4 at 1/500.
This means the first shot is about 1/3 stop overexposed compared to the second shot, which is evident in the overall brighter first image.
Neither shot suffers from camera shake, as both shutter speeds are high enough to eliminate this.
I can think of a few possibilities. I'll start with what I think it looks like first:
1) The first image looks like heavy NR was applied to it, causing detail loss in smearing. At first I thought it was not sharp because of the lense, but it should be sharp at least in the center, which is why I disregarded this thought. It could be in-camera NR, which wouldn't make sense, since it was taken at ISO80.
2) lense is dirty. It is possible that the olympus camera has a big finger print or a thin film of oil on the lense, causing it to lose sharpness. Very common, and easily cleaned off.
3) the olympus lense could suffer from significant manufacturing defects, as it could just be not sharp from the factory.
4) it's possible that this is just the way this camera behaves, that the lense isn't up to resolving the detail required by the small sensor. Very possible. I didn't see this on the 720SW however.
FWIW, the olympus shows less purple fringing than the Canon, though this could also be due to smearing. The canon image is definitely much better in most respects.
'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhi
The first shot is both overexposed and not focussed properly. My Stylus 800 also focusses more reliably since I put in the firmware upgrade, but the European site does not list an upgrade yet for the Stylus 790.
Olympus cameras for a few years now needed an EV setting typically at -0.7. But consistently bad focussing I regard as a fault which ought to be fixed by the manufacturer at his expense.
As I see it, cameras are now produced in countries which are not noted for a culture based on technology more than philosophy of one kind or another. So the perception of what constitutes a GOOD product as opposed to just a product has yet to be developed.
Henry Falkner - C-750UZ, Stylus 800, SP-550UZ http://www.pbase.com/hfalkner
..because I'm now up to a body count of three cameras killed by water in the last two years because I want to take them along when I'm boating or fishing to get photos to go with my magazine articles. All it takes is a slip on a weedy rock and it's all over.
On paper Olympus have designed the perfect camera for my situation, but both the 790 and the Pentax Optio W series can do everything but take decent images which I need for publication.
So it's back to a powershot in a dicapac plastic cover - it protects but the control setting and handling really sucks.
Shoot the Light fantastic