Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

Started Mar 10, 2011 | Discussions
Moonman52 Senior Member • Posts: 1,263
Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

These are both 100% crops from top right corner of each frame. Each is tripod mounted with self timer taken approx 5 mins apart. Top image is from new 12 megapixel Canon A1200, ISO 80 in program mode. Bottom shot is crop from 12 megapixel Oly E-PL1 with Panny 14-45 lens at F/8 at ISO 200. Also I just remembered I even forgot to shut off the image stabilization on the E-PL1 when I took these. Again these are 100% crops of the same area on both frames.

Before I get totally blasted for posting this I already know its rediculously unfair to compare these 2 cameras with the extreme sensor size difference. My point and concern is with the quality of Canon lenses on its smaller point and shoot cameras these days. Let me add that the center of the Canon frame faired somewhat better than this when compared to the E-PL1/Pany combo but outward from the center things get really mushy as in this comparison. Full wide angle on the Canon is just aweful with just the very center being sharp (even worse than this) and pretty much just unusable.

The Canon shot was taken at the upper two thirds region of its zoom range where it seems to be at its very best, however outward from center the image quality from the lens gets really disappointing. The Pany 14-45 lens was set at its maximum zoom by the way. I've had some of the older Powershot Canon's that were much sharper than this such as in the SD700 and G7 and even my ancient 4 megapixel Canon S40 has a lens that cleans this ones clock!

My question is this. These days is Canon even capable of putting a sharp lens throughout the zoom range on any of its Powershots or Elphs? If the answer is yes can someone please direct me to model I should be looking at. I'm looking for a light and rather small camera that has a sharpness across the frame in its zoom range and with very good overall IQ. Please don't say S90 for that one has already failed the lens test with me miserably. I tried two 2 copies then just gave up on that one. I have not tried the newer S95 but I believe it uses the same lens, correct me if I am wrong.

I'd like to stay away from the G series since they are too close in size to the E-PL1 and I need something smaller that I can stick into my pocket. If Canon has decided that cramming more pixels on to puny sensors is now way more important than lens design perhaps my days with Canon are about over and I'll have to look elsewhere. Hopefully there is still something available in the smaller Canon line up (even a slightly older model that is still available) that someone who understands exactly where I'm coming from can point me in the direction of. Thanks.

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Vipre77 Regular Member • Posts: 254
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

You're going to need to do a better job if you want anyone to bite on this troll bait...

B1ackhat Senior Member • Posts: 1,975
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

So I'm supposed to compare sharpness for a 100% crop from a camera whose images are useless at 100% (just like all tiny sensor cams) to a pic that was over-sharpened by in-camera processing?

Besides that, as the previous poster already stated, this is obvious troll bait. You've already condemned the S-series and G-series, which is the best Canon has to offer in this category, so you already know you don't want a Canon. OK ...

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MisterBG Veteran Member • Posts: 6,111
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

B1ackhat wrote:

So I'm supposed to compare sharpness for a 100% crop from a camera whose images are useless at 100% (just like all tiny sensor cams) to a pic that was over-sharpened by in-camera processing?

Besides that, as the previous poster already stated, this is obvious troll bait. You've already condemned the S-series and G-series, which is the best Canon has to offer in this category, so you already know you don't want a Canon. OK ...

OP is Panasonic fanboy (check posting history).
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Vipre77 Regular Member • Posts: 254
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

No kidding. That Oly shot almost makes my eyes bleed. Are we supposed to believe that these shots were unaltered other than the crops or that they were even focused at the same focal length in the first place? I've only seen photos that bad from cell phone cams with all that smearing and noise.

This stinks of troll so bad that I'm not even going to bother with this thread any more than I have already.

OP Moonman52 Senior Member • Posts: 1,263
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

I guess the lesson learned here is never ask for advice from the ignorant.

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PaulRivers Veteran Member • Posts: 7,420
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

Moonman52 wrote:

I guess the lesson learned here is never ask for advice from the ignorant.

lol, ditto I guess -

Vipre77 wrote:

This stinks of troll so bad that I'm not even going to bother with this thread any more than I have already.

Vipre77 Regular Member • Posts: 254
Re: Canon capable of putting sharp lens on an Elph these days?

Okay, I know said I wasn't going to bother with this thread any longer. If you're truly looking for advice, you did the following things wrong:

1. You seem to expect quality on par with a class of camera that is, at a minimum, in the next tier of devices. This is like expecting a Rebel series SLR to compete with a full-frame camera.

2. Not only are these cameras in a different league in terms of sensors, but so is the glass feeding light to those sensors. You expect a cam with a cheap tiny lens to compete with an interchangeable lens system with big expensive glass (relatively speaking)? The A series is Canon's bottom of the barrel offering.

3. You then apparently go out of your way to put the Canon nearly at the worst possible position to compete by shooting at the widest aperture, widest zoom angle, and cropped from the worst area of the frame for this class of camera. But then you put the Oly at very different zoom range. I don't recall if you stated what aperture the Oly shot was taken with.

4. You've already dismissed anything else in the Canon line-up arbitrarily, including the very good S90. Take a look around at the samples frequently posted around the forum to see what the s90/s95 can do in terms of sharpness and contrast. Barrel distortion can still be a problem, but that's a different defect/side-effect than what you've illustrated. Even with these cams, it's still silly to expect comparable optical performance from a MUCH smaller lens to a m4/3 lens.

5. There are plenty of pocketable cams in the S series, which are generally a step up from the A series. If you want to constrain yourself to the worst of their offerings, then you'll have to live with mediocre results. If you want something comparable to the m4/3 cams, canon doesn't make one. Your Canon options are S series, G series, or the entry-level Rebels. My wife's old SD870 IS makes perfectly usable images that hold their own well enough compared to newer cams in its class. Is there a reason you needed the latest model? This market has been stagnant enough that the models from last year or even the year before that are still perfectly serviceable, except possibly for HD video, and you can buy them dirt cheap.

Basically, the fact that you're parading around these pics, taken under such circumstances, and saying, "Look how crappy Canon is compared to my precious E-PL1" is insulting. Come back when you feel like comparing comparable cameras using the same shooting conditions for each. I don't deny that the lenses on the A series cams are not very good or that Canon hasn't had quality control problems on their lower equipment tiers the last couple of years, but bottom line is you get what you pay for. At least give them a fair shake and compare to something in the same league before making such claims.

Also, I stand by the assertion that the Oly crop you provided is ridiculously over-sharpened. It's really no better than the blurry mess in the other shot. Ignorant I may be, but I don't have the audacity to try and convince anyone about lens quality using such poor evidence/arguments.

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