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Looking to buy a camera that supports CHDK (mainly looking for low noise) < $200

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Hi, I am looking to upgrade from my current camera (canon powershot a560). I mainly want to spend less than $200 and mainly just want less image noise.

I was looking at the powershot sx150 is but the reviews were not as good as I would have liked.

Does anyone have any recommendations  for a sub $200 camera with as little image noise as possible for the money.

I mainly take macro images and have a decent amount of light and with my a560, even at ISO 80, there is enough image noise to cause a loss of detail, this makes the effective resolution of the images to be 1/4 to 1/3 of it's 7.1 megapixels at the most

I always keep the raw function enabled.

while better low light performance would be nice, it is not really a primary need.

(The main issues i have with the a560 are image noise and clipping. while I can do a slight noise reduction, post processing does reduce detail. Another issue that is very difficult to correct for is clipping, Enabling raw helps with the clipping issue but the camera just has poor dynamic range. (the limited dynamic range also makes using bracketed images difficult because even going through 13 stops does offer a smooth transition between them so i often do things such as taking a normal exposure for the object in the image, then boost the exposure up really high then take another, then mask around the object to make the background more uniform.

eg http://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/
« Last Edit: 08 / October / 2012, 00:24:31 by Razor512 »

Hi there. I have the SX130IS, and I have seen a few samples from the SX150IS too. If you are taking images at ISO 80, there is still a fair amount of noise compared to more expensive cameras. Bit if you get your lighting right, and exposure right, they can look relatively noise free. Also, you are starting off with a lot more resolution. 14 megapixels for the SX150IS. For the SX150IS, resizing to half height and width still gives 2184 x 1627 images.

If you would like some samples from the SX130IS, just PM me. However, there probably are better cameras around for the price. The "SX" (super zoom) series have small sensors, and a lens optimized for maximum zoom, not maximum clarity. The lens is also slow.

Another thing to take into consideration is this. Do you like bokeh? (background blur). I used to own the Powershot A640 (I think its the same lens to your A560).
These are 2 HUGE differences between the lenses, and some smaller ones, especially for macro:
1) The SX130/150 is 28mm at its wide angle (vs 36mm for A560/A64), and when taking macro images, you need to get MUCH closer to the object to get the same effect, compared to the A560/A640. I often find Im hitting into and touching the object in question.
2) It is nearly impossible to get any background blur with this lens. Everything is in focus. Whilst this can sometimes be good if you want this effect, quite often photographers want the opposite, and they spend lots of money on lenses with the ability to have wide apertures that can blur the background.
3) Aperture is F3.4 wide open (smaller than F2.8 on A560)
4) Distortion! At wide angles, the image is distorted on the SX130/150.. and the image is processed via the camera's software to correct this. When you shoot RAW, you get the uncorrected image, and have to manually fix this distortion too.
5) The camera does not give the sharpest images at its wide angle setting (used for macro), it tends to be nice and sharp at about 50-60mm.

If you have any other questions, PM me.

I was finally able to get a new camera. While I was really focused on the sx150 especially since someone posted it used for about $85 (but then I noticed someone list a SX230 hs for $120

The current lens profiles listed did not work with camera raw 7.1 so I created my own profile (offers a slightly wider view than the stock jpeg, applies the same distortion correction ( I took a picture at full wide of a grid, then matched the correction)

I also matched the sharpness and color noise reduction as well as chromatic aberration and fringing correction

I did not apply any luminance noise reduction as that seems to work best when manually adjusted.
(the file has to be selected for each raw file via the presets menu in camera raw)

(For users using Photoshop CS6)

the xmp file can be saved to C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\Settings

(the xmp file is targeted at getting as close to the jpeg output as possible in terms of lens correction)
« Last Edit: 13 / October / 2012, 02:03:21 by Razor512 »

 

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