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08-26-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
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Why does my Optio W90 take such awful pictures?

For taking landscape pictures it seems fine, and it seems to take nice macro shots too, but as an artist I need a camera that can photograph my paintings. I bought the W90 so I had something with plenty of resolution, but the results have been very disappointing compared to my old Fuji S5500 4MP.

The two photos attached were taken back-to-back, using a tripod and light tent. I then took them into Photoshop CS4, did an auto curves adjustment and exported them 700 pixels wide.

Whether at the original resolution or exported at 700px wide, the Fuji pic is sharp, clear, the colours are good and you can clearly see the canvas texture.

The W90 pic has washed out colours, soft edges and instead of canvas texture, just a blurry mush. Again, this is true at full resolution or 700px wide.

I have spent many hours trying different manual settings on the W90, trying manual focus, macro focus, more light, less light (building a light tent was my last great hope) ... the picture posted here today represents the best I've been able to get out of it. Compare this to the S5500 which took the attached picture on the first frame in full auto mode, and you can understand why I'm disappointed with the W90.

Is this just a weak area for this camera?


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08-26-2011, 08:44 PM   #2
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For a second I thought this was a joke. Without reading the thread, just seeing "why does my camera take awful photos" and opening to see a picture of a painting, I was flabbergasted as to how your camera made the photos look so "painted" lol.

.... sorry, this offers no help to your question, just thought it was comical... and very good paintings.
08-26-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
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I have no experience with the W90, but the differences between those two pictures are really surprising to me. I have to think that there are differences in the default settings between the two cameras. It appears that the Fuji picture has a much higher level of sharpening applied. I played around with the W90 picture in Paint Shop Pro and was able to get to the sharpness to be very similar between the two. I was also able to adjust the white balance such that the yellow areas in the W90 picture appear more green, as they do in the Fuji picture. The other big difference is that the shadows on the cup appear to have a lot of purple in them. I couldn't do anything for that, as it appears that the W90 picture doesn't pick that up at all. Default settings could explain the sharpness and the yellow - green shift, but I can't imagine it would cause the W90 to miss the purples entirely.

Again, I wish I had some experience with the W90 to draw upon for you, but those differences are very surprising to me.
08-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #4
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I dont think the W90 is really appropriate for those kind of shots, it's a camera to be used outdoors, thus it fares better under sunlight. The Fuji S550, while being older and just featuring 4MP, it's optically better, specially for indoors.

For your paintings, the W90 is probably shooting wide open and at a high ISO, thus the colors are washed out and the final image doesn't retain a lot of detail. If you really want to insist using the W90, try using better lighthing and you should get better results.

Still, you'll get better results using a "consumer zoom" (even if it's older, as your Fuji) than a simple compact like the W90, because the former tend to be optically superior.

08-27-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone -- the irony is, I bought the W90 in part because I thought a P&S would save me from having to learn too much about photography - I assumed a modern-day "auto" mode would be much better than the old Fuji I had.

Looks like I'll be selling the W90m then :-/

~ Lindsay
09-01-2011, 06:58 PM   #6
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How possible would it be to take pictures of your paintings using sunlight instead of indoor lighting? You could always set it on Program Mode and lower the ISO as well.
09-01-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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It's doesn't matter now, I sold the W90 via eBay and bought a different camera.

09-04-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
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I purchased the w90 for 3 reasons.

1. Water proof
2. shock proof
3. To have a compact camera

It has basically failed for me in roll number 3.

Last edited by Blue; 09-04-2011 at 10:14 AM.
09-04-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
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Sadly, I returned mine and got the money back after it developed a fault 5 days into a holiday.
09-07-2011, 11:12 PM   #10
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I've still have both of the W90's that I bought when they first came out, and they have been great camera's for outdoor use.

I haven't had one single problem with them, and have had both of them in pouring rain. One of them was accidentally left in a cargo pocket of my shorts when it went into the washing machine. I noticed it when I was pulling the clothes out of the washing machine and got a bit nervous. I opened up the doors to check to see if the seals leaked, and didn't find any water inside. So, I went to power it on.....

..... and it worked! This was 2 months ago and it's still going strong.

Alot of the pics in my 2nd Flickr account (link in sig below) have been snapped with them. Lately, I just clip one onto my beltloop and go ride a MTN bike around town when bored. If I see something of interest, I'll snap it with the W90.

For strictly outdoors, these are great snapshot camera's.

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