Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Not good for product photos, not point and shoot at all!
on January 28, 2015
After researching small budget point and shoot cameras I finally bought this one. It is very hard for me to review this product, because my needs are unique.
I only take product photos on a table inside the house, with a three point lighting system. Products such as shoes, bags etc.
I do not know if this camera is "point and shoot" outside in the daylight when taking a landscape, but inside the house it certainly is not.
I had to fiddle with the "P" settings for about 5 hours yesterday before getting taking any marginally decent pictures.
The automatic settings, give me blurry, washed out colors. Even when the picture looks good, magnified at 100% it looks grainy and horrible.
Finally I had to settle for "daylight mode, which adds some color. Underexposure -0.3, and no flash, with an ISO of 600.
It is quite impossible to take near perfect product pictures with this camera.
I have not found a way for the camera to take smaller pictures either. Normally cameras have a basic, normal and fine setting. This thing takes one size in 314 dpi. One good thing about it, the menus are easy to navigate.
I have tried everything. Pretty much impossible to take pictures that are sharp and in focus at 100%. Pictures are fuzzy at 100% magnification in photo shop.
I am using a 3 way lighting system, and nothing works with this camera. I do not think it should be purchased for closeup product pictures.
The best setting I can find is P, sunlight, -0.3 exposure.
Automatic white balance makes all colors look horribly bland.
The most disturbing aspect of this camera is that in between on and off cycles, it takes completely different pictures on the same setting. The variables have not changed. The lights are static and in the same place. The camera settings when the camera was turned off were P, automatic white balance, sunny, exposure -0.3.
I take pictures, then turn camera off, then take camera to office for download to photo shop. Spend about 10 minutes in photo shop with the color correction tools, because pictures are never same color as the photographed item (This camera has huge problems with colors blue and green) Blue and green items are completely off color (no matter what setting is chosen).
After color corrections are made, contrast and sharpness have to be dealt with.
When the camera is turned back on, the settings appear to be the same, but this time around the same photographed item looks different once again. In other words I have to reset camera, and apply my settings again in between on and off cycles. I am reluctant to try any other cameras under $200 because i'm pretty sure they will all be "more or less the same". In other words, one has to spend at least 10 minutes per photo in photo shop trying to make a bad picture half way decent.
I have now spent about 200+ hours with this camera and taken thousands of product pictures. I have always hesitated on whether to purchase a DSLR camera instead, and have not yet selected one. Probably the Nikon D3300 is my first choice at the moment.
Here is my final verdict on the Olympus Sz-16 FOR TAKING PRODUCT PICTURES ONLY.
First of all, I am using a white lighting tent with many daylight bulbs around the tent. More or less light can be added from all sides, and top, and front. All lights are covered with white shower curtain material. This means we can exclude reflections (causing noise and glare).
After trying every shooting mode, with lights changed, with distance from object changed, with ISO and white balance changed, with Spot and ESP changed, these are my conclusions.
1. It is impossible to take a perfect picture without noise even at ISO 100. (little white specs can be seen all over when magnified to 100% in Photoshop).
2. It is impossible to take a crisp in focus picture (maybe 1 picture in 150 will have a perfect focus)
It takes me two uses of UNSHARP mask in Photoshop to get the picture more focused (still not perfect).
It takes me anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to remove all the noise with the SPOT HEALING BRUSH or CLONE STAMP in Photoshop.
I always have to modify the contrast and levels as well as the exposure in Photoshop.
Basically, unless you are fluent in Photoshop, this camera can be a nightmare for people wanting to take good pictures.
I have NOT compared any other point and shoots to this Olympus, which I may do before pulling the trigger on a Nikon D3300.
Any automatic settings this camera offers I.e. Automatic white balance and automatic ISO should be avoided. The picture quality is much worse (I mean from bad to worse).
Pictures look OK when NOT viewed at 100% magnification in Photoshop, but that is besides the point!!
My settings are P, ISO 100~200, Exposure always varies +0.7~1.3.
Obviously I am using a tripod and shooting at different angles and distances.
I have also tried Macro mode at low ISO, and the noise is still present.
Switching between spot or face mode or ESP and metering, does absolutely nothing to solve any quality issues.
In a nutshell, does this camera take product pictures? Yes it does. Does it take good product pictures? No far from it.