One day, while looking at a photo of mine, someone asked: is it made with a D70? The sharpness, the narrow DOF and the crystal clear details of a cats eye made him believe that was the result of the D70 performance. But I answered: no, just a Canon A520. How was that possible? Well, some little compact cameras have buried a few secrets that if used, the quality of the pictures can turn out as semi-professional.
In other occasion, while looking at the exif data of a picture I took, someone was amazed that my little Canon works with 180 pixels/inch instead of the 72 pixels/inch normally used by compact cameras. This happens when I use the superfine compression option (and I actually always do), resulting in those crystal clear details. The sharpening and DOF come from a little manipulation with NeatImage.
When I had a conversation with more experienced photographers, one told me this A520 is good only for landscape photography, the other one said the lens is good for macro shots too; at least better than in other compacts. I proved them that the second one is right. It was way too hard to find the right focus point of a little bug in macro mode especially when I got as close as 2cm, but this little compact has a manual focus which I used with success. Can you believe those pictures were made with Canon A50? Somehow, I can hardly believe myself.
For cameras with no manual focus, heres a trick: appreciate the distance and focus on some other bigger object at the same distance. Then, with the shutter button half-pressed, move the camera towards your subject and see if now the image in the LCD is clear. If not, try again. (Much patience is required)
Another problem that 90% of the compact cameras have is the red eye. Just simply because they are compact, too compact, making the flash be near the lens – so near that the pre-flash light has no effect. The 1% of the cameras that don’t have this problem are those with an in-camera software that successfully remove the red eye. For overcoming this, software is required: a Photoshop/Lightroom plug-in maybe. But the results are not guarantied.
My Canon has a detachable ring around the lens and a filter adapter. But if you camera does not, stay calm: you can build yourself a filter and attach it in any way you can figure (for example a case jut a bit larger than the camera).
[tags]camera limitations, canon A520, manual settings, manual focus, red eye, fake DOF[/tags]