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Adjusting the angle of the CCD

 
 
snapper@mailinator.com
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      01-22-2006
Photographs I take with my Canon S2 IS rarely seem to come out level. They always seem to be out by
about 0.85 degrees.

I always used to blame myself, one leg is slightly shorter than the other thanks to a football
accident.

Anyway, I did an experiment today. I placed the camera on a flat surface and took a couple of
photos of a car in a rooftop carpark. I took front and rear. Both images slope down to the left by
about 0.85 degrees measured where the tyres touch the car park surface. If it was the surface
sloping, front and rear images would slope on different sides.

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/813...3438aaa2dc.jpg

and

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/820...5736aaa8yg.jpg

So, I reckon it must be the bloody camera!

The camera is under warranty, but is 0.85 degrees within manufacturers tolerance? And, if not, is
it a fairly easy thing for Canon to repair, or should I push for a new camera?

Thanks for any replies.


 
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MarkČ
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      01-22-2006
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> Photographs I take with my Canon S2 IS rarely seem to come out level.
> They always seem to be out by about 0.85 degrees.
>
> I always used to blame myself, one leg is slightly shorter than the
> other thanks to a football accident.
>
> Anyway, I did an experiment today. I placed the camera on a flat
> surface and took a couple of photos of a car in a rooftop carpark. I
> took front and rear. Both images slope down to the left by about
> 0.85 degrees measured where the tyres touch the car park surface. If
> it was the surface sloping, front and rear images would slope on
> different sides.
>
> http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/813...3438aaa2dc.jpg
>
> and
>
> http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/820...5736aaa8yg.jpg
>
> So, I reckon it must be the bloody camera!
>
> The camera is under warranty, but is 0.85 degrees within
> manufacturers tolerance? And, if not, is it a fairly easy thing for
> Canon to repair, or should I push for a new camera?
>
> Thanks for any replies.


Your testing technique is open to so many variables, there is no way you
could establish a faulty sensor that way...

You placed your camera on a "flat surface"???

Perhaps a better question would be... Is 0.85 degrees within the tolerance
of sidewalk/parking lot manufacturers?

I suspect the parking lot/sidewalk quality controls are far lower than that
of a digital camera manufacturer.


 
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David J Taylor
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      01-22-2006
(E-Mail Removed) wrote:
> Photographs I take with my Canon S2 IS rarely seem to come out level.
> They always seem to be out by about 0.85 degrees.

[]
> The camera is under warranty, but is 0.85 degrees within
> manufacturers tolerance? And, if not, is it a fairly easy thing for
> Canon to repair, or should I push for a new camera?
>
> Thanks for any replies.


On my Panasonic FZ5 you can turn on grid-lines to ensure that the horizons
remain horizontal (well, if you align them to the grid-lines!). Doesn't
the Canon has a similar feature? I am surprised it's that far out,
though.

David


 
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sierra
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      01-22-2006
>From a Thom Hogan review of the D50 - so it's not just Canon:

"One final performance note: the viewfinder mask on my D50 is 0.6
degrees off from what it should be. Line something up with the bottom
of the viewfinder frame and you'll be running Rotate Arbitrary in
Photoshop a lot. I've yet to see a Nikon viewfinder that's perfect
(curiously, they all seem to give you images that run downhill right),
but my D50's is the worst of the bunch to date."

 
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snapper@mailinator.com
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      01-22-2006
On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 10:44:04 GMT, "David J Taylor"
<(E-Mail Removed)-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote:

> On my Panasonic FZ5 you can turn on grid-lines to ensure that the horizons
> remain horizontal (well, if you align them to the grid-lines!). Doesn't
> the Canon has a similar feature? I am surprised it's that far out,
> though.


My old Fuji S602Z had that feature, the Canon is sadly lacking it.

 
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Celcius
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      01-22-2006
Snap,

I doubt that your camera is at fault. Many factors are at play here.

I line up objects with the sides (or bottom) of my viewfinder (Rebel
XT), looking either for the horizon, rooftops, side of buildings, etc.

Note that as you are close to an object and your lens is less than 50mm
(film camera), such lines have a tendency to twart (inside out), making
the above observation more difficult.

Usually, I'm not too far off, not for the result to be noticeable, at
least. In any event, it can be corrected with Photoshop.

Cheers,

Marcel

 
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Dave Martindale
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      01-22-2006
(E-Mail Removed) writes:
>Photographs I take with my Canon S2 IS rarely seem to come out level.
>They always seem to be out by
>about 0.85 degrees.


>Anyway, I did an experiment today. I placed the camera on a flat
>surface and took a couple of
>photos of a car in a rooftop carpark. I took front and rear. Both
>images slope down to the left by
>about 0.85 degrees measured where the tyres touch the car park surface.
>If it was the surface
>sloping, front and rear images would slope on different sides.


First, car park surfaces are general neither flat nor level, so this
test may not mean much. If you really want to know whether the CCD is
tilted, do something like this:

- get a level, and verify that it is accurate (bubble centered on a flat
surface, then turn level 180 degrees and see if bubble is still
centered)

- find a flat level surface as verified with the level, place camera on
it

- mount level so it is in the middle of the field of view of the camera,
perpendicular to the line of sight of the camera (check this with a
square)

- adjust level so it is level

- shoot photo

- while you're doing this, see if the level appears horizontal in the
LCD and optical finders

From this, you can measure whether the CCD is indeed rotated with
respect to the camera baseplate. The manufacturing tolerance for CCD
rotation may well be larger than 0.85 degrees.

You'll probably also find that the LCD agrees with the CCD, so if you
tilt the camera so the horizon appears horizontal in the LCD, you'll get
a level picture. Since the LCD is the major viewfinding device for this
class of camera, rotational errors in CCD mounting may be considered
inconsequential.

>The camera is under warranty, but is 0.85 degrees within manufacturers
>tolerance? And, if not, is
>it a fairly easy thing for Canon to repair, or should I push for a new camera?


I expect that precision rotational alignment of the CCD isn't
considered very important in a Point&Shoot consumer camera like the
S2. I might complain if I found this on a $5000 on a
professional-level DSLR since the alignment standards ought to be
better for that class of camera.

Dave
 
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MarkČ
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      01-22-2006
Dave Martindale wrote:
> (E-Mail Removed) writes:
>> Photographs I take with my Canon S2 IS rarely seem to come out level.
>> They always seem to be out by
>> about 0.85 degrees.

>
>> Anyway, I did an experiment today. I placed the camera on a flat
>> surface and took a couple of
>> photos of a car in a rooftop carpark. I took front and rear. Both
>> images slope down to the left by
>> about 0.85 degrees measured where the tyres touch the car park
>> surface.
>> If it was the surface
>> sloping, front and rear images would slope on different sides.

>
> First, car park surfaces are general neither flat nor level, so this
> test may not mean much. If you really want to know whether the CCD is
> tilted, do something like this:
>
> - get a level, and verify that it is accurate (bubble centered on a
> flat surface, then turn level 180 degrees and see if bubble is still
> centered)
>
> - find a flat level surface as verified with the level, place camera
> on it
>
> - mount level so it is in the middle of the field of view of the
> camera, perpendicular to the line of sight of the camera (check this
> with a square)
>
> - adjust level so it is level
>
> - shoot photo
>
> - while you're doing this, see if the level appears horizontal in the
> LCD and optical finders
>
> From this, you can measure whether the CCD is indeed rotated with
> respect to the camera baseplate. The manufacturing tolerance for CCD
> rotation may well be larger than 0.85 degrees.


Good suggestions by Dave snipped:
To me, the sample shots used are so far out of whack in terms of a known
angle, that his test is completely meaningless. I've never see a parking
lot, street or any other out-door paved surface used for driving/parking
that was perfectly flat. Parking lots and streets are subjected to uneven
pressure all day, every day. This almost always leads to
imperfections...even in rare cases where they were initially constructed at
level.


 
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