Photogtraphy experts

I'm photographing some small artworks with a canon S90,and using the macro mode which usually gives me good detail (I have tried normal mode too but it's not as good), but I'm not getting the sharpness I want. The light is fairly bright daylight, ISO is 250 and am shooting aperture priority at 3.5.
Any thoughts about settings or anything else that I can change to get a sharper image. Also if I overexpose by one stop, which gives me cleaner whites etc, I'm also getting even less sharpness (though I don't need to do this, I can correct exposure in photoshop).
What am I doing wrong, or is my camera playing up, because I have shot these same type of images previously(recently) with no issues?

geek_rose2004, Apr 1, 2:30 pm

Sounds like it's not properly in focus. If you don't have a manual focus ring and have to rely on auto focus, try shooting at a slightly higher aperture (5.6 or even higher), this will increase the depth of field slightly and make focusing easier.

The only downside is this will let less light in. But you should be able to bump up the ISO a bit to compensate, or get more light on the subject.

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 1, 2:38 pm

ok thanks, what do you suggest for ISO, 400?

geek_rose2004, Apr 1, 3:13 pm

Well ideally you want to keep the ISO low and light your subject to get the correct exposure.

If you have no options with more lighting, then the ISO can be as high as you need to get the correct exposure. Just back off when you start seeing noise in the image.

The S90 has a smaller sensor which are usually prone to noise at lower ISOs. You'll have to experiment and see for yourself what looks good.

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 1, 3:44 pm

Thanks, I've gone with 400 and am still having to correct the exposure in photoshop, but still it's an improvement. Don't really have any better way to light them, and daylight has usually been fine.

BTW Do you think it's worth replacing the S90 with the S120? (a bit OT I know, but you seem to know lots about them)

geek_rose2004, Apr 1, 4:15 pm

Yes, the S120 has a much improved sensor (new CMOS technology as opposed to old CCD tech), as well as an improved lens and more.

But if you're doing macro work where focus is critical, I'd personally be looking at a DSLR or mirrorless camera with the ability to change lenses, then buying good macro lens.

geek_suicidemonkey, Apr 1, 4:19 pm

Thanks, I don't do that much macro stuff and the ability to carry it around easily and still get RAW format photos makes these cameras of value to me over a DSLR for most things. I don't know much about the mirrorless ones.

geek_rose2004, Apr 1, 4:23 pm

Stick that baby on a tripod and close the aperture more than f3.5

geek_ford_transit, Apr 2, 10:09 am

. use the timer so you don't introduce camera shake when you press the shutter button.

geek_ross1970, Apr 2, 10:45 am

Yup. (1) More light. (2) More light. (3) Tripod and very long exposure. (4) Short timer on the shutter to avoid shake. (5) Highest aperture you can manage. (6) Lowest ISO you can manage.

geek_tillsbury, Mar 29, 5:02 pm

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