(Crowing - before editing)
I have a good, but not especially fancy camera - it's an Olympus e620 (a DSLR). I upgraded nearly 2 years ago because my old camera could never photograph a quilt well - it simply couldn't focus accurately both in the centre and at the binding. It drove me batty. So my choice camera was largely driven by my desire to fix that. I'd fully expected to come home with another Canon, or maybe Nikon, but the quality of Olympus lenses, combined with some other technical stuff I've long forgotten easily swayed me. And I confess I mostly use it on the auto/part auto settings.
(Crowing - cropped, black/white levels adjusted, image sharpened, colours brightened/corrected)
The various programs I've been using to edit photos (an old version of Photoshop, Microsoft Office Picture manager and Paint - sometimes all 3 on one photo!) have helped combat most of the issues with lighting, colour, focus and even some distortion, but I still wasn't quite happy.
(Waving - before editing)
A while back, Photoshop refused to open on my old computer, so I started looking around, and downloaded a 30-day trial of the new version of Photshop Elements (11). I've been playing with it. I have to remember some differences between the versions (and I was never an expert; I've really just figured out a few things with a little assistance and trial-and-error, and know I've not touched the sides of what the software is capable of) but already I've discovered what appear to be new features, such as being able to adjust for perspective. And I've found ways of doing most of the things I used to use. My trial is about to end, and I know I have no option now but to bite the bullet and buy the software!
(Waving - cropped, colours corrected and brightened, image sharpened, black/white levels adjusted, image straightened)
The examples shown are photos of 2 of my own quilts, before and after I edited them. The changes are nothing drastic, but the end result is much better, and much more accurate.
By the way, I have no affiliation with any of the companies or products mentioned, and get nothing for this post, I'm just sharing my thoughts.