I want to use the MNIST dataset to teach my neural network to recognise numbers. My problem is: The data I am working with is "european". What i mean by that is: the seven always has a dash (it often has a dash in MNIST too so that is more unlikely to cause a problem) and more importantly: the 1 is always written with this hook in Europe, whereas Americans tend to use a straight line (almost 100% of MNIST 1s are a straight line). So it seems to me that training on MNIST can cause problems. Have you ever ran into that problem? And if so, how did you solve it? I haven't found good solutions online.
for sure this is too late for you but as i used mnist some days ago and could not get good results for my own handwriting... maybe someone else is in search for a solution:
MNIST does represent american handwriting and will not achive good results in recognition of european writing.