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many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 2nd 06, 04:07 AM posted to rec.photo.digital
[email protected]
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Posts: 9
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..

howdy, i'm considering buying a new camera, i currently own a canon
sd450 and i like it a lot but would like to get a camera with more
manual controls. i have no experience with manual controls besides the
very limited ones on my canon but would love to learn and practice
using them on a pocket sized compact. i carry my camera everywhere and
have gotten a lot of neat shots because of that so i don't want
anything even remotely bulky. i like to shoot panorama's so any
increase in optical zoom or megapixels is welcome, the biggest panorama
i've made so far is around 50 megapixels which is overkill for printing
but i just like being able to zoom in on my panorama's while retaining
as much detail as possible.. the rest of the time i just use my camera
for taking pictures on trips or of friends/family, standard fare. i'd
like to start using my camera to take pictures of action though,
specifically skiing.

my biggest problem with my camera is with low light shots. in low
light, say indoors, its hard to take a picture without flash at a low
iso without getting blur from camera movement because of the slow
shutter speed (if thats what its called, the loooong delay between when
you click and when the picture gets taken when at a low iso in low
light). if i increase the iso the image becomes visibly grainy at 100
iso and at 200 iso its just ruins the picture for me, forget about
400... so i just end up taking 3-4 pictures and usually one of them is
sharp enough. beats taking one grainy picture. i try to brace my elbows
on something but thats usually not possible. the only other alternative
is using flash and i hate flash, nothing ever looks remotely the same
as it does with your own eyes and i often end up with a super bright
foreground and a pitch black background which is useless to me. so what
would be better at solving my problem, getting a camera with image
stabilization (ie canon is700) or getting a camera with cleaner and
higher iso's (ie fuji f30)?

my next problem is subject movement, like i said before i want to start
taking action shots.. its not something i've ever really tooled with
but i figure it shouldn't be a problem outdoors but indoors in less
than perfect light, if i take a picture of someone and they're even
just moving their arm or something, it blurs, even at iso400.. the only
way to get the picture without them blurring is with flash which again,
i despise. it would be nice to get a picture of my mother rocking her
grandson without me having to say 'stop rocking' so that nothing blurs.
what can i do to solve this?? and i read a lot about people improving
their pictures with photoshop, sharpening, fixing colours, reducing
noise, etc.. are there any books or online guides for this? maybe
something like a basic guide that explains the most useful and commonly
used things you can do to in photoshop to improve your pictures..? and
if i end up with a camera with full or near full manual controls, whats
a good photography book that can help me to take better pictures and
also help me learn to properly use the manual controls thats not too
overwhelming?

and finally what camera would you guys reccomend? the canon is700 looks
good because of its image stabilization, 4x zoom and extra megapixel
(good for panoramas).. but it doesn't have anymore manual controls (not
good for learning anything new) than i currently have.. the fuji f30
seems to be well regarded, and has nearly full manual control (good for
learning) and apparently has the best high iso performance (good for my
low light blurriness problem).. i know it has no optical viewfinder but
i -never- use mine (i've taken dozens of comparison shots looking
through the viewfinder and looking through the lcd in my standard
position with the camera 5 inches from my nose and have not found there
to be -any- difference in blurriness, plus its far easier to look at an
lcd and you actually see everything you're taking a picture unlike the
viewfinder which cuts off about 10% of the border). however looking at
the reviews on this site, the colour in the pictures taken with the f30
don't look that great compared to those taken with the canon who's
colours are much more lush (scroll down to the bottle).

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ew/index.shtml
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca..._sd700-review/

compare with the sony dslr and its obvious the f30 is the odd man out..

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

help!

  #2  
Old September 2nd 06, 04:46 AM posted to rec.photo.digital
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,818
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur,learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..

wrote:

my biggest problem with my camera is with low light shots. in low
light, say indoors, its hard to take a picture without flash at a low
iso without getting blur from camera movement because of the slow
shutter speed ...


The problem you are facing is directly related to pixel size.
You need a camera with larger pixels.

See:
Digital Cameras: Does Pixel Size Matter?
Factors in Choosing a Digital Camera
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta...el.size.matter

my next problem is subject movement, like i said before i want to start
taking action shots.. its not something i've ever really tooled with
but i figure it shouldn't be a problem outdoors but indoors in less
than perfect light, if i take a picture of someone and they're even
just moving their arm or something, it blurs, even at iso400..


You need a camera that responds fast and has large pixels.
That means DSLR.

and finally what camera would you guys reccomend?


Find a DSLR with at least 5 to 6 micron pixels.

Roger
Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com
  #3  
Old September 2nd 06, 05:56 AM posted to rec.photo.digital
ASAAR
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,057
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..

On 1 Sep 2006 20:07:56 -0700, wrote:

my biggest problem with my camera is with low light shots. in low
light, say indoors, its hard to take a picture without flash at a low
iso without getting blur from camera movement because of the slow
shutter speed (if thats what its called, the loooong delay between when
you click and when the picture gets taken when at a low iso in low
light). if i increase the iso the image becomes visibly grainy at 100
iso and at 200 iso its just ruins the picture for me, forget about
400... so i just end up taking 3-4 pictures and usually one of them is
sharp enough. beats taking one grainy picture.
. . .

however looking at
the reviews on this site, the colour in the pictures taken with the f30
don't look that great compared to those taken with the canon who's
colours are much more lush (scroll down to the bottle).

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ew/index.shtml
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca..._sd700-review/

compare with the sony dslr and its obvious the f30 is the odd man out..

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

help!


If low light performance is as important as you say, the SD700 is
the first to fall. But neither the SD700 nor the F30 will meet your
expectations because they both lack manual exposure controls.

Dpreview agrees that the because of the F30's tone curve, "images
can look a bit flat", but adds that with a little aid from photo
software the results change from flat to "amazing". Unfortunately,
the only cameras that will do what you want are DSLRs, and if you
get one I hope that you won't mind a little bit of photo processing
on your computer. This is because they tend to produce even flatter
images out of the camera than the F30, so they'll also need some
computer processing to yield the superior results that they are
capable of producing. I haven't checked the reviews, but I'd
suspect that based on the Sony A100's sensor resolution alone, the
entry level DSLRs from Canon and Nikon would be a little better for
shooting in low light conditions.

  #4  
Old September 2nd 06, 09:26 AM posted to rec.photo.digital
Roy G
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 879
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..


wrote in message
ps.com...
howdy, i'm considering buying a new camera, i currently own a canon
sd450 and i like it a lot but would like to get a camera with more



compare with the sony dslr and its obvious the f30 is the odd man out..

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

help!


Hi.

If you really want to take a lot of Indoors Pictures, especially of moving
people, then there is no sensible alternative to using Flash.

The washed out faces against inky black background, is a direct result of a
built in low power flash.

A proper on-camera, (or even better a remote), and powerful Flash used
sensibly will produce very acceptable results.

Roy G


  #5  
Old September 2nd 06, 01:54 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..


Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark) wrote:
wrote:

my biggest problem with my camera is with low light shots. in low
light, say indoors, its hard to take a picture without flash at a low
iso without getting blur from camera movement because of the slow
shutter speed ...


The problem you are facing is directly related to pixel size.
You need a camera with larger pixels.

See:
Digital Cameras: Does Pixel Size Matter?
Factors in Choosing a Digital Camera
http://www.clarkvision.com/imagedeta...el.size.matter

my next problem is subject movement, like i said before i want to start
taking action shots.. its not something i've ever really tooled with
but i figure it shouldn't be a problem outdoors but indoors in less
than perfect light, if i take a picture of someone and they're even
just moving their arm or something, it blurs, even at iso400..


You need a camera that responds fast and has large pixels.
That means DSLR.

and finally what camera would you guys reccomend?


Find a DSLR with at least 5 to 6 micron pixels.

Roger
Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com


yeah i'm not ready for something bulky right now, if i was to jump into
the world of dslr camera's though, what would be the two you most
reccomend? thanks

  #6  
Old September 2nd 06, 01:56 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..


Roy G wrote:
wrote in message
ps.com...
howdy, i'm considering buying a new camera, i currently own a canon
sd450 and i like it a lot but would like to get a camera with more



compare with the sony dslr and its obvious the f30 is the odd man out..

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

help!


Hi.

If you really want to take a lot of Indoors Pictures, especially of moving
people, then there is no sensible alternative to using Flash.

The washed out faces against inky black background, is a direct result of a
built in low power flash.

A proper on-camera, (or even better a remote), and powerful Flash used
sensibly will produce very acceptable results.

Roy G


no compact camera can do the same?

  #7  
Old September 2nd 06, 02:07 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur, learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..


ASAAR wrote:
On 1 Sep 2006 20:07:56 -0700, wrote:

my biggest problem with my camera is with low light shots. in low
light, say indoors, its hard to take a picture without flash at a low
iso without getting blur from camera movement because of the slow
shutter speed (if thats what its called, the loooong delay between when
you click and when the picture gets taken when at a low iso in low
light). if i increase the iso the image becomes visibly grainy at 100
iso and at 200 iso its just ruins the picture for me, forget about
400... so i just end up taking 3-4 pictures and usually one of them is
sharp enough. beats taking one grainy picture.
. . .

however looking at
the reviews on this site, the colour in the pictures taken with the f30
don't look that great compared to those taken with the canon who's
colours are much more lush (scroll down to the bottle).

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/fu...ew/index.shtml
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/ca..._sd700-review/

compare with the sony dslr and its obvious the f30 is the odd man out..

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/so...ew/index.shtml

help!


If low light performance is as important as you say, the SD700 is
the first to fall. But neither the SD700 nor the F30 will meet your
expectations because they both lack manual exposure controls.

Dpreview agrees that the because of the F30's tone curve, "images
can look a bit flat", but adds that with a little aid from photo
software the results change from flat to "amazing". Unfortunately,
the only cameras that will do what you want are DSLRs, and if you
get one I hope that you won't mind a little bit of photo processing
on your computer. This is because they tend to produce even flatter
images out of the camera than the F30, so they'll also need some
computer processing to yield the superior results that they are
capable of producing. I haven't checked the reviews, but I'd
suspect that based on the Sony A100's sensor resolution alone, the
entry level DSLRs from Canon and Nikon would be a little better for
shooting in low light conditions.



how do you spice up your images in photoshop? where do you learn this?
i don't know exactly what you mean by exposure controls but on my
currently canon i can choose an exposure range from -3 to +3 i believe,
or when i'm lining up the picture in manual i have three options, a
box, a box with a dot in it, or a box with a circle and a dot inside
it. the circle/dot sets the exposure based on whats in the entire frame
and is the unchangeable default in auto mode, the dot in a box changes
the exposure based on whats in the direct center of the image.. so i
can just move my camera around until i find the exposure i like by
pointing it at different areas of darkness or brightness in the room,
hold the button down half way, frame up my picture and take it. it
works quite well because its quick and i see what its going to look
like on lcd in real time..

  #9  
Old September 2nd 06, 02:37 PM posted to rec.photo.digital
Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,818
Default many questions: choosing new compact, fixing low light blur,learning manual controls, photoshop, etc..

wrote:

how do you spice up your images in photoshop? where do you learn this?
i don't know exactly what you mean by exposure controls but on my
currently canon i can choose an exposure range from -3 to +3 i believe,
or when i'm lining up the picture in manual i have three options, a
box, a box with a dot in it, or a box with a circle and a dot inside
it. the circle/dot sets the exposure based on whats in the entire frame
and is the unchangeable default in auto mode, the dot in a box changes
the exposure based on whats in the direct center of the image.. so i
can just move my camera around until i find the exposure i like by
pointing it at different areas of darkness or brightness in the room,
hold the button down half way, frame up my picture and take it. it
works quite well because its quick and i see what its going to look
like on lcd in real time..

It is done with curves. See:
http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/c...1/curves-1.htm

and look at Figure 6. Digital doesn't have a "toe" to the
characteristic curve like film does. Doing something like in
Figure 6 adds that toe and gives a response more like film.

Ron has a lot of other great articles too.

Roger
 




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