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What's wrong with my digital camera?

 
 
Jack White
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      07-07-2003
I used to have webtv plus and used to take digital pics using webtv
plus's built in capture card with my camcorder and the results were
not exactly breathtaking.
I've now got a broadband puter in my bedroom on a network and I now
use a digital camera hooked up to a USB 2.0 port now that my trusty
old webtv plus has been sold and is now probably being used thousands
of miles away
Back when I used webtv plus to take these types of pics, everybody
used to blame the camcorder and webtv plus for the lack of detail.
I'm now taking over a megapixel images(before cropping) and I'm still
not getting the visual detail I need for these types of pics(see pics
below).
Do I have to go out and spend 1500 bucks for a 6.3 megapixel digital
camera with a massive optical zoom and interchangable lenses to get
the kind of visual detail needed for these types of pics?
Here are 2 pics of a test pattern being displayed on the tv in my
bedroom, it's a Sony KV-20V80.
The 6.75mhz circle shows NOTHING but mush in the pics, but that's NOT
how it looks like in real life.
With the naked eye, there is some detail in the 6.75mhz circle, it's
not rock solid detail, but it's not mush either.
What would you guess is the horizontal resolution of this tv looking
at the wedge from this pics,
I saw the horizontal resolution spec on an Crutchfield that's a few
years old.
Judging from how close you come to the actual spec from looking at the
pic will be a good indication of how good or crappy this digital
camera is.
http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...PPED_FIXED.jpg
http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...f/IM000025.JPG

Now I've tried EVERTHING, zooming in, using the flash, using no flash,
using lights, no lights, total darkness, and nothing gives the kind of
visual detail needed for these kinds of pics with this camera.
Here's a pic of the biggest screen in the house in the living room.
I used the flash again this time just to show that there isn't enough
visual detail with our without the flash.
This time the pic is so bad, that even the 4.18MHZ circle looks like
mush, but on this livingroom tv in the pic, in real life there's ROCK
SOLID detail in the 4.18MHZ circle when seen with the naked eye.
http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...PPED_FIXED.jpg

I may be trading in this camera for a higher priced model soon so
maybe that will fix the problem.
BTW, the links may break up because of the long url so if you want to
see them, you may have to copy and paste the 2 broken pieces of the
link together in your url bar and then hit enter to see the pic.
BTW, the only reason I posted this to the Echostar newsgroup was
because they talk about calibrating your tv/monitor more in that
newsgroup than just about ANY newsgroup on usenet.
Everytime somebody says how bad the picture quality on Dish sucks on
the Echostar newsgroup, it seems like half a dozen people tell him
"you need to calibrate your tv", "turn the sharpness all the way down
on your tv", etc.
 
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Richard A.
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      07-07-2003
That's about what I would expect from a 1.0 megapixel camera. You may want
to see if you can borrow a friends and check out his camera's results. A
5.0 megapixel camera can be bought for a LOT cheaper than $1500 and will
likely do everything you want.

Richard

"Jack White" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> I used to have webtv plus and used to take digital pics using webtv
> plus's built in capture card with my camcorder and the results were
> not exactly breathtaking.
> I've now got a broadband puter in my bedroom on a network and I now
> use a digital camera hooked up to a USB 2.0 port now that my trusty
> old webtv plus has been sold and is now probably being used thousands
> of miles away
> Back when I used webtv plus to take these types of pics, everybody
> used to blame the camcorder and webtv plus for the lack of detail.
> I'm now taking over a megapixel images(before cropping) and I'm still
> not getting the visual detail I need for these types of pics(see pics
> below).
> Do I have to go out and spend 1500 bucks for a 6.3 megapixel digital
> camera with a massive optical zoom and interchangable lenses to get
> the kind of visual detail needed for these types of pics?
> Here are 2 pics of a test pattern being displayed on the tv in my
> bedroom, it's a Sony KV-20V80.
> The 6.75mhz circle shows NOTHING but mush in the pics, but that's NOT
> how it looks like in real life.
> With the naked eye, there is some detail in the 6.75mhz circle, it's
> not rock solid detail, but it's not mush either.
> What would you guess is the horizontal resolution of this tv looking
> at the wedge from this pics,
> I saw the horizontal resolution spec on an Crutchfield that's a few
> years old.
> Judging from how close you come to the actual spec from looking at the
> pic will be a good indication of how good or crappy this digital
> camera is.
>

http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...PPED_FIXED.jpg
>

http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...f/IM000025.JPG
>
> Now I've tried EVERTHING, zooming in, using the flash, using no flash,
> using lights, no lights, total darkness, and nothing gives the kind of
> visual detail needed for these kinds of pics with this camera.
> Here's a pic of the biggest screen in the house in the living room.
> I used the flash again this time just to show that there isn't enough
> visual detail with our without the flash.
> This time the pic is so bad, that even the 4.18MHZ circle looks like
> mush, but on this livingroom tv in the pic, in real life there's ROCK
> SOLID detail in the 4.18MHZ circle when seen with the naked eye.
>

http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...PPED_FIXED.jpg
>
> I may be trading in this camera for a higher priced model soon so
> maybe that will fix the problem.
> BTW, the links may break up because of the long url so if you want to
> see them, you may have to copy and paste the 2 broken pieces of the
> link together in your url bar and then hit enter to see the pic.
> BTW, the only reason I posted this to the Echostar newsgroup was
> because they talk about calibrating your tv/monitor more in that
> newsgroup than just about ANY newsgroup on usenet.
> Everytime somebody says how bad the picture quality on Dish sucks on
> the Echostar newsgroup, it seems like half a dozen people tell him
> "you need to calibrate your tv", "turn the sharpness all the way down
> on your tv", etc.



 
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Rich Clark
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      07-07-2003

"Jack White" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...

> Do I have to go out and spend 1500 bucks for a 6.3 megapixel digital
> camera with a massive optical zoom and interchangable lenses to get
> the kind of visual detail needed for these types of pics?


It's not just pixels, it's the quality of a camera's optics that
particularly determines the subjective sharpness of an image. Manual focus
often beneficial when photographing reflective surfaces, as is the ability
to manually control the aperture when photographing sources that emit light.

640x480 or even 1024x768 is also not particularly high resolution, but it's
still possible to get better pictures than the ones you've posted, which
look like the output of a cheap camera with a "focus free" plastic lens set
on full auto.

RichC


 
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Lucas Tam
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      07-07-2003
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Jack White) wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed) om:

> I'm now taking over a megapixel images(before cropping) and I'm still
> not getting the visual detail I need for these types of pics(see pics
> below).


Are you using your Camcorder? A camcorder's still image capability usually
pales in comparison to a digital camera. Also, if you're using a frame from
the digital video, it's even worse quality.

> Do I have to go out and spend 1500 bucks for a 6.3 megapixel digital
> camera with a massive optical zoom and interchangable lenses to get
> the kind of visual detail needed for these types of pics?


No, 2 or 3MP camera is more than enough. Actually, even a 1.3MP camera
might be good enough.

--
Lucas Tam ((E-Mail Removed))

Kodak DC240 Digital Zoom Camera w/ EXTRAs for Auction! 99c!
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=2937992463
 
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Jay
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      07-07-2003
Jack, I used to work as an industrial photographer for a major defense
contractor, being given assignments to photograph off of high resolution
computer displays on almost a daily basis. I would say that considering #1
that you are photographing off a consumer tv set, and #2 that you are using
a 1 megapixel camera, your results are about what I would have expected.
Even a better, higher resolution camera will probably give you disappointing
results if you do this off the same tv set. The resolution in the picture
tube just isn't there. Yes you can do a little better with a better camera
and lens, but I wouldn't expect much. At any rate, try turning up contrast
on the tv and see if that helps any. If you have a need to photograph higher
resolution stuff off of some kind of monitor, you may want to look into
doing so on a computer monitor (the higher the resolution and the bigger the
monitor, the better).

Jay


 
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Jay
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      07-07-2003
Not sure I agree with the prediction in that article about the 1.5 inch
drive. The author states that the trend is away from flash cards and towards
hard drive technology but in fact the IBM microdrive is almost extinct at
this point. Main reason is that flash cards are much more reliable as there
are no moving parts, no crashes etc. The article predicts that 1.5 inch
microdrives will cost less than flash cards, but in fact one can buy a 1gb
compact flash card for a little over $200 these days. Any competition will
only drive prices further down.


 
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Jack White
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      07-07-2003
Lionel <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<beasad$9ef$(E-Mail Removed)>...
> On 6 Jul 2003 19:42:43 -0700, in
> <(E-Mail Removed) >, (E-Mail Removed)
> (Jack White) said:
>
> >Here are 2 pics of a test pattern being displayed on the tv in my
> >bedroom, it's a Sony KV-20V80.
> >The 6.75mhz circle shows NOTHING but mush in the pics, but that's NOT
> >how it looks like in real life.

>
> Um.
>
> If you just want to grab good images from a TV screen, a camera is
> probably about the worst possible way of doing it. You /can/ do it, but
> you need a tripod for a sharp image, & longish exposure to prevent black
> or shadowed bars. (My 10D takes great photos of TV & computer screens,
> but it's massive overkill for what you're talking about!) If you want
> high quality, you need to sync the shutter to the video frame rate.
>
> It's much cheaper & easier to buy a an average quality video capture
> card for your PC. Every capture card I know of comes with software that
> can grab good quality single frames for you, as well as capturing video.


It really wasn't my intention to take a screen cap, it was my
intention to actually take an image of the screen as close to as
possible as it looks in real life.
On a test pattern like this, a screencap will look totally different
than a pic of the screen will look.
That test pattern will look slightly different from tv to tv.
Notice how incredibly different the same test pattern looks on this
other tv I took a screencap of a while ago.
The reason it looks so weird is because this tv only had a composite
video input as its best input(while the others had S-video or
Component) so all the weird stuff you see is called moire pattern.
http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...picture_1.jpeg
Can a capture card show the differences this test pattern shows from 1
television to the next the way a camera or camcorder will?
I could capture a screencap off of that test pattern even without any
capture equipment. All I'd have to do is open up paint, then display
that test pattern on one of the puters in the house with a dvd drive,
then hit print screen on the keyboard, then click on paste in paint,
then save the screencap as a high rez bitmap.
I did learn one thing though, you have to turn the video acceleration
in the player you're using to NONE in order to take a screencap, if
the acceleration is full, all you'll get is a black screen.
Here's a screencap for demonstartion purposes.
This was taken on the oldest machine on the network, the puter in my
bedroom which is a Windows 98SE machine. On this machine, when you
turn the video acceleration in the media player to none, then you
can't view full screen video. That's why the video in this screencap
is not full screen, this screencap is just for demo purposes anyway.
It used to be a beautiful 1.37mb uncompressed bitmap, but I had to
turn it into a jpeg that looks like garbage in order to reduce the
filesize and to upload it to one of my online photo albums.
You may have to copy and paste the url to see the pic because of the
anti-hotlinking engines many sites use to save bandwidth.
http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/p...Screencap8.jpg
 
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John H.
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      07-07-2003
On Mon, 07 Jul 2003 12:16:39 GMT, John H. <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> A 1 Megapixel still camera is not the resolution you may think it is. It
> usually means .25 megapixels with 2 green, 1 red and 1 blue sub-pixel for
> each. An analog TV screen may have over .3 megapixels (480*640). Use a
> 3.1 megapixel camera or better (a true .77 megapixel) to allow for some
> over-sampling for best picture.


On second thought I'm not sure any digital camera can take a good picture
of a TV that has a shadow mask or aperture grill. Your Sony may have
600-700 RGB pixel triads across its horizontal width for a total of about
~2000 sub-pixels. You'd need at least a pair of horizontal "camera pixels"
(one 2*2 pattern) for every one of the ~2000 vertical strips on the screen
to pick up full color. That's 3k x 4k = a 12 megapixel camera. Although
if the TV is showing a black and white image, a 3.1 megapixel camera should
still be enough.

 
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Bishoop
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      07-07-2003

| You may have to copy and paste the url to see the pic because of the
| anti-hotlinking engines many sites use to save bandwidth.

"anti-hotlinking engines" WHAT????


 
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Lionel
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      07-07-2003
On Mon, 07 Jul 2003 17:09:56 GMT, in
<(E-Mail Removed)>, John H. <(E-Mail Removed)>
said:

>On second thought I'm not sure any digital camera can take a good picture
>of a TV that has a shadow mask or aperture grill.


Au contraire!

I just made a quick demo for you:
http://lo.ve.ly/test/
The first image is a drastically reduced EOS 10D shot of one of the
screens (at 1280x1024 resolution) on my workstation (a CRT - my main
screen is an LCD). The second image is a 1:1 crop of the full resolution
image. Yes, the moire from the shadow mask is very visible, but I wanted
to show a worst case example. The image would've been much smoother if
I'd zoomed out somewhat.

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
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