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Oly c-725 superzoom constant blurring and other probs

 
 
Paul Heslop
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      07-05-2005
For my sins I recently purchased this cam in a sale BEFORE I read some
user's reports that it had a few flaws. It can take some beautiful
pics but too many have things wrong. I wanted the convenience of a
point and shoot but with some setting I could start to use myself,
having previously owned and been happy with a smaller but fully auto
c-220. I was also attracted by that 8X zoom!

So, I heard about the awful chromatic aberration, but wasn't prepared
for just how bad it can be sometimes. But it's those blurry shots. any
movement at all is likely to cause blurring and as I have quite bad
shakes the movement can often be me. Oh yeah, the flash is too damned
powerful too, which can be a real pain.

Anyway, what I have, basically, is a camera which doesn't like auto
settings, often causing over-exposure aswell as the blurring, so I am
trying hard to get the hang of using the manual settings. Sometimes i
get it spot on, but often I just don't have the time to experiment
and/or am just too tired and muddle headed.

What I would really like, if anyone can be so kind, are some pointers
of reasonable settings for certain conditions. I've tried books but
the few I have tried seem to assume some knowledge, or they point to
settings this camera just doesn't want to do. BTW, the focus is full
auto! :O(
----------------------
Cam has 1/2.5" CCD

Lens is 6.4mm to 51.22mm f2.8 to 3.4

ISO 100 200 & 400 (2 and 4 hundred VERY noisy)

Has esp or spot meter but the spot seems to be linked to the focus
lock... There is an AE lock, plus exposure compensation +/-2.0 in 1/3
steps

aperture W f2.8 to f7.1
T f3.4 to f7.1

shutter speed 1/2 to 1/1000 sex
M mode 8 to 1000 or when night flash is used 2 to 1/1000
-------------------------------
so, if someone could help with useful settings (I know they might not
be precise, I would just like a guide) for

Indoor family pics (kids playing etc)

outdoor family pics (sunny and gloomy, I live in England!)

outdoor lansdscape/buildings etc (has a lot of trouble focusing on
clouds, specially in low light)

and lastly low light or even night time photography. (Once again it
really doesn't seem to like this, focusing is hard)
-----------------------------------------

Apart from the bad shakes I recently bought a monopod only to find
that my body kind of jerks, or even judders. It might only be a small
movement but obviously isn't good if I can see it happening on the
monopod. I have a tripod but obviously that's not much good in
situations like kids at play, though it will come in useful for set
pieces or night shots.
------------------------------------------

As you can see, I need a lot of help and if I could afford it I'd love
to dump the thing in the bin and buy something more friendly, but I
can't, so any small pointers people can give, I'd be most grateful...


thanks so much.

--
Paul (And I'm, like, "yeah, whatever!")
-------------------------------------------------------
Stop and Look
http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
 
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ASAAR
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2005
On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 17:42:08 GMT, Paul Heslop wrote:

> So, I heard about the awful chromatic aberration, but wasn't prepared
> for just how bad it can be sometimes. But it's those blurry shots. any
> movement at all is likely to cause blurring and as I have quite bad
> shakes the movement can often be me. Oh yeah, the flash is too damned
> powerful too, which can be a real pain.


Normally the cameras with image stabilization would be preferred
when handholding is combined with long focal lengths. But they can
only compensate so much and may not be able to cope with greater
than usual shakes and jitters. As for the flash, your camera may be
able to reduce its output (also helping to prolong battery life).
If the C-725 is one that comes with only a Basic printed manual, you
might have to thoroughly check the menu to see if this is an option,
or check the CD that should have come with the camera for a PDF
version of the full manual.


> so, if someone could help with useful settings (I know they might not
> be precise, I would just like a guide) for
>
> Indoor family pics (kids playing etc)


It would help if you explained why you're having problems with
this type of picture. Focusing problems? Shutter lag? The 'too
powerful flash' should be helpful here as it would allow smaller
apertures, increasing depth of field.


> outdoor family pics (sunny and gloomy, I live in England!)


Same. What problems do you have here?


> outdoor lansdscape/buildings etc (has a lot of trouble focusing on
> clouds, specially in low light)


Does your manual not provide focusing guidelines or tips? I would
expect clouds to be very difficult for many cameras to focus on.
Some may do a better job than others, but here's part of what my
Fuji manual has to say about focusing:

> Subjects not suitable for autofocus
> blah, blah, blah . . . However it may have difficulty focusing on the following:
> Very shiny objects, such as a mirror or car body
> Subjects photographed through glass
> Subjects that do not reflect well, such as hair or fur
> Subjects with no substance, such as smoke or flames
> Dark subjects
> Fast moving subjects
> Subjects with little or no contrast between the subject and the background
> (such as white walls or subjects dressed in the same color as the background)
> Subjects where another high contrast object (not the subject) is close to the
> AF frame and is either closer or further away than your subject (such as
> a shot of someone against a background with strongly contrasting elements)
>
> For such subjects, use AF/AE lock



> and lastly low light or even night time photography. (Once again it
> really doesn't seem to like this, focusing is hard)


Many cameras focus poorly in low light. Does your camera have a
focusing assist lamp, and if so, has it been disabled? One camera
(discussed in part of another thread) that probably does
exceptionally well in very low light is Sony's F828. I'd guess that
most DSLR would also do much better in low light than your C-725.
You get what you pay for, and for the high cost of these cameras you
get many advantages, such as fast, precise manual focusing. Many
small, cheap P&S cameras don't have focusing problems because they
are very limited. Some have fixed focus lenses and rely on their
lens's very small aperture to keep everything in relatively sharp
focus. But they won't be able to focus on close subjects, and as
they're rarely used to make larger than snapshot sized prints, their
limitations won't be too obvious. Some Olympus cameras can save
custom settings and allow them to be quickly recalled, such as
shutter speed, aperture, focus point, ISO, white balance, etc., and
if yours can do this, you could create a custom setting that
duplicates those of a cheap, easy to use camera. But the results
will have the same drawbacks too, although the images might be a
little better due to your camera's better lens.

 
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Paul Heslop
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2005
ASAAR wrote:
>
> On Tue, 05 Jul 2005 17:42:08 GMT, Paul Heslop wrote:
>
> > So, I heard about the awful chromatic aberration, but wasn't prepared
> > for just how bad it can be sometimes. But it's those blurry shots. any
> > movement at all is likely to cause blurring and as I have quite bad
> > shakes the movement can often be me. Oh yeah, the flash is too damned
> > powerful too, which can be a real pain.

>
> Normally the cameras with image stabilization would be preferred
> when handholding is combined with long focal lengths. But they can
> only compensate so much and may not be able to cope with greater
> than usual shakes and jitters. As for the flash, your camera may be
> able to reduce its output (also helping to prolong battery life).
> If the C-725 is one that comes with only a Basic printed manual, you
> might have to thoroughly check the menu to see if this is an option,
> or check the CD that should have come with the camera for a PDF
> version of the full manual.
>

It has +2 -2 ev. I do try it but often come out with images way too
dark, though they look fine onboard the camera

> > so, if someone could help with useful settings (I know they might not
> > be precise, I would just like a guide) for
> >
> > Indoor family pics (kids playing etc)

>
> It would help if you explained why you're having problems with
> this type of picture. Focusing problems? Shutter lag? The 'too
> powerful flash' should be helpful here as it would allow smaller
> apertures, increasing depth of field.


Blur and softness mainly. Any movement at all seems to catch the cam
out on indoors shots. I have some great shots from almost static
people, but even then it's 75/25 on getting a good shot, specially on
auto.
>
> > outdoor family pics (sunny and gloomy, I live in England!)

>
> Same. What problems do you have here?
>

Not really problems except blurring when there's movement. What I'm
looking for is manual settings which will help me reduce the chance of
things (my grandkids running around) from blurring. I've tried stuff
like the sports setting and to be frank it is nowhere near as good as
my older point and shoot, but I did recently discover that one has an
ISO as low as 80, which I guess would help?

> > outdoor lansdscape/buildings etc (has a lot of trouble focusing on
> > clouds, specially in low light)

>
> Does your manual not provide focusing guidelines or tips?


yeah, point and shoot :O) It assumes knowledge, so it just says, use
this to adjust that. This happens all the time

I would
> expect clouds to be very difficult for many cameras to focus on.
> Some may do a better job than others, but here's part of what my
> Fuji manual has to say about focusing:
>
> > Subjects not suitable for autofocus
> > blah, blah, blah . . . However it may have difficulty focusing on the following:
> > Very shiny objects, such as a mirror or car body
> > Subjects photographed through glass
> > Subjects that do not reflect well, such as hair or fur
> > Subjects with no substance, such as smoke or flames
> > Dark subjects
> > Fast moving subjects
> > Subjects with little or no contrast between the subject and the background
> > (such as white walls or subjects dressed in the same color as the background)
> > Subjects where another high contrast object (not the subject) is close to the
> > AF frame and is either closer or further away than your subject (such as
> > a shot of someone against a background with strongly contrasting elements)
> >
> > For such subjects, use AF/AE lock

>

Yeah, it looks like this one is just going to be out of this camera's
capabilities. Again, my older 2mp has no problem with clouds, even
though it is a full auto camera. I have slight trouble once in a while
but mainly it does the job, where this one seems to only even try with
very bright day clouds

>
> > and lastly low light or even night time photography. (Once again it
> > really doesn't seem to like this, focusing is hard)

>
> Many cameras focus poorly in low light. Does your camera have a
> focusing assist lamp, and if so, has it been disabled? One camera
> (discussed in part of another thread) that probably does
> exceptionally well in very low light is Sony's F828. I'd guess that
> most DSLR would also do much better in low light than your C-725.


I don't think so, but I went out last night for a couple of minutes
and, using tripod managed to get some pretty good shots, although
there's still a fair bit of noise even on ISO 100. I used areas where
light was falling as focus points, so it should be able to handle the
conditions I wish to use it for.

> You get what you pay for, and for the high cost of these cameras you
> get many advantages, such as fast, precise manual focusing. Many
> small, cheap P&S cameras don't have focusing problems because they
> are very limited. Some have fixed focus lenses and rely on their
> lens's very small aperture to keep everything in relatively sharp
> focus. But they won't be able to focus on close subjects, and as
> they're rarely used to make larger than snapshot sized prints, their
> limitations won't be too obvious. Some Olympus cameras can save
> custom settings and allow them to be quickly recalled, such as
> shutter speed, aperture, focus point, ISO, white balance, etc., and
> if yours can do this, you could create a custom setting that
> duplicates those of a cheap, easy to use camera. But the results
> will have the same drawbacks too, although the images might be a
> little better due to your camera's better lens.


Thanks, that's a good idea... all except the ISO, which is not as low
as the point and shoot. Actually in price the two would have been
about the same when they came out. On introduction I think they were
both mid to late 200. The 220 can now be bought almost for throwaway
prices, somewhere around 50!

--
Paul (And I'm, like, "yeah, whatever!")
-------------------------------------------------------
Stop and Look
http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
 
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Keith Sheppard
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2005
>>For my sins I recently purchased this cam in a sale BEFORE I read some
>>user's reports that it had a few flaws. It can take some beautiful
>>pics but too many have things wrong. I wanted the convenience of a
>>point and shoot but with some setting I could start to use myself,
>>having previously owned and been happy with a smaller but fully auto
>>c-220. I was also attracted by that 8X zoom!
>>
>>So, I heard about the awful chromatic aberration, but wasn't prepared
>>for just how bad it can be sometimes. But it's those blurry shots. any
>>movement at all is likely to cause blurring and as I have quite bad
>>shakes the movement can often be me. Oh yeah, the flash is too damned
>>powerful too, which can be a real pain.


I have no direct experience of the C725 but suspect it will be similar, in
many ways, to its ancestor the C2100, which is what I use. I only recall
one image where chromatic aberration was a problem - a gabled roof against a
bright sky. Maybe that's my choice of subject matter.

Blurry shots if there's any movement sounds like too slow a shutter speed.
Can you increase this or raise the "ISO equivalent" setting?

I get blurred shots in low light conditions if the shutter speed is too low.
Another option (if it is possible) is to increase the light level on your
subject. I have also had occasional difficulties focusing in low light
conditions with my C2100. If I notice that this is a problem, I try to take
another shot with manual focus (although I have to say that I find manual
focusing with buttons much harder than the good old mechanical twist the
lens method of my SLR). Sorry, I just spotted that you imly later in your
posting that manual focus isn't an option. In that case, can you try
focusing on a fixed object, preferably well lit, with a clearly defined high
contrast outline at about the same range as your real target, then lock
focus and re-frame.

>>Anyway, what I have, basically, is a camera which doesn't like auto
>>settings, often causing over-exposure aswell as the blurring, so I am
>>trying hard to get the hang of using the manual settings. Sometimes i
>>get it spot on, but often I just don't have the time to experiment
>>and/or am just too tired and muddle headed.


The only other pointer I can add is that my Oly exposes correctly for indoor
and flash but has a tendency to over expose outside on a bright day. Green
grass comes out looking like it needs a good watering etc. Rather than
resort to manual mode, what I tend to do to overcome this is to set the
exposure compensation to -0.3 or -0.7 but otherwise keep the camera on auto.

Regards
Keith


 
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Paul Heslop
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      07-06-2005
Keith Sheppard wrote:

> I have no direct experience of the C725 but suspect it will be similar, in
> many ways, to its ancestor the C2100, which is what I use. I only recall
> one image where chromatic aberration was a problem - a gabled roof against a
> bright sky. Maybe that's my choice of subject matter.
>


This needs a strong contrast but even then it is arbitrary, you get a
perfect shot, then one with aberration, and it can be huuuge. The
worst, sadly already scrapped, was a shot of a crane which is a kind
of salmon pink, against a bright sky. One shot, dark and moody, next
bright, almost overexposed and with the big light pink band to one
side.

> Blurry shots if there's any movement sounds like too slow a shutter speed.
> Can you increase this or raise the "ISO equivalent" setting?
>

This is my problem. i know about the ISO so set that to 100, but the
other things are almost guesswork.

> I get blurred shots in low light conditions if the shutter speed is too low.
> Another option (if it is possible) is to increase the light level on your
> subject. I have also had occasional difficulties focusing in low light
> conditions with my C2100. If I notice that this is a problem, I try to take
> another shot with manual focus (although I have to say that I find manual
> focusing with buttons much harder than the good old mechanical twist the
> lens method of my SLR). Sorry, I just spotted that you imly later in your
> posting that manual focus isn't an option. In that case, can you try
> focusing on a fixed object, preferably well lit, with a clearly defined high
> contrast outline at about the same range as your real target, then lock
> focus and re-frame.


We live in quite a poky little house and it's quite gloomy in the
living room... but the 200 used to give much better shots than this
thing with no tweaking at all. That having been said when this one is
on the ball it is REALLY impressive.

>
> >>Anyway, what I have, basically, is a camera which doesn't like auto
> >>settings, often causing over-exposure aswell as the blurring, so I am
> >>trying hard to get the hang of using the manual settings. Sometimes i
> >>get it spot on, but often I just don't have the time to experiment
> >>and/or am just too tired and muddle headed.

>
> The only other pointer I can add is that my Oly exposes correctly for indoor
> and flash but has a tendency to over expose outside on a bright day. Green
> grass comes out looking like it needs a good watering etc. Rather than
> resort to manual mode, what I tend to do to overcome this is to set the
> exposure compensation to -0.3 or -0.7 but otherwise keep the camera on auto.
>
> Regards
> Keith


I'm not sure I can do that. On my old cam you could do things like set
different flash settings all the time, on this one you have to be in
P/A/S/M or MY mode to adjust anything, or that's the way it seems. I
think you can do redeye and fill-in flash on portrait mode though

--
Paul (And I'm, like, "yeah, whatever!")
-------------------------------------------------------
Stop and Look
http://www.geocities.com/dreamst8me/
 
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