10x Zoom picture quality Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LitePix, Oct 21, 2004.

  1. LitePix

    LitePix Guest

    Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    distorted.

    For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    time.

    I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.

    Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    If so which one would you suggest?

    Be gentle with me im new to all this!

    Annie
     
    LitePix, Oct 21, 2004
    #1
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  2. LitePix

    Harvey Guest

    "LitePix" <diamond.star (at) ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > distorted.


    They shouldn't be - seeing as its an optical zoom camera

    > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > time.


    Any chance of a sample photo?

    > I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.
    >
    > Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    > If so which one would you suggest?
    >
    > Be gentle with me im new to all this!
    >
    > Annie
    >
    >
     
    Harvey, Oct 21, 2004
    #2
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  3. Move closer to the cat.

    A basic law of optics is that you can't magnify detail that isn't there.

    I don't know what camera you're referring to, but I presume it's digital
    zoom. That means merely that the camera is taking the central part of the
    image and duplicating the pixels. You could probably do a better job by
    turning off the digital zoom (using only optical zoom) and enlarging the
    central part of the picture with Photoshop Elements.

    But the crucial thing is that digital zoom does *not* cause the camera lens
    to record additional detail. It takes what's there and spreads it out over
    more space.



    "LitePix" <diamond.star (at) ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > distorted.
    >
    > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > time.
    >
    > I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.
    >
    > Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    > If so which one would you suggest?
    >
    > Be gentle with me im new to all this!
    >
    > Annie
    >
    >
     
    Michael A. Covington, Oct 21, 2004
    #3
  4. LitePix

    Hunt Guest

    In article <>, diamond.staratntlworld.com
    says...
    >
    >Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    >taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    >The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    >distorted.
    >
    >For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    >time.
    >
    >I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.
    >
    >Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    >If so which one would you suggest?
    >
    >Be gentle with me im new to all this!
    >
    >Annie


    Annie,

    If, as Harvey states in RE:, you have a 10x optical zoom, then there should
    not be, but the slightest degredation, and nosie should not be a real issue.
    Now, as you zoom to longer focal length, many zooms do not allow for the same
    max aperture, as a WA, but unless your camera automatically bumps the ISO to
    accommodate that, noise should be the same. If noise IS the issue, you might
    want to look at NeatImage (probably www.neatimage.com), as a fix. It is either
    a stand-alone, or combo with plug-in capability for PS, and other PS plug-in
    editors. Now, if what you get is camera movement, with the tele end of your
    zoom, a tripod, or beanbag and practice might benefit you.

    Hunt
     
    Hunt, Oct 21, 2004
    #4
  5. LitePix wrote:

    > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > distorted.
    >
    > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > time.
    >
    > I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.
    >
    > Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    > If so which one would you suggest?
    >
    > Be gentle with me im new to all this!
    >
    > Annie
    >
    >


    Is it really noise? Do the photos look grainy or just a bit blurry?

    --
    Ben Thomas
    Opinions, conclusions, and other information in this message that do not
    relate to the official business of my firm shall be understood as neither
    given nor endorsed by it.
     
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?BenOne=A9?=, Oct 21, 2004
    #5
  6. "LitePix" <diamond.star (at) ntlworld.com> wrote:

    > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > distorted.
    >
    > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > time.
    >
    > I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.
    >
    > Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    > If so which one would you suggest?
    >
    > Be gentle with me im new to all this!


    Try a tripod. A sturdy tripod. The Slik 300DX, 500DX, and 700DX aren't too
    expensive and are quite sturdy (but heavy). Anything less sturdy than the
    300DX is probably a waste of money and time.

    Use the _lowest_ ISO with aperture at f/5.6. You should get quite decent
    images.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Oct 21, 2004
    #6
  7. LitePix

    Jim Townsend Guest

    "LitePix" <diamond.star (at) ntlworld.com> wrote:

    > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > distorted.
    >
    > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > time.


    Zoom can't cause noise.

    You'll start seeing nose if the ISO goes over 200. Noise is a grainy
    pattern in the photo.

    If you're using an Auto setting, it might be bumping up the ISO beyond
    200 and causing the noise. Try shooting in one of the non auto modes.

    Shooting at 10X zoom on your camera is the same as shooting a 35mm camera
    with a 380mm lens. Thats close looking through an 8X set of binoculars.
    Slight movements will really show up.

    When shooting *handheld*, the rule of thumb is not to go lower than
    the inverse of the focal length. At 380mm, you don't want to shoot
    much under 1/380 of a second or your hand shake will cause blur.

    Although.. In bright sunlight, your camera should be up around 1/350 or
    quicker..

    As others say.. At long focal lengths, you are best off with a tripod.
     
    Jim Townsend, Oct 21, 2004
    #7
  8. "LitePix" <diamond.star (at) ntlworld.com> writes:

    > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > distorted.
    >
    > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > time.
    >
    > I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.


    I suspect you are seeing the effects of camera shake. The rule of thumb is
    that the shutter speed should be at least as fast as 1/focal-length
    (corresponding to the 35mm equivalent focal length). Ie, if you are shooting
    at 300mm, your shutter speed should be at least 1/300. There are various tips
    and techniques to overcome camera shake, most notably using a tripod at long
    focal lengths. Here are some links from google 'camera shake tips':

    http://www.digicamhelp.com/digital-photography-tips/camera_shake.htm
    http://www.aots37.dsl.pipex.com/tips_shakes.htm
    http://dpfwiw.com/exposure.htm#shake

    > Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    > If so which one would you suggest?
    >
    > Be gentle with me im new to all this!


    Learn how to brace yourself.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Oct 21, 2004
    #8
  9. On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 00:12:52 +0100, "LitePix" <diamond.star (at)
    ntlworld.com> wrote:

    >Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    >taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    >The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    >distorted.


    Noise and distortion are two different things. Can you show us a sample
    or two?

    I've got a Z10 (cheaper brother of Z1) with 8x zoom and have no problem.
    As others have suggested, try a few shots on a tripod to see if it's
    camera shake. If it still doesn't go away I suppose a faulty zoom
    mechanism in the lens might be a possibility.

    --
    Stephen Poley
     
    Stephen Poley, Oct 21, 2004
    #9
  10. LitePix

    Larry Guest

    In article <-meissners.org>,
    says...
    > "LitePix" <diamond.star (at) ntlworld.com> writes:
    >
    > > Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting anything
    > > taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with stacks of noise.
    > > The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the images are far to
    > > distorted.
    > >
    > > For instance taking shots of my cat on the fence on max zoom is a waste of
    > > time.
    > >
    > > I cant afford another camera so am stuck with the Z1 for now.

    >
    > I suspect you are seeing the effects of camera shake. The rule of thumb is
    > that the shutter speed should be at least as fast as 1/focal-length
    > (corresponding to the 35mm equivalent focal length). Ie, if you are shooting
    > at 300mm, your shutter speed should be at least 1/300. There are various tips
    > and techniques to overcome camera shake, most notably using a tripod at long
    > focal lengths. Here are some links from google 'camera shake tips':
    >
    > http://www.digicamhelp.com/digital-photography-tips/camera_shake.htm
    > http://www.aots37.dsl.pipex.com/tips_shakes.htm
    > http://dpfwiw.com/exposure.htm#shake
    >
    > > Is there a way to improve the images using a photo editor?
    > > If so which one would you suggest?
    > >
    > > Be gentle with me im new to all this!

    >
    > Learn how to brace yourself.
    >
    >


    I have posted two pictures shot at 10x optical with a Kodak
    6490 on:

    alt.binaries.photo.original
    and
    alt.binaries.photo

    Both show how clear hand held 10x can be if the shutter
    speed is correct, or if you have a steady hand.

    I posted them pretty much as they came from camera (one was
    lightened in photoshop because of "back lighting" from the
    sky.) Otherwise they are as they came from the camera.
    There isnt any lower compression in the Kodak, so they are
    the best it can do in that category.


    --
    Larry Lynch
    Mystic, Ct.
     
    Larry, Oct 21, 2004
    #10
  11. LitePix

    Frank ess Guest

    Stephen Poley wrote:
    > On Thu, 21 Oct 2004 00:12:52 +0100, "LitePix" <diamond.star (at)
    > ntlworld.com> wrote:
    >
    >> Using a Z1 3.2mp i find that even on the finest quality setting
    >> anything taken from 3x up turns out to be terrible quality with
    >> stacks of noise. The 10x setting i find a waste of time as all the
    >> images are far to distorted.

    >
    > Noise and distortion are two different things. Can you show us a
    > sample or two?
    >
    > I've got a Z10 (cheaper brother of Z1) with 8x zoom and have no
    > problem. As others have suggested, try a few shots on a tripod to see
    > if it's camera shake. If it still doesn't go away I suppose a faulty
    > zoom mechanism in the lens might be a possibility.


    Thumbprint-free lens?
    --
    Frank ess
     
    Frank ess, Oct 21, 2004
    #11
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