Best small point and shoot camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by utseay, May 6, 2005.

  1. utseay

    utseay Guest

    I use to have the Canon Powershot s400, and I have to say I was
    impressed with the quality. Although the quality was great - there was
    RED EYE in every single picture. I couldn't take it any longer, so I
    got the Sony Cybershot DSC-P200 7.2 megapixel. The quality is great,
    and NO REDEYE. The bad news is, the picture clearity is 50/50. Half
    the time it takes a great picture, the other half a blurry picture. I
    had zero blurry pictures with the s400. After last night at a party
    that contained many blurry pictures that I really wanted I've decided
    to get rid of the Sony.

    My question is, what do you guys suggest for quality and consistant
    clearity with little red eye?
    utseay, May 6, 2005
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  2. utseay

    Paul Rubin Guest

    There is absolutely no way to eliminate red-eye with a small camera
    with direct flash. Forget about it, it's just not going to happen.
    You need external flash.
    Paul Rubin, May 6, 2005
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  3. utseay

    Paul Furman Guest

    The deciding factor for red eye is the distance between the lens and the
    flash and the subject, or pre-flash red-eye reduction. Are those two
    cameras very different sizes or flash positioned differently?

    Blur may be caused by a number of things, probably too long of a zoom??
    Do you have an example with EXIF shooting settings?
    Paul Furman, May 6, 2005
  4. utseay

    chrlz Guest

    I apologise if you are an experienced shooter, but are you sure there
    isn't a technique problem? Is it camera shake, motion blur, or out of
    focus? Are you pre-focussing, is AF Assist light on? What AF settings
    are you using? - there are selectable modes apparently..

    I've not heard about the P200 having poor AF, in fact imaging-resource
    says it has `very impressive low-light performance`.. However I have
    noticed a couple of user reviews that indicate there may be a few
    faulty ones out there with exactly your problem.

    If it really is as bad as you say, take it back and ask for an exchange
    before you dam the camera - it may just be a lemon..

    Spend some time at and -
    their reviews will give an idea which cameras are better for low
    red-eye.. but all compacts will suffer from it to some extent, and
    most of the in-camera reduction methods suck.
    chrlz, May 6, 2005
  5. The problem with the P200 and some of Sony's other cameras is they use a
    default shutter speed of 1/40th second for flash shots. IMO, they
    should have used at least 1/60. There is a work-around to this. With
    the camera set to manual the shutter speed can be forced to 1/60 or
    1/100 and the flash set to "on". This will eliminate most of the blurry
    flash shots. One other way is to use the "Sports" scene mode and force
    the flash to fire. This actually gives a shutter speed of 1/250 and
    will freeze the action very well. It will cut down on the range some.
    Also, the flash can be adjusted to a step stronger in the menu. This
    will help increase the range over the normal setting.

    One other helpful hint is to set the auto focus to "Spot" or "Center"
    mode. I have found that using the entire view area for focusing
    sometimes results in softer pictures because the camera may not focus on
    your subject.

    I recommend trying some of the things I have mentioned before getting
    rid of the camera.
    Michael Johnson, PE, May 6, 2005
  6. utseay

    Nostrobino Guest

    Redeye is rather unpredictable, but the closer the flash is to the lens axis
    the more likely you are to get it, because the lens then is more likely to
    "see" the part of the retina which is illuminated by the flash. Yet
    users/reviewers often report that two cameras with the same lens-to-flash
    spacing give very different amounts of redeye, sometimes even when they are
    of the same brand and similar model. Personally I think this is more likely
    to be a matter of randomness than actual difference between the two cameras.

    Another factor is shooting distance. The closer you are, the *less* likely
    you are to get redeye. again, this is a matter of the angles involved. When
    shooting at a subject 20 or 30 feet away I have gotten very bad cases of
    redeye even with a separate (shoe-mounted) flash unit, though that type of
    flash effectively eliminates redeye at closer distances.

    Are you using redeye reduction (pre-flash)? This often helps though it
    certainly does not eliminate redeye.

    Other than that, there isn't much you can do about any compact camera which
    has the flash built in close to the lens, which unfortunately most of them
    do. You might want to look at the Minolta (now Konica Minolta) DiMAGE X
    series cameras which have the flash a bit farther from the lens than most
    ultracompact cameras. I have *never* gotten redeye with my Minolta Xt or Xg
    cameras, but this is probably more because the little indoor flash shooting
    I've done with them has been at quite close distance, than because of any
    substantial difference in these cameras from others.

    As for the 50% blurry problem you mention, that sounds like your Sony has
    autofocus problems in low light, which a number of digital cameras do at
    least some percentage of the time. I have no familiarity at all with Sony
    cameras so that's just a supposition on my part.

    Nostrobino, May 6, 2005
  7. utseay

    utseay Guest

    Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about. Some are good, some
    are dark, some are over exposed, some are blurry...ect.

    The canon s400 never had these problems. I could be running full speed
    and pass a deer running full speed in the oposite direction and still
    get a good picture. It would still produce red eye, but it would be a
    clear good quality deer.

    I have messed with the AF a little. It seems to help very little.
    However, I have not adjusted the shutter speed. I will give this a
    shot, hopefully it will work. Thanks for the tip. Check out the below
    pics and let me know if you think it will help:
    utseay, May 6, 2005
  8. I'm assuming you were replying to my post. I can't get any of the above
    links to work.
    Michael Johnson, PE, May 6, 2005
  9. utseay

    utseay Guest

  10. utseay

    utseay Guest

  11. utseay

    ecm Guest

    It looks like it focussed on the yellow building behind the guy rather
    than the couple. Could be camera motion artifact, but the building
    doesn't show it near as much as the couple or the bush in the
    Looks like subject motion artifact. Were they moving towards each
    other, as the pursed lips suggest?
    Looks like it's in focus to me - the guy's hair is nice and sharp. Too
    bad he blinked.
    Out of focus; camera didn't get lock. You can tell by the nice round
    halos around lights - eg in the dog(?)'s eyes. They're oblong with
    motion smear. If this happens a lot, try exchanging the camera.
    Can't get any of these; Photobucket's saying 404.

    My 25 cents, YMMV.
    ecm, May 6, 2005
  12. These links did not work for me.
    The first two look like either the camera didn't focus or the person
    taking the picture moved slightly. I find it best to put the focus mode
    on center or spot and then center the subject of your photo and press
    the shutter button halfway down until the focus locks. Then frame the
    picture while still holding the shutter button halfway. At this point
    completely press the button and take the picture. You might already do
    this but I know many people that don't and get bad pictures as a result.
    For the type of shots you were taking it would be better to force the
    flash to make the subjects better illuminated. Also, when taking low
    light pictures it is important to hold the camera very still while
    shooting and make sure the subject doesn't move.

    Another possibility is you may have a bad camera and you might want to
    exchange for a different one.
    Michael Johnson, PE, May 7, 2005
  13. utseay

    Nostrobino Guest

    Maybe a slight autofocus miss on the first two, hard to tell on the browser;
    the third looks sharp and exposure looks good.

    That could be out of focus but looks to me like too slow a shutter speed,
    since it's indoors and doesn't appear to be a flash shot. With all parts of
    the scene at about the same distance it's hard to judge whether it's a focus
    problem, but my guess is it is not.

    Those three links don't work.

    Nostrobino, May 7, 2005
  14. utseay

    ASAAR Guest

    Nope, the first three work. I don't know what's wrong with the
    fourth (doo2), but it loads nothing bug garbage characters in the
    screen of two different browsers. The last three don't work as
    posted. These work:
    From the exif data the times the pictures were taken was:

    DSC0203.jpg 21:49:32
    DSC0205.jpg 21:49:47
    DSC0207.jpg 21:50:11

    DSC0205.jpg is the one that came out extremely dark. My guess is
    that it was taken too soon after the unlisted DSC0204.jpg was shot,
    and the flash's capacitor didn't have enough time to fully charge.
    DSC0205.jpg was taken only 15 seconds after DSC0203.jpg, so if
    DSC0204.jpg was taken, say, 10 seconds after DSC0203.jpg, that would
    give the camera only 5 seconds to have charged the flash by the time
    DSC0205.jpg was taken, and that may not have been sufficient to
    charge the flash's capacitor. My camera's manual states that if the
    flash isn't fully charged it won't be fired, but the picture will be
    taken anyway. Other cameras may trigger the flash, though it won't
    provide full intensity. It appears that the Sony DSC-P200 is one
    that, like mine, takes the picture without firing the flash. You
    can tell that it's the fault of the flash not firing since the
    exposure is similar to the other two pictures. Also, one of the
    objects in the middle of the right side of the picture (below the
    calendar) seems to be glowing, brighter than the objects in the rest
    of the picture, resembling a small video screen of some type. It's
    easier to see if the photo is edited to increase brightness with
    some gamma adjustment. In the one other picture it appears in
    (where the flash went off) its luminosity is not seen.

    As for the other outdoor pictures, I think the blurriness is
    caused by not holding the camera steady enough. Try taking a few
    more outdoors in similar light (or brighter), with the camera either
    on a solid tripod or using some other means to keep it immobile.
    The self timer may help too.

    The shutter speeds used in these pictures were 1/125 and 1/160.
    Try taking several more handheld pictures, varying the shutter
    speeds from 1/125 to 1/1000 seconds to see if the faster speeds
    reduce the blur. Try to take these in direct sunlight. The ones
    you took were taken in shade, which caused the (relatively) long
    shutter times.

    All of the pictures were taken using ISO 100. It may help if you
    try ISO 200 or even ISO 400. That may produce a little more noise
    in the pictures, but it may be well worth it if it significantly
    minimizes the blur.
    ASAAR, May 7, 2005
  15. utseay

    Brian Guest

    A cheap sulotion is to take a small flashlight with you and shine the
    flash light in peoples eyes prior to taking the flash photo. It may be
    a problem at parties.
    The other way is to fire the flash just before taking the photo like
    some camera's do. Maybe buying a check flash that can be fired
    manually while being help in your hand.

    The blurry pictures are likely to be due to slow shutter speed in low
    light conditions and you may have turned the flash off.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, May 8, 2005
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