Canon a630 Red-Eye Problem

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by emrlaw, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. emrlaw

    emrlaw Guest

    I just received a Canon A630 today and every photo I took of my kids
    this evening has very bad red-eye, regardless of the distance to the
    camera. The red-eye reduction is "on" but it doesn't seem to do
    anything. It looks to me like the red-eye lamp is the same as the
    auto-focus lamp (has a yellow color). Do you think I'm doing something
    wrong or do you think there might be something wrong with the camera?
    Any help would really be appreciated. Other than the red-eye, the
    camera takes great pictures. Thank you! Ethan
    emrlaw, Oct 13, 2006
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  2. emrlaw

    ASAAR Guest

    The only thing you're doing wrong is assuming that a red-eye
    reduction lamp is powerful enough to be effective. If it doesn't
    force a large reduction in the pupil's diameter, the red-eye will
    remain as bad as if it wasn't used. The pupil doesn't contract very
    quickly anyway, as you can tell by how long it take for the eye to
    adjust when leaving a dark room into bright sunlight or vice-versa.
    You'd probably get much better results if you had the subjects look
    at a movie flood lamp or a bare 100 watt incandescent bulb for
    several seconds before turning them off and taking your pictures.
    The anti red-eye lamps just aren't intense enough to be effective,
    and if they were, they'd probably use more battery energy that the
    flash itself, which would dramatically reduce the battery's
    performance. You're better off disabling the anti red-eye lamp and
    using more realistic methods to reduce red-eye, such as turning on
    as many indoor lights as you can and trying to keep subject's eyes
    as far from the lens axis as possible. But don't go too far, as
    guests might balk if you try to hire an ophthalmologist to
    administer Tropicamide or phenylephrine drops in their eyes. :)
    ASAAR, Oct 13, 2006
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  3. This is a common problem with almost all Point&Shoot cameras, both film
    and digital, and also with SLRs that have pop-up flashes. When the
    flash is close to the taking lens, the bright spot on the retina caused
    by the flash is visible to the camera lens.

    The possible solutions are:

    1. Use an external flash that's further from the camera lens (usually
    requires a high-end P&S or DSLR)

    2. Turn off the flash and shoot by available light (but this generally
    isn't practical indoors unless you have a DSLR)

    3. Use software to remove the redeye after the fact.

    Different cameras have different redeye reduction methods, but they
    annoy the subject and aren't very effective in my experience.

    Dave Martindale, Oct 13, 2006
  4. emrlaw

    Neil Ellwood Guest

    You are probably using the in camera flash, whenever possible turn it
    off and you will see better results.
    Neil Ellwood, Oct 13, 2006
  5. It's simply the nature of the beast. The flash (strobe) is placed too close
    to the camera lens, and you get a flash reflection from the subject's
    retina, giving you "red-eye". A "red-eye function" that means pre-flashing
    to force the pupil to close will only mean that you lose any chance of
    getting a spontaneous picture due to the delay, and will not be entirely
    effective in removing red-eye anyway. Just switch that function off, it's
    worthless. An external flash will help, especially if you can bounce the
    light off the ceiling - but such flashes tend to be big and rather
    expensive. There is no flash hot shoe on the camera, I see; there is a "high
    power flash" available but this, too, is designed to be mounted right next
    to the camera so won't help much.

    If you don't want redeye, and don't want to spend the time post-processing
    the images on a PC, the only practical solution in most cases is to take
    photographs without using flash at all. Good luck on that if you are
    indoors, by the way - the required ISO value for that would usually be on
    the north side of 800 and compact cameras in general suck badly at that, if
    they offer it at all. This kind of stuff is difficult even using a DSLR with
    a fast lens. You may be able to squeek by with ISO 800 (the 630 tops out at
    this ISO I think) but image quality is not likely to be too impressive; the
    maximum ISO available in a digicam tends to be something of a last-ditch
    desperate effort kind of thing.

    The built-in flash is great for use as a fill light when photographing in
    daylight, for example if the sun is at the subject's back so that the face
    is in shadow and needs a "lift". But considered as the main light-source in
    a photo, it's not very useful.

    Perhaps you can try to tape a piece of white tissue-paper in position over
    the flash bulb, this will diffuse and soften the light somewhat and reduce
    redeye, but will eat a lot of light and reduce the effective range of the
    flash. It depends on how much flash power you have available to play with -
    not a whole lot, in the case of a built-in one. You'll probably have to get
    close to the subject.
    Ståle Sannerud, Oct 13, 2006
  6. emrlaw

    tomm42 Guest

    But don't go too far, as
    Just a quick fact check, Tropicamide and phenylepherine will dilate
    pupils not contract them. What you need is Pilocarpine, or RevEyes (but
    that just negates dilating drops. When I do eye photography the
    dilating drops help me out, doing essentially in focus red eye shots.
    Kids have naturally large pupils in house light so increaasing the
    ambient lght should help. My oldest son has very light irides and if I
    take his picture with a P&S camera I not only get red pupils, the iris
    of the eye also transmits red so it is almost imposible to correct a
    photograph. Can make a spooky photo.

    tomm42, Oct 13, 2006
  7. emrlaw

    ASAAR Guest

    Oops . . . When I wrote that I was imagining the large, dilated
    pupils that the drops would produce. It's not my eyes that are red.

    I know what you mean about spooky photos, as I have a picture of a
    nephew playing a video game, and the bright red glow from his eyes
    makes it seem as if the alien is on his side of the video screen.
    ASAAR, Oct 13, 2006
  8. emrlaw

    emrlaw Guest

    Thanks for everyone's replies. I guess I just don't recall the red-eye
    being as much of a problem with my previous camers (Canon S400), but it
    probably was. Thanks again! Ethan
    emrlaw, Oct 14, 2006
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