Need help with Sony Cybershot DSC-P200.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John Peterson, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. Hello!

    I gave my wife a Sony Cybershot DSC-P200 camera for Christmas and we've had
    a couple of problems with the unit and I was hoping to solicit some
    advice/feedback from other users of this camera (if this is the appropriate
    forum).

    Most of our pictures seem to turn out pretty blurry (around 60%), and a
    cursory examination of various web sites and other forums seem to indicate
    that this is likely a user problem (typically not being very still when
    going from the autofocus (halfway point) to fully depressing the shutter).

    I consider myself to be a pretty adept user, but I can't seem to
    consistently take crisp shots with the camera even when I'm being incredibly
    careful not to move.

    Curiously, when I put the camera on the table, make sure the flash is
    disabled, and press the shutter halfway, I get the vibration warning
    indicator. This surprises me, as the camera is not moving *at all* -- yet
    the vibration indicator is constantly present.

    Is it possible that we have a defective unit, or is there something else we
    should try doing?

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide! :)
     
    John Peterson, Dec 26, 2005
    #1
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  2. John Peterson

    Brian Guest

    I don't know this particular camera, but as far as I am aware most
    "vibration warnings" come on when the shutter speed is below a certain
    (suggested hand-holdable) level. If you are using the camera indoors
    without flash then it is likely that the shutter speed is below this
    limit, and what you are seeing is camera shake. What is it like with the
    flash on?

    Brian
     
    Brian, Dec 26, 2005
    #2
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  3. Thanks Brian! After playing more with it, and reading some other online
    material, I think your speculations are spot-on. With the flash, that
    warning indicator does not come on. I think I also mis-interpreted what
    that indicator meant. Originally, I thought it meant that you *will* get a
    fuzzy picture. However, the more I read online, the more I believe that
    it's just a *warning* that a fuzzy picture has a higher potential of
    occurring.

    All that said, it seems like we *still* seem to be taking a lot of fuzzy
    pictures. It sounds like there's some measure of "practice" to be had with
    the unit, as the halfway to full position might be a little more subtle than
    I or my wife are used to with our Olympus cameras. This has certainly
    caused some consternation that maybe the camera is faulty. :-(
     
    John Peterson, Dec 26, 2005
    #3
  4. John Peterson

    Robbie Mann Guest

    As an aside I have a sony cybershot dsc p71 (quite old i know) but i seem to
    regularly take slanting shots wher a level horizon seems to slope from left
    to right. I haspoken with some other users and this seems to be a common
    problem so be aware when taking pics with astraight line in the background.

    RAM
     
    Robbie Mann, Dec 26, 2005
    #4
  5. I have had a P200 since they hit the market last February. It has been
    a great camera but like most P&S cameras they have a few quirks to be
    aware of.
    My advice is to make sure the beep sounds are enabled. This will cause
    a "beep" to occur when the camera achieves focus. If you don't hear the
    beep or if the green light next to the view finder is flashing then the
    camera is not properly focused. If you just mash the shutter down the
    camera will make a feeble effort to focus and then take the shot
    regardless, even if focus was not achieved.
    IMO, the small size of the P200 promotes blurry pictures from hand
    shake. One thing that I find that greatly reduces the chance of blurry
    low-light pictures is to use the optical viewfinder. Using it forces
    your elbows against your body and the camera gets braced on your head
    which is a very stable part of your body. All this works to help hold
    the camera very steady.

    Another way is to set the camera in manual ("M") mode and set the
    shutter to 1/60th or 1/100th of a second, the aperture to the lowest
    setting and the flash to "On". This will increase shutter speed and
    reduce the effects of hand shake. The camera remembers the last manual
    settings used (even after it is turned off and on again) so flipping the
    dial to "M" mode and taking a quick photo is a breeze.
    The hand shake warning comes up whenever the shutter speed is below
    1/50th of a second.
    IMO, there is nothing wrong with your camera. You just need to get
    familiar with its features and how they let you get the shots you want
    under a variety of conditions. The P200 is quite a capable little camera.
     
    Michael Johnson, PE, Dec 26, 2005
    #5
  6. ....is to set the focus mode to "Spot" or "Center". I have found that
    using too many focus points increases the chance of your subject being
    blurry. Also, when using these focus modes you need to set the camera
    to the "P" mode. The camera overrides these settings in "Full Auto"
    (aka green) mode. If your subject that you want to be in focus is out
    of the center of the frame you will need to compose the shot with the
    subject in the center (i.e. halfway depress the shutter button) and then
    while holding the shutter button half way reframe the shot to your
    liking and then press the shutter all the way down and take the shot.

    You can also set many other parameters like metering, ISO, manual preset
    focus (allows zero shutter lag), EV adjustments, flash power etc. These
    features will allow you to take excellent photos under just about any
    circumstances.
     
    Michael Johnson, PE, Dec 26, 2005
    #6
  7. John Peterson

    Bob Williams Guest

    Blurriness may be a FEATURE of the DSC-P200. <G>
    It creates a little anticipation, bringing some excitement into one's
    otherwise dull life.
    Bob Williams
     
    Bob Williams, Dec 27, 2005
    #7
  8. John Peterson

    Ron Hardin Guest

    It's very difficult to get hand-held shots indoors without flash
    to come out (and I never use flash).

    So I take lots of shots of something in proportion to how hard it is.
    There's no film cost.

    This baby is invaluable indoors, by the way
    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?partNumber=82058

    as well as outdoors sometimes.

    Superior to a tripod lots of times though not every time, if you have a tripod.
     
    Ron Hardin, Dec 27, 2005
    #8
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