Need opinions - good picture - bad picture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by utseay, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. utseay

    utseay Guest

    Below are two pictures that I took tonight with my sony p200 7.2 mp
    digital camera. One is probably the best quality picture I have ever
    taken with a digital. The other is what I get about 30% of the time
    when taking pictures with this camera. Are there any ideas of why this
    is happening - below are some of my thoughts:

    1) Any difference between shooting in AF Single and AF Monitor mode -
    could this be it? I was shooting these in AF Single.

    2) Could it be that I was moving just a little to try to center the
    picture. I've noticed in all my blurry shots, there is a chance that
    either I or the subject could of moved just a hair. Would this be the
    problem? In the good qualitypicture below, the dog was moving at all

    3) Crappy camera? I've been trying to talk myself into selling my
    canon s400 so I can get some of the $ back I spent on the Sony p200,
    but I don't know which I want to sell at the moment. The canon takes
    decent to good pictures consistant. The Sony takes Great to excellent
    70% of the time, but it's always the good shots that come out bad.

    (You may have to copy and paste into your browser)


    The dreaded blur:
    utseay, Mar 15, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. utseay

    paul Guest

    Those come up as binary gibberish in my browser! Was there more light in
    the good one or a smallerdiameter/larger number f-stop and therefore a
    faster speed?
    paul, Mar 15, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  3. utseay

    Bigguy Guest

    The blurry one is out of focus... a lot... check the catchlight in the eye -
    this is not motion blur.

    Looks like the camera did not manage to focus... possible reasons - AF
    system could not determine focus point, subject too close, lack of subject
    contrast, low light, operator error, camera fault.

    Bigguy, Mar 15, 2005
  4. utseay

    chrlz Guest

    First up, you should probably learn how to post your pictures properly
    on a web page, then we might be able to help.... *they don't work*.

    If blurring is the problem, you need to determine if it is motion
    blur.. in which case you or the subject moved, or moved too fast, while
    the image was taken, or your shutter speed is just too slow..

    ...or out of focus blur, in which case you may be able to use
    pre-focussing techniques, or just learn how to use your AF better, or
    use MF, or anticipate.

    The two types of blurring look quite different to a trained eye.

    PS - I just tried saving your addresses as jpgs and got them to

    The second shot is simply out of focus. For a shot like that, you
    should be able to PRE-focus (half-press the shutter), and then fire
    away when ready. The camera has clearly lost AF at some point (or
    never found it) - maybe you were pointing it more at the rug when you
    first pressed the shuttter button - very few cameras could focus on
    that rug, and the dog is nearly out of the centre AF area... (O;
    chrlz, Mar 15, 2005
  5. The two types of blurring look quite different to a trained eye.

    Can you elaborate on that? What does the trained eye look for? I looked at
    the second shot for some time and it's obvious the rug is out of focus as
    well as the dog, which rules out subject movement. But I couldn't pick up a
    clue that told me whether the camera was out of focus or the camera moved
    when the picture was taken. What am I looking for?
    Derek Fountain, Mar 15, 2005
  6. utseay

    chrlz Guest

    Motion blur has a `streaked` effect, and you can see the image seems to
    have been dragged or smeared. The blurring will appear to only go in
    one direction - or if it goes in more than one, you will be able to see
    what those directions were!

    Out of focus blurring tends to give a symmetrical, rounded blur, that
    is equal in all directions. Or at least it is like that near the
    centre of the frame - as you get near the edge, various optical effects
    can come into play and distort the OOF blobs. (See also `bokeh` for
    more about this..)

    Look for contrasting points and edges, like the highlight in the dog's
    eye. If it was motion blur, the point will be smeared in the direction
    the motion took place. If it is OOF, it gives a round blob - as it
    does, and so it is.. (O:

    I don't really call myself a trained eye, but I'll betcha I can pick
    the difference in 90% of cases. It's not difficult once you know what
    you are seeing.
    chrlz, Mar 15, 2005
  7. utseay

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Since it seems you have posted the pictures in some form normal browsers
    cant read I can't see the images, but it is likely that you are getting
    a bit of camera shake sometimes. First, give the camera time to AF,
    then place your thumb under the camera's shutter button, and your finger
    on the button, and squeeze your thumb and finger together. Button
    jabbing is probably the leading cause of blurry pictures. You might try
    taking several pictures using a tripod and self-timer for the pictures
    to make sure there is no camera movement and see if you get all good
    images. If you don't, then there may be a problem with the AF mechanism.
    Ron Hunter, Mar 15, 2005
  8. utseay

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I agree, bad focus, and the nature of the background doesn't help AT
    ALL. I suspect the fuzzy background may be causing the autofocus some
    Ron Hunter, Mar 15, 2005
  9. I was able to see the images.

    I suggest that both images show some of the same issues. The subject
    appears to have movement and the camera also shows movement.

    They both appear to have some problems with the camera focus as well. A
    moving subject like the dog is going to be a problem

    The one thing I did notice that might be causing you some confusion. It
    appears you are using the built in flash and there is a lot of room light as
    well. The flash is fast enough to stop the action, but the actual exposure
    is longer than that so it allows a shadow exposure.

    The ideal solution would be a couple of high power electronic flashes in
    some sort of soft defusers This may be a little out of your budget.

    I don't know the abilities of your camera, but either forcing the camera
    to reduce the exposure time or add a lot of natural light and eliminating
    the flash would be two options.
    Joseph Meehan, Mar 15, 2005
  10. utseay

    utseay Guest

    I just uploaded them to my ftp space on AOL so the picture would keep
    it's original size. I use sometimes, but it
    shrinks the pictures. Where would you guys suggest I upload the
    pictures so everyone can see them? For instance, on my computer it
    doesn't work in Safari (I have a mac), but it does work on explorer.

    I have two more pictures I'd like to show you guys, but if you can't
    see the ones above then it won't help. Please advise on a good place
    to upload (free if possible). I took some pictures outside - where the
    subjects were 10 feet away. They were leaning towards each other when
    the pictures were taken, and they all came out blurry in the faces.
    But everything is always moving a little, will every picture I take
    have a 50% chance of being blurry? Also, I read in my manual that the
    AF single setting is better for stationary objects and the AF Monitor
    mode focuses quicker. Would this help any with small amounts of
    movement (from the subject or the camera)?
    utseay, Mar 15, 2005
  11. utseay

    Jim Townsend Guest

    I'm not familiar with Sony's Single and Monitor AF modes, but the
    bad photo (doo2) looks like it's out of focus... But it could be a
    slight motion blur.. It's hard to tell :)
    Looking at the EXIF data, the shutter speed in both images was
    1/50 second @ f/3.5 - ISO 120. Even though you used the flash,
    this speed has the potential of causing motion blur in handheld

    Can you not increase the shutter speed somehow ? Try shooting
    in shutter priority mode instead of auto mode and bump the shutter
    speed up to around 1/125.
    I had to do more than that :) I had to download the images
    and then add the .jpg extension you left off. Most browsers
    need the extension to tell them what type of file they're looking
    at and how to handle it.
    Jim Townsend, Mar 15, 2005
  12. utseay

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Just put the right extension (.jpg) on them when you upload so browsers
    know how to decode them.
    Ron Hunter, Mar 15, 2005
  13. utseay

    Ron Hunter Guest

    No. The only way to handle motion of the subject is to use a faster
    shutter speed. Note that this means you need more light. Most flash
    pictures will stop the motion of animals, IF you are close enough to the
    subject. If you flash adjusts to compensate for ambient light, you
    might be better off dispensing with the room lights and using just the
    flash at close range to minimize the problem with motion. This will
    even help to prevent blurring due to camera shake.
    Ron Hunter, Mar 15, 2005
  14. utseay

    utseay Guest

    What program are you using to see the shutter speed?
    utseay, Mar 15, 2005
  15. utseay

    Frank ess Guest

    Pretty clear by now (booo!) it's a focus problem in the second shot.
    Seems to me the lighting is identical and the flash froze the subject
    (shudder) in both.

    That (almost a) dog came second in the "Ugliest Dog" contest at the Del
    Mar Fairground Sunday, didn't it?
    First place was an "American Hairless", looking like a recently-hatched
    chick in doglike form.

    Don't take offense: According to one observer _my_ almost-a-dog (a
    Xoloitzquintli) is the "fugliest dog on the planet". If I'd known about
    the Del Mar thing, we'd have been there and blown them all into the
    Frank ess, Mar 15, 2005
  16. utseay

    utseay Guest

    Thats a sexy me one more sexy and I'll take a blurry
    picture of it.
    utseay, Mar 15, 2005
  17. utseay

    utseay Guest

    utseay, Mar 16, 2005
  18. utseay

    Frank ess Guest

    This is E.T.'s entry in the sexy-dog/ugly-dog sweepstakes:

    As to your next three offerings, What kind of in-camera processing is in
    Frank ess, Mar 16, 2005
  19. utseay

    utseay Guest

    It's a Sony cybershot dcs-p200.
    utseay, Mar 16, 2005
  20. utseay

    chrlz Guest

    sh - vertical motion blur (very good example - see the vertical
    smearing effect?), caused either by camera movement.. or an
    earthquake... (O;

    sh2 - harder to tell, looks more like a bit of subject movement and
    maybe slightly out-of-focus as well. Fill-flash would have helped here
    (just turn your flash on, even though the camera doesn't ask for it).

    sh3 - ok, maybe a touch o-o-f, but nothing a slight sharpen won't fix!
    Pity about the blink..

    There seems to be nothing much wrong with the exposure or lens quality,
    so just try to:

    1. Hold the camera dead steady and don't rush your shots, (hold the
    camera still as you take it, and don't move it too quickly after you
    press the shutter button.)

    2. Make sure you have something contrasty in the focussing area (near
    the centre), and always try to pre-focus, ie hold the shutter button
    down slightly, let the camera find focus (there should be an indicator
    - check your manual), and then fire when ready. Fast shutter button
    presses are not a great idea with cameras like yours. So getting good
    pictures may require some anticipation. And if you have pre-focussed
    and then you shift the camera when, or just before, you take the shot,
    lost focus may result.

    3. Use the flash to help fill shadows in daylight photography, and it
    will also help to freeze the subjects. If you are shooting in low
    light, you may have AF problems, and might need to use AF assist if
    available, or even manual focus - again, check your manual.

    Maybe get along to a photography class, or just hunt the web for
    tutorials to learn how to inject a bit more interest into your
    subjects. I know these are just samples, but it sounds like you are
    starting out, so it might pay to learn more about how to recognise what
    is going wrong.
    chrlz, Mar 16, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.