New Here - Very Basic Questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by arenaranger, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. arenaranger

    arenaranger TPF Noob!

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    Hi All,

    I am not a photographer by any means. I do, however, love to take pictures of my small children, and I just want clear, quality pictures that can be enlarged without losing quality.

    I just bought a new camera in December, a PowerShot A650 IS and am extremely disappointed in the pictures so far. They are no better than the ones on my old Kodak point-and-shoot camera that I replaced. The pictures are foggy and just not crystal clear.

    Here are a few examples:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I don't know where to begin playing around with the settings on the camera to get a sharp image. Regardless of whether the pictures are taken indoors or outdoors, sunlight or artificial light, they all look the same, soft and not sharp at all. They don't look good as a 4'X6' print, nevermind cropping or enlarging.

    Any advice or a point in the right direction would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a canon A570is and I hated to stop using it when I finally got a Sony DSLR, because the canon is such a great little point & shoot model with so many neat features, including being able to use an adapter kit to make the lens a telephoto.

    To be honest, and I'm sorry for being blunt, but it looks to me that your only problem is focus or camera shake, or your subjects moved. As for the colors being dull, you should find a setting on the camera for vivid colors. Off the top of my head, I can't recall if mine allowed for white balance adjustment or not, but that could also play a part in color. Read your manual, take your time when focusing and try to keep the camera steady; image stablization only goes so far.
     
  3. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Shot #1 looks like you may have been focusing on the bookcase, or the comforter, instead of the face. Also, the bright light coming in from the window is making his face very bright, which gives an unpleasant appearance. Try turning on the flash, or move to avoid the bright light on only one side.

    #2 is actually pretty nice, although maybe a bit washed out. Any basic image editor which lets you adjust levels will fix that up no problem, or changing to a more "vivid" setting as mentioned above.

    #3 -- both movement and focus problems. I think you focused on the front of the playstand. Also, the same bright lighting -- turn on the flash, draw some blinds, or just move yourself to avoid it.

    Your camera is a little miracle of technology, but you need to know how to use it, and you also need to know how it reacts in different situations (bright lighting, for example). You also must learn to tell where it focuses. These aren't camera flaws, they're just part of learning your equipment. Keep trying, pay attention, and things will get better. Don't give up!
     
  4. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :thumbup: I agree with everything you said, but unless the 650 is different than mine, they don't have the option to turn the flash on and off....unless of course they work in full manual mode. ;)
     
  5. dcclark

    dcclark TPF Noob!

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    Actually, I'm fairly sure that the A650 does have a flash control mode... just like basically every P&S in the last 4 or 5 years. While I don't have one to try, the "Flash Modes" line at dpreview does indicate that it exists. I imagine there's even a dedicated flash button somewhere on it...
     
  6. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #1 is 1/25 second shutter speed.
    #2 is 1/60 second shutter but with flash.
    #3 is 1/25 second shutter speed.

    Those are your problems. At shutter speeds like that, you are going to get a lot of camera shake (your hand shaking the camera and it showing up in the shot.)

    A point and shoot isn't going to do well inside the house. It may look like you have a ton of light, but to the camera you don't. To get a good exposure, the camera is going to set a really slow shutter speed, which will pick up any movement or shaking of the camera (even if you think you held it steady) and show it as blurred such as the shots you show. It is simply a limitation of that type of camera.
     
  7. Ecas32

    Ecas32 TPF Noob!

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    do those cameras have an ISO setting that lets you select your ISO speed? the exif said 200 on the 1st and 3rd and 80 on the second. maybe if you can set it to 400, or maybe even 800 (i dont know if that camera can do that w/o suffering from to much noise) it would allow you to have a higher shutter speed
     
  8. chadsdphoto

    chadsdphoto TPF Noob!

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    I'm also going to say that your lens may just be dirty. Sometimes when things have a whitish filmy look to them, it's a big thumbprint on the lens.
     

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