Newb with CoolPix S550 Seeks Crisper images

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eclecticguy, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. eclecticguy

    eclecticguy TPF Noob!

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    Help! This image sucks!
    I am an online seller and I need to be able to take crisp images to highlight details. I don't know if I have reached the limits of my camera or if I can get more sharpness for images, like the one attached to this post, with my S550.

    CoolPix S550 settings for the attached image:
    • ISO: 100
    • Tripod used
    • 10-second timer (to eliminate shake from a cheap tripod)
    • White photo box
    • Image mode 'Normal 3648'
    • Flash: OFF
    • Light Tent Box Used. (Lights pointing from left and right)
    • White Balance: I chose the preset manual option and set by a piece of typing paper.
    • Background: white typing paper
    • Macro-mode: ON
    For this particular image, a specialty bit, I actually hoped to zoom in on the end and create a sort of mechanical drawing with dimensions marked near the end where the bit is tapered. However, I just cannot see that happening with this level of crispness. More generally, this has been an ongoing issue that I have been meaning to look into for a while; this crispness issue keeps cropping up with small mechanical and specialty parts where I need to show a high level of detail and sometimes display measurements, etc. with photo-editing software.


     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  2. zulu42

    zulu42 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, it's just not focused. Maybe you were too close for the minimum focusing distance for your lens, is there a macro setting on the S550? Or maybe the focus just didn't grab the subject for some reason. The settings in your post are incomplete. What shooting mode was used?

    Also, the background looks really gray for a piece of white paper.
     
  3. zulu42

    zulu42 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is a "close up" setting on the s550. have you tried that?
     
  4. eclecticguy

    eclecticguy TPF Noob!

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    Yes. I forgot to mention that. I will edit the post.
     
  5. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    increase your lighting a lot. I don't think that camera let's your control aperture, shutter speed and ISO independently.

    You don't have many options on that camera. So you have to control it's function by the amount of light available.

    The camera selected these settings
    Camera: Nikon COOLPIX S550
    Lens: 17.4 mm (Max aperture f/3.5)
    Exposure: Auto exposure, Program AE, 1/30 sec, f/5, ISO 100
    Flash: Off, Did not fire
    Focus: AF-C, Center
    AF Area Mode: Single Area

    which has too slow of a shutter speed. As it's probably fuzzy because your hand holding techniques are not adequate for that. Add more light; and raise your subject off the paper if you can.
     
  6. eclecticguy

    eclecticguy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I will try again from a further distance. That said, there is a little square that appears in the LED screen that indicates the center of focus. This was in the proper area.

    Macro Mode was 'ON'. (I just edited the original post. I forgot to mention that.)

    I used 'Preset Manual' for white balance setting, and snapped the white background typing paper to set it when prompted. I will try some images set to 'AUTO'. But I am really going to concentrate more on the focus , crsipness issue.
     
  7. eclecticguy

    eclecticguy TPF Noob!

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    Much improved!

    For posterity and my own reference, the key differences and advice taken are:
    • Increased distance to 33" [zulu42],
    • Increased the lighting a lot [astroNikon]
    • Raised the subject off the paper [astroNikon].
    • Changed the white balance to AUTO.
    It's worth noting that the auto focus focused on the bolts to the right and it does seem that that side is crisper.
    • ISO: 100
    • Tripod used
    • 10-second timer (As mentioned before, therefore there is no hand shake )
    • Photographic light bulbs (forget what they are called)
    • Image mode 'Normal 3648'
    • Flash: OFF
    • Light Tent Box Used. (Lights pointing from left front and right)
    • White Balance: AUTO
    • Background: white typing paper
    • Macro-mode: ON
     

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  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The photo is still under exposed - by at least a full stop.
    In professional circles a 1/4 stop under or over exposure is about the limit.

    The main issue is your lack of photography knowledge and skill.
    Your point and shoot camera has some significant limitations too, but a knowledgeable skilled photographer could overcome most of those limitations - a very small image sensor, a contrast-detect AF rather than phase detect AF, electronic (not optical) zoom/macro, and limited exposure modes.
    Plus, ideally you would want to shoot Raw image files and then 'finish' your product photos with a decent image editing software application.
    Image sensor format - Wikipedia
    Digital Camera Sensor Sizes: How it Influences Your Photography
    The Digital Negative: Raw Image Processing in Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop (2nd Edition)

    This inexpensive book, now in it's 5th edition, is considered my many to be a product lighting primer:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0...gic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  9. eclecticguy

    eclecticguy TPF Noob!

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    Same setup as previous post, but changed 'exposure compensation' to +0.7.
     

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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Applying (some type of one of several methods of) sharpening to a camera-created .JPEG image is pretty standard procedure, after the image has been brought into a computer. Was any unsharp masking applied to this picture? Was the sharpen command used in any type of image editing application before it was posted here?

    I can see small details, but not clearly, which makes me think you just need to apply a healthy amount of sharpening to the shot.
     
  11. zulu42

    zulu42 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great improvement, a heck of a lot better.

    Also make sure the drill is parallel to your lens. Any angle can throw one or both ends out of focus
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  12. eclecticguy

    eclecticguy TPF Noob!

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    Same setup as the previous post, but changed 'exposure compensation' to +1.0. and added light filtered with a napkin. Still not impressed; it has a kind of hazy look when looking at it at 100%.

    Note: I don't want to make any software edits for this thread. (That's a topic for another thread.). Concentrating on photo taking now.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017

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