Please Help...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Guernica, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Guernica

    Guernica TPF Noob!

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    Ok so here is my issue, right now i'm shooting with a FujiFilm S700 that does what i need it to do outdoors and on still shots but I am trying to get it to take "decent" pictures at Dog Agility Trials/Shows how ever no matter how much i play with things I can't get a picture that is anywhere near decent in the settings that they are held in. 90% of them are in low lit dirt floor horse barn type spots. Most of my pictures turn out really really dark and extremely blurry.

    If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it...even saying "you're camera will not do what you're looking for" and then suggesting something that would better suite those conditions would be helpful. I really don't have a ton to spend on another camera but in the long run it will save me seeing as how we easily spend $100 every show we buy pictures at.

    Thanks everyone

    G
     
  2. Guernica

    Guernica TPF Noob!

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  3. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    What are the settings you are using? auto? Outdoor stills are different than taking picture of dog running. I take thousands of pictures of dogs and I always end up having to use TV mode when M would take to long to adjust. There's probably different modes you could be using one of the action mode(looks like someone running),

    I'm sure there are point and shoots that will do what you need as well as yours could probably do it but there are also Film/Digital SLRs that would give you more control over your shutter speed as well as aperture.


    Is there a way you can increase the ISO on your camera? Looks like its not trying to gather enough light in the shade but fine out of the shade. I'm not really seeing blurry as much as it could simply be a sharpness issue
     
  4. Guernica

    Guernica TPF Noob!

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    I'm really new to this...What exactly is ISO?

    G
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The first step should be to learn a few basics about photography. An exposure is controlled by three things; the shutter speed, the aperture and the ISO. And of course, everything is about light.

    You need light, in order to capture a photo. The three settings can be adjusted to allow for you to get enough light for an exposure...but there are limits and trade offs.

    For example...when in a dimly lit situation, your camera will probably use the largest aperture (lowest F number) but it will quickly reach it's maximum limit. The next setting to adjust is the shutter speed....you need a longer shutter speed to let in more light. The problem with that, is that a longer shutter speed will cause any motion (the subject or the camera) to create blur. This is what is happening to you...there isn't much light, so your camera is having to use a longer/slower shutter speed...and because your subjects are moving...it results in blurry photo.
    The last variable is the ISO. You can adjust the ISO to a higher number, which will make your shutter speed faster/shorter. This will help to freeze the motion blur. However, the trade off is that you get more 'digital noise' in the images.

    Of course, one other thing you can do is to add light. This could be the flash, or another light source.

    Now, on problem with 'digi-cams' like yours...is that they don't do well with higher ISO settings. The photos can get really grainy/noisy. That is one reason why many of us use Digital SLR cameras. They have much cleaner images at higher ISO settings. Also, with an SLR, you can change the lens to one that has a larger maximum aperture, which lets in more light and thus allows for a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.

    If it's in your budget, I would recommend having a look at something like a Canon EOS Rebel XT (XTi or XSi)....and a lens like the 50mm F1.8 (remember that a low F number is a larger aperture). A set up like that would probably allow for much better results in your situation.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have a look at the book 'Understanding Exposure' by Peterson
     
  7. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    I am currently using xt as well as the 50mm f 1.8 and its works fine at Dog parks(crazy dogs running around a lot faster than what you're shooting). Sometimes I want the motion blur but sometimes I don't. I can control it very well with the rebel(XT and 50mm would probably run you around 450-500. possibly less)

    Even with the kit lens I have pretty good luck at the dog park. Large area with a lot of tress. The sun light is bright but the leaves block it out a lot.
     
  8. sordidsentinel

    sordidsentinel TPF Noob!

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    Guernica, I bet a good DSLR would fix your woes. I hate point and shoot cameras, esp. when indoors using flash. Also remember that when changing aperture settings, your depth of field changes, which is the distance away from the object being focused on that other objects will also appear in focus. With closed down apertures, your Depth of Field increases, open apertures (more light) decrease it. Depth of Field is also affected by lens focal length (shorter increases DOF) and how far away you are from the subject (farther away increases DOF). In a low light situation, you can use the other two variables to make sure you get everything you want in the shot.

    With DSLRs it's a lot easier to tweak these, since you can change out lenses, and the aperture settings are more easily changed (it can be as easy as turning a ring at the base of the lens, or changed in the camera settings).

    Technology wise, these DSLR cameras have higher-quality automatic settnigs as well, for the photographer on the go, or for the amateur just now learning about these settings (like me!). Just pay attention to the settings the camera chooses for you and the effect on the photo, learn the nomenclature, and experiment, and it will all fall into place. Soon you won't need the automatic settings!
     
  9. Guernica

    Guernica TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help everyone, I'm currently looking for some USED rebels to fix my problem.

    My other issue is my hands aren't the steadiest out there so would putting the camera on a tripod help with localized action shots(focusing on an object then taking the picture once the dog gets to that spot)?

    G

    also doe anyone know if they make a remote that would work with my FujiFilm S700?
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The problem may not be your hand. If the object is not moving, then yes. But if you are trying to capture a moving object, a tripod will not help.


    After some google around for your camera, looks like you can play around with some settings in your camera.

    Press the F-mode button in your camera, from there you can choose a different ISO settings. From 64 to 1600. As Mike suggest, try a higher ISO number. But the quality of the picture (more noise on higher ISO) drop with higher ISO settings. So play around with it and see which one is the best for you.

    Also, you can turn the dial at the top of your camera to "S" mode which is the Tv mode. Shutter priority mode. Use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action.


    I guess you just need to play with the settings and see what gives you the best result until you move to the DSLR. At that time, you can have a wider aperture lens such as f1.8 lens mentioned by asfixiate. (vs f3.5 max in your camera)

    One idea you can try is have a suspended object swing around and see if you can have your camera capture it without any problem. So in that case, you just need to focus on your camera settings, not the dog.
     
  11. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That would be a better option than using the S700 in lower light situations.

    Are you using the LCD display or the eye viewfinder? It is much easier to keep a steady shot looking through the viewfinder as the camera will be "braced" up on your eye/face, then hold your elbows in to your body for more "bracing".

    Nope, there is nearly nothing as far as accessories other than cheap filters or teleconverters for the S700.

    I have the S700 as well. I looked at your link and can say that you should be able to do MUCH better with the Fuji in the dog shots that are outdoors. Even they looked overall blurred, and not just the action of the dogs.

    I don't have any examples of action uploaded to show that you can get it done with that camera since most of my pictures are of the kids. I usually don't upload pictures of my kids.
     
  12. Guernica

    Guernica TPF Noob!

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    mrodgers... thanks for the info and tips. Most of the dog and action shots in my link were from the first day i had the camera and was playing with things but kind of failed lol.

    I do agree that I can and should do much better but do you have any hints or tips that would help me out at all?

    G
     

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