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Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Zachary375, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. Zachary375

    Zachary375 TPF Noob!

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    Hi my name is Chris and I am new to photography. I'm having some trouble with my camera I just bought and for some reason, some pictures come out blurry than others. Or blotchy. I use a Canon SX510HS daily. I would really like some help from experienced photographers on how to better use my camera and its tricks. Plus some tips on how to take pictures in certain scenery. Especially nights.

    I would appreciate the help!


     
  2. sleist

    sleist Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Best to post some examples with the camera settings. Blurry can mean out of focus, or it could be motion blur or camera shake due to the shutter speed being too low. I looked up you camera specs and see:

    30x, f3.4-5.8, 24-720mm lens

    You will be challenged to get a fast enough shutter speed unless you have plenty of light or use flash.
    Are your blurry shots when the light is less than optimal?
     
  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Night photography is about a book-length read. In short; you're going to have to mount your camera on a tripod at the very least.

    Use this thread to post an example of the "blurry and blotchy" photograph.
     
  4. Zachary375

    Zachary375 TPF Noob!

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  5. Zachary375

    Zachary375 TPF Noob!

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  6. Zachary375

    Zachary375 TPF Noob!

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  7. Zachary375

    Zachary375 TPF Noob!

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    Lighting comes and goes depending where I'm at. But usually I'm always near bright lighting. How would I know if the shutter speed is to low/slow?
     

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  8. sleist

    sleist Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The general rule of thumb is 1/focal length at 35mm equivalence if you are hand holding. Tripods change that to a degree depending on what your goals are - ditto for VR. That only deals with camera shake - if your subject is moving, then you need to take that into account as well. Depending on what you are trying to achieve with the image of course.

    For example, if I'm shooting with an 50mm lens I want to be at 1/50 sec shutter speed if I'm shooting FX. If I have the same lens on a crop sensor, then I would want to be at 1/75 or 1/100 sec.

    How do you get these shutter speeds in low light? A fast lens or high ISO or a combination of the two.

    By the way, your lens is not fast.

    Your camera is supposed to be OK up to ISO 1600 according to reviews so play with settings to get an optimal shutter speed.
     
  9. rudimaes

    rudimaes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This type of cameras are not really made for handheld low light pics.

    Your camera has a low light scene mode. You could try this. But it only works
    with non moving subjets.
    Rudi
     
  10. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think the pavement is in fair focus, but the trolley is not.
     
  11. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Chris, when a question is posed by a newcomer to photography, I feel it is best to direct the poster to a course of study where they can begin to learn the rules of photography. We can answer specific issues which we notice in one shot but that is only one shot and, as you will learn when you become more familiar with the process of taking a shot, each photograph is largely unique to itself. One answer, even one rule, cannot prove to be the basis for all photos.

    Add to this the fact each camera/lens combination is unique, and you have far too much to cover in one forum post. Each camera a consumer may select today has been designed to be as "fool proof" as possible yet that very design makes for a camera which can be the very obstacle to taking good photographs at times. The numerous focusing points and methods available along with the recognition systems designed into today's consumer cameras is daunting and most often must be fully understood and utilized by someone simply wanting a good photo.

    The very first answer to your question is, you must down sit with your camera in hand and its owner's manual in front of you as you take test shots which represent the various types of photography you might encounter and the various settings the camera provides. This can be a daunting task since today's cameras can do quite a bit, most of which was not available to the user of, say, ten years prior.

    However, one rule which has been in place for decades is still true; until you learn how and when to control your camera, it will continue to control you and your results.


    I own a Canon SX50 which is fairly similar to your camera and I know it would struggle to have good results in the situation you present here.

    Various reasons for this include ...

    1) Auto-focus systems have a difficult time when there is not a sufficient amount of light entering the lens. The factory default set of focus points for your camera would require the lens to further reduce its aperture size for this shot which would then result in even lower light levels entering the lens and focus systems.

    Less light entering the lens will trade off aperture size for longer shutter speeds which can result in "camera shake" and/or higher ISO values which will introduce digital noise to the image giving a "soft" look similar to an out of focus shot.

    This is a basic lesson in photography known as the "exposure triangle". It is at the heart of all photography and it is worth studying in depth.

    2) The "speed" of the lens (as defined by the widest allowable aperture) on your camera does not allow light to enter at a rate which would easily make such a shot sharp and clean.

    3) If you use the zoom feature of your camera, that opening (the aperture) closes down further making it increasingly difficult for the camera to focus as less and less light is allowed through the aperture (in other words, the more zoom you use, the less light you allow in).

    4) The digital sensor which reads and records the light as a digital image is very small in your camera (about the same size as most cameras found in a smart phone) and therefore doesn't respond well to low light situations. Larger sensors read light more efficiently but also cost more and require larger camera bodies to house them.

    5) Newcomers to photography most often "jab" at the shutter release button rather than smoothly releasing the mechanism. This jabbing action introduces camera movement which is picked up by the lens and what could have been a good shot turns into a softened, out of focus result.



    Those are a few "could be" answers to your problem. Since you say this is a problem you experience with some shots, then you need to take a logical approach to which shots are good and which shots are not so good and then apply deduction to say what might cause any certain shot to be less than ideal. That's a process we can't do with only one shot and probably not even with a dozen shots. There are, however, basic errors most new photographers make and soft, out of focus results are very common.

    I would say you need to begin with your owner's manual first and foremost. While it is a mixed bag of providing much of the information you will need to operate your specific camera it is also a manuscript which assumes a certain level of knowledge regarding the basic rules of photography. But that is where to begin in any case.

    Then you need to find a course which teaches the rules and physics behind photography in a comprehensible manner to you. This is a fairly good course for a beginning student; Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community

    This forum also has tutorials available for students; Camera Terms and Acronyms for Dummies | Photography Forum

    and; NEW FEATURE - Photography Tutorials | Photography Forum

    You need to find an accessible, comprehensible course and follow it start to finish. Don't jump around from course to course or from topic to topic. A good lesson plan lays a foundation and then builds upon that foundation. If you were taking a course in, say, biology, it's doubtful the instructor would assign multiple text books for use. Teachers teach differently and sticking to one course and one text is how you will learn the most in the shortest amount of time.

    There are also numerous threads on this and other forums which are available for study. And you can always use a search engine equipped with your camera's make and model number along with "tips and tutorials" to view videos related to your specific camera. Use these to clarify how to put into practice those principles you have read about in your course work. With this same search engine you'll find a cheat sheet for your own camera which you can carry with you.

    Lots to learn. Best to simply begin the learning process by realizing no one starts out taking nothing but great shots every time. Hang on to your early shots for comparison purposes in six month's and a year's time to see how much you've progressed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015

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