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My pictures are . please help with the basics.

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Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #10 on: 16 / July / 2009, 15:51:05 »
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Newbietoobie, i gotta say thats quite a strange explanation. I've done quite some shots through windows, macro as well as tele, and never noticed any kind of disturbance. (Except maybe dirt on the windows :P )

I'd really like to see the exif data for those pictures, just to see the exposure time..

it says 1/13 sec for the first pic 1/15 sec. for the second and 1/8 sec. for the three fawns.

Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #11 on: 16 / July / 2009, 16:08:05 »
Newbietoobie, i gotta say thats quite a strange explanation. I've done quite some shots through windows, macro as well as tele, and never noticed any kind of disturbance. (Except maybe dirt on the windows :P )

Well, it depends on the window, you might have lucked out and gotten a particularly nice flat batch of glass in your house. It depends on a lot of things. In fact I just logged back in to give some follow-up explanations on why this happens, and why you can't easily see it with your eyes but your camera will record it. Macro is not going to show this much because it is often done at wider angle lens settings, meaning it doesn't amplify the effects as much. You have to consider too the distance of the subject and camera from the window. If the camera is close to the window, the subject further, then the window-glass will have to be flatter. This is why camera filters cost so much. They have to be made optically flat. Can you imagine trying to pay that price per area for a typical house window? The price of an optical-flat the size of a typical window would bankrupt most any of us. If you are shooting from across the street at some store-window display, then of course the things behind that window will look perfectly sharp. The defects in that window too far away to impact the image.

It is also worse the larger the aperture used. Think about the diameter of the pupils in your eyes. In daylight that's about 2mm. Your eye is only getting the light coming from any 2mm dia. area of glass at one time. Individually, each 2mm dia. area of that glass may be acceptably flat, optically. This is also why optically-flat optics of smaller diameters are so inexpensive, it's so much easier to polish small areas optically flat. Now think about the dia. of the entrance-pupil of your camera. That 35mm diameter glass has to take into account a 35mm diameter's worth of light-rays coming through that window. Any non-flat defects across that 35mm area will be added up. Whereas your eye might only be seeing through one clear 2mm spot at any one time. Your eyes can't detect any problems, but your camera sure will.

You can prevent some of this problem by stopping down the lens. But shaded wooded scenes like this, at longer zoom settings, won't like that. Then it might require slower shutter speeds, any motion-blur from that will only compound the already present defects in the house-window glass. Using wide-angle will effectively disappear all window defects, because then you don't see the amplified optical defects, they become smaller, just as your subject becomes smaller.

Having said all that:

B0whunt3r, after seeing that you had IS off, and those shutter speeds used, then it's definitely both problems. Camera shake, and shooting through house windows. I have no problems holding a camera steady at 1/15s but you might. Next time you are shooting through a window, put the front of the camera's lens barrel against the glass, that will help to stabilize your camera immensely. But do it slowly, so you don't scare the animals with a "clunk". I'll often put it up against the edge of a finger, the finger between camera and window-glass, so as not to make any noise or hurt either window or camera. And use the smallest aperture possible (light and shutter-speed permitting) so as not to compound window-glass destroying the image further. Above all, try to not shoot at sharp angles through that close-up window glass. This will soften an image faster than anything.

For any of you that doubt this: Go ahead, try it. Put your camera up against a window and shoot at distant subjects using long-focal lengths at various degrees of angles through that glass. For the best effect, use wide apertures at steep angles through that window-glass. Don't say you weren't warned. :-) For even more fun, move your camera around to various areas of that window-glass and shoot the very same subject with the same camera settings. Watch as the quality changes depending on what section of that house-window that you shoot through. :-) I've already tested all these things after getting images like B0whunt3r has, it's why I know what to suggest for you to try to convince yourself too.
« Last Edit: 16 / July / 2009, 16:24:44 by NewbieToobie »

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Offline Anaglyphic

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Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #12 on: 16 / July / 2009, 17:02:55 »
1/8th - 1/15th is impossibly slow for live animals, any movement will blur badly, IS enabled or not. I would be more inclined to try 1/250th - 1/400th but bump the ISO to 400 or more... yes, you will have a noisier image, there's nothing you can do about it other than post-processing with a noise reduction utility. If said deer bolts and you pan the camera to follow and fire a shot or two, I doubt even 1/250th will be sharp.

Don't get me wrong, I love my SX100, the lens is very good as far as P&S superzoom lenses go (even better than the S5s, go check out the resolution tests at dpreview) but it's still hooked to this tiny 1/2.5" sensor. Simply, you need more light.

There's only so much we can do with these cameras, if you want low noise, high resolution, deep depth-of-field, razor sharp focus, fast shutter speed... well, what you want is a large sensor, large lens, and a large price tag dSLR... I mean there is no substitute for a ~20MP full-frame CMOS sensor. Except the maybe that motorcycle you gave up to buy an $8000 camera that comes without a single lens. :)

Re: multi-pane glass diffusion / refraction: it's not a myth. Shooting lightning in really bad storms where you can't leave the window open, and looking at the "echoes" on each pane, it's clear (ha) to see that nothing should be between the front lens element and your target.
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything,
 we ought to know a little about everything.
-- Blaise Pascal

Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #13 on: 16 / July / 2009, 18:31:21 »
Faster is better for live animals, but I always watch for those slight pauses that they make and snap the shutter at that moment if light doesn't allow for faster shutter speeds. Good examples are deer and turkey, they frequently stop and pause for a slight second to listen and watch, then resume what they are doing. Even when strutting a turkey is momentarily still between each step. A good time to learn to snap the shutter, no matter what shutter speed you are using.

Here's an example of two photos, taken only moments apart, through the very same window. Posted to show the differences caused by what portion of that window is being used, how a difference in focal-length used, and also how even a very slight difference in shooting angle can greatly impact the clarity.

Here's one taken at 1/80, f/3.5, 40.3mm (242mm EQ) focal length:



Here's another taken at 1/50, f/3.5 70.4mm (422mm EQ) focal length:


Both taken with the camera up against the window to ensure camera stability.

Other than a slight crop to one side on the first one (the clearer one) for a better composition, both are only downsized from the original.

Just that little bit in focal-length difference, and angle (note the limb behind the turkey that's also in the first photo, the camera was only tilted slightly more to frame that), caused a HUGE difference on how clear an image might be when taken through a house window. Note too that the foliage wasn't moving in either case :-) and is equally blurry as the main subject in the second photo. (As are B0whunt3r's photos. It's not the subject movement that is the problem.)

« Last Edit: 16 / July / 2009, 18:42:50 by NewbieToobie »


Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #14 on: 17 / July / 2009, 09:23:59 »
getting slightly better, both taken outside at 1/125 exposure time.



this at 40 x zoom which I've never been able to get even close to a clear pic with.



Now how in the world do I get those colors in your first pic NewbieToobie? That is awesome!

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Offline fe50

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Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #15 on: 17 / July / 2009, 12:54:14 »
Now how in the world do I get those colors in your first pic NewbieToobie? That is awesome!
Set whitebalance to "Cloudy", you can also adjust the colors in Canon's "My colors" menu...

Re: My pictures are . please help with the basics.
« Reply #16 on: 17 / July / 2009, 16:04:26 »
Now how in the world do I get those colors in your first pic NewbieToobie? That is awesome!

Ah, you caught me. It wasn't until after I had posted the photos and looked at them again, I realized I had tweaked more than just a quick crop on that image. Subconscious force of habit whenever I have a half-decent image in my editor. I didn't think it would matter that much to the side-by-side examples which were only to show image clarity issues, so didn't go on about it. I tweaked the colors a bit in editing. I've noticed that in sunny-day forest scenes with a lot of green in the viewfinder, and a lot of green-light coming through the canopy overhead, that on auto white-balance mode these cameras (all cameras?) want to give an Ektachrome slide-film look to the images. A strong magenta cast (to compensate for all the greens). Using the "cloudy" mode will help on overcast days, but you'll still have to deal with the majority of all lights being green-tinted. Some of that is good though, or you lose the feel of what it's really like in the woods. In my editor I have some quick color-adjust buttons for color-channel gamma. I click the minus-red one time and the minus-blue two times to compensate for it. I think they alter it in 5% or 10%? steps. Seems to be enough to bring the browns and grays back in balance, without having to do any major work to an image. This also increases contrast some, but then this leaves the greens oversaturated, so I desaturate the whole image a bit to make it a little more natural looking. Honest, it's just a reflex action on my part when they're in my editor. I really did forget that I did all that. I should have straightened that image some too.

I should mention, I used "Custom Colors" setting in my camera too.

Contrast -2, Helps to increase the available dynamic range from a sensor, I'd rather do contrast tweaks in editing and ensure I get more detail in shadows and highlights. I learned this trick from earlier Sony cameras where they intentionally kept contrast low and had remarkable dynamic range from P&S cameras. It didn't help to sell cameras though, everyone wants eye-popping images right from the camera. Few cameras keep contrast low enough to take advantage of all available dynamic range from their sensors.

Sharpness -2, Better to do this in editing, you can't remove sharpening once it's left the camera that way.  Plus I use Fourier Transform methods instead (Focus Magic, usually). Doesn't cause any sharpening halos when used properly. That kind of sharpening method is well beyond anything they will put in present cameras.

Saturation 0

Red -2, Canon always over-saturates reds, it's the first channel to get clipped in highlights or pure red subjects. Thanks to CHDK's RGB histogram it was easy to discover this. -2 is just about perfect to keep all channels in check in highlights or saturated reds.

Green 0

Blue 0

Skin-Tone 0.

I hope that's all the info you need to duplicate forest-scene colors like that.

One more thing, I also always tend to keep my camera on an EV compensation of -1/3 EV step. This too keeps clipped highlights in check from the camera's auto-exposure guesses.
« Last Edit: 17 / July / 2009, 16:26:51 by NewbieToobie »

 

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