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Old Dec 4, 2005, 4:59 PM   #1
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Hi guys. Took some shots today of a Cardinal,but can't seem to get a good clear shot. Using a Nikon 8800, with a tripod and still got blurry shot. Zoom tends to make it worse. Can't figure it out. I know your knowledge is more than mine. Any input would make my day. thanks alot. rob.
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 5:03 PM   #2
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the cardinal ?
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Old Dec 4, 2005, 5:05 PM   #3
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and
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 12:25 AM   #4
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It seems your camera didn't focus. Evrything looks quite blurry. Also looking at the exif data, your shot is at 1/3.3 sec. That's too slow for any bird shots. You need to use faster aperture. Your aperture, based on exif data shows f5.6. Use something like f2.8 if possible (I don't know about your camera). Or shoot in good light with sun falling directly at your subject. Longer zoom also helps. For non-dSLRs you need fast long zoom like panasonic FZseries forgood bird shots. Hope it helps.
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Old Dec 8, 2005, 7:49 AM   #5
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It almost looks like your lens is fogged up but then in the far background things look like they are closer to focus. Check to see if the lens is fogged. Next shoot a scene that has something easy to focus on and is not cluttered and see how the focus is. You shutter speed is slow as bobbyz pointed out although on a tripod it is possible to get sharp shots. This shot was taken at 1/14 but normally, light allowing, I shoot 1/125 and above.


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Old Mar 3, 2006, 1:12 AM   #6
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W/o knowing the camera settings, is difficult to determine exactly why the pictures were so badly out of focus. Considering you had the camera on a tripod, I would expect something to be on focus, not necessarily thebird(even if the shutter speed was way too low). However, nothing appears to be on focus. One possibility is if your camera was in full manual mode, in which case the focus would also have to be manually adjusted meaning the autofocus did not work at all. Before you figure out how you can take a good picture of the bird, I would make sure I got the tree dead sharp and well exposed (the colors are also washed out). Just set the camerato full auto mode, point to the tree and shoot. If you get the similar results, most likely your camera has a more serious problem. I hope that's not the case.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 7:44 AM   #7
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Are these crops from a larger image?

For one thing, as already mentioned, your shutter speeds were pretty slow.

But, I couldn't help to notice you were using Digital Zoom, too.

Digital Zoom is basically cropping an image (like you can do with an editor), then it resizes it back to the original resolution (by adding pixels not captured by the camera). This can degrade images.

If you use 2x digital zoom, you end up with 1/4 the number of pixels captured by the sensor. I noticed a 2.4x digital zoom in the first image posted.

The rest are are added back in by the camera by taking values from adjacent pixels when it upsizes the cropped image you see in your viewfinder.

If you use 4x digital zoom (as in your second image), you end up with only 1/8 the number of pixels captured by the camera (approximatey 1 Megapixel of real detail with your Olympus). The camera then resizes what's left (1 Megapixel of real detail), by adding enough pixels to bring the image back up to 8 Megapixels (degrading quality).

So, you're already doing a LOT of cropping by using Digital Zoom this way, and it your posted images are also crops, then I can understand why they would be fuzzy (not enough "real" pixels captured by the camera to represent your subject).

Significantly less real detail captured by the sensor because of Digital Zoom (not to mention the degradation introduced when the camera resizes the cropped view back up to 8 Megapixels), combined with slow shutter speeds, can impact your results.

I'd try to increase ISO speed to get shutter speeds up some, and use a self timer at focal lengths that long, too. Hopefully, your tripod is very sturdy. I'd also avoid digital zoom unless absolutely necessary. Even then, I suspect you could get better results by cropping the image later, and using more sophisticated tools to resize it as needed (bicubic, lanczos or other available resizing algoirthms).


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Old Mar 3, 2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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I very much agree with Jim. If digital zoom was indeed used (I missed that), than most likely it's the source of your problem. I've read many, many times that the best thing to do is to turn the digital zoom off, period. Usethe opticalzoom and then crop the image. You get a much better result that way.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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Tullio wrote:
Quote:
I very much agree with Jim. If digital zoom was indeed used (I missed that), than most likely it's the source of your problem. I've read many, many times that the best thing to do is to turn the digital zoom off, period. Usethe opticalzoom and then crop the image. You get a much better result that way.
Yes. A quick glance at the EXIF using Irfanview showed 2.4x Digital Zoom in the first image, and 4x Digital Zoom in the second image, both at shutter speeds slow enough to cause a problem if the tripod wasn't sturdy enough without the use a a remote release or self timer (especially at focal lengths that long). Of course, even that may not be enough if the wind is blowing branches or your subject isn't stationary.


CARDINAL 024 (WinCE).jpg
ImageDescription -
Make - NIKON
Model - E8800
Orientation - Top left
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - E8800v1.3
DateTime - 2005:12:04 04:19:25
YCbCrPositioning - Co-Sited
ExifOffset - 356
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Auto
WhiteBalance - Auto
DigitalZoomRatio - 2.40 x
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 840 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
GainControl - Low gain up
Contrast - Normal
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Normal
SubjectDistanceRange - Unknown
ExposureTime - 1/3.3 seconds
FNumber - 5.20
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2005:12:04 04:19:25
DateTimeDigitized - 2005:12:04 04:19:25
ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel - 7 (bits/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MaxApertureValue - F 2.93
MeteringMode - Spot
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 213.60 mm
UserComment -
FlashPixVersion - 0100
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExifImageWidth - 240
ExifImageHeight - 180
FileSource - Other
SceneType - Other



CARDINAL 026 (WinCE).jpg
ImageDescription -
Make - NIKON
Model - E8800
Orientation - Top left
XResolution - 300
YResolution - 300
ResolutionUnit - Inch
Software - E8800v1.3
DateTime - 2005:12:04 04:19:48
YCbCrPositioning - Co-Sited
ExifOffset - 356
CustomRendered - Normal process
ExposureMode - Auto
WhiteBalance - Auto
DigitalZoomRatio - 4.00 x
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm - 1400 mm
SceneCaptureType - Standard
GainControl - Low gain up
Contrast - Normal
Saturation - Normal
Sharpness - Normal
SubjectDistanceRange - Unknown
ExposureTime - 1/3.2 seconds
FNumber - 5.20
ExposureProgram - Normal program
ISOSpeedRatings - 200
ExifVersion - 0220
DateTimeOriginal - 2005:12:04 04:19:48
DateTimeDigitized - 2005:12:04 04:19:48
ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
CompressedBitsPerPixel - 7 (bits/pixel)
ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
MaxApertureValue - F 2.93
MeteringMode - Spot
LightSource - Auto
Flash - Not fired, compulsory flash mode
FocalLength - 356.00 mm
UserComment -
FlashPixVersion - 0100
ColorSpace - sRGB
ExifImageWidth - 240
ExifImageHeight - 180
FileSource - DSC - Digital still camera
SceneType - A directly photographed image

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Old Mar 3, 2006, 11:07 AM   #10
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P.S.

The maximum available aperture reported in the EXIF is not correct. Zoomed in all the way, this lens has a largest available aperture of f/5.2 (which is what the camera selected).

So, the only option to get faster shutter speeds with correct exposure would be to increase the ISO speed from ISO 200 to ISO 400 (which would add noise, and still have resulted in very slow speeds).

Light is a camera's best friend, and no camera is without limitations.

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