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Old Jun 8, 2009, 8:59 PM   #11
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The light house is 4.5 miles according to MS Maps.

Granted the day I took the picture with the SX10 it was much more humid, but to my eyes I'm not sure I see that much of a difference that it would warrant me keeping the SX10. I can get the telephoto extender for the S3 in 1-2 days so I'm debating what I should do. Any suggestions?
I have manipulated the images you provided several in an attempt to determine which image has the best detail. The first pairing is a 100% crop) of the furnished S3 photo (which you appear to have cropped a little before hand) and the SX10 resized to that same pixel count. Look at the window in the white portion of the lighthouse. It's a window with the SX10 as opposed to a formless dark spot with the S3. Look also white supports under the railing. The first is the S3 and the 2nd is the SX10. The second 100% crops I have resized the S3 image upward to equal the pixel count of the SX10. Look at the same places. There is simply more information in the SX10 picture in my opinion, information that won't be added with an auxiliary lens.

You are probably right when you say there was more humidity with the SX10 shot which reduced the the contrast but it also reduced the temperature difference between the air over the water and the air over land and reduced the distortion. Less humid with the S3 shot, more differential, lighthouse rendered in wavey lines.

If it were me I'd go to the launch with the SX10.

A. C.
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 10:42 AM   #12
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So I've gone through all this work taking pictures of the lighthouse for nothing. I forgot that I had my S3 with me when I visited KSC 2 years ago. There was no shuttle on the pad but I believe this is the same pad it will launch from this weekend.



This version was resized for web hosting a while back and lost it's exif data. I have the original at home. I'm assuming I was zoomed in all the way on this.

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Old Jun 10, 2009, 11:41 AM   #13
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So I've gone through all this work taking pictures of the lighthouse for nothing. I forgot that I had my S3 with me when I visited KSC 2 years ago.
I don't really think you've wasted your time taking the lighthouse photos as their purpose was to compare the S3 to the SX10 and they facilitated that purpose. Based on the launch pad shot I'd still expect the SX10 to deliver a sharper, finer detailed shot than the S3.

In either case an element you'll want to consider is exposure. The flame from the engines are extremely bright, enough so that eye damage to observers is a consideration on night launches. If your metering locks on that everthing else will be wildly underexposed. I think the strategy might be to take an exposure reading of the launch pad/shuttle a few minutes before the engines are fired and lock in that exposure.

I hope you post your results.

A. C.
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 3:41 PM   #14
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I was given this advice for settings for the launch:

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You want to use manual exposure and focus on a telephoto; if it launches June 13 or 14 I would use ISO 100 500th f8. If it delays into a night launch then it's very different, say ISO 400 f8 1/250.
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Old Jun 10, 2009, 8:07 PM   #15
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Who ever was telling you was thinking DSLR and possibly has never done any serious usage of a P&S. Both the S3 and the SX10 defraction limit way before f/8. I'd suggest f/4.5 on the S3 and wide open (f/5.7) on the SX10 and use the default ISO (80), adjusting shutter speed appropriately. He may or may not be giving the correct EVs. I'd look at the EXIF data on YOUR lauch pad shot to evaluate the suitability of those EVs. I'd still throw the meter in spot mode and check a few minutes before launch. As far as focus just set to infinity.

Last edited by ac.smith; Jun 10, 2009 at 8:11 PM.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 7:38 AM   #16
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I don't have the manual with me, does the SX10 shoot in RAW or only jpg?
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 7:57 AM   #17
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SX10 is jpg only. The SX1 adds raw (needs it?).

A. C.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 7:59 AM   #18
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Thanks AC, I was trying to figure out which card to get but since it doesn't do RAW I'll only get a 4GB.

So for the most part I'll be using f/4.5 ISO 80 1/500 ?
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 8:05 AM   #19
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jpg only without using the CHDK.
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 10:13 AM   #20
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Thanks AC, I was trying to figure out which card to get but since it doesn't do RAW I'll only get a 4GB.

So for the most part I'll be using f/4.5 ISO 80 1/500 ?
Did you have a chance to check the EXIF data on your launch pad shot? By the way, if you have the time I'd like to see the EXIF on your launch pad photo. I'd compare that info to the translation of the ISO 100, 1/500, F/8 information which is ISO 80, 1/1250, F/4.5 for the S3 or ISO 80, 1/800, F/5.7 for the SX10. This info is, by the way just a third stop off of the ordinary rule of thumb daylight exposure recommendations. I'd still set you metering to spot and see what it tells you just before the launch.

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