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Old Apr 27, 2012, 6:37 PM   #1
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Default SX40 photo help required

I received an SX40 for my birthday. I thought I would get some photos of some fox cubs that were playing in our culvert along our road. I just set it on auto and have to say, I'm very disappointed in the quality of the photos. It is possible that I'm not doing something correct but I saw so many fantastic photos on this forum that after downloading them on to my computer today made me want to weep.

Here is an example...they are all so grainy. Any suggestions on how to capture better photos? I had the camera on a tripod, it was at the maximum distance, I took 476 photos of the fox and all look washed out and grainy like this. I'm so bummed as mom moved the cubs and I will not get photos of them like this again.
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Old Apr 27, 2012, 11:50 PM   #2
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Pics are really moment captures....
Looks like high ISO. Did you used digital zoom as well. please give some EXIF data
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Old May 2, 2012, 3:12 PM   #3
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Hello LotusLady,

I understand how you feel. Especially considering the amounrt of photos you took, which shows you really wanted to record and save this moments. However, although this chance won't repeat itself, I believe your problem is quite easily solved so just take it easy. Besides looking like it's a high iso number, it looks like the photos have movement in them as well. Now, you say you were using a tripod. That, I think, is the real reason to why you got slightly shaky, blurred pictures. I haven't tried using a tripod myself, although I'm planning to get one, so I haven't experimented with it. However, if you look in the manual it is mentioned on some occasions, in the "Shooting in Special Scenes pp. 62, 63, 84, 99, 102. The explanation to how you turn on and off the IS mode is on p. 168. where once again, there is a note telling you to turn it off when using a tripod. It's actually quite easy to find when you know what to look for, click menu-button, and then scroll down to the IS-setting, and turn it off, when using tripod in the future, and on, if you using it handhold.
Since you only had the camera a few days, I guess you hadn't had a chance of trying the camera and tripod before this session.
Sorry you haven't another opportunity to have a go at photographing the fox cubs. On the other hand, looking at the pics, they, in a way resembles painted pictures, painted with soft strokes, so in that sense they are pretty nice. Like adding an effect to them intentionally. =)

Do tell whether you managed to solve your problem by doing this.

Good luck with your SX40 HS. IT's a really great and fun camera, in my opinion.

/T.J.
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Old May 4, 2012, 9:53 PM   #4
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Greetings,

Thank you SOOO much for the advice. I did not get a manual with my camera but have a disc. I plan to view that this weekend and see if I can pick anything up by viewing it.

Here is the photo information. I had it set on auto since I had just gotten the camera. But I figured out how to go into the properties of the photos and see some of the settings.

Picture 1 (mom and baby showing affection):
Dimensions: 4000 X 3000
Resolution: 180 dpi
F-stop: f/5.8
Exposure Time: 1/200 sec
ISO speed: ISO-400
Focal Length: 150 mm

Picture #2 (all 4 youngun's wrestling)
Dimensions: 4000 X 3000
Resolution: 180 dpi
F-stop: f/5.8
Exposure Time: 1/200 sec
ISO speed: ISO-500
Focal length: 150mm

Picture 3 (mom and dad)
Dimensions: 4000 X 3000
Resolution: 180 dpi
F-stop: f/5.8
Exposure Time: 1/250 sec
ISO speed: ISO-100
Focal length: 150mm

I will try turning the IS mode off when using a tripod the next time to see if that will help me. I need to review my CD right away as I'm going on a hike tomorrow afternoon and will be taking photos of wildlife. I don't want the same results.

I am so bummed. Is there any way at all that I can touch these photos up so that they would look nice? Is there a free software program that can be used? I use to use Picnik before that was taken down. Now I'm not sure what I will use.

Thank you so much for taking the time to explain to me your thoughts. I really want to get good at photography.

Have a wonderful weekend.
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Old May 5, 2012, 9:07 AM   #5
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I just thought I would update you...I did get a manual it is on the CD. I've been reading all morning and have a LOT more to read. The camera has a lot of nice features. I sure hope I learn to use it well.

Too bad there is not a paper manual/book. I would like to take it with me so that I can refer back to it when I'm out photographing.

Do any of you use the Zoom software too? I installed that to my computer too. I hope it will help me make my photos sharper.
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Old May 6, 2012, 12:48 PM   #6
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Hi again Lotuslady,

just saw your post. No problem. Happy to be able to help you, and glad to be able to do it in time too, since you are/were going away hiking.
A friendly piece of advice would be that next time you are taking so many photos in one session, make a pause after a while, and check the results on the LCD screen, merely to see if the pictures are to you your liking. That's a really good option which weren't available on the older non-digital cameras. Furthermore, when you have the opportunity, and aren't going anywhere special or so, play around with the settings, so you get the feel of how your camera behaves in various situations. I'm currently doing just this, in order to get the settings and options down to a second nature and more intuitive, because then, when being in a situation where I really want to get good results and not having much time to get it right, there won't be any problem, regardless if I have the camera in auto mode or not. Having it in auto mode, isn't always the best choice either, since the SX40 can be confused by different things, and get the settings wrong. I try to alternate between auto, P, Av, Tv and M. Since I'm not really sure so far as to what shutter and aperture to use in manual, I use auto, and then switch to manual trying to get a similar picture. After that I compare them, and check the Exif info. So far, I've learned quite a lot by doing this. Im also looking at other's photos, and have looked in/read a few books on photographing. When getting it right, with the SX40, the results are really, really great, and this of course spurs you to get the best possible pictures. Reading your posts, I think you are of the same opinion, right. =)

As for the Zoom software, I haven't tried it, and actually didn't know about it. So far, I have not been using any programs in order to post-process my photos, but since getting more interested in photographing, I am thinking of getting into this as well. There are really interesting and great result to get, when having learned how to do that too. I wouldn't rule out that it's possible to save your photos or at least get them a bit more like you'd like them to be. In your situation, I wouldn't delete them, but save them until I find a way to do just that.
Regarding free software for post-processing, I know Gimp and Picasa. You could also try a search on the net for free alternatives. Im certain there are quite a few alternatives out there.

Concerning a printed manual, there are a lot of people complaining over this. I myself solved this by transfering the PDF to my ebook reader, which works fine for me. However, I know that a person on Amazon, mentioned that he solved this by simply calling Canon and asking for a print-out, and he got it for free...so you may want to try that. Someone else, I don't recall if it was on this forum or another, said that there were a company online who would print it out and send it to you for a smaller sum. Unfortunately, I don't recall who it was, or the link to that thread.

Good luck with your learning about and using your camera, and do tell how whether you manage to get a paper manual. It could be interesting for others having the same issue as you.

Oh, and as far as I can tell from your exif info, I'm sure it's the IS, and that by turning it off you should get clear sharp pictures.

Take care.

/T.J.
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Old May 6, 2012, 5:13 PM   #7
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T.J., Thank you for taking the time to respond to my issues. I am following your advice and have tried various settings. I am getting mixed results but agree that I am slowly learning what is working.

I agree that it is a great little camera and hope I will get some fantastic shots.

Good luck with your learning curve as well.
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Old May 7, 2012, 1:23 AM   #8
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One more factor comes in hight zoom is distance from the subject.
If subject is too far then you might get grains due to dust in environment.
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Old May 7, 2012, 9:07 PM   #9
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Thanks Ianoop, I did have to use all the zoom I had.

I did take it out this weekend and got some ok photos. I still need to keep playing around with it until I can figure out how to get crisp, 3 dimensional looking photos.

I really appreciate everyone's advice.
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