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Old Mar 15, 2005, 5:23 PM   #1
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A few months ago I lost my film camera, a Sure Shot 105 I think. It took awesome photos. I went for the digital this time, the A85, and I'm not as happy as I thought I'd be.

Some of my pics come out great, like the outdoor daytime ones. I get the odd indoor photo that turns out good, but most of them are crap. The colors are off, people's skin sometimes looks pinkish, the red-eye reduction function isn't worth 2 cents. Maybe I've got my settings wrong, but I can't figure it out. The user guide doesn't help much either; it tells you what to do but not why or how it works.

Sure, I'm able to download pictures without scanning them. And I can review my photos on the LCD (not that you can see details there, but anyway...). I'm not so sure digital was the way to go. My film camera took consistently better pictures.

Can anybody offer advice?
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 10:13 PM   #2
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Are you looking at these pics on your computer? Is your monitor calibrated?

Are you looking at these pics after they have been printed? You will get different quality with different printing companies.

With regards to the red eye and flash, you have to realize that these flashes are only good upto about 8-12 feet or so. Try turning off the red eye option. Try using the camera's manual settings and get out of auto mode. Digital cams require a bit of "playing" to get used to them when moving from film.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 4:31 AM   #3
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Hi there!
Yes I agree very much with Ryan... you have to go to manual mode and play with the camera a bit more then they say in User's Manual.
Your colours can be the White Balance fooled auto mode. When indoor the camera auto WB can be so many times fooled especially when the light is from a tungsten source. Set the Custom WB and use something white or grey from your background as a calibration example. Be sure to almost fill the focus frame with white or grey so that the camera proccess it accurately. Otherwise you can get colour effects that yoyu never dreamed about it...

Good luck! and as Ryan said play more. This is the way to learn all the thing about a camera... The User's Manual is only for starting...
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 7:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I don't use Auto mode though. The genius at the camera shop where I bought it made the Program settings for me. I assumed he knew what he was doing. It's set to "vivid" and I have no idea what white balance is all about. One improvement I did find was selecting SCN mode ("special scene"). At the indoor setting there's less of that pink skin effect. Unfortunately the SCN mode won't let you see how the settings have been adjusted.

Also, I have no idea what tungsten is or what the difference between fluorescent and fluorescent H is.

Steep learning curve I suppose.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 9:31 AM   #5
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Boldstar wrote:
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I have no idea what white balance is all about.

I have no idea what tungsten is or what the difference between fluorescent and fluorescent H is.
Here's a place to visit if you want to find out what WB is:

http://www.nikondigital.org/articles/white_balance.htm

http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam...b-concept.html

Just google around and you'll find out a lot more.
BTW don't give up, it's not so hard at all. You'll just have to learn how to deal with this kind of things.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 11:27 PM   #6
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Digital Cameras, even P&S digicams, are more complicated than 35mm point & shoots. With 35mm film P&S cameras you load it with film, take your pictures, take the film to the lab and get your pictures. The lab takes your negatives & feeds them through an automated processor- some are better than others, but they all make needed corrections and adjustments. With color print film especially you can be very much off in exposure and those processors can make a good print out of a less than well exposed negative. Your 35mm camera may not have been any better than your current A85. Most likely it is not- the medium (film) is easier in use.

You are now the photographer AND lab when you start shooting with digital cameras. The dirty little secret about digital photography is it takes MORE effort and know how than photography with a film point & shoot, not less. If you don't learn the prerequisites to make good pictures and adjustments to files that need it you will continue having good pictures at times and bad pictures at other times. There still is a large number of people for whom the digital process is not the way to go for this very reason. You need to invest in a modest editing program like Photoshop Elements and learn how to use it. Red eye for one can be removed with very little effort, but you have to learn how to do it. The skin colors being off probably has something to do with the "vivid" setting. For taking landscapes and the like VIVID is nice, for skin tones it's terrible, just like Fuji Velvia slide film isn't the best for shooting portraits. You need to adjust the setting from vivid to either off or go the other way with less saturation, either of which are more forgiving with skin tones. The process of setting your camera up "right", whatever that is, before the shot and what you need to do after you press the shutter release are what you need to consider when deciding if it is right for you.
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Old Mar 21, 2005, 3:32 AM   #7
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"I don't use Auto mode though. The genius at the camera shop where I bought it made the Program settings for me."

In that case, you'll probably see a vast improvement by simply changing the camera to its default settings and shooting in Auto mode or SCN mode when the situation calls for it. The manual settings certainly help the advanced user; however, if you don't care to learn them, the A85 is a very capable point and shoot camera. You will need to use photo editing software to deal with things such as red-eye. The red-eye reduction in the A85 is no better and no worse than red-eye reduction in most digital cameras, which is to say that it's pretty much useless.
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