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Old Mar 24, 2006, 8:58 PM   #11
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I think by default the S2 settings try to mediate between the needs of those who do want to post-process and the needs of those who don't. So sharpening is neither full on or off, colours are more neutral, and contrast is neutral.

Vivid mode colours are a little over the top - OK for most purposes, but sometimes colours are more vivid than looks natural.

Tullio wrote:
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I am not sure if the picture softnessproduced bythe S2 (a.k.a. "the fog effect") is what you consider out of focus. I sharpened it with Picasa (see below)and it looks pretty good. Did you set the camera to P and color effect to VIVID or custom with +sharpening? If not, I highly suggest you do. I think you'll find that the pictures will be much clearer (sharper). If the bench shot was out of focus, PP would not be able to really do much to fix.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 9:09 PM   #12
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Don't reduce them in size so much, increase the compression until they fit under 250000 bytes. Or set up a free account somewhere like www.flickr.com and post them there at 1024x768 and then drop the link into you posts. Note, downsizing normally looses detail, and sometimes some USM (unsharp-mask) is needed to put the detail/sharpness back.

Or crop out some detail and post it full-size.

Did you try Snow-mode?

Are shots taken from a table/tripod using the self timer better or worse than your handheld shots? Could some shake be causing issues. One symptom of shake is all over slightly soft image.

Long zooms through misty/hazy air will also turn out soft.

If light levels are low, the camera will shift to high-ISO, this may need to be disabled.

MrGarmonbozia wrote:
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Thanks for the tips. I too agree that AUTO should produce better images. Here is another shot taken outside this time where I get some bad focus.

How do you post larger images?
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 10:30 PM   #13
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Tullio wrote:
Quote:
I am not sure if the picture softnessproduced bythe S2 (a.k.a. "the fog effect") is what you consider out of focus. I sharpened it with Picasa (see below)and it looks pretty good. Did you set the camera to P and color effect to VIVID or custom with +sharpening? If not, I highly suggest you do. I think you'll find that the pictures will be much clearer (sharper). If the bench shot was out of focus, PP would not be able to really do much to fix.
A few answers:

This picture was taken on auto mode, zoomed at full from across the park. The day was pretty grey.

I honestly think that the camera should do most of the work in sharpening the images itself and not have soft images. I mean, I used to own a crappy little dime store camera that took sharp pics. My wish is to not have to run the bulk of my photos through, say, Photoshop to sharpen them after they have been taken. Perchance I am being, though, a newbie nieve.

* * *

A few questions:

What is Picasa?

What is +sharpening?

What is PP?

What does putting the White Balance to Flash do?
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 10:46 PM   #14
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mchnz wrote:
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Don't reduce them in size so much, increase the compression until they fit under 250000 bytes. Or set up a free account somewhere like MrGarmonbozia wrote: [/b]
Quote:
Thanks for the tips. I too agree that AUTO should produce better images. Here is another shot taken outside this time where I get some bad focus.

How do you post larger images?

Answers:

No, the bench shot was done on auto, if I recall correctly.

Shots were not taken from a table. They were handheld using the viewfinder (using suggestions from the forum I no longer use the LCD). I tend to try to be fairly steady although, at times, movement is a touch frenetic.

As you suggested, I set up an account at Flickr so you can see the images larger. Here is the link:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Thanks for all the tips. I am jotting them down in my photo notebook. I am going to Ireland this summer and want to be able to bring back some nice crisp shots so getting in all the practice now.
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Old Mar 24, 2006, 11:57 PM   #15
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I've looked at some of the images - some seem to me to be quite good, for example "Tree On Sky" looks OK to me - I presume you are only worried about some of them?

Looking at the larger "Kiss" image, the background seems to be (more) in focus. Could there be any reason for that? Could the camera have been pre-focused on the background? Could the the couple have been moving a lot and the blurring be due to subject motion blur or an inability to find focus on a moving subject? I'm not sure whether motion blurr can be a problem with flash images (I don't use flash much).

Looking a the park bench (small version), depending on the distances to the bench and what ever you focused on, depth of field may be an issue. At max zoom, i.e. 72mm actual focal length, at an aperture of f/7.1, if the subject focused on was at 100 metres, the bench would have to be beyond 60 metres to be in focus. Because the exposure was 1/1000 sec., it is unlikely that shake would be an issue, but I still miss the odd shot to shake, so unlikely yes, impossible no.

An online depth of field calculator is available at http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html - just select the Canon S2 IS, and then plug in the actual focal length (6mm wide to 72mm tele), plug in your subject distance and it will figure out the DOF. Try to get a rough feel for how much more limited DOF becomes when zoom or aperture is changed.

If you want foreground and background to be in focus, close down the aperture (as the camera did for the park bench image), and use less zoom.
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Old Mar 25, 2006, 7:23 PM   #16
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If I might add to this, using P mode, you can move the "focus box" and use it to focus on your subject.

To move the focus box in P mode:
1. Press "set"
2. use the dial to move the box to your subject.
3. Press "set" again to leave it where it is positioned, or
you can just shoot away!

I hope this can help too!

Good luck! :G
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 1:04 AM   #17
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I just did unsharp mask, it does get a bit noisy though.
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 3:27 AM   #18
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To answer your questions:

1. Picasa is a free photo editor software by Google. Very simple and easy to use. It does not have all the bells and whistles that Photoshop does but it's pretty efficient as a tool to quickly fix "not so good" pictures (note that I did not say "bad" and the reason is because it can not fix bad pictures).

2. When you access "color effect" from the "func" menu, the last option is custom and under this option you can select three settings, sharpening being one of them. By + sharpening I mean access the custom menu and increase sharpening.

3. PP means Post Processing

4. WB is also accessed from the "func" menu. One of the options is "flash". It adjusts the white balance for flash light for a more natural look of the subjects being photographed with flash.

The S2 is known for its soft images. Irregardless of what camera mode you use (P, Av, Tv), my suggestion is to change the color effect to either VIVID or custom with increased sharpness. The reason I've repeated my suggestion three times is because I do believe it makes adifference. Even though you may think thatusing VIVIDthe colorswill be over saturated,they actually won't. You will get good results. Try it.
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Old Mar 26, 2006, 4:50 AM   #19
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I'm not sure that VIVID changes the sharpening - the manual states it changes the contrast and saturation. So you can just change the contrast setting if you don't want the colour saturation boosted. Note, boosting the contrast in-camera will increase the likelyhood of blown highlights (100% white sky etc).

Perhaps images that some consider soft are just a little lifeless and need more contrast to bring out the detail. I often boost the contrast in post-processing - so you can leave it until later if you're using picassa (or similar). Boosing the constrast does seem to produce an effect similar to VIVID, and reducing the contrast does seem to partially reverse the VIVID effect. If you haven't tried picassa, I would recommend you give it a go - it's free, it's easy to use, and you will be able to fix some images you would otherwise have to discard.

If you turn up sharpening, you may wind up with more noise in your images. Noise is harder to fix than than sharpness (noise removing software costs money and tends to smooth/remove detail).

Most advice at locations such as Tullio wrote: [/b]
Quote:
To answer your questions:

1. Picasa is a free photo editor software by Google. Very simple and easy to use. It does not have all the bells and whistles that Photoshop does but it's pretty efficient as a tool to quickly fix "not so good" pictures (note that I did not say "bad" and the reason is because it can not fix bad pictures).

2. When you access "color effect" from the "func" menu, the last option is custom and under this option you can select three settings, sharpening being one of them. By + sharpening I mean access the custom menu and increase sharpening.

3. PP means Post Processing

4. WB is also accessed from the "func" menu. One of the options is "flash". It adjusts the white balance for flash light for a more natural look of the subjects being photographed with flash.

The S2 is known for its soft images. Irregardless of what camera mode you use (P, Av, Tv), my suggestion is to change the color effect to either VIVID or custom with increased sharpness. The reason I've repeated my suggestion three times is because I do believe it makes adifference. Even though you may think thatusing VIVIDthe colorswill be over saturated,they actually won't. You will get good results. Try it.
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Old Mar 27, 2006, 6:36 AM   #20
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ELDDJOC wrote:
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Did you half depress the button to get a lock ?

this is what i am thinking. half press and waiting for the green sqaure.

do you have the af illuminator turned on.
try changing focus mode to centre or spot.

i dont own this cam or have much experience with it but srely a cam of this price can focus indoors in this type of light. very disappointing if it isnt a user or setting error


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