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Old Mar 25, 2007, 9:38 PM   #61
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Thanks again Jim.

I've been studying the histogram tonight and looking at my photos, some are easier to read than others. I've added the histogram to the images here.

This first one is clearly under-exposed (we don't need a chart to tell us that).


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Old Mar 25, 2007, 9:39 PM   #62
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This photo is one which I feel was spoiled by the light issue. The histogram is slightly less clear here.


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Old Mar 25, 2007, 9:41 PM   #63
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And this photo doesn't look too bad. The histogram is confusing. How should I read what this one is indicating?
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 9:46 PM   #64
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This one looks under-exposed at the bottom, but over-exposed at the top!! And perhaps this one would indicate that the light issue is a sensor problem and not an exposure issue?

And what's with the histogram?
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 2:56 PM   #65
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Well, having spent the last two days out in the sunshine with the camera, I'm just not happy. The camera has a few nice aspects, but general performance is poor compaired to other cameras in the price range.

The P880 is clearly the stronger of the two, so my only decision now is whether to stick with the P880 for a while, or just invest in a DSLR. Either way the S9600 is going.

I've been looking at the Canon EOD 350D. The reviews are all rave, and I've found a seller stocking at £260, so it's a fantastic buy.
Likely, I'm gonna go buy this one on Thursday.
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Old Mar 27, 2007, 10:51 PM   #66
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You have it right in regard to under, over, and just right exposure. Histo 1 is definitely underexposed - yo've lost detail in the dark areas. However, the right hand side is still not as far right as it could go - you'd want drag the right side further right in Photoshop (using LEVELS). The dark silhouettes of the distant mountains may actually look good. If you are using a very simple image editing program you can fake it by increasing contrast then shifting brightness upward - not as good as levels, but it'll still be better.



Histo 2 is shifted toward overexposure, but everything is within the range of capture. Again, contrast is low - you'd drag the left side further left and the right side a little further right with levels. Again, it can be faked by increasing contrast and shifting brightness.



Histo 3 is pretty well centered, idicating accurate exposure, but again, the scene is low in contrast and the range captured is well within the range of good exposure. Again stretch the left further left and the right further right.



Histo 4 is basically an underexposed scene with a large area that is very bright because you were shooting directly into the sun. The scene has too much contrast to capture it all. Not much you could ever do with this one.



Adjustng the histogram with Photoshop or another program will really improve these shots. You could set contrast higher in the camera, too, but I never do that - I always set contrast low (to make sure I capture the full range) and adjust later in Photoshop. If its set in camera, you could find its too much for the following scene you go to shoot unless you readjust for each scene you come upon. I'm lazy, so I set contrast low and adjust in Photoshop.



You have a camera with many advanced features that require something the typical point & shoots don't require - thinking, planning, and adjusting the image that comes out of the camera. Some folks don't like doing all that and want point & shoot simplicity (but in return must accept whatever the camera gives them). If you learn, and take advantage of the advanced features, in the long run you will produce better photographs. But its a choice you gotta make - you want to be happy with the camera. The bottom line is you have to be happy with the final images, and whatever camera delivers is "the best camera" for you. Good luck on your decision!




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Old Mar 28, 2007, 6:04 AM   #67
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Thanks again.

I'm going to check out the 350D later today so I'll make up my mind once I've had a play. I'll keep you posted.

As for the S9600.

I took it out yesterday and of the 140 images I shot, only 8 were considered good enough to keep! Over-exposed, under-exposed, blurred... Could well be that I'm just not using the camera correctly, but I had no problems with my P800 in the same manual modes.

I was pleased with these three shots. Slightly under-exposed but sharp and detailed enough with the zoom.




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Old Mar 28, 2007, 6:06 AM   #68
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The robin was actually interacting with the bluetit. I almost captured them right next to each other but my camera let me down since it was not set for high speed shooting!


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Old Mar 28, 2007, 6:07 AM   #69
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And since my shots of the swans all turned out very poor... Here's a duck!
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Old Mar 28, 2007, 10:58 AM   #70
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Hey Machine,

The 350D is undoubtedly a better camera. However, it doesn't automatically make you a better photographer. I will be surprised if your images are significantly better, from an exposure standpoint, from your new camera. This is not a criticism of you. I have used my son-in-law's Nikon D70 on a few occasions. It is definitely a nicer camera than my Fuji 9000. But the pictures still suffer from my weaknesses as a photographer. A better camera it was, but the pictures that I took were not any better. In your situation, you still need to understand how to set the camera for proper exposure. In other words, it takes a little forethought.
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