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Old Jul 2, 2004, 7:02 PM   #1
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Hi All

I purchased an S7000 camera here in Sydney just recently. I have had mixed success the with Camera and have only being using on Programmed and Auto Modes.

I have previously used a Nikon Coolpix and a Kodak DC290 (both 2.1mp) and have had no issues with just point and click shots. Using the S7000 the same way as the others I have the issues listed below.

I am finding if I don't get the subject to stand 100% still then the subject is totally blurry when I take the photo. I'm not refering to big movements either just a slight movement on of the head would wreck the photo. I pushed the ISO setting upto 400 and I still have the same issues. I am wondering if the timing on my S7000 is out or is it something that I'm doing wrong?

I hold the shutter half way down to focus and then once focused I depress the full way down. I have read the manual and can't seem to find anything.

Has anyone had this issue? Anybody got any ideas? What should the default shutter speed be when in programed mode?

Thanks

Josh
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 7:57 PM   #2
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Josh:

I don't own your camera, but from your description, it does sound like simple motion blur.

Can you post any examples of unmodified images with the problem (so we can see the EXIF data with shutter speed, focal length, aperture, etc.)?

Depending on available light, aperture, amount of zoom used, etc. , ISO 400 may not be fast enough to stop blur from camera shake.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to use a shutter speed that is 1/focal length or faster. In other words, if shooting at 50mm equivalent zoom, you need a shutter speed that is 1/50 second or faster. If shooting at 100mm equivalent zoom, you need to be 1/100 second or faster, etc. So, if you were experimenting at longer focal lengths (more zoom),these shutter speeds can be difficult to obtain in existing light (even in what appears to be a well lit area).

Post a couple of examples somewhere if you can. We can read the EXIF data from the image header and see what the camera's settings were. This will most likely reveal the problem.

If you don't have a place to post them, I'd suggest opening a free 30 day trial account at http://www.pbase.com

Trial accounts will allow up to 10mb of image uploads (enough for a few examples for users to look at).


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Old Jul 2, 2004, 8:02 PM   #3
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Hey

"so we can see the EXIF data with shutter speed, focal length, aperture, etc"

Thanks for the reply. I do not know how to enable these details. If you could point me in the right direction I will work it out by that and using the manual..

Thanks, Josh



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Old Jul 2, 2004, 9:07 PM   #4
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Josh:

It is not necessary for you to do anything to enable EXIF.

This is a header that is written into the image file by the camera. Many image editing packages can view this information.

If you can upload a few pics to a web site somewhere, then we'll be able to see this information by downloading your image files into a decent editor.

If you use pbase.com (they offer a free 30 day trial account), then the EXIF data is available underneath each photo on their web site (so we would not even need to download the photos to see it). Their software automatically extracts and displays this information.

To get an idea of what information is available, download a free image editor known as irfanview from http://www.irfanview.com (make sure to download the free plug-in's too).

Then, when you open a photo, you can see the EXIF information under "Image, Information".

I don't know what software came with your Fuji (I don't own one), but chances are, it can also display this information.

The EXIF information is very helpful in determining what is wrong with a photo, since it lets you see things like ISO speed, shutter speed, aperture, etc.

The reason I suggest uploaded unaltered images (no editing performed yet), is because some image editors actually strip away the information. If the image is "straight from the camera", then the EXIF will still be embedded in the image, and readable by many image editing packages.

Based on your description, it does sound like motion blur (but we'd need to see the image info to be sure). If so, we can probably give you some tips to minimize it.

BTW, we just went through a very severe thunderstorm, and my cable service (including internet access via cable modem) is now down. So, I'm usingbackup (dial-up) account now for internet access.

Given the transfer speeds via dial-up (cable modems spoil you), I'll probably wait until my cable is back up to attempt downloading any images (if you feel like uploading a few for us to look at).


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Old Jul 2, 2004, 10:10 PM   #5
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Jim

Here is one of the picks. Let me know what you think. I am going out shooting all afternoon and will have a stack more I think.

http://www.neverpayretail.com.au/DSCF0265.JPG

I'll pop on the forums tomorrow. The image is not too big. (432K)



Josh


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Old Jul 2, 2004, 10:52 PM   #6
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Josh:

Yep -- it's definitely motion blur.

The photo was taken at ISO 200, and the camera selected an F/2.93 aperture (probably the maximum for the focal length) with a shutter speed of only 1/7 second. Flash was not used.

Your focal length (amount of zoom used) was at 13mm actual, which translates to around a 58mm focal length equivalent on a 35mm camera.

So, to prevent motion blur from camera shake, you'd want a shutter speed of at least 1/58 second (1/focal length), for the amount of zoom used. Note that much faster shutter speeds would be needed to "stop action". I'm only talking about a still subject here!

Even if you would have set your ISO speed to 400 (it was set to 200), this would have only allowed shutter speeds of around 1/14 second (still too slow to preventmotion blur from camera shake -- much less subject movement).

It does appear that you havevery steady hands (otherwise, the entire photo would have been blurry -- not just the moving subject). Most users would require much faster shutter speeds without a tripod to keep that much of the frame sharp.

Bottom Line -- the light was nowhere neargood enough to take photos without a flash.

What is bright to the human eye, is not to the camera's lens.

Here is a useful chart (see the Exposure Values, F-Stops and Shutter Speeds section). Again, what your eyes tell you is bright (indoors), is not to a camera. Note that this chart is based on ISO 100. So, each time you double the ISO speed (settable in camera), you can also double the shutter speed. However, increasing ISO speed will add noise to the photo.

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleedawson/dcnotes/tables.htm

Note that there are a couple of products that can be used to reduce noise, should you decide that increasing ISO speed is the only way to get shutter speeds fast enough for proper exposure without too much blur (however, it's very unlikely you'll be successful unless lighting is dramatically better than in your example). Noise Ninja and Neat Image are probably the best two. Here are the download links:

http://www.picturecode.com

http://www.noiseninja.com

Of course, the easiest way, is just to use the camera's flash for your lower light photos. The flash itself freezes the action, so you don't need to be considered about shutter speeds, etc. Just make sure you are within your camera's flash range.


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Old Jul 2, 2004, 10:57 PM   #7
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Jim

Thanks for the info. See how the football shots turn out this afternoon. I will post tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for your help.

Josh
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Old Jul 2, 2004, 11:34 PM   #8
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No problem. This is avery common problem, so whenever I see someone mentioning blurry photos, I usually take a look at the post (although I rarely browse through the Fuji form).

BTW, the "maker notes" in the EXIFshow that focus was locked (just in case you were wondering). You can easily tell that yours was motion blur (versus a depth of field or focus problem) by looking at your pet's head carefully (you can see a "double image" type pattern on the edges of the head). Of course, the shutter speed used (1/7 second) also points to the problem.

Also, the maker notes indicate that the camera did give you a blur warning. Again, I don't own a Fuji camera, so I don't know how yours works. Typically, this is a warning lamp flashing when you half press the shutter button, indicating that shutter speeds will be too slow to prevent blur from camera shake. Your manual probably explains how your S7000 "blur warning" works.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of non-DSLR camera models are not suitable for "existing light" photos (no flash) indoors (especially for moving subjects). If this is something you really need (a relatively high resolution camera, with the ability to take sharp indoor photos with no flash or tripod), then you'll need deeper pockets.

Most of the Digital SLR models do quite well in this respect, since they can shoot at much higher ISO speeds (with lower noise), compared to a non-DSLR model like your S7000.

Unfortunately, the very tiny sensors used in non-DSLR cameras are not very good at higher ISO speeds. However, the use of tiny sensors does allow manufacturers to build cameras with greater optical zoom range in a very compact package. To get the same zoom range (and lens brightness) in a DSLR, as you have in your Fuji S7000, would be quite expensive (mostly due to lens cost), and would most likely require more than one lens to achieve the same range. Of course, the camera and lenses wouldbe much larger and heavier, too.

So, my advise is to learn your cameras strengths andlimitations - taking advantage of it's strengths, and finding workarounds for it'slimitations (as in usingthe flash for low light photos).


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Old Jul 3, 2004, 12:05 AM   #9
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Jim

I'm becoming a camera geek and I like it. Reading the manual and learning.

A lot of the things you have written I do not understand as yet but I will be looking for the blur warning. Once I learn a lot more about aperture and the many other things you have mentioned I should be upto getting a new camera.

Thanks for your help.

Do you know of any sites that deal with learning how to use an SLR and the principals of aperture and the like. I have a Nikon F80 which I enjoy using and I'm looking forward to using it in Asia for 3 weeks in september but I want to understand what I'm doing prior to going on the holiday

Thanks

Josh
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Old Jul 3, 2004, 12:56 AM   #10
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Josh:

The "maker notes" I referred to are unique to a manufacturer. Fuji apparently decided to include information on focus lock and blur warning in theirs. Frankly, I wish all manufacturers did so (it would make troubleshooting problems much easier).

Aperture, huh? Well..... there was a discussion thread yesterday on aperture. However, it was simply discussing lens brightness. The discussion really didn't get into Depth of Fieldcontrol (which is something else you'll want to understand).

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...amp;forum_id=2

Unfortunately, I can't recommend any sites that may be good for learning more about using an SLR. I'm sure that there are some very good ones around. Perhaps more users will respond.

BTW, I hope you plan on bringing your Fuji. It would be a shame to leave it at home. Digicams are nice, since you have "instant gratification". Also, you may want to check into how your film will be handled when travelling (since airlines are probably getting stricter on security lately). It would be a shame to lose all of your images because someone insisted on scanning your film (xray's will ruin it).


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