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Old Dec 18, 2003, 10:28 AM   #1
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Default Olympus Red Eye reduction better than Canon

I recently purchased an Canon A80 and am generally happy with it except for the red eye reduction. It takes great shots and I like the manual controls, but the red eye thing is driving me crazy. At a recent event, I took quite a few indoor flash shots and every one of them has red eye. In one shot of 5 children, every one of them had it. The thing is, one was looking to the left, one to the right, one looking up, one looking at me. All red eyes even though some were not even looking at the camera.

A friend also took a bunch of shots with an Olympus C4000Z. Barely a red eye to be found in over 100 shots.

I see the Olympus has a strobe red eye flash of about 5 bursts before it takes the shot. The Canon is just 1 flash before the actual flash.

I realize what causes red eye, have read the many posts about it. However, the Olympus seems to do a MUCH better job with the red eye reduction than my Canon A80. I have a friend with an A70 that also has the same complaint.

Has anyone else seen an advantage of one brand vs another like this?

I dont know if I can return/exchange the camera since I bought it online. I am looking at the Olympus Stylus 400.

Any comments or suggestions?
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 10:43 AM   #2
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As a general rule, the closer the flash is to a camera's lens, the greater the potential for redeye. So, smaller cameras are much more prone to it.

Redeye Reduction modes work by firing a preflash (or in some cases, a series of preflashes) prior to the main flash. This is designed to cause the pupils to shrink. This usually reduces, but does not often eliminate redeye.

Also, I generally shoot with Redeye Reduction turned off (I think that redeye reduction modes can spoil the photos, since the preflash used can change facial expressions).

In fact, my wife hates redeye reduction modes and focus assist lamps. The problem is that users often "shy away" when they see the focus assist lamps; and even worse, sometimes think that the photo has already been taken when seeing the preflashes from redeye reduction modes.

It's hard for someone to continue smiling, etc. (and still look natural doing it), while preflashes are going off in their face.

If you don't already own an image editing package, you may want to download the free irfanview from http://www.irfanview.com (make sure to download the free plug-ins too).

To use irfanview to reduce redeye, zoom in on an eye using the + key. I usually zoom into to around 100%. Then, use your mouse to select the area around the red (square box).

Then, the redeye reduction menu choice will work. However, I usually don't use it this way. A better way is using the Effects, Effects Browser Menu Choice. You'll see redeye correction there, too. The difference is that you can change the amount applied. You'll see a before and after box to help you determine how much is needed.

Depending on the amount of red, sometimes I use as little as -35; or as much as +20. I even vary the amount by eye sometimes.

Note: be careful not to apply it more than once on the same eye, or apply too much. Otherwise, you'll get unwanted artifacts where the square box is located.

Also, if you change the amount applied under the Effects, Effects Browser Menu Choice, the Redeye Reduction Menu choice will also use that amount (but I find it better to always use the Effects Browser for more control).

There are pros and cons to a camera with better redeye reduction. IMO, the cons of using it outweigh the reduced redeye (since it's easy to fix using software anyway. Others may have a different opinion.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 11:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Jim. Your posts are always helpful on this forum.

I have other programs as well as the irfanview that can remove red eye.......sometimes. The problem is.....

1) its a lot of effort to have to edit every flash shot taken
2) you cant always fix it. On a fairly close shot, where the eye is well defined, yes. But not when the subject is farther away and not looking at you.

If you would, please take a look at the shots here

http://www.photoaccess.com/share/gue...6F92905B&cb=PA


Please excuse the photoaccess viewer. It displays an 800 x 600 gif at best. This is the only online photo sharing site I have at the moment. And yeah, they are not great shots. Just to illustrate the red eye issue I have.

How would you fix these shots? Notice how subjects looking away from the camera till have red eye.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 12:29 PM   #4
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You need to zoom in on the eyes to fix it easier. Also, as mentioned in my last post, the Effects Browser Menu choice gives much more control (making sure you apply enough correction to fix it). I've had great success with it (although sometimes, you need to use more correction than the defaults).

The effects browser shows you a before and after box, that makes it easy to see how the choices impact the red, before you actually apply it to the photo.

Also, make sure you don't try to correct it more than once (or you'll get unwanted artifacts around the eyes). Sometimes, I've used quite a bit of correction, without any unwanted artifacts (as long as I don't try to apply the correction more than once).

I've found that Irfanview works pretty good for my photos. Sometimes, I'll use Compupic or other packages, too. Most image editing packages now have a redeye reduction mode. You may want to experiment with several, to find the one that suits your photos the best.

Some other users use an eye dropper in a more sophisticated image editor to sample the red, then change it to another color (i.e. light grey, etc.).

Unfortunately, about the only way to make sure you minimize it in more conditions, is to use a camera with an external flash, mounted high above the lens.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 1:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
In fact, my wife hates redeye reduction modes and focus assist lamps. The problem is that users often "shy away" when they see the focus assist lamps; and even worse, sometimes think that the photo has already been taken when seeing the preflashes from redeye reduction modes.
Yeah, I hate that. I got a lot of wasted exposures with film that way. With digital, If people think the picture has already been taken and start to move away, I can always delete and reshoot, but only if the people are willing. I've had it happen where people disbanded after the preflash and couldn't be convinced to get back together. Oh well-- they weren't worth it anyway.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 2:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
You need to zoom in on the eyes to fix it easier. Also, as mentioned in my last post, the Effects Browser Menu choice gives much more control (making sure you apply enough correction to fix it). I've had great success with it (although sometimes, you need to use more correction than the defaults).

The effects browser shows you a before and after box, that makes it easy to see how the choices impact the red, before you actually apply it to the photo.

Also, make sure you don't try to correct it more than once (or you'll get unwanted artifacts around the eyes). Sometimes, I've used quite a bit of correction, without any unwanted artifacts (as long as I don't try to apply the correction more than once).

I've found that Irfanview works pretty good for my photos. Sometimes, I'll use Compupic or other packages, too. Most image editing packages now have a redeye reduction mode. You may want to experiment with several, to find the one that suits your photos the best.

Some other users use an eye dropper in a more sophisticated image editor to sample the red, then change it to another color (i.e. light grey, etc.).

Unfortunately, about the only way to make sure you minimize it in more conditions, is to use a camera with an external flash, mounted high above the lens.
I did zoom in and was using the effects browser. If there is no iris/pupil to work with, just a light colored spot, there is nothing that can be corrected no matter what you do. You basically have to draw a new eye. This is pretty hard in the photos I link to since they are not looking straight on.

I take a fair amount of indoor flash shots of the kids. Again, some shots are easily fixed, some are not.


It would be nice to have a camera that doesn't have such a red eye problem to begin with. I'm having trouble deciding what that camera would be.

The Olympus Stylus 400 looks nice, but has no manual features. I do like the weatherproof design on it. Another that looks good is the Nikon 4300

Anyone?
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 3:44 PM   #7
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Again, the closer a flash is to a camera's lens, the greater the potential for redeye. In fact, these two models (Olympus Stylus 400, Nikon CP 4300) appear to exhibit worse redeye than your Canon, based on Jeff Keller's reviews at dcresource.com

His tests are probably not in controlled conditions, since I've seen models he thought did well, that in fact tend to have redeye in photos I've seen in online albums.

The angle of the flash to the eye can also make a huge difference. I've taken photos from 3 feet away with redeye reduction turned off, with little or no redeye, and photos from 10 feet away with "demon eye".

If you want a camera with little or no redeye, you'll need to go with an external flash, located high above the camera's lens -- or, take photos in better lighting to reduce the effect from a powerful flash located close to the camera's lens.

Also, one of your photos with the yellow spot, is not redeye -- it's flash reflection. The other side of the eye exhibits redeye (which could be easily reduced, since most software is looking for a particular shade of red.

Try using a higher setting for your redeye reduction, with the red portion highlighted.

You may also want to download trial versions of some of the other image editing packages, to see which one works best for your camera model.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 5:52 PM   #8
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I just wanted to tell you that you are not crazy. I had olympus before and now the A80...it appears that I have the same problem! I hate red eye mode, too...by the time I've gotten the shot, my kids have moved...I'm trying to figure out red eye on photoshop. Sorry I'm not helpful, but you're not the only one!

Amy
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 6:41 PM   #9
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What Olympus model did you have? Its a shame. I really like the A80, but I'd rather not have to take a trip through Photoshop every time I take flash shots.

I know red eye is a problem with all cameras to some extent, but when my pics have severe problems and my bud with an Olympus doesn't you have to take another look at things.
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Old Dec 18, 2003, 10:35 PM   #10
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It's most likely a little larger model. The subcompacts are going to be much worse (because the flash is located so close to the lens).

Also, the flash strength usually has to be higher in a subcompact model, because their lenses can't gather as much light (higher flash strength also contributes).

There are always tradeoffs. I'm using a pocketable camera now (Konica KD-510z/Minolta G500). I wouldn't trade it for any other pocketable camera on the market.

Is it work correcting redeye when it occurs? Sure it is, but you get pretty proficient at it with practice.

Is it worth it to be able to carry a camera with me everywhere in a pocket? To me, yes.
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