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Old Jan 15, 2006, 8:15 PM   #1
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I used to have a DX6490 and I almost never had any problems with blurry photos. (But now that I think about it, I almost never turned the flash off since I never ventured out of Auto or the SCN modes) With the P850, I am getting blurry pics left and right. I wonder if it is because the zoom capabilities are way higher on this new camera, if the Image Stabilization feature is set right or if the Image Stabilizer feature is no good at all.

Does turning my flash off makes for more blurry pics?

My head is spinning, I am trying to learn to take good pics and at the same time I am trying to figure out this camera. I am growing gray hair! (I always had, I only think is worst now :lol

Ok, when you go to the Menu the third tab has the Image Stabilizer option, I have it under Single. Is that correct or should I change it to Continuos?

I have a feeling it has to do with me "playing" with the flash. But shouldn't you only use it if neccesary? I thought natural lighting is the best option possible. And if I am already in a well lit area wouldn't the flash then overexpose? I am soo confused...:?
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 8:58 PM   #2
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Hi very crafty 2,

Usually it is a good ideea to post a picture with problems (EXIF info included) to allow us to take a look at the data and see what's wrong. Here is some info andsome suggestions that helped me:
- the "Single" setting for image stabilization is recommended to save some battery. In this way, the image stabilization system kicks in only when you press the shutter. It makes sense to set it for "Continuous" when you shoot video. Some people recommendturning it off when using a tripod.

- image stabilization helps with camera movements due to hand shaking - if the subject is moving the IS does not help

- a good grip of the camera with you hands helps a lot to limit its movement. Framing through the viewfinder can also help.

- if you shoot in Manual mode or Shutter Priority mode, try to use 1/60 or less (that is 1/80, 1/100 and so on) if your hands are shaky (this is what I do also). This setting is for no zoom at all. There is a rule that links the focal length with the recommended shutter speed when shooting handheld - use a shutter speed that is 1/focal length or smaller. At no zoom, the P850 has 36 mm (in 35 mm equivalent) so the shutter speed should be 1/36 at most. 1/60 is a litle more conservative. At full zoom the P850 has 432 mm so 1/500 should be OK. In principle the IS should halve these values (that is, from 1/30 instead of 1/60 - to 1/250 instead 1/500), but it depends on how firm you grip is. You need to experiment with these shutter speeds to see what works for you. Don't forget that if the subject is moving you need to further increase the shutter speed.

- if you have the AF set to the default setting (multi something) change it to center zone (or selectable) when in PASM modes - it works better and faster.

- related to flash - sometimes you need to use it even in good light - for example when you shootwith the light coming from behind the subject - by default the part of the subject facing the camera will be underexposed because of all the light around it. In this case the flash will help obtain a good exposure of the subject (this is called fill flash)

I forgot to ask - when using the camera with the tripod, is the image sharp or still blurry? If it is blurry even with the tripod, you camera might be defective.

I hope (some of) these will help.

Ken
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 9:07 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for your explanation! It really helps a lot.

When I use my tripod the pics come out perfect. When I don't use my tripod I get a completely different result. I am loosing my grip

I am going to look 'tru my files and possibly try to post some examples.
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 9:22 PM   #4
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very crafty 2 wrote:
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When I use my tripod the pics come out perfect. When I don't use my tripod I get a completely different result. I am loosing my grip
Then it is definitely the hand shake :-).
If you force the flash off, the camera will try to compensate by increasing the exposure time in low light (also increasing the ISO if it is set on Auto), and thus the shutter speed is decreased - the only exception is in the Manual mode where you will see theexposure compensation in the red, and the SCN mode where thecamera might overrideyour flash setting.

In my case, whenever the shutter speed becomes smaller than 1/30 at no zoom and I cannot change other settings to bring it back, I try to put it on something firm or a tripod if possible. I'm also working on my grip :-).

Ken
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 9:44 PM   #5
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I went (real fast) 'tru my pics and couldn't find one single example. Shooting the same "item" with and without tripod. But by your explanation I have come to the conclusion that it has to do with the No Flash option and my shaky hands


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Old Jan 15, 2006, 10:37 PM   #6
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Ken gave very good advice that will work no matter the camera you have. I have some trouble when my shutter speed is at 1/80 or slower. I do best when using ISO 100 and setting the arperture and shutter speed so I can compensate for the shake when handheld. Some shots like shooting the moon, I set the timer and then focus and click the shutter. For my DX6490 ten seconds later the shutter fires off with out my shaky hands attached! Just some thoughts!

Dawg
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Old Jan 15, 2006, 10:40 PM   #7
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Not using the flash could be making the camera go with a slower shutter speed then you can hand hold at.

Try using shutter pref. so you can be at a hand holdable speed for the given situation.

BiLL

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Old Jan 16, 2006, 10:22 AM   #8
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Even with IS you need a lot of light at high zoom or you need to use a tripod. At distances greater than about 8 feet the built-in flash will be of little use.

At wide angle IS really helpful. Without IS I can shoot hand held down to about 1/60 or 1/30 of a second. With IS on I can shoot down to 1/15 of a second. Sitting with my elbows braced on my knees I can get down to 1/8 of a second. This isatwide angle.

I have my IS set for "Single" which means the IS doesn't kick on until I half press the shutter. I've found I get better results this way.

If you don't like using a tripod at times, consider buying a monopod. It isn't as steady as a tripod, but is a lot better than handheld. A monopod is a lot smaller than a tripod when not extended and can double as a walking stick when on a long walk.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 7:27 PM   #9
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Thanks!
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