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Old Jun 10, 2005, 6:48 PM   #1
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Like the title says...

For instance,... this picture came out without much blur (IMO):



Why? Well I forgot to turn off my flash, and it flashed when the photo was taken.

This photo, however:



...aaaand this photo:



...came out much more blurry than the first one, and they used natural lighting from my window... other than that, nothing was really changed from photo 1 to photos 2 and 3.

Any ideas? Is my camera just too cheap and crappy? Could that be the reason? (Just got my new Kodak Easyshare C300 today) I can't really afford anything more expensive...

[EDIT]
Yeah, excuse the power-range bedsheets that's all that was clean :G
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 7:10 PM   #2
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Oh, Kujila, I am with you. You (& I) would love our indoor pictures to be as astoundingly in focus as the outdoor pics lit by the sun. But, know what? The natural light chairs are really much more interesting than the flat-looking, flash-filled, in-focus chair. Know what I mean? The focus just ain't ever gonna be as fine indoors with your fairly inexpensive point n' shoot (& mine.) So, we must:

* Learn the manual controls (increase your ASA to 400)
* use a tripod indoors, and
* just leave the flash on when it asks to, but...
* sometimes a little blur is OK 'cuz natural light is so nice. Right?

Here's some blur I was OK with:

--Scott

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 7:36 PM   #3
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Ah, I see... the only manual control I have is exposure correction where I can add up to +2.0 or subtract up to -2.0... Without a tripod or flat surface, though, increasing the exposure makes it b-b-b-blur like crazy :-)

I really wish I could have my old teacher's Nikon D70... Oy, I loved working with that baby, the pictures were astounding!

...meh, but until I strike it rich, I'm stuck with my mediocre Kodak Easyshare C300 =P

Thanks for the reply as well!

[EDIT] (Corrected spelling issue)
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 9:26 PM   #4
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Your problem here is not camera focus, it is blur caused by camera shake. In low light, the shutter has to remain open longer in order to get the correct exposure, and any hand movement shows up in the picture. To take pictures like this without the blur, you will need either a tripod, or another way to keep camera still. some people use sandbags or other objects to brace the camera.

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 9:45 PM   #5
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As Brian already pointed out, what you're seeing is motion blur from camera shake.

The last two photos in your post were taken with a shutter speed of1/8 second. At a shutter speed that slow, unless you have very steady hands, slowly and smoothlysqueezing the shutter button, you're going to get blur from camera shake.

Most people are not going to be able to get sharp photos at shutter speeds this slow (at least not consistently).

The rule of thumb is shutter speeds need to be 1/focal length to prevent blur from camera shake. In other words, with your Kodak C300 (which has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 37mm), you'll want to keep shutter speeds at 1/37 second or faster.

That's not going to happen indoors without a flash with most non-DSLR models.

Now, this is only a rule of thumb. Some people can hold a camera steadier than others, and other people may require even faster shutter speeds.

What's bright to the human eye is not to a camera's lens. To get an idea of the shutter speeds the camera will need to use for proper exposure, see this handy online exposure calculator.

First of all, set the options under the calculator to 1/3 stop. Then, set the Film Speed to 200 (this is the same thing as ISO speed on your camera), and set the Aperture to f/4.5 (this is the aperture your Kodak C300 will always use).

Then, when you select a lighting condition you'll be able to see the shutter speed the camera will need for proper exposure of an image. This is only a guide to give you a better understanding of how these variables (Lighting, Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO speed) work together, since actual lighting conditions will vary.

http://www.robert-barrett.com/photo/...alculator.html

As others have already mentioned, if you can't use a flash, use a tripod indoors (but a tripod only helps for camera shake, and won't help blur fromsubject movement).


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Old Jun 10, 2005, 9:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips, all!


@ Jim:
I cannot edit any settings on my camera because they are not offered. I have minor manual control over exposure, but that's all.

The camera is so cheap I cannot change ISO or aperture settings!

But like you pointed out, when I set the flash to off, the camera probably compensates by lowering shudder speed (I assume, that's what I took from what you typed )

Darn it, I wish Kodak gave me more bang for my buck!
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 10:09 PM   #7
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Kujila wrote:
Quote:
@ Jim:
I cannot edit any settings on my camera because they are not offered. I have minor manual control over exposure, but that's all.

I am aware of that (which is why I pointed out that you need to use f/4.5 and ISO 200 with the exposure calculator). Your camera will always use f/4.5, and it's Auto ISO will use ISO 200 in lower light conditions. I was only suggesting using it to get an idea of the shutter speeds needed in different lighting condtions so you'd see how your camera would work.

You need to make sure you've got enough light for shutter speeds of around 1/30 - 1/40 second to prevent motion blur from camera shake with your model. Otherwise, you'll need to use a tripod (or the flash).

Quote:
But like you pointed out, when I set the flash to off, the camera probably compensates by lowering shudder speed (I assume, that's what I took from what you typed )
Your camera used a shutter speed of 1/60 second for the first photo (which was taken with flash). This is typical.

But, flash photos are different for preventing blur. Different rules apply.

As long as the shutter speeds are not slow enough to expose your subject for the lighting conditions you're in, the flash itself freezes the action.

This is because the flash burst is very short (usually around 1/1000 second or faster,depending on your range to subject). So, the flash itself has the ability to freeze the action, since the subject is only exposed properly for the duration of the flash burst.

I've used 1/8 second shutter speeds indoors in darker rooms to take photos without a tripod of moving subjects without motion blur at lower ISO speeds. In brighter rooms, you may need faster shutter speeds to keep ambient light from exposing your subject (which is why many models default to around 1/60 second or thereabouts at lower ISO speeds with flash).

By the way, there is one technique that can be used to influence shutter speeds if you're in a situation where you can't use a flash or tripod. Exposure Compensation.

I noticed in one of your previous posts that you said using increasing it makes it blur like crazy. There is a reason for that.

Exposure Compensation is designed so that you can expose an image brighter or darker than the camera's autoexposure algorithms would normally expose it.

If you use +EV compensation, it's using slower shutter speeds to get a brighter exposure. So, that mean's you'll get more motion blur if everything else is identical if shutter speeds are too slow.

If you use -EV compensation, the camera is going to use faster shutter speeds to get a darker exposure. I sometimes underexpose images about a stop on purpose if I'm already using the maximum ISO speed a camera supports.

For example, in your second and third photos, if you would have used -1 EV Exposure Compensation, your shutter speeds would have been twice as fast. But, you would have had an underexposed (darker) image.

When you try to correct an underexposed image in post processing using an Image Editor, you get more noise (similar to film grain). So, there are downsides to that approach. But, if you can't use a flash or tripod, sometimes this technique can be useful because underexposure can be preferable to motion blur, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.


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Old Jun 10, 2005, 10:29 PM   #8
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@Jim:

Thanks a ton for the information Maybe my camera isn't as useless as I originally thought :idea:

You've really got me thinking now... thanks lots!
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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Well, I was only trying to make sure you understood why you'd need a tripod to take photos in those conditions without a flash (and a better understanding of exposure helps).

I'd suggest getting in the habit of looking at the camera settings used when photos don't turn out as expected.

Many image editors can see this information. If your editor doesn't report things like shutter speed, aperture (which will always be f/4.5 with your model), and ISO speed, you can download a free editor from http://www.irfanview.com that can give this info. Make sure to download the free plugins, too.

You'll see the camera settings used under Image, Information, EXIF.

Keep in mind that the "rule of thumb"numbers I was quoting you on shutter speeds needed to help prevent motion blur from camera shake are only for camera shake, not subject movement. You may need much faster shutter speeds for moving subjects (and often do).

As for camera shake, think smooooth when pressing the shutter button if you know you're in lighting where you're not going to get shutter speeds as fast as desired. Practice holding the camera steady, brace your elbows against your side to help, take a deep breath, let it out, and smoothly squeeze the shutter button.

You may be surprised at how well you can do with a little practice (but don't expect a highpercentage ofkeepers at 1/8 second, as the rule of thumb for hand held photos with your model is shutter speeds more than 4 times as fast). ;-)

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Old Jun 11, 2005, 6:59 PM   #10
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Jim: I took your advice and took some natural light photos with a sturdy base (My wooden bed frame in this case).

You were totally right! The picture came out clear and crisp (for my camera, hehe)

I've made them 640x480, 72 rez, and ran them through neat image to make them web-friendly:

------------------

---------

---------

------------------

As you can see, the blur and junk is gone! NeatImage soft of destroyed some of the texture on my computer chair, but whatever, eh

Here are the unfiltered (non-NeatImage) web-friendly images:



...hmm, I actually prefer the second set of images because the chair has its texture still

Anywho, thanks for the advice and help!
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