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Old Jun 18, 2006, 9:23 AM   #1
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Hello!

I purchased a Fujifilm V10 on Friday and immediately took it out with me to the bar with my girlfriends. I hadn't had a chance to play with any of the settings, so all the pictures I took were on auto. They turned out pretty nice, except when I enlarge the picture to "actual pixel size" in Photoshop, it looks like an oil painting rather than a picture. I've never seen anything like this before! I don't plan on enlarging any of these pics, but are they ok to print at 4X6?

From the research I've done online, it would seem to be caused by a high ISO setting....is that the likely case? I can't tell what was used. In the future, what would be better to use in a low light situation like a bar? Should I manually set it to a lower setting and just use a flash?

I'm fairly new to this, so any help would be appreciated! Thank yoU!
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 9:55 AM   #2
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Look up one of these programs:
noiseninja
neatimage (this is the one I own)
Both have completely free versions that let you try them out.

If what you saw was digital noise (which is what higher ISO images produce) then one of those programs should be able to remove it. They aren't magical, they work well on some images and not on others. They work better when a portion of the image has no detail (a wall of solid color, the sky with no clouds, ....)

They are both basically the same, just made by different people. What they do is sample a portion of your image and learn the patter of the noise that your camera produces. Then it removes it mathamatically.

I would suggest that you use a lower ISO and use the built-flash. Realize that the flash will be fairly weak, and only reach about 10-12 feet. But that is often enough for simple group shots in locations like bars or parties.

Eric
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 9:59 AM   #3
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Thanks Eric!

I'll check out those programs. But if I were to print them as is as 4x6's, would the noise show up?


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Old Jun 18, 2006, 10:40 AM   #4
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In a 4 x 6, the noise would be quite a bit less noticeable, depending on your camera's resolution but it would still be there.
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Old Jun 18, 2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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Get a ruler or measuring tape and display them on your screen at 6 inches width. If they look OK they will probably print OK. Make sure you just zoom the display and don't actually resize the images.

The 4:3 ratio of your photos requires some to be trimmed from the long side to print a 4 X 6. I would suggest you do that yourself rather than let the photofinisher do it. Be sure to not remove any more pixels than you have to trim off. This is an easy little freeware if you don't already have something that will crop to a preset ratio of size: http://ekot.dk/programmer/JPEGCrops/

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Old Jun 18, 2006, 11:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input!

I'll try out the noise reduction programs. I've been testing the camera out with lower ISO settings and its much better. I guess you just have to learn how to work the camera before you expect great pics!
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 10:30 AM   #7
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On Saturday, I was taking pictures at a small folk club. I was not able to use flash so to get maximum shutter speed and minimize motion blur everything was done at maximum ISO and wide open aperture.

On the monitor, the 7Mp images show significant noise...but printing at 8x10 and the 'noise' largely disappeared. I am sure that at 4x6 there would be no visible 'noise'. The monitor shows 'noise' as much more visible than it actually will be when printed.


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Old Jun 19, 2006, 11:17 AM   #8
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Thanks Meryl. I'm going to have a few of them printed as 4x6's just to re-assure myself that they are of OK quality.

I tried NeatImage and Ninja Noise on some of the pictures and honestly, I didn't see any difference. When I enlarged them to actual pixel size, they still looked really bad and had that severely plastic look. I should learn how to use those programs properly.


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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:17 PM   #9
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Brocksgirl wrote:
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they still looked really bad and had that severely plastic look. I should learn how to use those programs properly.

Brocksgirl,

You hit on a very important point here. Noise reduction software is great but it takes a practiced touch. Many people who start using it go overboard and end up with the plastic looking photos you describe. So, it will take some time so you can develop an eye for what is an appropriate trade-off of noise and destroying image (which is what results in the plasticy look).

One thing is certain - always edit a copy of your original photo - don't ever edit the original. I have gone back on several occasions to reprint a photo after I've learned more about post-processing or gotten a new piece of software with better functionality.
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Old Jun 20, 2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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Hereare a couplefrom the Folk Club. Agian it was done at with a point and shoot, handheld, ISO800, f4, full optical zoom, no flash. Yes, there was noise visible on the screen but none on the 8x10 and none when reduced for email.






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