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-   -   Why do pics from $300 cameras blow away my D70?>#@$%!! (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/nikon-dslr-57/why-do-pics-%24300-cameras-blow-away-my-d70-%40%24%25-42264/)

Upalms Jan 4, 2005 3:58 PM

I'm at my witts end, and my wifes about to divorce me over this camera. I've had friends show me pics taken with $3-400 cameras over the holidays and they look awsome, inside shots at parties at night, Xmass morning, the shots are clear as can be, no blur, no grain. I have a $1300 camera, and even invested in the SB 600 flash, and 99% of the pics we take inside are crap, blury, yellow cast, dark & grainy. Now I know people will say that this is a high end camera and I have to experiment "Off Auto" But give me a break, if a $300 camera can take flawless pics on Auto, why can;t a $1300 do the same??? My wife is so disgusted she won;t even touch the camera and wants to "Go to Costco to buy something cheap so we can get some good pictures before our kids grow up and move out"

I simply can't beleive I need to adjust a bunch of settings, and use a tripod just to snap a quick pic of my 2 year old doing something spur of the moment inside our house. It seems outragous to me that this camera can't take a decent, and I mean even usable picture inside on auto so my wife can use it to take pictures of our kids.

I went from a Kodak DC290 that would take awsome, clear pictures even if I was running down the street with it, no blur, no dark & grainy, just clear crisp pics. Then we moved up to the Dimage 7i, frankly it wasn;t bad, but I swear the old Kodak took better pics, now I have the D70, and it takes the worst pics of all three, I give up.:(

Kenny_Leong Jan 4, 2005 4:04 PM

Has your D70 got one of those automatic motor-driven focusing lenses? I think it's just something to do with the setup. The D70 is a semi-pro camera, so it's necessary to read up on the instructions in order to use it properly, just like any other camera.

Kenny_Leong Jan 4, 2005 4:08 PM

I forgot to say .. in capable hands, or should I say, knowledgeable hands, the D70 should be able to obtain much better quality photos than cheap cameras...or at least equal to the good looking pictures that the cheaper cameras take. If your D70 has one of those camera lenses that move around by itself via a computer controlled motor for auto-focusing, then you should be able to focus and get real sharp photos. Have you used a SLR film camera before?

It may even be possible that your camera could be faulty.

PeterP Jan 4, 2005 4:34 PM

This has actually been covered is a few other threads, the P&S cameras do a lot of the sharpening and image cleanup internally for you, presenting you with a finished image.

The DSLR's do not by default, they sort of expect you to do the final image processing. The DSLR's also have a IR cut filter(not removable) that makes the image look soft until it has been run througha bit of unsharping. You can usually go in and change the internal processing settings to increase sharpening if you really want to.

I'm not a Nikon DSLR user, so I am not sure whereit would beset in a Nikon.


Peter.

The Scubbler Jan 4, 2005 4:49 PM

Wow....it's a good thing the Capt. seems to have gone as the D70 is perfect, according to him !

I'd have to admit that my Coolpix 8800 is not the best at "snapshot" indoor photography. My Kodak 3MP takes better indoor photos. And I agree that you would expect good results on full "auto".

My own conclusion is that my Coolpix, and your D70 may be better suited to outdoor photography. My wife will never spend the time to learn all the functions on my 8800 and is quite happy with the Kodak for her shots. She really appreciates my 8800 shots for the clarity and colour, but we both prefer the easiness and reliability of the Kodak for indoors. This is an unscientific rationale,but I really think that at this time,a serious digital photographer would benefit from a high end camera for serious stuff and a pocketable point and shoot for snapshots or times when carrying the Big Gun is awkward.

So there's an excuse to buy yet another camera ! My wife will shake her head if she reads this.

Steve..who would also like a D70 !

Walter C Jan 4, 2005 5:26 PM

It seems like you may have inadvertently change a setting or two on the D70, such as the White Balance and/or the ISO. As an 8800 user I'm not familiar with the D70, but it may have a choice in the Menu for resetting the camera to it's defaults. Try that.

Otherwise, you may have just gotten a defective D70.

Walter

JimC Jan 4, 2005 6:00 PM

Upalms wrote:
Quote:

I have a $1300 camera, and even invested in the SB 600 flash, and 99% of the pics we take inside are crap, blury, yellow cast, dark & grainy. Now I know people will say that this is a high end camera and I have to experiment "Off Auto" But give me a break, if a $300 camera can take flawless pics on Auto, why can;t a $1300 do the same??? My wife is so disgusted she won;t even touch the camera and wants to "Go to Costco to buy something cheap so we can get some good pictures before our kids grow up and move out"
Well, we wouldn't want that to happen (kids grow up and move out before you get any good pictures). :lol:

Your post sounds like many other posts, from users of many other cameras. Usually, it's something relatively simple that they are doing wrong.

Yellow cast is usually due to a white balance problem -- normally from incandescent light light exposure. Blurry is from shutter speeds being too slow. Grainy is from ISO speeds too high and/or underexposed areas.

A dumb question: Are you using the SB600 when you're taking these photos? Is your camera in full auto when you take them? In most indoor lighting conditions, shutter speed isn't as critical. This is because the flash burst itself has the impact of freezing the action (because the flash burst is very short, and the subject is usually not exposed well enough by light other than the flash burst).

But, if you've got too much ambient light, sometimes you can get some exposure from ambient light -- causing some of the problems you're mentioning.

I would typically expect to see these types of problems if you're trying to do something different than the autoexposure would normally do, causing the ambient light to contribute too much to the exposure.

I'd suggest posting a sample or two of your problem photos (preferrably without the EXIF information stripped out). Or better yet, since you've got your own web site, just a link to an unmodifed, straight from the camera image. That way, forum members could look at your camera settings to try and see what is going wrong.



erichlund Jan 4, 2005 6:49 PM

Grainy: What ISO Setting. If you have ISO 1600 set, you will get grainy (noisy is the actual term here). The camera default is Auto ISO and it WILL set 1600 in low light.

Yellow: White Balance not set for your incandescent lights, hence the yellow. If you are not in Auto White Balance nor incandescent, try the latter.

Blurry: Could be several things. Improper camera holding (Camera Shake) or long exposure in low light (not using flash?)

Dark: EV set too low. Nikon sets their cameras conservative on exposure to ensure that highlights don't get blown out. Set +1.0 EV and see if that doesn't give proper exposure.

Before my camera shop let me have the camera, they set it up for me so these things would not bite me in the backside. In AUTO, the camera will do some strange things, especially in low light. You can turn auto ISO off, which may very well fix your noise problem. If the light is very low, it may not meter well for the white balance, so you will need to choose incandescent. Blurry you will probably have to figure out on your own. The "kit" lens is a great lens, but it's neither the sharpest nor the fastest lens in the Nikkor line. For candid shooting indoors, you may want to pick up a fast wide angle or normal lense. My second lens is the AF 50mm f1.8 D. It's very fast and VERY sharp (and very inexpensive:cool:). I believe there's an f2.0 35mm, but that might be getting into some money.

All the above said, the following is definitely key. You MUST read and understand and apply the information in the user manual. Cultivate a relationship with the guy at your camera shop. You didn't go cheap and buy it on the internet did you? The guy at the camera shop is worth at least several hundred dollars in long term advice, but you have to support him by purchasing from him.

Cheers,

Eric

Mark Williams Jan 4, 2005 6:56 PM

Please don't take this the wrong way but it sounds like this just isn't the right cam for you. I have the D70 and my wife has a Panasonic FZ15. I swear that her point and shoot pics look much much better than mine. However, when I use the D70 for planned shots (mostly landscapes and macro stuff) my pics blow hers away because I took my time to painstakingly maximize all the setting to produce the best possible capture. So the bottom line for me is I try to use the right cam for the right situation. Off course I have met some photographers who can get great shots no matter what they use.

Hope this helps,

Mark

bern888 Jan 4, 2005 10:15 PM

1 Attachment(s)
D70, with 50mm1.4, set on 125 shutter, F5.6. Custom incandesent WB setting. iso 1600, with a little noise relief. I dont see all the problems with adjusting the camera as necessary, just like any other high-end camera, unless you expect a P&S type camera

Onyx Jan 4, 2005 11:12 PM

Don't blame the camera, it's operator error. The camera doesn't take the picture, it merely processes what you point it to see, and how you've set it up to process. If you're not prepared to learn the functions and settings of the camera "off auto" then you will be much better served by the $300 camera. It's as simple as that.

fh Jan 5, 2005 2:24 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Upalms,

Don't give up. D70 is a great camera when you start understanding it and understanding SLR as a whole. Bear in mind that winter indoor kid pictures is among the most difficult situation: low light and frenetic moving subject..

I had the same problems when I started to take shots of my daughter with my D70.

Then I slowly started to better understand my lenses, flash (SB800) and simple exposure techniques. They will also be situation where you won't get a decent shot and that's purely because of the combination of low light, moving subject and/or desire to not use flash or higher iso.

Taking young kids pictures is almost as hard as raising them....but don't forget the pleasure you will get when catching the 'perfect moment'...

I attached one of thelow light indoor picture of my daughter that I am not too unhappy with. I am seriously not sure I would have been able to get a similar shot with a P&S without the use of a flash.

Hang out there, don't give up, we are all here to help you and this is a great camera..

Grinder Jan 5, 2005 6:21 AM

Might want to make sure you don't have Auto ISO ON. here is a definitive learning curve with the D70.

The D70 is like a PC and the smaller cameras are like MACs.

With the D70 you can do all sorts of things but you need to work and mold the camera to your liking. TheSmaller cameras are real good but all you can do is point and shoot. No additions like different lens, filters and so forth.

PC you can add RAM and different cards, APPLES or MACs are static - no additions.

Now I will get my morning coffee and stop rambling.

Kenny_Leong Jan 5, 2005 7:44 AM

I'm not familiar with the D70, but it is after all a SLR type camera that has a different type of lens as compared to the simple point and shoot cameras. Due to the different lens/aperture geometries and shutter speed settings...the simple point and shoots can usually get everything into focus (large depth of field), while you may have to pay more attention with the SLR camera lens to get everything into focus. This might be the reason for the blurry pics on your SLR.

Kenny_Leong Jan 5, 2005 7:48 AM

I forgot to say...maybe you can check out information about depth of field and things like that on the internet..

eg..

http://www.vad1.com/photo/autodof.html

EasyRay Jan 5, 2005 8:05 AM

Grinder,

I hope you know more about cameras than you do about computer brands.

Apparently you have no knowledge about Mac computers or their different model types.

I guess I'll have to remove all that extra ram and that AGP video card plus the new controller for my hard drives from my Mac tower. :lol:

Ray

justharry Jan 5, 2005 8:48 AM

Hello Up ... don't despair ... I just got my D70 two weeks ago and am head deep into the learning curve and there are many terrific resources both on-line and in print to help us with that ... ... but this notwithstanding, I've been taking many pictures indoors (with just the built-in speedlight) and out using both the full auto setting and Program Auto setting with more than acceptable - and some cases excellent (see my first and only posted image of my only son below ... this was taken in full auto setting, then ran through some quick fixes in PSE 3)... ... I can't wait to master the nuances of the manual adjustment settings!

Good luck!

Harry

http://www.pbase.com/justharry/image...665&exif=Y

Arizona_Steve Jan 5, 2005 9:34 AM

Did Upalms ever come back to this thread?

I have relatively little to add to the comments above. For indoor people shots, my favored technique is to point my SB600 flash directly upwards and bounce it off the ceiling (here's hoping your ceiling is white). The Auto setting (with the white balance set to either flash or auto) should do a fine job,and to avoid grain you should use the menu and set the ISO rating to 200.

Secondly, read the instruction manual. All of it. The D70 (and any SLR for that matter) has been designed togive a lot of control to the photographer, and in that respect is totally different from the point & shoot that does everything itself. If you are not prepared to take the time to learn about the settings and experiment, then this is probably not the camera for you.

Kenny_Leong Jan 5, 2005 9:36 AM

justharry wrote:
Quote:

*snip*(see my first and only posted image of my only son below *snip*

Good luck!

Harry

http://www.pbase.com/justharry/image/37873665&exif=Y
You're not human? !!!! hmm .. men in black.

Grinder Jan 5, 2005 12:23 PM

LOL - I'm a typical PC guy that looks down on APPLE/MACs - . . . . except my daughters laptop is pretty nice.

Sorry - you have to remember that I'm from the old school and actually remember the 1st APPLE computer and Pong!

I'm also a software/mainframe guy!

TCB Jan 5, 2005 3:04 PM

"PC you can add RAM and different cards, APPLES or MACs are static - no additions."

lol....typical PC mindframe..

No clue.



Jazz1 Jan 5, 2005 5:22 PM

bern888 wrote:
Quote:

D70, with 50mm1.4, set on 125 shutter, F5.6. Custom incandesent WB setting. iso 1600, with a little noise relief. I dont see all the problems with adjusting the camera as necessary, just like any other high-end camera, unless you expect a P&S type camera
I'm a DSLR/D70 newbie, but have used-not recently- film SLRs. I hope you don't mind the question, but why would you need to use 1600 ISO on a person not moving really fast? I'm so used to equating low ISO with low grain, low noise in this case, pics.

I suppose I just need to start shooting some pics and see for myself. I guess the answer is "it is the available light stupid", but I just wondered why is seems a lot of people are using high ISO numbers? Why not use flash on this kind of pic?

Thanks for your help.

murphyc Jan 6, 2005 2:02 AM

Upalms, what kind of shots will you be using your camera for? If you're doing just family shots and don't want to have much operator control (i.e. leave camera in full auto mode), quite frankly the D70 is overkill. There's nothing wrong IMO with wanting to leave camera in full auto mode; however for such a user don't spend the money on a DSLR.
Also, posting some pics with EXIF data will help people here give you an idea what went wrong.

Grinder Jan 6, 2005 9:24 AM

Jazz1 - low light situations where the flash will not be strong enough or not give you the desired results and you don't want shadows.

I shoot 90% of the time at ISO 200 (which is actually more like 160).

DougHamm Jan 17, 2005 9:23 PM

Upalms wrote:
Quote:

I went from a Kodak DC290 that would take awsome, clear pictures even if I was running down the street with it, no blur, no dark & grainy, just clear crisp pics. Then we moved up to the Dimage 7i, frankly it wasn;t bad, but I swear the old Kodak took better pics, now I have the D70, and it takes the worst pics of all three, I give up.:(
You know, from an owner of a DC290 and then DC295 when it broke under warranty, I can suggest that one of your problems is that you invested in a very capable camera ~ 5 years ago. The camera produces a very rich, lively image and has a decent flash. Very slow ISO, but low noise - at 2.1MP it produced some great 8x10's for me. Hell, for what it's worth I could even play Pacman (Mame/DC290!)

I've only just recently retired mine in favour of my new D70. I can say that I have taken significantly better quality photos with the D70 since taking the time to learn it, and one reason is that the D70 is way, way, way faster - I can power it up, take four shots, and have it back in its case before the Kodak would autofocus. I also really missed the creative control that the Kodak lacks.

Having said all that, I didn't fool myself into thinking the D70 was a direct replacement for a family camera; with the money I saved by timing my purchase around the Christmas price drops, I bought a Canon A75 for my wife as a more or less 1:1 replacement for the Kodak. It takes lively, saturated pictures similar to the Kodak, is quite a bit faster, and if I'm using it I can even play with a few slr-ish settings.

My suggestion is to take the time to learn the nuances of manual photography, and the quality of your compositions will improve with time and patience. But also be true to yourself (and listen to your wife!) and realize that if you want a modern replacement to your old workhorse, there are better suited and significantly less expensive p&s's out there. I wouldn't think anything less of you - afterall, you're the only other person I know that had a DC290!

Take care,

-Doug

its_goldie Jan 19, 2005 8:09 PM

not to beat this dead horse to death, but from one 'newbie' to another (although I have experience with film slr), like all things techy, it pays to study. Read this site, read Thom Hogan's book, and practice practice practice - oh, and make sure to record your settings and conditions you're in and compare the outcomes.

I had a digital P&S, and hardly used it as I favored film SLR. But the D70 is crazy in the amount of control and beauty you can extract from a shot.

Bear with it.

Best,

Michael


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