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Old Feb 9, 2005, 9:22 PM   #1
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I take photos inside a showroom with very complex lighting, and not enough of it. We have incadescent, flourecent, and Halogen, and i have been using a sony fd97 for about 4 years and on manual settings it has done superb for a 2.0 mega camera, well it's worn out. I stepped up and bought a Nikon D70 and was HORRIFIED, by the fact I could not get a good picture out of it in this showroom, if I got enought light in the lens it washed out the color, or was too grainy... Frustrated I took it back and bought a FZ20, and it works great but when you blow the pic up there is not as much detail as the nikon of course. here is the showroom http://www.worldwidemusclecars.com/s...8936/8936.html
Just click on a pic, this pic is with the FD97. How come I was not able to get good pics out of the NIKON???? I need a camera that will be able to react quick or adjust quick to changes in POOR lighting as I quickly shoot pictures of these cars, I shoot a car in minutes not hours.

amature needing help, the FZ20 does so much better in low light, but there seems to be more noise in the pics in premo light,,,,the Nikon is KILLER outside but as far as apature compensation for this light I could not get it to work...

THANK YOU SO MUCH...
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Old Feb 9, 2005, 10:06 PM   #2
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Here is a photo, from the nikon. Best I could get. It is much darker in this room than it looks.
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Old Feb 9, 2005, 10:08 PM   #3
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Here is a photo from my 5 year old 2 mega pixel FD97, either I am stupid or Nikon should be ashamed?? (I vote for stupid). These are right out of the camera, no touch up. People or the pro guys I talked to said large depth of field is CHEAP, well I need a depth of field so the whole photograph is in focus. I tried every setting I could on the Nikon and the photo above was the best I could get it to do,.this sony photo is much better, I will post the FZ20 tomorrow. ...
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Old Feb 9, 2005, 10:57 PM   #4
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I think you need to set your white balance for the showroom. Once set, you can recall it anytime you want to use it. That's part of the difference (among many others) between a does everything for you point and shoot and a does nothing for you dSLR.

Jeff
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 7:19 AM   #5
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I set the white balance manualy in that picture, set it with one of the 18' garage doors on either side of that car. My question is, is the Nikon going to have to be changed (settings wise) as I move around the car. And did you see the noise in that picture??

I am a rookie at good slr's but that is horrible... I took about 80 pictures with that car and they all were worse than the sony...???
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 7:50 AM   #6
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(BTW, you might want to ask this in the Nikon DSLR forum. There are more people there with experience with the D70. Just a thought.)

Well, you certainly aren't stupid if you figured out how to set the white balance off an object. Most people new to a DLSR don't understand that.

There are three issues.

You seem to understand that your lighting condition is not easy. Actually, very nasty. You talk about not having much time to shot. Is this because you aren't in a place where you have much control (someone elses show room, for example) or is it just that you are busy? I ask this because the best way to do the white balance is probably by putting a white card in the picture. Then in an editor (like photoshop) while balance off that car. Here is why. Those lights you list will have a flicker to them. And they won't be in sync. They flicker very fast, but still, not as fast as your shutter is. At any given moment one or more of the lights will be off... and so the white balance in any given picture will be shifted by the color cast of some, but not all, of the lights. The solution is to white balance off something in the picture as opposed to ahead of time when the lighting could be slightly different.

Second is contrast. DSLRs usually do less processing in camera, and that includes adding less contrast. The D70 has settings to let you increase the contrast, and that might give you an "out-of-camera" image that is more like what you got with the other camera. The downside to this is if it adds too much contrast it could produce an image which is unrecoverable. Most "Pros" that what the most flexability out of their camera set the camera to do as little as possible. Then they change it in photoshop. Adding contrast and adjusting saturation and the like. This is the same that would be done in the darkroom, how they do it with mouse clicks not chemicals.

The large Depth of Field is going to be a problem. A real problem. It goes like this. The sensor on the D70 is much larger than on the FZ20 or the FD97. This is good because it means the image has less noise in it, which can result in more detail. The downside is that the smaller sensor means the manufacturer can use a physically smaller diameter lens. One thing that directly effects depth of field is diameter size. And what is aperture? It's a measure of diameter (actually, its a ratio, but we don't need to go there.) So the smaller cameras with smaller sensors will give you a MUCH larger DOF than the D70 will ever produce.

There are two solutions to this last problem. One is to use as large an fstop as you can. That means a smaller diameter and a larger DOF. But this reduces the amount of light you get which means a slower shutter speed. And we all know what that can means. Blurry pictures! Another aspect to DOF is distance to the subject. For example, at 50mm f8 from 10 feet away gives you 4 feet of DOF. At 20 feet you get 18 feet of DOF. This means you get a smaller picture of the car... which means smaller prints and less detail. But at least it's all in focus!

Play around with this DOF calculator and see what you can learn:

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

I hope that helps.

Eric
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 8:29 AM   #7
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Other questions to ask:

What lens are you using? Because even with a GREAT dSLR, if you use crappy glass, you get crappy pictures. Since I'm a Canon user, I know nothing about Nikon glass, but friends in the Nikon forum would.

What settings are you using? dSLRs often don't work too well on Auto mode. You may just have to keep tweeking settings to find the best on the camera.

One observation:

As alluded to by other posters, dSLR images, in general, are not printer-ready out of the camera. Camera manufacturers expect that dSLR users will do some post-camera processing (like sharpening, adding contrast, and possibly even color correction) on the images. That's why the images are often softer (to retain more data and allow the user to control the sharpness in each particular situation) or have less contrast than images right out of the camera in point-and-shoot models.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 11:02 AM   #8
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What is the correct color for the car? The Nikon picture is very yellow over all. What in- camera color profile did you have set on the nikon? I use a D100 set to "A" WB at"A" color profile II, center weight meter ,flash at ttL and always get true color. My 8700 nikon takes just as good of photo's when I use these same settings. I do a lot of car and motorcycle pictures so I do know it has to be perfect in color and focus if they are to be sold.

What flash did you use on the nikon? That would also have made a diffrence. Without being there it is really dificult to really be of any help to you. I really don't consider you as being "Stupid" I think you know what you are doing because it is really dificult photographing cars indoors. I used to shoot all of the cars in the Klassics Musium in Daytona Beach Florida and I know the problems involved. I'm sure you will get it worked out.

Ronnie
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 11:20 AM   #9
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Here's what I got from your D70 picture by just setting the white balance and adding a little sharpening. It will be critical for you to learn how to manually set your white balance using a gray card under the existing lighting.


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Old Feb 10, 2005, 8:30 PM   #10
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eric, it sounds like the Nikon is just too MUCH camera for the conditions. I own the showroom but I do not want to spend my life taking photos, our photos are the best out there for a large inventory muscle cars site, but I wanted a little better.

perdendosi, it is the lens that came with the D70???, I dont remember which one I took it back. I am by any means a amature, but trust me I used every combination of apature/shutter,over compensated exposure, etc the camera , had hell I wrote down every possible combination and that was the best picture, the sony snapped a better picture on manual, and the D70 was laughable on manual, a 2.00 instant would have done better.

ronnie948, the correct color is plum crazy purple, the sony is very close to the correct color, I put my laptop and metered the car color and the sony was damn close, the Nikon was WAY off, as you can tell.

Steve I did set the white balance, on a 18' white door, and that was the way it came out. This is what I want to know, how come a $1000.00 camera can not take this picture without major changes and the Sony and the FZ20 can??, here is a picture today with the FZ20, not bad, and it was in AUTOMATIC MODE!!!!, after a little tweaking it should be perfect, this was auto everything even white balance. I wanted the D70 to work, but I guess I have to give up and use the Z20???

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