Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 24, 2006, 6:52 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Default

I recently purchased an Olympus Evolt 330. I am having focusing problems with it. Any one else have the same problem? I have been an amateur photographer for 40 years and have never experienced anything like this. The retail store has switched lenses wihout any difference. Any suggestions? Thanks
archelon99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 24, 2006, 10:12 PM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Welcome to the forums.

Are you sure it's a focusing issue? Sometimes if your shutter speed is too slow you may think it's Autofocus when it's something else (i.e., shutter speeds too slow causing blur from camera shake or subject movement). A common error is trying to take photos without a flash in less than optimum lighting (i.e., a typical indoor interiors) with ISO speed set too low.

Do you get a focus lock when you half press the shutter button?

You may want to give more details on what kind of problem you're seeing. It would probably be a good idea to post a sample image, too. You'll need to downsize it first before posting.

I typically use Irfanview for upsizing or downsizing images. It's a free tool with lots of uses:

http://www.irfanview.com

I usually make mine somewhere between 640 and 720 pixels wide.

To use it for resizing, simply open an image using File>Open.

Then, use the menu choice you'll find for Image>Resize/Resample

Click the "Set New Size" box, make the width around 640 to 720 pixels wide, with the "Preserve Aspect Ratio" box checked (so that it keeps the same dimensions of width to height) and click OK.

Then, use the File>Save As menu choice and give it a new name so that you don't overwrite your original. I'd make sure the file type is JPEG, and set the Image Quality slider you'll see to around 84% to make sure it's small enough for posting (images will need to about 240KB or smaller for posting here).

Make sure to leave the boxes for retaining EXIF checked (they will be by default). That way, forum members can see the camera settings used (this information is in a header that's part of the image file).

If your web hosting service allows direct linking, the file size restrictions won't apply, since you can use the [img]images/buttons/image.gif[/img] button on the text entry toolbar to embed the images instead of attaching them (so the forums software won't care how large the file is). It's still a good idea to make sure they're downsized for display purposes.



JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2006, 12:10 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

We need more information to help you. It's like phoning up a mechanic and saying, "my car's making a noise...what's wrong with it?"
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2006, 5:09 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 81
Default

Just a thought that happened to me and the E500 recently. The camera somehow became set to Manual Focus. This should be easily checked in the lcd screen info or the menu.

I had to backtrack 80 km to get the shots I messed up. You will know it is in MF if the lens does not move at all when you half press the shutter.

Bill
bilzmale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2006, 6:32 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 53
Default

sounds similar to my e-300. unfortunately under test conditions at the techies it works fine (constant even lighting, no distractions for camera to get confused by)

my one has the habit of producing a picture where there is nothing quite in focus despite the camera indicating focus lock and at other times the point where i have focused on is not in focus but other parts of the picture are. Only does it on and off which is frustrating.

all i can suggest is compile a series of pictures and take them and your camera to a techie and tell them what it is doing. I am in the process of doing this now.
hamtaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 25, 2006, 6:58 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

hamtaro wrote:
Quote:
sounds similar to my e-300. unfortunately under test conditions at the techies it works fine (constant even lighting, no distractions for camera to get confused by)
Techs sometimes miss problems. But, chances are, the camera is fine. ;-)

Quote:
my one has the habit of producing a picture where there is nothing quite in focus despite the camera indicating focus lock and at other times the point where i have focused on is not in focus but other parts of the picture are. Only does it on and off which is frustrating.
If nothing is quite in focus, that sounds more like blur from camera shake to me. If your shutter speeds are not fast enough, you'll get blurry photos. Increase your ISO speed if shooting in less than optimum lighting (and a well lit interior is low light to a camera if you're not using a flash or tripod).

If you have images where some parts are in focus and others are not, that's more like a focus point or depth of field issue (unless the subjects were not stationary).

Quote:
all i can suggest is compile a series of pictures and take them and your camera to a techie and tell them what it is doing. I am in the process of doing this now.
Or, post some samples so that forum members here can see what camera settings were used. See my first post in this thread if you're not sure how to downsize and attach images to a thread.

The most common problem causing blurry photos is shutter speed. It's often mistaken for a focus issue.

Sure, there could be another issue. But, odds are, the camera is fine and you need to make some settings and/or technique changes to accomodate the conditions you're trying to shoot in.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 26, 2006, 1:21 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 53
Default

I can rule out user error. (i am not a new user and understand shutter speeds and camera shake) A member of a camera club with award merits (he knows his stuff) used it for a weekend. his verdict "i cant use this as it doesn't focus all the time. then sometimes focus point is way off centre of frame when using centre af spot only"

it can mis-focus at shutter speeds of 1/125, so not only low shutter speeds.
What I have noticed very rarely is when it locks focus the red focus dot goes out or flashes which to me means it has lost focus. perhaps a dodgy shutter button contact? going to talk to techies tomorrow.

thanks for your suggestions.

hamtaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 26, 2006, 3:39 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 183
Default

JimC wrote:
Quote:
(and a well lit interior is low light to a camera if you're not using a flash or tripod).
Jim,

Is that just the case with Olympus or its a general characteristic of any DSLR ?

--
Gaggu
gaggu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 27, 2006, 3:10 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 53
Default

I believe it is true for all cameras, film and digital alike. cameras will (auto focus) accurately down to their built in ev limit, then if fitted the af assist lamp kicks in.

the techie has seen some pics off the e-300 and is a stumped at the mo. He mentioned they might do a ccd af test whatever that is as when shooting macro shots it has sharply focused on the subject and then also got some foreground and background in focus. might just be a fluke that they are on the same focus plane as the main subject

hamtaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 27, 2006, 7:36 AM   #10
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default



gaggu wrote:
Quote:
JimC wrote:
Quote:
(and a well lit interior is low light to a camera if you're not using a flash or tripod).
Is that just the case with Olympus or its a general characteristic of any DSLR ?
I was referring to shutter speeds *if* your ISO speed is not set high enough, which is why I preceded with "Increase your ISO speed"

Quote:
Increase your ISO speed if shooting in less than optimum lighting (and a well lit interior is low light to a camera if you're not using a flash or tripod).
Three Factors control the shutter speed you need for proper exposure:

1. Light Levels - typically measured as EV (Exposure Value)

2. Aperture - this represents the diametor of iris opening that lets light through the to sensor or film, as related to the focal length of the lens

3. ISO Speed - this is how sensitive the film or sensor is to light

Indoors with most cameras, you're going to get motioin blur from subject movement and/or camera shake unless you use a relatively bright lens, and have your ISO speed set to a higher value.

To get a better idea of their relationship, see this handy online exposure calculator. Note that Film Speed in the calcualtor is the same thing as ISO speed:

hamtaro

I wasn't referring to Autofocus (although that can be a factor).

Most of the time when someone complains about focus, it's not a focus issue. Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn't start a new thread complaing that their new [insert brand/model here] has a focus problem causing blurry photos. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with focus.

That's why I often suggest members post sample images when they have a problem. That way, members can see the camera settings being used.

Now, sometimes you have other issues. A common problem is when a user moves to a DSLR, they're not used to a shallower depth of field (since a non-DSLR model has much greater depth of field for any given subject framing and aperture).

See this handy Depth of Field calculator to get a better idea of how focal length, aperture and focus distance impact depth of field. Just keep in mind that if you use a focal length that's twice as long, you'll need to be twice as far away for the same framing (how much of the frame your subject fills.

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

So, if you're not as careful with your focus point using a DSLR, your desired subject can be out of focus due to a shallower depth of field.

Another common issue is not understanding a camera's focus modes. Each camera tends to have certain Autofocus behavior characteristics. For example, Continuous Focus modes are usually designed to swap focus points as they see subject movement. So, this can be an issue (camera's may detect movement and switch focus points if focus is not locked, depending on AF mode).

A lot of users are accustomed to using a camera's center focus point and reframing. Depending on the lens, distance to subject and more, this common technique can also result in an out of focus subject. I try to use the focus point closest to my subjects eyes to minimize any reframing.

See these articles for more information on how reframing can cause focus issues:

http://www.mhohner.de/recompose.php?lang=e

http://www.outbackphoto.com/workshop...y06/essay.html

A lot of the time, a new DSLR owner has used these techniques with 35mm film cameras for years and didn't notice a problem. But, most people don't enlarge their images very often with film either. With Digital, since you can view images on screen at larger sizes easily, this type of problem is more apparent, where it went unnoticed shooting film.

Now, you can have an equipment issue. But, more often than not, it's a user issue, or problem with the camera settings being used. It takes time and experience to become accustomed to any camera's behavior.

Here's a good article that I sometimes suggest a new DSLR owner read:

http://www.prime-junta.net/pont/Pontification/ba_Don't_Be_A_Bozo/a_Don't_Be_A_Bozo.htm


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:51 AM.