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Old May 27, 2003, 2:09 AM   #1
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Default New to C4000... Comments please

any comments on my pics here? i don't seem to be able to get any nice pics. all the ones that i have take had only one part focus and the other parts, usually the side are blur. or is there any thing wrong with my camera. i can take it for repair as it is still under warranty, but i still need to know what to tell the olympus people what is wrong with the camera. if i were to told them my pics are not clear, i'm pretty sure they will say i'm need to practice more. Any hints on how i can improve my skills? i'll be going for a trip in 4 weeks time.

the exif are included. i have tried the my mode settings that some of you have (like fenlander settings)

http://www.pbase.com/ccwengw/port_dickson
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Old May 27, 2003, 7:05 AM   #2
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Can you point out the exact picture(s) that exhibits that problem? Can't look through 10 pictures looking for the problem.

If you're new to digital cameras, check out http://www.photocourse.com for a free online "book" on the basics.
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Old May 27, 2003, 12:54 PM   #3
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CCWENGW,

If you're using Fenlander's settings of -2 Sharpness, & -3 Contrast, then you have to be aware that the photos will be shot with the intention of running them through a Photo Editor. I've also noticed that you are mainly shooting using f/2.8 while shooting the subject with a big background. If you are worried about the background, then of course, you must slow down the aperture. Regarding sharpness, I get the sides blurred out just as you (I currently use 0 sharpness in my C-4000). Two things I blame for this: 1) Hand shake and 2) Auto Focus. I think I can say on behalf of other C-4000 users, that this camera is not tack-sharp (compared to others of course).

Anyway, I was a bit bored at work, so I decided to take one of your shots and fool around with it a bit (using Photoshop 7.0):


Copy & Paste in another browser window for full view


Copy & Paste in another browser window for full view

I think I went overboard with the contrast adjustment. You can see that if you look at the water being blown out. However, I was more worried about correcting the contrast on the faces. One of the things I've learned when using -3 Contrast is that the photo always turns out hazy. If you adjust the contrast using Curves, you'll see a big difference (well, at least I do). I also find that the colours are flat, therefore I saturated them a bit. I'm a Saturation freak, so in my camera, I have set mine to +3 Saturation and still saturate them in PS.

Basically, my workflow in image 1 was: Noise Removal part 1, Noise Removal/JPEG artifact removal Part 2, Levels, Curves, Selective Colour, Edge Sharpen.

Image 2 workflow: Noise Removal part 1, Noise Removal/JPEG artifact removal part 2, Channel Mixer, Levels, Curves, Selective Colour, Edge Sharpen.

Oh, I saved them at max. JPEG quality, but had to resave them using Save For Web for Imagestation, which brought the quality to medium.

Regards,

Oz
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Old May 27, 2003, 3:04 PM   #4
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CCWENGW,

The Oz is quite right about the settings I've mentioned in other threads. If you want to take your media straight to the lab for printing, you'll probably be happier with the results if you set contrast and sharpness at 0.

I've actually moved away from the settings I mentioned earlier. I now have both contrast and sharpness set at -5. This does NOT produce images I would want to print directly, but it does give maximum opportunity for improving the pics in the image editor.

Essentially, the -5 settings are the closest the Oly will give to an image with NO processing done in the camera. All processing can be done with Photoshop or an alternative editor (I mainly use Paintshop Pro) and you can exercise much more discrimination and control than the camera can when left to itself.

Your pics seem fine to me, so far as sharpness is concerned. The lack of sharpness you notice at the edges is probably just the result of depth of field - the lens is focused on the subject in the middle and other details in the background, which is much further away, are out of focus. In most pictures this is considered a good thing! I notice that you mainly shoot in Program mode - on the Oly, that means f2.8, i.e. the lens is wide open giving relatively little depth of focus. If you want to increase the range of distances that are sharp, use Aperture priority mode and close the lens down to at least f5.6.

Let's take one example: Port Dickson 183. The first thing I notice about this shot is that it is way off horizontal. The second is that it is slightly over-exposed, causing some burn-out in the highlights on the water. Thirdly, it is a little soft (not blurred) and having been taken at ISO 193, there is also some noise visible, especially when you magnify it a little. These are very typical problems that occur with many photos.

How to correct?

First, the tilt. On my Oly, the optical viewfinder is tilted and this seems common. Try to use the LCD viewfinder: be aware of the problem and try to pick a horizontal or vertical line in the scene: make sure that this line is truly horizontal or vertical in the LCD

Exposure: try the exposure bracketing option and shoot 3 pics at .3 stop intervals.

Softness: use sharpness set to 0 or post-process.

Noise: set ISO to 100, not auto. This will mean longer exposures, so develop a steady hand!

Here's a version with as many as possible of these faults corrected:



There is still some slight burn out in the highlights, but I have straightened the picture (which obliged me to crop), sharpened and removed noise. I also adjusted the histogram so that the picture contains a full tonal range.

I should stress: I see no faults in these pictures for which the camera is responsible. Keep practising with the camera. Take lots of pictures and only keep the best 20%. Get yourself an editor (I suggest Photoshop Elements or Paintshop Pro8) and develop your pastime beyond the point of just clicking the shutter. You'll enjoy it that much more.

fenlander
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Old May 27, 2003, 9:48 PM   #5
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hi, thanks all for all the comment.

fenlander, am i correct to say that all the setting you have for the oly is not meant for direct printing? let say if i do not intend to do any post processing to the pictures, does it means i can just keep my settings at 0? Does all pics really need to go through a image editor to be perfect. I'm not really good at this graphic thing.
Is there really a setting which i can use without having to go through post processing work. I haven't reach the stage of using the image editor yet. hahaha.... I will try definetely try out the aperture priority mode soon.

If I were to use ISO100 all the time with the A mode, is there any other thing which i should be aware of other than a steady hand?
I know I don't have a steady hand and I will try to improve on it till I get a tripod or monopod.

Oz, you did good with the pic but i think i'll prefer fenlander touch up becos it much more original. the pic u had done have too much colour in it. BTW, how did u manage to tilt it back properly, fenlander? I'm surprise that it could be done. Actually the picture suppose to be like that. It is part of a lagoon that why it was not horizontal.

If I do not intend to print out the pics, is HQ good or should I have it taken at SHQ? What size does people normally resize to for distribution to friends and if they take the pics for printing would it be nice? I do not have a colour printer so I would like to find out at what size should I be distributing the pics just in case they want to print it out.

Okay guys, thanks for all the advice. I'll checking out some image editor soon.
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Old May 28, 2003, 4:01 AM   #6
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Lots of questions!

1) If I were taking my smartmedia card to my local processor for printing, I would leave the settings at 0. Of course, a pic can be perfect straight from the camera, but I suspect that 98% can be improved with an editor. An editor lets you do almost anything you want with a pic, but the simple things that improve almost any pic and require little knowledge include straightening, cropping out unwanted areas, adjusting colour and sharpening.

2) In dim light, you may have to use higher ISO settings. Most people can take successful photos at shutter speeds down to about 1/30th second (higher at telephoto settings). For day-to-day pictures in good light, ISO 100 should be fine.

3) HQ is usually fine for screen display. SHQ is better for making prints over 6x4. You will find that opinions vary on this point. So far as resizing is concerned... Firstly, always keep your original picture as it came from the camera; if you resize or make other changes, save them as a copy. For your own viewing it is effective to make a version that just fits your screen. Save it as a JPEG with quality level around 90 - it will load quickly and look good on screen. For emailing, downsize to no more than 640x480 and save at quality level 80. This will give a much smaller file. For printing, bigger is always better. If you really mean to give the pics to your friends for printing, leave them at full size and burn them on a CD.

4) Just for starters, get hold of a copy of Irfan Viewer. It's not a full-featured editor, but it has an excellent collection of functions for scaling, cropping, rotating, sharpening, renaming and lots more. Oh, and it's free.

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Old May 28, 2003, 1:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccwengw
Oz, you did good with the pic but i think i'll prefer fenlander touch up becos it much more original. the pic u had done have too much colour in it. BTW, how did u manage to tilt it back properly, fenlander? I'm surprise that it could be done. Actually the picture suppose to be like that. It is part of a lagoon that why it was not horizontal.

If I do not intend to print out the pics, is HQ good or should I have it taken at SHQ? What size does people normally resize to for distribution to friends and if they take the pics for printing would it be nice? I do not have a colour printer so I would like to find out at what size should I be distributing the pics just in case they want to print it out.

Okay guys, thanks for all the advice. I'll checking out some image editor soon.
Don't worry about mine. It all depends on what you perceive is good. I personally prefer high contrast/high saturation images because of personal preference. I'm sure Fenlander would think that my version is way too overdone, while I think his version is still underdone. That's like Fenlander ordering a blue-rare steak, while I order a well-done steak The point was more towards on the fact that your settings required post-processing intervention. And like Fenlander is saying, if you will do a direct-print, it might be best to leave the settings to 0

For HQ, SHQ, etc. I posted a question not too long ago:

http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ic.php?t=10135

For software, look into GIMP and Jasc Paintshop Pro as well. Adobe Photoshop might be too expensive for you.

Regards,

Oz
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