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Old Aug 17, 2009, 10:16 AM   #1
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Default "grainy" photos with my new zs3... please help.. am I nuts?

Let me start out that Im not a professional photographer, have only used canon sd point and shoots.. sd300, sd600, sd770is, and now purchased a zs3 3 weeks ago. Ive been shooting alot, and sometimes if there is a lot of light, I get good shots, but it seems that mostly I get somewhat grainy or "noisy" shots... indoors for sure, but also outside... I use auto mostly, and use ai also.... with my old canons, I just left it on auto and I dont feel that the canon really gave me alot of noise. Ive heard crazy reviews about this camera, so I jumped, so I figure Im doing something wrong. How can I attach a full size pic? Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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We prefer that you don't (attach a full size image). That makes it hard for forum readers to see replies in the thread (since they have to scroll left and right to read all of the text).

I'd post a downsized sample instead (one including the EXIF information), keeping it's longest side at around 640 to 800 pixels.

When I use Windows, I use the free Irfanview for downsizing images (but, most image editors can resize if you're using something else).

With this software, after you open an image, select "Image>Resize/Resample" and make the width around 640 to 800 pixels wide for posting. Leave the Preserve Aspect Ratio box checked. I use the Lanczos algorithm choice for resizing. After you click OK, use the "File>Save As" menu choice and give it a new filename. I'd set the Quality slider you see come up at around 80% to keep the file size within limits.
Make sure the box to "retain EXIF" you'll see when saving is checked.

If you're using something like Photoshop, don't use the "Save for Web" feature, since that strips out the EXIF (which we'll need to look at to determine the camera settings being used).

If you want to post an example of the noise, just crop out a small section of the image and save it without resizing (one around 640 pixels or so on either side). That way, you don't need to have the full size image to see the problem. But, I'd still post a downsized version of the uncropped photo so that members can see any other issues (for example, exposure issues due to sections that are too dark or too bright).

Chances are, your problem is due to using higher ISO speeds in conditions you should be using a flash in.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 10:41 AM   #3
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Default thanks here are two samples, just cut out of my original files,

strong sunlight, 9mp, wide screen, set to auto. detail set to 6 squares.
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Old Aug 17, 2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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Default attached are the originals shrunk with exif info

thanks
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 12:11 PM   #5
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Considering these are outdoor shots, I agree, the images look very grainy. I see that the camera chose ISO 200, which is not that high. I also noticed that you have sharpness set to high and noise reduction to standard. My experience with the FZ28 is that high sharpness will increase noise, period. I have set sharpness to +1, noise reduction also to +1 and saturation to +1 but contrast is at -1. Try this settings to see if the images look any cleaner. If not, then lower the sharpness to 0 (standard) with NR set to +1. I'd not increase NR much more than +1 to avoid loss in resolution. Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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I don't see anything unusual for a point and shoot model, other than a slightly over processed look with your crops (that you probably wouldn't notice at typical print or viewing sizes).

I'd agree with Tulio if you really need larger print or viewing sizes (as a 100% crop represents a much larger viewing size than you'd typically use). Just turn down your camera settings for things like sharpness. Most non-dSLR camera models have sharpness, saturation and contrast bumped up a little too high for good detail retention without unwanted artifacts.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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Where are sharpness settings in the ZS3?
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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You may not have any control over it. I checked two different reviews and didn't see any way to adjust it (but, I haven't looked through a user guide for it yet).
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 4:51 PM   #9
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Default thanks for checking... i agree

I sometimes get really nice shots, but sometimes, out of the blue, a picture will be taken, and it will be in full sunlight, 1so 80, and really noisy... Im not pixel peeping.. it looks noisy on my 14" lcd screen on my laptop, 1440x900 resolution. here is another one taken... I feel this is unacceptable and would like to see if Im doing something wrong, as I rather have a "fuzzier" photo with little or no grain than what Im getting now... please comment on this one. Thanks again.
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Old Aug 18, 2009, 4:53 PM   #10
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Default tullio... thanks for the info, I'll give it a try.

thanks
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