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Old Jul 25, 2004, 11:26 AM   #21
Fen
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iBluetooth wrote:
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As far as I know, when I select the center AF instead of multi AF, the green box just appears in the center. What if the subject isn't in the center of the frame but off to the left or right or top or bottom. Not all photographs have to have the subject directly in the center of the image. Is there anyway to get the box to display where in the image, the camera is focusing on?

That's exactly what center AF mode does. As Old Nick says you put the subject in the box and half-push (and hold) the shutter to lock the focus then recompose the shot. That's how my old Fuji 2400 worked as well.

In the multi AF mode the camera will show you what it has focussed on with green boxes when you half press the shutter. That can be several objects around the central area.

If neither of these options do what you want then I have misunderstood your requrement.

Fen
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 4:53 AM   #22
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:angry:

It is with great regret that I returned the W1 yesterday. I actually got the green boxes to appear in Center AF, thanks for all of the help. But in the end, I just could not get it to focus on what I wanted it to. For example, if I were in Macro mode and took a picture of a rose from my garden, for some strange reason the leaves and foilage around the rose would be sharp while the rose blossom itself would be out of focus.

This coupled with the totally horrific Sony Technical Support made my decision an easy one. Here's a hint for Sony...most customers will tolerate a product even if it doesn't function exactly how they would like it too. But if you throw in bad - non helpful customer support for the product, it'sa no - win situation for the customer. Good luck to all of the Sony Users out there.
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 6:31 AM   #23
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Sony W1...........I currently recently bought a W1 and well reading these posts doesnt seem like the W1 is a good camera.... is it so bad as to I should return it and swap it for the P100 instead?
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 7:19 PM   #24
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I've been trying my W1 in a fairly well lit room. Taking pictures of myself with the camera resting on a shelf and the timer used.

Standing around 7-8 feet away from the camera, I tried various settings but the manual setting performance was horrendous, completely out of focus. Tried on the program mode with multi and center AF and they weren't much better:sad:The only pic that was half decent was on the p mode using a focal setting of 7.0M and even that wasn't very good..

I'm very disappointed with these camera and it really pains me to say it as I researched it a lot before purchasing and had heard/seen many good things about it. It's even worse as I really like the physical attributes of the camera ( screen size, layout, etc) but in my experience the image quality has been far from consistent.

Another downside is due to being on holiday recently, the 'no quibbles return' period has long since passed
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 8:48 AM   #25
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scooby snacks wrote:
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I've been trying my W1 in a fairly well lit room. Taking pictures of myself with the camera resting on a shelf and the timer used.
I've beenseeingcomments about thiscamera on multiple forums, with users afraid to purchase it, because of all the talk about how "soft" the image are. So, I figured that I'd take a closer look at the problems people are having.

The "well lit room" part got my attention (implying that you think it's bright enough without a flash). Are you using the flash? It sounds like it's probably just motion blur to me. What is well lit to the human eye, isnot to a camera's lens.

A typical indoor room (with lights on) has an EV (Exposure Value) of around 6. With a subcompact camera,you're going to need to use a flash, otherwise shutter speeds will be too slow to prevent blur in these conditions (unless you arestill as a rock, and it's unlikely you would be).

The lens on your Sony has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 at wide angle (typical for any subcompact model). When using zoom with this model (and other compact models like it) far less light can reach the sensor, so it will only get worse.

You can increase ISO speed to help compensate (but this increases noise).

For example: if shootingat the wide angle setting with your lens, at ISO 100, with an Aperture of around F2.8 (the largest aperture the camera can select), you'd need a shutter speed of around 1/8 second at EV 6 (typical indoor lighting) to insure proper exposure. This is too slow to prevent blur - even at full wide angle, unless youare very still.

Forget using zoom. Chances are, at around mid zoom, your camera's lens has stopped down to around f/4, so shutter speeds twice as long (about 1/4 second) would be needed for proper exposure. Also, the more magnification, the faster shutter speeds will be needed, so using zoom compounds the problem even more. Full zoom, is even worse still -- because even less light can reach the sensor, and more magnification needs even faster shutter speeds.

When using flash, shutter speeds are not critical, because the flash itself helps to freeze the action.

Here is a useful chart. Again, what your eyes tell you is bright (indoors), is not to a camera. Note that this chart is based on ISO 100. So, each time you double the ISO speed (settable in camera), you can also double the shutter speed. However, increasing ISO speed will add noise to the photo. Chances are, even with Auto ISO, it's not going to increase to more than about ISO 160.

http://home.earthlink.net/~terryleedawson/dcnotes/tables.htm

Note that there are a couple of products that can be used to reduce noise, should you decide that increasing ISO speed is the only way to get shutter speeds fast enough for proper exposure without too much blur. Trust me, ISO 400 will be UGLY if you decide to use it. Noise Ninja and Neat Image are probably the best two products. Here are the download links:

http://www.picturecode.com

http://www.noiseninja.com

Can you post an unmodified sample to a web site somewhere so we can see the camera settings used (it's embedded into the image file), and see what you are talking about?

If you don't have a place to post one, you can open a free, 30 day trial account at http://www.pbase.com

For a free trial, you have 10mb of space for posting images, and can give us a link to a sample or two (it's easy to use, since their interface for uploading images let's you browse your local PC' hard drive, and select an image file for uploading).


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Old Jul 28, 2004, 9:23 AM   #26
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JimC thanks for an excellent analysis of the problems and experiences of the W1. I'm oneof those people afraid to get this camera because of all the posts on this "problem." While completly new to digicams, I'm a halfway decent 35mm slr guy, so I understand and believe a lot of your points above and in other posts.

My questions are two-fold:

1) In program mode, won't the W1 automatically use the flash, thereby eliminating the motion blurr and other issues you describe? The poster said he/she used "various program modes" as well as manual.

2) Why haven't we been hearing alot of the same issues with every other digicam out there? They operate roughly the same way, so many of the problems the W1 folks are writing about should be happening to other brands/cameras.

I haven't bought my digicam yet, 'cause frankly I don't have a deadline (holiday, trip, etc) 'cept my own desire to get one -- which I'm keeping at bay like a caged tiger. I'm still very inclined toward the W1, which is why I'm trying to keep the debate going in an attempt to get to the answers. thanks again.


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Old Jul 28, 2004, 9:59 AM   #27
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barkingdog wrote:
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JimC thanks for an excellent analysis of the problems and experiences of the W1. I'm oneof those people afraid to get this camera because of all the posts on this "problem."
Keep in mind, that I have not used this camera, so I'm speculating as to what the problems are. That's why I'd like to see some sample images, so we can see exactly what the fuss is about, and look at the camera settings used.

Quote:
1) In program mode, won't the W1 automatically use the flash, thereby eliminating the motion blurr and other issues you describe? The poster said he/she used "various program modes" as well as manual.
The camera should have multiple flash modes. If you leave the flash set to Auto, then it should fire in low light. However, given the "well lit room" comment, I suspect that it is forced off. I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong.

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2) Why haven't we been hearing alot of the same issues with every other digicam out there? They operate roughly the same way, so many of the problems the W1 folks are writing about should be happening to other brands/cameras.
You do hear the same issue with other digicams. This is a very common problem with new users of a digital camera -- assuming that you can get great pics in low light without a flash (or trying to use one outside of the rated flash range).

Also, it could be the focus point.Since the user indicated he was using a self timer, he doesn't know the focus point the camera selected. In thistype of situation, I'd recommendsetting the Focus Mode to Center, also -- making sure you are in the center portion of the frame when the camera takes the pic.

As for the other reports of "soft images", I suspect that some users are confusing "perceived sharpness" with "real detail" captured. In camera sharpening is an optical illusion. Basically, a camera's image processing algorithms are designed to increase sharpness around high contrast edges, when can cause the appearance of a sharper photo.

This technique can cause unwanted halos around these edges -- which can be especially noticeble at larger print sizes. So, many photographers prefer leaving in camera sharpening set to it's lowest value -- then using image editing software later to sharpen the photos. Most models will also let you adjust how much sharpening is applied in the camera.
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 10:03 AM   #28
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Jim,
Go to the beginning of this topic and you'll see links to pictures I've taken with this camera. Files are un-edited so the EXIF data is present. You'll also see that the flash did go off for these shots. I also have outside pictures taken in broad daylight that too show 'softness'.

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As for the other reports of "soft images", I suspect that some users are confusing "perceived sharpness" with "real detail" captured. In camera sharpening is an optical illusion. Basically, a camera's image processing algorithms are designed to increase sharpness around high contrast edges, when can cause the appearance of a sharper photo
Which is exactly why I didn't want to keep the W1 with the sharpness set to +. When I 'blew' up the photo, I could see the jagginess of the sharpness filter.

Dave
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 10:42 AM   #29
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Probedude wrote:
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Jim,
Go to the beginning of this topic and you'll see links to pictures I've taken with this camera. Files are un-edited so the EXIF data is present. You'll also see that the flash did go off for these shots.
Dave, I just looked at the two indoor photos you posted. There is absolutely nothing soft about them. Heck, you can see the fuzz on the girls cheeks.

Don't confuse "perceived sharpness" with detail captured. These photos look exactly the way they should look, from a camera that the manufacturer used conservative sharpening algorithms with (which I prefer). They print better that way!

Also, look at your range to the subject. It appears to be no more than 3 feet, with the camera shooting "wide open" at f/2.8 (which it should in lower light). Larger Apertures (smaller f/stop numbers), with very close focus distance will have a shallow depth of field. So, if you're looking at the portion of the desk behind the girl, it should be blurry at a range this this close to your subject.

If you're referring to the girl, then I absolutely disagree. There is nothing wrong with those photos. Detail is excellent. Keep in mind, that you're looking at the photos on a monitor with a pixel per inch count that is very low, compared to what you'd have in aprint. Also, if you look at a photo enlarged on screen (100% size), you're seeing it "poster size" -- AND, your monitor just doesn't can't support the detail you'd get in a print anyway (the pixels per inch count is just not high enough).

If you don't like the way the photos look, then by all means, buy a different camera. That's your choice. But, I think you're simply confusing perceived sharpness with real detail captured, because Sony used a conservative sharpening approach in the camera (which I think is a good thing).

As for the other user, his problems may befrom an entirely different cause.
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 1:24 PM   #30
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Yes, I do mean "just the girl's face". There are other shots I have too that show softness. To my eyes, it is as though the picture is out of focus - just a tad but it is a pet peeve of mine. I understand depth of focus issues, my main camera is an SLR - manual focus and aperture, not the whiz bang ones they make today. In all my criticisms of this camera, my attention has been on the main subject, not the background 'rooftop, trees, etc' (not that you've said this, but I get this a lot from others saying "but the W1's captures the palm fronds in the background sooo well" and ignore that the person in the foreground is fuzzy).

Yes I can see the peach fuzz, but it is non-distinct, and the important area - the girl's eyes, and nose, hair are too are non-distinct. A facial shot between the A80 and the W1 are obvious when shown side by side.

There are two other review sites that mentions Sony's over agressive noise filtering causing loss of fine detail, especially of hair, grass, etc. CNET is one, Imaging-Resource is the other
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(It seems to have a very aggressive anti-noise system, which does indeed deliver low noise in flat-tinted areas, but which also tends to flatten-out fine subject detail in areas with low contrast, such as hair, grass, etc.)
There is another review site too, but I don't remember it.

What 'I see' I believe is real, and is not because I have too high of an expectation. Well, I guess I do, I expected a "Carl-Zeiss" spec'd 5MP camera to deliver picts better than what I was able to do with the W1.


(check other sample photos I've posted, and one posted from the Sony 4MP 85 camera).
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