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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:15 PM   #11
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mom,

You can save those pics with a little post processing. Picasa or Irfanview would both work, it you don't have Photoshop. What I see is an out of focus condition in all three "bad" pics. Are you pre-focusing your shots? That is, pressing the shutter release half-way down until the camera locks in the focus before you take the shot? The first two pics are also a little underexposed. Kaylee is in the shade, and there is an area of bright light behind her. Is you camera metering set for multi-segment, or spot? If you set it on spot, and prefocus on Kayleez pretty face, your pics should be properly focused and exposed.

the Hun

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:17 PM   #12
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Nah... They're not terrible. As mtclimber suggested, snow can present some unique problems.

Fortunately (from my point of view, not my wife's) we don't get much where we live. :-)

The biggest problem most cameras have with snow is metering. The camera sees all of the white snow and it fools it into underexposing the images. That's not unique to your Sony. It's a problem with just about any camera.

So, the first thing I'd suggest is learning how to expose the images brighter when taking them in the same conditions. The way you want to do that with most cameras is by using Exposure Compensation and setting it to a +EV value. Around +1 EV (or the closest setting you have to it), is usually a good starting point. Then, adjust from there until you find something that works "just right" with it.

With your W100, you'll see a += key on your controller that allows you to use Exposure Compensation. Look it up Exposure Compnesation in your Manual and it should explain that a +EV setting can be used to give you a brighter exposure. This is one time that it would come in handy.

With some cameras, you may need to shoot in P mode (Programmed Auto) to use it. That's just a fancy way of letting you take full advantage of the camera's auto algorithms, while still making some basic adjustments.

Now, what can happen when you try to expose brighter is slower shutter speeds. So, if they get too slow, you can get a bit of blur from subject movement. To counter that part, try setting your ISO speed a little higher. For example, around ISO 200 or 400 in that same lighting could be needed. That can make photos a little grainier. But, sometimes the faster shutter speed is worth it.

If your subject is close enough (as in the first photo posted), you can also use a fill flash for better results (just force the flash to on). Light is a camera's best friend. ;-)

The other thing the photos could benefit from is a bit of sharpening. One way to do it is setting it higher in the camera. But, another way is by using an image editor. Have you got one that you're currently using for anything? If not, even the Irfanview program I mentioned can do some basic sharpening. It's a good easy to use tool for some of the basic image adjustments many people want.



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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:25 PM   #13
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no I don't have photo shop, or anything to sharpen the pics. Can that software fix my pics? I also hold the button half way and then press the button when the green light comes on and says it's in focus. I have no clue how to adjust the settings on the camera. I have read and read on it, but whe it comes time, I forget the settingsm iso, etc, or I change the settings and they look like crap. Do they make a camera that works mainly on auto all the time? A camer athat I can take a pic- zoom in and it still be clear? Does it seem worse now because the flash is smaller than my last camera and I'm not getting the light I was used too?
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:38 PM   #14
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Snow is going to fool just about any camera's metering system. That's why they came out darker than desired. An underexposed image will also lack detail and contrast.

Using Exposure Compensation is relatively easy. All you're doing is telling the camera to expose brighter if you use a +EV setting.

Another way to approach it is the way rinniethehun suggested (using spot metering). But, with a moving subject, that can make it a bit harder to get your metering point just right (and if you meter on something too dark, it will make your photo too bright, and vice-versa).

So, you may find using Exposure Compensation to be a bit easier for fast moving kids.

As for the flash, it will have a limted range on a smaller camera if you use it. Zooming in will also impact your flash range (if you zoom in more, your flash range will decrease since the lens is not as bright that way compared to it's wider angle settings).

But, the biggest problem I'm seeing is exposure, and you're likely to have that issue with other cameras, too. Unfortunately, Autoexposure Algorithms are not perfect yet. So, some user input is required in some conditions (and when you have a large portion of a scene that's white like in these photos, that's the type of scenario where some user input is needed).

Try using Expososure Compensation set to a +EV setting it and see what impact it has. It's really not that hard and you may find that it solves a lot of your issues. Exposure Compensation is one of my most frequently used settings on a camera. Once you recognize when you may need it (backlit subject, lots of white areas in the scene), you'll probably find that it's pretty much second nature to make small adjustments so that the camera exposes brighter (using a +EV Setting) than it normally would in the same conditions. You can also use it to do the opposite (use a -EV setting for a darker exposure).

As for correcting them in software... Sure, to a point. But, you lose a lot of detail and dynamic range if you don't have them exposed correctly to begin with.

A good free tool to try for basic adjustments is Google's Picasa. You can download it from here. It's got a "fill light' feature that you may find handy, as well as the ability to correct basic color cast problems (you can use an eyedropper and select something white in the image that it uses to correct color casts).

http://picasa.google.com/

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:45 PM   #15
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Yes...software can fix your pics.
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:47 PM   #16
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Looks like I posted close to when Jim did...oops!
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 7:56 PM   #17
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I'm probably too "long winded". You gave the simpler and easier to understand answer. :-)

kayleezmom

From what I can see, you're just a bit frustrated by the results you got in the snow. Your results are what I'd expect to see from most any camera in the same conditions. Snow will fool metering systems.

One way to approach it is to change the camera settings to compensate for some of it. Using an editor can also improve the images. Some of both is usually the best bet.

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 8:00 PM   #18
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KLMom-

The Sony W-100 got baffled by all that snow. Please use this technique. Take the first photo with the W-100 and look at it on the LCD screen. If it is too dark as your photo was today, you can, as JimC suggested, either add a bit (no more than EV+0.7) of Exposure Compensation. Or, you could add a flash to the photo, providing your subject is no farther away than 8 to 10 feet. The symbol to add flash to a photo in an outdoor photos is to open the flash selection and bring up the single lighting bolt. This will cause the camera to add a flash to your photo. Be sure to turn it off after you have the photo that you desire.

Here is the first photo you posted today with a bit of post processing applied. You will notice how I brightened the photo and added a bit of contrast. This is not a perfect job because I did no have your original photo. I just used screen capture and post processed the result to show you what could be done. You can do the same thing quite simply, with the recommended free program from www.google.comcalled Picasa2.

I hope that we have offered some community help to you today and that you learned a bit in the process.

MT/Sarah

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 8:24 PM   #19
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thank you all for your help. I will try th exposure change tomorrow. Do you change the exposure and force the flash? or just one or another? Once I fix the exposure, can I then zoom in? Or will it still be blurry?Are there cameras that work better in Auto mode than others? Did I just get a crappy one that takes more work? It's ok, you can be honest :-) Thanks everyone
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Old Dec 2, 2006, 8:40 PM   #20
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KLMom-

What you are going to use either of the two items but not both: (1) Exposure Compensation on the + side, but no more than EV+0.7. OR you will add some fill flash. however, the subject can be not more than 8 to 10 feet from the camera if you opt for the flash fix.

(1) Set the zoom that you desire.

(2) Press the shutter release halfway down to get the camera to auto focus and set the exposure

(3) Take you photo. If it is too dark, as this one was today then use either of the two "fixes" noted above, and retake the photo and check it on the LCD screen. It should be brighter and have more contrast. If it is now too bright, and you are use the Exposure Compensation fix, reduce the EV to EV+0.3 and take the photo again.

Note: the Exposure Compensation is the easier fix to use, because you can meter the amount.

MT/Sarah
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