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Old Jul 21, 2010, 6:17 AM   #1
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Default Photo Example: Rabbit / lumix zs6

Photo was cut in size for this forum, as suggested, so then sharpened a bit.

I still think he looks fuzzy. Of course he is a rabbit, but still...
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:31 AM   #2
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Hey Clemma.

It looks like the editor you used to downsize that image stripped out the EXIF information (metadata in the image header that lets us see the camera settings being used).

But, on the surface, you've probably got more than one issue going on.

For one thing, you're going to have a *very* shallow depth of field when you fill the frame that much with a smaller subject.

In other words, you may only have a three or four inches of total depth of field (perhaps an inch or two in front of your focus point, and two or three of inches behind your focus point) before the image starts to get blurry at typical aperture settings.

See this Depth of Field Calculator for more information on how that works:

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

I don't see your camera in the list. But, if you select another smaller model like yours (for example, something like the Panasonic DMC-TZ7 would work fine, as it has a 1/2.33" sensor in it), then plug in something like a focal length of 8.0mm (which would be equivalent to 48mm with your camera), and a focus distance of 15 inches (which should be about right for the size area you're capturing with a subject that small), and an aperture of f/4 (typical for wider focal lengths using a camera's defaults), you'll see that total depth of field is only around 3.55" (1.57 inches in front of your focus point, and 1.97 inches behind your focus point). So, anything closer to or further away from the camera will start to get softer.

Without your exact camera settings, it's hard to be more accurate. But, even if you were zoomed in more and shooting from further away, you'll have about the same depth of field for a given subject framing and aperture when you're filling the frame that much with a small subject.

You'd need to use a smaller aperture (higher f/stop number) and/or don't zoom in as much and/or shoot from further away to get more depth of field.

In other words, your best bet with a small subject like that is not to fill the frame so much with it (so that it doesn't occupy the majority of the frame) if you don't want a very shallow depth of field (the amount of the image in focus as you get further away from your focus point).

Now, there may have been some other issues going on there, too (for example, blur from camera shake or subject movement). Without seeing the EXIF information associated with it, it's difficult to say. But, if you were not using a flash indoors, chances are, blur from camera shake and/or blur from subject movement was also a contributing factor.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:07 AM   #3
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The photo was cropped a lot and then had to be downsized to fit here. But the problem is I have to be close-- Norman would shake his head and his eyeglasses would go flying. <don't even ask-- needed a pic with him with eyeglasses>

Shooting far away was not an option, but I was a few feet away. I doubt if there was much shake. He's a good subject-- doesn't move much.

Well so guess this doesn't tell us a whole lot, but thanks.

Maybe if I could find ISO and up it that would help?
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:13 AM   #4
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Clemma-

To get the smaller aperture, JimC wrote about in his post will require more light. For example, you could add a Slave Flash to the mix which would provide more light, thus giving yourself a small aperture and a larger depth of field.

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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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No EXIF data, so it's guess work and here's my guess. The image looks cropped because of the heavy pixelation. Noise is evident, so the camera must have chosen a high ISO (400+ on the ZSn cameras will be enough to produce lots of noise). I also noticed a huge lack of detail on the strings hanging from the rabbit's mouth, an indication of both, cropping and high noise. The camera handled WB well, no issues there. Shutter speed was probably not very high and with the rabbit moving, blurriness is expected.

So, a couple of suggestions. 1) Take a few pictures of a steady object under the same exact lighting conditions using the same camera settings. That way, we eliminate fuzziness due to object movement and concentrate on the real issues (softness, pixelation, etc.); 2) re-size the images in Picasa with settings of 600 pixels and Image Quality (custom) of 100%. If the resulting file size is greater than 244,000, then re-size it changing the IQ from 100% to 95%. This should for sure create a file size smaller than 244K. Upload it to Steve's. Of course if you have a hosting account somewhere (Flickr, PBase, etc.), then the images can be much larger since all you do is include the URL of the location where the image is. Hope this helps.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemma View Post
The photo was cropped a lot and then had to be downsized to fit here. But the problem is I have to be close-- Norman would shake his head and his eyeglasses would go flying. <don't even ask-- needed a pic with him with eyeglasses>

Shooting far away was not an option, but I was a few feet away. I doubt if there was much shake. He's a good subject-- doesn't move much.

Well so guess this doesn't tell us a whole lot, but thanks.

Maybe if I could find ISO and up it that would help?
Clemma...

I don't know because I can't see the camera settings that were used to tell more about it and see if your shutter speed may have been a factor or not. ;-)

For best responses, you'll want to downsize from the original photo without any cropping or modifications. Otherwise, members can't tell what may be going wrong.

You'll also want to make sure you do not strip out the EXIF information (that lets members know the camera settings being used). I don't know what editor you were using, but the EXIF data is no longer in that image. If using Photoshop or PS Elements, don't use Save for Web (use Save As instead). Otherwise, the EXIF will be stripped out.

One free tool you can use to downsize an image is Irfanview. You can get it here:

http://www.irfanview.com

I'd post a downsized sample including the EXIF information if you want members to see camera settings use, keeping it's longest side at around 800 pixels (but no larger than 1024 pixels).

When I use Windows, I sometimes use the free Irfanview for downsizing images (but, most image editors can resize if you're using something else). You'll just need to use one that retains the settings info in the EXIF.

With Irfanview,after you open an image (File>Open), select "Image>Resize/Resample" and make the width around 640 to 800 pixels wide for posting (or a little larger, as long as it does not exceed 1024 pixels).

Leave the Preserve Aspect Ratio box checked. I use the Lanczos algorithm choice for resizing (you'll see a drop down list of choices). After you set the new size (I'd probably go with 800 pixels on the longest side, but it can be no larger than 1024 pixels for uploading to prevent the EXIF from being stripped out when you attach it to a post), click OK.

Then use the "File>Save As" menu choice and give it a new filename (so you don't overwrite your original), selecting jpg as the file type.

I'd set the Quality slider you see come up at around 80% to keep the file size within limits. It will need to be no larger than 260,000 bytes (253.9KB) to prevent the forums software from modifying it, which will cause the EXIF to be stripped out; and make sure the box to "retain EXIF" is checked (you'll see that option on the box that pops up in Irfanview when you save an image).

Then, attach it to a forum post and we can tell things like your focal length, aperture, ISO speed, etc. Without the EXIF, we don't know what settings were being used, and if things like your ISO speed settings were causing slower shutter speeds, etc.

Or, you could simply give us the EXIF information for that photo and we could tell more about it. Most image editors can read the EXIF information. If yours doesn't, just open the original image with something like the free Irfanview, and go to "Image>Information>EXIF" to see it. Then, you can click on a button to copy that information to your clipboard so you can paste it into a forum post.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 12:02 PM   #7
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I see Tullio also offered some tips while I was typing my "long winded" response. :-)

Bottom line is that we'll need a photo including the EXIF in order to tell you more about what might be going wrong, and it would be better if you did not crop and modify the image before downsizing for posting.

Otherwise, we won't be able to tell if things like Depth of Field could have been a factor, since we won't know the percentage the frame occupied by the subject to begin with, and your post processing could skew what we think is wrong. For better responses, I'd downsize an unmodified original image and make sure the EXIF is retained when asking for help about what might be going wrong. A crop from an area of the original can sometimes help members to see more detail. But, even if you want to show more detail from a smaller area of a sample, I'd make sure to include a downsized original with EXIF information in posts asking about camera settings problems, too.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 2:03 PM   #8
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not even knowing about EXIF have no idea how to maintain it. I have paintshop pro and I will take the original image, if I have it, and make it all smaller to fit here. I'll try for 600 pixels or less in one dimension and then not sharpen? Usually if I make an image way smaller it needs sharpening. Well, perhaps you all would know how to sharpen it, so I won't.

I also have image expert, which perhaps might maintain the info you need. Again, I won't sharpen.

I'll have to do that way later.

Thanks.

Last edited by Clemma; Jul 21, 2010 at 2:06 PM. Reason: added info
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 2:16 PM   #9
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Actually can do it now both ways. hope this has the info you need. Same picture, two different programs, not sharpened. Stuffed animal in background for reference. Norman is not tiny, he's 8 lbs.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 2:21 PM   #10
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Default New photo examples: Lumix zs6

Two different software resizings of original photo:Name:  P1000335forsteves.jpg
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