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Old 26th January 2006, 00:58   #1
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Lightbulb Tips on improving photography skills

I always had a craving to good photography but never succeded a wee bit..Infact there has been a number of embarassing moments too which keeps haunting me in a way...
Infact i've been named as pathetic in this deptt by my cousins.....

So i hope some tbhpian's rudra sir, other pros and wannabes will shower some tips.....

I use a NIKON COOLPIX 4100


Specifications
Quote:
Sensor • 1/2.5" type
• 4.23 million total pixels
• 4.0 million effective pixels
Lens • 3x optical zoom
• 35 - 105 mm equiv.
• F2.8 - F4.9
AF assist illuminator Yes
Image sizes • 2288 x 1712
• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480, 15 fps
• 320 x 240, 15 fps
• 160 x 120, 15 fps
• Limited only by storage
• With audio
Shooting modes • Auto
• Scene Assistance
Scene modes • Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night portrait)
• Scene (Party/Indoor
• Beach/Snow
• Sunset
• Dusk/Dawn
• Night landscape
• Close up
• Museum
• Fireworks show
• Copy
• Back light
• Panorama assist
Capture modes • Single
• Continuous
• Multi-shot 16 (16 frames 1/16 size)
Color modes • Standard
• Vivid
• Black and white
• Sepia
• Cyanotype
Flash • Built-in
• Range: 0.4 - 3.4 m (w), 0.4 - 2.0 m (t)
• Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, On, Off, Slow sync
LCD monitor • 1.6 in TFT LCD
• 80,000 pixel
Connectivity • USB (1.1)
• Video out
• DC-IN
Storage • 14.5 MB internal flash
• SD card slot
Power • 2 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
or • 1 x CRV3 battery
Dimensions 88 x 65 x 38 mm (3.5 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
Weight (no batt) 140 g (4.9 oz)
I also have 512MB and 128MB memory card...
Pretty satisfied with cam's performance but still think there is more to explore..

Cause of worry:

The auto mode does not produce quality photos at all times..

At night the large area photos aren't clear its grainy n dark ..for clear photos the object has to be closeup...eg.my auto expo pics were poor...

Sometimes indoor photos looks unreal as flash light superceedes the room's natural light..


Some doubts about camera features:

BSS - best shot selector ...how does this work!! whenever i switch on this focussing an object becomes difficult..

Exp +/- .... how n when to use it??

difference between image mode Normal 2288x1712 and high 2288x1712???

What is a White Balance...!! It measures something donno what..

Difference between standard n vivid colour options..!!! which is best...
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Old 30th January 2006, 05:09   #2
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Hi Kpzen,

I'm gonna try to answer a few of your questions, largely based on my opinion so dont take it as the truth.

Cause of worry -
Well let me just say that IMO, if you want to take good pictures on a pro/consumer digicam, STAY AWAY FROM THE NIGHT PICTURES!
LIGHT is very important when it comes to capturing a good image, as well as helping the camera out with focus, exposure, whitebalance etc, none of which you can do as well with flash photography.

BSS
I have only played with BSS once on the latest EXLIM so maybe it had more options than yours. After hitting BS you select the type of photo you are about to take (snow, portrait, landscape, fireworks, candlelit, blah, blah) and depending on that it selects the appropriate aperture, ISO, shutter speed etc etc. Since it seems like in your camera you dont get the option of selecting the type of scene, READ THE MANUAL

Exp +/- , that will just over or under expose your auto exposure by the setting u choose. Neccessary if you are for eg. taking a shot of a tree with a very bright sky, which causes the tree to show up really dark, you would over expose causing the sky to be over exposed but the tree to be correctly exposed.

Difference between Normal and High of the same Resolution -
Its a matter of JPEG compression. Normal uses a more effective level of compression than High. As a result, file sizes are smaller, but in most cases there will be slightly more "compression noise" in the pictures, although, in most cases that slight difference is so slight that you do not notice it unless you zoom in 400% or more!
Moral of the story - shoot at "Normal", it will save you MBs or GIGs in the long run, unless you are shooting for something like a very large print, or your daughters wedding or something (even that is a ?able)

White balance -
Look it up online, i'm lazy.

Vivid and standard -
Just enhances/saturates the colours. Serious photographers will prefere to shoot on standard (and then do the neccessary saturating in photoshop or the likes), but for everyday users they may be more happy with the vivid colours when shooting in vivid mode. Try a comparison in bright light with something colourful and you will see what i mean.

cya
R
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Old 30th January 2006, 11:05   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpzen
Cause of worry:

The auto mode does not produce quality photos at all times..

At night the large area photos aren't clear its grainy n dark ..for clear photos the object has to be closeup...eg.my auto expo pics were poor...

Sometimes indoor photos looks unreal as flash light superceedes the room's natural light..
If you are serious, then to begin with, you might need a camera which will allow full to semi manual control...
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Old 30th January 2006, 11:23   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan
Cause of worry -
Well let me just say that IMO, if you want to take good pictures on a pro/consumer digicam, STAY AWAY FROM THE NIGHT PICTURES!
Oh, c'mon! I love to take night pictures with my prosumer camera, how can you rule that out?

I took this snap during this weekend...
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Old 30th January 2006, 11:50   #5
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Pre defined modes will always give you not so good results.
I suggest first you google and understand what is exposure, aperture, ISO and also basics of metering (Matrix, spot etc.,)
As for your night pics, your camera is selecting ISO 400. ISO 400 means lots of noise. So use ISO 100 and increase shutter time. This will need a tripod to get good pics.
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Old 30th January 2006, 11:55   #6
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Actually I'd give the same advice I got from Bangalore BHPian S_Pathak. First learn the basics, one great source is http://www.photo.net/learn website. Checkout the items under Beginners. Although I have been clicking for 17 years and have known some stuff from experience, I too benefited a lot by reading the beginner stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
As for your night pics, your camera is selecting ISO 400. ISO 400 means lots of noise. So use ISO 100 and increase shutter time. This will need a tripod to get good pics.
Exactly. My setting for the snap I posted earlier is F/2.3, ISO100 and 3 second exposure time.

Last edited by Samurai : 30th January 2006 at 12:01.
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Old 30th January 2006, 12:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Actually I'd give the same advice I got from Bangalore BHPian S_Pathak. First learn the basics, one great source is http://www.photo.net/learn website. Checkout the items under Beginners. Although I have been clicking for 17 years and have known some stuff from experience, I too benefited a lot by reading the beginner stuff.
Glad to know the site helped. That is a great resource for shutterbugs. Keep reading.

For Kpzen : Keep the following in mind :

1. A camera does not yield a "photograph", it's the one "in front of" it and the "one behind" it.
2. Camera is just a tool. In capable hands, even a basic tool can produce outstanding results. Just like Mclaren's driving a Zen and posing serious competition to much larger and capable cars
3. Depending on auto mode is like letting your vehicle be driven by a chauffeur and then complaining about drivability.
4. Learn the basics - READ a good photography book that talks about - Light, Exposure, Composition, Technique. Any basic Kodak publication shall help.

Definitions such as "white balance" should be there in your camera manual and is also available in multiple web sources. In most cameras, auto white balance produce decent results. You may like to experiment with your camera.

Lastly, read www.photo.net/learn. It is a great web resource for any one who is interested in the subject.

Hope this helps.
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Old 30th January 2006, 23:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan
Well let me just say that IMO, if you want to take good pictures on a pro/consumer digicam, STAY AWAY FROM THE NIGHT PICTURES!
Oh, c'mon! I love to take night pictures with my prosumer camera, how can you rule that out?

I took this snap during this weekend...
Thats exactly the comment i was talking about when i said " largely based on my opinion so dont take it as the truth.
(atleast for beginners who usually dont have tripods)

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 30th January 2006 at 23:19.
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Old 31st January 2006, 18:10   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Oh, c'mon! I love to take night pictures with my prosumer camera, how can you rule that out?

I took this snap during this weekend...
Hey Samurai
Thats a great night shot...
Which camera do u use??
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Old 31st January 2006, 18:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S Pathak


Glad to know the site helped. That is a great resource for shutterbugs. Keep reading.

For Kpzen : Keep the following in mind :

1. A camera does not yield a "photograph", it's the one "in front of" it and the "one behind" it.
2. Camera is just a tool. In capable hands, even a basic tool can produce outstanding results. Just like Mclaren's driving a Zen and posing serious competition to much larger and capable cars
3. Depending on auto mode is like letting your vehicle be driven by a chauffeur and then complaining about drivability.
4. Learn the basics - READ a good photography book that talks about - Light, Exposure, Composition, Technique. Any basic Kodak publication shall help.

Definitions such as "white balance" should be there in your camera manual and is also available in multiple web sources. In most cameras, auto white balance produce decent results. You may like to experiment with your camera.

Lastly, read www.photo.net/learn. It is a great web resource for any one who is interested in the subject.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your advise and the link is pretty useful.....
Seems like my camera also has limited functions to play with..
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Old 31st January 2006, 19:08   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpzen
Hey Samurai
Thats a great night shot...
Which camera do u use??
Thanks, it is Sony Cybershot DSC F-717 which is basically a 5MP point-n-shoot camera with long zoom. This shot was taken in manual mode, only the focus was automatic.
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Old 31st January 2006, 23:26   #12
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how much did you get it for ?? im looking out for a good cam.sorry for the off topic discusiion.


rev
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Old 1st February 2006, 00:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revtech
how much did you get it for ?? im looking out for a good cam.sorry for the off topic discusiion.
rev
I totally paid $1200 in 2003 for the camera+512MB+premium flash. Currently I am thinking of selling it so that I can upgrade into dSLRs.
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Old 15th April 2006, 13:01   #14
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The main problem with most of we guys is lack of patience. when we purchase a camera there will be a detialed user manual with that which will describe each and every option available to the user. But how many of us will read it carefully? I think once you start doing this half of the things will be solved. Becuz each camera will be having itown user interface and u should be familiar with that before commenting on the quality.
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Old 15th April 2006, 14:52   #15
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its best to start with the cheapest manual camera and learn metering, exposure control, focusing, perspective control, framing , lighting , flash techs, filters ... oh so many things

Its not bout having the most expensive camera around, its bout the technique.
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