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CrashGordon

Help Me Take Better Pictures

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Ok so I got me a camera for Christmas, Kodak C180. I'll admit it's probably not the greatest, but this is the first camera I've ever owned, always just used those cheap disposable ones. Now that a have a decent camera, I'd really like any help (either advice or links) as to what settings to use for various situations so I can get good results. Any and all help is much appreciated.

 

The only thing that is not an option is getting a different camera, other than that anything goes. :lol:

Edited by CrashGordon
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I've got both the manual and the extended user guide in pdf. I'm looking at the Kodak page in the Tips and Projects section. I'll just have to try and remember what to do, that's probably going to be the most difficult part. :lol:

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For point and shoot... generally speaking:

 

- Use lowest ISO where possible. Usually I don't recommend going over ISO 400 indoors, but you will need to hold the camera real still.

- Try to hold of the optical zoom, especially when you're indoors. Any shake will be greatly magnified resulting in image blur.

- Tripods are awesome.

- Use macro mode for close focal distances.

- Don't use the flash unless REALLY necessary.

- Leave it on auto white balance or manual white balance if you really want. You can always fix it in Photoshop. Avoid the presets.

 

That's just the stuff I have in mind so far. Can you adjust shutter and aperture with your camera?

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I have:

Exposure Compensation

Long Time Exposure with settings for .5,1,2,4 seconds

Color Mode

Exposure Metering

 

White Balance is set to auto

 

There's a few other settings but that's the main ones.

 

I used macro mode for the computer shots, they seemed to turn out pretty good.

Edited by CrashGordon
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Ok I've been playing around with it a little.

 

Here's a few shots using Macro, High Color, No Flash and only changing the ISO mode. Didn't alter any pic with Photoshop, they are straight from the camera.

 

First one is ISO 400:

 

1000070t.th.jpg

 

ISO 200:

 

1000071x.th.jpg

 

ISO 100:

 

1000072.th.jpg

 

The ISO 80 was just too dark to really see.

Edited by CrashGordon
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Turn off "high color". You can usually change those with curves and other optimizations in Photoshop.

 

It looks like you've locked the shutter speed. Lower the shutter to compensate for the lower sensitivity. Higher ISO on compacts usually mean exponentially increased image noise.

 

Here's a quick comparison of the photos you've taken. Look at the image noise, and at 100% view, we can see which one is just artificially more sensitive, and which one has just shutter speed too high.

 

55331759.jpg

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Alright here's a better comparison with my SD790IS with shutter speed compensated for the ISO. Shown in ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1600, respectively, at 100% crop.

 

isocomparisonsd790is.jpg

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Yeah I can really see the difference between those.

 

 

One question I have is does it make any difference to picture quality by reducing the size of the image. Like shooting a 1.2MP as opposed to a 5 or 10.1?

Edited by CrashGordon
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The camera has a sensor at the back, and typically the higher the resolution, due to the limited size in compacts the more divided up it is -- and each area of the sensor has to be more sensitive to light, therefore increases image noise. I'm not too sure about this, but I *don't think* lowering the resolution will decrease image noise as a result. I've wondered about this before, never really got an answer, but I never saw a difference with my Canon SD790IS at maximum resolution. :lol:

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I just tried it out with various res, didn't seem to make much difference (other than being able to store more/less pics). I've been playing around with it (still shooting the Mtn Dew can) so I can have a reference point as to what changes do what to the resulting image. This camera seems to like having the flash on, but that can cause it to reflect off the surface. It's too bad I can't use some sort of diffuser or something.

 

I've currently got it set at ISO80, Natural Light, Flash On, Macro Mode, AF Zone on Center, No Exposure Compensation, White Balance on Auto, Exposure Metering on Multi Pattern, Sharpness on High.

 

That seems to get good shots on something like this, but I'll just have to keep playing around with it.

Edited by CrashGordon
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I've had more time to play around with the settings and I've found that using the various Scene Modes I'm getting better results. I had been using the Auto mode and changing the options in it and I think that may have been a large portion of the problem.

 

Using the Snow Scene preset:

 

1000123eo.th.jpg

 

The Flower (Macro) preset:

 

1000134t.th.jpg

 

In the second one it got a lot of detail like the grain of the wood and the pores of the apple and lemon. I think I'm on the right track to taking better pictures, but like anything else more practice never hurts. :lol:

Edited by CrashGordon
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Man, don't use presets. :lol:

 

The first one isn't bad though, but the second you can control lighting a bit.

 

BTW here's a comparison of me taking photos at night with my dSLR at ISO 1600:

 

img0032oe.jpg

 

You can not get this kind of quality with a compact.

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With this camera, I think I'm going to have to use the presets. That's the only way to control the shutter speed and stuff. The advanced options just aren't there in the menu.

 

With it set to Auto, those settings in the post below (at 12:38 PM) are about the only options I have available.

 

I have to work with the limitations of this camera, I'm not expecting super high quality/pro level pics. If this turns out to be more than just a casual hobby I will invest in a higher quality camera.

Edited by CrashGordon
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chc, Kodak cameras are not very configurable - they're made for almost full automatic mode or their manual are use limited automatic mode. You can't really configure them like a Canon. :lol: I was very confused when my nephew bought one too.

Edited by TL6MT
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chc, Kodak cameras are not very configurable - they're made for almost full automatic mode or their manual are use limited automatic mode. You can't really configure them like a Canon. :lol: I was very confused when my nephew bought one too.

Right, I forgot haha. My friend has some old Kodak Easyshare camera back in the days. I've had a hard time using it because, while the Canon Digital Elphs weren't exactly configurable cameras either, it offers a good degree of adjustments are excellent image quality. Of course the Canon is significantly more expensive than the Kodak in question.

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That's the thing, I've never really been into photography. Just snap a few pics here and there. At the time of purchase, the main focus was on not spending too much on something that I was probably not going to use a whole lot although it looks like I'll use it more than I had originally thought. :lol:

 

It also needed to be easy to use so the wife can just pick it up and take a pic or whatever without me having to set it up first.

 

Like TL said, there aren't many settings you can change, even in the Auto mode, it has more than the presets do, but not by much. It's very much a basic entry level camera made to be as simple as possible.

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Is there a 'manual' mode of some sort?

No, not really. It has Scene mode, Sport Mode, Macro Mode and Auto. The options in all modes except Auto are pretty limited and even Auto doesn't add that many more. :D

 

Cool comparos chc. How much was your camera crash?

It was only around $70-75, so I know I can't really expect a whole lot from it.

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The only thing you can really do with a P&S w/o manual mode is to work with composition and post-processing. "Rule of Thirds" is a good guideline to follow (though all rules are meant to be broken). Learning how to adjust curves in Photoshop works wonders :D

 

Here's a link to a site I followed when I first got into photography. You can skip the sections about "Exposure" (though it is good to know). LINK

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That's a good link. Those are basics everyone should know, especially if you are venturing into more advanced cameras. :D

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