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  1. #1
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    Digital Rebel again...

    So, am I going to have to take a class to be able to take decent pictures with this camera? All I want are good snapshots of my 3 year olds...I don't have time to have to change all the settings every time they move across the room. I'm very frustrated with this. On Saturday night, a friend was taking pictures with her Fuji and they were much better than mine. I tried again today and played with the settings and I just can't get what I want. I don't have time to study photography to be able to take pictures of my kids. Please help!! I'm just about ready to stick this thing on ebay and buy a point and shoot at WalMart!

    Kathy

    P.S. Please excuse the obvious frustration in my post...I have 3 year old twins and they've really been a handful today.

    P.S.S. Here are two photos and what I think you'll need to know about them...both were taken at the same settings.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Digital Rebel again...-caseyhelp.jpg  
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  2. #2
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    I'll assume your complaint is that that it looks like they're in a cave? (Dark backgrounds)

    The problem is the shutter speed/flash combination. At 1/100 of a second in a dimly lit room very little ambient light will show in the final exposure. In these photos the flash ended up being the main source of light for the photo. That's what gives it that look.

    A point and shoot wouldn't have helped things unless they default to a slower shutter speed but then you'd run into other problems.

    Your friend with the Fuji probably had better lighting circumstances that made theirs look better.

    Here's what you can do to improve your results without having to learn everything about photography:

    1. Take your photos in brighter light. Having your kids outdoors in shaded areas is perfect! If indoors, there's probably not a lot you can do but you can try turning on as many lights as possible or opening shades if there's still light outside.

    2. Use "night portrait" mode. Put the camera on a tripod or hold it real steady by leaning against a wall when you take the photo. The flash will fire to expose the subject properly and the camera will also try to let some ambient light in. Depending on the circumstances, this does a very good job.

    You don't need a course in photography to get better photos. And a different camera isn't likely to improve things. Focus on getting more light and your results will improve.

  3. #3
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    [QUOTE=Trevor Ash]I'll assume your complaint is that that it looks like they're in a cave? (Dark backgrounds) YES!!

    The problem is the shutter speed/flash combination. At 1/100 of a second in a dimly lit room very little ambient light will show in the final exposure. In these photos the flash ended up being the main source of light for the photo. That's what gives it that look. This was in a room with an overhead light with 5 bulbs and some daylight coming in. It wasn't nearly as dark as these photos make it look. I'll attach a photo I took at ISO 1600 with no flash so you can see what the light was really like. I didn't like these settings because of the noise.

    A point and shoot wouldn't have helped things unless they default to a slower shutter speed but then you'd run into other problems.

    Your friend with the Fuji probably had better lighting circumstances that made theirs look better. Actually, we were taking pics at the same time of the same subjects. I'll include one below that I took on Full Auto. The flash did not go off.

    Here's what you can do to improve your results without having to learn everything about photography:

    1. Take your photos in brighter light. Having your kids outdoors in shaded areas is perfect! If indoors, there's probably not a lot you can do but you can try turning on as many lights as possible or opening shades if there's still light outside. I do appreciate your suggestion and I love photographing them outdoors...but there are times when there are things I want to capture inside like playing dress-up or having a tea party. I can't take those shots outside.

    2. Use "night portrait" mode. Put the camera on a tripod or hold it real steady by leaning against a wall when you take the photo. The flash will fire to expose the subject properly and the camera will also try to let some ambient light in. Depending on the circumstances, this does a very good job. You did understand that my normal subjects are two (yes, two) three year olds ? I can't use a tripod because I have to move too much.

    You don't need a course in photography to get better photos. And a different camera isn't likely to improve things. Focus on getting more light and your results will improve.I just can't necessarily change the conditions when I take a picture. I either have to learn how to make this camera work within the conditions I have or get something else. I'm not missing great snapshots of my kids because of this or any other camera.

    I do understand that you're trying to help me. I'm sure your suggestions are appropriate and would probably solve the problem, but most of them just aren't feasible for my situation. I want to be able to take good snapshots of my children without having to take test shots and check them on the computer to tweak the settings on the camera. By then, the moment has passed.

    Seriously, thanks for your suggestions. I will continue to work with it and try to figure it out and any other tips are certainly appreciated.

    Kathy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Digital Rebel again...-tea-party.jpg  
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  4. #4
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Let me give you a hint that's made me happy with my DRebel on automatic settings.

    I *never* use the little green square setting. My favorite settings are: landscape, night, sports, and ADEP.

    I take a lot of shots using Lanscape mode. Here's what you do: when you pull the camera out, look around your surroundings and make a judgement about what setting you want to use. Put the camera on that setting, (i.e. "sports") and then set the camera aside. When you want to take a picture, just pick it up and point and shoot.

    If you want flash but it doesn't pop up, just push the little button on the side with the "jagged arrow" symbol.

    I recommend you take five minutes some evening, and just shoot random shots around your living room using the different settings, and then look at them. Look at the viewfinder to see which one is warmest, then use that setting all the time. I really think you'll like the "night" setting. And I've never used the "night" setting with a tripod. I don't think you have to.

    It doesn't need to be hard. The DRebel is built to be BOTH point-and-shoot AND a semi-pro camera.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  5. #5
    Ghost
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Hi Kathy,

    I understand where you're coming from. The problem doesn't change though.....which is a lack of light. It's not really necessary to show me any additional photos as long as the shutter/iso settings you gave are accurate. It's clear to me that at 1/100 not enough ambient was captured. The evidence is in the photos already. Your 1600 exposure looks good but I understand the noise problem. It's a trade off.

    Now, I think you might be surprised what you can do with a slower shutterspeed even though the kids are running around everywhere. Give it a try. Sometimes the motion blur from them running around adds a tremendous amount of quality to a photo. Seriously, try it every now and then in night portrait mode.

    Now, since you don't have the time, stability, patience, etc.....there's another option that will solve all of these problems for indoor shooting. Buy a 420EX or 550EX flash and point the flash head so that it bounces off the cieling. That'll help a TREMENDOUS amount. So if you have the money I HIGHLY recommend the 420EX ($180).

    Without seeing the photo from the Fuji I can't explain what's going on but my first guess would be that the lens on the Fuji is a much faster lens than you are shooting with (in other words the Fuji has a much larger aperture which lets in more light). Are you using the kit lens that comes with the camera? What aperture was the image taken at? My guess is that it was about f5.6. I bet the max aperture on the Fuji (assuming it's a point and shoot) is closer to 2.8 or even 2.0. The difference between 2.8 and 5.6 is 2 full stops of light. That's the same difference as 400 is to 1600. And your exposure at 1600 looks pretty good. That would easily explain why the Fuji looked better.....because it let more ambient light in the exposure. You could buy a faster lens (one with a larger aperture like 2.8) but that could get VERY expensive pretty quickly depening on what you're after.

    I'm beginning to think that you may actually be better off with a large aperture point and shoot simply because it's cheaper and probably a little easier to deal with. BTW, the larger the max aperture on a lens the smaller the f number. 2.0 is larger (and faster) than 2.8 for example.

    Best of luck to you. I think you'll get what you're after soon enough.


  6. #6
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    I just noticed the f/stop was 6.3 so I was more or less correct about that one. I wonder what the aperture was set to on your friends Fuji? Maybe your friend will trade cameras :-)

  7. #7
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Ash
    I just noticed the f/stop was 6.3 so I was more or less correct about that one. I wonder what the aperture was set to on your friends Fuji? Maybe your friend will trade cameras :-)
    See. all that f/stop stuff is over my head . Hers was on full auto. I was amazed by her camera, especially the lack of lag time with the flash that I've seen with most other digital cameras (not with the Canon, though...that's one thing I LOVE about it).

    Kathy

  8. #8
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Here's what bounce flash gets you. It was pretty darn dark in this room!!!! This was shot with the Canon Powershot G3 and the 420EX flash unit. The first image has the flash pointed straight at Ozzy (just like the builtin flash on your camera would be). For the second photo I pointed the flash straight up (you can't do that with your built in flash) so that the light bounced off the cieling and falls back down to fill the room.

    I hope this helps you some.

    Sorry for all the technical stuff in this and your other thread. I realize you must be pretty frustrated because all you want is a photo and I didn't mean to add to that frustration
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Digital Rebel again...-bounce.jpg  

  9. #9
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    [QUOTE=Trevor Ash]Here's what bounce flash gets you. It was pretty darn dark in this room!!!! This was shot with the Canon Powershot G3 and the 420EX flash unit. The first image has the flash pointed straight at Ozzy (just like the builtin flash on your camera would be). For the second photo I pointed the flash straight up (you can't do that with your built in flash) so that the light bounced off the cieling and falls back down to fill the room.Wow, that does make a huge difference. I'll have to think about that when I have the cash. Right now I'm investing in a bigger hard drive to store all these mediocre photos, LOL...actually, I need it for other reasons, too.

    I hope this helps you some.

    Sorry for all the technical stuff in this and your other thread. I realize you must be pretty frustrated because all you want is a photo and I didn't mean to add to that frustration Oh, please don't apologize for your knowledge. I wish I had time to learn more about photography because I really enjoy it and even got paid to do it for a while (see website link below). But, with my babies and 15 hours of college right now, I just don't have time to try to conquer anything else . ;)

    Kathy

    Check these out, but don't critique me too hard...remember, I'm just a novice with a good imagination, LOL.

    http://www.twomiraclesphoto.com

  10. #10
    Member shadz's Avatar
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Kathy,

    I have a recommendation for 1 book that you simply must read. I had many of the same frustrations that you are encountering and this book helped me immensely. It is easy to read, didn't take forever to get through, isn't filled with a lot of tech speak and really made the difference in understanding what it was I was trying to do. It is called Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson. Borders, Waldenbook, Library, etc.

    I have to agree with Trevor that 6.3 is not a good aperture for your shown environment, especially with that sissy on camera flash. I also have a dRebel and it was making me crazy for a while too. Reading the book I've mentioned and spending a bit on a flash made a heck of a difference. The flash I got was the Sigma EF 500 DG Super Flash. Comparable with a Canon 550 ex and half the price. It has some issues for the "prosumer" user, but is a heck of a piece of equipment for the price. Trevor's suggestion of a 420ex is a good one too.

    BTW: I also have twins. Girls. 4 years old. I know about trying to keep 'em still. I find a little judicious duct tape works wonders.

    (kidding!)

    Good luck.

    Danny

  11. #11
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Kathy,
    I love this thread. It's as if you've stepped inside of my head and put it all down here. I just wasn't experienced enough with my Rebel to communicate all that you did.

    Trevor Ash- the reason I bought my digital rebel was because I had a "film" EOS rebel and loved it and still do. I read you signature and I know you'll say buy a Nikon. Well, it's too late for me. So, my question is why do none of these problems come out ( I leave my film reble on AF) with my "film" rebel but they come out with the digital. I was wondering it it's a new camera so we're just scrutinizing the pictures more.

    My digital reble is a bit heavy as it is. If I add that flash how much weight does it add?

  12. #12
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Quote Originally Posted by lkohawaii
    Kathy,
    I love this thread. It's as if you've stepped inside of my head and put it all down here. I just wasn't experienced enough with my Rebel to communicate all that you did.

    Trevor Ash- the reason I bought my digital rebel was because I had a "film" EOS rebel and loved it and still do. I read you signature and I know you'll say buy a Nikon. Well, it's too late for me. So, my question is why do none of these problems come out ( I leave my film reble on AF) with my "film" rebel but they come out with the digital. I was wondering it it's a new camera so we're just scrutinizing the pictures more.

    My digital reble is a bit heavy as it is. If I add that flash how much weight does it add?
    Well, my signature is supposed to be sarcastic There is no "better" camera for everyone. I was mocking how people argue about their camera equipment as if it was a religion. Maybe I should change it as I don't want people to actually think I am like my signature!!! Maybe you were being sarcastic too

    On to your questions...

    The easy one first, if you're already concerned about the camera weight then adding that flash will be very noticeable. The flash (with 4 AA batteries) probably weights about a pound.

    I'm having a hard time understanding your other question. Are you asking why the film camera doesn't have the problems that the digital one does? That'll be my assumption. Exactly which problems are you talking about? You may be correct about over scrutinizing but there are likely other things going on here that contribute to what you're experiencing. For example, the exposure latitude of negative film is much larger (better) than digital. And when you get prints done at a lab from negative film they're doing A TON OF corrections to make it as pleasing as possible to you. These corrections typically include fixing underexposed/overexposed shots as well as color correction. The one thing they can't fix however is a blurry subject. But while you'll definetely notice blur in a full screen evaluation of a digital file you often would never have noticed it on a 4x6 print.

    I'll shut up now So what problems are you talking about that the digital camera suffers from and the film camera doesn't?

  13. #13
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    Re: Digital Rebel again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Ash
    Well, my signature is supposed to be sarcastic There is no "better" camera for everyone. I was mocking how people argue about their camera equipment as if it was a religion. Maybe I should change it as I don't want people to actually think I am like my signature!!! Maybe you were being sarcastic too

    On to your questions...

    The easy one first, if you're already concerned about the camera weight then adding that flash will be very noticeable. The flash (with 4 AA batteries) probably weights about a pound.

    I'm having a hard time understanding your other question. Are you asking why the film camera doesn't have the problems that the digital one does? That'll be my assumption. Exactly which problems are you talking about? You may be correct about over scrutinizing but there are likely other things going on here that contribute to what you're experiencing. For example, the exposure latitude of negative film is much larger (better) than digital. And when you get prints done at a lab from negative film they're doing A TON OF corrections to make it as pleasing as possible to you. These corrections typically include fixing underexposed/overexposed shots as well as color correction. The one thing they can't fix however is a blurry subject. But while you'll definetely notice blur in a full screen evaluation of a digital file you often would never have noticed it on a 4x6 print.

    I'll shut up now So what problems are you talking about that the digital camera suffers from and the film camera doesn't?

    Trevor Ash...sorry if I wasn't clear. I didn't take your signature personally. Maybe my frustration with my Canon is showing. I'm kind of thinking maybe I should have bought a Nikon. I didn't think anything negativly of you...in fact I'm thankful for all the help you've given me.

    You've answered my question about film vs. digital right on the head. Someone else mentioned the corretions the lab makes to me. So, I'm learning about all this digital. Also, I used the settings you suggested in my other thread and it seems to be working. I'm waiting to get to processing in the lab in order to post to you the results...but so far on my monitor it looks great. Thanks again....and please don't shut up....keep talking. The more you say the more people like me are learning. My biggest complaint was that I didn't know where to get info on all this new technology. My friends and I sure didn't know much about all this digital stuff.

    Sherri

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