Picture quality?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 88888888, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #1
    Need better camera or lens?
    d60 with kit right now.
    what to get?
     
  2. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #2
    Setting your aperture to it's optimal setting (f8-f11 usually), light permitting and using the mid zoom range will generally give you your sharpest pictures with what you currently have. Avoid using high ISOs where possible.

    Even if you upgraded the camera you would see little if any improvements in image quality.
     
  3. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #3
    Buying more gear is not always (rarely, actually) the answer to picture quality problems. How about some details about *what* exactly is wrong with your photos? There's no silver bullet that's going to fix everything, so we need to know what's wrong.
     
  4. Mydriasis macrumors 6502

    Mydriasis

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    #4
    Do you even have a quality problem?

    If you just what to improve... invest in a lens. Lenses last longer than bodies anyways.
     
  5. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #5
    Post some of these "inferior" images so we can offer some CC and have a better idea of what you're not happy with.
     
  6. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #6
    I'm shooting with a 3+ year old Canon 20D and still am pretty impressed with what I end up with sometimes.

    Picture quality is in the glass moreso than the sensor. All the newer bodies do better is handle higher ISO noise. (Okay, not all, but that's where the biggest improvements are happening).

    Dump the kit lens and start investing in good lenses. Upgrade your body when there are new features you 'just gotta have', until then your D60 should do juuuust fine.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    "Quality" is composed of many factors. Each factor has to be addressed one at a time. Almost certainly all of us can improve our technique. Working on technique will give the greatest effect on quality and at no cost other then time.

    For most people the #1 thing you can do is working to make sure you are using "reasonable" shutter speeds, Apertures and ISO settings for each subject.

    The next steps are to get a tripod and work on lighting

    Buy a new lens or body ONLY after you have found the you just can't get the result you want because some dial or control "runs out of range". For example you can't shoot at f/4 because the lens only goes to f/5.6 THAT is the reason to replace the lens

    THe D60 and kit lens is capable of doing professional quality work although the kit lens does limit the photographic genre, but within the lenses ability it is very good.

    Your next step: Post some pictures and say why you don't like them
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #8
    True... When I started contributing to stock pic agencies, I was getting pix rejected, often for 'softness' or lack of critical focus. I put the problem down to the kit lens on my Nikon D200 (18-70), and thought I'd have to invest in a better lens.

    But I tightened up my working methods (tripod, low ISO, focusing on 'hyperfocal distance', using optimum apertures, etc), and didn't submit pix I wasn't 100% happy with.

    The result is that I haven't had a pic rejected for months, and I'm no longer looking for a new lens. The one I had was fine; the weak link in the photographic chain wasn't the lens... it was me... :)
     
  9. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2008
  10. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #10
    First of all, please post thumbnails of those that link to the full pictures, or use tags, instead of embedding the full pics themselves. Most people don't look at the forums with 30"+ monitors.

    Second...can you post any EXIF data from those? Like aperture, exposure time, ISO, etc?
     
  11. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #11
    The EXIF data is embedded in the linked images.

    1. You need to work on leveling out the horizon
    2. Do you use a tripod? I'm guessing not by some of the overly quick shutter speeds for the pics in question and the lack of the level horizon so if I'm correct that should be your next purchase.
    3. Your F stops are all over the place, that last scene has an F stop of 4.2, that just isn't appropriate for such a landscape shot you want something like F/11 or even F/16 for that
    4. Even before a tripod investment pick up a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson, best ~$20 you will ever spend on photography stuff

    EDIT: Gee what has happened to my spelling & grammar lately? Can't believe I typed seen instead of scene!
     
  12. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #12
     
  13. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #13
    Out of all the shots I like #2 the best, the horizon is close to straight, I like the silhouette effect and the aperture you chose actually suits the effect you achieved, although I see you used the same aperture on #3 but just changed the focus area.

    Also you seem stuck on ISO200, I would expect it to be higher for shots at dusk, any reason for sticking to 200?
     
  14. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #14
    hmm. thanks for the input. i'll check out that book. I think I forgot about the ISO's.. hmm im a noob :rolleyes:
     
  15. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #15
    AWESOME thank you, I'm so used to looking at EXIF via Flickr that I didn't have another way other than importing his shots into my Aperture library.
     
  16. epyfa macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
    Location:
    http://127.0.0.1
    #16
    Why can't just someone write the EXIF into this thread, so that not everybody has to look it up?

    EDIT:

    Photo 1:

    Color Space: sRGB
    Compressed Bits Per Pixel: 4
    Contrast: Soft
    Custom Rendered: Normal process
    Date Time Digitized: 2009:02:20 17:49:45
    Date Time Original: 2009:02:20 17:49:45
    Digital Zoom Ratio: 1
    Exif Version: 2.2.1
    Exposure Bias Value: 0
    Exposure Mode: Auto exposure
    Exposure Program: Normal program
    Exposure Time: 1 / 200
    Flash: Flash fired, auto mode, return light detected
    FlashPix Version: 1.0
    FNumber: 14
    Focal Length: 34
    Focal Length In 35mm Film: 51
    Gain Control: None
    ISO Speed Ratings: 200
    Light Source: unknown
    Max Aperture Value: 4.6
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Pixel X Dimension: 2896
    Pixel Y Dimension: 1944
    Saturation: Normal
    Scene Capture Type: Standard
    Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor
    Sharpness: Normal
    Subject Distance Range: unknown
    Sub-second Time: 50
    Sub-second Time Digitized: 50
    Sub-second Time Original: 50
    User Comment:
    White Balance: Auto white balance
    FlashCompensation: 0
    ImageNumber: 885
    Lens Info: 18, 55, 3.5, 5.6
    Lens Model: 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6
    SerialNumber: 3231356

    Photo 2:

    Color Space: sRGB
    Date Time Digitized: 2009:02:20 17:52:49
    Date Time Original: 2009:02:20 17:52:49
    Exif Version: 2.2
    Exposure Bias Value: 0
    Exposure Program: Aperture priority
    Exposure Time: 1 / 499
    Flash: Flash did not fire
    FNumber: 5.6
    Focal Length: 44
    ISO Speed Ratings: 200
    Light Source: unknown
    Max Aperture Value: 4.8
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor

    Photo 3:

    Color Space: sRGB
    Date Time Digitized: 2009:02:20 17:53:25
    Date Time Original: 2009:02:20 17:53:25
    Exif Version: 2.2
    Exposure Bias Value: 0
    Exposure Program: Aperture priority
    Exposure Time: 1 / 400
    Flash: Flash did not fire
    FNumber: 5.6
    Focal Length: 55
    ISO Speed Ratings: 200
    Light Source: unknown
    Max Aperture Value: 5
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor

    Photo 4:

    Color Space: sRGB
    Date Time Digitized: 2009:02:20 18:13:22
    Date Time Original: 2009:02:20 18:13:22
    Exif Version: 2.2
    Exposure Bias Value: 0
    Exposure Program: Manual
    Exposure Time: 1 / 10
    Flash: Flash did not fire
    FNumber: 4.2
    Focal Length: 62
    ISO Speed Ratings: 200
    Light Source: unknown
    Max Aperture Value: 4.1
    Metering Mode: Pattern
    Sensing Method: One-chip color area sensor
     
  17. Daremo macrumors 68000

    Daremo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    I was under the impression the higher the ISO, the more noise in the photo. If you adjust the aperture and shutter on a tripod, shouldn't you be able to capture a beautiful shot like his 4th photo, with a low ISO?

    Even Bryan Peterson says in the Exposure book, that he shoots 99% of all his shots using ISO 100.
     
  18. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2008
  19. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #19
    They're not "subpar". They good shots, but composition is always what matters. It's up to you, the photographer, to convey what the picture is about. I do like the second shot, but I agree with Jaseone that you probably should have set the F-stop a between 8-15 or something and see how the depth of field plays out. The third shot is probably the worst out of the four, just because the silhouette is more distracting than the background. I think the depth of field might be a little too shallow, but that's just me. ;) It stands out much more than the background, which is obviously not what you're trying to convey, since the background is in focus. Again, this is more of personal opinion than anything else. But I guess it's sometimes good to critique right?

    It's always fun playing around with the F-stop + exposure times to see what you get. Once you play around with it a lot more, usually you'll be able to "know" how a picture will look before you even take a shot.
     
  20. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #20
    There is no good reason not to raise ISO if you need a faster shutter or a smaller aperture. On top of that, no respectable modern DSLR will show a significant amount of noise at ISO 400 or below.

    Peterson's book actually isn't a very good photography book, it's just easy to read.
     
  21. Daremo macrumors 68000

    Daremo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #21
    OK, fair enough! I'm new at the digital SLR, so this is good to know.
     
  22. 88888888 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 28, 2008
  23. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #23
    That one doesn't seem to have any EXIF data in it, so I can't comment on any of that.

    Compositionally...I like what you were going for, but I think there might be too much of the tree. It's kind of distracting. Maybe tightening in on the city below and using the tree to frame the shot, changing your angle a bit, might have worked well.
     

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