Puppies get bored with the Canon Powershot A720

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Dudley Hanks, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Dudley Hanks, Jun 1, 2008
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  2. Dudley Hanks

    Burgerman Guest

    Your unedited image is better although the dog is a bit blurred..

    The edited image shows an obvious "line" around the dog where you have
    selected dog/sky.
    The dog was maybe sharpened but it has caused the noise in the image to make
    strange colours on highlights in the fur and the tongue shows tons of noise.
    The sky was blurred or smeared to remove noise.

    Just my opinion of course.
    Burgerman, Jun 1, 2008
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  3. Dudley Hanks

    Ofnuts Guest

    Also mine :)
    Ofnuts, Jun 1, 2008
  4. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Thanks for the feedback guys. It helps a lot.

    This is the first time my son has tried this type of post processing, so
    there's going to be a bit of a learning curve. Any suggestions on how to
    improve the application of effects?

    Dudley Hanks, Jun 1, 2008
  5. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Also, any comments on removing noise with Photoshop?

    How does one do it? Should it be done first?

    Thanks for any feedback,
    Dudley Hanks, Jun 1, 2008
  6. Dudley Hanks

    Paul Furman Guest

    I've tried Noiseware Community Edition and it works OK for free. Use the
    original and noise reduced version in layers and leave detail in some
    areas where the noise isn't a problem. For your background blur, feather
    the selection (select menu).

    Also, the camera may already be applying a lot of noise reduction, and a
    lot of sharpening. See if those can be turned down, then you sharpen &
    noise reduce only as needed in photoshop. If it's not oversharpened, it
    may not need to have the noise toned down.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jun 1, 2008
  7. Dudley Hanks

    Burgerman Guest

    First it would be better to start with a sharper shot because trying to
    sharpen things after the event to make up for it just makes more visible
    noise at the same time. When selecting the dogs outline use large feathered
    edges so the join cant be seen.

    Most oif those things wouldnt need fixing if you used a camera with less
    noise to begin with and a faster shutter speed and more accurate focus. But
    the only way to learn is to play. For many hours...
    Burgerman, Jun 1, 2008
  8. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    So, am I right in concluding that sharpening enhances noise?

    I'm not sure if I can turn down noise reduction in camera, but I'll check
    into it. As for in camera sharpening, I think there's a couple of things I
    can do:

    I've got my camera's colour mode set to vivid. I think I'll set that to
    normal / off / whatever the term is for it. That may get rid of extra
    in-camera sharpening. Or, there is a custom colour setting where I can set
    things like saturation, sharpness and contrast. I could try using this mode
    and reduce the sharpness a tad.

    First, I'll go with just going to the normal mode and see what happens.

    Regarding the blurry dog, I was shooting stopped down to f/8 because I
    wanted to see how my camera's settings compared to the sunny 16 rule. It
    was a bit of a cloudy day, and I was shooting in a bit of shade, so I
    figured that the sunny 16 rule would probably call for about f/8 at 1/100
    sec for the ISO 100 setting. My camera actually chose 1/125, but that's
    pretty close. I was also using a flash fill because the sun wasn't angled
    in from the front, but was coming in more from the side, possibly even a bit

    I guess that little Breton's movement was a bit much for the 1/125, although
    I thought it would have been quick enough.

    I suppose, the bit of a blur could also have come from not focusing on the
    pup. But, i thought that she should have been the subject the focusing
    system would have chosen.

    Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your suggestions.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jun 1, 2008
  9. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I couldn't agree with you more.

    Thanks for the tips on applying affects. I'll pass them on to my son. He's
    quite interested in playing with the program, but he's more into turning
    George W. into a one-eyed freak than seriously improving images. But, I
    think he'll come around in time.

    As for the camera, I am contemplating moving up to an S series Canon, or
    something similar, eventually, but the A720 is pocketable, and I do most of
    my shots while I'm just plodding around.

    It's been a while since I took any serious pics, so I've got a number of
    things to relearn. And, it doesn't help when I show an obviously flawed pic
    to someone only to hear, "yeah, that's great!" because they just can't bring
    themselves to critiquing a blind guy's handiwork.

    That's why I like this group so much. you guys know what you're talking
    about, well, at least most of you, and you cut right to the chase. It's
    both refreshing and helpful.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jun 1, 2008
  10. Dudley Hanks

    tony cooper Guest

    I'm a little confused by this. A black dog's picture was taken with
    the sun coming over the dog's left shoulder (right as you look at the
    image) and the editing was done to blur the background.

    I don't understand why. The background is not the problem. Any
    editing done will result in an image that doesn't show much in the way
    of detail of the dog. It's going to remain an image of a black dog in

    It seems to me that the photographer would take a number of shots and
    select the one that was taken under the best lighting conditions, the
    best position considering the background, and shows the most detail of
    the dog, and *then*, if he wanted to, blur the background. It's not
    that difficult to get a dog to move around.

    A black dog is a difficult shot, so multiple images to choose from
    should be a given. The alternative is to dye the dog a lighter color.
    Golden Labs are easier to photograph.
    tony cooper, Jun 1, 2008
  11. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Don't take it too seriously, Tony. I was just out for a walk with a puppy,
    and I was playing around with my camera, trying to find out if its meter
    produced results roughly in accordance with the "sunny 16" rule. I took
    some shots out in the middle of a greenbelt area where the sun was
    unobstructed, and I took some in a couple of shady areas. None were meant
    to be published on the net. They were just practice shots. I was more
    interested in the EXIF info than the shots themselves.

    But, I always get a few people to look at what I've done before I decide to
    trash them or save them. This particular shot got some chuckles because of
    the dog's pose, not the fantastic photography, so I thought I'd put it up
    for a more critical review, and I'm glad I did.

    I was under the impression that the Canon A720 produces a fairly clean image
    at ISO 100. But, this image has alerted me to the fact that noise can be a
    problem. I'm going to play around with the settings a bit, and try to clean
    up my technique so that, when I am trying to get a good shot, I'll have a
    better chance.

    As for the background, I asked my son to try his luck at blurring it a bit.
    I thought it would be good experience for him because he's showing an
    interest in Photoshop in particular and photography in general. He went out
    and bought himself an A570, and is shooting up a storm.

    Don't worry, I have no illusions of grandeeur here. The shot was never
    intended as a serious portrait.
    You've got that right, Tony. In my case, the difficult part is to get the
    moving dog into my image. I had plenty of shots with part of its head
    missing, a nice shot of its rump, and a few where I missed it completely.
    This shot was probably the best of the lot. But, don't forget, I was more
    interested in the EXIF data than the shots themselves.
    I thought about inverting the image after the background was blurred, but
    the mouth area would have had to been reworked ...

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jun 2, 2008
  12. Dudley Hanks

    tony cooper Guest

    I take your shots at face value, Dudley. While I know that your
    vision is impaired, I treat your photographs like any other
    photographs. I feel that this is the way you want to be treated.

    Take more shots so you have a larger selection to choose from. The
    EXIF will be in all of them.

    Does your camera have a burst mode? Maybe that would work better.
    tony cooper, Jun 2, 2008
  13. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Thank you, Tony, that's exactly what I want. Well, perhaps, I'd even be
    happy getting a rougher ride than most would get because it's the nitty
    gritty flaws that are the hardest to isolate, identify and remedy.

    Recently, I gave somebody a bit of flak over comments that were made about
    my two dinos picture. The fellow had commented that the pictures were a
    failure because there was a bit of camera shake in it, so the A720's IS
    hadn't been able to compensate for it.

    I got a bit riled, not because of the criticism, but because I thought that
    the guy was being overly critical of a $200 point-and-shoot. Had he
    criticised me, personally, for not holding the camera steady enough, I would
    have had no problem with that since that was the case. But, when a point
    and shoot is said to be flawed because a bit of camera shake is visible in a
    shot that was held nearly 20 times longer than would be normal for the lens
    focal length being used, I thought that was a little too harsh.

    That's a good point. The A720 does have a drive mode, but, at only about
    1.7 frames per second, I hesitate to call it "burst" mode.

    Given my style of just trying to track what's happening and then trying to
    identify significant moments in time when a good image is likely to be
    captured, the multi-shot mode might work better for me. I'll give it a try
    and see what happens.

    Up till now, I've been a bit self-concious about using the multi-shot mode,
    because I've been cognicent that a machine gun approach could be interpreted
    as a means of "getting something good more from coincidence than from
    concious effort -- kind of like Beethoven coming up with a good composition
    more from hitting a lot of keys than from his knowing music theory.

    But, as you've pointed out, this is a tool that is available, so maybe it's
    time to implement it a bit more.

    Dudley Hanks, Jun 2, 2008
  14. Dudley Hanks

    ASAAR Guest

    Yes, the Custom Color Mode is what you need to use. In it you can
    adjust the Red, Green and Blue levels to approximate the Vivid
    setting you're currently using, if you want to continue using that
    effect. In addition, (as you noted above) C.C. Mode allows you to
    also adjust the Saturation, Sharpness and Contrast settings. I
    don't think that you need to turn Vivid mode to Normal or Off - it
    probably vanishes when you select the Custom Color Mode.
    ASAAR, Jun 2, 2008
  15. Dudley Hanks

    tony cooper Guest

    Hah! What makes you think the really good images linked here are
    one-off efforts? Most of us shoot 20-30 shots or more and *select*
    the one from that group that works. Maybe not on burst mode, but
    nobody comes back from a shoot with one or two images on the card.

    That's why there are SD cards that hold hundreds of images. They're
    not all bought by people going on vacation where they can't upload.
    Some people fill up the card in a day's shooting.

    My daughter and I went out together recently in a nature park. She
    shot 410 images and I shot 37. She cut her teeth on digital and I'm
    still slow to shoot because mentally I'm still shooting film.

    She ended up with more "keepers" than I did, too.
    tony cooper, Jun 2, 2008
  16. I'm having some success with getting over my old film-based reluctance
    to "waste" photographs, although I still do sometimes come back with
    one very carefully composed prize shot and find that I got the focus
    slightly off. I recently realised, however, that I'm failing to take
    advantage of another useful possibility of cheap images: the helpful
    accessory photograph. For example, snapping a couple of street names
    or landmarks to remind me where I was, doing another wider version of
    the prize shot to include a white colour balance reference.

    These aren't photographs I'd ever show to anyone else, but they help
    to improve the quality and notes on those I do. The weird thing is
    that I do more of that kind of accessory photography with a cheap
    phone camera than my big black "serious" camera because it still seems
    a waste to use such an expensive lens and so many megabytes to
    photograph a street name.
    Chris Malcolm, Jun 2, 2008
  17. Dudley Hanks

    Burgerman Guest

    The reason you were having to clean up the sky is that noise is directly
    proportional to the sensor physical size. (not the number of pixels).
    Actually the more pixels there is on the same sized sensor the more noise.
    The smaller the seperate photosites (pixels) on the sensor the greater the
    amplification has to be to get a signal as it captured less light. Its this
    that introduces noise.

    Now all point and shoots are limited in the size of the sensor because they
    need a lense that can "cover" the sensor area. Nobody wants a point and
    shoot with a huge SLR style lense do they? It defeats the purpose. So
    sensors in all point and shoots are absolutely tiny. It has a further
    advantage in that you dont have to pay hundreds for a decent lense!

    My big heavy D300 and it equally heavy large lenses are essential because
    the sensor may still only have 12 million pixels but its much bigger than
    that used in any point and shoot at 2/3rds the size of 35mm film. Some
    Cannons and the Nikon D3 use full sized (35mm film size) sensors. The main
    advantage here is even lower noise. And therefore all these cameras can
    shoot at say 400 to 800 iso and still give less noise than most point and
    shoots. So your sky would have been smoother, and the shutter speed say
    500th at the same F8 setting you chose so the dog would be sharper. But it
    would cost much more and the weight and size isnt so easy...
    Burgerman, Jun 2, 2008
  18. Dudley Hanks

    jimkramer Guest

    You’ve gotten some good comments, but the one thing that everyone seamed to
    miss is that the edited version has been up-sampled by about 40-50%. That
    will not help the image quality and there is no good reason to do it here?

    One technique to blur the background is to make a duplicate layer on top of
    the original, blur it, and then with a large soft (feathered) brush erase
    the areas you want to see detail exposed. Change the opacity of the eraser
    to control the noise vs. detail.

    jimkramer, Jun 2, 2008
  19. Dudley Hanks

    Paul Furman Guest

    My two 2GB cards hold less than 100 10MP images in raw plus jpeg. I can
    easily fill one or a bit more while out for a day's shooting. I only
    save the raws for maybe 25% of those. Here's a few dozen keepers from a
    few weeks of shooting: http://edgehill.net/gallery/photo-update/5-30-08

    I crop, reduce & save those as heavily compressed jpegs. In my case it's
    plant labels.

    Paul Furman

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Jun 2, 2008
  20. Dudley Hanks

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    Actually, Jim, I was wondering about the up-sizing myself. I first noticed
    it when I was setting up the page on the net, the file size of the image
    Robert gave me was about 45 megs, and I thought that was a bit too much to
    expect everybody to download -- especially when one considers the original,
    uncropped image was less than 3 megs. Accordingly, I got my daughter to
    convert it to a more acceptably sized .jpg file (Robert was at work).

    I'm not sure if Robert up-sized it on purpose, or whether it happened while
    he was doing the editing, and he possibly didn't realize it. I haven't had
    a chance to talk to him about it yet, but I'm curious what happened there.

    You're definitely right, though, Jim, there was no reason for the upsizing,
    especially since it was just a humourous pic I happened to get while doing
    some experimentation, and it was too blurry to be of much use -- especially
    if it would be printed at a larger size.

    Thanks for pointing that out, and thanks for the editing tips. I'll go over
    them with my son as soon as we can get some time together.

    Take Care,
    Dudley Hanks, Jun 3, 2008
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