Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Discuss cameras, settings, composition, or anything related to photography - cactus or other subjects.
DaveW
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by DaveW »

I have looked at reviews of your camera and still cannot understand why you are getting soft images since your camera gets good reviews and most macro lenses are very sharp close-up since that's what they were designed for:-

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos550d/25" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you have another lens try using that as that will show up if the problem is with the macro lens. You really need to test your camera for focus as detailed below, then if the lens and camera are performing OK it has to be the methods you are using. Just shooting plants will not really show if focus is off as reliably as using the inclined ruler method:-

http://www.nobadfoto.com/check-autofocus-issues.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you are using autofocus try manual focusing on the focusing screen just as old film cameras did before autofocus was invented. I presume the first thing you did was adjusted the dioptric setting for the viewfinder correctly when you got the camera? Most modern DSLR's have this adjustment. This is not just for spectacle wearers since everybody's eyesight varies and the dioptric setting should be checked occasionally as our eyesight alters over time.

You do not check it focusing on a scene since your eye needs to be focused on the ariel image on the focusing screen. You adjust the dioptric adjustment until things like the autofocus marks on the screen are at their sharpest. Make sure the camera is switched on when you do it as the LCD overlays on modern camera focusing screens do not clear properly until under power. See how to do it here:-

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cFA1 ... cs&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/edu ... _lenses.do" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You can then try focusing your camera by using your eye on the focusing screen to see when the plant is sharpest then and see if that is better when the image is converted.

I hope your lens has never been dropped since that too can cause soft images by decentring an element, however I am sure that is unlikely.
GeneS
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by GeneS »

Ok, here's my version of a test. Two methods of presenting the same image.

uploaded to CG forum
IMG_8021-dev.jpg
IMG_8021-dev.jpg (68.53 KiB) Viewed 7717 times
click the image to view full size after forum resize (800x533)

and here, posted to my photo share acct so you can view the full finished size. Select "view size - original" from the right hand popup as you view the image.
[url = http://dgimages.smugmug.com/Cactus-Succ ... &k=DkGZLFw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;]F. diguetii[/url]

Image taken with my well worn Canon EOS 20D, and EFM 100 lens. Exposure f13, 1/80th, natural light, RAW. Distance to subject appx 35cm. Image processed with ACDSee 7. Only minor sharpening and a tiny shift to the tone curve. Exported from ACDSee with resizing to 1800x1200 pixels to JPEG with compression set to 90% (100 = largest file size = minimum compression)

A comparison of the two will show differences in the compression performed by the forum software vs the Smugmug views from thumbnail to original.

I could also add the JPG companion file produced by the camera (RAW + JPG-L) but don't see what it would add to the discussion.

RE: comment about ACDSee 7 being slow, that may be platform related. I am running the 64 bit version of it on an i7 4600 dual core processor with 8 GB Ram. It is faster then I can make up my mind about what to do next :D

Cheers ... GeneS
DaveW
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by DaveW »

Been going through your posts again and noticed this:-

"Microsoft Picture Manager wouldn't upload the photos in raw mode It didn't recognize them as photos, so I couldn't work on them using that program."

The reason is that RAW is not a picture just data off the sensor which has to go through a RAW Converter to produce an image. Your camera in JPEG mode takes the RAW data off the sensor but then the camera internally converts that RAW data into a JPEG which your picture Manager can see.

The advantage of using RAW is that post processing using your computer is far more powerful than the computer chip in your camera with it's software, so your computer can use far more complex post processing software algorithms to process the RAW image before it finally converts it to a JPEG needed for viewing on the web.

To use RAW images in your Picture Manager you need to download a special codec:-

http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download ... x?id=26829" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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C And D
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by C And D »

I can download the Raw images using ACDsee, it was the compressing that I was having problems with.

But I think I finally got it.
At least the compressing part
IMG_5269z_1.jpg
IMG_5269z_1.jpg (82.26 KiB) Viewed 7696 times
Nope!!
It looked great on my file, now it's blurry!
Maybe I compressed too much..
http://www.CandDplants.com

Craig and Denise Fry
GeneS
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by GeneS »

To help us help you ... post the EXIF info from the original image plus the settings you used for the file resize.

Did your resized JPG look different/better before you posted it to CG?

All of this info will help dissect your process and maybe see something to suggest.

Cheers ... GeneS
DaveW
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by DaveW »

I think it would help if you sharpened more in post processing.
cd.jpg
cd.jpg (91.73 KiB) Viewed 7682 times
But even so still lacking a little in the resolution your camera is capable of, so do what Gene says. Keep going you will eventually solve your problem.
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C And D
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by C And D »

Sorry I have so absent from the discussion, I've been so busy with plants and work

My biggest problem is when I'm at work, like now... , I can do some posting but I don't have ACDSee on my work computer, nor can I check my personal e-mails

and when I'm at home, I'm too busy planting and grafting; and enjoying the sun, that by the time I come in, I'm too bushed to post..

I will check the camera specs later and post them.

Here are the photos using photobucket

Using ACDSee and resizing (to what size ?, can't check yet) using normal export mode
Image


And this is with using Microsoft Picture Manager to compress to Doc. size
Image

Exactly the same

and I did sharpen them post process, they looked sharp on my screen before I posted them
http://www.CandDplants.com

Craig and Denise Fry
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SnowFella
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by SnowFella »

Looking at the exif for the first one I'd have 2 suggestions, provided your on a stable enough tripod that is.
1/80sec, f/22 and ISO800 sounds alittle excessive to me if you want maximum sharpness. I'd drop the ISO back down to 100, should if my maths is correct drop your shutter speed all the way back to 1/10sec so it's beyond hand holdable. Counter that somewhat by going back to F16 and you ought to be back at 1/20sec.

Shooting anything like this I always try sticking to base ISO as it's cleaner, even when out and about hunting little feathered things I try keeping ISO as low as possible and rarely allow the camera to go above ISO400. Sure my Sony A77 is less than stellar when it comes to higher ISO with it's 24 mpixel sensor but at ISO400 I can relatively easily clean it up in post processing.
DaveW
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by DaveW »

I think SnowFella has probably solved your problem, ISO's like 800 and above are only intended for "shooting black cats in coal cellars" or very rapid action, not normal photography. I said before for maximum quality shoot at your base ISO which in my case, and as SnowFella recommends, is ISO100, though some modern cameras now have a base ISO of ISO200.

See:-

http://photographylife.com/what-is-iso-in-photography" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For best quality of images only depart from base ISO if the situation demands it like fast action or hand holding in poor light. The higher the ISO the "noisier" = grainier the picture gets.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/ ... -reduction" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Noise reduction software, either in camera or post processing does not remove noise it only covers it up by softening the image, meaning your image is less sharp. It's always better to avoid noise on an image by lower ISO's if you can than try and remove it later.

Even having in camera noise reduction set to high, which is really intended for shooting at high ISO's, can affect the sharpness at lower ISO's in some cameras:-

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3590631" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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C And D
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by C And D »

I used a tripod for all the shots
I took multiple photos, and picked the sharpest out of the bunch
you can look at it in Photo Bucket here
http://s616.photobucket.com/user/Doctor ... 1788331885" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I think the problem is going from Raw to compressed

I will take some new experimental shots this weekend, using a subject that's not so yellow

I did get these OK shots using my old software system
but used a tripod, and the lense cleaning probably helped as well
IMG_5370.jpg
IMG_5370.jpg (45.11 KiB) Viewed 7647 times
IMG_5371.jpg
IMG_5371.jpg (45.88 KiB) Viewed 7647 times
http://www.CandDplants.com

Craig and Denise Fry
GeneS
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by GeneS »

Hi,

While doing your tests, plug your variables (f-stop, lens focal length, focus length) into this handy calculator. It may help explain DOF related focus issues.

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutori ... ulator.htm

The closer you get, the shallower the DOF. Sometimes it pays to just backup instead of filling the frame. With the large pixel counts in most of todays cameras, you can improve DOF and simply crop away the excess background. Works well when your finished work is only intended to be a site such as this. Not a good bet if you want a big finished canvas :)

Another thought. What focus setting are you using. Spot, averaged, etc and what focal point are you using. I didn't check but believe your camera allows you to chose both a focal point and focus method.

It also is a good shortcut to use the lens in autofocus then "tune it up" manually before the capture. My Canon macros allow manual override of auto setting but it is a time save to just get close quickly.

Cheers ... GeneS
DaveW
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Re: Do I need to buy a Full Frame Camera?

Post by DaveW »

Depth of field depends on how much you enlarge the Circle of Confusion when viewed from the same distance. The more you enlarge an image or part of an image, including blowing it up on a computer screen or print the more apparent depth of field reduces if viewed from the same distance.

There is theoretically no such thing as depth of field, it is simply that the human eye cannot tell the difference from a sharp point to a blur circle of under a certain size, therefore they both appear equally sharp. In theory there is only one plane of sharpness, the point you are focused on. Anything in front or behind that becomes progressively more blurry until it gets to the point where the human eye can detect it is out of focus. When you keep enlarging an image and view it from the same distance, either in camera or blowing it up in a print or on screen the apparent depth of field shrinks simply because you enlarge the Circle of Confusion to the extent the human eye can distinguish it is no longer a point but a blurry patch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdq65lEYFOM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://masteringphoto.com/depth-of-fiel ... confusion/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

From the link below:-

"Cropping an image and enlarging to the same size final image as an uncropped image taken under the same conditions is equivalent to using a smaller format under the same conditions, so the cropped image has less DOF."

https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve ... field.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As Gene says you can get away with larger circles of confusion (also larger degrees of diffraction) on a computer screen without it being obvious than on a print due to the low resolution of the computer screen hiding the differences in sharpness a print will show.

Depth of field calculators usually assume you will be using the full frame and not cropping part of the image, therefore not enlarging that part more and therefore increasing the size of the Circle of Confusion. Cropping part of an image then blowing that part up to the size of an uncropped image decreases the apparent depth of field to what it would be if you took it at that magnification in camera.

A few quotes from the link below if you want to go into the subject in greater depth:-

"In addition, the DOF tables and calculators generally only require information such as the focal length of the lens, aperture, and distance from the subject. How can this be? How can things like print size and viewing distance affect DOF when these DOF devices don't even consider them? The answer is rather simple. The people who created these devices, as well as the people that manufacture cameras and lenses, make assumptions when they evaluate DOF. A typical assumption for a full-frame digital camera or a 35mm film camera is that the photographer will make an 8"x 10" inch print that will be viewed at about 12"."

"This can lead to some serious errors for any photographer that blindly depends on these DOF devices. For example, a photographer that uses the DOF table and then blows a 35mm negative up to a 16" x 24" print will discover that the DOF of the print is smaller than what was indicated in the table. Additionally, a photographer that uses the DOF scales on a lens while using a sub-full-frame digital camera (i.e. the sensor is smaller than a full-frame sensor) will find that the DOF of the printed image is, likely, different than expected (the lens designers probably assumed that 35mm film or a full-frame sensor were being used when they created the lens)."

"Print Size and Viewing Distance: As mentioned previously, the DOF scales and tables are calculated based on a CoC that assumes that a photographer will make an 8"x 10" inch print that will be viewed at about 12". If the print size or viewing distance changes, the CoC and the DOF change. As the print size becomes larger, the DOF decreases. However, larger prints are generally viewed from greater distances, and greater distances increase DOF. However, the general rule is that the larger the print, the smaller the DOF."


http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/dept ... ield-1.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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