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Thread: Inconsistency and frustration

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    Member Drubbing's Avatar
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    Inconsistency and frustration

    Hey all

    I'm still using my 700D auto functions during the holidays, to ensure I get good shots, but 'it still hit and miss. I took too many poor shots on Xmas day flipping between manual and autos, and that's got me on the bad side of the mrs... So I'm keeping the learning process separate, that's the only time I go manual or semi auto for now.

    But my question relates to auto. My Sony P&S takes consistently better shots than the 700D. By that I mean the Sony's might be a little under or overexposed, but they are usually focussed pretty well. With the 700d on either full auto or the portrait settings, I can take half a dozen shots and there will be ones with really poor exposure or focus - getting a good one is far more of a punt than with the Sony. Kids are always a problem, but this is even with adult subjects who are keeping still.

    Any pointers on how I can improve this? My auto setting will allow me to refine the focus points, so there's no much I can do there.
    Last edited by Drubbing; 01-01-2014 at 2:41pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    A point and shoot is just that. It is programmed up to allow someone to aim it, press the button and take a shot. A digital SLR on the other hand is designed to let the photographer become the program. As long as you can understand the reasons for the bad shots, then use that information and learn from it, you are on the right path.

    If you want even more specific advice, post into the New to Photography CC forum with some of these photos, explain what your frustrations are with each and let us give you some advice on how to improve. A DSLR is a complex and wonderful tool, but the photographer needs to be the one controlling how the photo turns out, in relation to exposure, composition, focus and more.

    But in the end, the more you practice, the more you learn from the mistakes (bad photos), and apply what you learn, the more you will see your photography improving. I know it sounds cliche but practice, practice and more practice, makes perfect.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    I understand a DSLR gives you way more control, but it's also designed to take pictures in auto mode, where you get no control at all on some settings (apart from deciding whether it's bright, cloudy or dusk) The camera should be able to take competent photos in such situations, given its making ALL the choices for you. A P&S can, so why can I take worse photos on full auto with an SLR, than a P&S?

    I really don't see how a CC can be of any help if I post pics taken in auto. It's not like I can change any of those parameters set by the camera when it's taken those shots.

    I'm prepared to learn the principles of good basic photography and use manual and priority setting as I learn how, but when I use auto, I should get decent results - especially when I'm taking far more shots than I did with the P&S.
    Last edited by Drubbing; 01-01-2014 at 3:53pm.

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    The reason for posting the photos for cc is to give as much information as possible. For example, if the photo isn't sharp it may be due to the focus being on the wrong point (the intended subject is out of focus), the aperture being too wide (not enough depth of field), the shutter speed is too low (camera shake causing motion blur) or the ISO too high (introducing noise). Without seeing the photo people are just guessing and not able to help properly.

    There are probably other reasons (and better explanations), but those are the ones I think about every time I pick up the camera.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    as said ^, once we can see a photo or three (with EXIF) we can assess the cause..and then assist. At present we would just be guessing as to what the issue is.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drubbing View Post
    ...so why can I take worse photos on full auto with an SLR, than a P&S?...

    ...I really don't see how a CC can be of any help if I post pics taken in auto. It's not like I can change any of those parameters set by the camera when it's taken those shots...

    ...I'm prepared to learn the principles of good basic photography and use manual and priority setting as I learn how, but when I use auto, I should get decent results - especially when I'm taking far more shots than I did with the P&S...
    Hi Drubbing (Don't worry, you're not getting one!)
    I have isolated some salient points using dots from your lament. Now let's see...

    A DSLR gives you control. Well, this can be true compared to some P&S cams. But are you taking all the control it may be able to offer?
    If you leave a DSLR in Auto mode then it is effectively the same as some P&Ss, perhaps with a better lens.
    You may still get "worse photos" (although you have not defined this term for your situation) if somehow you are not handling the DSLR properly.
    For instance, is it the exposure that's "not right"? Or blurriness, perhaps? Maybe the colours?...

    Now, you are asking for help on this forum - logically laudable! - and yet you say that providing pictures to help us help you (call it only CC if you must) cannot be helpful.
    Nowhere above have you supplied details that a camera can record - yes, including the image itself - and yet you seem to expect some expert answers. Well, these may point
    to either something wrong with the camera itself or perhaps something wrong with your use of it, inadvertent as that may be on your part.

    What better way to learn "basic principles" than by discussing actual results you present, rather than theorising on possibilities? If you insist in your expectations of what Auto
    mode should give you, then post up some of these wanting images with their EXIF intact.

    Who knows what may happen?
    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 01-01-2014 at 6:25pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Hi Drubbing (Don't worry, you're not getting one!)
    I have isolated some salient points using dots from your lament. Now let's see...

    A DSLR gives you control. Well, this can be true compared to some P&S cams. But are you taking all the control it may be able to offer?
    If you leave a DSLR in Auto mode then it is effectively the same as some P&Ss, perhaps with a better lens.
    You may still get "worse photos" (although you have not defined this term for your situation) if somehow you are not handling the DSLR properly.
    For instance, is it the exposure that's "not right"? Or blurriness, perhaps? Maybe the colours?...
    I'm aware of the infinite capabilities of SLRs over PS. I'm specifically discussing auto mode here. At picnics and family gatherings etc, I don't want to take control, I don't have the time, nor do the subjects have the patience (kids) for semi auto or manual shots- I do that in my learning time. In family happy snap situations I'm happy to P&S in a couple of auto modes, which I change depending on the exposure results. Some modes won't engage flash automatically when it's needed.

    The point I'm making is the SLR is more hit and miss in auto than my 5 yo Sony.

    I'll put a couple in CC, but if I can't change settings in auto, then I can't see how knowing why the photo didn't focus or expose properly can help, as the camera makes all those decisions. I focus on my intended subject, the rest is out of my hands.
    Last edited by Drubbing; 01-01-2014 at 6:52pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Some DSLR allow you to change a heap of settings while in Auto mode. Even shutter speed, ISO and Aperture. Along with things like focus settings etc. So while Auto can mean Auto, it can also mean Auto-with user adjustments. It could well be that you have inadvertently adjusted something and not even realise it. Some photos with EXIF will help us work out the reason why.

    Remember we are here trying to assist you! Not argue with you about what could by a myriad of causes. You want a solution, we are offering a way of perhaps getting one.
    Last edited by ricktas; 01-01-2014 at 8:36pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Hope we get to see these examples soon, after all they could be the answer to your frustrations.

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    even if you plan to use the camera in auto mode for those types of situations, it's good to know the reason why the images aren't clear in the first place.
    when I've shot with 2 bodies at weddings, I tend to shoot with a long lens primarily in manual mode and a wider lens that I can quickly pop an image from if something situational happens that is broader than can capture with the 70-200. In that instance, the second body is in a kind of auto mode set to have minimum shutter speed, and a maximum iso which the camera won't go beyond. So with time, if you understand what is going wrong with the camera's algorithms in auto modes, you can correct those parameters to your own custom automode.

    When first starting out with a DSLR, I found that my main errors when shooting portraits and kids running around indoors was that the iso was set far too low meaning that the camera had to try to come up with a an aperture and shutter value that either rendered the picture with too narrow depth of field (camera trying to maximise aperture) or spoiled by motion blur (camera trying to slow shutter speed for correct exposure). You're right in that we won't be able to fix the camera's algorithms for you but if the EXIF is there, we can perhaps direct you to solutions?
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