View Full Version : a few camera questions

06-07-2006, 12:31 PM
I'm pretty new to photography so bear with me as I don't know a whole lot (hence why I'm asking here ^^"). I've got a few questions about some problems I've been having with my cameras.

First problem is with my digicam. It a Sony Cybershot (5.1 megapixels) and I noticed after uploading them to my computer that some of my photos, when taken outside, were coming up with this weird glare on them. Here are a few examples ( I haven't retouched these at all):
This first picture was taken using a freinds camera. He also has a cybershot (although its a little bit of a different model). One thing I noticed about his camera is that it tends to be a bit dark (especially when taking video):

This is the same picture taken with my camera in the same spot only a minute or so apart:

And one more picture with my camera:

I've also noticed that a lot of my pictures come out blurry despite the fact that I'll be standing still. Its even worse when somebody else who isn't used to my camera uses it. I'm really not sure what the cause for that could be. I'll try and find a picture of what I mean once I get home from work tonight. Maybe the shutter speed is too slow? (I'm not even sure if digital cameras use a shutter speed..goes to show how much I know. It just seems like it takes a little while for it to actually take the picture).

Another problem I've been having is with my manual SLR. I've got an Asashi Pentax K1000. I've been using this camera for a few years and I love it and have never had any problems with it (aside from the light meter breaking at one point, but I had that fixed). I've noticed recently that unless I'm close to something I can't get it to focus completly. The picture will still look blurry despite the fact that I can't go any farther with the focus. I've never had this problem before and I could always take photos at just about any distance. The lens I'm using is a standard SMC 50mm (the same one I've been using). I also tried using my Macro lens to see if that worked and I couldn't get as close to things as I would have liked without it blurring. That could just be the lens though, I haven't really used it enough to know for sure. Unfortunatly I don't have any pictures from this as I've just noticed it within the past week or so. I'll be going to Boston to do some photos this weekend and I'm hoping to figure t out by then.

Last question (I promise!). I've been thinking about looking into a DSLR in the future and was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for a good camera. Preferably something easy to use/learn that takes good pictures (I've never used a dslr before so something beginner freindly would be good). My budget is extremly tight right now (in other words: I'm broke ^^") so something inexpensive would be nice. Its somethng I'd have to save up for anyway so I can't really say what my limit is at the moment.

Thanks! ^_^

06-07-2006, 02:07 PM
I'm not a photography expert either (I'm still learning too!) but I'm pretty sure the fuzziness of the photos isn't coming from the shutter speed being too slow. (BTW, as far as I know, all cameras use a shutter, so all cameras have shutter speed, although on most non DSLR digi-cams the shutter speed is automatic or has a limited selection of settings)

When the shutter speed is too slow, assuming that the camera is stationary, the subject will have a blurriness only around the parts of it that move, and the blur is sort of like a trail. The photos your showing have fuzziness throughout the whole image. It looks like you've added glow to it in an image editing program, but seeing as you said they're untouched... well the only thing I can think of is that maybe your camera is set to a fuzzy-ness setting? Kind of like... how some cameras have a portrait, night-scene, landscape, ect. settings. I've never seen a fuzzy setting though >_>; Either that or I'd think perhaps there is something on your lense? My pictures get blurry when I have steam built up on the lense.

That's all I got >_>

06-07-2006, 03:02 PM
Ok, let me think here.

The pictures that you posted almost look like there is some kind of glare on the glass of the camera. I have seen it on many cameras. What that means most likely is that there is either something on the front of the lens like a smear or something like that that is catching the light and diffusing it over the front of the lense. This can be solved by cleaning the front lense VERY CAREFULLY as not to scratch it or damage it. Do so by gently rubbing it down with a lent free cloth.

The blurry pictures most likely is caused by motion or by bad focus. If it is bad focus it can be caused by something on the lens like before or something else. Would need to see one to tell. As for motion that is most likely slow shutter speed. Digicams do use shutter speed but in a different manner that SLR cameras do, so don't worry about learning anything different there. I have to ask are you using a flash and are the pictures taken indoors or outdoors? The focus looks good on the ones you posted and there is no blur just a glare it seems. If the pictures are taken indoors without a flash then the camera will set a slow shutter speed to get enough light for the picture.

A little information for everyone else Sony Cybershots only go up to an ISO 400 equivelent for film speed.

As for the focusing on your slr I haven't worked with those ever so I really don't know what to say. The only thing that I can think is something is going wrong with your auto focus. As much as it is hard to do try taking some with manual focus (there should be a swich on either the lense or the camera body that will allow you to swich between the 2. Look for an AF/M switch.) and if you can focus all the way with you lenses it most likely isn't the lenses.

For a DSLR there are many that are starting to come down in price. I would look at something like the Digital Rebel from canon or the D50 from nikon. They are both very nice cameras and I believe they can both be found for around 900 or below. Also, I would recomend trying them both out to see how they feel in your hand. Many dedicated camera stores will let you walk around in the store with it to see how it feels. They can also make more recomendations for you there because they know all the different ones out there and most likely can show them to you also.

I have a Sony Cybershot also as my backup camera so I should be able to answer many questions on how to do things with it for you.

06-07-2006, 03:20 PM
Which cybershot? Ok has answered all this pretty well, and maybe Ok can take this idea further, seeing that he has this camera, but what Im seeing on these pics is a major contrast problems on highlights. Is there some sort of auto mode, or perhaps an AE type mode that compensates highlights on that camera? I see WAY over compensated highlights, and it seems like its set to an AE that blows out highlights.

lol.. Talk, discuss, I dont have the camera, and dont know which it is, so I cant look it up. But since Ok has one, maybe we can see if an AE mode that you have it locked into is causing it to blow out your highlights.


06-07-2006, 03:39 PM
OK, I downloaded the pictures and looked up the EXIF data that the camera imbeds in every picture it takes. It is good that you posted unedited ones because many editors remove this data. You can tell a lot from it also.

The camera is a DSC-P100 (which is the precursor to the one I have DSC-P150) and the pictures were taken in full auto mode.
More detailed information for those that know what it means so we can determine what is going on:

On the Choji picture
ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/200th sec
Appeture f6.3
No exposure compensation

On the Nana Picture
ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/30th sec
Appeture f3.5
No exposure compensation

Continue Discussion

06-07-2006, 03:51 PM
wahoo! thank you OK! Im gonna look up this camera to check its modes... (Im at work so a little limited, but ill try)

06-07-2006, 08:56 PM
On the Choji picture
ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/200th sec
Appeture f6.3
No exposure compensation

On the Nana Picture
ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/30th sec
Appeture f3.5
No exposure compensation

Continue Discussion

I'm a total noob at this, but at 1/30th sec, if the focal length is greater than 30mm, there is a chance to blur if the camera isn't steady. But the images the person provided don't look like camera shake.

The way the 2nd image appears, it reminds me of "fogging." I'm just wildly speculating, but is there some kind of condensation going on in the lens or over the sensor?


If you can't fix your camera problem, and you're looking for a new camera, the Nikon D50 and the Canon Digital Rebel XT are your best bets for "inexpensive DSLR." They are both highly rated by photographers. The Canon one sells for about $200 more than the Nikon, but the feature set does diffeer between the two in various ways.

06-07-2006, 10:00 PM
Wow, so many replies so quickly! Let me try to reply to everything..

There's nothing on the glass as far as I can tell. I generally get that glare when I take a picture outside or there's a lot of white in the image. As far as the blurring goes..I have no idea what is causing that. I have a pretty steady hand so I don't think its a matter of being shaky or anything. Some photos come out perfectly fine, others don't.
Unfortunatly, I don't really know a whole lot about the settings or modes on my cybershot *is a total newb*. I can't find the guidebook anywhere either. :/ Its most likely on an auto mode of some sort. I'm not sure what AE mode means though.

I found a few of the blurry pictures however my computer is being wicked slow right now and wont let me upload them. ;_;

And yes, its a DSC-P100. Sorry I didn't post that earlier. I looked all over my camera and didn't see it and it turns out it was right on the top the whole time ^_^"

As far as my SLR goes, I don't have any type of autofocus on it, its all manual. I'm going to try and get to the photo shop tommorow between jobs sometime and see if maybe I can try out some other lenses to see if thats the problem. If I have time I'll check out those DSLRs while I'm there.

Thanks for all the help everyone, I really appreciate. Sorry I'm so clueless but I'm trying to learn more. ^_^"

06-07-2006, 10:49 PM
I found the manual for your camera.

Try this link:

As a note, for point and shoot cameras, many camera manufacturers have PDF versions of their manuals on their sites.

Try page 53. Maybe your EV (Exposure Value) adjustment setting is out of whack. Default should be 0 EV (no adjustment). Try turning on auto exposure again.

06-08-2006, 01:33 AM
It looks like a dirty lens to me. Maybe it's not outside but inside. It doesn't look like mold. It might be moisture building up inside. I've seen this once while using an old medium format camera.

06-08-2006, 11:11 AM
Nana looks like somebody went a bit too far trying to recreate a soft-focus effect in photoshop. I don't know much about the cybershot, but could it have a "feature" that processes photos this way? I know HP has a camera that's said to be able to make people look skinnier. (What a dumb function, if you ask me.)

As for the SLR focusing problem, you could have a poor focusing motor if you're using autofocus, or an autofocus alignment problem that could be fixed by adjusting some interior mechanics. (You'd want a pro to do this.)

Sorry I can't be of more help, but I thought I'd share my ideas.

06-08-2006, 04:48 PM
The glass can appear clean even though it isn't so I would still recomend trying to clean it. And we can go from there. Yes everything was taken in the camera's auto mode (the green camera icon on the wheel).

On the pictures being blurry you may be steady but that doesn't mean that your subject is. A slow shutter speed can cause blur no matter which side moves photographer or subject.

As TomodachiFriend said the lens may be clear on the outside but be getting moisture on the inside. This can happen if a seal on the lens is cracked and you are in a humid area. Although it most likely would be happening on more than just the outside pictures and ones with a lot of white.

One thing that may be happening, I hope it isn't, is that the camera is just going bad. It does happen sometimes. I would recomend taking it in to a store and have it looked at because they can also work with you right then and there to help figure out what is going on as we can only suggest things based on what you are telling us and cannot actually look at the camera.

As for your slr, the only thing I can say is take it in. Since it has no auto focus and I have never worked with it I really can't help much here.

Feel free to continue asking questions and we will help you to the best of our ability, but sometimes you just need to take it in somewhere where someone can look at it with you.

06-08-2006, 11:31 PM
The glass appears to be clean because the edges of the picture are sharp and the "HDR" effect (as I like to call it :P) seems to be caused from lighter shades in the picture.

You'd notice by looking at how the affect is consistent, but doesn't affect the same area between chouji2 and nana.

I think Eriol is right, check the auto exposure and color tone setting to make sure they are right, or alternatively try adjusting to an negative EV and see if the affect if still there.

06-09-2006, 12:39 PM
I got things sorted out with my K1000 (which is good b/c I need it for photos in Boston tommorow). It turns out the lens was bad. The guy at the store said the barrel was shot. I ended up getting a new onethough. Its a 40-80 mm w/ a built in macro and while I've only played around with it a little bit so far, I loveit already (it was pretty cheap too, only $75. I expected to spend more than that).

As for my digital camera, I've been looking through the manual for it (Thanks Eriol!) and I'm going to play around with the settings to see if maybe thats the problem.

Thanks everyone. :japan: