My first Digital Camera. . .

bluevortex

Active Member
Hiya guys and gals

I have just purchased my first digital camera - the Sony P200 7.2mp. I have no experience with digital photography at all. A complete Noobie! I have been experimenting with different shots but am suprised when i transferred them to my PC how large they are. Should I lower the settings on the camera or use a program to re-size accordingly (current setting is 7mp)? I used a demo of photoshop, but was put off mainly because I didn’t understand how to use it properly.

I would like pictures suitable for printing (no bigger than A4) but as detailed as possible. What size/image quality settings would suit my needs. Can anybody advise on a good editing package with a beginner in mind, with a few key enhancing tools that I could use fairly easily and not overly time consuming?

Sorry for all the questions but I have a wedding on Saturday and im hoping to return with a camera full of nice images. Any advice you could offer to me would be really appreciated. Thanks guys
 

stevegreen

Well-known Member
It really depends what memory you have available. If you have a 1Gb memory card then it's not much of an issue, however, if you are limited to a smaller memory card, say 32Mb, then to take a lot of pictures you will need to reduce the quality setting accordingly.

I generally shoot on the highest setting available as the quality of shot is better, it also maintains quality when cropping certain sections out and increasing the size.

Photoshop is a mind bending program to use but i'd say stick with it. There are other programs available though, some are free including Irfanview and will do just as good a job if you are only after limited functionality :)
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
For ease of use and its free to boot, I use Picasa( a google programme).Its a great programme that with just a few clicks of your mouse can really improve your pictures,See download link below.

http://picasa.google.com/index.html
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
No Probs Steve,glad to be of service. :thumbsup:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I agree with all the above advise about shooting at higgest possible quality especially because you can crop with confidence knowing the cropped pics will still retain high quality.
The problem you have with the images now is that whatever you are previeving them with does not resize for easy viewing .Dont let that put you off taking large res pics unless they are definitely only going to be used for web pages .etc
Get the largset card you can afford , though with Sony its likely to be a memory stick and they are a tad pricier than most!
Software:
For a noobie, after picasa,I would suggest Adobe Photoshop Elements ( now on version 4). It is user friendly ,powerful and you will for a long time, find it more than enough . It probably has 70-80% of the full Photoshops functionality but is much cheaper(£49) and easier to learn. It is also quite capable of doing advanced stuff if you then get to that level. there are of course lots of ( quite good )freebees but you will probably soon outgrow them.
Unfortunately you will have to invest some time to learn whatever program you get (there is no getting round that).. the rewards are worth it though, as you will be able to realise the full potential of your pics and camera
Good luck on Saturday: Get some online tips on photographing weddings you will be suprized what little nuggets of wisdom are out there!
 

bluevortex

Active Member
Thanks for your advice. I already purchased a 512mb pro duo stick to go with my camera so should be able to shoot quite a few high res shots? I guess there is no getting away from the learning curve that comes with these programs as a newbie.

Im desperatly trying to find the best 'all round' settings on this camera post wedding on weekend. There are all these settings, icons and terms on the camera which are confusing. Yikes! Im bound to get it wrong!! Auto everything me thinks :eek:
 

bluevortex

Active Member
i have no experience with cameras til this week. I have been experimenting with settings. 2/3 photos i've taken so far,seems to come out a bit blurry. Im trying to find a decent setting to reduce this. perhaps i should have picked an easier camera to begin with?
 

Applespider

Standard Member
Most blurry pictures are due to focus issues rather than any particular settings on the camera, particularly in low-light conditions where getting the AF can be tricky for a small camera.

When you're taking pictures, make sure that you're holding the camera securely with two hands, elbows into the body rather than holding it out in front of you where you'll get camera shake. Make sure that the camera can focus by half-pushing down the shutter until you get a short beep that tells you that it's focused. The focus square will usually go green at that point to tell you that too. Then push the button rest of the way down making sure that you hold the position a second or so longer so that the shutter is fully closed before you move.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Applespider said:
.............When you're taking pictures, make sure that you're holding the camera securely with two hands, elbows into the body rather than holding it out in front of you where you'll get camera shake. ...........
........or buy a cheap(ish) tripod to completely avoid camera shake. An easily collapsible light one can be portable and more of a help than a hinderance even for candid pics
I read a review on your camera with similar issues related to shake more than autofocus issues.
Autoexposure problems can also be improved by a tripod in that longer shutter times ( to compensate for poor lighting) are more susceptible to blur from camera shake.
This is also in relation to moving subjects but flash should really help prevent that: make sure you flash is on auto ,if not it wont come on automatically as required
Hope this helps!!
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
senu said:
........or buy a cheap(ish) tripod to completely avoid camera shake. An easily collapsible light one can be portable and more of a help than a hinderance even for candid pics
Agreed, but a wee bit impractical to use at a wedding unless you're the "official" photographer.
 

bluevortex

Active Member
Applespider said:
Most blurry pictures are due to focus issues rather than any particular settings on the camera, particularly in low-light conditions where getting the AF can be tricky for a small camera.

When you're taking pictures, make sure that you're holding the camera securely with two hands, elbows into the body rather than holding it out in front of you where you'll get camera shake. Make sure that the camera can focus by half-pushing down the shutter until you get a short beep that tells you that it's focused. The focus square will usually go green at that point to tell you that too. Then push the button rest of the way down making sure that you hold the position a second or so longer so that the shutter is fully closed before you move.
Great advice thanks. Do you own this camera? I will be sure to follow these steps and hopefully it will give me some nicer photos (less blurry). My mum has the Sony P150 and whilst it takes good photos she to suffers from out of focus pictures. I will be sure to pass on your comments and see if that improves her pictures.

Thankyou - Avforums is is worth its weight in gold yet again
 

Applespider

Standard Member
bluevortex said:
Do you own this camera? I will be sure to follow these steps and hopefully it will give me some nicer photos (less blurry).
No, I have a Fuji F10 but learned over the course of a few cameras over the years that the camera shaking, or me being in too much of a rush, was usually the cause of blurry pics. My mother is exactly the same; I watch her taking pictures and want to shout at her to stay still a moment longer...

Good luck with the camera!
 

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