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Can you tell me why I have these problems? (2 images)
I am using a sony dsc-h9 and I like it alot. There are three problems I do not understand, and a poor mechanic blames his tools, so maybe I can learn to overcome them..

I take pictures of door tags for a website. So I need a good macro setting, a label can be about 2"x4" and the text has to be very clear for legibility..

One of my problems is that the square label gets distorted. The straight lines become rounded ones. I imagine it has to do with the natural curve of the lens..

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Another problem I have is that I sometimes get a purple halo around the edges..

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A 3rd problem I have is that I get a nasty looking film over the image. It almost looks pixelated, similar to a bad jpg, or splotches of lighter pixels mixed in with the image. I am guessing it has something to do with a light source, and maybe multiple light sources throwing the sensors off..

Can anyone give a newbie some advice?..

Comments (16)

You might get better responses if you post this in the Sony forum. Those people are familiar with Sony products and problems..

I am not saying you will not get an answer here, but Sony people know Sony..

FINE PRINT: I reserve the right to be wrong. Should you prove me wrong, I reserve the right to change my mind...

Comment #1

Also why do my images not show up in the post? I can only see them when I click on "new window"...

Comment #2

Thanks, but I wasn't sure it was a Sony problem, but more of a newbie problem...

Comment #3

Thurnau wrote:.

One of my problems is that the square label gets distorted. Thestraight lines become rounded ones. I imagine it has to do with thenatural curve of the lens..

If the label is stuck on the car, then it conforms to the shape of the car. The rectangular sticker will no longer be rectangular. I don't know how to fix this..

From the picture shown it appears you were not directly in front of the label, but off to one side. Next time try being directly in front of the label..

A 3rd problem I have is that I get a nasty looking film over theimage. It almost looks pixelated, similar to a bad jpg, or splotchesof lighter pixels mixed in with the image. I am guessing it hassomething to do with a light source, and maybe multiple light sourcesthrowing the sensors off..

Is there smoke or dust in the area you are photographing in?.

Try to minimize the reflection of light off the car coming toward the camera. Get closer to the label..

FINE PRINT: I reserve the right to be wrong. Should you prove me wrong, I reserve the right to change my mind...

Comment #4

If I am not directly in front of the label, one side of the rectangle is wider than the other which is natural. I would like to know how to compensate for a straight line to bend. If the label is concaved it would be one thing, but it looks more like the edges stretched out..

For the weird film, I get the problem indoors. Maybe an inconsistent patchy grainy look might be more descriptive...

Comment #5

Thurnau wrote:.

For the weird film, I get the problem indoors. Maybe an inconsistentpatchy grainy look might be more descriptive..

That sounds like the result of a high ISO setting. I assume you're using auto mode. Nevertheless there should be a way to get your camera to tell you what ISO it is using. As a rough guideline, if ISO is 400 or above the grain will be noticeable on a P&S camera...

Comment #6

Czeglin wrote:.

Thurnau wrote:.

For the weird film, I get the problem indoors. Maybe an inconsistentpatchy grainy look might be more descriptive..

That sounds like the result of a high ISO setting. I assume you'reusing auto mode. Nevertheless there should be a way to get yourcamera to tell you what ISO it is using. As a rough guideline, if ISOis 400 or above the grain will be noticeable on a P&S camera..

On the "P" setting it says ISOAUTO on the bottom left. I use the P setting because it allows a custom white balance. I use that one indoors with artificial lighting..

For most point and shooting I use the automatic camera logo setting..

I leave the flash off a lot. Could that be a problem?.

The main reason I leave the flash off is that it really changes the color of the image..

Here is an example. First when setting the white balance, the flash doesn't go off.Here is a shoe for ebay with a flash on..

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Here is a similar pic with the same light with the flash off..

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Comment #7

Thurnau wrote:.

I am using a sony dsc-h9 and I like it alot. There are three problemsI do not understand, and a poor mechanic blames his tools, so maybe Ican learn to overcome them..

I take pictures of door tags for a website. So I need a good macrosetting, a label can be about 2"x4" and the text has to be very clearfor legibility.One of my problems is that the square label gets distorted. Thestraight lines become rounded ones. I imagine it has to do with thenatural curve of the lens..

That's a lens problem, and a common one. I don't know that Sony, but most zooms have barrel distortion (that's what makes square labels look bloated) at wide angle settings and they want to be set wide for close focusing..

You may be able to mitigate this if you are able to use a mid-range focal length for your label shots; not all cameras are willing to do this..

Another problem I have is that I sometimes get a purple halo aroundthe edges..

That's the dread purple fringe, a consequence of chromatic aberration of the lens, probably made worse by small-pitch sensors. You're stuck with that one unless you change cameras..

A 3rd problem I have is that I get a nasty looking film over theimage. It almost looks pixelated, similar to a bad jpg, or splotchesof lighter pixels mixed in with the image. I am guessing it hassomething to do with a light source, and maybe multiple light sourcesthrowing the sensors off..

Maybe it's not enough light. Small-sensor cameras like your Sony go berserk when they don't get enough light. They set the signal amplification way up and you see a lot of noise..

Can anyone give a newbie some advice?.

A dSLR can solve this as long as you don't use the lens it comes with. Any dSLR with a macro lens will take beautifully square pictures of square labels with no purple fringing and hardly any noise..

So you're not a poor mechanic, you're just bending a cheap wrench on a frozen nut. But the chrome-moly wrenches cost money..

Leonard Migliore..

Comment #8

Leonard Migliore wrote:.

Thurnau wrote:.

One of my problems is that the square label gets distorted. Thestraight lines become rounded ones. I imagine it has to do with thenatural curve of the lens..

That's a lens problem, and a common one. I don't know that Sony, butmost zooms have barrel distortion (that's what makes square labelslook bloated) at wide angle settings and they want to be set wide forclose focusing..

You may be able to mitigate this if you are able to use a mid-rangefocal length for your label shots; not all cameras are willing to dothis..

Take a look at the macro section on the review page:http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyh9/page5.asp.

Distortion is much worse at the wide-angle end of the zoom range. That suggests you need to zoom into the telephoto position, Then you would probably have to stand further back from the subject, which would also help if the surface itself was curved.Regards,Peter..

Comment #9

Thurnau wrote:.

I am using a sony dsc-h9 and I like it alot. There are three problemsI do not understand, and a poor mechanic blames his tools, so maybe Ican learn to overcome them..

I take pictures of door tags for a website. So I need a good macrosetting, a label can be about 2"x4" and the text has to be very clearfor legibility.One of my problems is that the square label gets distorted. Thestraight lines become rounded ones. I imagine it has to do with thenatural curve of the lens..

That is a lens design problem. Take pictures of somehting square at all the focal lenghts of your camera. Compare the images. Select the focal lenght that shows the least distortion and use only that focal lenght..

Another problem I have is that I sometimes get a purple halo aroundthe edges..

Purple fringing. You can't avoid it, but you can try to minimise it. It typically appears when luminous are are close to dark areas. So, you might want to try to keep your exposure low enough so the highlights do not get "burned". Of course, that might lead to extra noise. It's a trade off.

If you must use flash, try to bounce it..

A 3rd problem I have is that I get a nasty looking film over theimage. It almost looks pixelated, similar to a bad jpg, or splotchesof lighter pixels mixed in with the image. I am guessing it hassomething to do with a light source, and maybe multiple light sourcesthrowing the sensors off..

Can't even guess without an image..

Can anyone give a newbie some advice?..

Comment #10

... instead of spending a lot of money on a different camera or lens, you should be able to get rid of the distortions which come from the lens design and the curves on the car panels by distorting them back to near normal in Photoshop..

Others here have already suggested ways of minimising the lens distortion (using the tele end for the macro, standing dead square on to the label) and of cutting back on the colour noise by not using flash. Red is often a very difficult colour to control, and aagin it is something that can be toned down in Photoshop. (Elements ought to be sufficient.).

[NB. your photo opened OK in a new window. To embed one directly type .jpg at the end of the URL).

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #11

It looked like grain from high ISO in the shot with no flash. There should be a way to change the display in 'view pictures' mode so you can see the details of the shot. This will help you verify. I suspect the ISO in that image was 400 or more. The higher the number, the grainier the image..

The problem you're having is that the natural light isn't enough for a good exposure without increasing the ISO..

Try using a flash OR.

Using the manual controls on your camera:.

Keep your ISO at 200 or below (this is the part that results in a grainy image)Try using a bigger aperture (lower "f number").

Try using a longer shutter speed (you may need a tripod to prevent blurring from shaky hands)..

Thurnau wrote:.

Czeglin wrote:.

Thurnau wrote:.

For the weird film, I get the problem indoors. Maybe an inconsistentpatchy grainy look might be more descriptive..

That sounds like the result of a high ISO setting. I assume you'reusing auto mode. Nevertheless there should be a way to get yourcamera to tell you what ISO it is using. As a rough guideline, if ISOis 400 or above the grain will be noticeable on a P&S camera..

On the "P" setting it says ISOAUTO on the bottom left. I use the Psetting because it allows a custom white balance. I use that oneindoors with artificial lighting...

Comment #12

So WOW do I get a ton of great advice from everyone. This place is friendly and knowledgeable here. I have had great responses in this section and the Sony one..

I will try some of the filters and suggestions soon. (today is Mardi Gras).

I can live with using photoshop, and I hope my camera can stay in focus enough to reproduce the text clearly zoomed in..

If not, maybe a DSLR will be welcome!.

I was thinking a Nikon D80, but the d40 and D40x weren't working right at Best Buy so I am not sure if a lesser model will work. I am a beginner, but I need some more skills because I am into web marketing. Most sales people laugh under their breath when I ask for advice on cameras and they point to the 200 dollar P&S and say that is all I need. I think that it is hard work to get something as tiny as a label, spray can, or a bottle of nail polish with text a near perfect shot. Or perhaps a pair of boots without that grainy look. I have 3 P&S cameras and still can't get it just right, that is how I found you guys.

It is important to me to get the shot right. I can afford to spend some money on a decent set up, but I can't afford to waste it on the wrong stuff. Maybe I need to invest in lighting before a SLR...

Comment #13

Thurnau wrote:.

Also why do my images not show up in the post? I can only see themwhen I click on "new window"..

The original URL was this:.

Http://s57.photobucket.com/...hurnau/?action=view&current=roundedford.jpg.

Even though it ends in jpg, it is actually a link to the web page containing the image..

What you need is a direct link to the actual image,which is provided for you on the Photobucket site, it is labelled "Direct Link - Layout Pages".It looks like this:http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g235/thurnau/roundedford.jpg.

And this is the result:.

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Comment #14

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Yehuda..

Comment #15

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Comment #16

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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