Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,718
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

AlwynS wrote:


Some thoughts:

* This is a bit of an unusual thought, but I have had some surprisingly bad results taking photographs out through an open car window. To such an extent that I now avoid doing that like the plague. This has been without the engine running, In the cases that it happened to me, I was thinking that hot air flowing out the window caused at least some hassles in some way, shape or form. So I do not understand the reason for it, I just know I avoid it as an unnecessary complication.

* While less than ideal, I do not think excessive distance is a major issue here. Looking at the images, "your" Osprey covers about750 pixels vertically. While more is obviously better, this should be enough to give you a reasonable image. Refer this Bald Eagle shot I took recently that has a similar number of pixels vertically on the bird: I am quite happy with the results.

As for the current images:

A month ago in your "Help with settings" thread I suggested that you look at my settings thread because in that thread I went into a lot of detail, not only as regards settings, but also WHY I use those settings. At that time, I commented

For you expedition tomorrow for non-flying birds: as an interim suggestion without the hassle of setting up memory locations etc., I would suggest you try the following settings:

* Mode dial: A (for Aperture mode)

* Aperture set to F4

* Auto ISO, shutter speed faster

* Drive mode Continuous mid


* Focus area: Flexible Spot small

* Metering mode: Spot

* Metering point: Focus point link

You used:

* S mode with 1/1250. I do not have a problem with that.

* You then manually set the aperture at f8 and f9 in the two attached images. This killed any possible chance you had of good images for two reasons:

- Firstly, with the RX10's 1" sensor, this aperture equivalent in size to around f22 on a full frame sensor. This means you are miles away from the recognised sharpest aperture for the RX10 IV, i.e. f4, and into pretty serious diffraction territory. This would have degraded the image quality

- Secondly, this forced the camera to use ISO400. While not normally a problem for the RX10 IV, this was unnecessarily high and degraded the image further.

* The ISO issue was compounded by the fact that the images are quite badly underexposed. This was caused to a large degree by the fact that you used Large Spot for metering. Because the Ospreys were far away, this meant the camera was metering almost exclusively on the (BRIGHT!) sky and only in very small part on the (DARK!) bird.

To have the subject Ospreys sufficiently bright, I believe Sherm had to brighten the images by AT LEAST 1 more stop in PP.

All of this led to a "perfect storm": miniscule aperture + High ISO + underexposed + brighten a JPG in post = VERY bad image with lots of noise.

While not my preferred setup for perched birds, if I had to have taken these shots using S mode I would have used the following setup:

* Shutter speed 1/1250 or 1/1000

* Aperture F4

* Focus: Small Flexible Spot

* Metering: Standard Spot (not large). This would have reduced the effect of the much brighter sky somewhat.

* Live view On. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!! This would have helped you SEE that the bird was badly under-exposed. If you are familiar with the camera and Live View, you would almost certainly have used up to +2EC, based on what you likely would have seen through the viewfinder.

* Auto ISO. I am not going to do the math now, but with the setup I described, the chances are that you would have ended up somewhere around ISO200 for a well exposed subject.

The bottom line is that I consider the results you got to be totally due to "operator error". I am sorry if that seems harsh, but this is my honest opinion. Given your experience with the camera, I suspect my observations are unlikely to change your mind and that you will likely return the camera.

Hoping that, whichever way you decide, you will be comfortable with your equipment going forward.

Thanks, Alwyn for replying.  I assumed my problems were operator error, too.    
**One thing though, I always use f4 as you suggested and I just looked to be sure it hadn’t moved and is still on f4. So how is it possible for it to show as f8 and f9??? 
 I did have it set to Shutter priority because I originally was attempting to shoot flying birds earlier and didn’t reset it to A, totally my fault.   You and others  suggested various settings for me to use when I wasn’t happy with my results, early on; including getting Stephen Ingraham’s book on the RX10 iv, which I did. So somewhere in my settings, I have a combination of recommended settings.  
I will give it a try again today with only 100%  your settings and see how it goes.  That f8 and f9 you are seeing still bothers me though.   
Thanks so much for you help and kindness in pointing out my mistakes.  I will post another sooc shot with my results.

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