Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

Ok, folks, I am looking for help again before I have to return this camera. I posted some replies in another thread earlier today about problems I have at long end of zoom. Tomorrow is the last day of my free trial. I really want to like this camera, but I seem to have some issues with sharpness at the long end.

Just so you know:
1. Yes I often use my car window to stabilize the camera
2. Yes the motor is ALWAYS turned off as is the radio.
3. The Ospreys are only 200-300 ft from my home, so the engine has not been running long and shouldn’t be overly hot.
4. Sometimes I stand up and rest my elbows on the car door to help stabilize the camera.
5. I hold the view finder tight against my eye to help minimize shake, I never use the screen view.
I am posting two shots SOOC no changes whatsoever. One was taken earlier in the morning and the other at 1:30pm. But I could hear a lot of ruckus from the birds and went to see what was going on. One had a fish and was eating it in his favorite tree and the other was circling overhead screeching. The lighting at that time of day is pretty bright but decided to give it a go anyway on the chance one of the shots might be acceptable. Sadly none were.
I only shoot jpeg. I make any minor adjustments after downloading to my phone/iPad. I shoot in Aperture or Shutter priority modes most of the time.
High ISO NR is off, continuous shooting is low, focus area is expand flexible spot, but have also used lock on AF:flexible spot medium. AF with shutter is on. Disp. cont. AF area is on. Phase detect area-on. ISO is usually 100 but sometimes up to 400. ISO AUTO min. SS was 1/1000. Metering Mode-spot-large. Spot metering point was center. (It was suggested I use focus point link instead). AEL with shutter-on. White balance- auto. Priority set in AWB-standard. DRO/auto HDR-off.
Creative style: vivid, contrast +1, Saturation +/-0, sharpness +2.
That’s all. So here are two images. All suggestions are welcome. All SOOC

I thank any and all who take the time to read this long post and offer any suggestions.

-- hide signature --

Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

 Elliern's gear list:Elliern's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon D5100 Sony a6000 Nikon D5500
sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,333
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

Ellie,

These aren't bad for images where the subject is so small and the range of light so large.  I'm not sure what more you were expecting SOOC.

I'm glad you did post them SOOC, however, because they provided a lot of information

You chose shutter priority 1/1250 second, and you set the ISO to fixed 400.  You added a bit of positive EC to brighten the osprey against the blue sky.  As a consequence, the aperture narrowed to f/8 or f/9 in the two pictures.

Nothing wrong with any of that - but if you had just used auto ISO here, I suspect the aperture would have widened as far as it could go (f/4) before the ISO increased, and you'd have ended up at ISO 100 with a greater contrast range.

You could also have used M mode at 1/1250 and f/4 with auto ISO to reach the same end point, etc etc.

The actual mode (P,A,S,M) is far less important than the shutter speed/aperture/ISO endpoint which you reach.

These are difficult pictures because they have such a large dynamic range - from sunlit white (even brighter than the sky) to black.  In that situation a low ISO is particularly important.  I'd say you did as well as one could given the light and the higher ISO- The sunlit white areas are not badly overexposed, and it's possible to brighten the dark areas a lot, even from the JPG. (I'll spare you my "but if you had saved is as raw" macro)

The image is well-focused and sharp, and it's easy to remove the noise and adjust the lighting with some easy postprocessing

Beyond that, keep in mind that to fill the frame, you'll  need to get about as close as  you were with your recent rabbit.

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Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX10 IV Nikon Coolpix P950
sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 21,326
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

Elliern wrote:

Ok, folks, I am looking for help again before I have to return this camera. I posted some replies in another thread earlier today about problems I have at long end of zoom. Tomorrow is the last day of my free trial. I really want to like this camera, but I seem to have some issues with sharpness at the long end.

Just so you know:
3. The Ospreys are only 200-300 ft from my home

Only is not the right word to insert there. That's quite a long distance.

I'll be interested to hear from birders who are accustomed to getting good results with the same camera as to their success with similar subjects at similar distances.

Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,487
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

sybersitizen wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Ok, folks, I am looking for help again before I have to return this camera. I posted some replies in another thread earlier today about problems I have at long end of zoom. Tomorrow is the last day of my free trial. I really want to like this camera, but I seem to have some issues with sharpness at the long end.

Just so you know:
3. The Ospreys are only 200-300 ft from my home

Only is not the right word to insert there. That's quite a long distance.

I'll be interested to hear from birders who are accustomed to getting good results with the same camera as to their success with similar subjects at similar distances.

I think she meant the distance from her home. Not the distance from the camera.

-- hide signature --

Steve

OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

sybersitizen wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Ok, folks, I am looking for help again before I have to return this camera. I posted some replies in another thread earlier today about problems I have at long end of zoom. Tomorrow is the last day of my free trial. I really want to like this camera, but I seem to have some issues with sharpness at the long end.

Just so you know:
3. The Ospreys are only 200-300 ft from my home

Only is not the right word to insert there. That's quite a long distance.

I'll be interested to hear from birders who are accustomed to getting good results with the same camera as to their success with similar subjects at similar distances.

Sorry I wasn’t more clear.  The drive or walk to the Osprey trees are 200-300 ft away from my home.  They perch atop tall pine trees.  Often dead ones.  I park my car about 20 -30 ft from the trees in order to get a clear view of the birds

-- hide signature --

Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

 Elliern's gear list:Elliern's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon D5100 Sony a6000 Nikon D5500
Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,487
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

Elliern wrote:

Ok, folks, I am looking for help again before I have to return this camera. I posted some replies in another thread earlier today about problems I have at long end of zoom. Tomorrow is the last day of my free trial. I really want to like this camera, but I seem to have some issues with sharpness at the long end.

Just so you know:
1. Yes I often use my car window to stabilize the camera

I rarely have success doing this. The window is very thin. You will rock around on the edge. Roll the window down and use the frame for stability.

2. Yes the motor is ALWAYS turned off as is the radio.

Very important.

3. The Ospreys are only 200-300 ft from my home, so the engine has not been running long and shouldn’t be overly hot.

Are you shooting across the hood? It's a large heat radiating surface. Avoid shooting across the hood at anytime. Certainly at 1:30 in the afternoon.

4. Sometimes I stand up and rest my elbows on the car door to help stabilize the camera.

I don't think that is good technique. The distance from your elbows to the camera is a long distance with lots of shaking possible, even held against your face. Try to brace your arms much closer to your wrists.

5. I hold the view finder tight against my eye to help minimize shake, I never use the screen view.

Very good.

I am posting two shots SOOC no changes whatsoever. One was taken earlier in the morning and the other at 1:30pm. But I could hear a lot of ruckus from the birds and went to see what was going on. One had a fish and was eating it in his favorite tree and the other was circling overhead screeching. The lighting at that time of day is pretty bright but decided to give it a go anyway on the chance one of the shots might be acceptable. Sadly none were.
I only shoot jpeg. I make any minor adjustments after downloading to my phone/iPad. I shoot in Aperture or Shutter priority modes most of the time.
High ISO NR is off, continuous shooting is low, focus area is expand flexible spot, but have also used lock on AF:flexible spot medium. AF with shutter is on. Disp. cont. AF area is on. Phase detect area-on.

Phase detect area-on has no bearing on image quality at all. It simply turns on a rectangle on the display to show you the outer borders of the focus detection points.

ISO is usually 100 but sometimes up to 400. ISO AUTO min. SS was 1/1000. Metering Mode-spot-large. Spot metering point was center. (It was suggested I use focus point link instead). AEL with shutter-on. White balance- auto. Priority set in AWB-standard. DRO/auto HDR-off.
Creative style: vivid, contrast +1, Saturation +/-0, sharpness +2.

That much sharpening in-camera is not helping the noise level. I would prefer to keep it low and discretely sharpen in PP.

That’s all. So here are two images. All suggestions are welcome. All SOOC

I thank any and all who take the time to read this long post and offer any suggestions.

Shooting at any aperture smaller than f/5.6 with a 1 inch sensor is not recommended. Past f/5.6 you are getting into diffraction. You can sometimes get away with f/8, but I try to avoid it when possible. Shooting mid-day is certainly possible to keep the aperture open to f/5.6 or more.

You're a long distance from the birds. Maybe you can't do any better, but you can't expect great results at that point. The birds simply don't cover enough pixels on the sensor. You are enlarging too much and the image quality goes to pot. In addition any noise just jumps out at you. Do your best to get as close as possible. Easier said than done.

-- hide signature --

Steve

AlwynS Veteran Member • Posts: 3,964
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
8

Ellie

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

* AFC

* 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.

-- hide signature --

Cheers
Alwyn

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Nikon Coolpix P610 Sony RX10 IV
OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

sherman_levine wrote:

Ellie,

These aren't bad for images where the subject is so small and the range of light so large. I'm not sure what more you were expecting SOOC.

I'm glad you did post them SOOC, however, because they provided a lot of information

You chose shutter priority 1/1250 second, and you set the ISO to fixed 400. You added a bit of positive EC to brighten the osprey against the blue sky. As a consequence, the aperture narrowed to f/8 or f/9 in the two pictures.

Nothing wrong with any of that - but if you had just used auto ISO here, I suspect the aperture would have widened as far as it could go (f/4) before the ISO increased, and you'd have ended up at ISO 100 with a greater contrast range.

You could also have used M mode at 1/1250 and f/4 with auto ISO to reach the same end point, etc etc.

The actual mode (P,A,S,M) is far less important than the shutter speed/aperture/ISO endpoint which you reach.

These are difficult pictures because they have such a large dynamic range - from sunlit white (even brighter than the sky) to black. In that situation a low ISO is particularly important. I'd say you did as well as one could given the light and the higher ISO- The sunlit white areas are not badly overexposed, and it's possible to brighten the dark areas a lot, even from the JPG. (I'll spare you my "but if you had saved is as raw" macro)

The image is well-focused and sharp, and it's easy to remove the noise and adjust the lighting with some easy postprocessing

Beyond that, keep in mind that to fill the frame, you'll need to get about as close as you were with your recent rabbit.

Thanks, Sherm.  If I could get a good denoise program for my iPad I would do that.  As you know, birds don’t usually let you get real close, at least not large ones.  What de-noise program do you recommend?  I do have a lap top but it’s very old and not much use.  My husband has one that he never uses, so I might be able to take over that one.  
I considered getting a long lens for my d5600 such as the Sigma 150-600, which B&H has for $899.  But that sucker is huge and heavy!!

I have to decide by tomorrow

-- hide signature --

Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

 Elliern's gear list:Elliern's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon D5100 Sony a6000 Nikon D5500
Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,487
Ammendment

I'll have to retract my statement about the size of the birds in the image. Having a second look, they are larger than I first thought. Nonetheless, the bigger, the better.

-- hide signature --

Steve

BartTucker
BartTucker Regular Member • Posts: 424
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

* 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.

Question:  Just went through my MENU and can not find option for LIVE VIEW on/off?  Could not find it under online M4 Advanced Manaul Guide.  Did I miss an upgrade or is it called something else?  Thanks!  Bart

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sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,333
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

BART TUCKER wrote:

* 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.

Question: Just went through my MENU and can not find option for LIVE VIEW on/off? Could not find it under online M4 Advanced Manaul Guide. Did I miss an upgrade or is it called something else? Thanks! Bart

Camera2 page 7. I believe it defaults to on

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Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX10 IV Nikon Coolpix P950
mackey1001 Contributing Member • Posts: 948
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

"You chose shutter priority 1/1250 second, and you set the ISO to fixed 400. You added a bit of positive EC to brighten the osprey against the blue sky. As a consequence, the aperture narrowed to f/8 or f/9 in the two pictures.

Nothing wrong with any of that - but if you had just used auto ISO here, I suspect the aperture would have widened as far as it could go (f/4) before the ISO increased, and you'd have ended up at ISO 100 with a greater contrast range."

I think Sherm makes an important point here.

For me, the best results are at f4 or at most f5.6, to keep the shutter speed up and/or ISO lower. So generally my RX10iv will be in Aperture Priority wide open, unless I choose to set at f5.6, or use Shutter Priority for video. Though I do sometimes use Shutter Priority at 1/2000 sec for BIF.

IMHO, your problem is that you are not using the right settings, for the particular scenario. And, it's best to shoot Raw + Jpeg for any camera with a smaller sensor.

-M1

sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,333
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

Elliern wrote:

sherman_levine wrote:

Ellie,

These aren't bad for images where the subject is so small and the range of light so large. I'm not sure what more you were expecting SOOC.

I'm glad you did post them SOOC, however, because they provided a lot of information

You chose shutter priority 1/1250 second, and you set the ISO to fixed 400. You added a bit of positive EC to brighten the osprey against the blue sky. As a consequence, the aperture narrowed to f/8 or f/9 in the two pictures.

Nothing wrong with any of that - but if you had just used auto ISO here, I suspect the aperture would have widened as far as it could go (f/4) before the ISO increased, and you'd have ended up at ISO 100 with a greater contrast range.

You could also have used M mode at 1/1250 and f/4 with auto ISO to reach the same end point, etc etc.

The actual mode (P,A,S,M) is far less important than the shutter speed/aperture/ISO endpoint which you reach.

These are difficult pictures because they have such a large dynamic range - from sunlit white (even brighter than the sky) to black. In that situation a low ISO is particularly important. I'd say you did as well as one could given the light and the higher ISO- The sunlit white areas are not badly overexposed, and it's possible to brighten the dark areas a lot, even from the JPG. (I'll spare you my "but if you had saved is as raw" macro)

The image is well-focused and sharp, and it's easy to remove the noise and adjust the lighting with some easy postprocessing

Beyond that, keep in mind that to fill the frame, you'll need to get about as close as you were with your recent rabbit.

Thanks, Sherm. If I could get a good denoise program for my iPad I would do that. As you know, birds don’t usually let you get real close, at least not large ones. What de-noise program do you recommend? I do have a lap top but it’s very old and not much use. My husband has one that he never uses, so I might be able to take over that one.
I considered getting a long lens for my d5600 such as the Sigma 150-600, which B&H has for $899. But that sucker is huge and heavy!!

I have to decide by tomorrow

Ellie,

I use DXO PL4 which is superb, but I'm puzzled by your logic.

You're happy with the P950 for stationary birds far away and for photography in general.

You also wanted a camera with faster/better focus for birds in flight for your trip. A big heavy long lens for the d5600 won't be practical for that purpose (though perhaps a much shorter one might be), and you can practice with whatever lens you have at home prior to deciding whether or not you want to go that route.

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Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX10 IV Nikon Coolpix P950
Bill Borne
Bill Borne Forum Pro • Posts: 46,710
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

first off change iso to 125 and never go above F:5 in (A) mode see how that works.

If stand hold cam tight against face and tuck arms tightly to sides of body

use med movable focus brackets and full metering mode. If cam does not catch focus move brackets 1/2 on 1/2 off subject

Photo taken thru plate glass window Handheld

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Bill
"Life's Too Short to Worry about the BS!"
So I Choose my Battles
Click for Wild Man's Photos
Using Rx10 IV at Present

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sybersitizen Forum Pro • Posts: 21,326
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

Elliern wrote:

sybersitizen wrote:

Elliern wrote:

Ok, folks, I am looking for help again before I have to return this camera. I posted some replies in another thread earlier today about problems I have at long end of zoom. Tomorrow is the last day of my free trial. I really want to like this camera, but I seem to have some issues with sharpness at the long end.

Just so you know:
3. The Ospreys are only 200-300 ft from my home

Only is not the right word to insert there. That's quite a long distance.

I'll be interested to hear from birders who are accustomed to getting good results with the same camera as to their success with similar subjects at similar distances.

Sorry I wasn’t more clear. The drive or walk to the Osprey trees are 200-300 ft away from my home. They perch atop tall pine trees. Often dead ones. I park my car about 20 -30 ft from the trees in order to get a clear view of the birds

My fault. I should have been able to decipher it. 200-300 feet of distance is too far for that kind of framing. But the subject distance is still pretty significant - I'm guessing something like 100 feet considering the tall trees you describe.

Michael Fritzen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,450
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

AlwynS wrote:

Ellie

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

* AFC

* 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.

Hi,

concour with almost everything Alwyn mentioned.

Just some few points I'm doing differently:

1) I'm using the Zebra feature for fast visual analyse of the exposure situation - which I find extremely helpfull in combination with the EC gauge in the given lighting conditions when a darker subject (bird; for which I want to expose for correctly) is in contrast with a large clearer area of the frame. Yes, the zebra CAN be a PITA in the viewfinder view but the EC gauge alone doesn't tell me (enough) about the area/amount of overexposure of the subject surrounding brighter area. With the zebra on it's for me easier to find a balance (BTW also in the opposite case of a bright bird in front of a darker background/tree/leaves).

2) I'm using manual exposure mode with aperture set to f/4 to f/5.6 depending on the desired DOF - for small to medium sized birds usually f/4. The ISO is set to get the exposure times somewhere in the ballpark from 1/640s to 1/2000s, depending on the subject (moving/flying or perched) and the available light. Then I set the exposure time with a look at the metering (provided by the EC gauge) and the zebras - and leave it there until lighting/scene/subject change substancially (a different view; more clouds; different subject).

The EVF with its WYSIWYG in combination with the zebras, always with a look at the metering on the EC gauge has provided me better and more consistent results than previous usage of any of the partly automated exposure modes. This also speeds up the PP as conversion settings found for one shot can be copied simply to the others of the same subject/vantage point.

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Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

OP Elliern Senior Member • Posts: 1,707
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

AlwynS wrote:

Ellie

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

* AFC

* 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.

-- hide signature --

Ellie
Enjoy the Moments!
“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
A.A. Milne

 Elliern's gear list:Elliern's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Nikon Coolpix P610 Nikon D5100 Sony a6000 Nikon D5500
Michael Fritzen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,450
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

Elliern wrote:

**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???

Pretty simple: in S-Mode with the exposure time preselected, the aperture is the variable parameter and thus adjusted according to the exposure metering. The aperture ring's setting doesn't matter if you're shooting in this mode

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Michael Fritzen

sherman_levine
sherman_levine Forum Pro • Posts: 13,333
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise
1

Michael Fritzen wrote:

Elliern wrote:

**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???

Pretty simple: in S-Mode with the exposure time preselected, the aperture is the variable parameter and thus adjusted according to the exposure metering. The aperture ring's setting doesn't matter if you're shooting in this mode

In addition, you had set ISO to fixed at 400, so the only way the camera can vary the amount of light hitting the sensor is by varying the aperture. If you had used auto ISO, the camera would have decreased the ISO and widened the aperture

 sherman_levine's gear list:sherman_levine's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX10 IV Nikon Coolpix P950
Digital Nigel Forum Pro • Posts: 14,632
Re: Sooc shots of Osprey. Not sharp, Lots of noise

Elliern wrote:

AlwynS wrote:

Ellie

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

* AFC

* 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???

Very easy indeed. The aperture ring has no effect whatever unless you are in A or M modes. In S mode, it is ignored.

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.

What ISO setting were you using?  It seems you picked an excessively high ISO, so the camera had to stop down the lens excessively to compensate. That meant your images suffered from both diffraction softness and noise. That's pure user error.

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.

It was the inevitable result of the other settings you chose.

What's your ISO Auto Min SS setting?  It should be Fast or Faster, particularly for BIFs.

Thanks so much for you help and kindness in pointing out my mistakes. I will post another sooc shot with my results.

 Digital Nigel's gear list:Digital Nigel's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Canon PowerShot G7 X Nikon Coolpix P900 Panasonic ZS100 Sony RX10 III +19 more
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