Question about Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H1 Digital Camera

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H1 - blurry/soft pictures

Hi there - I've had the H1 for about a month. Overall it seems to be a very good camera although I seem to be having inordinate amount of difficulty in learning how to get a really sharp crisp picture. Mostly capturing pictures of kids, family, etc. I've had much more luck lately in shutter priority mode w/ shutter speed at 1/200" in good light (indoors w/ good amounts of daylight coming in through open windows). After looking at the exif data, I'm concluding that the auto/standard modes seem to pick shutters speed that are too slow - eg 1/40" all too often. And even 1/60" seems to be too slow if there is any slight movement. I'm wondering if others have had similar learning curves on this camera? Its gotten to the point for a while I was wondering if something was wrong with the camera when even some of the 1/200" pics have been blurry. Is this par for the course? Thanks in advance for any advice/comments.

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Re: H1 - blurry/soft pictures

I'll bet you're in continuous focus mode instead of Monitor focus mode. In CF mode, the camera keeps focusing even -after- you half-click the shutter. In flash mode (which takes longer to fire than non-flash), going out of focus is really easy in Continuous mode. That was designed to track a moving athlete (and it ain't that good to begin with!). There are two possibilities: 1) You're in continuous focus mode. Change your setting on the Setup menu!! 2) You focused on your child but the chair in front appears to be in perfect focus. If you get the same result in Monitor mode with center-focus, return your camera. There must be something wrong with the calibration of AF! BTW, I almost never get a blurry pic with the H1. Hope this helps...

Posted on Sep 12, 2005

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Re: H1 - blurry/soft pictures

Definitely use centre/spot focussing. AF has a tendancy to lock-on to a static object if the main subject is moving as the posted picture shows, then the flash exposure is calculated tho it is very close to the edge of the frame - did you reframe the picture as you were taking the shot? or is this a crop?

Posted on Sep 12, 2005

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Re: H1 - blurry/soft pictures

Imho this is a case of focusing on the wrong subject. Try to use to focus on the eyes of a human subject, maybe switch to the center af or spot af (I use 70 percent center and 30 percent spot af, no wide auto af).

Posted on Sep 12, 2005

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Re: H1 - blurry/soft pictures

Question is if you have motionblur due to you moving the camera or blur caused by the suvbject moving (something that often happens with children etc.) The first should be taken care of by the IS system, make sure it is on. I took Hot Air balloon shots at 1/10th at dusk which are very sharp (handheld) In the second case were the subject is causing the blur either use flash, increase iso or use a faster shutterspeed (in P mode you can use program shift with the little wheel on front of the camera as well to change the shutter/aperture) There are physical limits that dictate what speeds to use to freeze a moving target. The numbers you named are just to low, that is why you get better results at 1/200th. Also remember the rule of thumb : use at least the same shutterspeed as the focal length your at : so at 60mm use at least 1/60th, at 200 use at least 1/200 and at 400 use at least 1/400. This is for non moving objects, moving objects need faster shutterspeeds. On the other hand the IS system will with some training enable you to use much lower values specially at the tele end. In the film days I used a 400 mm F2.8 prime lens on a very expensive Gitzo tripod and still had problems due to blur caused by the mirrorslap of my slr at lower shutterspeeds. Sousing handheld 432mm at 1/60 which is perfectly possible with the H1 (of a non moving subject) is simply amazing. My advise as always get a book on photography that explains the meaning of iso, shutter and aperture and their effects on picturetaking. This will make the matter much easier to understand and will lower your learningcurve. good luck (and don't give up)

Posted on Sep 12, 2005

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Re: H1 - blurry/soft pictures

Under normal conditions, you should not be getting blurry pictures from the H1 at 1/200th. I don't. I assume you're shooting hand-held. Is the Image Stabilization turned on? What zoom are you using (shake is dramatically increased at high zoom levels)? There is a difference between motion blur and camera shake.

Posted on Sep 12, 2005

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Re: H1 - blurry/soft pictures

I'm afraid this is more a learning curve in general photography :-) I know I also fell into that pit, after so many years of 35mm usage!, by believing at first that "digital" can do it all, well it can't fool general laws of photography/optics :-) .. once one has mastered that, things have a tendency to go a lot smoother :-)

Posted on Sep 12, 2005

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