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Old 02-24-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
luv2sleep
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Questions about my current camera (2004 Kodak DX7590)

Hi. This is my second post here so I hope it's ok to ask this question.

I have a Kodak DX7590. It's says it's a 5 megapixel camera with 10X optical zoom and has a 38-380mm lens, When I take pictures using the zoom feature indoors they are grainy. The ISO goes up to 400. I set all of the other settings (manual mode) so that the light meter reading is zero. Still grainy. Is the issue that I'm indoors and there's not enough light?

My other question is if this measurement and function similar to interchangeable lenses on DSLR cameras? In other words, I've seen mention of a 70-200 lens. Can mine zoom further? It's small (the one on my camera) so I was a little confused about this.

I've been reading Understanding Exposure and reading that book has really made me want to devote time to learning more about photography. Someone mentioned to me on my community board post. Wonderful suggestion. I've tried to read a couple of other photography books before but this one is way more user friendly and easier to understand. Thank you to those who recommended it.

I'd like a DSLR camera but am holding off until I'm ready to pay the $$ for the one I'd like currently looking at the Canon Rebel T3 but the T3i and T4i are definitely appealing).
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
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Yes, on your camera (and most others) as you zoom, less light reaches the sensor. Your camera has a fairly "fast" f/2.8 at wide angle down to f/3.7 at full telephoto. (Aperature is weird, smaller numbers mean a bigger opening with more light).

The difference between the aperature numbers should only mean a difference of ISO 100 at wide to ISO 200 at zoom. (Or 200 to 400). But as you mention, on a PnS camera that old, ISO400 is quite grainy. Newer sensors do much better in that regard. (But on many new cameras, f/ goes even higher at zoom. My Hx30 is f/5.7 at 500mm equivilent.)

There are some expensive lenses with "constant aperature". As you zoom, the aperature remains the same f/ value. There is even a PnS bridge camera, the Panasonic FZ200, that keeps its nice f/2.8 aperature through its 24-600mm equivilent zoom.

Now I always say "equivalent"...that is the equivilent zoom to a 35mm film cameras. Most Pro level DSLr's are full frame (sensor is the same size as 35mm film) like the Canon 5D MarkIII.
The DSLrs you are looking at are "crop body" meaning the sensors are smaller than 35mm. Because of the smaller sensor you get a crop factor of 1.6x in the Canon world.
The crop factor means, if you put a 100mm lens on a T3 or T4i, it will have the same zoomed field of view as a 160mm lens on a full frame DSLr. Or with your example, a 70-200 will have an equivilent zoom of 112-320mm (close enough to your camera's current reach.)

Because you noticed higher ISO at zoom, it would be very nice to choose the T3i or T4i because they look less noisy at high ISO and have a higher ISO ceiling than the T3
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:49 PM   #3
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Unless you can lower the ISO the noise will be the same no matter what shutter speed and aperture you use. Noise is a part of the medium just like grain is with film. Every digital camera will have it to some degree. A current model DLSR will certainly be an improvement over your Kodak (in a lot more areas than just noise) but the DSLR's will still have noise.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:12 PM   #4
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I'm not sure I understand. Sorry I'm so new at this. My camara's ISO only goes up to 400 so are you saying I can lower the ISO to reduce the noise (grainy appearance). It's really dark that way. Is there anything I can do? Or do I just need a better camera and lens to take better longer range indoor shots?
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:56 PM   #5
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That camera is really a dinosour in terms of ISO performance. In order to get the least amount of noise possible, you need to try to keep the ISO as low as possible and use other ways to improve your exposure. You can also try using noise reduction software in post processing, but you're definitely better off replacing it altogether since today's cameras are much improved in that way.

For a basic description (some of today's newest cameras' capabilities may not be reflected in this information):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_noise

http://www.digital-slr-guide.com/iso...age-noise.html
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me
That camera is really a dinosour in terms of ISO performance. In order to get the least amount of noise possible, you need to try to keep the ISO as low as possible and use other ways to improve your exposure. You can also try using noise reduction software in post processing, but you're definitely better off replacing it altogether since today's cameras are much improved in that way.
Oh ok. I understand now. Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
I'm not sure I understand. Sorry I'm so new at this. My camara's ISO only goes up to 400 so are you saying I can lower the ISO to reduce the noise (grainy appearance). It's really dark that way. Is there anything I can do? Or do I just need a better camera and lens to take better longer range indoor shots?
ISO, shutter speed and aperture all work together to make the exposure. If you lower the ISO to get less noise you will have to compensate the same amount somewhere else because you are reducing the camera's ability to gather light. So you need to either choose a slower shutter speed or wider aperture to let more light in. Of course if you're already as slow as you can go and as wide as you can go then you really have no where to go.

A newer camera will give you better ISO performance and range but that's only one piece of the equation.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:10 AM   #8
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Oh ok. I understand now. Thanks!
Good. I added a couple of links, you might have missed them as we were posting at the same time. Glad you liked Understanding Exposure!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pea-n-Me
Good. I added a couple of links, you might have missed them as we were posting at the same time. Glad you liked Understanding Exposure!
I see them now! Thank you!
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by photo_chick

ISO, shutter speed and aperture all work together to make the exposure. If you lower the ISO to get less noise you will have to compensate the same amount somewhere else because you are reducing the camera's ability to gather light. So you need to either choose a slower shutter speed or wider aperture to let more light in. Of course if you're already as slow as you can go and as wide as you can go then you really have no where to go.

A newer camera will give you better ISO performance and range but that's only one piece of the equation.
Yes I think for indoor lower light shooting this camera is at it's limits as you describe. It does great outside with plenty of natural light. It does fine with a flash (although I tend to like natural looking pictures and the flash gives the pics an unnatural quality...need to learn more about this too).
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
I'm not sure I understand. Sorry I'm so new at this. My camara's ISO only goes up to 400 so are you saying I can lower the ISO to reduce the noise (grainy appearance). It's really dark that way. Is there anything I can do? Or do I just need a better camera and lens to take better longer range indoor shots?
Yes, with an identical shutter speed and aperature, a lower ISO will be darker.

If possible, use a slower shutter speed to compensate. So instead of ISO400 and a shutter speed of 1/300, use ISO200 with a shutter speed of 1/150.

You may find the slower shutter speed does not agree with your subject (if its a kid in perpetual motion) or you may be like most people and cannot hold the camera still enough at full zoom to take advantage of a slow shutter, unless you use a tripod or at least have the camera on a table..
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
Yes I think for indoor lower light shooting this camera is at it's limits as you describe. It does great outside with plenty of natural light. It does fine with a flash (although I tend to like natural looking pictures and the flash gives the pics an unnatural quality...need to learn more about this too).
Most built-in flashes are unnatural when supplementing artificial light. If you can, a flash that bounces off the ceiling can look better (but very few cameras can tilt a flash, but there are some add-on DSLr flashes that can)

Ironically, don't be afraid to use your flash in outdoor, natural lighting situations. A flash can help remove harsh shadows, and looks surprisingly natural and compliments sunlight.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
Hi. This is my second post here so I hope it's ok to ask this question.

I have a Kodak DX7590. It's says it's a 5 megapixel camera with 10X optical zoom and has a 38-380mm lens, When I take pictures using the zoom feature indoors they are grainy. The ISO goes up to 400. I set all of the other settings (manual mode) so that the light meter reading is zero. Still grainy. Is the issue that I'm indoors and there's not enough light?

My other question is if this measurement and function similar to interchangeable lenses on DSLR cameras? In other words, I've seen mention of a 70-200 lens. Can mine zoom further? It's small (the one on my camera) so I was a little confused about this.
.
Your questions have mostly been answered by others. Graininess is typically "noise" which occurs at high ISO. On a current model dSLR, 400 would not be considered high ISO and would handle it just fine. But on a point and shoot --- especially a 9 year old P&S, 400 ISO may not handle noise well.
Current dSLRs have bigger sensors which handle noise better, plus more advanced sensors, and more advanced processing to take out noise.
When shooting raw with a dSLR, you typically won't see noise until you go over 800ISO, often not until you go over 1600.... and it's easy to remove in post-processing.
If you shoot in jpeg-- then the camera does the post-processing itself. (But not as well as you'd be able to do it yourself). So modern dSLRs... in jpeg, you often won't notice noise until you start going over 3200 or even higher.

As to the focal lengths --- The bigger the sensor, the bigger the lens you need to achieve a big telephoto focal length. So a small point and shoot, with a tiny sensor... can get the equivalent of 380mm zoom, with a pretty small lens. To get 380mm zoom on a dSLR... especially on a full-frame dSLR (which has a full 35mm sensor size), you would need a MASSIVE lens.
That's why you see modern P&S cameras and bridge cameras with the equivalent of 500, 600mm zoom. You'll never see a regular consumer with a focal length like that on a dSLR... That's where you need a tripod attached to the massively heavy lens.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:50 AM   #14
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600mm is small potatoes in a modern bridge camera . The Canon Sx50 and upcoming Sony HX300 both go up to a crazy 1200mm . Yes it is at a "slow" f/6.5 or so, but there are not any brighter DSLr lenses at that range
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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600mm is small potatoes in a modern bridge camera . The Canon Sx50 and upcoming Sony HX300 both go up to a crazy 1200mm . Yes it is at a "slow" f/6.5 or so, but there are not any brighter DSLr lenses at that range
Outside of a laboratory or observatory, I don't know if dSLR lenses exist in that range!

Hmmm, here is Nikons 1200-1700 lens. No price listed. But it weighs 35 lbs. So yes, a dSLR lens in that range... weighs about the same as my 5-year-old daughter.
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