Help with family photos (200D)

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by Darren Smith, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Darren Smith

    Darren Smith New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Equipment:
    Canon 200D
    Hi,
    I bought a Canon 200D in December to replace my 8/9 year old Panasonic Lumix. The Lumix took some cracking photos in auto mode and I sometimes dabbled a little with aperture. Over recent years, my mobile phone started getting better darker shots - so I wasn't using my DSLR as much. I decided to invest in the 200D after recommendations and reading reviews.

    Since getting my camera - I am struggling a little. About 70% of the photos I take aren't good. They aren't sharp or look grainy or look low resolution. I've tried all sorts and now and again I get a lovely photo that I am proud of. I've just returned from holiday and tried to get plenty of family photos that we could blow up and have large - it was our first holiday as a family of 5 and we wanted to grab some nice pics. I've just looked through them all and its the same as previous... too grainy.. too low resolution or not sharp.. feel a bit gutted and the best photo we have came off my wife's Samsung S6 mobile phone - I've now had it in the ear about spending so much on a camera that I can't get good pics on. I know i'm obviously doing something wrong - and need to find a way to tweak how I take photos. I'm looking to all the people on this forum just for a bit of advice and guidance and thoughts of what I can do?

    I've uploaded a few of my photos from holiday. We either have blurry, too much grain, not sharp enough, look bad when enlarged. If there is any advice that anybody is able to give as to why I just don't seem to be able to get that "good photo" that I seemed to get consistently with my old Panasonic I would much appreciate it.

    link to my oneDrive with some photos: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Am8jZzvODj-vonks6UQ6DidjtF_A?e=iKGlwS

    Thanks
    Darren
     

  2. johnsey

    johnsey Site Moderator Staff Member Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Messages:
    443
    Location:
    Fargo, ND
    Equipment:
    5dMk2, 20D, 70-200 2.8L IS, 100mm 2.8 Macro USM, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 17-40mm 4.0L, Rokinon 14mm 2.8; Pixma Pro-100
    Hi Darren, I do have a few recommendations. I don't see anything that has me concerned about the gear not making good photos.
    Lets start with your old camera for a second, it did all processing and decision making for you, point and shoots will keep shutters above 1/60 to freeze handheld shake, noise down with ISO below 800, and it will use flash when it needs to to do so. Most shots probably around f8 to have some depth of field f5.6 if you set it to portrait. You 200D has these auto modes too, but it may be looking at the situation a bit different than the lumix. Also you have a lot more range than the point and shoot did so more chance for error if your not focused on what the numbers are doing.
    No matter which mode you use to shoot in you will want to start paying attention to the numbers. The few that looked a bit grainiy/noisy had ISOs upwards of 2500/3200 which will show on a photo, this can be cleaned up in photoshop a bit. But if the light is low you may want to use a flash instead of a high ISO.
    Focusing only seemed like a minor issue on a few shots, you can see which focusing point light up and are being used for a shot, you can also select which focus point to use if you want to force it to use one.
    Lastly I wonder about image processing, you are shooting JPG and letting the camera process? You can tweak settings like image saturation and edge sharpening a bit, if that is the case, using the settings, by default this may be zerod out. Otherwise you can shoot raw and use a editor like photoshop/lightroom to process them, the un-processed images will usually bit a little softer than a jpg where the camera does the processing itself.

    You lave a large amount of pixels and can print at 13x20 inches at 300DPI, I would caution against looking at these images at 100% (this would be like printing at 80inches) printing size should resemble what you see on screen when the viewing the whole image I would guess this is about 15-30% zoom depending on your monitor.
     
  3. Darren Smith

    Darren Smith New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Equipment:
    Canon 200D
    Hi Johnsey - many thanks for your reply. Some real food for thought here. I really appreciate it. I'll have a look at settings on the camera and also look at trying some shots in Raw. I went out for a family day out yesterday, took the camera and taking on board some reading I had done about shutter speed and ISO - tried to have a day with shooting in manual mode. I've never shot in manual, but thought if I was a little more in control of the settings, it might mean photos more like what I want. Obviously still some improvements to make - but I guess that comes with practice but I was fairly pleased I got some alright shots. Still a few minor focussing issues and a few shots out of foucs - guessing quick moving kids needed a slightly higher shutter speed. Got some cracking still pics. I've just had a quick go at feeding pics through lightroom - not really used the software much before, again a new learning curve. Really keen and eager to learn - so i'm on it!

    Heres the pics I got - some taken with a telephoto lens some with the kit lens. https://1drv.ms/u/s!Am8jZzvODj-vowRax-Zg6vFcTbEH?e=gArJav - again any feedback I would much appreciate. Been trying to look for a 1-1 session with a photographer local to share some tips as so far self learning.

    Many thanks
    Darren
     
  4. Craig Sherriff

    Craig Sherriff Active Member Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    Equipment:
    60D, 10D, 50D 1dmark3, T70, AV1, lenses ranging from 28mm to 600 mm, canonet Junior, Canonet QL 25, Mamiya C3 and 3 lens sets, Pentax MG and various lenses
    Darren, what Johnsey said has covered the issues with your photos, now may I suggest you, learn the fundamentals of photography, look up on Youtube, Fontana knowledge. There are a series of tutorials presented, I suggest you start with the first ( fundamentals ).
    When you are watching, you can stop and go back over any section of the tutorial that don't understand. This will help in understanding what is being taught. He will cover Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. These are the three basic things that effect our photos and how they interact. My next two suggestions are,
    1: take the manual and read it front to back. learn what the functions of the camera do.
    2: Take you camera with you, on the way home from work, when you go on a walk, etc. get familiar with it. You already have taken the first step in learning and that is asking for help on this forum. please continue to do so, if you have any more questions please ask as myself and many others are only too willing to help, all the best with the shooting, Craig.
     

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