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11-22-2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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Same camera, different photographers, image quality different?

I am puzzled about image quality between photographers using either the same body or the same lens or both.

When I look at my photos with the DL or my new K7 I see digital quality images. Yet I can look at other people's images and they look sharp but very smooth, very professional looking so to speak as if they were lifted off a print page.

Even the new 35mm 2.4 photo examples on this site you can see some images look razor sharp but digital, others very film like, yet it is the same lens.

My photos look too digital using the kit lenses or even the manual A50mm F1.7 though oddly enough, my very first first shots on the K-7 look filmlike then all downhill from there.

11-22-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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There are a lot of variables other than camera and lens. Camera settings and post-processing are going to be huge factors in differences between final images. Probably the best suggestion is to ask someone how he or she shot and processed an image that you like. They may be able to offer some hints that you will be able to use with your photography.
11-22-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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The same camera and lens in someone else's hands can have quite a profound difference. The same goes with, let's say musical instruments for example. I have been playing guitar for 30 years, but put my same Martin D28 in the hands Chet Atkins (when he was alive) and there is no way I could ever match the tone.

Technique is a combination of learned skills, talent and your own personal signature.

Jason
11-22-2010, 02:38 PM   #4
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I agree with all of the above (eventhough I cannot and never will have the same skill) that I see from photographers here and online at many other camera forums have better technique, ability to get the most out of thier camera and gear, plus the wizardly ability to do some high quality post-processing.

My neighbor is a idiot, but put a camera in his hands and he can make pictures sing. He has tried to teach me what he does, but I fall far short in ability comparatively, which is ok, since I can make his computer gear humm.

11-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote
I am puzzled about image quality between photographers using either the same body or the same lens or both.
I used to see this - when I first bought my DSLR, I found the IQ very point and shoot. I handed it over to my friend who had taken some photography courses, and she made some really awesome images.

What happened? Well, she knew how to properly expose an image. She stuck to the lowest ISO possible, and properly exposed to retain highlight AND shadow detail... this is where you get a lot of quality.

The second thing was that she knew how to set the aperture, to get that "smooth" look where appropriate.

It just took me a long time to figure these basic things out. Now, I'm able to do what she could do.

My final suggestion would be to set the in-camera JPEG settings to your liking, or shoot raw. The in-camera jpeg processing can render some pretty dull and flat images.

One other suggestion to get you started: turn on the histogram for the image review. It will show you how well your image is exposed (too bright, too dark, etc). Ideally, you don't want the histogram to hit the left or right side, you want it somewhere in the middle.

As you get a hang of this, you will be able to properly expose a scene without looking at the histograms much.
11-22-2010, 08:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
My final suggestion would be to set the in-camera JPEG settings to your liking, or shoot raw.
paperbag846, where is this at in the camera and what do you set yours to that might be different than what it does on its own?
11-22-2010, 08:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
paperbag846, where is this at in the camera and what do you set yours to that might be different than what it does on its own?
I shoot only in RAW, so my jpeg settings (and white balance settings) don't matter much... I have complete control when I sit down at the computer.

Therefore the custom jpeg setting (function --> custom image) have no effect on my pictures and I set everything at 0 because of this. However, if you want more contrast and punch, then "landscape" might work.

Everyone's tastes are different. If you want to shoot JPEG, just mess around with the custom settings till you see something you like.

I tend to process each image afterwards... some "junk" shots have turned into very interesting images with some heavy processing on my computer. Others I leave pretty much alone... but I edit everything a little bit. That's just me.

The histogram is the more important thing to keep your eye on, because if you get to know it, you can get the maximum dynamic range from you images.

If you let the camera "do it on it;s own" then it's likely at "neutral" which gives you more natural images, with less colour contrast. I find it boring.
11-23-2010, 06:24 PM   #8
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That helps. I havent really ventured into the post processing world yet. I just started learning photo shop this semester at school and havent had the money to buy the program and a computer worth putting it on. All in due time I suppose.

11-24-2010, 02:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote
Same camera, different photographers, image quality different?
There are only two things that you need to know to get it right: composition and exposure. When you get the hang of this two together, you have mastered the art of photography.

There's plenty of info on this matters, but don't forget practice is the most important. Keep shooting (always have your camera with you), analyze your photos and try to figure out what you could be doing better and do it the next time. Good luck.
11-24-2010, 02:58 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
There are only two things that you need to know to get it right: composition and exposure.

don't forget luck.I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a great image taken from a student who was using nothing more than a P&S and being there at the Right moment

composition and exposure are very useful skills but one of the most underestimated things about photography is Light. Because without it there would be no photography. In the natural world there are a myriad of types of light and all of them have their charms, and finding the best way to exploit them is one of the major skills that lead to mastery. You can have the "right" composition and the "right" exposure but if your subject isn't well lit or otherwise uninteresting you will still have a "failed" attempt on your hands.
11-24-2010, 03:39 AM   #11
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Hi Digitalis. Thank you for correcting me. As always, I'm a bit careless and forget to give it a second thought.

Well, you may call it what you want. Personally, i don't see things that way. For instance, Joćo Silva has lost his legs in Afghanistan and we report that as an accident. If you prefer to call it bad luck, it's up to you. For me, he was there and didn't pay attention where he was putting his feet and landed over a mine. That's why I said to our new member to always take the camera with him, in case he need it. I could advise him to watch where he puts his feet but it also didn't occur to me at that time.

As for light, you are maybe right but, doesn't that belongs to exposure?

Cheers

Last edited by Manel Brand; 11-24-2010 at 09:56 AM. Reason: typo
11-24-2010, 04:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
Hi Digitalis. Thank you for correct me. As always, I'm a bit careless and forget to give it a second thought.
I wasn't correcting you, I was adding to your list. Composition and exposure are necessary for a good image, but that isn't all there is to it. You can take a correctly exposed image of a brick wall with perfect composition but all you will end up with is a picture of a brick wall, but if you light it well you can create something interesting.

Take a look at Edward westons pepper no 30, dull boring subject matter, but the light is what transforms it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
Joćo Silva has lost his legs in Afghanistan and we report that as an accident. If you prefer to call it bad luck, it's up to you. For me, he was there and didn't pay attention where he was putting his feet and landed over a mine
I wouldn't say luck had anything to do with it, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. A year ago I was mugged and to have facial surgery to repair shattered bones..do I blame that incident on bad luck?..no, I don't. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

QuoteOriginally posted by Manel Brand Quote
As for light, you are maybe right but, doesn't that belongs to exposure?
The character of light has a connection to exposure but increasing or decreasing exposure only effects how that light is captured in the final image. Exposure is the metrics of how we capture the light around us. You can have the fastest lens in the world and the cleanest High ISO but if the lighting conditions aren't right you will still get a bad image.

Last edited by Digitalis; 11-24-2010 at 04:49 AM.
11-24-2010, 06:15 AM   #13
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Sorry about the mugging, Digitalis. Corvairfan, I would say go out and take some pics is good advice. Other than that, maybe you could try to transfer your personal vision onto the photographs. I believe you can only photograph what you can see beforehand (exceptions possible but that's not my style). You will begin to see those technical details too.

For example, take the same pic with same f-number in a uniform daylight (cloud) shadow or a blue sky midday summer sun. First one will look flat and dull-colored, second will look harsh and overexposed, kind of screamy. Now take the same pic in the setting sun, scattered shadows or other mild, twilight situation. All of a sudden you are getting the texture, the dynamic range, the colors. You will see this with your naked eyes after a while, promised.
11-24-2010, 08:59 AM   #14
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George, You can take a photo at 12 o'clock in the summer on the middle of Dead Valley and come home with a perfect shot (on account of composition and exposure). That's all there is to it.

Last edited by Manel Brand; 11-24-2010 at 09:55 AM. Reason: typo
11-24-2010, 09:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
I wasn't correcting you, I was adding to your list. Composition and exposure are necessary for a good image, but that isn't all there is to it.
I know. No problem. Of course there's much to it. I just wanted to make it simple.

Last edited by Manel Brand; 11-24-2010 at 09:58 AM. Reason: typo
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