Canon Powershot s400 Photography advice
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Photography


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-21-2005, 03:47 AM   #1
Sully
Algae Grower
 
Sully's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 27
Default

Canon Powershot s400 Photography advice


I have a Canon Powershot s400, and I don't know how to use it properly. I want to take close macro shots but everything turns out blurry. I want those beautiful pearling plant pics, moving fish shots, etc. Anyone have this powershot, or any similar canon elphs that can offer a solution, tips, and directions to get me that perfect shot.

-SULLY

Last edited by Sully; 12-22-2005 at 01:12 AM..
Sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-21-2005, 04:07 AM   #2
Safado
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Safado's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully
I have a Canon Powershot s400, and I don't know how to use it properly. I want to take close macro shots but everything turns out blurry. Anyone have this powershot, or any similar canon elphs that can offer a solution, tips, and directions to get me take that perfect shot.

-SULLY

How close are you to the subject? Most cameras have a minimum focal distance. How long is the shutter open? The elphs are really quiet, so this may be tough to tell. What do you mean by blurry? out of focus, or streaked? If it is streaked the shutter is open for longer than you are able to keep it still. A tripod is almost a necesity for me to take pictures of my tank without the flash.
__________________
10g with shrimp
55g First true attempt at a planted tank.
Safado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 04:24 AM   #3
Sully
Algae Grower
 
Sully's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 27
Default

By blurry I mean out of focus. Things stay blurred, even after I get a green box on my LCD. I'm not sure if I can adjust how long the shutter stays open. Are we talking about "exp" that can be change from -2 to +2, or ISO from 50-400? What do those things mean?

Here's some specs: Focal Length: 7.4mm - 22.2mm (36mm - 108mm equivalent); Exposure Modes: Program AE, Exposure Compensation (+/- 2.0EV in 1/3-step increments), Auto Exposure Bracketing

My camera is 2-24 inches away from the glass. Still blurry in all accounts. I tried taking the picture from afar, picture came out okay, but detail is not as good as other photos I've seen, and I got other plants in the picture as well. I would prefer not to go through the croping and photoshop hassel. I want instant close up shots.
Sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 05:37 AM   #4
geekgirl
Planted Member
 
geekgirl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Aloha, OR
Posts: 269
Default

Are you using the close-up macro? I have this same camera, and by using a tripod, the close-up macro and no flash, I get great pictures in my tanks. This one was from my reef tank from about 1-1/2" away:



This one was from about a foot back, using the zoom:

geekgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 06:54 AM   #5
Sully
Algae Grower
 
Sully's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 27
Default

Wow, those are great shots. I am using the macro mode (flower icon). I don't have a tripod, but I'll try to place it on chair with the timer on to see if I can get better pictures. Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm so excited now that I can actually take good macro photos with my camera.

How do you get close, focused shots of this in the back of the aquarium? How about fast moving fish? Did you have to change any of the camera settings?

-SULLY
Sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 11:41 AM   #6
esarkipato
Wannabe Guru
 
esarkipato's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: W. Michigan
Posts: 1,984
Send a message via MSN to esarkipato
Default

I had a powershot, and dealt with many of the same issues. I found that many of them are caused by slight movement on my part, so I agree on getting a tripod or something similar. I believe that the sutter speed is the ISO setting, but I never read up on it too much. I would check the manual!

Close, focused shots in the back of aquarium will require optical zoom. Does the s400 have optical, or just digital zoom.

Lastly, I was NEVER able to take good shots of fishies while swimming. Maybe lowering the shutter speed would help.
__________________
-Ernie

29 Gallon Tank: 110W PC Lights, Milwaukee MA957 CO2, Fluorite/Sand Substrate, Checked into E.I. Rehab


MY RENA FILSTAR XP3 PIMPS ME! (#67)
esarkipato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 12:03 PM   #7
Safado
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Safado's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully
Are we talking about "exp" that can be change from -2 to +2, or ISO from 50-400? What do those things mean?
Not sure exactly what ISO stands for, but it is the light sensitivity. Higher ISO means less light is needed to expose the film, or in the case of digital, less light is needed on the sensor. I am a bit surprised yours goes down to 50. Most common values are 100, 200, 400, and sometimes 800 or even 1600. As a rule of thumb, the lower the ISO the less grainy the picture, so if you are taking pictures outside on a sunny day I would recommend using an ISO of 100. I dont know about the sensor in your camera, but you can probably take great pictures with minimal graininess with ISO 400. I would use this for the time being, and see if you notice a loss in the picture quality.

Basically if you use ISO 50 the shutter has to stay open twice as long as if you use 100, 4X as long as 200 and 8X as long as 400.That is the difference between 1/30 (ISO 400) of a second and a full second (ISO 50).


EXP means exposure. It sounds like you can sent your camera to over expose or under expose your pictures up to two "stops." I generally under expose my full tank pictures1/3-1 stop, since the light is really strong, this helps avoid washed out (totally white from too much light) parts. A great time to use this function is when taking pictures of sunsets. Most cameras overexpose sunsets, which causes them to lose their colors.

I know you want point and shoot, and you have a great camera for it, but I would not discount photo shop. It is a great program. most everything you are doing could be done manually in the mast, but with tons more effort.

Here is a picture I took a few weeks ago:



Had I used the camera settings I would have had to choose to either wash out the sunset, but correctly expose the foreground, or correctly expose the sunset, and have the foreground be solid black. What I did was slightly under expose the foreground, then in photo shop I exposed the foreground a little more and reduced the exposure of the sky.

I also like having the control of resizing the pictures myself rather than relying on a program such as a hosting service to do it for me.
__________________
10g with shrimp
55g First true attempt at a planted tank.
Safado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 04:49 PM   #8
geekgirl
Planted Member
 
geekgirl's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Aloha, OR
Posts: 269
Default

I'm not clever enough for photoshop. LOL!

For close-ups in the back of the aquarium, you really need the tripod, make sure your water is crystal clear- use a water polisher like the AC Quickfilter. Zoom in, then depress the shutter 1/2 way to get your focal points. It will display little squares on the screen. If it's going where you want it, then take the picture. If not, adjust the zoom and/or position of the camera to get a new focal point.

Yeah, it is a point and shoot, so that makes stuff like this harder, but it is possible.
geekgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 06:51 PM   #9
Sully
Algae Grower
 
Sully's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 27
Default

Thanks guys for the great advice and great information. Safado, fantastic picture Maybe I'll try adobe abit for some pictures.

It looks like I'll search around for a tripod. I do have optical zoom, so tripod would be necessary. My main two things I'm interested in taking are plant pearling pictures and close plant shots, and moving fish. Any other special tips to help me capture these shots?

-SULLY
Sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2005, 11:25 PM   #10
Safado
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Safado's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sully
Thanks guys for the great advice and great information. Safado, fantastic picture Maybe I'll try adobe abit for some pictures.

It looks like I'll search around for a tripod. I do have optical zoom, so tripod would be necessary. My main two things I'm interested in taking are plant pearling pictures and close plant shots, and moving fish. Any other special tips to help me capture these shots?

-SULLY
To catch the fish it will be all about light. ISO 400 is also a good idea. The more light the better. Try taking the picture with the flash on, but at like a 30 degree angle to the glass. That will minimize the reflection.
__________________
10g with shrimp
55g First true attempt at a planted tank.
Safado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2005, 01:10 AM   #11
Sully
Algae Grower
 
Sully's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Bay Area, Ca
Posts: 27
Default

Thanks again Safado. I'll try it, now that I have a tripod..things are gonna rock!

-SULLY
Sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2006, 02:10 PM   #12
esarkipato
Wannabe Guru
 
esarkipato's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: W. Michigan
Posts: 1,984
Send a message via MSN to esarkipato
Default

Hey Sully, any results from the new tripod setup?
__________________
-Ernie

29 Gallon Tank: 110W PC Lights, Milwaukee MA957 CO2, Fluorite/Sand Substrate, Checked into E.I. Rehab


MY RENA FILSTAR XP3 PIMPS ME! (#67)
esarkipato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2006, 03:39 PM   #13
jimmydrsv
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
jimmydrsv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 708
Default

It takes me about 20 seconds to open up and clean up a photo with photoshop. Just learning a few basic steps goes a long way and for some photos, it makes a dramatic difference since digital cameras sometimes tweek photos in their own direction.
__________________
Macranda Farmer of the SFBAAPS
jimmydrsv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2006, 08:32 PM   #14
valleyvampiress
Planted Member
 
valleyvampiress's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: CA, US
Posts: 276
Send a message via AIM to valleyvampiress Send a message via Yahoo to valleyvampiress
Default

If your tank's light is on, put ISO at 400, have macro mode on, zoom all the way out, set white balance to custom (find the whitest object in your lighting possible, point the camera to it and press "set"), turn flash all the way off, put picture to "superfine", put length to 2272x1704, place your camera on your tripod next to the glass (about 3" away), hold camera steady and shoot.

Some tips: Don't hold the camera too close to the glass. This makes it hard for the camera to focuse. Try not to take macro shots with the zoom in and close to the glass. Have fun.
__________________

7G Long:1 Killie, 3 Rasboras, 1 Ghost Shrimp, 1 Amano
Java Fern, Anubias Coffeefolia, Anubias Barteri, Cabomba, Ludwigia

5G:2 Platies, 1 Ghost Shrimp
Java Fern, Green Wendtii, Petite Nana, Bacopa
valleyvampiress is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012