Sharpness, ISO, and New Cameras

Tips for Getting Sharper Photos

There's a good article by Jason Busch at Picture Correct called “My Photos Aren't Sharp (Part 1).” He talks about the differences between dSLRs and compact cameras, and what those differences mean to the output of the photo. He goes on to layout a complete checklist of things that may cause blurry photos. My favorite: the quality of your lens. When it comes to camera gear, you really do get what you pay for. There's nothing wrong with slapping on that deal of a lens you picked up just for the heck of it, but good expensive glass usually produces better results. The differences between expensive glass and cheap glass may not be an issue for your particular taste, but if you're noticing sharpness issues it's something to think about.

Choosing ISO Settings on Your Camera

The Digital Photography School has some good tips for “How to Choose the Right ISO for Your Digital Photography.” Lower ISO values are less sensitive to light and produce minimal noise effects, while higher ISO values are more sensitive to light and produce more pronounced noise. This article looks at the trade-offs of low vs high ISOs, and it provides a guide for choosing an appropriate setting in various circumstances. What setting do I use? I usually keep the camera in AUTO ISO mode, which lets the camera choose between ISO 100, 200, and 400. All of these settings result in very minimal noise, and the AUTO setting allows me more flexibility when shooting. Of course, if I want to spend the extra time in getting my shots just right, I'll always try for the ISO 100 setting and only work my way up if the lighting is too low.

New Cameras on the Market

A couple of interesting new cameras are coming to market. One is a compact camera line from GE — that's right, General Electric. It looks like a descent set of cameras, but it seems kind of strange for this company to enter an already flooded market. We'll see what happens. The other camera is more like a toy, but it looks kind of fun. Ever think of throwing your camera? Maybe not, but you might after you see this one.

Photo of the Day…

Pink & Purple Sunset

Photo by Brian Auer
09/04/05 Clinton, NJ
Sunset over a river in Clinton
Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3
67mm equiv * f/3.2 * 1/40s * ISO125