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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #1
katiebelle
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Default S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

Hi guys,

I am new to both my Canon S3IS and these boards. I have had my S3IS since before Christmas and I love it. I have taken some of the most beautiful and detailed pictures of my children and other things with this awsome camera. The problem I am having is I like to take the close up pictures of wildlife, bugs and things that eally show the awsome detail. I know my camera is capable of taking those shots because I have seen these types of pictures other people have taken. I am sure my problem is related to my extreme lack of knowledge of all teh bells and whistles my camera has. I have no idea how to work most of these and pretty much I am lost. I have figured out that to take those really close shots I should use the Macro or Super Macro mode. However when I use these my pictures are coming out really dark.

I went on a fieldtrip with my son yesterday and took pictures of the butterflies at the butterfly garden and I was very disapointed when I got home and they aren't what I had hoped they woul be. I would greatly appreciate it if some of you more experienced with this camera would please tell me what I am doing wrong. Here are 2 of the pics that turned out dark. Please tell me what you think.
Stacey




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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #2
DirePenguin
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

Hmmm....

Are these pics taken outdoors in bright sunshine? I doubt it, your shutter speed seems way to low for sunlight....

According to the Exif, you were using manual mode and even using your flash....

Did you notice any indications that you were under-exposing (and red numbers in your EVF)? What did the histogram look like before you took the pic?

One suggestion might be to take a couple of macro shots in P or Av mode and see what the camera is doing with the shutter speed....

Here's a macro pic I took of a single violet ... it was shady where the flower was growing, but still a sunny day. However, my shutter speed is even lower than yours (1/40) so maybe your shutter speed IS just set too fast:
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #3
katiebelle
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

Wow,

Well I was inside but the building was a glass roof building and it was very bright and sunny outside. As for all the other questions I wish I knew how all those wonderful options worked on my camera. I do remember the display showinf a -2 in red but I din't know why. Like I said before I really don't know much about photography or how to use this wonderful camera. I guess that is why I am here. I am hoping to learn. I typically take my pictures in auto mode but I realy want to learn how to use my camera to complete ability. Thanks for the help.

Stacey
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #4
Jon
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

A red -2 means that you were set for more than 2 stops of underexposure, which sounds like you must have been in Manual exposure mode. Put the camera back into one of the Auto modes and things should start behaving again.
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #5
DirePenguin
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

To further expand on what Jon is saying, the red -2 is the camera showing you what it thinks of your exposure settings (what you set the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed to) as opposed to what settings it would pick ... it's using the camera's light metering system to determine these values. White (+) numbers mean you're overexposing (too much light) and red (-) numbers mean you're underexposing (too little light).

You should take a little time to learn about exposure ... here's a great site www.GoingManual.com. They do a great job of explaining what Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO do. Particularly on this page.

Here's some quick explanations:
Aperture settings help control the Depth of Field (DOF). Wide apertures (small numbers) mean more light and shallower DOF and vice-versa.

Shutter Speed not only controls the amount of light but allows you to capture movement (from very fast "frozen" to leaving motion blurs).

ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor. The higher it goes, the brighter you'll see your pics BUT you'll also see more noise. On an S3, you really can't do too much with ISO 800 without noise reducing software ... it's very noisy. However, up to ISO 400 is tolerable.

These three settings work together, but they're all about controlling the amount of light that reaches the sensor.

Until you get a feel for how fast/slow a shutter speed needs to be for certain light levels, you should use P, Av, or Tv modes as necessary. All will give better results than Auto.
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

As you've no doubt already learned, the macro modes don't work while in 'Auto' mode. As you're still learning to use the camera, switch to 'P' - program mode when shooting macro or super-macro. This still leaves control of nearly all the functions to the camera except for ISO which you can set to AUTO until you get more familiar with the camera's operation. Once you're up to speed you'll find that you'll get better control by using Tv (shutter priority) or Av (aperture priority) modes, and also keep an eye on the ISO settings for best quality.
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #7
katiebelle
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

Thanks guys..

I really appredciate the help. I am learning so much and I am very glad I found these boards. I had no clue I could use macro in other setting but manual. I don't think I even tried.

I have one more question for you. I noticed that the picture posting rules say pictures need to be no more than 800 X 800 pixels. All of my pictures are considerable more than that. I was wondering if one of you camera genuises could tell me how to change my picturs so I can post them in the critique section without getting into trouble.

Thanks in advance
Stacey
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #8
Jon
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

We've thought of that too - take a look at this sticky and the threads linked to in it.
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Old 16th of May 2007 (Wed)   #9
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Default Re: S3 Macro And Super Macro producing dark images

I am wondering the sign of the macro mode disappear once you start using the MF Is is still working or what is the explanation IN S3 that is.

thanks
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