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Author Topic: Camera problems, and related frustrations  (Read 3348 times)

Elysiana

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Camera problems, and related frustrations
« on: 28 Jun 2012, 14:08 »

I posted this thread on POTN but was hoping for some other feedback. I won't rehash much of it here but the basics are that my camera doesn't seem to take quite the quality of photos it used to. That may be due to user error; I don't know.

My biggest problem, though, is that I've been using my own camera to take product photos for my company because they didn't have a camera when I started, and I feel certain that the photos have gotten grainier over time. When I mentioned that to our new HR rep, she flipped out that the company was having me use my own camera, and insisted that the company replace my camera and get a company camera for me to use instead. She asked me to do a writeup on what model my camera is, what I paid for it, and a few suggestions on a camera for the company. Okay, awesome, right? Well, when they saw how much my camera was, they changed their tune to "Can we just repair it instead?" so I'm rather frustrated about that. I appreciate that they're willing to do that on the one hand, but my real issue is that it's the equivalent of putting 200,000 miles on someone's car and then offering to change the oil; you've still put 200,000 miles on the entire engine and body. Even if there's nothing currently wrong with the car, you've done damage to it. But they want proof that my camera is having problems now.

I don't want to lie and say it's having problems if it's just user error, but I'm at a loss here. I'm pretty pissed that the HR rep insisted that they'd replace it (and I even said to her, "if you could just repair it..." and she said, "No, that's not good enough, the wear and tear on your camera is already significant, right?" so she gets the car analogy thing) and now they're saying they'll only repair it. It's my fault for offering to use my camera but I can't afford to buy a new one and every time I take pics of Mackenzie I'm almost in tears because they're so grainy and my camera used to take super crisp photos. Bleh. Any ideas? Any input? Even if it's just "you're using the wrong settings."
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cvcharger

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #1 on: 28 Jun 2012, 15:32 »

Is it digital or film?
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Elysiana

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #2 on: 28 Jun 2012, 15:44 »

DSLR, it's a Canon 10D.

So far one person has suggested that my lightmeter is off, and another person has suggested that with the plain old kit lens, I can't ever expect a clean photo in low light. The first person disagrees with that, but *shrug* dunno.
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Lines

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #3 on: 29 Jun 2012, 12:10 »

How old is it? What setting do you use? I am no expert on cameras, but more information would help.
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pwhodges

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #4 on: 29 Jun 2012, 12:45 »

I would not expect a sensor to deteriorate with age, apart from possibly a few extra hot or cold pixels.  Also, even though fancy lenses are even better, pretty much any modern kit lens from a reputable maker is already pretty damn good.  I would suggest thorough cleaning of the lens (using alcohol or whatever is recommended, rather than just a dry wipe) to remove even any suspicion of grease (you could get a camera shop to give an opinion whether the lens needs internal cleaning - how likely this is might depend on your climate which I don't recall). 

Then a careful review of the deeper camera menu settings, in case you've changed one and not changed it back (e.g. if you've set reduced contrast in-camera, you might perceive a loss of impact generally).  If you shoot raw, then camera settings - other than exposure and focus, of course - are irrelevant, as all the processing gets done later; if you don't normally shoot raw, try it and see if you get better results. 

You may just be getting a little blasť with the camera because of familiarity; consciously concentrating that little bit more on making the best use of it, as you did when it was new and strange, might be the key.
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Elysiana

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #5 on: 29 Jun 2012, 12:46 »

It's all in the link to the thread I posted... details, photo examples, test series and such.

It's a Canon 10D, purchased in 2003. I use M as much as possible. I can't go over ISO400 or they come out terrible, but any lower than 400 and everything seems to be too low-light. One person on there thinks that my lightmeter may have a problem because I'm having to compensate so much; another thinks it's working just fine and it's my lens; another thinks I'm just using the wrong camera settings altogether... nobody seems to agree on any one thing.

Mostly I just want someone to let me know what I can tell my employers as far as why it's shitty of them to use my camera for 3 years and just say, "Welp, thanks."


ETA: And I don't mean I've taken a few photos here and there for ads. I have taken thousands of photos so far, and it was already an old camera... I don't know how many actuations because that model doesn't save that info, but I am fairly certain it was above at least 25k when I started here, and they say the 10D's shutter usually lasts through about 50k actuations.
« Last Edit: 29 Jun 2012, 12:57 by Elysiana »
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pwhodges

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #6 on: 29 Jun 2012, 13:00 »

I only read the other thread after writing my reply, which was silly, I guess; but it all seems to be said there.  I would add to my comment about settings that most cameras (I don't know yours) have menu adjustments for sharpening/smoothing and noise reduction, which if changed might also relate to some of the comments in the other thread.  My suggestion to try shooting raw is serious, because it bypasses most of the camera's processing and settings, just as shooting manually bypasses the exposure stuff - even better if you can borrow a separate meter, and maybe learn to do incident light measurement (this was an absolute basic before so much got built into cameras; can you recall pictures of photographers with an assistant waving a meter around in front of the subject?).
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

Elysiana

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Re: Camera problems, and related frustrations
« Reply #7 on: 29 Jun 2012, 13:08 »

I used to shoot RAW at least occasionally but got away from it with this project because I needed to be able to quickly send files to people and I didn't want to deal with converting... and with only have a 512MB card, RAW+JPG fills it up way too fast. I may have to test it in RAW though. I have a friend who is a photographer but I don't know how much equipment she really has; perhaps she has a lightmeter I can borrow though. If she shoots Canon she might even have a separate lens I can try, to narrow that down. Dude on the POTN forum seemed to think the kit lens is just completely shitty, but I've been using it since I got the camera and have never noticed this before.

I just don't think I've ever had to do this much post-processing. I know it's been a while since I've taken a class (and hell, that was with a film camera) but I don't think I've forgotten how to take a photo entirely... though as I mentioned, it IS possible lol.
« Last Edit: 29 Jun 2012, 13:17 by Elysiana »
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