1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Hey guys, need some help please if you would be so kind :)

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by carlsworth, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Hi everyone
    I'm fairly new to the camera world and only use the camera to take photos of tattoos I have done, and need some advise
    I currently have a Sony A200, with DT 1.8 36mm lens, and while its fairly good for what I do with it, I have been seeing/hearing reviews for Cybershot RX100
    The A200 is old a this point, and just doesn't seem as crisp as I would like it to be
    I am thinking about selling the a200 and getting the RX100, as it is within my budget, and seems to be an excellent camera according to many reviews
    But....is the image quality BETTER than the A200???
    And would it be worth the change?
  2. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    That depends on what you are using your pictures for, Yes the RX is an excellent camera and would out gun A200 in most areas, but the 10mpix of the A200 should be more than enough unless you are doing very big prints.
    I guess what I am saying is that yes it would be better but would you notice it? If I were you I would go to a shop, take a compatible memory card with you and take few shots the way you are planing to use it, get a feel for the camera and then you could look at the pictures at home and compare to the pictures from the A200.
  3. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Hey Snorri, thanks for the reply

    My big issue with the A200, is the sharpness of the pics-
    they seem a little soft to me, and see a difference in the rx100

    I'm far from an enthusiastic photographer, but need crisp quality images for my tattoo work portfolio

    I know the lighting makes a big difference, but CANNOT take photos anywhere other than in the studio - which I upgraded the fluorescent lights recently to 6500k which seems to have helped a little

    I don't want to have to get into becoming a "pro", to take decent pics, and wonder if the rx100 camera would do it for me
  4. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Probably would help a little as the sensor has better low light performance and it has and extra stop on the a200. But could it be that you are cranking up the ISO to much, for this kind of work you want to be around ISO 200 and 800 would be really pushing the limits anything over that would probably be useless as it would get very grainy and start to suffer from pixel noise.
    you might want to look into some flash guns or cheap studio lights.
    Like you said fluorescent lights are not good and yes getting some that are 6500k will be much better than the normal ones, but I fear that you might still have to little light even though the quality has improved.
    I personally use a flashgun that I shot through a white umbrella, this is a retentively cheap set-up but gives huge advantage over on camera flash or no flash at all.
    If you have a picture that shows the problem then it would be easier for us to tell the reason. And if you could include the details of aperture, speed and ISO then that would really help.
    I agree with you that the pictures must be sharp as you are showing and documenting your work, so new camera or something else lets figure it out so you get the most for your £
  5. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Part of it may be how the A200 is set up, rather than any inherent fault with the camera or lens, if you are shooting handheld without flash there is also the possibility of camera shake. The camera and lens should be capable of what you need. Compacts such as the RX 100 tend to have quite aggressive sharpening in their pre-set programming.

    I am assuming that you want to use results straight out of the camera without doing any post processing. I use an A450 for Ebay pictures of items I am selling and sharpness is not an issue. I'm not familiar with the A200, but try setting the quality to fine, set the camera to A, shoot at an aperture setting of f5.6 with iso at 200, if you are using flash this should lift about the best quality you can get from it. If the camera has "steadyshot" make sure it is turned on. If you are not using flash try steadying the camera by holding it against something solid to reduce the chance of camera shake.

    Mind a compact might make it all easier, but it depends on what you are doing with the results, if you want fairly large prints it might start to struggle, but would be fine for web use or smaller prints.
  6. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Hey guys-
    thanks for the detailed info snorri :)

    Been messing with this again today, and here is a perfect example of what my issue is

    See how fuzzy the edges of the top parts of the bottle are....


    *thanks nimbus- I tried your settings, and no difference...

    any ideas???
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  7. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    What were the settings? ISO, shutter, aperture etc?

    Point of focus looks to be the base of the bottle and since you are quite close to the subject depth of field - ie how much is acceptably sharp - tends to be nerrow so I'm not at all surprised that the top of the bottle is slightly soft. This is not a fault of the lens it's a product of optical physics. DoF is not helped by the subject being at an angle to the sensor - to make best use of DoF you need to ensure that the camera, and thereby the sensor, is at right angles (or as near as as possible) to the subject.

    Have a look here - http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm - for an explanation of DoF.

    A 35mm f1.8 on an A200 should give you all the quality you require. If you are working in poor light a tripod may be a solution.
  8. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    I have no idea what settings this was at-
    I've been messing with all sorts to try and get the best detail from it, so, sorry....I kinda forgot at this stage :(

    dof makes sense, thanks :)

    This is indoors, on a tripod with countdown shutter, so Im not pressing it myself

    - and lights are as follows

    1x 4000k 5ft fluorescent tube
    2x 6500k 5ft fluorescent tube
    2x 500w halogen floodlights (that I installed to try and brighten the place up for photos)

    The room has no natural light and measures 8ftx12ftx20ft

    will take another an post settings
  9. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member


    This is at

    iso 200

    Still looks "soft" to me....
    Post processing does make it a lot clearer....but why cant the camera make it sharp?
    thanks for the help so far guys :)
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The depth of the bottle at these quarters would cause problems of this nature, it is the physics of lenses. For the tattoos you should have less of a problem so long as you have the camera square to the artwork, as the body and skin are relatively flat, using flash may help here, unless it reflects off the tattoo. Your lighting is quite variable in colour temperature, using flash would eliminate that issue.

    Now, f3.5 would be more of a problem on two counts, there is very little depth of field (dof) at this setting and the lens is not at it's sharpest, also 1/60th sec handheld might show camera shake.

    The lens in question will perform best at f5.6, there is greater dof and it is where the lens itself is sharpest.

    How does it do when you shoot a tattoo?
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    What he said!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  12. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Hey guys
    this is taken outside, and its not exactly a sunny day

    f 7.1
    iso 100 according to photoshop image viewer

    theres a drastic difference, so it has to be something to do with the light

    also, no tripod for this photo, just resting on wall

  13. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Now then-

    This is at f 5.6 1/20 iso 200, on a tripod with countdown shutter

    There is a MASSIVE difference in the quality- sooooo much sharper and clearer :)

  14. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Have a question now

    At f5.6, will I find that it is blurry again, because when taking pics of tattoos, people cannot sit as still as the bottle does

    and it seemed to be a slower shutter speed when I took it at f5.6
  15. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Possibly. You may need to up the ISO - in that case.
  16. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    ISO, shutter speed and aperture all work together. Getting a sharp, well lit exposure is a balancing act between the three things. Making the aperture bigger lets in more light but also reduces the amount of the image that is sharp. Using a slower shutter speed (keeping the shutter open for longer) lets in more light. But introduces the possibility of camera shake. The ISO used to relate to film speed - or how sensitive to light the film was - so on a bright sunny day you might use a 200 film, and on a dull one, a 400 film. It sort of does the same thing for digital these days. So if you need to close down the aperture to get sharpness, and increase the shutter speed to get light in, you can keep the shutter speed the same and increase the ISO instead. The problem with very high ISO is that it can introduce 'noise' to your images which isn't always desirable. That said, you should still get a decent image at ISO 400.
  17. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Is the sharpness at f5.6 referring to the new lens I got
    the dt1.8 35mm ???

    Not the kit lens?

    I took a pic of a small tattoo I just did at the settings you suggested, and its by far the best I have had out of the camera yet

    Thanks soooo much to everyone that has given help/input
    I would have thrown it by now and bought an expensive camera- don't think I need to now
  18. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Yes, I meant the 35mm f1.8. these although a mite flimsy have excellent optics. It will still be good at f8 as well but f5.6 is the optimum, f8 will give slightly better dof.

    BTW use the camera's built in "steadyshot" when handholding, but turn it off if using a tripod.
  19. carlsworth

    carlsworth Member

    Turn if off using the tripod?
    why is this

    thanks for all the info :)
  20. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Apparently the camera can't understand why there is no movement, so it induces some!

    The "steadyshot" normally works by moving the sensor to counteract the detected movement.

Share This Page