Tuesday, March 30, 2010
A few years ago, I bought what I thought was a decent point-and-shoot digital camera, a Sony Cybershot. They made a big deal about it having a Carl Zeiss lens, which was supposed to be the cat's pajamas. Or something.
All I knew is I wanted a decent camera I didn't have to fiddle with. Took it on vacation to Arizona shortly after I got it, and it seemed to take good outdoor pics. See those red rocks? Point, shoot, done, beautiful.
Then I started taking quilt pictures indoors, and to say I was less than impressed would be an understatement. Blurry McBlurry-pants. Fuzzy DeFuzzmeister. Darthy Van Darko.
Now I fully allow that it may be my mad picture taking skilz, or the lack thereof. I thought I had a steady hand. Mr. Sony Cybershot, however, calls me a liar, repeatedly. I've tried holding my breath, bracing myself on something, etc. Oy, it can be exhausting to get a clear shot.
Sony does provide software that is somewhat useful in covering for mistakes. The sharpen tool, for instance. I hit that mofo like a rat for a food pellet at the end of a maze. Thirty-five percent sharpness seems to be the magic number. Does that mean my hands shake 35 percent more in my late 40s than they did when I was 20-something? It's a conspiracy to make me feel doddery, I tell ya.
So I bought this little tripod recently, and I just don't know. It may be a total POC (piece of crap). See it "standing" there? Why is it leaning toward one side already and I haven't even mounted the camera? And when I do, it becomes top heavy and wants to fall over. So sometimes I have to hold the tripod, which, you know, sort of defeats the purpose.
Some of these pics were taken with the tripod, some with me holding the tripod, some where I'm bracing against the faucet, and some with just me doing what I always do--trying not to dance with the camera. All of these are straight out of camera, no sharpening or retouching.
Can you tell which is a tripod shot?
If you guess correctly, you may win a prize. And it may rhyme with "tie rod."
(This green California Pottery tray came from the antique mall a couple weeks ago. It's by Roselane of Pasadena, in their "Chinese Modern" line, popular in the mid-1940s. Four bucks--what a deal!)
What kind of camera do you use (and do you like it)? Do you use a tripod, or does your camera have any kind of image stabilization?