Get great photos in low light
Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:14 PM
Correct. RAW is basically the raw data from the sensor and doesn't matter. Some cameras record the white balance setting in the EXIF data, so software can pre-choose a setting for you, but it can always be changed when converting the image. Not all software will do anything with this setting.
Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:55 PM
Generally the bigger the sensor, the less noise there is. So full frame SLRs tend to be the noise champs. (Nikon D3 and D700 are tops right now, Canon's 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II close behind.) Full frame sensors are expensive, so don't expect under $1,000 cameras with full frames any time soon.
As for image stabilization, it's great, but don't use it when the camera is on a tripod. It doesn't work, and wears down the battery.
On the topic of hand-holding speeds, there's a simple formula that generally works with all lenses. Use 1/focal length for a rule of thumb on hand-holdability. So, a 300mm lens requires 1/300 sec. (Older cameras, that would be set to 1/250.) A 24mm lens can definitely be safe at 1/30 for steady-handed people. 1/60 for a 50mm lens or a 60 Macro. Though with the higher magnification of a macro image (very tight closeup) you need a tripod no matter what. You can't hand-hold macro shots without flash.
I could at times hand hold a wide lens down to 1 second and get a few shots out of 36 shots (the number of frames in a roll of film). I'm getting older and less able to do such feats of steadyness any more. But I can still hold a camera steady down to about 1/4 sec when I'm not breathing hard and I'm able to brace myself and go into a zen-like state. (So, not during basketball games.)
The biggest contributor to quality images though is shooting in RAW and learning how to use the RAW converter. Plenty of books out there. But the one whose title is "Real World Camera RAW with Adobe Photoshop CS... is the best.
Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:19 AM
Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:49 PM
* First, use the fastest memory cards available.
Like for example Sandisk have versions 1-4.
I tend to use III's & IV's.
They let the camera perform at it's best.
The 2GB size is average and very reasonable now.
Safety/ use a secure enclosure to keep your cards.
I use the rap-up style Velcro packs that hold up to 6 cards, and it has a tether to latch itself inside camera bag.
I could cry when I think of the hundreds of shots lost forever from Amsterdam.
* Second, select both RAW & jPeg.
This gives you ready to use jPegs to send in mail, etc.
But sometimes there will always be that one jPeg you wish you could tweak. With RAW images as well on the card, you can do anything you want to it, and it will always retain it original value if you want to do anything to it later.
Unlike jPeg, once you mess with it, it's down hill from there.
There is the fear factor with choosing RAW with many people, but once you see and try it, you will be hooked for life.
The newer software like Aperture as I use (On the Mac) has all the features you need for making it simple compared to PS3 &4 of PhotoShop.
Canon has their own as well with Photo Professional.
It is usually included with the camera.
I use it as well, and I also have the PS3 (Photo Shop Series), but the learning curve takes time.
So if you notice classes offering help in these applications, you could save yourself frustration learning it by trial & error.
* Thirdly, these highend software's need computing power and larger hard drives.
It's a never ending cycle of upgrading, so pick a level and work it inside out.
The technology will be waiting for you as you grow.
The best advice I ever heard is/ keep shooting, and take charge of your creative side with taking the setting off 'AUTO'.
Posted 16 March 2009 - 02:32 PM
I shoot with Canon XSi, Sigma f3.5-6.3 18/200mm OS lens, Speedlite 430 with usual lens and rtripod accesories. Mostly travel and family. Occasional burst of thwarted art.
Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:49 PM
Yes, when I upgraded to the 30D, and later added the 1DsMII full frame DSLR, Photo Professional software was included.
I used it, but I could tell I needed more, or more talent from the start is maybe the truth.
I've been at this for many years in film, and had it down pat, then was tricked into digital.
Aperture to deal with RAW with advanced features needed was a good choice.
I like it for the logical work flow, as you always know where you are.
The Canon G5 started the digital nonsense about 2003 or so, and I still use him, and I used iPhoto.
It was quick, easy to use, and file sizes at maybe 600 KB were also easy on the laptop.
iPhoto didn't deal with RAW when the DSLR's showed up.
Now file sizes from full frame can be easy top 15 MB each.
Then the computer is in for some heated action.
I just recently got into CS3, and hoped Light Room was part of it.
Light Room, when I sit and watch those that do use it, it looks great.
I will definitely look into Elements further.
Light Room at $300 stand alone has a similar look of Aperture at $200.
Adobe CS4 is $700 for full. Or $420 for basic upgrade from CS3 to CS4 including Light Room.
Adobe is not ashamed of their pricing. $100 -200 extra for training manual CD's.
The trial of Aperture is worth a try, or just seeing the video is impressive.
iPhoto has really updated their software lately as well.
To learn CS3 on the fly, I find it difficult to see a logical work flow. Apparently CS4 is better lay out.
I guess the only way to learn it politically correct is see it from the point the memory card is attached.
I feel like I'm trying to teach myself Braille.
CS3 & 4 can do many things far more advanced, like with layers that Aperture does not.
Several Videos are on podcasts if your on iTunes. Just enter Photoshop in search bar.
Many of the pro series photo sites I'm a member of include http://photography-o...forum/index.php .
CS3 or related seems to the standard a lot when I look at the exif data attached to images.
Aperture and others have it as well, assigning the final output to a set size regardless how it's cropped, and converted from RAW to jPeg.
Set to 1280 x 800 so that it creates a full screen view.
I like Flickr, and they automatically resize the loaded original 4 times to 4 alternate sizes ready to use on sites or forums with related links to them.
This is a 1024 x 800 example, and you get the idea /http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3237/2976094054687de56f6do.jpg
It's some of the gear I have to put up with.
As screens keep getting larger, I may need to update the size again.
I like details even if you have to scroll to see them.
The 2nd main feature I need is the advanced tone, shadow, highlight controls.
Again I just like how it's laid out in Aperture.
The interface with all actions needed from top to bottom in one control panel.
Features can be added to the menu at will.
This same control panel can overlay the image in a half tone mode in full screen view as well and can be dragged around the screen.
Well Good Luck with the mission, and if you have some on Flickr, or others, I'd be glad to take a look.
Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:34 PM