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Camera Equipment

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by CornishConnect, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. symons55

    symons55 Moderator Staff Member

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    Be nice to see some of them....::11: ::15:
     
  2. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    One feature of the camera is that the view finder was more useful to me instead of the preview panel, usually virtually unuseable on most digital cameras. Flash is ok, but better to get a separate flash as you would a film camera. Keep the spare box from and try that
     
  3. jeremylees

    jeremylees Senior Member

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    There's more than an element of truth in the article but I do think it's a little misleading. Anywhere between (in 35mm terms) 85 and 120mm is suitable for portraits because if you frame in a normal way, with a tight headshot or head and shoulders, you will get a natural, pleasing, flattering perspective.
    If you frame like this with a 50mm lens, the perspective will be distorted because you will need to be too close to the subject, producing a big-nose 'wide-angle' effect.
    A longer lens will compress the perspective and also, you will be a fair distance from the subject making it more difficult to create or maintain rapport.
    As it says in the article though, a long lens can be useful for 'throwing' the background out of focus, thus giving more impact to the shot, when working outdoors. As always when using a long lens though, one has to watch the shutter speed because any camera-shake will be exaggerated.
     
  4. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes I agree that a longer lens will produce a better depth of field. Personally I've struggled to get what I consider as live depth of field. This is where you can snap someone in motion and have a decent DOP.
    I suppose it might be a good idea if I begin to understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and focal length....
     
  5. jeremylees

    jeremylees Senior Member

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    Exposure is produced by a combination of shutter speed and aperture at a given ISO setting.
    Shutter speed governs how long the sensor is exposed to light and aperture governs how much light it is exposed to during that period.
    Traditionally, both are graduated in 'stops' and a stop gives half or double the amount of exposure. F8 gives twice the exposure of f11 and !/60th of a second gives twice the exposure of 1/125th. F8 at 125th will give the same exposure as f11 at 1/60th.
    Using f11 will give more depth of field than f8 but that means using 1/60th which will give more motion blur and/or camera shake. It is therefore a trade-off and that is the decision you have to make.
    However, you can also turn up the ISO, which on a digital camera is like turning up the volume on an amplifier - it amplifies the signals from the sensor. Turning up the ISO means you can achieve the same exposure from less light. ISO is also graduated in 'stops' and this time it is more obvious - an ISO of 400 gives twice the sensitivity as at 200. However, that is only one 'stop', so increasing the ISO from 200 to 400 will allow you to take your picture not on f11 at 1/60th or f8 at 1/125th but at f11 at 1/125th, so more depth of field AND less motion blur - Yay!
    Not so fast though because turning up the ISO is a compromise in itself - the more you turn it up, the more 'noise' you will get. Therefore you have to balance the loss of quality from increased 'noise' against the loss of quality you might get from motion blur or lack of depth of field.
    The amount of quality loss from turning up the ISO varies from camera to camera but the latest DSLRs are getting better and better in this respect, especially the latest pro Nikons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  6. jeremylees

    jeremylees Senior Member

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    Incidentally, a long lens gives reduced depth of field.
    Wide angle lenses have enormous depth of field and long telephotos virtually none, so with a zoom, if you want depth of field use the short end of the range and if you want 'differential focus' to pick out a flower or person against a blurry background, use the long end of the range.
    Also, bear in mind that long lenses, by magnifying the image, accentuate any movement, so motion blur becomes more of a problem, both fom the subject if it is moving and from the camera/lens itself, so for really long lenses, tripods/monopods become a virtual necessity.
    A rough rule of thumb is to use a shutter speed at least equivalent to the length of the lens, for example 1/500th of a second for a 500mm lens.
    This also means that you can get away with using longer shutter speeds with wide-angle lenses!
     
  7. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Earlier I commented on a few problems with the Finepix S1000fd and wondered if it was me. We the answer is partly yes and partly no. Since the camera was manufactured things have moved on leaps and bounds and there is a little piece of software that is often overlooked that can level the playing field.
    I'm talking firmware! I brought my finepix S1000fd second hand and I'm guessing that it is about 3 years old by now. The firmware has never been updated and therefore the camera says that it had version 1.01 installed. Firmware is in all digital cameras and mobile phones its the software that operates and controls the piece of equipment. In my case the latest firmware is 1.05 and loads of things have been improved and and added to the camera features since it was first manufactured. Some examples were better flash control, better colour depth and some added features and many many fixes.
    It is worth while considering firmware upgrade to your existing camera no matter how cheap or expensive it is... the difference to this camera was astonishing.
    Just a warning though, as with all low level upgrades make sure you follow the instructions and only ever download firmware directly from the manufactures website... oh and make doubly sure that the firmware you've downloaded is for your exact model... otherwise you may bugger your camera up forever.
    Here is the firmware page for the Fujifilm finpix S1000fd Take a look and you'll get the idea on how this is done with your camera.
     
  8. jeremylees

    jeremylees Senior Member

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    Good point!

    It's a while since I updated the S3s or S5, so I checked but they're actually still up to date. The wife's 20D isn't though, so I shall be updating it forthwith.

    Thanks for the reminder
     
  9. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    Shortly after my last post I brought a Sony Alpha 350. I got it second hand and it was manufactured in 2008. It punched a whopping 14 mega pixels and was a serious contender for the entry level. I've done some great pictures with it and found that governing Depth of Field to be much easier with a DSLR (Digital single reflex lens) camera. I had a choice of lenses that ranged fro 14mm-55mm and then 70mm - 300mm.
    I found the camera and lens to be good in brightly lit areas, but failed on dark areas. As an example putting up the ISO in a church to 400 would introduce serious noise whereas most cameras in its class wouldn't get that kind of noise until 64000 ISO. Yes that bad!
    But if you were to add enough light to prevent the need for the higher ISO the reproduction was good.
    I found the kit lenses (Sony lenses) to be a bit out of focus... sort of soft. I much prefer a sharp focus to my subject unless I choose otherwise. Now that's a bit of a shame because Sony brought Minalta. Minalta was the best lens makers on the planet. In fact they invented the SLR and the Zoom, or at least the original company did.
    Needless to say after a year I've changed my kit once more.
    I have recently ordered a Canon 550D to see what it is like... fingers crossed ::15:
     
  10. jeremylees

    jeremylees Senior Member

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    Gosh, just goes to show that huge numbers of megapixels are not everything...
    The Fuji S3 I started with (as a DSLR) only boasts 6 mp x2 because it has two lots of pixels, one for shadows, one for highlights. Even with this I rarely used the camera on maximum pixel recording because it just wasn't necessary - it just seemed to produce unnecessarily large files.
    Iso 400 was never a problem with this camera though - it seemed to be barely distinguishable from Iso 200, even in the shadows. Maybe this was a benefit of the dual-pixel sensor.
    I then moved onto a S5 and it was more of the same really except for having a much larger screen and slightly better quality all-round. This camera is more intuitive to use though as it has more dedicated buttons, meaning you don't have to delve into the menu all the time.

    Then it was onto a Nikon D300S, which has an even bigger screen and a different type of sensor (cmos)which doesn't suck dust onto itself all the time. This is brilliant - I haven't had to clean it once! It actually has a buzz facility to vibrate dust off but I never need to use it.
    I very rarely use full quality on this camera, doing so produces enormous files and ithe image quality is brilliant even on lower settings.

    My wife has a Canon 20D, which is a fine camera but with an out-dated screen-size, which is a shame. My daughter has a 5D Mark 2 which is fantastic but I can't help thinking over the top for her needs. This will produce humongous file-sizes... ;) She used to have a 550D, which is nice and light but the flip-side of that is that it lacks the solid, bullet-proof feel of magnesium-bodied cameras - you can't have it both ways :(

    Nikon v Canon? I'm used to the Nikons of course but I do find them more intuitive to use. Both will produce excellent images, so it's largely a matter of what takes your fancy. My missus may well switch to Nikon though, for the sake of compatibility with my kit, so there might be a 20D body up for grabs and a mint 17-85 Canon lens which is a significant step up from the kit lens you get with a 550D.
     
  11. Planet Penwith

    Planet Penwith Super User

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    I have a Nikon D60 and that has 10.2MP. It takes pictures and I've been happy with it. But now I would like to upgrade to a better body. |I was thinking of a full frame D700...the problem? MONEY! lol.
     
  12. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    I must have missed your post jeremylees Interesting outlook on Canon and Nikon. Yes post up the lens when its available for sale ::15:
    It doesn't look like I'll be trying out my new camera any time soon as it has vanished in the post. Great shame sad#

    Myke, I thought you nearly had the money saved up?
     
  13. Halfhidden

    Halfhidden Untouchable Staff Member Administrator

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    As you know I tried to by a Canon 550D on Ebay but got ripped off. It took six weeks to get a refund and then they transferred the money to my credit card and I had to wait a further three days.
    That said I brought a new Canon 550D on Ebay from the manufactures and I have to say that I'm staggered by the performance, clarity and sharpness of the images. ISO is a breeze and even last night I was taking pictures of subjects in a night club without flash. The pictures were excellent.
    The 550D is a little plastic feeling and the kit lens feels very delicate. But that aside it handles really well. No hunting on auto focus... straight in there even in virtual darkness. I felt that the RAW was a little greedy on space. A 4gigabyte card would only allow 100 pictures in RAW+JPG so not so good. And just JPG on fine you'll get about 300 images.
    I purchased a screen saver for the camera. This is a hard glass cover that stick over the screen on your camera to protect the screen from damage. It cost £1.99 but you can buy cheaper flexible sticky covers for less. Personally I think the hard glass covers gives better protection. Well first night out and someone knocked the camera right into a wall. Smashed the screen cover. Phew... I can just put another one on and the camera is still as good as new. So if you haven't already, buy one of these covers and save your camera from damage.
     

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