Ready to graduate to DSLR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Freedom55, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Freedom55

    Alfred Molon Guest

    No point comparing a compact camera at ISO400 with a DLSR. Compact
    cameras are simply not made for that ISO level. See the comparison at
    lowest ISO:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz30/page13.asp

    "OK, so the FZ30 image is noisier (though in prints it's not enough to
    cause concern), and has marginally less detail and a narrower dynamic
    range, but perhaps the most surprising thing here is how well the FZ30's
    image stacks up against a camera with a huge sensor and a razor-sharp
    50mm F1.4 lens. If you compare the FZ30 against a 350D with a cheaper
    zoom lens the sharpness difference is far less stark."
     
    Alfred Molon, Sep 20, 2005
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  2. Freedom55

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Yes, the 20Da live preview is *VERY* limited..

    The LCD only displays a TINY portion of what the sensor sees..
    It's either 1% or 4% of the surface area.. This is to make
    it easier to obtain correct focus on stars.

    Few sites mention this.. Canon Europe does state this in
    their 'specifications' section of the 20Da

    http://www.canon-europe.com/For_Home/Product_Finder/Cameras/Digital_SLR/eos20da/index.asp?specs=1

    -----------------------
    LCD MONITOR

    Monitor: 1.8" TFT, approx. 118,000 pixel with Live View mode

    Coverage: Approx.100% (for JPEG images)/ Centre 1% or 4% of sensor
    when viewing in Live View mode

    Brightness: Adjustable to one of five levels
    -----------------------
     
    Jim Townsend, Sep 20, 2005
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  3. Freedom55

    Alfred Molon Guest

    A bit difficult looking through a viewfinder when wearing a diving mask.
     
    Alfred Molon, Sep 20, 2005
  4. Freedom55

    Chris Brown Guest

    It's got a really cool one for composing pictures of mirror-writing.
     
    Chris Brown, Sep 20, 2005
  5. Beats my cameras, then!

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Sep 20, 2005
  6. Freedom55

    W.E. O'Neil Guest

    Oh....

    My....

    God.
     
    W.E. O'Neil, Sep 20, 2005
  7. Freedom55

    Bill Funk Guest

    Before there was digital photography, there was underwater
    photography. The ability to use an LCD for correct framing wasn't even
    known, much less thought of as indispensable.
    And if you want to know how they did it back then, they used either
    experience or a device like a sport finder, sort of like this:
    http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/ikelite/auto_35/index.html

    And if you look around that site, you'll see other 35mm film cameras
    with only viewfinders.
    Or, if you look here:
    http://www.camerasunderwater.co.uk/slr/index.html
    you'll see housings for 35mm SLRs like the F5 & F100. They use the
    viewfinder.
     
    Bill Funk, Sep 20, 2005
  8. Freedom55

    Bill Funk Guest

    Good question! :)
    As technology marches on, the distinctions between the non-SLR
    digitals and the DSLRs will blur more and more. IMO.
    Obviously, the larger sensor sizes mean better images, especially in
    low-light situations. As prices of the sensors themselves come down,
    they will be put into more "higher end" non-SLRs. The magic price
    point seems to be around $1000US; at this point, more people will step
    up when they buy, either to upgrade or as a first purchase.
    All in my opinion, of course.
     
    Bill Funk, Sep 20, 2005
  9. Freedom55

    Bryan Olson Guest

    "Ironically?" The same general technique works well for
    the semi-digial film-to-scan process. Is this one of those
    Alanis Morissette usages of 'irony'?


    You can get pretty
    shadows.

    I suppose if noise in the subject is one's main concern,
    and the background/foreground are unimportant.
    The histogram method leads to a good subject exposure in
    the final image, in the sense of being neither under-exposed,
    nor over-exposed.
    Washed out colors when you pull it down? That should happen only
    if a channel maxes out. The histogram will help avoid that.
     
    Bryan Olson, Sep 20, 2005
  10. No, it doesn't. It places the highlights at zone VII, which only gets the
    main subject right when the highlights in the scene actually are at zone
    VII.

    If the highlights are actually zone VIII or higher, your main subject will
    be underexposed one or more stops.

    Since the context for this discussion is a (bogusly) claimed advantage for
    small-sensor consumer dcams (correctly referred to as "P&S cameras"),
    underexposing the main subject by one or more stops isn't an option since
    noise will become unacceptable.

    (Also, overexposing the subject isn't a good idea, since you are looking at
    a luminance channel histogram, and it's quite likely that one channel really
    will blow out.)

    If you are using a dSLR in RAW capture mode at ISO 100 or 200, then there's
    usually about a stop of leeway in the overexposure direction, and at least
    two stops in the underexposure direction, so you can usually get away with
    exposing for the highlights. But not with P&S dcams.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 21, 2005
  11. Freedom55

    Skip M Guest

    I'm not using loopholes, I'm trying to make you think about it. All of the
    things you mention make it easier, simpler and quicker to do things that
    used to take considerable thought and planning. If I set parameters in my
    camera, which I do, then I don't have to think about what settings to use in
    certain circumstances, do I?
    I never said these things were bad, but that they did not enhance control,
    they just allowed me not to have to think of things like I did before.
    You didn't have to be insulting, ASAAR, up until now, I've had a great deal
    of respect for you. All I was trying to do, like I said, was get you to
    think about what you were saying. You're own words confirmed what I was
    saying, and you didn't slow down enough to realize it.
     
    Skip M, Sep 21, 2005
  12. Freedom55

    Skip M Guest

    "David J Taylor"
    But, see, David, that's not greater control, it is merely making it easier
    for you to do what you already did with the old cameras. I don't think that
    "best shot selection" is anything I'd like to have. And automatic
    bracketing is nice, but it isn't anything I couldn't do before, just easier.
    And, in a way, more limiting, since, if I want to bracket 2 1/2 stops in 1/2
    stop increments, I can't, since my camera will only go 2 stops either way.
    IS, though, is indispensable, but I'm not sure that falls under the heading
    of "more control."
     
    Skip M, Sep 21, 2005
  13. Freedom55

    ASAAR Guest

    No. You're talking as if all it amounts to is "set it and forget
    it". To use all of these features effectively you have to think
    about them. Sometimes on a per/shot basis. Consider the old joke
    about how programming a VCR is so difficult 90% of VCR owners never
    learned how to do it. Using your logic would have it that anyone
    programming a VCR to automatically record a program is using a
    feature so that they won't have to think. But the technophobe that
    stays at home in order to record a show (because they don't know how
    to program the VCR) doesn't get labeled as using "non-think"
    features. Getting back to what you said, if you set parameters in
    your camera, you DO have to think about the settings that are
    needed. It's just that you don't have to make as many time-wasting
    manual settings. But if you weren't thinking all along, you
    wouldn't be able to anticipate when to stop using the presets. The
    only thing that people using fully auto, "thinking-not-needed"
    cameras need to think about is whether they have enough batteries
    and film/cards.
    I don't agree that my words confirmed that, and I don't see that
    anything I said was really insulting, as I still think it accurately
    described your replies. Well, maybe joining the "Little Boy's" club
    stretched things a bit, but you were heading in that direction as
    far as I saw it. I assume that you recognized it as an intentional
    pun. And the respect is mutual, even some for another couple of
    unnamed individuals that apparently can't avoid using insults.

    This is another statement that I still think is totally misguided.
    User memory allows for more control If a person chooses to use it
    unwisely, to avoid dealing with manual settings that's one thing.
    But used wisely, it allows the camera to become more responsive,
    quicker handling. And that's nothing if not adding more control.
    Using your logic wouldn't one be able to also say that DSLRs that
    offer more than the most basic manual controls are catering to those
    photographers that don't like to think? I think that the problem
    here is that sometimes words get parsed a bit too finely, and there
    may be too many definitions of what "less thinking" is, sort of like
    having too many definitions of what "is" is. Or if not fewer
    definitions, it would help to use the same definition. I may not
    have expressed it best by referring to your use of "loopholes", but
    by that I meant it seemed as if you were trying to win an argument
    by using "less think" in a very narrow and different sense, but I
    can see that sometimes these threads could stand a little less
    thinking. Don't ask for a definition, please. :)
     
    ASAAR, Sep 21, 2005
  14. Large zoom ranges generally result in softer focus, and off-axis
    more chromatic aberration and astigmatism. Pincushion and/or
    barrel distortion can be a factor too. Also reduced focusing
    range. Lens speed is a factor too (meaning not as fast).
    The FZ20 lens is pretty decent as such zooms go from what I've
    seen (personal use as well as reviews).

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Sep 21, 2005
  15. But note that all the test shots are indoors with even illumination
    and not shadows. Put it in real world situations and the story will
    not be as rosy.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Sep 21, 2005
  16. What I would like to see is the minimum and maximum shown
    on the histogram. I do use the histogram when shooting.
    Sometimes I want to saturate (like specular highlights
    like David mentioned) but other times I don't want any
    part of the scene to saturate. Then I want to maximize
    my signal-to-noise ratio, so I want to get the brightest
    portion of the scene right up to full well, but not
    overflowing it. The histogram gives you a guide, but a
    poor one. A simple min and max DN on the upper corners of
    the histogram would solve the problem.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Sep 21, 2005
  17. Many cameras have multiple focus sensors and an algorithm checks them
    all and makes a decision, usually pretty good. Some are biased
    to focus on close subjects, some far (perhaps some you can choose? I
    thought I read that once). But the important thing is for fast
    button selection to move the focus point to the one you want.
    On the Canon DSLRs I've used, it is very quick: I can change
    focus points while following an animal to keep the animal's
    eyes in focus as my composition changes. Moving subjects
    are examples of where autofocus can be critical as no one
    can focus accurately and fast to follow a moving subject.
    The better cameras even track focus change and predict where the
    lens should be at the time the shutter is actually released
    accounting for shutter lag and velocity of the subject.
    Where I've found it does not do as well is with accelerating
    subjects (like a bird taking off). The algorithm is linear,
    but in that case velocity is non-linear. Maybe in the
    next generation autofocus....
    Not true with the newer larger zoom range cameras.
    Yes, that is why human selection of focus points is important.
    DSLRs generally have that. I'm not sure how common it is on
    P&S cameras.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Sep 21, 2005
  18. Do you use the RGB histogram on the 1D2? (It does have and RGB histogram,
    right?) How useful is it?

    Also, doesn't the histogram, even in the 1-series cameras, only indicate
    what an 8-bit jpeg would look like? What you really want is to assure that
    no channel has blown in the RAW. Sigh.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Sep 21, 2005
  19. Freedom55

    Bryan Olson Guest

    You misunderstood the method. The camera captures the data
    as accurately and precisely as possible. How light or dark
    to make parts of the picture is a later choice.

    In cases where you want to let highlights blow out, the
    histogram is still a good tool. The future is a bit more
    complex, as high-dynamic-range sensors in the vein of
    Fuji's "SR" design will change the expose-to-the-right
    rule.

    Ah, clever tactic: before saying something totally bogus, make
    up a bogus claim and put the other people on it.

    No, we were not advocating small sensors. No, we were not
    promoting mindless photography.

    The manufacturers will improve the tools, such as adding the
    channel information to histograms, if photographers want the
    improvements. Unfortunately the field is held back by some
    antique photographers who cannot see the value.
     
    Bryan Olson, Sep 21, 2005
  20. Yes, it does have it and I do use it occasionally. The problem
    is you must select menus which involve several button pushes.
    The RGB histogram is 3 small graphs one above the other, so very
    small to see.
    In the case of the 1D2, the jpeg range is the same as the raw range
    (unlike the 10D which has jpeg saturating 1 stop below raw).
    So in the case of the 1D2, the histogram refers to both raw and jpeg.
    The real question is at what level does canon set the blinking
    LCD pixel to indicate saturation? That's why I want a simple
    readout of maximum value (for each RGB).

    Sometimes the histogram is beyond useless, like when doing astrophotography.
    If I image a planet, most of the scene is dark, and a small planet
    doesn't register on the histogram. One has no way of knowing
    if the exposure is correct. Even if one had a spot meter,
    the subject can be too small. A max value would help
    immensely. Canon, are you reading?

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Sep 21, 2005
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