Beginner Questions

Discussion in 'Photography' started by justme, Mar 29, 2011.

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  1. justme

    justme Well-Known Member

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    1. If you're not going to need a huge sized photo and you want the best IQ is it better to lower the resolution on the camera or is it better to take it in the best resolution and just resize it with editing software? On my new camera if you use large size it's 12 MP, but then the next size down jumps all the way down to 6 MP.

    2. Can someone give examples of when to change shutter speed? I was assuming you would want it lower when dealing with something in motion?

    3. What about changing apeture? I read the 200+ page manual and think I somewhat understand what it "is", but wasn't sure what it truly "means" to the final result when using different focal lengths.

    4. Can editing software truly help a lot? If so then why do people even bother complaining about default pic quality if they can "fix" things such as soft photos?

    5. I saw there is an IS mode called "panning". i think I understand properly that if yuo're dealing with sports or some other motions you would use that as it then doesn't use IS horizontally. Also if I happen to be generally steady with a camera is it good to get that IS lowered way down? I assume that's a eys if I truly am stable with it as I say.

    6. Since I've never used a digital camera before I guess it would be best to start with auto mode, then gradually work my way up the modes through program, the auto apeture mdoe, the auto shutter speed mode, then to manual mode as I learn mroe and more how to best change settings?

    It's actually kind of exciting learnign some of this as I really wanted a camera more for every day absic stuff, but I bet I'll like learning how to do all these settings rather than just using auto. Hopefully it does help by learnign about all of it though as it would be kind of depressing to become knowledgeable and then it turn out that auto did everything wisely to begin with.

    On a side note... I think it's kind of humorous that a NY Times writer said people should never buy another point and shoot camera, camcorder, or desktop computer and that these cameras won't take a much better picture than a smartphone. I hope that's indeed incorrect and also I hope they keep- saying it though where demand will go down and cause prices to drop.
     
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    To get the sharpest picture, use the best resolution the camera is capable of and resize if you need to.

    The opposite is true - to get a blur-free image of a fast moving object you have to use a faster shutter speed. But be aware that it cuts down on the amount of light that's available for the photo. This is why action shots in low light environments (concerts, indoor sports) are so tough to get right.

    Aperture controls how much light gets into the image. A wider aperture (such as F2.8) means more light than a narrower aperture (such as F5.9). Remember that using the optical zoom narrows the aperture - the more zoom used the narrower the aperture (and the darker the image). A wider aperture also will give you a shorter depth of field so you can get shots with blurred backgrounds.

    I don't use editing software that much but in my experience it can only "fix" things to a certain degree.

    IS is not useful for shooting moving objects.

    Yes, start with Auto and then progress to program mode so you can change various aspects such as ISO and white balance. Eventually move to shutter priority, aperture priority and manual modes to control shutter speed and aperture.
     
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    You can learn at whatever pace is comfortable to you. It's not necessary to emerse yourself in everything there is to know about the theory of photography before you start taking pictures. Anybody can set the camera to Auto mode, and hope for the best.

    There are web blogs and sites that try to teach the basics of photography. Examples -

    Taking Good Pictures - A Beginner's Introduction - Simple picture taking tips to improve your photography

    Photo Tips & Techniques

    Photography Tips for Beginners

    Digital Photography Tips and Tutorials

    Pick whichever one (or two) of those sites has the most appeal to you and start chipping away.

    Once you start taking photos, and have questions, there are also forums for help. Where you display the problem photo and members offer suggestions. More linkys for those -

    Flickr: Beginners, hoping for Feedback

    photoSIG » Photo Critiques

    Shuttercal - Forum - Category: Photo Talk

    Don't let yourself be overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with getting into this with baby steps.

    Kelly Cook
     
  4. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Yet another take on this topic. It's mostly about personal preference. My Sony is a "basic" DSLR that can get the IQ "pretty close". I do have Adobe's Elements for post processing. And I do use Elements (or one of my other editors) on each and every image. Not just those images so bad that they require fixing. I can't resist tweaking the image more. It may be a sickness, so far I have not found a Twelve Step Program. In spite of this capability, I still prefer that the image straight out of the camera (sometimes know as "OOC") be near the final result that I desire. Now I have a more advanced DSLR that does get me closer, which I am thrilled about.

    Many other advanced photographers prefer to do the entire image tweaking process with their editor, don't want to be fussed with tweaking camera settings.

    So different strokes for different folks.

    Kelly
     
  5. justme

    justme Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses. :)

    Andy, on that shutter speed question I meant opposite of how I worded it, so i did understand that. I just accidentally used "low" when I was talking about small time intervals. However, I think I misunderstood focal lengthhs because it looks like you're saying longer ones means narrower wheras I would have thought it meant narrower if itn was smaller F numbers.

    As far as RAW I "think" the Canon SX230 allows for that as it was mentioned constantly in the software manual, but oddly I don't remember it saying anywhere in the camera manual how you select which format to have the photos saved in. Also the software manual says you can't edit RAW images, but I assume you just convert them to JPG, make sure not to overwrite the RAW, and then just edit the JPG?
     
  6. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, don't know the particulars for the SX230. But a JPG image file has 8-bit color depth. RAW has much more. It's common that editorX will not directly take formatY RAW images from cameraY. But the usual practice in that case is to use whatever software was provided for cameraY to export the native RAW image to a TIFF format image. As the TIFF will not degrade the range of quality of the RAW image. And all editors, regardless of brand, will take TIFF images. Then, at the end of it all, export the TIFF to a JPG.

    Kelly
     
  7. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    No, the S95 can shoot in raw, but not the SX230.
     
  8. justme

    justme Well-Known Member

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    What about the Sony HX9V then? That's pathetic that a $350 camera doesn't do it as I thought that was done in almost all cameras who retail over $200. So basically then that means I am automatically having loss right from the beginning.
     
  9. justme

    justme Well-Known Member

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    I just noticed even the A series of Canon has it so why in the world does higher movel lebvels not? And the SX200 does, yet not the 210, 220, 230??? That makes no sense. Companies never cease to amaze me on some of this.
     
  10. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Most of the "large sensor" compacts have RAW. Hardly any with standard size have it, regardless of price. The current Canon A-series does not have RAW. The antique A6#0 did. Where on Earth are you getting such bogus info?

    Kelly
     
  11. justme

    justme Well-Known Member

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    On wikipedia it had a long list of model numbers that start with A.

    I just noticed the Sony HX9V got a VERY VERY good review on digitalversus with 5 star image quality rating. It did mention it doesn't do RAW either thoguh. But also it said it was AMAZINGly fast focusing.

    So now I'm going from 100% keeping the Canon to leaning towards using it for a week for fun and then sending it back and getting the Sony on April 20th. I would be without a camera for 2 weeks between the two models basically.

    Although I did look at sample pics on that site and it still looks like the Sony does worse than basically all canons as far as details when zoomed. And on youtube the videos for the Sony looked jumpy while the Canon ones didn't. But the Canon seemed to take a long time focusing sometimes.

    I wonder what anyone's opinion is on those two models as far as what they particularly guess to be an advantage or disadvantage to them just absed on specs and previews. from my standpoint the main reasons to get the Sonya re 1. I am high on Sony as a brand, 2. 3D photos can be taken, 3. 16x zoom vs. canon's 14x. That's about it other than more frames per second on movies "possibly" being good and 16 MP "possibly" being good. Oh and Sony's on its second year of CMOS sensors while Canon is on year 1.

    This should have probably gone in my other thread, but I was already typing in this post. I sure hate the idea of inconveniently having to ship an item back, but if the Sony is truly better it would make more sense than keeping an inferior camera.
     
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