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Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-20-2003, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does anyone know of a good website (or book) that discusses how to most effectively use the various manual settings available on digital cameras to get the best results and create special effects?

Also is there any good reading material that compares the specific settings on digital cameras with their film camera counterparts?

Thanks.
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-21-2003, 08:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Brian

When you talk about "manual" settings are you talking about the camera manual settings (aperture and shutter) or something about the digital settings (color, tone, contrast, etc). I don't think of the digital controls as "manual" settings.
Bob
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-21-2003, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry for not being clear. I'm talking about fstop/aperature and shutter speed settings. Also white balance and metering. As near as I can tell EV (Exposure Value) is the equivalent of shutter speed. I got a basic overview from the manual but I'd like more in depth reading material. Thanks.
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-21-2003, 11:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Heh, when I first started using my now dead E10 (anyone have an E10 body that's pooched and would be willing to donate the lens assembly? At $700 + $180 labour mine isn't worth sending to the shop to fix. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]. Of course, it did give me an excuse to go buy a 10D, so in the end. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]), I was messed up a bit by the EV settings. White balance isn't really an issue once you think of it in film terms. As for metering, shutter, fStop and the rest of the basics. Just think film. There are some gottchas, and they will vary from camera to camera, but if you understand how a film camera works, digital is no different.

I don't know of any books that cover shooting in digital specifically. Any I've seen all seem to be about 5+ years old and quite frankly, are so out of date that 90% of the information in them seems pretty much useless.

Because digital camera technology is tied to computer advancemnts any book that's published today is probably going to be at least 6 months behind the current technology and in a year will be so far behind that the only usefull stuff will be the basics they usually cover in chapter one. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

So, I'll end this Graemlin/emoticon filled message (My partner and I just finished a week where, after the day jobs we then covered bikini contests that all ended at about 1am. I'm a little punchy right now,) with the usual advice.

Shoot lots. I love to read manuals, but there's no equivalent to just shooting. If you've got a digital then there's nothing stopping you from pounding out 100's of shots of a cardboard box with a couple of toys sitting on it while you 'play' with the settings. It costs you nothing but time and the return is huge.

Play with the settings and see what happens, but don't use a model and put yourself under the pressure of having to produce a final product for someone else. Set up a bowl of fruit, a couple of lights (candles, flashlights, move your setup near a window, studio lights if you have them, what ever,) and start shooting and adjusting each setting one notch at a time and see what happens. It's the best, kind of dull yes, but best way to get a handle on what your camera is going to do.

Just like the worlds best singers all do voice exercises to keep their tool (that ol' voice box) in top notch shape, and ensure that they have complete control over it, shooting hundreds of shots and 'doing the scales' to learn to control that camera is going to give you the technical know how to make shooting that much easier.

It won't do a thing for understanding how to work with a real live model but at least when you're faced with an actual shoot, you're not going to be fumbling around trying to remember how to tweak the light/sharpness/dof etc. That in itself will make shooting much more enjoyable.

And do I ramble on enough or what?

Oh ya, and that EV+/- thing. You're right, it's essentially a digital equivalent to opening or closeing the apature. BUT...if it's a case where the camera software is doing the work instead of the camera actually adjusting the apature, then I would say, do lots of tests with it before you start to rely on it. You're results may not be what you're expecting.

For all the toys that I find on digital cameras, I usually try to stick to the settings I'd use on my old Canon AE1. If it ain't there, I seldom use it on in the digital world. (He says after he found out what fun you can have with the 'night' setting on the 10D in a bar when not using a flash. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Heh.)

Ok, I've rambled on enough. I need more coffee and to take a look at what havoc I created for myself after shooting last nights bikini contest.

Dave
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-22-2003, 03:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the information. If not specific to digital photography can you even reccomend anything for just basic photography in general. I know a little bit of the basic concepts and terms but I would like to know much more especially if it almost all carries over to digital. Am I correct in assuming that the EV is sort of half way between a completely automatic camera and one that let's adjust the shutter speed itself? I have played with two cheap fuji cameras and while they have the EV setting I haven't found anyway to directly alter the shutter speed.
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-23-2003, 07:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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In the cases of the two Fuji's I would asssume that they use a digital adjustment to give you some limited exposure control.
It all changes once you get your hands on a camera that lets you fully control both shutter and aperture.

One of the best books out there that I know of is called Photography by London and Upton. It's in it's 7th edition and is used at many colleges and universites as one of the primary textbooks on photography. If you're looking for the basics and beyond, this is the book for you.

Dave
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-23-2003, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip, really appreciate it. I actually have an Olympus E10 on order (hopefully to arrive this week) but for now I have the Fuji. From what I understand the E10 will do all that good stuff and more. I can't wait.
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Re: Most effective use of manual digital camera settin
Old 06-23-2003, 10:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The only real drawback to the E10 that I sort of forgot about (read got used to) over something like a 10D is that the E10 has a huge depth of field. You'll have to play around with it some, but if you like really shallow dof, and I mean like an in focus range of under 6 inches, you're going to have to work for it. That being said, it's been a workhorse for me for the last couple of years. It'll serve you well as a 'starter' unit that has full manual control. Heck, I don't think I ever shot anything using any of the automated settings. (Well, ok, I more or less lived for the autofocus 'cause my eye's aren't as good as they used to be.)
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