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Discussion in 'Photography' started by JohnRice, Sep 24, 2017.
And, ordered. And received. And Ernest-approved!
I DID go with the 18-135 lens, too! It seemed like a good deal--all things considered. I ordered from a 3rd Party Amazon seller...but it's a direct from Canon refurbished model. (Does anyone know how to check the shutter count?)
My relatively new laptop has a 1TB SSD drive. And loaded on the desktop is Adobe PhotoShop CS 5.5 (one of the last versions before the subscription service kicked-in...and much more than I'll ever need). I save all my images onto two separate 2TB WD (non-SS) drives.
And I absolutely did get a fast SD card for the new gear. It was one of the things I picked up during all my reading=up on the model. In fact, it came today:
I also got an extra battery & charger on its way...a protective glass to cover the display and a lens hood (something I've never had) for the new lens. All after-market on those...so pretty cheap. All that stuff will dribble in over the next couple of days. I'm expecting the camera itself next week.
For shutter count, just search for “dslr shutter count” and you’ll get sites where you upload a jpg and it tells you the shutter count.
I haven't had enough time to spend with it...but have, of course, snapped off a few shots.
I ran into a small problem this afternoon when dumping the photos off the camera onto my laptop to look at them.
First, I had to download a new version of the Canon EOS utility for it to recognize the 80D. No problem. But then when I went to open a few of my RAW images in PhotoShop (CS5.1), I got a message that the version of Camera Raw connected to my PS didn't recognize those particular .CR2 files (even though it DID recognize the .CR2 files from my Rebel XS). A little research told me that I can not affiliate a recent enough version of Camera Raw with my edition of PhotoShop to deal with the 80D's RAW files.
So, I downloaded Adobe's DNG Converter program which batch converts raw files to a .dng format which my version of PS can open.
My question here is: Is that "okay?" Is it compressing (or dumbing down) the files in any way? Or is it a good way (the best way) for me to go?
One of my test shots today:
Done in P mode. I'm going to be making a whole-hog switch to manual shooting (probably via Tv mode) shortly. First I've got to get through the camera set-up stuff and more of Peterson's Understand Exposure.
I don't know why this .jpg took on a rather "pointilistic" effect when I converted it from the .dng/RAW file. But it looks much nicer in the uncompressed format. I shot this at dusk in pretty low light.
Mike, just to clarify, Tv (shutter priority) isn't manual. Manual is manual. The "pointilistic" effect just looks like noise to me, due to shooting in low light, which will be influenced further by your other exposure settings, which might have forced an even higher ISO.
Read up on that book more. Deciding to just generally change to using Tv mode all the time doesn't make sense. The priority mode you choose will depend on what you want to control. This is something I'm discovering is horribly misunderstood these days. I see a lot of touting that manual exposure is some kind of Pro panacea. The fact is, it rarely makes any sense to shoot manual exposure, other than for learning what happens... maybe.
I'm only through the introductory chapter, John. Give me time!
I only mentioned Tv mode because I have some familiarity with it from my old Olympus OM-10.
First, Mike, congrats on the new camera!
As for the DNG conversion, you do not lose anything when converting the RAW files -- the information is just being converted to another lossless "digital negative" format. You will only be able to use the DNG files with programs that support the format, but most do (I don't think Canon's free Digital Photo Profession does, though, but it supports all Canon RAW files natively).
I am currently using the DNG convertor for the RAW files from my Canon M50 mirrorless camera, since neither of the RAW processing programs I use -- Adobe Lightroom 6 and DxO PhotoLab -- support the camera's files. DxO is working on it, but there's no hope for Lightroom 6, as Adobe no longer supports the program, and I do not want to go down their subscription path.
The DNG conversion isn't that big of a deal. It just adds another step to my workflow. I will be glad when DxO adds support for the M50, though, so I can use just one application to process RAW files from all my cameras. I am currently importing the DNG files into Lightroom, since PhotoLab doesn't support the camera at all -- doesn't matter if the files are Canon CR3 RAW or Adobe DNG. Switching between PhotoLab and Lightroom is cumbersome.
That's my story too. I've got the last version of Photoshop (5.1) that was released before they went to the subscription service. I can't imagine ever needing anything more powerful for my purposes...but I got real worried when it said it couldn't process the 80D's RAW files. I'm very glad to hear there's a workaround with no loss in the transfer.
At least the transfer seems to be fairly quick!
One other suggestion for copying the files to your PC -- instead of messing around with the Canon EOS Utility program, I instead use a USB 3.0 card reader that handles both compact flash and SD cards to copy the files to the appropriate folder on my PC.
Yeah. That's the way I've always done it.
Good choice to add the lens hood, Mike. While most of my lenses came with a hood, I bought a hood for those which Canon didn't include one. The only exceptions are the two pancake lenses I own, as the hoods are pretty ridiculous looking and one of the main reasons I use a pancake lens in the very low profile. I usually buy a 3rd party equivalent hood, as they are usually about a 3rd the price. As long as they fit properly, there's no difference -- it's just a piece of plastic.
Anyway, get in the practice of using your hood all the time. It will cut down on lens flare, can improve the contrast of your images, and provides protection for the front glass element of your lens. Most photography forums are littered with debates on whether or not to use a "protective" filter for your front element. Personally, I never use protective filters, as the lens hood provides enough protection in most circumstances and I don't want to add another piece of glass in front of my lens unless it's to create some sort of effect -- such as with a circular polarizer, neutral density or grad ND filter.
My new Mac Mini should be here Tuesday. I'm kind of jazzed to have a much faster machine with more RAM. Working with full size, layered files in PS has gotten to be a bit of a trudge.
Congrats on the new computer, John!
Am practicing a lot with the camera.
Which is good because everything (all the buttons, etc.) are in a different place. And I am also playing quite a lot with settings and modes besides.
The first thing I want to conquer is Depth of Field.
The Peterson book is VERY helpful. It's just that the numbers and concepts are difficult to get a grip on at first. But I've decided that learning this is what's going to stave off dementia for me.
But you've got three variables. The easiest one for me to grasp is film speed (as I used to shoot on film and had film speeds ranging from 100 to 1600. The bigger the number, the faster the film and the better for low-light shooting. Got it.
Aperture I'm still working on. What makes it hard is that idea that as the f-stops decrease the amount of light increases. A little counter-intuitive, but I'll lick it.
And the same thing with shutter speed. The bigger the number, the shorter the length of the shutter opening. Only because the number used actually represents the denominator of the fraction of the shutter opening (in seconds). So I got that, too...but still have to think things through as I'm trying to make setting decisions on the fly.
All this while trying to figure out all these new AF options and hundreds of other settings at my disposal.
But I braved the bitter cold in the Northeast today to try things out and take a bunch of test shots.
Think my shot of a squirrel eating an overripe banana will go viral?!?
Mike, one thing I can tell you is that virtually nobody truly, completely understands depth of field, even though almost everyone thinks they do. It's one of those things where everything you learn creates two more questions that you don't even know to ask. So, even if it is the first thing you want to conquer, it will be the last one you are actually able to. I'd go into it more, but I don't want to send you away screaming. Most of the big name, online "experts" don't really understand it. It's remarkably dynamic and complex.
Remember that ISO, shutter speed and aperture work the same was as they did with film. A way to think about f/stops and aperture is to remember that the lens has a variable aperture in it. The bigger the f number, the more it is closing down and reducing the light. So, small number, the aperture is doing very little. Large number, it's doing a lot, as in reducing the light. Like you said, shutter speed is usually a fraction of a second. As in, "10" is 1/10th of a second. When you get to long exposures of a second or longer, the display will have - " - after the number. So, 10 is 1/10th of a second, and 10" is ten seconds.
Glad you are finding the book useful. I have recommended it to several friends, and they have all found it helpful. I still have my old edition sitting on the shelf.
It takes a little time and effort, but eventually the aperture and shutter speed numbers will become more intuitive for you. The important things to figure out initially with shutter speed is how fast you need to freeze different types of action (a tortoise moves a lot slower than a whale ) and what you need to handhold without camera shake with different lenses and focal lengths. There are other nuances, such as using very slow shutter speeds for different effects, but that's a little more specialized.
As for ISO, even though modern camera sensors are a lot better with noise at high ISO settings and noise reduction software is quite good nowadays, it's still a good practice to use the lowest ISO setting possible. I generally keep mine set at 400 or lower, and then bump it up only when needed in low light situations based on my shutter speed and aperture requirements for the shot. With my current bodies, though, I have no qualms about shooting at ISO 6400 if needed, and can push it a little further if it's the only way to get a shot and I am in a situation where I cannot use a flash.
A quick check of those earlier pics' EXIFs indicate very high ISOs (4000 and 6400), so yeah, "pointilistic" is to be expected -- probably less so if you're using a fullframe camera w/ similar number of pixels, but then, there will be other concerns (like less DoF hehheh). Just remember though that the 80D has 2.4x the pixels of your old Rebel Xi. Don't directly compare pixel-level for graininess/noise between the 2 cameras as that might be unfair to the 80D -- it's what the actual final presentation/look that matters. Also, it's possible you might need to dial down the sharpening tool/processing in your software/workflow as well -- and if the "pointilistic" look only happens w/ say a particular web presentation, that could be the site's own resizing/sharpening process at work (that maybe can be adjusted, if the site allows)...
And yeah, DoF (depth of field) is complicated... though there are good general guidelines that work for most people and situations. Most people just have some idea based on what/how they shoot and just go w/ their general experience -- that probably includes all the big names that John referenced. But the formula seems non-linear and complex enough and involves enough variables that you're just not gonna do it all in your head on-the-fly (and shouldn't need to). Nice thing about digital is you can do quick in-camera review (and reshoot in most non-sporty/action/wildlife contexts) if you're not sure -- and that also helps you get a better feel for what you generally need for what/how you shoot. Even having all the shooting data auto-attached to each shot helps a ton for reviewing (and learning) later...
One thing about the aperture setting. Technically, it's a fraction, and the number you're thinking is actually the denominator... much like w/ shutter speed, except the denominator never gets small enough to turn the aperture value to whole 1 or larger (x the nominator f) whereas shutter speed can be whole seconds for long exposures... as John noted. Probably because of that, nobody bothers to think about it as actual fraction f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, etc... though it actually is a fraction of the focal length (f) of the lens.
Personally, I mostly shoot Av (aperture priority) and just allow my camera do auto-ISO w/ some tweaks (and limits) from me depending on context, etc. But I'm not usually shooting sports/action/wildlife... and Nikon's auto-ISO is quite customizable -- not sure about the Canon 80D -- so... I'm more likely to put my camera into "manual" mode and just adjust my auto-ISO setting(s) than actually use Tv (shutter priority). Only time I might actually turn off auto-ISO is if I already know the exact settings I need and am probably shooting a long exposure or the like. Part of that is because even ISO 800 (NVM 1600) looks so good on modern fullframe DSLRs that I rarely need to worry if my camera's metering decides to unexpectedly kick auto-ISO up 1 EV/stop or so from ISO 200 or even 400 -- and if I'm worried, I can always cap auto-ISO somewhere low enough... though I usually leave it capped at 3200.
@Mike Frezon You didn't mention the OTHER effect of using high ISO / ASA in your old film experience: The higher you go the more noise / grain you get. Modern cameras have amazing ability to get -less- noise at high ISO but it's not black magic =)
So yeah, you can't just toss it in ISO 4000 an expect perfect results. You want to use the lowest ISO you can get away with for your OTHER two variables, aperture and time. You mentioned using Tv, I personally only use this for high speed stuff where I MST have double my lens or faster shooting (so on a 400 mm I want at LEAST 1/800th of a second). 99% of the time I am in aperture priority. The other 100% I am full manual for flash.
Edit: I never ever use auto ISO, I always want to know exactly what I'm setting there.
All of this is of course confusing and YMMV =)