Canon DSLR owners...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    EDIT: I had started this as a T1i thread, but realized this could apply to any Canon DSLR and thought it might create more posts...

    So fellow Canon DSLR owners (and anyone else who's got similar camera features)... I'm hoping we can start a thread to share tips on getting the best images out of the camera.

    Which of these options do you use for most of your shooting?
    - ISO how do you select ISO (Auto or select an appropriate ISO for the lighting)?
    - Do you use ISO Expansion (6400/12800)? Do you avoid high ISO at all costs?
    - What about White Balance (Auto/Presets/Manual)?

    Do you generally shoot RAW and do PP on your Mac or do you let the camera do some or all of the PP?

    What in-camera PP settings do you use or avoid and in what situations? In particular:

    - Picture Style (Contrast, Saturation, Color Tone (hue shift) and Sharpening)?
    - Noise reductions (high ISO or otherwise)
    - Peripheral Illumination Correction (on/off)
    - Auto lighting optimizer (adding detail to shadows)
    - Highlight Tone Priority (keeping highlights from getting blown-out but limits ISO to 200-3200)

    What post processing do you find you need to do most often after you've downloaded the pics to your Mac?
     
  2. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #2
    Not that I want to steer people away from our digital photo group here, but @ POTN there are dedicated threads for canon owners and their various bodies.....
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?p=5047065#post5047065

    with that said, with my T1i;
    -I try shooting at lowest ISO as possible that can maintain a decent shutter speed
    -I shoot 90% in Av mode, 5% Tv, 5% Manual
    -I've not tried ISO expansion, but from shooting at ISO800 inside and having so-so grain shots I'll avoid high ISO on my T1i
    -I select white balance, but since I shoot in RAW it's easy to change in ACR

    -I shoot 95%+ in RAW and PP on my Mac via Photoshop Elements 8 (PSE8)

    -I'm learning PP more and more, upon import I use ACR and do stuff there, then go into PSE8 for further stuff
     
  3. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #3
    All depends. For example, I always select the ISO speed for shooting landscapes or any other situation where I have ample time to do so. But lets say that I am planning to shoot birds in flight with varying lighting conditions: in this case I sometimes use one of three pre-programmed modes I have saved on C1, C2, and C3 positions of the Mode wheel of my 40D. Auto ISO (400-800 ISO) has been saved in one of these modes.
    I haven't had the need for using higher that 400 ISO, but I have seen photographers shooting parties and using such ISO speeds in addition to an external flash.
    I usually set the WB myself. However, Auto WB is very useful when I don't have time to change from one WB to the next. Once I am post-processing the RAW image with PhotoShop, I can change the WB at will.
    I always shoot RAW, and PP on the Mac
    Since I shoot RAW, I have a lot of leeway in relation to PP on the computer. For example, I often use Av for landscapes and everything else, since I want to control aperture. The camera is taking care of the rest. But I use M (manual) for moose shots, and parties or weddings (plus a flash). However, even with the camera set to Manual it still does several things by itself, including foreground and background lighting.
    I have changed sharpness one point positive from default. Nothing else.

    I don't use noise on camera reduction, PIC, Auto lighting compensation, nor highlight Tone Priority. Now I have used the latter a couple of times to take photos of moose in bright daylight in snowy fields. But a lot of this can also be taken care of on the computer.
    The most common I encounter is having to play with the image dynamic range (I have no idea if this is the proper term). What sometimes I have to do is to increase blacks, and sometimes reduce/increase brightness. But in my view this has a lot to do with the difficult lighting conditions I often encounter in Alaska, where there is a lot of bright light sort of overpowering the shadows.

    I forgot to mention that the lowest ISO setting for your Canon camera does not necessarily be the one with the lowest amount of noise. If you search hard enough, you will find the best ISO speeds for you individual camera. for my 40D these work best: skip 125, 250, 500, and 1000. for those of you who want to give these Canon ISO hints a try, it gets real interesting by page 2:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=677481&highlight=list+of+best+ISO+speeds&page=2
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    This isn't Canon-specific, so I'll chime in. Anything over base ISO will introduce noise. How much noise depends on how far you are over base and how wide the dynamic range of the scene is along with how well-exposed the shot is. The only time I come off of the base ISO of the sensor is when I can't get the shot any other way.

    The only guaranteed time I don't shoot raw is when I am shooting for a friend who will be doing the PP. He's one of the biggest stock shooters on DA, and he doesn't like the slowdown from raw so I shoot JPEG in his studio or if I'm shooting at an event and need the space. If I needed to spray and pray fast action, I might also go to JPEG, but I haven't had to do that yet.


    Paul
     
  5. AllieNeko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    #5
    ISO should be as low as possible to achieve the shutter speed and aperture that you need.

    I shoot all RAW + JPEG. Auto white balance and default settings for the JPEGs since they're mostly for "throwaway" shots. Any good shots get individually tweaked from the RAW.

    P.S. The other reason I will shoot JPEG (and then tweak the camera settings as much as possible first for white balance, etc) is if I NEED the speed of JPEG - which I do sometimes but rarely.
     
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #6
    I use ISO 100 (my lowest) as often as possible. I will go up as high as necessary with ISO to get a sharp shot, but I never use any of the expanded sensitivities (my understanding is that those are just software boosts that you can do yourself on the computer with better results).

    I shoot exclusively in raw and process my files in Adobe Camera Raw.

    I always try to expose to the right, and I use UniWB (Universal White Balance) almost exclusively to ensure that I never clip any highlights.

    I shoot in M mode most of the time. The exceptions are becoming increasingly rare.

    The processing I find I need to do most often, aside from choosing all the best raw conversion settings for each photo, is some amount of noise reduction on higher ISO images. I use Dfine on a separate layer and usually apply it selectively (using a layer mask) to retain as much detail as possible. I always end each processing session by checking my histogram and ensuring it's covering as much of 0-255 as possible. I also run an auto levels adjustment layer just to see if maybe my eyes are missing a color cast.
     
  7. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #7
    - ISO how do you select ISO (Auto or select an appropriate ISO for the lighting)? - I select ISO manually.

    - Do you use ISO Expansion (6400/12800)? Do you avoid high ISO at all costs? - I do have ISO expansion turned on, but mainly because it allows me to select ISO 50 (and I use that to allow the use of wide apertures in studio lighting).

    I have a 5DII and a 450D. On the 5DII I'll happily shoot up to ISO 800 without worrying too much about image quality degradation. On the 450D I try and stick at or below 400. On both cameras I'll go up as high as necessary to keep shutter speed up, as I like low light work handheld with prime lenses and find camera shake has a much bigger impact on picture quality than noise.

    Noise really isn't that big an issue. Chroma noise looks bad, but a bit of luminance noise isn't an issue.

    - What about White Balance (Auto/Presets/Manual)? - I leave it on Auto all the time.

    I always shoot RAW and prefer to correct all my images in Lightroom anyway. Camera white balance setting makes no difference to the RAW capture.

    Do you generally shoot RAW and do PP on your Mac or do you let the camera do some or all of the PP? - Always RAW

    What in-camera PP settings do you use or avoid and in what situations? In particular: - I don't really care about any of that stuff, as it has no impact on RAW.

    I am going to reduce contrast though, as I understand that this gives a more filmic quality to HD video capture.

    What post processing do you find you need to do most often after you've downloaded the pics to your Mac? - Always use Lightroom
    - Colour correct
    - Exposure / brightness / contrast (recovery if necessary)
    - Possibly crop and straighten
    - Spot remove
    - Possibly use gradient adjustments to fine tune lighting if it's not consistent across the frame
    - Area adjustments - may soften skin or selectively desaturate skin blemishes on portraits
    - Final clarity (local contrast) and vibrance (non-destructive saturation) adjustment
    - Output to my chosen format/size, applying sharpening while outputing
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    I select ISO manually. I set it as low as possible to get the aperture and shutter speed (range) I want. I use all ISOs in one-stop increments from 100-1600. all other ISOs (50, 3200, and 1/3 increments) are software-generated, "fake" ISOs on my camera (5D) and are of little use since I shoot in RAW.

    1/3 ISO increments are only "real" in 1-series bodies. expanded ISO settings are all software-generated.

    auto, custom, or Kelvin.

    in RAW, the camera does no processing. I don't have any of the new options (HTP, ALO, etc), and those only apply to Jpegs so they'd be useless to me anyway.
     
  9. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #9
    I'm glad you reminded me of that... I'd just started using 'L' in my last shoot with RAW and I should know better! Luckily I was shooting low-key and had plenty of headroom.

    Just to re-iterate what Toxic said - 'L' or ISO 50 essentially just overexposes by a shot and then knocks the exposure back down in post. It's probably viable when shooting jpegs or in movie mode - since neither of these use all the DR available in RAW anyway, but for RAW shooters you just end applying an extra stop of overexposure that you didn't intend to!
     
  10. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    Wow, so you guys shoot RAW all the time? I could see that if you are shooting for an artistic shot, pro work, etc.... but what if you are on vacation with your family, will you will still shoot the entire vacation RAW?

    However, I gather from the feedback here, that even when shooting JPEG, it makes sense to do as little in-camera processing as possible... eg. Keep ISO to a minimum and avoid ISO compensation options.

    I'm off on vacation to Hawaii next week and I'm not planning to shoot the entire thing in RAW format. I may do so with some artistic and/or important shots along the way, but I wasn't planning on it being my normal mode of capture.

    If anyone has any recommendations for in-camera processing that works for them with vacation pictures, that would be helpful as a starting point. I guess I should at least explore how the picture style settings can help/hinder before I head out. I'll be disabling all the other ISO related aids for sure.
     
  11. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #11
    Yes!

    If you have a good workflow in an application like Lightroom, it's no hassle to shoot and process RAW (actually, it's easier). Camera memory cards are cheap these days too - so storage isn't really a problem.

    If you're on vacation do you decide on a shot by shot basis which shots need to be best quality and which are just normal jpeg quality? For me, it's easier just to keep everything together.
     
  12. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #12
    Exactly. If you're using something like Aperture or Lightroom, banging out a quick snapshot from a raw file is no big deal. That's what I do for my less important shots (all others go through Adobe Camera Raw for more careful processing).

    At least if you shoot raw, you have the option to make a photo the best it can be. When I used to go back and forth from JPEG to raw, invariably I would end up with a shot I really liked in JPEG and would then be unable to pull a little more detail out of the sky or something like that, and the shot would be disappointing. Other times I would forget to switch back to raw when taking shots that really mattered and would then be very disappointed. I quickly came to the conclusion that raw-only was the way to go.
     
  13. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Among the starlings
    #13
    - I select ISO based on lighting conditions (my camera doesn't have Auto as an option, but I'd select it manually anyway -- I'd usually prefer to adjust shutter/aperture myself than let it select a higher, noisier ISO than I want.)
    - My camera doesn't have ISO expansion either -- I think it goes up to 1600. I try to stick to 100 or 200, as noise is very visible in 400; 800 for special low-light conditions. 1600 might as well not even be there.
    - Auto white balance, or custom for special conditions: I generally shoot RAW and adjust WB in software as necessary.

    - Shoot raw and post-process as necessary.

    What in-camera PP settings do you use or avoid and in what situations? In particular:

    - Picture Style (Contrast, Saturation, Color Tone (hue shift) and Sharpening): Never
    - The other options listed aren't available on my camera.

    What post processing do you find you need to do most often after you've downloaded the pics to your Mac?

    - White balance, exposure adjustment, saturation, sharpening.
     
  14. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    Does anyone shoot JPEG here? :confused:

    Is it the vocal minority that shoots RAW and the JPEG shooters are lurkers or does everyone reading this forum shoot RAW?

    There must be people here who simply don't have time to post process every picture they take? :eek:
     
  15. designguy79 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #15
    I always shoot RAW as well. If I don't feel like processing it, I just grab the P&S instead of one of the DSLRs.
     
  16. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Location:
    375th St. Y
    #16
    I guess

    I guess it really depends on what I am shooting, and how the end result is to be used/processed.

    Typically though, I shoot:
    ISO 100 as often as possible
    Av or M
    RAW + L JPG
    Continuous Low
    AWB, or I change to the corresponding indoor WB while indoors.

    I leave off all the auto-fix stuff in camera.

    For PP, I import to Aperture 2 and:
    -Crop, rotate
    -Black point
    -Tweak levels a bit more
    -Add a tinge of vibrance and/or sat, depending on desired look
    -Definition
    -Slight Temp. adjustment
    -Color Balance
     
  17. mmoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    #17
    Thanks for the fascinating read on UniWB.
    I use the histogram extensively for underwater shooting and use the "expose to the right" technique to prevent over-saturated blues. I never considered that my histogram might be inaccurate due to it's reliance on in-camera JPEG processing. I'll download one of the suggested RAW files and try using it for manual white balance underwater. For land shooting I'm not sure I could deal with the green tinge on the camera LCD all the time though.

    -Brad
     
  18. mattwolfmatt macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #18
    You've nailed it. The vocal (and professional) minority shoot RAW. Us mere mortals who don't spend hours photoshopping everything, who mostly put stuff on blogs and so one, we are the 90% who shoot in jpeg.
     
  19. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #19
    Yeah, the green tinge is unfortunate, but I've gotten used to it. The camera's LCD is really only good for viewing the histogram (and menus, of course) anyway. But sometimes when I want to get a sense of how colors are 'landing' in a composition, I'll use UniWB to get the exposure right and will then switch over to auto WB for a shot or two.

    The other slight annoyance is having one more thing to set in the raw conversion, but I've gotten used to that too (apply it to one and then batch-apply it to all other photos in that set, then tweak on a per-picture basis as I would anyway).
     
  20. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2002
    Location:
    Where am I???
    #20
    I'm curious; why use ACR when Lightroom offers exactly the same controls (or are you using Aperture), plus the added benefit of digital asset management?

    As for my own response to the OP, I use manual exposure control almost exclusively, though I switch to Av if I'm shooting in rapid-fire in variable light or Tv if I need to force a certain shutter speed. I shoot RAW exclusively, with Auto white balance (it's irrelevant when shooting RAW), lowest ISO possible, though I'm not averse to using as high an ISO as is necessary to get the shutter speed required.
     
  21. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #21
    I know... so why don't you guys chime in on this thread with the settings you use to get optimal results? :confused:
     
  22. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #22
    I use manual ISO selection on both my 7D and 40D.

    I have it enabled, but only for cases when there is very little light. I really dislike noise.

    Manual white balance most of the time, I have a grey card in my bag. If I expect the white balance to change commonly, I'll use auto and batch process the photos first with the correct white balance.

    I only shoot RAW and do the post processing on my Mac.

    No, I do not use any of those.

    None, I do it all in post processing.

    Off.

    Off.

    Sometimes in weddings, although most of the time it is off.

    I always do high pass sharpening, curves and levels and sometimes some dodging and burning. Cloning/healing as necessary.
     
  23. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #23
    Does Lightroom really have all the same controls? Everything? Even ND grads and brush exposure adjustments at the raw level? (Not including third-party plug-ins?) I'm using Aperture, but am considering switching back over to LR (which I haven't used for years now). I suppose I should try that LR3 beta, if it's still available. My biggest problem with switching is that I have over 50,000 images in Aperture now.
     
  24. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #24
    I'm just an advanced hobbyist and I shoot RAW all the time now. When I look back through iPhoto at the images I did shoot in jpg I slap my self in the head and say "What was I thinking??"

    As for that trip to Hawaii, I shot Kaua'i in film many years ago and you will not believe the beauty of those islands. To shoot in jpg would be a sin. You never know when you will turn the corner and see something you have never seen before in your life. When I return to the islands I will take more photo gear than clothing.

    Dale
     
  25. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #25
    LOL... I guess I better go buy another SDHC card <sigh>
     

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