New T2i; First dSLR; critique/comments please

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by benlee, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. benlee macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #1
    Having familiarized myself with the camera, these are a few of what I considered better shots from a day of shooting. Some light photoshopping on some using Aperature.

    Any comments, advice, critiques, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

    Just trying to learn and advance.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Opstech macrumors 6502a

    Opstech

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    #2
    They seem to be too bright! What ISO setting do you have on? I'm thinking of upgrading to the T2i or D40 from the XSi.
     
  3. Opstech macrumors 6502a

    Opstech

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    #3
    Also,
    Were these taken with the standard lens (18-55mm)?

    The picture with the lock is excellent.

    Try taking some raw photos. Those are easier for aperture to edit.
     
  4. Gold89 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2008
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    UK
    #4
    They don't seem that over exposed here but then I'm browsing with my iPhone. The first one is a bit but taking photos of black dogs or cats is always hard to expose, really like the idea and composition of that first shot though, perhaps work on the background though despite the small dof.

    All the shots show positive traits regards composition! Just keep shooting! :)
     
  5. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #5
    Thanks for the comments so far. Most of the shots were taken with a standard kit 18-55.

    The one with the tree was taken with a 75-300mm Tamron.

    I have been using auto ISO so far because the camera does a decent job. It certainly is hard to film Griffin (the black lab). It's difficult to do without washing out any background.

    I thought about shooting in RAW and likely will do so in the future.


    Thanks again for the input. Keep it coming.

    P.S. I just realized the only photo that has any post editing of this lot is the tree.
     
  6. jackerin macrumors 6502a

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    Finland
    #6
    The colours seem a bit dull, could benefit from a bit of postprocessing. (Funny that "photoshopping" has become a verb now...)

    Otherwise pretty standard fare for first-time camera owners; here's a useful link: http://www.morguefile.com/docs/Jodie_Coston:_Lesson_1

    The one I like the most is the two pairs of feet, since it conveys some sort of story. Did a quick pp on it.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 1, 2008
    #7
    The photos aren't "bright", but they are low contrast (with the exception of the last one, which I happen to like best in terms of composition), which makes for images that seem flat or dull. Postprocessing can deal with this somewhat (see attachment), but better control over light sources (using external lighting or choosing to shoot at the right time of day, not in the shade) will add dimensionality etc.

    On a side note, the auto ISO seems to be pushing up your ISO unnecessarily. It's at 2500 in the dog/hand image and at 3200 for the lock one. Sensor noise will be noticeable when the images haven't been resized to be smaller, especially when you're shooting in darker conditions. Chroma noise is noticeable in the dog's fur, even after the resize.

    Finally, the dog shows some blur from movement. Use a faster shutter speed to avoid this. Sharpening was applied to the attachment. Apparently everyone is going to take turns at Photoshopping your stuff.

    Nice start, keep at it.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. jabbott macrumors 6502

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    Nov 23, 2009
    #8
    Decent photos overall. Good use of depth of field on the feet shot. There is a large amount of purple fringing on the tree leaves shot... The easiest solution to that is to avoid shooting the sun directly, and/or use a higher quality (non-kit) lens. Canon recommends avoiding shooting the sun directly because it can damage the CMOS sensor. I've done it a couple times for sunsets that couldn't be missed, so I understand the desire.

    I also own a Canon T2i and it is my first dSLR as well. For lenses I am using an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, an EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM, and an EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. I recently took a road trip from Colorado to California and posted my photos here. There are some photos at national parks, including Arches, Canyonlands, Zion and Petrified Forest. Please feel free to take a look and let me know what you think.
     
  9. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #9
    Thanks for the advice. It's great to get feedback. I'm working on learning how to use Aperture. I've already learned so much in the past couple weeks by reading various sources of info. Hopefully, I'll have some more shots to show some progress soon.

    I'm going to buy a nifty fifty soon, which I heard is a great lens.
     
  10. advres Guest

    advres

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    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    Mine hasn't come off my 550d since I got it. Great lens. Doesn't work with my follow focus though (neither does the kit).
     
  11. jabbott macrumors 6502

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    Nov 23, 2009
    #11
    Before purchasing the lens, make sure you really want to shoot at 50mm... I personally find 50mm to be too zoomed in for a lot of situations on a 1.6x crop camera such as the T2i. 50mm on a 1.6x crop camera is equivalent to an 80mm lens on a 1.0x crop camera. The sweet spot for the "nifty" focal length on a 1.6x crop camera is found by dividing 50mm by 1.6... That comes out to 31.25mm. There are a number of lenses that are right around that amount (like the Canon 28mm f/1.8 USM or the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX DG Macro lens). This yields a much nicer shot for most portraits. Your opinion and requirements may differ of course -- whatever the lens, you can always try it out first at a camera shop or borrowing from a friend.

    There are two websites I recommend for lens information. The Digital Picture is the first one. It has great reviews for most Canon lenses and SLR cameras. You can even compare two lenses to see how they look when taking a picture of the same test pattern. Another good website is the lens database on the Used Camera Database. You have to sign up for a free account on the Used Camera Database, but it is very worth it. The website tracks new and used prices for every Canon lens on the market, as well as the resale values for the top 30 or so lenses. It provides a simple and easy way to make sure you are getting a good deal on your purchase.
     
  12. iSax1234 macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2010
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    Virginia
    #12
    They look ok. The best way to get better is to shoot! Now this doesn't mean just shooting. But go read up on some articles, and buy your self some books, and then go shoot. As well I'd turn off Auto ISO, if you're outdoors more than likely 100 is more than enough. Remember high ISO equals more noise, especially after post processing. Higher shutter speeds stop motion while longer ones can create motion. Nice start, now just go read up and shoot some more.

    I have the "nifty fifty" 50mm f/1.8. It is long. It has posed some problems when shooting some stuff. I find it great and the value CANNOT be beat. But you may want to look at the Canon 24 f/2.8 or 35 f/1.8. Remember you can always crop your image to fit your subject, but you can't create one.

    EDIT: Shoot in RAW you'll be amazed on what you can do.
     
  13. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #13
    ^

    What do you consider high ISO that results in degrading images? You can shoot 800 and not worry, especially with todays' cameras. If you find that you are shooting at higher ISOs most of the time, a faster lens will benefit you.
     
  14. iSax1234 macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2010
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    Virginia
    #14
    Well usually it doesn't but I've shot at ISO 800 & 400 and then did a lot of processing, especially HDR and got some pretty bad noise. Not so much 400 but i like to keep it 800 and less. Just my preference. It really sucks when you get back to post processing and you have an awesome image and its noisy. Of course you can eliminate noise.
     
  15. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #15
    I believe the T2i has a Auto ISO upper limiting feature, which IMO is really neat. Daytime shots should not need relatively high ISO's.
    Try setting it say at 400 and see what that does for your images, this will help with more crisp shots via lower ISO.
    My T1i does not have that. (I'd love to be able to "upgrade" my T1i to some T2i capabilities via firmware if available)

    For you dog, use fill flash, your pop up flash does decent job for that.
     
  16. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #16
    I'll try this. Thanks for the advice.

    I've also noticed I have a tendency to shoot in aperture priority mode, even if depth of field isn't a priority. I'm usually shooting wide open--hoping to get a fast shutter speed. Should I be shooting at a higher aperture when dof not a concern?
     
  17. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #17
    Keep experimenting and learning, also buy/read "exposure" by Bryan Peterson.
    Well worth the $'s and will set you on the path of proper exposure....above all have fun with the hobby!

    simply - "large" aperture = shallow dof, used to focus attention to specific parts of image
    as your aperture get smaller, dof increases, depending on what you as photographer want to capture.
    (and you need to balance shutter speed/ISO with aperture to achieve correct overall exposure)

    fwiw, I shoot 90% aperture mode, 5% shutter mode, 5% manual mode.
     
  18. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #18
    Thank you. I read "Understanding Exposure," but it was prior to me getting my hands on the camera, and thus it would probably benefit me to read it again now that I have had the chance to feel out the camera and its workings.
     
  19. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

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    Location:
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    #19
    This is a good point. The "nifty 50" is ideal for Full Frame cameras. To get the same field of view on your crop sensor you need something more like 31mm. I think this is something that is glossed over way to often.

    I had a conversation in another thread about this very issue, and just got it straight in my head myself...
     
  20. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #20
    My $0.02, for what they're worth:

    The photos are ok. The compositions don't grab me, and the light is flat and dull. But technically, they are fine. I think most people start out with shots like this when they first get a new DSLR (I know I did).

    The old saying goes something like this: the beginner sees the subject, the experienced photographer sees the composition, and the master sees the light.

    Put another way: it's ALL about the light. The next time you see a photograph you like, break the lighting down in your mind; where did the photographer place the shadows? How is light being used to emphasize (or deemphasize) different parts of the composition?

    I also recommend 'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson; fantastic read and immensely valuable.

    Re: the DoF conversation, keep in mind that most lenses are not at their best when used wide open. So, even if you were to purchase a 50/1.8, you will get much better results from that lens by stopping it down to f/2.8. Sharpness and contrast are markedly better, at the expense of a small increase in DoF (which may not be a bad thing) and a bit slower shutter speed.

    For a 1.6x crop camera, consider the 35 f/2.0, which is far more useful than the 50 f/1.8.
     
  21. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #21
    Thanks for the tips. I will look into 35mm f/2.0. Unfortunately, it looks like it is over twice as much as the 50/1.8 in terms of cost. Therefore, it is either a 50/1.8 now or a 35/2.0 down the road. I've had an expensive month with this new T2i and 2 new iPhone 4s.

    How many "good" shots do you all get per total shots taken?
     
  22. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #22
    When I first started out, my overall keeper ratio was very low (like 10-15%), but this was due mainly to simply taking too many photos. DLSRs are great in that regard in that you can take as many photos as you'd like and there is no added cost. But this is only valuable if you're really learning from your 'mistakes'.

    As I progressed, I consciously tried to take fewer photos, while making an effort to really think long and hard about each shot. My keeper rate now is about 50%, but I'm particularly brutal in evaluating my own work. This doesn't mean that 50% of my shots are 'great' (I would consider less than 10% of my shots to be really excellent by my own analysis), but rather that about 50% of them are acceptably sharp and have decent composition and lighting.
     
  23. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    #23
    The 50 ƒ/1.8 is an ok lens, and its price/performance ratio is excellent. There will, however, come a day when you recognize its shortcomings and you long for something better. AF performance is pretty poor in very low light, and the bokeh is, umm, interesting.

    That said, almost everyone owns one at some point, and they can provide good results at ƒ/2.8 or smaller, and they are, of course, ridiculously cheap. You don't lose much by picking one up and giving it a go for a while. I still have one in my bag, despite the fact that I've replaced it with the Sigma 50 ƒ/1.4.
     
  24. benlee thread starter macrumors 65816

    benlee

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #24
    I will be receiving at 100 gift certificate for Amazon from my CC reward points very soon. So I could get a 50mm right away, which is what I may end up doing. It would essentially be "free."
     

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