Fine Art America is the world's most powerful sales and marketing tool for photographers and visual artists.
Simply open an account, upload your images, set your prices for all our available products, and you're instantly in business! FAA provides you with an e-commerce website, fulfills your orders for you, and sends you your profits each month.
I have been asked by a fellow FAA-er,(real word, I'm sure) to open a new thread where questions about cameras, tripods,lenses,gear,toys can be asked and in some cases, even answered! I've been draging my feet on this, hoping Murray(the slacker)Bloom, would come to his senses and re-open his great thread, but nooooooo, he's too busy, huh Murray!!! So I'll give it a go and hope Murray and others here will step in when I'm in over my head or just making stuff up, and give actual good answers.
I've got 30+ years as a "Professional Photographer" (means I got paid, that's all) and many years in the studio, shooting everything from Diamonds and Jewelery( for the late Leona Helmsly) once!, to thousands of images for a local textbook publisher. Cars ,kids and stuff. Food, buildings and people for Travel Mags too. So I'm a "Jack of All Trades", but maybe not a master of any! So that's where my "advisors" will come in, especially answering anything involving the "Dark Sciences" Photoshop and such!
These are of course, just my opinions and you're getting what you paid for, so keep that in mind! I'm more of a "Run what ya Brung" kinda guy and don't think getting the next best thing............(fill in the blank) is always the answer. On the on the other hand, I do enjoy spending other people's money! So keep that in mind too!
I would hope that there will be good discussions here and good questions too. As always, you can email me privately, if you're a shy person, like me, or join my small group and ask there:
I will ask the first question. Not so much for me, but a question I know is asked on this forum from time to time and something I see a lot on others.
Is a beginner photographer with a budget of say $500, better off with a good quality bridge camera ie FugiX10 / Canon G12 / Panasonic LX5, compared to buying the cheapest DSLR, with kit lens? Even though the sensor is bigger in the DSLR, I have not heard good comments about kit lenses. The lenses in those high end bridge cameras are usually extremely sharp and fast, with Fstops as wide as F1.8. The bridge cameras, also usually have most if not all the same manual features of a DSLR and most have viewfinders. (although EVF and not TTL)
One way to look at the low end DSLR, say a Nikon 3100, would be that later on the beginner can invest in better glass.
Murray the slacker here. Yeah, I've been busy with work, love, and other pointless stuff.
I usually shy away from which camera is better or cheaper for this or that, since the players are constantly changing. I'm not one to recommend or dis a piece of equipment based only on what I've read, or maybe handled at a camera shop. I'll keep an eye on this thread to see if I can contribute, though.
Regarding the Nikon D3100, it's a very good buy, has has a great sensor and processing engine, and accepts most Nikon auto lenses (not the older screw-drive 'D' type glass, though; which won't autofocus on it). If you like lightweight plastic cameras, it could be the one for you. Interestingly, some of their kit lenses are remarkably good, and you might want to check out Ken Rockwell (.com) for his lens reviews.
Rich this should be a big help to several folks! Way to go!
Murray you let love get in the way of photography? Well just teach her how to use part of your cameras and you can make a great photo team! :) OK had to toss that in there
OK Rich for what it is worth. My biggest issues with cameras these days are the noise factor and the fact that unless you have the current mega buck high end camera you are going to get noise in any shadow. That is where I pull my air out (sick of spending time in PS for noise!) when everything is right, and noise in the shadows and some in the barely there shadows. I think it was Murray that clued us into the fact the camera company's have duped us into cameras that were not cheep that still will have noise. I wanna take a photo without noise one day regardless of how I shoot. So do you happen to know what the current camera...or maybe ones that might be sold on eBay that are still late models that have almost or zero noise regardless of settings...and as much as one pays for a pro-sumer camera that they have way more noise than some higher end P&S cameras do. Shame on the camera company's!
The Canon EOS starter DSLR with kit lens can take some decent images and sells in that price range. I also have a G12 as my P&S. I've posted a handful of images taken with it but would probably recommend the DSLR with a kit lens as a primary. The advantage of the starter DSLR is that you can add better lenses over time.
The reason that images from some lower end P&S have less noise, is because there is noise reduction applied, through the processing engine, when the camera produces the JPEG image. Some cameras apply more noise reduction than others and often it is something you can adjust by setting high/med/low.
The higher end cameras, that shoot RAW, will not produce "more" noise, it simply has not processed any of it out. That is up to you to do, in a program like Adobe Camera Raw.
The low end P&S will produce MORE noise than a prosumer DSLR because of the smaller sensor. However you may not notice it as much, because of the in camera processing. A JPEG processed in a crop sensor DSLR should produce less noise than a compact camera, under exactly the same circumstances. On the down side though, with the extra noise reduction in the camera, the image will also come out less sharp around the edges.
Better to shoot RAW with a prosumer DSLR and edit out the noise, while controlling edge sharpness, than letting your JPEG engine do it for you.
Sorry Rich!!!! I am answering questions, in your thread!!! :(
Back on topic, noise comes from the electronic portion of the camera. It's not about optics or light. Every circuit generates noise when it's operating. Turn a radio or TV all the way down and put your ear to the speaker. You'll hear a gentle 'hiss.' That's noise. Whatever program material you're listening to masks the noise because if its greater volume (signal). An important statistic in electronics is "signal to noise ratio," which what is what we're dealing with when talking about digital camera noise.
Image processors (like in your camera) are very complex circuits, which generate noise on many levels. The fact that noise is as minimal as it is today is nothing short of a miracle. The problem arises when there is little signal to mask the noise, like a dark scene or during a long exposure where both noise and signal pile up until the shutter closes. In those cases, the signal level falls back into the noise range and we see it in our pictures. It's really as simple as that.
Fortunately, there are programs available, such as ACR and Noise Ninja, among others, that do an admirable job of minimizing the noise. Some cameras are better than others at concealing it, especially Nikon, which allows you to shoot at astronomical ISOs without seeing very much at all.
If this $500 camera is going to be your work camera and not your only camera for snapshots and such, then the 3100 or the Rebel body is the way to go. I like the Fuji, Panasonic and especially the Canon G12, if you are going to be using this camera all the time for everything. Lugging around a big DSLR when you don't have to, is a pain.
I have mentioned and will mention again, I have several images here on my site taken with a 10 year old P&S, a Canon PowerShot A710, which captures a whopping 7.1 MP!!! and the sensor is smaller than my nail on my pinky finger!
So this is how I feel about worrying about not having the right/best/latest camera/lenses,etc. Shoot with what you have/can afford and when and if you start selling stuff, then upgrade, if you feel that your current gear is limiting you somehow. But trust me, once you go down that road of the next best thing, you're chasing your tail, forever.
Bottom line: If you are a professional photographer, working everyday, then you don't need to spend the "professional money"! Period! There was an artist here about 6 months or so ago, that sold a 40" x 60 " from her iPhone!! If you have the money and you enjoy improving your camera gear kit, then go ahead, just don't let a lack of "something" keep you from creating your art.
And finally, don't worry about the kit lenses, they are a bargin, but you'll be capturing images on a much better/larger sensor,
Oh, sure, now you show up!!!LOL Thanks! You can handle the hard questions!
Andee, here are a few questions:
1. What is you average ISO that you find yourself using?
2. Do you shoot "to the right", slightly overexposed, like I do ( Murray's already typing I'm wrong)
3. Do you ALWAYS use a tripod?
4. Are you pushing your images to make bigger prints than the native capture is?
Andee, chronologically, I'd imagine that we're talking from the D300 onward (which may include yours, tho), in the case of Nikon. Newer is better, but you don't need the really high-end stuff, since some of the semi-pro cameras are really good with noise nowadays, using the same processing engines as the 'big boys.'
There are no noise issues, more than can be expected. As Murray mentioned, your sensor, from 2008, which was probably designed a year or so before that, cannot compete with sensors on newer comparable cameras of today,
You little lurker you! Here's what I think you need to try. Go take an image, anything,using your system and then using a tripod and setting the ISO at 100 and using your +- add about 1/3 to 1/2 stop to your exposure, which as Murray has shown, is just a few bumps to the right, (+) and then get those two images onto the monitor and compare. See if there's any noise, in either. If you're hand holding your camera, then you're probably bumping the ISO a bit too, just to get the right aperture and shutter speed. Also, you do need to update your firmware. Look and see if it's something that's important and then just do it. It might have to do with noise, don't know,
...kinda like the knowledgeable male version of Laverne and Shirley for us fledgling photographers. ;c)
This is a very popular discussion with 941 responses. In order to help the page load faster and allow you to quickly read the most recent posts, we're only showing you the oldest 25 posts and the newest 25 posts. Everything in the middle has been skipped. Want to read the entire discussion? No problem: click here.
Rich, that's definitely a fine car shot. I guess I'm sort of on the fence regarding the 'paint daubs' thing. Looking at 100% I can see what it does... but I wonder if I wouldn't like it just as much without that effect.
You can never completely avoid reflections in the chrome, especially at a show. I don't think people really notice them and in fact, they're just perceived as part of the story.
The paint daubs will only be apparent in large sizes and I always can remove it, if a client wants a large print, but without the effect. On this car, it could be without and not much would change. And you may have not noticed, but I go in to the image and use the "history brush" and selectively remove some of the effect on things in the image that I want to stay sharp, so in this image, the logo on the grill, the headlights and a few other things had the effect removed, so it's almost a compromise!
I just did 9 new images in about 4-5 hours and most of it was cleaning the car of bugs and road dirt and reflections, of the photographer!!!
Rangefinder Magazine is a very good magazine for artists, primarily photographers, but good info for all. Every month, there is a "letter" from the head counsel of ASMP and talks about legal stuff and copyright. It has a bunch of new equipment reviewed and lot's of articles on improving your business. It's slanted mostly towards the portrait and wedding folk, but really good for all. This month is the "Marketing" issue, and the online version is below in PDF form.
And OH!!! Here in the states, it's free! A nice big glassy photo magazine,free!
Okay, sign me up! What do I do, where do I begin?? Does bribery work, lol? Seriously, I'll take the plunge. The last time I did such a thing it was very enjoyable and I learned a TON of stuff. Let's go!
Hmm, I'm not sure. Having jumped in with both feet I now feel terrified! What is the first thing you would have on the curriculum?
Where am I at? Everything I've done has been through trial and error, tips from others, personal experience, and some reading. I recently upgraded to new (and last) camera - Cannon 5D MarkII with some nice glass, but have found that I only get the sharpness I desire on the images if I use manual focus. I have recently decided my newest laptop is deceiving me because the images are brighter on other monitors.
Would you be so kind as to look over my images and tell me if I should concentrate on composition, subject, editing, etc., etc.?
Perhaps I should find a new hobby? Some have suggested that my location is a problem even.
Really, I don't take offense to constructive critisim and could use some real guidance so I'm open to suggestions =)
Have you maybe "selected" a broader "auto-focus" function, rather than the center focus? I use the 1Ds MKIII and have never had an issue with focus, other than when doing Macro stuff. I don't wear glasses, so that might be a difference too, but sharpness shouldn't be an issue with your camera and glass. We'll get back to this at another time, I'll give you an assignment!
Yes, I think you should move! I mean, who would won't to take any photos in Montana????LOL!!!!
New hobby, sure, farming, ant farming.
Next question: My overall sense is that you're good and have a good eye and a lousy laptop. Your images are mostly slightly light on my monitor. When I travel and take my laptop, I noly use the laptop to edit and never to adjust color,contrast,etc. An easy answer is a nice new sparkling clean monitor, that can sit next to your laptop. The nest bestest thing is a new, sparkling clean desktop and monitor or two(with the money you saved by not moving!).
The laptop issue is built into the screen itself, if you look one way, it's dark, look another way, it's light. A real monitor won't have that issue. My photo buddy, when he goes and shoots boats for a week or so at a time, sends his two 24" monitors to the site and works off the laptop and uses the monitors for photoshop stuff.
No real issues with your photography, some images could be straighten maybe or the perpective adjusted, but minor stuff, good work.
What are you using for editing, CS6 or something?
Homework time! Go out and get the newspaper and find a page with nice big type/font and also some some font and go outside and find aspot to tape it to a wall, not in the sun directly, but well lit. Get the tripod out of the closet and one of your favorite lenses and meet me out side.
Here we are, nice day! Ok about 20-30 feet away, you'll see the newspaper taped to the wall. I want you to set the fstop to about f8, ISO 100 and take 3 images each, 1 set with the auto-focus and 3 with your eyeball focus and then meet me inside.
Nice house! Ok, you're right about the laptop, but it's fine for what we're doing now. Put the images up on the monitor and choose the best one from each set and thenlet's see if there is an actual difference from the auto to the eyeball.
I'll do that as this week we are in the 90+ degree range so everything is 'well lit', lol. I shoot on a tripod 99% of the time due to an inherited familia shake, which means I pretty much shake all the time while holding the camera; hence the tripod.
I use lightroom 4 prevalantly, I have an old version of PS on a different laptop. That laptop has an excellent screen that doesn't change with position, but is running extreeeeemly slow...and PS on there was, ahem, never registered.
So I've a pretty darn good laptop that needs wiping and updating...(hope to do that one day soon)...and the other laptop that has a lousy screen but functions well enough. On this front, I will/need to wipe the Dell, install my lightroom on there, and use the other (Asus) for storage space I think.. At one point I was using an HD cable into the tv and everything looked beautiful, but not so much on the computers. =)
Well, anyway...I'll return when I have the newspapers photographed.
Sounds good. Buit if you are using a TV screen as a monitor, that might be the problem. Did I understand this right? You can get a good monitor for under $200 or so and an ok one for around $100 and both should be able to connect to your laptop. If you're going to get serious, down the road, you'll need a desktop, under $500 or so and a good 22-24" monitor.
I'm totally confused. How do I attach a L-Bracket to different tripod Quick Release Systems - neither of which are Arca-Swiss type. I have a Bogan quick release system that has a hexagonal release plate. The Manfroto type I have isn't one that resembles an Arca-Swiss either. Are L-Brackets exclusive to Arca-Swiss heads?
If I have to spend $395 USD for the Arca-Swiss Head with the camera plate recommended; it would be ridiculous to spend another $179 USD for the L-Bracket. So I am leaning to getting the Panosauris Rex 2.0 Panoramic Head for $95.00 that works with any head.
What am I missing? I like the Kirk L-Bracket, but I don't think it will work with my Bogan or Manfroto heads.
Rich, I sent you a pm to the focus test. Obvious that the auto focus did a better job on my 70-300 lens but I've seen a different result when doing close-up/macro/zooms but maybe because I know what I want to focus on when I do that so the result is closer to what I'm after then. This showed me when doing any distance to use the auto focus! My eyes are not very good - good test =)
Welcome to the wonderful world of tripod heads and accessories! I'd have to see the links for the gear you're talking about to know for sure, but most major tripod manufacturers design in stuff so that you neede to use their system only. Kirk maybe be different and a few other smaller companies might have some adapter plate, but Arca Swiss won't.
Take a few shots of what you're trying to do and email me on my real address: firstname.lastname@example.org
And I'll look. If you get an Arca Swiss, it will be the last L-bracket you'll ever buy! Look at what Manfrotto(bogen). Anyhting that Arca-Swiss makes, they make a cheaper version for their tripods :
On landscapes and such, I always rely on the Auto-focus, UNLESS there is an object that I want to use as the center of attention and then I'll manually focus on that or use the auto focus, then hold down the shutter button 1/2 way and re-compose the image. I NEVER use auto focus on my macro stuff.
Good easy way to test your camera and works everytime!
I checked out BH and discovered that the Manfrotto Q2 L Bracket will work with my D-300. I can adjust it so that the lens is centered over the tri-pod in the Vertical position for shooting Panoramic shots. I am not sure if this would work with multiple rows though. It looks a little more stury than the Panasaurus, but the Panasurus does work in Multiple Row shooting.
They are close in price - Here are the links for others that may be making the decision:
Hi Rich, I need help in getting the right color for my paintings,
I do a lot of southwest paintings in Turquoise background, It always comes out deep blue.
I have tried changing the color balance,(Idon't know what I'm doing there)
I am shooting them with a d90 and d600 lately. still no Turquoise. Help!!!!
I even googled for the answer and they gave me a tech who wanted $16. for the answer.
I just have had to learn about the camera on my own. I'm not a bright bulb so help!!!!!
I have taken the pictures in the shade and in the house. no Turquoise.
It's hot, but it's a dry heat huh? If you just had a nickel for everytime you heard this........
Anyway, turquoise, maybe that tough color to really and accurately copy.Are all the others exact? Hard to tell, huh? You need to get a standard set, something that you can accurately judge color with and looking for a slight color caste on something with strong colors, like yours is hard. You need something like this:
or even better, this:
Don't need to buy this chart, just run over to the Home Depot or Lowe's and grab some paint samples, grays and taupe, not color in them and then shoot them in front of your artwork and then see how they come out on the screen. If you see a color and you might, if your turquoise is coming out blue, then there's probably too much magenta in your monitor. You can set the camera for WB when you take the shot or just shoot it and then when the image is on the monitor, click on the gray card with your editing software and it's show you, you have a color caste in there.
What software are you using?
On my site and then down to Photoshop stuff, you'll see how I recommend making copies should be. And my tutorial is on here too, under "Rich's How to copy Artwork"
Thank you so much for getting back to me. I will try learning that.
I'm looking at my book d600 for dummies for what a CS6 is.
I can't believe how fast you got back to me.
And Yes Rich, it really is a dry heat here. 110degrees seems darn right cool now that we have been 119 etc.
Happy Fourth of July.
I've got a box of humidty Fed-Xing out to you, hope it works!
My bad. CS6 isn't a little knob on your camera, but a name for Photoshop, that all us know-it-alls call it. So anywho, what software do you use for editing your images? There's Photoshop Elements 11 or 12 now and that does plenty, for around $70 or so,depending on where you buy it. The big Photoshop, CS6 is closer to $700 and not really needed for most people.
For touchy color matches I usually take two shots at the same setting, On with the gray card and one without. That way I can bring them both up in Adobe Raw Processor and get the adjustments needed by using levels and clicking on the gray card while both were selected at the same time. I often adjust five or six at the same time using this method.
Yes that's a very good way to really get the color perfect. I've been suggesting that for years now. Gray is gray and will always work as the standard, as will white, but I prefer gray,since you can see any caste in the gray before you see it in a white image.