Optimal Equipment for Photography

(Larry) #22

I leave my camera set at RAW+JPEG. It is nice to have a JPEG available for immediate viewing on a laptop or iPad when travelling.

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(TERRY) #23

absolutely - LR CR etc not always available!

(SueClarkPhoto) #24

I’m like a few others that answered in favor of the big dslr cameras. I have a couple of the smaller Sony E-mount cameras and they take fine pictures but they don’t feel right in my hand. I much prefer my large Sony A-mount cameras as they feel right to me. Age probably has something to do with it, I’ve been shooting with SLR cameras since about 1980 so I’ve developed a certain manner of using the camera. I use the small ones on a tripod for light-tent shooting where the size doesn’t bother me. Cell phone - I make terrible images. I only use it for a quick grab shot when no other camera is available.

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(ScottO) #25

I have mine set that way too for similar reasons.

Indeed. Which I’m experiencing now on my old laptop. None of the software on this old thing can see the Nikon raw files on my D7000. But the built in MicroSoft camera tools works well enough to quickly grab the JPGs.

(Don) #26

I use RAW+JPG for my FujiFilm X100T but for the Canons I don’t bother because if I want to create a JPEG Canon has its own processing software on the camera so I can produce a JPEG in-camera.

And none have 4K video …

(Peter) #27

Honestly I do not shoot RAW + jpeg even though my camera can do so. All my jpegs have gone as RAWs through the conversion software and are then saved as .jpegs. But yes there might be reasons to shoot both.

(Flick) #28

As far as shooting format I am also a believer in RAW+jpeg for many of the reasons already given.

As far as camera size goes I am first of all reminded of the time I went to go into a zoo and asked for a senior discount. As I got ready to show my discount card the ticket seller said “I don’t need to see that as you are obviously a senior.” A little insulted I asked how she could tell and was told “only a senior would carry a camera that large”.

Seriously I think you should use the camera size/resolution/lens quality that best fits you, what you plan to do with the image, and also your budget.

(John B) #29

I use Lightroom to catalog and do a lot of the basic processing. I have created Import Presets that convert my images to the same settings as I can get from the camera for jpegs; I also have it apply the camera/lens corrections during import. This does 2 things. It gives me a good starting point for my editing and if I need a jpeg for something it is immediately available for export. I have one preset I use for Landscapes another I use for portraits. This saves space on my card in camera and on my hard drives.

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(Kenneth Kovach) #30

The good news is that you can shoot RAW with a cell phone these days - but I still prefer my DSLR.


(TERRY) #31

@AiDon - and the Fujifilm cameras have built in “looks” as JPGs and with RAW enabled at least you have something to which you may return should the “look” fail you
@FlickColeman I find the story both amusing and saddening - I’d have been escorted off the premises!
@KenKv - exactly so and this is why I commented that convergence is more than a dream

(Richard) #32

I’m seeing that the images from my point-n-shoot are not as pleasing as the images from my Nikon D300
Upon close examination I can see the pixel stair-stepping squares more easily from the point-n-shoot. The larger image from the D300 produces an image with more color variations (dynamic range?) and smoother images. It also takes a lot longer to process the images from the D300

I’d like to upgrade to a new full frame camera but the added pixels will require more time to process.
But doing so will require more processing time and possibly a new faster graphics capable computer.
Perhaps I could reduce the original image size and perform experiments on it to find the “best” result, and then go back to the full size image and processes it - maybe save myself the cost of upgrading the computer hardware.

Example has a couple of filters from Topaz Simplify and some pixel airbrushing in Paint Shop Pro

(ScottO) #33

From this statement, I infer the point-n-shoot has fewer pixels than the 12 megapixels of the D300? OR, you’re processing JPEGs from the point-n-shoot and RAW images from the D300?

You certainly should expect images with fewer pixels to break down sooner as you increase the number processing steps. Digital post-processing has the same limitations as printing. Images with fewer pixels can’t be printed as large as those with more pixels. When processing images with fewer pixels, you can’t be as heavyhanded with any of the adjustments as you can on larger images. You also can’t push those sliders around as much on JPEGs as you can on RAW images.

What full frame camera might you get? If you get something with 24 or 36 megapixels, do you have the lenses to take advantage of such a pixel count and image quality on such a full frame body? If not, upgrading lenses will/could cost WAY more than any computer upgrades needed for larger image file processing.

Note too that a used Nikon D700 is 12 megapixels and so wouldn’t take any more processing time than your D300. It would have less noise than your D300, but I don’t know that there’d be any other advantages.

Best regards

(Richard) #34

I have two lenses that are designed for the full frame Nikon. I’m looking at their D810 or D850 - both are 36 megapixel machines. And I would like to add another couple of lenses such as the Zeiss or Schnieder makes. The results from my current Sigma 70-300 APO lens always produce slightly superior images than any lens from Nikon.

(Denise) #35

To the point about “downsizing” to phone or P&S, I have to say that my next “must buy” camera is the new iPhone. Why? Augmented Reality and 3D. Who else is putting 3D photography in the hands of consumers, and at that price point? Have you seen how you can take a pic of a space, and then “drop” objects into the picture? A whole new way to buy furniture! Or the app you can add onto an iOS 11 phone that lets you measure objects, and the distance between points? How helpful will that be to first responders, realtors, tradespeople and decorators?

And over the long term, is there any real reason to design and make SLR cameras? Why not just move the tech to mirrorless? I’m still shopping for a camera that does some of what the iPhone does without me even thinking about it, HDR, low light shooting with image stabilization, along with quality lenses that don’t distort shapes. (my biggest gripe with my current iPhone, which I still prefer to my 6 year old lower-end Canon Rebel.)Sure there are a few camera options that will be great tech for a year. Not sure what camera is worth investing in long term.

(Don) #36

It is simply the quality of the lenses you use with any camera as opposed to a phone … therefore giving you great quality pics especially if you want to print.

If you are just posting on the web it doesn’t matter as, for example Facebook, the image resolution is changed when uploaded.

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(Kenneth Kovach) #37

The phone makers have done amazing things, but at the end of the day, most phones have one wide-angle, fixed focal length lens with digital enlargement marketed as zoom…

(Denise) #38

True, just wish I could put a beautiful glass lens on that new phone! Any camera suggestions, for low light, image stability, HDR, and good lens quality?

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(Stephen Campbell) #39

Like the author, Jason Row, I had been a dyed in the wool Nikon user clear back to the days of film. When I migrated to digital I toyed with staying with Nikon but I found that they were heavy and my once steady pulse was not willing to support the Nikon with anything but its short prime lenses.

I found the Panasonic Lumix G6 ideal and well within the price point I was willing to invest. Today, that G6 is accompanied by GX8 and an array of glass from Lumix, Olympus and Rokinon. Soon some Lensbaby glass will join the arsenal. When I am out on a shoot the bodies and specific lenses come with me.

Lima is a city of 10 million plus with the attendant risks that a metropolis of this kind has. Unfortunately, security, in particular petty theft, is a concern. When I am out of the city I am comfortable with carrying my expensive gear. But, in town, unless I am accompanied by a body guard, my walk around camera is a Point and Shoot Lumix ZS50 which has a modicum of possible adjustments and a lens with an electronic zoom to the equivalent of 720mm. It is unobtrusive and the images are quite respectable. I don’t leave home without it.

I do a fair amount of I-Phone photography and have gotten some excellent results; but, I am in accord that they have their limitations…though the software side of the equation is able to create some amazing results. I am looking forward to using the new 8S when it becomes available in this market. From what I have read, the optics are slightly improved however the software produces some fine images from the limitations of the optics.

Phones and their use as cameras have become so ubiquitous that I have been in several situations where I have recorded scenes or events without calling the least bit of attention. Had I pulled out even my Lumix ZS50 I would have encountered resistance or created a scene. So, on the street, depending on where, the phone may get the nod.

We are definitely living in a rapidly evolving photographic environment.

(TERRY) #40

Time for basic physics-----
To prevent the camera or cellphone bouncing up/down at the time of exposure requires a turning force applied from your back muscles through the pivot of your shoulder
The cellphone is normally held at about 450mm from the turning point and a DSLR/CSC held at the eye is about 150mm from the turning point.
A cellphone has mass of about 150g so any DSLR/CSC of about 450g or less will need less turning force.
The movement in the camera must be less than 0.1mm as an equivalent at the printing stage otherwise the blur will exceed the circle of confusion and be noticeable. For a cellphone at arms length this probable is 0.1mm because the arm acts like a distance multiplier as a lever but for a DSLR/CSC the distance in the lever is much smaller and the movement is not so amplified.
Say what you like about any cellphone working in JPG mode — you are at the mercy of the on-board software and reliant on that software to iron out the anomalies in the cast resin lens - in RAW you can create your own profiles but then it’s down to your skill level. Cellphone images are ephemeral and transient because most are for web display as self promotion. At 72 to 96 ppi they are not exactly demanding of the camera or the software. Even the coarsest lens will not be poor at this resolution. Printing needs 250 to 300 ppi and a poor lens cannot hide here.
I know that camera and cellphone technology is converging but I don’t see the day when even the best cellphone will surpass the best DSLR. They are designed for different tasks

(Denise) #41

Stephen, I learned a lot from your post. It is true that you have some nice lenses to choose from. Also, I think image stabilization technology is actually a very elegant solution, and certainly less cumbersome than carrying around a tripod. I do a lot of interior shots, and then have other family activities like low lit stage performances and indoor volleyball games. So that I can shoot in fairly low light, I think I’ll be purchasing the Sony Alpha a7 II Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 28-70mm Lens this week. (Of course I will be also picking up the iPhone X eventually, but can run the new ios 11 on my current phone.) The Sony seems like a nice balance between current technology, lens quality, and access to traditional camera features. For about $1,700 US, it seems like a reasonable value. It has 5 axis image stabilization, and good sensitivity in low light. Any other camera recommendations, given the kind of shooting described?