Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

Started Jan 21, 2013 | Discussions
heatherc Regular Member • Posts: 269
Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE
6

I have the 500D/T1i with the EFS 18-55 and 55-250 kit lenses and an older EF 50mm 1.8.

Recently I was thinking about getting more lenses as I was disappointed with the quality of some of my shots (especially macros and wildlife stuff), having upgraded from a Minolta A1.  I was thinking about a better zoom and a prime macro.  Then I did some reading on here and realised - it's not the camera or the lenses - it's ME.

I was simply expecting too much straight from the camera without making any effort.  Following some great advice on this forum given in various posts and the unofficial rebel FAQ (which is awesome BTW) I have made some significant changes to the way I have the camera set up and the post-processing I am doing and now I have no thoughts of getting any more lenses for some time.  Others have said much of this already elsewhere, but my main things were:

  • Take the UV filters off
  • Get the camera out of P and never put it back again (after all if you just want to point and shoot why don't you have a P&S camera...)
  • Macro - MF, manual mode, focus by moving back and forth, use flash, use extension tubes with 50mm, etc, etc
  • Better wildlife shots - I know it's obvious to most of YOU that if you have enough Megapixels it doesn't matter if the subject doesn't fill the frame, you can always crop it.  But - well yeah it's obvious to me now I've tried it!
  • Shoot RAW and use DPP properly instead of just downloading Jpeg straight to the PC
  • Get Photoshop Elements and use it
  • Canon picture styles.  Clearly I had not RTFM as I had not realised these existed.
  • RTFM.  Yes really.  I have also read a lot of posts on here and some great tutorials elsewhere on the web which have explained in small words exactly how to overcome the issues I had without spending a fortune on new glass
  • Take more pictures.  Yes I know this is not rocket science, but I wasn't doing it.

So the point of posting this is to say thank you to those who have posted on here before giving great advice to people like me.  I have read and I hope I may have even understood.  I may even post some pictures for C&C later if that's OK!

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Heather

The best picture you'll ever take is just around the corner...

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technophile Veteran Member • Posts: 3,337
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

A lot of good points in your post.  Sounds like you're off and running with renewed purpose.  Have fun and post some photos when you can.  There's always something new to learn from the people that make these forums valuable and fun at the same time.  

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,803
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE
1

heatherc wrote:

I have the 500D/T1i with the EFS 18-55 and 55-250 kit lenses and an older EF 50mm 1.8.

Recently I was thinking about getting more lenses as I was disappointed with the quality of some of my shots (especially macros and wildlife stuff), having upgraded from a Minolta A1. I was thinking about a better zoom and a prime macro. Then I did some reading on here and realised - it's not the camera or the lenses - it's ME.

I was simply expecting too much straight from the camera without making any effort. Following some great advice on this forum given in various posts and the unofficial rebel FAQ (which is awesome BTW) I have made some significant changes to the way I have the camera set up and the post-processing I am doing and now I have no thoughts of getting any more lenses for some time. Others have said much of this already elsewhere, but my main things were:

  • Take the UV filters off
  • Get the camera out of P and never put it back again (after all if you just want to point and shoot why don't you have a P&S camera...)
  • Macro - MF, manual mode, focus by moving back and forth, use flash, use extension tubes with 50mm, etc, etc
  • Better wildlife shots - I know it's obvious to most of YOU that if you have enough Megapixels it doesn't matter if the subject doesn't fill the frame, you can always crop it. But - well yeah it's obvious to me now I've tried it!
  • Shoot RAW and use DPP properly instead of just downloading Jpeg straight to the PC
  • Get Photoshop Elements and use it
  • Canon picture styles. Clearly I had not RTFM as I had not realised these existed.
  • RTFM. Yes really. I have also read a lot of posts on here and some great tutorials elsewhere on the web which have explained in small words exactly how to overcome the issues I had without spending a fortune on new glass
  • Take more pictures. Yes I know this is not rocket science, but I wasn't doing it.

So the point of posting this is to say thank you to those who have posted on here before giving great advice to people like me. I have read and I hope I may have even understood. I may even post some pictures for C&C later if that's OK!

all good stuff.

I highly recommend you only shoot manual mode indoors and use manual outdoors, but occasionally use AV outdoors.  Cameras are dumb.  You control the ss, AV, iso.

When you get into situations where you need to shoot iso1600 and above -- try ETTR in manual - in other words expose a bit right of center in RAW and bring the exposure back to center in DPP -- it will reduce your noise.  That is another reason to shoot in manual mode

Your lenses are good.  Your three would be the ones I recommend to get started.

But -- if more is in your future, here is what I'd recommend:

1) I found a used 60 f2.8 macro for $275 -- amazing macro and portrait lens!

2) Though the 50 f1.8 will do for photographing children indoors, it is a bit long.  The survey says most indoor users prefer the 35mm focal length on crop.  I got a 35 f2 lens for $289 and photograph children at F2.2

not to spend more of your money -- but just these two budget  lenses rock -- the 60 f2.8 and 35 f2.

And then one more thing if you keep spending to upgrade.  Selling the 500d and buying a $600 T4i would give you 1 extra stop in high iso and a touch screen and LV that is amazing.  But I wouldn't do it before the lenses I mentioned.

I know I'm mentioning upgrades when your thread is not about upgrades.  You are right to stay in a budget.  The advice I give is only for some that eventually want to increase tools and still remain on a budget without spending a fortune

good luck

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TTMartin
TTMartin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,304
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

MAC wrote:

all good stuff.

Agree!

I highly recommend you only shoot manual mode indoors and use manual outdoors, but occasionally use AV outdoors. Cameras are dumb. You control the ss, AV, iso.

Disagree, today's cameras are smarter than most owners. Too many of them read posts like this and end up with worse results than they would get leaving the camera in a more automatic mode. If you are smart enough to shoot in manual modes, you are smart enough to make sure the camera is doing what you want in non-manual modes.

When you get into situations where you need to shoot iso1600 and above -- try ETTR in manual - in other words expose a bit right of center in RAW and bring the exposure back to center in DPP -- it will reduce your noise. That is another reason to shoot in manual mode

I agree Canon cameras are much better off having their images pulled, rather than pushed. But, no need to go to manual mode to accomplish this when there is an exposure compensation setting.

Your lenses are good. Your three would be the ones I recommend to get started.

But -- if more is in your future, here is what I'd recommend:

1) I found a used 60 f2.8 macro for $275 -- amazing macro and portrait lens!

2) Though the 50 f1.8 will do for photographing children indoors, it is a bit long. The survey says most indoor users prefer the 35mm focal length on crop. I got a 35 f2 lens for $289 and photograph children at F2.2

not to spend more of your money -- but just these two budget lenses rock -- the 60 f2.8 and 35 f2.

Agree those are two good bang for the buck lenses. The Canon 50mm f/2.5 Compact (half) Macro is a good choice for someone who doesn't already have a 50mm lens.

And then one more thing if you keep spending to upgrade. Selling the 500d and buying a $600 T4i would give you 1 extra stop in high iso and a touch screen and LV that is amazing. But I wouldn't do it before the lenses I mentioned.

If someones reached the limits of the 500D/T1i they should also consider the XXD or an XD camera. But, I agree with the OP's concept of getting the most out of the gear that she owns. To add to her advise, use the sources available to know where your lenses perform the best. i.e. the 18-55mm is good from 18-24mm, great from 24-35mm, and you're much better off with the 50mm prime than using 55mm.

I know I'm mentioning upgrades when your thread is not about upgrades. You are right to stay in a budget. The advice I give is only for some that eventually want to increase tools and still remain on a budget without spending a fortune

good luck

Agree!

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photonius Veteran Member • Posts: 6,824
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

heatherc wrote:

I have the 500D/T1i with the EFS 18-55 and 55-250 kit lenses and an older EF 50mm 1.8.

Recently I was thinking about getting more lenses as I was disappointed with the quality of some of my shots (especially macros and wildlife stuff), having upgraded from a Minolta A1. I was thinking about a better zoom and a prime macro. Then I did some reading on here and realised - it's not the camera or the lenses - it's ME.

I was simply expecting too much straight from the camera without making any effort. Following some great advice on this forum given in various posts and the unofficial rebel FAQ (which is awesome BTW) I have made some significant changes to the way I have the camera set up and the post-processing I am doing and now I have no thoughts of getting any more lenses for some time. Others have said much of this already elsewhere, but my main things were:

Yes, it's technology, and to get most out of it, you have to know how it works. There is no computer yet that reads your mind to determine what exactly you want to achieve with a shot and sets all parameters right.

Take the UV filters off  => Or rather, only use good multicoated ones, and only if you need them.
  • Get the camera out of P and never put it back again (after all if you just want to point and shoot why don't you have a P&S camera...)
  • Macro - MF, manual mode, focus by moving back and forth, use flash, use extension tubes with 50mm, etc, etc
  • Better wildlife shots - I know it's obvious to most of YOU that if you have enough Megapixels it doesn't matter if the subject doesn't fill the frame, you can always crop it. But - well yeah it's obvious to me now I've tried it!
  • Shoot RAW and use DPP properly instead of just downloading Jpeg straight to the PC
  • Get Photoshop Elements and use it
  • Canon picture styles. Clearly I had not RTFM as I had not realised these existed.
  • RTFM. Yes really. I have also read a lot of posts on here and some great tutorials elsewhere on the web which have explained in small words exactly how to overcome the issues I had without spending a fortune on new glass
  • Take more pictures. Yes I know this is not rocket science, but I wasn't doing it.

So the point of posting this is to say thank you to those who have posted on here before giving great advice to people like me. I have read and I hope I may have even understood. I may even post some pictures for C&C later if that's OK!

Now, if one could only figure out how to added comments in a bulleted list so that they look like edits, rather than the OP's colors.  Technology.....

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,803
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE
1

TTMartin wrote:

I highly recommend you only shoot manual mode indoors and use manual outdoors, but occasionally use AV outdoors. Cameras are dumb. You control the ss, AV, iso.

Disagree, today's cameras are smarter than most owners. Too many of them read posts like this and end up with worse results than they would get leaving the camera in a more automatic mode. If you are smart enough to shoot in manual modes, you are smart enough to make sure the camera is doing what you want in non-manual modes.

maybe true about "most owners" but I think that the Op is working not to be "most owners".

I bought my first dslr, the 3.2 mpxl D30, in 2001 for $2K.  I made my mind up to put it in manual and leave it there.  The camera was smarter than me for two years, and as you said, I messed up a bunch of shots.  Once I became smarter than the camera, I moved on to 8 dslr's since and use manual extensively and only use AV when in changing light situations.  I shoot events and portraits and people pay me.  If you ask the pros, what I just said about Manual and AV is how most of them photograph also. They don't use picture styles- or auto dial settings for sports-- which some canon programmer said is best for pros.  They use manual and raw and Lightroom.

so rather than give the op the impression she is better off in auto modes -- I offer my tips below for her to take the quantum leap and get smarter than the camera:

1) Set the camera to Manual - it takes courage- but do it.

2) shoot raw and use DPP or better yet Lightroom

3) Look at your custom functions and set the camera to focus with the back * button and when you remove your thumb it will focus lock.  The half shutter will lock meter in AV mode, but in Manual Mode - and this is key -- you are looking for the pointer to be just past the half way mark In The Viewfinder -- before you shoot.

4) Almost ALWAYS -  Set the Shutter Speed first.  Your first Priority is to insure you have No Handshake and can Stop The Motion of the Subject when you handhold.  So the first order is to roughly calculate what is known as the inverse handheld rule for crop cameras:

1/(Focal Length x the 1.6 crop factor) = in general - it is the min. approx ss to handhold to prevent handshake.  So for the Op's 50 mm lens, the Inverse Handheld Rule is 1/(50 *1.6) = 1/80 ss minimun.  A SS of 1/80 will cover people standing and talking or group shots.  One could go down to ss 1/40 or ss 1/50 for a Full Frame camera with a 50 mm lens with people standing and talking because the denominator has 1.0 versus1.6 in the equation and standing in the same place with FF, the shooter is zoomed further away from the subject so that the magnification is not as zoomed in for the same generations of mpxl cameras.  Just a rule of thumb though.  If you can use more ss, without an increase in much noise, do so --The rule is a Minimum ss to get a frozen shot without motion blur.

Think Stationary Subject -- if you have 4 stop IS, and shooting the 100L macro which has a FOV of 160 mm FOV -- then 0 stops IS is ss 1/160; One stop IS is ss 1/80; 2 stops IS is ss 1/40; 3 Stops IS is ss 1/20; and be cautious about going the full 4 stops of ss 1/10.  The problem with the 135 F2 L on a crop body without IS then you are up to ss 1/216 -- and that is hard to achieve in low light

Think Standing,Talking - min. ss 1/40 -1/80 depending on focal length

Think Walking down the aisle - min. ss 1/125

Think Running Down the Aisle - min ss 1/160

Think Dancing - Min ss 1/200

Think Elementary Children's BBall - Min ss 1/250

Think HS/College Bball - ss 1/500

Think Volleyball - ss higher to stop the ball.

etc

5) Next -  SET APERTURE SECOND.  Think Aperture as Depth of Field.  Use a sharp Aperture if possible.  Get both eyes in.  Get a dof calculator and learn dof to know it on the fly.  For example, the Op's 50 is nicely sharp at F2.2 and will give a nice shallow dof and should be able to get both eyes in the dof if standing far enough away.  Learn the lenses -- where they are sharp and how far to stand away and there min focus distance.

6) Finally set ISO LAST -  just high enough to achieve the ss needed and the aperture desired and have that mark in the viewfinder go just beyond center - to have ETTR

My auto iso implentation in Live View on my T4i is really good  - even better than my 60d -- because in LV I can ETTR in manual mode with a slight shift of the camera's meter onto a dark area and then lock the meter with a half shutter.

Anyway YMMV

but there are some tips to go all manual indoors and outdoors -- and perhaps use AV outdoors when the lighting is changing

Good Luck!

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mfait Contributing Member • Posts: 674
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

TTMartin wrote:

MAC wrote:

all good stuff.

Agree!

I highly recommend you only shoot manual mode indoors and use manual outdoors, but occasionally use AV outdoors. Cameras are dumb. You control the ss, AV, iso.

Disagree, today's cameras are smarter than most owners. Too many of them read posts like this and end up with worse results than they would get leaving the camera in a more automatic mode. If you are smart enough to shoot in manual modes, you are smart enough to make sure the camera is doing what you want in non-manual modes.

Agree with your disagree.

Outdoors I always use Av as controlling the DOF is the most important to me.  Then if I don't get the shutter speed I want I either change the ISO or the aperture in the appropriate direction.

Indoors with flash I shoot manual and let automatic flash metering system do the work.  If I am not using the flash, then I go with Av mode.

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,803
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

mfait wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

MAC wrote:

all good stuff.

Agree!

I highly recommend you only shoot manual mode indoors and use manual outdoors, but occasionally use AV outdoors. Cameras are dumb. You control the ss, AV, iso.

Disagree, today's cameras are smarter than most owners. Too many of them read posts like this and end up with worse results than they would get leaving the camera in a more automatic mode. If you are smart enough to shoot in manual modes, you are smart enough to make sure the camera is doing what you want in non-manual modes.

Agree with your disagree.

Outdoors I always use Av as controlling the DOF is the most important to me. Then if I don't get the shutter speed I want I either change the ISO or the aperture in the appropriate direction.

Indoors with flash I shoot manual and let automatic flash metering system do the work. If I am not using the flash, then I go with Av mode.

AV gets one in trouble though in low light since not enough ss.  Even in good light there are advantages to manual.  Setting ss first saves time as you described redo above which would be happening more times than not in low light and the extra time you missed the shot.  Knowing the dials blind folded  and taking command of the parameters Focal LTH, SS, AV, ISO, gets you there quick.

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AvyMan
AvyMan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,170
The majority of my shots were in manual...

MAC wrote:

mfait wrote:

TTMartin wrote:

MAC wrote:

all good stuff.

Agree!

I highly recommend you only shoot manual mode indoors and use manual outdoors, but occasionally use AV outdoors. Cameras are dumb. You control the ss, AV, iso.

Disagree, today's cameras are smarter than most owners. Too many of them read posts like this and end up with worse results than they would get leaving the camera in a more automatic mode. If you are smart enough to shoot in manual modes, you are smart enough to make sure the camera is doing what you want in non-manual modes.

Agree with your disagree.

Outdoors I always use Av as controlling the DOF is the most important to me. Then if I don't get the shutter speed I want I either change the ISO or the aperture in the appropriate direction.

Indoors with flash I shoot manual and let automatic flash metering system do the work. If I am not using the flash, then I go with Av mode.

AV gets one in trouble though in low light since not enough ss. Even in good light there are advantages to manual. Setting ss first saves time as you described redo above which would be happening more times than not in low light and the extra time you missed the shot. Knowing the dials blind folded and taking command of the parameters Focal LTH, SS, AV, ISO, gets you there quick.

for over a year. It was good for learning and practice, and knowing the buttons and dials comes second nature after a while.

I shoot mostly landscapes and wildlife. Anymore I go by an "it depends" philosophy. It depends on the light, moving or stationary subject, desired DOF for the subject at hand, tripod or hand held, focal length, etc.

Some days being out 8-12 hours (well, in the summer anyway), it's not uncommon to encounter all of these sutuations so I'm flexible on settings for what works best at the time--Av, Tv, or Manual.

Then there's AI servo, MLU, metering mode, high or low speed continuous..... But those are another story. It's amazing what our cameras/lenses provide in the way of options 

Nick

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AvyMan
AvyMan Veteran Member • Posts: 3,170
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

Good points, Heather, and right-on thinking. Thanks for the thread.

Nick

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sailaway78
sailaway78 Regular Member • Posts: 233
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

Unless you have a specific problem that you know is a direct result of something the camera does or doesn't do, then any kind of upgrade isn't going to help you.  I just bought a 40D, to add to my T3.  But it was for a specific reason, mostly that of the burst capability of the 40D which the T3 just doesn't have. I don't think there is a camera out there that isn't capable of taking sharp, in focus pictures.  So, it you want to upgrade, know what your reason is, and that it is the camera.

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WilbaW
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,562
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

heatherc wrote:

it's not the camera or the lenses - it's ME.

Congratulations, you have achieved a critical point in your development as a photographer. 

the unofficial rebel FAQ (which is awesome BTW)

Thanks a bunch, I wrote it for you. Let me know if you can think of any way I can make it better.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Pitbullo Contributing Member • Posts: 561
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

I agree with most of this. I have a 550D, and have learned the hard way. I upgraded quite early, and bought a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 to replace the kit lens (18-135). Later I found out that the kit-lens is actually quite good! I still have purchased upgrades, but this is to add function, like a macro lens, or longer focal lentghs. My philosophy here is to buy quality. Wait until you know what you actually need, and buy a quality lens in stead of something needing replacement after a day due to soft pictures etc.

Google is cheaper than the camera store! Upgrade when you know what you need, not when you think you need.

happysnapper64 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,417
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

Hello Heather. I made the mistake of buying lenses before I knew I needed them. So, leson learned there. My biggest, but unfortunately not my only fault, is poor composition, usually getting too much detail in the shot. You seem to have a good grip on what you need, to become a good photographer. I only took it up 15 months ago so I don't beat myself up when thing s go wrong, as they often do. I think if I had stuck with the lenses I had at first, which were the 3 you have now, I would have learned a lot quicker. MAC has suggested you go to Manual mode, & even as a relative novice, I have to agree with him. I started with the Auto green square mode, but didn't feel comfortable. I went to Manual after extensive reading about exposure, & countless mistakes & poorly executed shots, but eventually got the hang of it. I feel I am a bit more knowledgeable about exposure than if I had stayed in Auto mode. I am, however, stuck with a lot of nicely exposed, but poorly composed images. There is always something else to learn. It's a good job I relish a challenge.

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photofanzM Regular Member • Posts: 104
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE
1

Great post!  I have the the three lens that you mentioned - the 18-55  - 55-250 and the 50mm F/1.8. that i use on a Rebel T3.  I get satisfying results so you can take good pictures with less expensive gear. (I've been shooting over 60 yrs. now and continue to learn new things all the time)

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technophile Veteran Member • Posts: 3,337
Interesting discussion, but where is heatherc?

Just wondering what she thinks of all this.  

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Dave Throgmartin
Dave Throgmartin Contributing Member • Posts: 877
Re: Making the most of the camera gear you HAVE

heatherc wrote:


  • Get Photoshop Elements and use it

Heather,

How are you finding Elements?

I find it very helpful on almost every picture for some level of shadow and highlight adjustment.  Levels changes can boost some shots.  Features like spot healing brush are great for fixing unwanted parts of the scene.  I've been using layers more and more to do more creative edits.  Finally, unsharpen mask has been a great find to for a "smart" sharpening tool.

Dave

OP heatherc Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: Interesting discussion, but where is heatherc?
1

technophile wrote:

Just wondering what she thinks of all this.

She's reading it all with great interest!  Lots of good points for me to think about here and thank you all for your responses.  I haven't gone "totally manual mode" but I have done some manual shots for some close-ups and I agree it does make you find out more about your camera settings and become familiar with them.  I understand the technical principles as I had my first film SLR in 1981 so it's not a question of understanding DoF and so on, more of actually putting it into practice.

I haven't tried ETTR manually yet though I have fiddled about with exposure compensation.

This made me laugh "There is no computer yet that reads your mind to determine what exactly you want to achieve with a shot and sets all parameters right. " - I think that's a good thing actually or everyone would be taking excellent shots all the time.  We should have to work at it a bit more than that!

I am now shooting RAW exclusively.  I suppose I was put off by the thought of having to post process everything but batch processing makes it easy and DPP seems more than adequate for the job as far as I am concerned.

I'm loving using Elements.  I had Paint shop Pro before but just about every "how to" on the web is written for Photoshop so it's much easier to learn how to do stuff and it also seems more intuitive.

Thanks for the lens upgrade suggestions also, but the point of the post was that I'm NOT going to upgrade yet.  As for having outgrown the 500D as someone suggested - I don't think that's likely for some years to come!

Thanks everyone!

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WilbaW
WilbaW Forum Pro • Posts: 11,562
Re: Interesting discussion, but where is heatherc?

heatherc wrote:

I haven't tried ETTR manually yet though I have fiddled about with exposure compensation.

It's the same thing either way. All that matters is where the meter needle is when the shutter fires. Have fun with it.

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,803
Re: Interesting discussion, but where is heatherc?

heatherc wrote:

technophile wrote:

Just wondering what she thinks of all this.

She's reading it all with great interest! Lots of good points for me to think about here and thank you all for your responses. I haven't gone "totally manual mode" but I have done some manual shots for some close-ups and I agree it does make you find out more about your camera settings and become familiar with them. I understand the technical principles as I had my first film SLR in 1981 so it's not a question of understanding DoF and so on, more of actually putting it into practice.

I haven't tried ETTR manually yet though I have fiddled about with exposure compensation.

This made me laugh "There is no computer yet that reads your mind to determine what exactly you want to achieve with a shot and sets all parameters right. " - I think that's a good thing actually or everyone would be taking excellent shots all the time. We should have to work at it a bit more than that!

I am now shooting RAW exclusively. I suppose I was put off by the thought of having to post process everything but batch processing makes it easy and DPP seems more than adequate for the job as far as I am concerned.

I'm loving using Elements. I had Paint shop Pro before but just about every "how to" on the web is written for Photoshop so it's much easier to learn how to do stuff and it also seems more intuitive.

Thanks for the lens upgrade suggestions also, but the point of the post was that I'm NOT going to upgrade yet. As for having outgrown the 500D as someone suggested - I don't think that's likely for some years to come!

Thanks everyone!

I use to have a 40d and thought I'd never upgrade.  then I upgraded to 60d and T4i.  What I found was the newer 18 mpxl cameras were 1 stop better in high iso noise

then I realized as far as noise capability that this is the difference  between an expensive F2.8 lens and a less expensive F4 lens.

Over in the lens forum some poster bought an expensive sigma 35 f1.4 for their 40d.  In terms of noise capability for the same money they could have bought the T4i and 35 f2 -- since the T4i is one stop better in high iso noise

if you decide to buy top tier lenses - first evaluate your bodies noise as it compares to newer bodies

and, as you said,  be happy with what you have until you need more

 MAC's gear list:MAC's gear list
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Canon EOS 7D Mark II Canon EOS Rebel T7i Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM +8 more
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