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Thread: Observations of a new DSLR user

  1. #1

    Default Observations of a new DSLR user

    Hi all
    I bought a second hand one and have been using it a few times now (clocked about 600 images so far). I must say I was expecting my DSLR to perform better than your mid range compact like the Lumix FZ7, but was somewhat disappointed with my efforts for far.

    As far as point and shoot is concerned, even my Fuji V10 outperformed the Canon DSLR in auto mode (if you discount noise and DOF effects) for general photography !! I'm talking about % of photos turning out right for a set sample. I guess POS are designed to be auto-biaised whereas DSLR is tuned more to user adjustments.

    I realised the DSLR will deliver only if you know what to set and fine tune. Many of my shots needed to be improved. I'm sure once you get used to the DSLR and is very familiar with the various custom settings, it will likely deliver.
    Meanwhile, I am on the learning curve! :-)
    Last edited by airconvent; 22nd June 2006 at 01:34 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    IF you are refering to the "sharpness" on the pic, then sharpness setting in the DSLR can be increased to match the P&S.

    But normally, DSLR users prefer to tweak the sharpness in PC to have more control such that the pic does not become over-sharpen.

    BTW if you are comparing a DSLR shooting at darken resturant without flash vs a P&S, it's not direct comparision.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN
    IF you are refering to the "sharpness" on the pic, then sharpness setting in the DSLR can be increased to match the P&S.

    But normally, DSLR users prefer to tweak the sharpness in PC to have more control such that the pic does not become over-sharpen.

    BTW if you are comparing a DSLR shooting at darken resturant without flash vs a P&S, it's not direct comparision.
    actually it is a comparison...the actual environment is seldom good. apart from the "special expeditions" , generally in everyday life, we are expected to shoot images under all kinds of conditions and the P&S has been optimised to give a decent output. the dslr can definitely give better images but tweaking is required. so far my dslr images have been less perfect than my p&s shots in default auto mode. What I do like about the pentax I got is the ease of bokeh effect especially with the 70-300mm lens that I tried out today.
    now that's something I had to do much more to squeeze from my p&s.

    btw, I did notice the shots always look great in the viewfinder but somehow the finished product is different...sigh..
    Last edited by airconvent; 22nd June 2006 at 02:25 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Quote Originally Posted by airconvent
    actually it is a comparison...the actual environment is seldom good. apart from the "special expeditions" , generally in everyday life, we are expected to shoot images under all kinds of conditions and the P&S has been optimised to give a decent output. the dslr can definitely give better images but tweaking is required. so far my dslr images have been less perfect than my p&s shots in default auto mode. What I do like about the pentax I got is the ease of bokeh effect especially with the 70-300mm lens that I tried out today.
    now that's something I had to do much more to squeeze from my p&s.
    check your settings that the "exposure compensation" is 0.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN
    check your settings that the "exposure compensation" is 0.
    i did but it was too late. some colleagues playing with my camera left the setting at +1.5 so 3/4 of shots were overexposed slightly. otherwise the problems were more on focussing, contrast , etc.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Quote Originally Posted by airconvent
    i did but it was too late. some colleagues playing with my camera left the setting at +1.5 so 3/4 of shots were overexposed slightly. otherwise the problems were more on focussing, contrast , etc.
    contrast @ ISO3200?
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    strangely, most of the shots taken are at ISO 200....
    not one actually went to ISO 800. only time was when I was indoors with bad lighting and I force the camera to iso 3200 but shots were noisy so I switched it back to auto.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Hi

    Have some question about the dslr.

    I also noticed that the view through the view finder is normally very good but the image that was eventually taken is not as good as what I see on the view finder. For those shallow depth of field images, they look great on the viewfinder but the image is flatter. is there any adjustment I can do to improve on this?

    Also, I have seen images of full length person in a wide view with a blurred background. They look stunning. However, I found that I had to be very near the subject to get that effect even using a 300mm lens. This meant the sbject has to be very near the camera. Is there any way to achieve full body bokeh shots. or are these photographers using really high end f/1.8 lenses?

    For aperture priority, I noticed that I am unable to set to lowest setting all the time. the aperture can only go as low as f/5.6 sometimes. is this because the camera is in auto and it has set the lowest possible for the metered environment?

    Thanks for the advice.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    "3D-ness" of an image depends mostly on the quality of the lens.

    Background off focus or bokeh as they like to call it also depends on the focal length, distance of the subject and the distance of the background. This has got to do with the depth of field.

    I'm not very good with these technical terms but I hope this can help you with some keywords to search on google for a more precise explanation.

    If I'm not wrong, you're getting max arperture at f5.6 cos your lens is fully zoomed. At max zoom your kit lens is at f5.6.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Quote Originally Posted by airconvent
    Hi

    Have some question about the dslr.

    I also noticed that the view through the view finder is normally very good but the image that was eventually taken is not as good as what I see on the view finder.

    Also, I have seen images of full length person in a wide view with a blurred background. They look stunning. However, I found that I had to be very near the subject to get that effect even using a 300mm lens. This meant the sbject has to be very near the camera. Is there any way to achieve full body bokeh shots. or are these photographers using really high end f/1.8 lenses?



    For aperture priority, I noticed that I am unable to set to lowest setting all the time. the aperture can only go as low as f/5.6 sometimes. is this because the camera is in auto and it has set the lowest possible for the metered environment?

    Thanks for the advice.
    Every photographer finds that what you 'think' you see is often not what you are really seeing, which is why you often find terrible faults of composition (like a tree growing out of somebody's head, or a street light in just the wrong position) in the photo that you just didn't see through the viewfinder. This is one reason why P&S cams are so popular - it is somehow easier to see these things on an lcd, although I hate them.

    Shouldn't be difficult to get the effect you want: blurred background = smaller depth of field. DOF gets smaller as the aperture increases (i.e. the f-number reduces). So it's easier at f2.8 than at f11. Blurred background is also easier to achieve with a longer-focal length lens, so if you are using a 300mm lens and your subject is quite near to you the background will certainly be blurred. Problem is, you are probably shooting one eye and one ear and nothing else. 50-70mm is a good length for portraits (on your dslr roughly equivalent to 75-100 on a 35mm film camera).

    If you are shooting on AV, you can set whatever aperture setting you like. Problem is, the widest aperture at full zoom is probably not as wide as what the lens will do at shortest zoom - more expensive lenses are 'constant aperture', and don't change. But all the kit lenses go from 3.5 at wide to 4.5 at full zoom (or something like that); or if it is a tele lens, 5.6 is quite likely the widest at full zoom.

    A lot of people find a dslr disappointing to begin with - that's because a P&S tweaks the picture quite heavily whether you like it or not - more contrast, more saturation, more sharpening. A DSLR gives you the option. But if you set it to maximum saturation, maximum sharpness and maximum contrast, you will something which looks closer - but you may mess up your shot in the process. It helps a lot if you learn the basics of something like Photoshop Elements - then then you can achieve the effect you want, including using RAW files.

    Sorry to ramble on - but don't be discouraged.

    Tim

  11. #11

    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    thanks for the tip, tim!
    I did notice my day shots were really quite good (for me anyway).

    I need to work alot on the composition thingy though but it will be difficult because the advice tend to be very abstract...you know "feel the subject" or "try and bring out the interpretation" or something like that...not like the "take picture at 45 deg etc"..heh heh

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Observations of a new DSLR user

    Quote Originally Posted by airconvent
    thanks for the tip, tim!
    I did notice my day shots were really quite good (for me anyway).

    I need to work alot on the composition thingy though but it will be difficult because the advice tend to be very abstract...you know "feel the subject" or "try and bring out the interpretation" or something like that...not like the "take picture at 45 deg etc"..heh heh
    I know exactly what you mean - 'every photo should express an emotion'. Yeah, well ... For me getting the horizon horizontal and the verticals vertical is enouogh of a challenge

    Tim

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