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Thread: Need help with my 1st DSLR

  1. #21
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    1) Your tank is quite well lit
    2) You're using about ISO 100/200, so noise on S5is should be minimal
    3) Shutter speed is about 1/100 - 1/200s

    I think these are decent (almost ideal) conditions. I don't see why the S5is should be hindering your fish photography in any way.
    Furthermore with the prosumers like S5is, macro function is built-in. You don't need to purchase an additional macro lens to get up close to the fish, as you would require with a DSLR.

    Try experimenting with better lighting to get more interesting effects as well. Don't immediately jump on the DSLR bandwagon.
    Exploring! :)

  2. #22

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    1) Your tank is quite well lit
    2) You're using about ISO 100/200, so noise on S5is should be minimal
    3) Shutter speed is about 1/100 - 1/200s

    I think these are decent (almost ideal) conditions. I don't see why the S5is should be hindering your fish photography in any way.
    Furthermore with the prosumers like S5is, macro function is built-in. You don't need to purchase an additional macro lens to get up close to the fish, as you would require with a DSLR.

    Try experimenting with better lighting to get more interesting effects as well. Don't immediately jump on the DSLR bandwagon.
    Thanks ZereocoolAstra for your input. I read somewhere from the forum that Canon and Nikon both do not have Image Stabilizing in their DSLRs? What about for my current S5IS, does it have this function ?

    To my newbie knowledge (after playing with my S5IS for a year), what I tend to do is to put my Aperture to the minimal (f2.7 in my case, or f3.5 in some occasions) and maximise my shutter speed so that I can capture the shot even at that small movement. I saw on some articles and tried with my friend's E400D and found out that with a DSLR these limitations would be reduced (I did f1.8 on his camera and with better shutter speeds).

    Secondly, the lighting isn't really as bright as expected.. I think my shot was taken at ISO400.. I was recommended ISO200 by Canon Staff but I just couldn't take bright enough shots under those conditions, so I thought a CMOS Sensor DSLR would help.

    Thanks.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    S5IS comes with image stabiliser. IS at the back indicates that. Perhaps you would like to read the manual first.

    Lighting wise, better to increase it rather than chasing over a CMOS sensor. There is only so much a CMOS sensor can do over a CCD sensor. Do read the differences of the 2. It's the image size that matters if you're talking about the image quality.
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Being own a S3IS before, I would say that its a very capable camera. But low light is really its limitation...AF is slow too. However, like I mentioned, your tank is well lit, so it should hit the limitation of the S5IS. Since you are keen with Canon 450D, why not invest in a Canon Flash light for the S5IS first to see the effect. May be S5IS with External Flash is more than enough for you. If in the end you really want to go into DSLR, then the flash can still be used.

    f1.8 may not be the solution to all situation. The shallow DOF may not be good for some occasion. Improving the light is a better solution. May be more fish tank light place at the side of the tank.

  5. #25

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by lastboltnut View Post
    Being own a S3IS before, I would say that its a very capable camera. But low light is really its limitation...AF is slow too. However, like I mentioned, your tank is well lit, so it should hit the limitation of the S5IS. Since you are keen with Canon 450D, why not invest in a Canon Flash light for the S5IS first to see the effect. May be S5IS with External Flash is more than enough for you. If in the end you really want to go into DSLR, then the flash can still be used.

    f1.8 may not be the solution to all situation. The shallow DOF may not be good for some occasion. Improving the light is a better solution. May be more fish tank light place at the side of the tank.
    Ok ! Thanks for the input. Would EX430 or EX430-II be a better choice ? Flash diffuser would be a must right ?

    The photo I showed was when picture was taken with 2x Aquarium Light Sets. When I go out (e.g Fish Farms, Exhibitions) to take photos, normally I only have the luxury of 1 set of Aquarium Lighting, so I am also wondering if the S5IS + Flash Light would work. Was thinking of EX430-II.
    Last edited by xiia0beN; 30th November 2008 at 11:43 PM.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    I just tested my S5IS again with some stuff I picked up from some little researching..







    I personally felt that the last 2 shots were good, maybe because my Stingray was cooperative and didn't move much. As for my Arowana, couldn't really get any good shot today, but I feel that this shot is really good cause in Fish Photography, it's hardest to capture the core colour of the fish, especially that of a young Arowana. But as you can see, the blue core is clearly display in this shot.

    I found out that a great limitation is that the flash takes too long to load and moreover it's too glaring. I think like what bro lastboltnut has mentioned, the Canon Flash Light (EX430-II) might work well with a light diffuser.

    I've also managed to understand the importance of Aperture rather than putting all focus on Shutter Speed. f/3.5 is a nice number I really like playing with. A good balance of aperture and shutter speed would be what I would need for nice photos. Like what Zerocoolastra said, maybe I should think properly and learn before jumping onto the DSLR bandwagon. After doing some proper learning, I don't see a reason why my S5IS cannot do well for my usage with the Flash Light alone.

    I have also ordered a volume of 'The Digital Photography' to Read, Shoot, and Learn. Hopefully, I'll gain more experience and knowledge and be able to apply it. Hope that I can upload some decent shots from my S5IS soon!

    One last question. For the EX430-II, what's the difference between using a Bounce Card and a Diffuser ? I don't really understand what I have read.
    Last edited by xiia0beN; 1st December 2008 at 02:14 AM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    I can't comment on the pics now as my company has blocked all images from showing...but I guess some exif data will be good for those who can see to give their inputs.

    For the build in flash, if you find it too glaring, you can try to implement a diffuser, a quick one is to cover it with a single ply of tissue paper. You can compensate the flash to a lower output. External flash is necessary only with you want to bounce or when the built-in flash has insufficient power or off-shoe firing...may be you try more with your built-in flash since you are now quite happy with it...

    I am not a Canon user, so I am not sure about Canon flash. But generally Bounce Card is used to bounce the flash to the subject and a diffuser is used to scatter the flash before it reaches the subject. Both are to make the light softer. But the direct of the light may be different.

    Hope this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by xiia0beN View Post
    I just tested my S5IS again with some stuff I picked up from some little researching..







    I personally felt that the last 2 shots were good, maybe because my Stingray was cooperative and didn't move much. As for my Arowana, couldn't really get any good shot today, but I feel that this shot is really good cause in Fish Photography, it's hardest to capture the core colour of the fish, especially that of a young Arowana. But as you can see, the blue core is clearly display in this shot.

    I found out that a great limitation is that the flash takes too long to load and moreover it's too glaring. I think like what bro lastboltnut has mentioned, the Canon Flash Light (EX430-II) might work well with a light diffuser.

    I've also managed to understand the importance of Aperture rather than putting all focus on Shutter Speed. f/3.5 is a nice number I really like playing with. A good balance of aperture and shutter speed would be what I would need for nice photos. Like what Zerocoolastra said, maybe I should think properly and learn before jumping onto the DSLR bandwagon. After doing some proper learning, I don't see a reason why my S5IS cannot do well for my usage with the Flash Light alone.

    I have also ordered a volume of 'The Digital Photography' to Read, Shoot, and Learn. Hopefully, I'll gain more experience and knowledge and be able to apply it. Hope that I can upload some decent shots from my S5IS soon!

    One last question. For the EX430-II, what's the difference between using a Bounce Card and a Diffuser ? I don't really understand what I have read.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    All my pics taken without flash. My in-built flash cannot make it. Takes too long.. I think external flash is a must.

    For external flash, can i buy a diffuser cap ??

  9. #29

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    why no one mention prime lens?
    50mm f1.8 or 50mmf1.4 - cheap and gd!
    not to mention they give excellent bokeh!!

    as for flash...since u are shoot so close...u dun need for now.
    however if u get a flash...that can bounce...then u dun need a low light lens.

    just trying to cut cost for u =p. play ard with what u have first...dun get suck into BBB virus.

    i shoot my hamsters that runs around in low light too using nikon f1.4 which cost 300 plus resale. i didnt flash on them...flash scare my hamster away

  10. #30

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Yes ! Flash tends to scare animals away.. I think i overlooked that ! How much does Prime Lense cost ? Is it compatible with 450D ?

    Think i will try out all options (borrow E400D from friend and see if he got suitable flash for my S5IS) and see what is best. Was actually thinking of just getting flash and wait for around a year and get a better level DSLR if I really have a need to. (e.g 50D)

  11. #31
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by xiia0beN View Post
    Yes ! Flash tends to scare animals away.. I think i overlooked that ! How much does Prime Lense cost ? Is it compatible with 450D ?

    Think i will try out all options (borrow E400D from friend and see if he got suitable flash for my S5IS) and see what is best. Was actually thinking of just getting flash and wait for around a year and get a better level DSLR if I really have a need to. (e.g 50D)
    hahahah 50D is NOT entry-level DSLR hor??
    A prime lens is ANY lens with a fixed focal length, i.e. it has no zoom function.
    There are MANY of them in the market for all the major brands, so it's impossible to give you a price. The range is from $100+ to many thousands!
    Your photos look rather 'cold' due to the white lighting. You should experiment with slightly 'warmer' lighting, and a bit of directional (e.g. a beam of light from a certain angle) This can be used to highlight certain features of your subject (fish).
    Exploring! :)

  12. #32

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Ok thanks. I will try and play around. Is a set of slave flash or studio lighting recommended as an add on for angled lighting ?

    Was thinking of trying with this first before i think of getting EX430-II

  13. #33
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    i was thinking more of halogen lamps.
    If you're at home, power supply is always handy.
    perhaps 2 or 3 halogen lamps (the kind used for down-lights) at different angles will highlight some interesting features on the fish bodies.
    good luck!
    have fun experimenting!
    Exploring! :)

  14. #34

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    i was thinking more of halogen lamps.
    If you're at home, power supply is always handy.
    perhaps 2 or 3 halogen lamps (the kind used for down-lights) at different angles will highlight some interesting features on the fish bodies.
    good luck!
    have fun experimenting!
    Ok thanks for the input. Will invest in a set of light stands with halogen lamps Hopefully it works well enough without the flash

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    To be frank, if you really spend a lot on the stand, then you may as well just get a flash light where you can use it for all photography purposes....but if the light investment is minimum, then its ok to make it a permanent set up for home use (other than fish, you may use them for still life with a ligth tent.

    Quote Originally Posted by xiia0beN View Post
    Ok thanks for the input. Will invest in a set of light stands with halogen lamps Hopefully it works well enough without the flash

  16. #36

    Default Re: Need help with my 1st DSLR

    Ok thanks for the input.

    Currently reading both Volumes of 'Digital Photography', and I must say it's an inspiring and enriching experience ! Learned many things, and I'll apply whatever I can to my S5IS, and after that, when the time is right, move on to a DSLR.

    Thanks !

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