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DSLR Photography for beginner - How to shoot like a Pro.

 
Old Nov 21, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Fantastic write-up. Can you elaborate on RAW more? (or throw a link) I've shot in RAW before, but didn't really know what to do with it, or how to convert it to jpg.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
Fantastic write-up. Can you elaborate on RAW more? (or throw a link) I've shot in RAW before, but didn't really know what to do with it, or how to convert it to jpg.
RAW is basically a format that allows you to readjust almost every aspect of a photo in Photoshop (I'm using Photoshop CS3). When you take a photo, a camera can only "assume" how much light to take in, how sharp the picture is, how much black is in a picture, etc. Obviously the more expensive camera does this better than a cheaper camera, but ultimately, not many shots will be what your eyes see.

What RAW does is give you a chance to readjust those things after you upload it into the computer. This allows you to readjust everything from sharpness, to exposure and the key is to not over-do it. You want to adjust it to how you think it looks most "natural".I think there are a few programs out there that reads and allows adjustment with RAW but I only use CS3 - it's simply the best

Here's a sample of how it looks uploaded to CS3



I highly suggest taking a photo in RAW + L instead of just RAW. What this does is when a picture is taken in L (biggest JPEG format) you can go back and see how the camera interpret the lighting, etc at the time you shot the photo. Then you can use it as a "guide" so to speak to adjust your RAW photo.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 12:53 PM
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I use CS2, is it worth the upragde?

And how do you adjust all those things? just normal Image>adjustments>exposure?
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Alvin, great right-up. The wife and I have been debating about picking up a GOOD camera but I'm scared of having to mess with all the settings. This makes it MUCH easier and makes me want to pick one up NOW.

If you don't mind, I'm gonna steal your OP and sticky it on my forum (club808.net), especially since a certain member on there thinks his P+S can take as good a picture as a DSLR.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Swashbuckler View Post
I use CS2, is it worth the upragde?

And how do you adjust all those things? just normal Image>adjustments>exposure?
CS2 should be able to read RAW files. You just need CAMERA RAW 4.6 (free) from ADOBE. You can get it on their website. CS3 is really awesome though so if you can get it cheap then it's worth the upgrade.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by bboypuertoroc View Post
Alvin, great right-up. The wife and I have been debating about picking up a GOOD camera but I'm scared of having to mess with all the settings. This makes it MUCH easier and makes me want to pick one up NOW.

If you don't mind, I'm gonna steal your OP and sticky it on my forum (club808.net), especially since a certain member on there thinks his P+S can take as good a picture as a DSLR.
Sure thing bro, let me know if I can help you with any of this. And yeah...your member on the forum fails he'll never be able to get great photos without a DSLR, it's likely he'll get a decent photo...but not to the same level as someone with a DSLR & Photoshop
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 09:28 PM
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How do you know which lens is right for you? Which lens should a beginner start with?
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedIXMR View Post
How do you know which lens is right for you? Which lens should a beginner start with?
I would go with the kit lens included with the camera. You'll find that most kit lens from Canon and Nikon are very versitile and are really good for any occasion, in fact, the kit lens' lightness and medium range is good for a lot of shots. I haven't gotten a new lens (though I have borrowed a few from my buddy) I still use my kit 18-55mm lens for everything. I like the XSi's kit lens as well because it's got IS, which is Image Stabilization, it helps with situations where I don't have a tripod and my hands aren't steady.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 04:21 PM
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hi alvin, for shots taken in jpeg format, will i be able to make adjustments with those, or only the one's taken in raw....?

i love taking pictures with my xti, learning how to use manual mode, but it seems like the pics i take, it looks the same taken with full auto and manual mode....having problems with white balance, can't quite figure out which setting to use....

thanks
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GokuSs4 View Post
hi alvin, for shots taken in jpeg format, will i be able to make adjustments with those, or only the one's taken in raw....?

i love taking pictures with my xti, learning how to use manual mode, but it seems like the pics i take, it looks the same taken with full auto and manual mode....having problems with white balance, can't quite figure out which setting to use....

thanks
Hey bro,

The adjustments can only be made in RAW. So, what I suggest is you do the above which is take the pictures in RAW + L. As for the pictures you're having problems with, do you use a tripod in medium to low light condition? If you're still trying to figure out the white balance, I would suggest using AUTO most of the time if you're not used to it. I still use AUTO for most of my shots though I'm trying to be more "pro" and do custom white balance but that's more complicated so for beginners you should stick with AUTO.

Also, never use your FLASH on your camera. If you need longer shutter speed then use a tripod, most (but not all) of the time the stock flash just makes the picture look bad. If you need more help just post up a sample picture so I can see what you're talking about
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by alvinhuyn View Post
I would go with the kit lens included with the camera. You'll find that most kit lens from Canon and Nikon are very versitile and are really good for any occasion, in fact, the kit lens' lightness and medium range is good for a lot of shots. I haven't gotten a new lens (though I have borrowed a few from my buddy) I still use my kit 18-55mm lens for everything. I like the XSi's kit lens as well because it's got IS, which is Image Stabilization, it helps with situations where I don't have a tripod and my hands aren't steady.
Thanks for the info man. Ok earlier today I went to wolf camera and also been searching online and have seen many sales going for the camera with the 18-55mm lens and the 55-250mm lens. Whats the difference is those lenses? Is it just the distance you can shoot? Where do you recommend to buy a camera? I saw online for the xsi with both lenses for 800 and at wolf the same thing but it was 1000 but at wolf they offer an accidental warrenty. What do you recommend I do?
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 11:44 PM
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yeah the differance is the distance you can shoot. the 18-55 is good for shooting your car or most things up close. but if your shooting things futher away (like concerts or sports or something where you can get real close) then you'll want to use the 55-250.

i recommend getting a package with them both. i was taking pictures of my nephew in the pool with my 18-55 and it just didnt zoom in enough for me to frame the picture how i wanted, and went out and bought a 55-200.
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedIXMR View Post
Thanks for the info man. Ok earlier today I went to wolf camera and also been searching online and have seen many sales going for the camera with the 18-55mm lens and the 55-250mm lens. Whats the difference is those lenses? Is it just the distance you can shoot? Where do you recommend to buy a camera? I saw online for the xsi with both lenses for 800 and at wolf the same thing but it was 1000 but at wolf they offer an accidental warrenty. What do you recommend I do?
I reccomend B&H. They are an online company based out of NYC. Very knowledgeable and great customer service. You can google their website. As for the camera I would highly suggest buying JUST the camera and the 18-55 kit lens. Don't buy any more lens until you're familiar with the camera and your photography style. Plus, you'll most likely end up not liking the "kit" zoom lens (55-250) after a short while anyways. The only worthwhile kit lens is the 18-55 because it's the one you use the most and with the XSi they have the IS (image stabilization) making it a decent quality lens and not just some crappy lens they threw in for you.
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Old Nov 23, 2008, 04:35 PM
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Speaking of lenses, if your in the market for a DSLR and debating which lens you should get, always remember you get what you pay for. The 50mm f1.8 has always been alot of peoples first choice because its so cheap. And it's even been compared to have L glass quality for less than $100.

Other lens worth having a look at in the mid range are the 85mm f1.8 if you're into primes.
Or the Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L which can be bought for under $500 brand new if you would need that focal lenght.

I own a Digital Rebel XTi with the Kit lens, a 50mm f1.8 and a 100mm f2.8 MACRO.
And by far i love the 100mm f2.8.
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 09:15 AM
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nice write...may be building the rig as a winter project!
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