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The Lord XL
11-08-2005, 09:31 PM
Many a time I have gone to a convention. Turned off my camera and flash after taking the shots that I wanted to take. Only then I find another photo of a person/thing/event that I want to take. Unfortunately, my flash must charge, and I must refocus and reset the settings. Thus, myself missing a shot. (I don't like to do all auto when it can be avoided. Its just a me thing)

How do you use your camera? Do you keep it on at all times with extra batteries?

staereo
11-08-2005, 10:46 PM
I use a Canon 20D. It has a VERY fast startup time, and while I wont say its the fastest startup on the market (it may be), it is very fast. This allows for a zippity powerup and its ready to shoot.

I only have one spare battery, and this allows for that emergency that you may need to go without recharging. But my battery lasts for nearly 1000 photos when not using the onboard flash. So rarely do I have to switch; especially since my 2 gigabyte card only holds about 200 pictures. So I end up downloading to pc between uses anyways. That and at $80 each, I dont tend to want to buy more than I use.

I keep a spare point and shoot to make sure I still am functional if my 20D has problems, this way I dont miss a shot because I cant get my camera working.

As far as flash powering up, if I have good batteries in my flash, it cycles its first cycle in a matter of seconds. The key there, I suppose, is that I keep a couple dozen batteries in my camera back that I always have with me, and I liberally change batteries. This way it always recharges quickly. I take the mostly used flash batteries, which are aa, and use them for remote controls at home when Im done.

You WILL miss photos. We all do. While Im out shooting and Im taking a break from taking photos, I usually leave my camera on, and flash off. My dslr uses very little power when its not being used, and when I take a picture, I flip the flash on, set my settings, and by then, the flash is ready.

Using a camera in auto mode may not be the most creative, but its better than missing a picture, dont be afraid of auto, its there and serves a purpose, even for the experienced photographer. Sometimes the moment you capture makes up for the creativity lost in auto settings.

In addition, when using a digicam, if you have an option of leaving it on, and turning your lcd off, that can save major power, and may save you from missing pictures by being completely off. I have to leave my digicam on, because of its long startup time. Between that trick and having 4 batteries for the camera, I manage to make that work.

Sooooo, if Im having lunch, is my camera on? No. But I also don't beat myself up for missing a picture while I'm eating. If I do that, Ill stop enjoying what I do. Instead, Ill observe what I missed and figure out if theres a way I can find the same emotion in a picture of that subject later, and Ill just stay alert to that subject when my camera is back on.

If Im just walking around, or buying something at a booth, my camera IS on though, as stated above.

Bruce

tfcreate
11-09-2005, 02:57 AM
Most digitals have very fast cycle times, but it helps to keep fresh batteries, (I carry as many as 6 for the camera.) Plus my flash will fire even if it's powered off. It keeps a charge, but must be powered on to recharge. Cycle time is from 3-7 seconds, close up work, the flash can fire up to 5 times before it must recharge. It's old Vivitar technology, but it never fails.
TFC

The Lord XL
11-09-2005, 02:53 PM
For clarification. I also have a Canon 20D. Yes, I agree the 20d has a very fast start up time. And I guess using auto in the middle of a hallway or in rooms does not bother me. I'd still rather have the camera completely on manual when doing photoshoots or cosplay meet-ups. Taking the extra second to make sure everything is perfect is vital in my opinion.

I use pretty good batteries for my camera, they lasted me 1000+ photos with and without flash. But my problem is more to the delay of my flash. Might I ask what brand batteries you use for your flash?

staereo
11-09-2005, 04:21 PM
Duracell.. lol... copper top. hehe.. I do notice that different brands make a difference. Im sure you can get better types specifically for flashes, but for me, I just keep new ones in there.

You know what its like when your flash slows down on recycling, thats when I change em out. Its different when doing a shoot, if youre still using a camera mounted flash. Because you arent as worried about getting a fast snapshot after another. But when youre out shooting on the fly, its best to waste a little battery life to ensure your camera is cycling as fast as you'd want it to be.

You can always use the rest of their life later on different electronics.

And yes, if youre using a 20d the auto settings are fine. Or you can leave it on P as well. Youre Av and Tv are very useful in a pinch, just realize that your camera doesnt compensate for your flash automatically in Av and Tv modes. Av is obviously what youd use most in pinch shots for cosplay. But make sure you understand that your flash isnt compensated by auto settings in Av and Tv, which is why sometimes P is better when youre concerning a flash in pinch shots.

Bruce

skypirate
11-09-2005, 08:35 PM
For clarification. I also have a Canon 20D. Might I ask what brand batteries you use for your flash?

SterlingTek in my 20D, industrial grade Sanyo 2500 mAh NiMH and Energizer 2500 mAH NiMH batteries in the flash. NiMH's don't slow down like the alkalines. A really good charger and having a good understanding of the characteristics of NiMH's makes a huge difference.

The 20D and Canon flashes are designed to go to sleep after a couple of minutes and reactivate upon touching the shutter release. I rarely turn them off at conventions. Should spring right back to life with your settings.

Or, if you must turn off the flash, let it charge up prior to turning it off. It will retain the charge for a while.

bohejm
11-09-2005, 09:29 PM
how big is your flash? if its the very bright type it will have a very long reload time because the halogen lamp needs to rest or risk killing itself :P

didjiman
11-10-2005, 07:25 PM
It may sound like a broken record by now, but if you own a dSLR/SLR, my mantra is "get a fast prime lens and never look back..."

staereo
11-10-2005, 08:50 PM
My 20d uses the canon branded battery designed for the camera.

And as far as fast prime lens, I'm not sure of the imortant of a prime lens. I mean, fast glass is ALWAYS preferred. Its by character better quality. But why must it be prime as a mounted lens at a convention. Zooming in and out can be a useful tool one youre in a crowded hallway or a distance from a stage. Flipping between primes can cause precious photos to be lost.

So I agree on fast, but thats a given. Its just that fast=$$. But primes dont seem to be best fit at a convention, not that Im against primes, I use them too, just I dont see why zooms arent equally at home there.

Bruce

didjiman
11-11-2005, 07:44 PM
And as far as fast prime lens, I'm not sure of the imortant of a prime lens. I mean, fast glass is ALWAYS preferred. Its by character better quality. But why must it be prime as a mounted lens at a convention. Zooming in and out can be a useful tool one youre in a crowded hallway or a distance from a stage. Flipping between primes can cause precious photos to be lost.
...
Bruce

Nothing wrong with Zoom. A much better photographer than I gave this advice, something to the effect of "one (prime) lens, one body, shoot it for 6 months to a year. You will learn a lot about photography."

But I don't want to drag this down to which equipment is "best." When you come right down to it, do what you feel most comfortable. The world's best equipments are useless if you don't make it "part of you," so to speak. For me, that's fast prime lens, and when I say fast, I meant 1.4 or faster. While I may have to zoom with my feet or lose shots altogether, the response is nearly instantaneous and I know exactly what the light looks like w/o a flash. It's a different way of shooting and it's not for everyone.

staereo
11-11-2005, 09:27 PM
Wow, thats fast...

For me, 1.4 is too small of a DoF in an image for portraits. Typical portraits are best around f/5.6-f/11. Then using light to compensate whre ambient fails. But I do see the benefit to running a high speed film and a fast lens to reduce the crutch on a flash.

And yes, never forget you have feet. Changing your focal length shouldnt be a cropping method. ^^

Bruce

Bandit64
11-12-2005, 01:11 AM
I always keep my Rebel on during conventions. I also pack two extra batteries. Refocusing and changing settings is really fast because I can work the dial very quickly, never really had much of a problem there. No need to wait for flash, since I'm shooting with a 1.4 50mm.

I still miss shots, but so does everyone.

TomodachiFriend
11-12-2005, 02:19 AM
Everyone misses shots. You can be taking pictures of someone while something more interesting happens behind you and it's over when you turn. A fast camera won't help you in those cases.

If you want more control on your shots even in auto, you could always shoot raw. It's quite amazing what you can do with raw. I've corrected some exposures up to +/- 2 stops and never noticed degradattion. I don't know if there's even more room to work with but never needed to go beyond 2 stops until now.

staereo
11-12-2005, 11:03 AM
I agree with Tomodachi. I shoot exclusively raw. With some RAW conversion software you can even push it to +/- 3+ stops, as Tomodachi hinted to. (Though I havent used past 2 stops yet, myself.)

Bruce

The Lord XL
11-12-2005, 04:41 PM
I tried shooting RAW, but my laptop can't seem to handle the files without error.

AnimeAngel
11-12-2005, 07:51 PM
Flash is evil. I try not to use it if possible.

staereo
11-12-2005, 10:37 PM
Lord- what software are you using? Id love to help if I can. Is it just a performance issue?

Animeangel- Let me start by saying that Ive seen you around and ive long been a fan of yours, not to mention I think youre a beautiful young lady. Why do you think flash is evil?

TomodachiFriend
11-13-2005, 01:52 AM
Looking at the majority of pictures taken with flash , I'd say flash is evil too. When people hear the word flash, they think about shiny skin, washed out details, red eyes, and more. Flash photography is hard because you need to visualize the result before pressing the shutter release. It's great in the hands of an expert and can be helpful even to the beginner (if he takes the time to learn).

shiroin
11-13-2005, 04:37 AM
built-in flash = evil indeed
mutiple external flash = godly!

staereo
11-13-2005, 06:58 AM
Modeling lights help, but I love using my flash, both for fill and for source lighting.

I use a stroboframe mounted flash, here is a pic from my portfolio that I like, its in a very dark room using my flash as the only source of usable light:

http://staereo.com/knc1.jpg

Sure, a little shine. But evil? I personally dont think so.

A couple with fill flash:
http://staereo.com/knc2.jpg
http://staereo.com/knc3.jpg

A flash on a frame, mounted to a camera really is a valid tool to get clean images in the end. I could even post a bunch of sports photos that I've use a flash on. And thats impressive, because I REALLY dont like using a flash on sports, because I like shooting VERY high shutter speed in action shots.

flashgun used properly=perfectly fine.
Studio flash, in the words of shiroin,=godly

skypirate
11-13-2005, 08:10 AM
We might be straying off topic. There's already a thread debating the merits of using a flash.

http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=64084

staereo
11-13-2005, 08:47 AM
good call, sky

didjiman
11-13-2005, 06:42 PM
Modeling lights help, but I love using my flash, both for fill and for source lighting.

I use a stroboframe mounted flash, here is a pic from my portfolio that I like, its in a very dark room using my flash as the only source of usable light:

http://staereo.com/knc1.jpg

Sure, a little shine. But evil? I personally dont think so.

A couple with fill flash:
http://staereo.com/knc2.jpg
http://staereo.com/knc3.jpg

A flash on a frame, mounted to a camera really is a valid tool to get clean images in the end. I could even post a bunch of sports photos that I've use a flash on. And thats impressive, because I REALLY dont like using a flash on sports, because I like shooting VERY high shutter speed in action shots.

flashgun used properly=perfectly fine.
Studio flash, in the words of shiroin,=godly


I think it's a personal choice thing. e.g. while your pictures look very nice, the fill flash makes it an even lighting. Nothing wrong with that, and I am sure lots of people like them too, but personally I prefer to see more textures. Again, I think the important thing is to use a particular tool well, which you seem to have done, but more the power to you.

didjiman
11-13-2005, 06:46 PM
Wow, thats fast...

For me, 1.4 is too small of a DoF in an image for portraits. Typical portraits are best around f/5.6-f/11. Then using light to compensate whre ambient fails. But I do see the benefit to running a high speed film and a fast lens to reduce the crutch on a flash.

And yes, never forget you have feet. Changing your focal length shouldnt be a cropping method. ^^

Bruce

Since we are supposedly helping other people, I would presume you meant "In my opinion, typical portraits are..." :-)

I don't mind flash. Heck, I even have a set of Studio lights that I take to conventions at times. They have different uses. That's all.

Think of it this way - the default is that the majority of the people will use flash. So what you're recommending is good, solid advices. I am just the minority camp saying that it is possible to eschew the "majority rules." It is going against the grain, so to speak, but the rewards would be worth it for some people.

tfcreate
11-14-2005, 02:17 AM
I use a flash on many pictures, even outdoors or in bright light. Often, this is the only way to keep your DOF and fill in shadows. I think many of us have problems with uneven lighting, glare or "hot spots." A good quality, controllable external flash can easily correct this. I also add a vertical polarizer and colour correction filters to help.
TFC

staereo
11-14-2005, 05:56 AM
Didji- good points on both your posts. And I more or less meant "Industry standard on your typical portraits..." I too use short DoF on many pics, but most pro photographers use f/5.6-11 when using 35mm on portraits. medium format typically ups it to f/16, etc.. Size of your capture point affects the best aperture, so it changes based on size fo your film/image sensor, etc. So I should have explained it more fully, like here.

Again, Great posts!

Bruce

The Lord XL
11-16-2005, 04:58 AM
Lord- what software are you using? Id love to help if I can. Is it just a performance issue?

Sorry for taking so long. I had to finish quarter assignments for my school.

I use Adobe Photoshop 7.0 with the a .RAW plugin, and Canon Viewer Utility 1.2. I have no problem viewing the .RAW files in Canon's software, but I can't do anything else with it, and I can't even open .RAW files in Photoshop.

In short, the software I got when I bought the camera.

staereo
11-16-2005, 08:22 AM
Hmm... I'm not sure why canon's wont work for you.

I would figure it would just be slow. I use canon's software myself, but I talk with many photographers that use a program called rawshooter. You might want to try that.

The free version is called essentials and can be found here:
http://www.pixmantec.com/products/rawshooter_essentials.html

The retail version was released not too long ago, and can be found here:
http://www.pixmantec.com/products/rawshooter_premium.html

Now, the fans of this program can be VERY convincing on it's assets and I am to understand its a good program, even in its free state.

Either way, to get the most out of your pictures, shooting RAW is the way to go. So try rawshooter and see if the free version works for you. Can't hurt, right?

Good luck!
Bruce

The Lord XL
11-16-2005, 01:43 PM
Thanks a lot, staereo! I wanted to shoot in RAW for a while now, because I heard of the great things that can be done with it. I'll do some test shots with my 20D and will report back!

staereo
11-16-2005, 06:53 PM
Anytime! And just to let you know, you can review images on your lcd even when you shoot straight RAW (as in not RAW+JPG) So if you find out that program works for you, you may want to shoot in only raw to save card space!

Let me know how it works for ya! Im crossing my fingers!

Bruce

The Lord XL
11-17-2005, 04:23 AM
Now I just need them to ship the program to me... :eeek:

staereo
11-17-2005, 04:11 PM
Cant download? or are you on dialup and it will take too long? Or did you buy the full version?

If you arent able to download the downloadable version, and you are going free, I can always download it, burn it, and send it to you if thats faster.

Bruce

The Lord XL
11-17-2005, 06:01 PM
I did order the free version. But I saw no button for downloading. They asked for a shipping address. So I think they are sending it via snail mail..

staereo
11-17-2005, 06:50 PM
http://esd.element5.com/demoreg.html?productid=545269&sessionid=296803336&random=781fe999dcbacc062dea1e8caf64fda7

Try that link. it will bring you to a download page, once there, you fill that out and it will let you download it.

Make sure your pop-up blocking software isnt stopping you from downloading it.

By no means do you have to wait for it to be shipped to you. ^^

Bruce

The Lord XL
11-18-2005, 07:04 PM
... I will never use jpegs again when shooting... :love:

staereo
11-18-2005, 07:17 PM
WAHOOOOOO CONGRATS, my friend. Welcome to your latest addiction. yummmm RAW. ^^

Enjoy!

AnimeAngel
11-26-2005, 01:52 PM
Lord- what software are you using? Id love to help if I can. Is it just a performance issue?

Animeangel- Let me start by saying that Ive seen you around and ive long been a fan of yours, not to mention I think youre a beautiful young lady. Why do you think flash is evil?

Oh my ^^;;; I forgot if I actually post in here or not. Thank you for the compliments.

Flash is evil because a built in flash with never give you the lighting you want. And as someone who spends most of her days tinckering with her cameras, I still can't figure out how to make the damned things look good in anything. I rely on lamps and natural lighting.

staereo
11-26-2005, 02:02 PM
Not a problem. I'm pretty stingy with the compliments, so occasionally I'm bound to let one out.

Flashes can be tricky. I agree.
^^
Bruce

angellover02171
12-02-2005, 01:17 AM
i stop down i tend not to use a flase at all posible. i have a camera that has auto flash bilt in. im not really all that great with a flash. i use a film camera i could eave the thing on for 3 monthes and it still works fine.you should get a flash with a tilt-able head. if you play with the angle you get better pics. i know this guy that took some great nudes of me. if you dont' have take a piece of card board and put a renolds wrap on it and tape it to your flash at an angle of 45. the light goes up hits the celing and falls back on your subject.