Posts Tagged ‘camera’

KI: Michael Levin from Brad Kremer on Vimeo.

Both companies came out with their flagships in DSLRs and some people were arguing which one is better. Two guys made a comparison video listed bellow this text and you can check it on your own.

I was shooting with both and to be honest, 1D X is awesome camera and I wouldn’t switch to D4. As a last thing I’d like to say just one simple sentence. Camera doesn’t make a picture, photographer does.

Canon, Inc. is a huge company as almost everybody know. They host an event called Canon Zoom (in Czech republic) and during it the best of Canon’s gear travels between three big and nice zoos. For the last few years we’ve visited Zlín, Brno and Prague. Here is a small video from 2011 in Czech language so if you aren’t familiar with it, maybe in 2013 we’ll make a English version of it also.

Anyway this event is huge and fantastic. Everybody can try new gear and we had a ton of it. Several 5D Mark IIIs, 1D Mark IV, 1Dx (awesome camera, felt in love with it and I’m shooting with it a lot), 7Ds, 60Ds, 300 f/2.8, 200 f/2 and on. If someone needs help there are people to help them with it be it a decision of purchase, or some technical help. Of course I was part of this event, couldn’t miss it.


Photos of the booth were taken by Oldřich Drnec.

It’s absolutely amazing, how close you can get with 300 f/2.8 + 2x extender and 1D Mark IV …

Canon vs. Nikon Battle

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Blog
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This Monday there was this battle on The Grid show with Scott Kelby and Terry White. Really interesting stuff was there but I cannot agree more with them. Camera is just a tool and the only thing that matters is final result. It is mostly about the photographer, his vision, talent, skill etc.

Let me tell it this way. Imagine your budget is unlimited and you can buy what you want. If I had this option, I’d get a Nikon D3s, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8, Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, Nikon 14-24 f/2.8, Nikon 50 f/1.4, Nikon 85 f/1.4 and finally Nikon 200 f/2. Yes, I’m crazy about Nikon stuff and it doesn’t change a thing that I’m shooting and working for Canon. But here is the tricky part. Will the new Nikon D3s with 50mm glass make me a better photographer? Will it make better photos? From technical stand point it will. But my skills won’t be boosted or anything like that in comparison with my Canon XSi.

In previous paragraph I wrote “Will it take better photos” but camera doesn’t take or make photos, you do! When you realize that, you can grab any camera and make photos. It doesn’t dippend if it’s Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Holga, PhaseOne and other. It is just about you and your skills.

If you need someone’s blessing and someone needs to tell you “yes, you made your best decision with buying Nikon”, than you’re not interested in photography. You don’t need camera so much in this situation but some baby sitter to tell you your decisions were great.

Just think about it and don’t forget, it is just a tool. End result is the thing that matters the most.

Nikon F100

Nikon F100 - Photo by Rik Goldman

Last time I talked about Cliff Mautner. In his video with photographing beautiful brides he said “I give a damn about my settings, they are not important”. Well they aren’t important, I have to agree. Important is the result. But why do so many people care about settings?

For me it is quite simple. I care about settings a lot. When I’m out with my precisous 70-200 I don’t have IS. That means I can’t shoot slower than 1/320s @200mm. In combination with Rebel XSi (450D) it means my ISO will be 400+ to get sharp shot. Cliff said “I’m at ISO 5000. Why? Because I can!” That is the reason why he doesn’t care about settings. He and I are both shooting wide open, but his lens can shoot on f/2.8 and mine at f/4! That is a huge difference. Another thing is ISO. My Rebel “goes up to” ISO 1600 but his fullframe D3s goes to ISO102.400! When I’m up at ISO 400 my image is unuseable but his shot at ISO 5000 is perfect and it has also less noise.

So in conclusion … we amateurs are watching our camera settings to have some pixel quality in pictures. We cannot shoot with ISO boosted all the way up as he can. We have to find that perfect combination of ISO, aperture, shutter speed and focal length for our shots. That is why we care about our settings, why we change it a lot. If I had enought money to buy what I want to buy then I wouldn’t care for settings. But for now, I do.

In HDR photography we are taking multiple exposures of the same scene. So the best possible situation is shooting some architecture or landscape w/o any people, animals or wind involved. By putting camera on good sturdy tripod we minimize it’s movement and by using AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) camera takes the images. Pretty simple, but this doesn’t work too much in real world.

In real world you can put your camera on tripod and set AEB. That is great and easy way how to get started. But now in Prague I don’t have my Manfrotto so I have to shoot hand-held. And believe me, with my 70-200 f/4 NON IS it is quite hard to keep it perfect steady. To get sharp shots I use higher ISO. But the worst problem is movement. People moving in the photo. When there is just one person, you can play with it, process multiple photos and than use layers to hide the moving person.

But what if you are in a square? Or even better, what if you are on crowdy Venceslav’s square? This is the time I let software itself to remove ghosting. In Photoshop CS5 you can choose one sample image and the ghosting will be removed acording that image. But I didn’t get so nice results from Photoshop as I did with Photomatix. So I tested out version 4 with reduced ghosting and it is blast!

Believe me, if you want noise in your photos, shoot with a Canon camera that has DIG!C III processor and than use Photomatix. You have to apply a lot of noise reduction to the image and as a result you get a less sharp image. You just have to find that sweet spot. To reduce ghosting check “Reduce Ghosting Artifacts” and I usually use High setting. That’s all folks! Here is a final image w/o movement. This time I put it in big dimensions, click on it to see in bigger size and check the fine work of Photomatix.

HDR of Venceslav's Square

Hello everybody, it seems my small post about shooting at night was a bit blast, at least for my blog, so I decided to add another post about night photography and what you can do with cameras at slow shutter speeds. The video is done by Mark Wallace for Adorama TV. Mark is a great people photographer and he has some awesome shots so be sure to check out his website. Here you can find the video. If you like more info and videos about photography, subscribe to AdoramaTV’s Channel @Youtube.

Last time I wrote a post about this topic I posted a video by Joe McNally and his Da Grip. This is really important technique and you should get used to use it and really make sharp images. Today I’d like to tell you about something different. This is a technique or setup what I use and it is absolutely subjective. You don’t have to do it the same way how I do it, just give it a try and you will see if you like or not. Without it you cannot say it.

Use back focus button instead of focusing using shutter release button. This topic was discussed in a podcast and Scott Bourne has his opinion why should he press one button extra (the focus button) when he still needs to press the shutter button to take the picture. How I said someone likes it, someone doesn’t. But I cannot imagine focusing without using back focus button. Here are some reasons why.

I’m a Canon shooter and factory default settings for my Rebel XSi (450D) was to focus and lock down exposure by pressing the shutter button half way down. When you are shooting in One Shot mode (AI-Single), then the camera had to focus first and than it will take picture. But imagine you have a bit trouble with focusing and with my L glass 70-200 f/4 you can have it on M/A, let camera do the focusing and if you need to than you can adjust it manually. But when you want to make another shot camera will refocus and you will need to adjust it manually again to get the focus where you want it to be. With back focus button setuped it will be individual, you can focus and you can take shot anytime you like.

Another reason for this is when you are shooting some action or sports. Cameras have buffers. Buffer is space in camera where images are stored until they are transfered to cards. And buffers have limits. For my XSi it is 6 RAW files or 9 JPEGs. When your buffer get full you need to wait until it makes some space and for that time camera will not shoot. Some photographers like to release the shutter button to give camera time to empty this memory and write it all down to SD or CF card. But when you will release your shutter button, your camera will stop focusing. And that means you will need more time to focus after the buffer is empty to get sharp shot. With back focus button, you can still hold it and the camera will keep focusing. Then you just have to press the shutter.

Another great thing is with default setup you locked exposure and camera started focusing. With setting up back focus button, you will leave your shutter button just with exposure lock and that gives you more creative options and possibilities.

These are two great advantages of using back focus button and I got really used to it. I don’t focus anymore by shutter button and that is the way it is. But it is really up to you if you like it or not.

Here you can find an article from Digital Photography School about using Back Focus Button.

Hi everybody, what is more important? Getting sharp images or getting less noisy but blurry images? For most photographers the most important thing is to get sharp shots. But how to get them? I realized many photographers don’t know about it so I think I could post here some tips about getting sharp shots.

What will be the first tip? Well … Da Grip by Joe McNally. He is fenomenal photographer and in this video he shows you how to hold your camera, what to do, what not to do and other stuff. If you are left eye shooter than even better because you can use the same technique Joe is using. But enought me talking, here is Joe!

Some time ago a friend of mine asked me to help him with his shooting. He has Canon Rebel XS and wanted to learn more about shooting landscapes. Everything started in the local pub where he was terrified about getting up at 8 a. m. and I was terrified to get up so late! We had a couple of beers and went back home.

I woke at 7 a. m. and got ready for shooting. What I wasn’t ready for was the cold. As you might know, cameras have their range in which they will be working fine. When you will go outside this range, there might be trouble. My Canon can be used according the manual to -5 °C (23 °F). And that is quite OK. The trouble was, that it wasn’t -5°C or even -10°C but -22°C (-7,6 °F)!

The beginning of shooting was quite fine and fun. To be honest we had for the first 5 minutes the best light I’ve ever seen. There was a snow storm coming and it mixed with beautiful sun light. Really gorgeous. But I made one shot and I wasn’t able to continue shooting, my arms were freezing! That isn’t the worst part.

We stayed outside for some time and then decided to go back. I saw a nice curve of road and took my camera. I turned it on, set everything for the scene, focused and pressed the shutter button. But nothing happened. The mirror inside body got frozen! It hadn’t ever happen to my or anyone I know. But to be honest, I’m the only freak to go out and shoot in -22°C.

After some time the camera continued working and I made some shots. I really didn’t want to stay out because the camera and went back home so I got only few shots.

Here is I think the best shot from the whole “trip” and I’m looking forward to go on another hike with my camera. I just hope weather will be nicer…

This photo can be seen at my Flickr page also.

Shot was taken with Canon EOS 450D/Rebel XSi with Canon EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens @70 mm. Settings I used were ISO: 800, f/11, 1/50s, +2/3 EV.