Tag Archives: camera

New Camera!

Just a quicky as I have been rushed off my feet with my final few weeks of uni.

Sadly my beloved Canon 50D stopped working recently so I had the opportunity to upgrade and decided to go for the 7D and wow I’m in love! I haven’t had much time to get out and shoot apart from filming some live music gigs but I am very impressed!

But to my surprise my 50D switched on and now works perfectly! I still have no idea what caused it to break down but now i can sell it and recoup some of the money spent on the 7D.

Here’s a picture of my new baby rocking a Rokkor and a test shot taken with a 500mm mirror lens.

Canon 7D

Moon

 

 

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Less is More: Megapixels

This is a re-post of my original from 2012.

The first question I ask when talking to a customer about what camera they should buy is “What are you looking for in a new camera?” The most common answer is “I want the highest megapixels”. Seeming to think that the more megapixels a camera has the better quality image it will produce.

An idea perpetrated by modern manufacturers who cram as many megapixels into a camera as possible; I’m not going to bore you with lots of techno jargon as all I want to do is prove that megapixels aren’t the most important factor when buying a camera.

One of my favourite cameras is to this day the 3 megapixel Minolta Dimage Z1. This camera had a wonderful f/2.8 lens with macro focusing as close as 1.5 inches, and as you can see from the image below (taken in my parent’s garden) only having 3 megapixels definitely didn’t create a sub-par image.

Minolta 3.0 MP Frog

Now sadly I no longer have the original image, this one was cropped, level corrected and enlarged and I think for a 3.0 MP camera looks amazing!

Below are a few more shots from the Z1 again they have been edited but they are still all below 1 Mb in size.

 

 

Minolta 3.0 MP Frog 2

Minolta 3.0 MP Madinat

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAMinolta 3.0 MP Burj Al Arab 2

My first digital camera – Olympus C-220

Now this bad boy cost over £200 and had a stonking 2 megapixels! At the time this was state of the art and a real honour to own. So much so that I took it to a family wedding and ended up taking the shot of the day with it. The couple still have this image on their mantelpiece and the hired ‘pro’ didn’t get the shot!

Olympus 2.0 MP Wedding Photo

This image shows a really interesting anomaly where the bokeh appears in small rings, an effect common when using a mirror lens.

Olympus 2.0 MP Crab

The main drawback with low megapixel cameras is that the image cannot be enlarged to any bigger that A3, but how many general users actually do that? I have had these image enlarged to 8×10 and they still look great with no hint of pixelisation.

 

So remember less can be more in regards to megapixels but, bigger is always better when it comes to lenses!

In my next post i will discuss music photography, from equipment to etiquette and how to get the best images.

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Infrared Photography

This is a re-post of my original from 2012.

So I have decided to take the plunge into infrared photography! I have always been interested in the beautiful dark skies and snowy foliage but put off by the complicated and sometimes expensive modifications needed to achieve true infrared photography.

There are loads of tutorials online on how to achieve an infrared effect using a normal image but they are never as effective as the real thing and to me it feels like cheating. I want real IR!

My first experience with infrared was rather disappointing to me as it worked first time! I like a bit of a challenge when trying new photographic methods and after hearing how difficult it was to achieve I was hoping to get my hands dirty with some camera modding, but my first shoot was pretty close to what I wanted to achieve.

The first camera I tried was a Canon G10 with an Ilford SFX filter; I experimented with the settings and focusing until I got the balance of ISO, shutter speed and aperture right. Below is how the shots look straight from the camera.

 

 

To get the colours many people recognize from IR photography you must use the Channel Mixer in Photoshop. This is very straight forward as all you need to do is:

  • In the red output channel change RED to 0% and BLUE to 100%
  • In the blue output channel change RED to 100% and BLUE to 0%

After this you will get an image like below:

 

 

You will then need to tweak the Levels to your liking, but I cheat slightly and use Auto Levels and then fade it, this produces the final image below:

 

Image

 

The G10 isn’t perfect as it creates what is known as a ‘hot spot’ in the center of the image. This is caused by internal reflections of light between lens elements, and also the coating on some lenses. The hot spots can be reduced by changing the aperture settings.

After using my G10 I thought I’d step it up a gear and try my 50D but this was really disappointing. As the 50D is a pro DSLR camera it is far less sensitive to IR light and this means the pictures were pants!

The next image shows what the images look like from the Canon 50D, I used the same settings (including white balance) but the results were very different.

 

 

They did however make very nice black and white images.

 

 

My next plans are to find a suitably cheap camera to modify, preferably an old Minolta like the Dimage Z1, it may only be 3 mega-pixels but the image quality is fantastic!

But more on that next time when I will be discussing why mega-pixels aren’t the be all and end all of digital photography.

 

 

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