JKOwners Forum banner
1 - 20 of 66 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Canon G9, it is a 12 Meg RAW that takes great pics but I feel I am still missing something. It is small so I always have it but I am considering a wide angle lens or a whole new camera so I can get better shots. I am a novice to this, so all help would be appreciated. If I should start w a SLR I can do this but I think I have a good camera. It could be that I just need to practice more but I would love some opinions.
Thank You
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,216 Posts
There are deffinetly many good cameras out there. Really though I thin once it gets down to it, it will really come down to preferance and your shooting type/style.

To be honest, the camera you have now is a good one. I would really recomend sticking it out with that one and learning it inside and out. Once you do, you will clearly know what it dosn't do that you wish it could and what features you use most. From that point you will be able to make a definitive educated desicion on an upgrade.

I have seen a lot of people go through many cameras waiting for oone that just takes "those" great shots you see online. So much more of it is how you work with what you got, lol....:beer: its not the size that counts, its how you use it, lol
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,216 Posts
a good example would be the pic you posted above. Not trying to sound negative in anyway, just an example.

There are some things you could adjust on your camera to make that pic "pop" a little more but the key thing is composition. Took me a long time to realize that. We tend to try to take a picture of the whole scence, to try and not chop anything out. The key though is just picking out something in the picture as the focus. Using angles also makes it more interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
First of all Jeremiah, let me say that in the realm of Pro-sumer cameras or Pro pockets, you already have one of the best cameras out there. The capabilities of that camera is far beyond what most novice photographers are capable and so with that, I would say stick with it, learn to use it to its full potential, and then when you can finally say you have outgrown it, move up to a DSLR. The knowledge you gain as you learn to use this camera will help you make a more informed decision when you are ready to move up. As the saying in the photography world goes " It's not the camera, it's the eye!"
Image processing is also very important and can make a camera shine when properly done. This is where many people who move up to DSLR are very disapointed. Digital images from a DSLR are designed to be processed to bring out the very best, and so generally look mediocre to say the least when used directly out of the camera.

The image you posted as I see it compositionally looks good to me. It offers the elements required to tell the story. You have foreground, mid and background elements involved to give the sense of depth and the 3D effect most photographs lack. However, because it looks overexposed on my monitor, it takes the pop and contrast out of the image. This is where learning your camera and post processing with RAW really comes in. The cropped image above by Dustoff '68 is a little too tight for my liking but that is photography, everyone sees and likes things a little differently.

If you require more info on photography a good place to learn is here http://www.pixel-shooter.com/forum/index.php
And check out my photography website here http://www.jtphoto.ca
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
Heres just some quick PP work to bring back some of the color that gets lost in overexposure. RAW files are very powerful and much detail can be retrieved from shadows, but if you blow out highlights, like the front marker light, the detail can be hard or impossible to retrieve. There is much to learn, in camera, and in computer afterward. Have fun with it and enjoy the experience..

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You guys rock

I did a lot of research when I bought my camera so I figured it was operator error. I have some great pics but have yet to figure who, what, when, where or why. I will continue to shoot as many as I can. I have photoshop and will start editing my photos with it. I have a mac, should I purchase Apeture so I can work with them in the raw format. Thank you and it sounds like I have a new website to start learning from.
Thank You
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
I have photoshop and will start editing my photos with it. I have a mac, should I purchase Apeture so I can work with them in the raw format. Thank you and it sounds like I have a new website to start learning from.
Thank You
If you have PhotoShop use that to process your RAW images, it has an awesome RAW converter. It is far superior to Aperture IMHO.. What ver. of PhotoShop are you using? There is lots to learn in PhotoShop, it's a powerful program but don't get discouraged, take a little at a time and have fun..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have Photoshop CS version 8. I was checking out your site, love the pics. I love how you got the rear tire in torque mode. I will keep playing and learning. Thank you I have a lot of reading and shooting a head of me. I have not learned my camera and will make a goal to do it.
Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,136 Posts
I have Photoshop CS version 8.
You may have to update to CS3 to get the updated RAW converter for the G9.

I was checking out your site, love the pics. I love how you got the rear tire in torque mode.
Thanks

Thank you I have a lot of reading and shooting a head of me. I have not learned my camera and will make a goal to do it.
Thanks,
Its lots of fun, and coupled with the 4wheelin you will have a blast...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
I shoot with a Nikkon D40... lower end of the SLR range but it works great. Took me awhile but I learned its not just about the vehicle, its about the back ground and what angle's you use to catch what objects in the back ground.

Only downfall is to get a better lense it will cost as much as the camera did...
 
G

·
I take a crap load of pictures of different angles, different zoom settings and I’m not afraid to let others (wife/daughter/friends etc.) use the camera. Shoot pics out the window and of everything and basically just keep shooting all day. Obviously you need to try to frame them on the trail and use the rules of thirds, but if you’re like me and also wheeling you don’t have the time. I shoot RAW with as wider zoom as I have a lot so I can crop and frame the pics later.

It’s not uncommon for me to shoot 400 in a day when I’m wheeling. Most (90%) of them will be crap but I normally get about 40 or so keepers and 15 or so that are actually fairly good.

The fun starts when I get back home and start editing them. First pass I delete anything that’s out of focus or just bad. Second pass I rate anything with potential for clean up. Third pass, I chop and clean up those with potential and then I rate them again. It takes me about 2 hours to edit a day’s worth of shots but I enjoy it.

You don’t need any fancy expensive programs and the tools I tend to use most are free:
Straightening - It’s amazing how many good pics are crooked and only need to be straightened at the horizon.
Cropping - that ass in the way, a bad rock, someone’s hand, a tree but most importantly applying the rule of thirds in the “dark” room.
Color/light – Play around but be subtle. You’d be amazed what a tiny bit of saturation will do for color.
Sharpen – don’t overdo it but the sharpen detail function helps with focus.

I mostly use Windows Live Photo gallery for edits and organization and also use a free but powerful editing program called Paint.Net (google it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
I have the Olympus Stylus 1030SW for a 'pocket camera' (as dustoff mentioned, shock proof and waterproof), but your G9 will blow it away for flexibility and pure IQ.

My dSLR right now is the K10D, will likely upgrade it to the K20D before too long. It's tough as far as a dSLR goes, I've shot in the rain with it several times (dust + weather seals). However, even the best dSLR will be hobbled by a crappy lens. If you're going to go down the dSLR route - be prepared to spend several times the body cost on good lenses. Otherwise, I'd simply focus on learning all of the basics with your current camera, and then upgrade into something when you've exhausted its capabilities.

Don't get on the megapixel hype train though, more pixels can reduce IQ by increasing noise - you can only get so much resolution out of a 1.3-1.7x crop sensor. (That is, it has a relationship to a 'standard 35mm' frame of 1:1.x, i.e. it's smaller.) Before you spend a couple grand on a crop sensor with 16MP, consider buying a used full-frame dSLR with fewer MP - you'll get better quality out of it.

!c
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate all of the help. It sounds like I will spend the next few months learning how to use the features I have already. I am glad to hear that I made a good choice w/the G9. I am hoping that a DSLR will be in my near future but it sounds to me like I need to do more practice with my own camera. Is a wide angle lens going to be useful in shooting offroad shots?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,194 Posts
I'm not personally convinced that sensor size is the be and end all of DSLR cameras, up until the D3 Nikon didn't make a DSLR that had a full size sensor. My D300 doesn't have a full size sensor, but takes excellent pics. I don't think anyone can say that the D2X and D200 didn't take excellent photographs either, as well as the rest of the Kinon DSLR range for that matter.

While you can spend a fortune on lenses I don't think you need to, unless you start requiring lenses for specific tasks. I find that a 18-200mm (27-300mm with 1.5x image sensor) is pretty much a jack of all trades and is all you need most of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,194 Posts
Is a wide angle lens going to be useful in shooting offroad shots?
It will allow you to get more in the picture, so you don't have to move back as far. It will certainly be useful, but in the picture you posted I don't think it would have made much difference.

I'm far from a good photographer, but there a are a few things you can try.

First, I don't think you need a particularly great camera for offroad photography, and you are not usually going to get the time to setup correctly for each shot, so a lot of the time you are going to have to rely on the cameras automatic settings.

However, there are a few things you can play with to get better shots. Multiple exposures, exposure bracketing, white bracketing, etc. The latter two work well in continuous shoot mode for what we want.

I think the most important thing is composition, try shooting a shot standing up, crouching down, and from the ground. Then move to another angle and do the same. As Alec W says just shoot loads of pics, don't try to find just one perfect shot, shoot it from all angles and heights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
I'm not personally convinced that sensor size is the be and end all of DSLR cameras, up until the D3 Nikon didn't make a DSLR that had a full size sensor. My D300 doesn't have a full size sensor, but takes excellent pics. I don't think anyone can say that the D2X and D200 didn't take excellent photographs either, as well as the rest of the Kinon DSLR range for that matter.

While you can spend a fortune on lenses I don't think you need to, unless you start requiring lenses for specific tasks. I find that a 18-200mm (27-300mm with 1.5x image sensor) is pretty much a jack of all trades and is all you need most of the time.
Agreed on all points, I had never intended to say that a full-frame was the only way to go, but that he shouldn't be swayed in the megapixel wars - and you've proven the corollary to my statement: that you can get perfectly good pictures with fewer megapixels. That is to say, one might do just as well, if not better, to not spend more money on the latest greatest 18MP crop-sensor camera, and instead buy an older camera with fewer MP and spend more money on a lens. Unless there's a feature that you just have to have (say, 10FPS shooting rate *grin*), you'll get better pictures this way.

The Nikkor 18-200 VR lens is about $700, not being the most expensive 11x zoom lens out there, but pretty pricey to most entry-level guys. The D300 is a great camera, btw. I think one would be a fool to say that Nikon doesn't make good cameras below the full-frame spectrum. I had never intended to do so. I still hold to my statement though, that the lens is the most important part of the camera when it comes to image quality. When it comes to these high MP cameras, most buyers don't realize that the cheap kit lens they bought with it doesn't even have as much resolution as the sensor its self, and often abyssimal MTF readings - resulting in a less-than-sharp image with poor detail.

That being said, for anything less than 16x20 prints, you'll probably do fine to fix up any sharpness deficiencies with photoshop CSx (smart sharpen), and high resolution doesn't matter at all in most 8x10 action shots. I'm a little bent on this stuff, as I tend to shoot landscape, where it matters more.

Phil's also right that you can and should bracket to help improve your shooting. If nothing else, this will teach you how the metering on the camera differs from your expectations, and allow you to get perfect exposure the first time after more experience. Another important tip is to shoot in raw format as much as possible, and become well-versed in your favorite raw conversion tool (adobe camera raw in photoshop for me) - understanding that shooting raw digital is very little like shooting film. For maximum detail, I shoot "to the right" - meaning that the exposure goes as far right on the histogram as it can without blowing the highlights. Afterwards, using ACR, I bring the exposure down to proper. The reason for this is that the dSLRs, as opposed to film, are linear devices. That is, in the bit-space available, each stop down in exposure is given half as many bits. So, the brightest area (first f/stop) in a 12-bit sensor has 2048 values, whereas the darkest has 128. So, there's actually more detail in the highlights than the shadow - shooting to the right allows you to bring the exposure down and keep greater detail in shadow regions. Here's a good article on the subject: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml

!c
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,194 Posts
but that he shouldn't be swayed in the megapixel wars
I agree 100%. In reality, for web use and home printing you don't need anywhere near the MP that is available on most cameras these days. More MP doesn't necessarily mean better photographs.

Some people have a natural eye for composition, but I'm not one of them. I'm very bad at it, so have to work at it and take lots of pics from different angles to find what works. Memory cards are cheap, and taking lots of pics will help find that makes photographs look "good".
 
1 - 20 of 66 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top