5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

Photography is a process of constant learning, so it’s only natural to make mistakes along the way. But with a little bit of advice from those who have been there already, fledgling photographers can avoid a few common camera setting mistakes and focus on bigger and better things. Here are a few tips and tricks I learned early on that will help you get stuck into quality image making.

1 – Leaving image stabilization on when using a tripod

Image stabilization is a handy device that can reduce camera shake and improve image quality when it’s used properly. When activated, image stabilization counteracts slight movements of the camera to help reduce blur in your photos. It can be so effective that cameras and lenses equipped with the system allow you to use a shutter speed of between three and five stops slower than cameras without the feature.

This makes for sharper images in lower light conditions. Sounds great right? Well yes, but not all the time. In fact, when image stabilization is used with a tripod, it can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.

If your camera is already set up on a tripod, it should be steady enough by itself. In this case, with the image stabilization left on, the system may try to compensate for minuscule vibrations that wouldn’t otherwise have an effect on the image, increasing blur rather than reducing it.

Check your camera or lens user manual to learn how to switch the system off while shooting with a tripod and you’ll get much sharper images. Just don’t forget to turn it on again when you are going to hand-hold the camera.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

In this example, you can see the difference in sharpness between the photograph taken with Image Stabilization on and the photograph taken with IS off. Notice that the photograph with IS off is sharper, with greater contrast.

2 – Using the wrong autofocus mode

When I started out in photography, I remember struggling to properly focus on a subject in my frame, often leaving the camera to select a point at random and hoping for the best. At the time, I didn’t realize the importance of different autofocus modes.

Autofocus offers several different modes which you can select. These are One-Shot AF (Canon)/AF-S (Nikon), AI Servo AF (Canon)/AF-C (Nikon), and final AI Focus (Canon) and AF-A (Nikon).

Probably the most commonly used focus mode is the One-Shot/Single-Servo option. It is the best choice for stationary subjects and serves as the standard setting on your camera. For this setting, the autofocus system achieves focus and then locks that setting in until the shutter is actuated. Once locked, you are assured that your subject will be sharply focused.

AI Servo/AF-C, on the other hand, focuses the lens continuously, which makes it ideal for tracking a moving subject. In this focus mode, the camera will let you take a picture at any time, even if the subject isn’t in focus. This mode is the best choice when you have a moving subject like children, animals, shooting sports, birds, etc.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

You can change your focus mode in the quick control panel (this shows the Canon options).

Many cameras also offer a third autofocus mode: AI Focus (Canon) or AF-A (Nikon). This mode attempts to automatically detect whether the subject is stationary or moving and sets the focus mode depending on the situation. However, AI Focus isn’t as reliable as the other two dedicated settings, so it’s best to deliberately select between One-Shot/AF-S or AI Servo/AF-C where possible.

 

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

AI Servo/AF-C focus mode is ideal for photographing moving subjects.

3 – Not shooting in RAW format

For much of my early photography, I shot in jpeg. It was a familiar file format, so I just went with it. Only later did I discovered what I was missing out on. JPEG files are processed by the camera. That means that while settings like color temperature and exposure are set based on your camera settings, the camera will process the image to adjust blacks, contrast, brightness, noise reduction and sharpening. The file will then be compressed into a JPEG.

But because the image has been edited, compressed and then saved as a JPEG, information in the original photograph gets discarded and cannot be recovered. This limits how much editing you can do with the image in post-production.

Advantages of RAW format

RAW files, on the other hand, are uncompressed and unprocessed. Although they come out looking flatter and darker than JPEG images, they retain all the information recorded in the original image. This allows for a lot more flexibility in post-production, allowing you to take full control over adjustments that you want to apply to a photograph.

Shooting in JPEG can be useful for happy-snaps or circumstances where output doesn’t need to be as higher quality. Otherwise, for professional-grade imagery, you want to shoot in camera RAW. And if you aren’t sure, it is possible to shoot both at the same time – just make sure you have an extra CF card or two on hand.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

You can see that the unedited, uncompressed RAW image is a lot flatter than the JPEG because it retains all the information of the original shot. Only after processing will the RAW image match or surpass the look of the JPG.

4 – Always shooting in automatic mode

Automatic exposure mode means that the shutter speed, aperture and ISO are set automatically by the camera for a given situation, leaving you to depress the shutter button and move onto the next shot. But what if you want to take more control over your images?

The biggest advantage of shooting in manual mode (or shutter/aperture priority mode) over automatic is creative control. Plus, the camera doesn’t always get the algorithm for exposure right, so you can end up with underexposed or overexposed images.

Choose a semi-automatic mode instead

You don’t have to shoot fully manual to take better control of your images either. Aperture and Shutter Priority modes allow you to select and adjust either your aperture or shutter speed while the camera compensates to give you the right exposure.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

Auto shooting mode.

By using Aperture Priority, you have much more control over the depth of field in your image, dictating how much of the image is in sharp focus. This is helpful for many genres from portraiture to landscape photography, changing the dynamic of your images depending on the situation and how deep you want your photographs to look.

As for using Shutter Priority, being able to take control of the motion in an image allows for a lot more creative leeway. Motion blur has long been used to make images more dynamic. Think waterfalls with smooth flowing water and time-lapse cityscapes, as well as intentional camera movement.

While Automatic exposure mode is useful and often effective, relying only on Auto is allowing your creative photographic potential go to waste. Experimenting with shooting in full Manual or Shutter or Aperture Priority Mode means that you can truly get to know your camera and exploit its artistic possibilities.

5 – Not backing up files

We have a saying in Australia; “She’ll be right”. The term asserts that whatever is wrong will right itself with time. It’s both an optimistic and an apathetic outlook, and when it comes to photography, it can be the start of a spiral into digital file oblivion. I’m talking about backing up files.

Okay, so it isn’t technically an in-camera setting mistake, but photography has an enormous output of content that needs to be maintained so that it is as fresh as the day it was created.

From day one, “she’ll be right” just doesn’t cut it. If you only have one copy of your images stored on a hard drive, and that hard drive fails, (as they often do) then you’ll completely lose all your work. Forever! The easy solution is to have a second or even third copy of your images stored somewhere else, either on an external hard drive or cloud storage service.

Make the investment now and you’ll thank yourself later.

5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers

An old favorite, this image is backed up on two separate hard drives!

Conclusion

Starting out in photography can sometimes seem like a daunting task – there’s so much to learn! But photographers, for the most part, are a friendly bunch. We’re happy to pass on the tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.

By doing your research, there are plenty of ways to dig into photography, avoiding common mistakes, and delve into the world of photography with confidence!

The post 5 Common Camera Setting Mistakes Made by Newbie Photographers appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Kamlan 28mm F1.4 APS-C lens unveiled with upcoming Kickstarter campaign

Chinese company Machang Optics is preparing to launch its new Kamlan 28mm F1.4 MFT lens on Kickstarter, where the company currently has its project listed in draft. The latest Kamlan lens is billed as an inexpensive alternative to pricier lenses while offering the same "premium optical quality" paired with a versatile focal length, super-low chromatic aberration, and a full metallic body.

The Kamlan 28mm F1.4 APS-C lens features 7 groups in 8 elements, 11 circular blades, 0.25m minimum focusing distance, 0.15x max magnification, manual focus, 52mm filter thread, and a 348g / 12oz weight. Machang Optics says the manual aperture ring is de-clicked for smooth changes during video recording.

Despite its budget-tier cost, Machang claims its new Kamlan lens provides a "neutral, accurate color rendition" and excellent center sharpness. The company plans to offer its latest model in Canon EOS M, Micro Four Thirds, Sony E, and Fuji XF mounts.

Once live, Kickstarter backers will able to pledge $149 USD to the campaign for a single Kamlan 28mm F1.4 lens. Shipping to backers is expected to start in August, and the lens has an anticipated $199 USD retail price.

In addition to its new 28mm offering, Machang has revealed a product timeline for future lenses it plans to launch: 21mm F1.8 APS-C, 50mm F1.1 Mark2, 32mm F1.3 APS-C, and 15mm F1.8 APS-C. The company indicates it will launch these new lenses later this year.

Via: 43rumors

Tamron acknowledges 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD autofocus issue

Autofocus issues with Tamron's new 28-75mm F2.8 for E-mount have been reported by some users, and the company has issued an official acknowledgement of the problems. While there's no fix just yet, Tamron says it is 'evaluating the cause of the error' and researching a solution. The company says it will issue a firmware update, which thanks to the open nature of Sony's E-Mount standard, users will be able to apply the new firmware directly through the camera.

The issue specifically manifests itself as a complete autofocus freeze or fail, and though Tamron states that it primarily occurs in video shooting, users have reported issues in stills shooting as well. It's worth noting that in our experience with the lens so far, we have not noticed any focus problems to the degree we've seen from users on YouTube.

View our Tamron FE 28-75mm F2.8
sample gallery

We did have a handful of images that were slightly front-focused throughout the course of shooting our sample gallery, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary or resembling a complete focus fail that required restarting the camera or removing and re-mounting the lens.

Notice about 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) Operation

Dear Tamron product users and potential purchasers.

Thank you for your interest in Tamron products.

We would like to announce that we discovered some issues with the auto focus of our new lens, 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) for Sony E-mount, 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras, released on May 24, 2018. The issues occur primarily when using the camera in video recording mode.

Rest assured, we are evaluating the cause of the error and for the solution to this matter. We expect this issue to be resolved very shortly and we will release a firmware update at that time.

Regarding the firmware updating process, please be assured that the process is accomplished directly through the Sony camera and supported by the Sony firmware updating function. As soon as the process is finalized, we will explain the process in detail on our website.

We sincerely apologize to all users and potential purchasers for any inconvenience this issue may cause.

Tamron acknowledges 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD autofocus issue

Autofocus issues with Tamron's new 28-75mm F2.8 for E-mount have been reported by some users, and the company has issued an official acknowledgement of the problems. While there's no fix just yet, Tamron says it is 'evaluating the cause of the error' and researching a solution. The company says it will issue a firmware update, which thanks to the open nature of Sony's E-Mount standard, users will be able to apply the new firmware directly through the camera.

The issue specifically manifests itself as a complete autofocus freeze or fail, and though Tamron states that it primarily occurs in video shooting, users have reported issues in stills shooting as well. It's worth noting that in our experience with the lens so far, we have not noticed any focus problems to the degree we've seen from users on YouTube.

View our Tamron FE 28-75mm F2.8
sample gallery

We did have a handful of images that were slightly front-focused throughout the course of shooting our sample gallery, but nothing terribly out of the ordinary or resembling a complete focus fail that required restarting the camera or removing and re-mounting the lens.

Notice about 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) Operation

Dear Tamron product users and potential purchasers.

Thank you for your interest in Tamron products.

We would like to announce that we discovered some issues with the auto focus of our new lens, 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036) for Sony E-mount, 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras, released on May 24, 2018. The issues occur primarily when using the camera in video recording mode.

Rest assured, we are evaluating the cause of the error and for the solution to this matter. We expect this issue to be resolved very shortly and we will release a firmware update at that time.

Regarding the firmware updating process, please be assured that the process is accomplished directly through the Sony camera and supported by the Sony firmware updating function. As soon as the process is finalized, we will explain the process in detail on our website.

We sincerely apologize to all users and potential purchasers for any inconvenience this issue may cause.

Xiaomi Mi 8 launches with tele-camera and AI-powered portrait mode

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi today announced its latest high-end smartphone, the Mi 8. The new model comes with very similar camera specifications to the Mi MIX 2S, featuring a wide/tele dual-camera setup.

The main camera uses a 1/2.55" Sony IMX363 Sony sensor with a 1.4µm pixel size, F1.8 aperture lens and a 4-axis optical image stabilization system. The longer lens offers approximately a 2x zoom factor. The sensor comes with smaller 1.0µm pixels, and at F2.4 the aperture is not quite as fast as the main camera's.

The camera uses PDAF to focus and a LED-flash helps illuminate your subjects in very low light. Artificial intelligence offers auto enhancement for more than 200 types of scenes and there is also an AI-enhanced portrait mode, similar to the iPhone X's portrait lighting. The latter is also available on the 20MP / F2.0 front camera.

Xiaomi Mi 8 portrait effect Xiaomi Mi 8 portrait effect

Images can be framed and viewed on a 6.21-inch Samsung AMOLED display with 18.7:9 aspect ratio and Full HD+ resolution and the device is powered by Qualcomm's top-end chipset Snapdragon 845. For those relying on their phone's GPS when out shooting images, it's worth noting that the Mi 8 is also the first smartphone with Dual GPS, combining L1 and L5 frequencies. This should provide faster and more precise location services than most devices.

Pricing starts at CNY2,699 (approximately $420) for the 6/64 GB version and go all the way up to CNY3,299 (approximately $515) for the 6/256 GB model, which, compared to some direct competitors, represents pretty good value. The Mi 8 will be available online and offline from June 5th.

Canon drops flagship EOS-1v film body and projects end date for repairs

It’s a bad week for film lovers as Canon follows Leica with the news of the discontinuation of an important 35mm camera from its line-up. Earlier Leica reported the end of the M7, and now Canon has announced it has ceased production of its flagship film body, the EOS-1v. The fact that most of us didn’t even know it was still in production anyway hardly softens the blow, as the launch of this model in 2000 was truly one of Canon’s greatest moments.

The hard-as-nails professional body can shoot at 10 fps with the PB-E2 power pack attached, and can even manage 9 fps in AF servo. It has a 45-point AF array, a shortest flash sync of 1/250 sec, a top shutter speed of 1/8000sec and is claimed to be good for over 150,000 actuations. It can store the shooting data from 100 rolls of 36 exposure film to be read-out using Canon’s EOS Link ES-E1 software and matched to the roll using an ID number imprinted on the film leader by the standard camera back. Best of all, its 0.72x 100% viewfinder presents a huge, clear and bright view of the world even by today’s best standards.

When it was launched in 2000 the camera was priced at 270,000 yen ($2480 at current rates), and used models still fetch around $600 through online auction sites.

Canon says repairs will be carried out until October 31 2025, though after its statutory repair period in 2020 expires the company can’t guarantee it will have the necessary parts.
If this sad news is too much for you, reading the Google Translate version of Canon Japan’s statement might cheer you up. You can also read more about this fantastic camera in Canon's fabulous Camera Museum.

Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

There are three fundamental settings in landscape photography: the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed (known as the Exposure Triangle). While all of these are equally important to understand in order to create technically correct images, there’s one that’s extra important when it comes to an image’s visual impact. Adjusting the shutter speed makes a big difference and is often what can make your image stand out from the crowd.

Choosing the ideal shutter speed is not an easy process though. There rarely is a single correct shutter speed but there certainly are scenarios that benefit from a specific one. In this article, we’ll look at a few different scenes and how the shutter speed affects each of them.

Working with Fast Shutter Speeds

The easiest shutter speed to work with is a fast one. Working with fast shutter speeds doesn’t require a tripod and you can easily photograph subjects that quickly pass by. This is also the most common choice for most beginning photographers as it doesn’t require much effort (and most auto functions choose a relatively fast shutter speed).

Below you have a typical example of when you need to use a fast shutter speed. In order to freeze the motion of the deer, I had to increase the shutter speed to 1/320th of a second. Had the deer been moving at a higher tempo I would have to increase the shutter speed even more to avoid any motion blur.

deer in a field - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Photographing animals is not the only time where you should use a fast shutter speed though. In the image below, I used a shutter speed of 1/1600th.

Why did I use such a quick shutter speed for that scene? By the looks of it, the water is quite still, there are no moving subjects and there’s still enough light to use a slightly slower shutter speed, right? Yes, however, this shot was taken from a boat and even though the waters were relatively still, I needed a very quick shutter speed in order to freeze the scene without any blur from camera movement.

iceberg and water - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Use the ideal settings not perfect ones

Had I been standing on land, I could have easily used a slower shutter speed and achieved a similar look. In fact, the overall quality could have been even better as I could have used a lower ISO and an ideal aperture. However, the purpose of photography isn’t to always have the perfect settings; it’s having the ideal settings that allows you to get the shot within the given conditions. The most important is to actually capture the image.

For too long I was too focused on always having the perfect settings. The truth is that this often leads to missing the shot as you focus too much on the technical aspect rather than working with the conditions you’re given.

For example, using a slower shutter speed when standing on a boat (such as in the image above) would have led to the icebergs being blurry due to the motion. What would you prefer? A blurry picture which is “technically” perfect, or a sharp picture that doesn’t have the technically perfect settings?

Before we move on to slower shutter speeds, let’s look at a few more scenarios where a fast shutter speed is recommended:

  • When photographing handheld.
  • Photographing quickly moving subjects.
  • When aiming to freeze motion.
  • When photographing from a vehicle.

Working with Slow Shutter Speeds

In landscape photography, the difference between slow shutter speeds is much bigger than between fast shutter speeds. While you won’t see a huge difference between 1/320th of a second and 1/640th of a second (in most cases) you may see a big difference between 10 seconds and 60 seconds. Because of this, I’ll split this section in two parts: less than 30 seconds, and more than 30 seconds (Bulb Mode).

dark image with moving water - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

The definition of a long exposure is somewhat vague but in my Ultimate Guide to Long Exposure Photography eBook, I describe is at the shutter speed where you no longer can capture a sharp handheld image. Typically, this is in the range of 1/50th of a second, depending on your camera and focal length (a longer focal length requires a quicker shutter speed to capture a sharp handheld image than a wide-angle).

Shutter speeds up to 30 seconds

While the difference between a 1 second and 30-second shutter speed is big, it’s more natural to put these together in one section to keep this easier to follow. Still, I’ll try to break it up a little to give you an idea of which shutter speeds you should experiment with in different situations. Again, there’s no correct choice and it often comes down to your preference and the tools you’ve got to work with.

When photographing beaches and seascapes where waves are crashing onto the shore or forming around rocks, I often work with a shutter speed of 0.5-1 second. I find that this creates a nice blur in the water while still keeping enough texture. A slower shutter speed such as 8 seconds blurs the water but not enough to give it the “silky” effect you often see with long exposure photography (we’ll come back to that in a bit).

waves crashing on a rocky shore - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

This also applies when photographing waterfalls and rivers. I tend to use a semi-slow shutter speed rather than an ultra-slow shutter speed when working with these scenes, as I prefer to keep some textures in the water.

As you lengthen the shutter speed you’ll see that moving elements become more and more blurry. In the image below, I used a shutter speed of 20 seconds to blur the water and give some motion to the sky. If you look at the clouds, you can see that they have been moving and it’s starting to have the “dragged sky” effect.

seascape scene - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Keep in mind that the speed of the clouds determine how slow the shutter speed needs to be in order to pick up this motion. When clouds are moving quickly you can pick up their motion even with a shutter speed of 5-10 seconds, but to really get the “dragged sky” effect you often need to use a shutter speed (or exposure time) longer than 30 seconds.

Shutter speeds longer than 30 seconds (Bulb Mode)

In order to achieve a shutter speed longer than 30 seconds you most likely need to activate Bulb Mode.

When I first got into long exposure photography and purchased my first 10-Stop ND filters, I immediately got hooked on these ultra-slow shutter speeds. I’ll admit that I don’t do as much of it anymore (as it rarely fits with the vision I have for most locations) but it’s certainly a lot of fun to play with.

The main reason to use a shutter speed longer than 30 seconds for landscape photography is to achieve the “dragged sky” effect and to completely blur out moving elements such as water. It can also be a good way to remove people from your images (if they walk around during your 2-3 minute exposure they most likely “disappear”).

sunset on a coastal scene - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

For the image above I used a shutter speed of 180 seconds. As you can see, this has completely blurred the water and the sky is dragged across the frame.

Conclusion

Working with longer exposures can be a lot of fun but it’s not something that’s always beneficial. For example, when photographing a scene that doesn’t have any moving elements (and no clouds), there’s no need to use an ultra slow shutter speed, as it will most likely look exactly the same with a slower one.

So knowing how to select the best or most appropriate shutter speed takes practice, and comes down to what you want to achieve in your image.


For more information about this and other aspects of this type of photography, check out my Ultimate Guide to Long Exposure Photography eBook,

The post Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Review: Peak Design Capture Clip V3

Capture Clip V3
$70 | Peak Design.com

The original Capture Clip was a darling of Kickstarter, raising nearly $15 million back in 2011. V2 debuted in 2013 and was replaced by V3 at the beginning of 2018.

First released on Kickstarter in 2011, the Peak Design Capture Clip aimed to give photographers an easier way to carry their camera. Seven years later, we now have the Capture version V3, a much sleeker and more streamlined iteration of the original product.

Key Features

  • Arca-compatible plate
  • Aluminum construction
  • Anti-slip pad on mounting surface
  • Quick release button with security lock
  • Clip fits straps up to 6.4 cm wide and 1.6 cm thick
  • System can hold up to 90 kg (200 lb)
  • Available in silver and black

Design

$69.95 gets you the Capture Clip, an Arca-compatible plate, x2 hand-drive screws, x2 4mm hex screws (not shown), a hex wrench and a microfiber pouch for storage.

V3 boasts a 'smaller, lighter and lower profile' than V2 – more specifically it's 57 g / 2 oz lighter (clip plus plate), 2.1 cm narrower, 1.2 cm shorter and 0.8 cm thinner. From a design perspective this means an accessory that looks less like a chunky piece of gear and more like an integrated piece of design affixed to your bag or strap. It is still made of all aluminum (minus some rubber bits for gripping your bag strap) and still has a smooth anodized finish like its predecessor. It is also now available in two colors; Silver and Black.

With V3, Peak Design has simplified the Capture lineup to just one product – V2 offered both the Capture Standard and CapturePro at different price points. The former had a glass-reinforced nylon back and was cheaper than the all-aluminum Pro.

Like the V2, you can still integrate a variety of add-ons to your Capture system such as the Manfrotto RC2 compatible Dual Plate or the Peak Design Lens Kit. This means you can use the Capture Clip for its base purpose but still have the option to expand its functionality well beyond just carrying a camera on your bag.

What's also nice is V3 ships with two different sets of clamping bolts, hand-driven ones and a set that are driven in using a hex key (included).

In Use

The Capture Clip, in action.

The Capture system is extremely well designed and works exactly how you would expect it to: With the plate attached to your camera, simply slide it into the clip from above. When you want to retrieve your camera, press and hold the small button on the right side while sliding your camera back upward.

The first time I attached the system to my bag, I honestly didn’t expect to love it but quickly found myself enjoying the convenience it provides. In fact, all of the following gripes I have are admittedly nit-picky stuff because frankly the Capture Clip works well.

Even with a heavy camera attached, the Capture feels very secure

Attaching the clip portion to your bag for the first time can be a bit of a hassle but the key is just to loosen it more than you think you need to. Most folks will attach it to a backpack but it can easily be attached to a messenger bag, belt or something else entirely. Once attached to something it's not hard to remove and replace. I tried it on both my Peak Design Everyday Backpack and my nearly decade old Camelbak backpack and it fit securely on both.

Even with a heavy camera attached, the Capture feels very secure. The only time I worried while using it was when pulling my backpack off my shoulders. I sometimes instinctively like to toss my bag around - not a good idea when your precious gear is connected to the front.

While writing this review, I used the Capture with 4 different cameras: a Nikon D750 w/ 50mm 1.8 (1 kg / 2.19 lb), Nikkormat FTN w/ 50mm 1.4 (1.1 kg / 2.43 lb), Bronica RF645 w/ 65mm f/4 (1.1 kg / 2.44 lb) and Hasselblad 501C w/ 80mm f/2.8 (1.47 kg / 3.25 lb). All of these felt confidently secure.

Peak Design says the Capture is rated for up to 90 kg / 200 lb so safety-wise almost anything you would put on there is a non-issue. For me personally, the Hasselblad was a bit too heavy to be comfortable. But it wasn't just the weight; I also didn’t feel comfortable with the way large cameras or those with long lenses tend to pull down, potentially jabbing into your body.

Bottom line

The Capture system not only makes it simple to carry your camera, but it means you always have a plate attached for tripod mounting.

My biggest hangup with the Capture is just getting used to having your camera on your chest (that’s where I wore it at least), but it only took me about an hour of walking around in a park to get used to it. And by later that same day – while on a different shoot – I found I was using it instinctively.

My biggest hangup with the Capture is just getting used to having your camera on your chest

Overall for the price point of $69.95 the Capture Clip V3 isn’t cheap, but it’s worth the money if you’re looking for a new approach to the way you carry your camera. And if you’re looking to add another clip to your arsenal or upgrade from a previous version, you have the option of buying just the Clip alone for the lower price of $49.95.

Peak Design continues to bring a photographers-first approach to their design with a very strong sense for what works and what doesn’t. In this writer's opinion, the new Capture Clip falls squarely in the "works" column.

What we like:

  • Very comfortable, lightweight and slim
  • Rated for up to 90 kg / 200 lbs, very secure and safe
  • Very quick learning curve and extremely easy to get used to
  • Feels great ergonomically
  • Lots of options for placement and expanding uses with other add-ons
  • Stylish, really

What we don’t:

  • Pricey
  • Gear hangs forward on chest
  • Hex screw requires you to keep the hex wrench with you

Skydio R1 autonomous camera drone gets four new cinematic modes in update

The Skydio R1 aerial "self-flying camera" received its first major software update today, gaining four new cinematic modes: Quarter Lead, Quarter Follow, Car Follow, and Car Tripod. Skydio underscores the new Car Follow mode as the biggest new feature, one that enables the drone to follow vehicles autonomously while capturing footage.

Talking about the software update is Skydio CEO Adam Bry, who said, "With Skydio R1, cinematography becomes a software defined experience. That means we can regularly introduce fundamentally new capabilities over time for all existing and future users."

The R1 is billed as an advanced autonomous device thanks in part to the NVIDIA Jetson AI supercomputer powering the device. According to Skydio, the Car Follow feature is made possible via neural networks trained using automobile image datasets.

In addition to the new operation modes, R1's software update optimizes the Skydio Autonomy Engine prediction system to enable more intelligent obstacle handling. The drone's companion mobile app has received UI improvements that simplify accessing the new cinematic modes, and the update also improves the landing experience by showing operators exactly where the drone will land.

The Skydio R1 is available through Skydio's website for $2,499 USD.

You Should See what You’re Missing – Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

In this article, learn about some of the disadvantages of shooting JPGs. It’s easy to see issues when they are in plain sight, but it’s much more difficult to see things when they are hidden. This situation applies to photographic images containing deep shadows and bright highlights.

When the tonal balance of a scene is unbalanced, some of the critical detail and even emotion of the photo can get lost in the process. The balance and distinction of all five tone-zones (highlight, quarter, middle, three-quarter, and shadow) are critical to image clarity.

Detail

Two Ladies Dresden - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

The above shot was captured in Dresden Germany while my camera was in Manual Mode (all the settings must be manually balanced). Obviously, my choice of exposure settings was horribly wrong. For that, I offer no excuses.

When something like this happens and you don’t have the chance to retake the image, you can still salvage most of the colors and tones if your camera was set to capture RAW images. Then you can judiciously adjust the tonal settings in RAW interpreter software (you can see my adjustments for that image below).

Two Ladies CR - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

My normal mode of shooting is to capture both JPEG and RAW images for this very reason. Had I only captured the JPEG file, recovery attempts would have been ugly. RAW files capture a latitude of tones well beyond the limited range of JPEGs.

Clarity

Mirror - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

Imagine trying to either shave or put on makeup in front of a fogged mirror. This would be a recipe for disaster. As long as water droplets remain on the mirror, the light waves are disrupted and the clarity is diffused. Mirrors, like good photos, rely on clarity. And in photography, clarity is always a product of contrast.

When clear distinctions are not present in the tonal range, detail gets lost. In this case, both the highlight and shadow are indistinct. There is no clear distinction between the highlights (the very lightest zone in the picture) and the shadows (the very darkest zone in the picture).

High Contrast Scenes

This reenactment of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at Atlanta’s Renaissance Festival took place at high noon on a very bright and sunny day (images below.

Renaissance image - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

Original image

While the camera correctly recorded both the strong highlight and the deep shadow, the contrast was so intense that detail was lost in both the highlight and shadow areas of the image. High contrast scenes often occur during daylight hours under cloudless or even partly cloudy skies.

The sun’s light was so intense that entire areas of the image are brightly illuminated while others are quite dimly lit. While our eyes can adjust to a wide gamut of light, the digital camera sensor cannot adjust to both extremes at the same time.

Renaissance image after - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

After editing

While detail is the product of contrast; I’m not talking about overall contrast, but internal tone-zone contrast. For a full range picture to display detail, there must be a clear separation of these five zones.

5 Zone Histogram

“Tone-zones” is a term I use to describe the five easily identified tones in a digital photograph. Almost all photos contain all five zones. The only exceptions are extreme high-key and extreme low-key photos.

The same lack of detail can be observed in very high contrast scenes; ones whose lighting range covers everything from black to white. The photo below shows a scene typically found in strong sunlight situations. The drama of contrast certainly makes the picture attractive, but significant detail is missing, and it’s missing in broad daylight.

Lost in the Shadows

In the image below left, the camera’s exposure setting averaged the exposure between the darkest and lightest values in the scene. Unfortunately, the strong sunlight cast dark shadows beneath the walkways and the image sensor had no way to distinguish these tones. The image on the right is after processing.

The most common challenge that we all face is when an image is bathed in light and perfectly exposed, but areas of deep shade conceal detail. The camera averaged all the light in the scene but could not compensate for the strong shadows. The image sensor captures the full range of light between highlights and shadows. But it cannot alter the internal contrast of the overall range, as it cannot discern what human eyesight perceives as “balanced” lighting.

Genoa Bridge before - You Should See what You’re Missing - Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs

The bridge pictured above is a prime example of the camera encountering too much light or dynamic range.

Notice that both the highlights (top left) are completely blown out and the darkest shadows (inside the tunnel beneath the bridge) are also plugged up. This situation requires human intervention. Careful adjustments to the shadows and highlights via Photoshop’s Highlights/Shadows dialog restored the detail. I converted the grayscale image to RGB and added the sepia look via the Hue/Saturation dialog.

Genoa Bridge After

Your camera and your eyes see differently

The tonality problem stems from the fact that your eyes can see and your mind can process much more dynamic lighting than your camera is capable of doing. The very scene that your mind pictured before you took the shot appeared a whole lot more detailed than the one that showed up on your monitor. So what happened, and why?

Every time you focus your eyes on a subject, your eye adjusts to the lighting in the portion of the scene that you want to see. Your eye’s pupil opens up to see detail in darker areas and closes (like the aperture in your lens) down to filter out the extremely bright light. Your eye has a distinct advantage over a digital camera though because it adapts to the lighting in each portion of the scene almost instantly.

When your attention shifts slightly, your eye adjusts to render the lighting perfectly. Well, almost perfectly. You still have limitations such as you can’t stare directly into the sun and see detail and you can’t distinguish serious detail under moonlight, but you get the idea.

This visual acclimation happens constantly and quite automatically because your eyes see real life pretty much the same way that a video captures motion; scores of individual “still” shots projected onto your mind every second. They appear and are adjusted by your mind so quickly that you don’t even notice that it happens.

Your camera is at a disadvantage

Your camera, on the other hand, captures one frozen moment of time for each picture. And since the camera cannot adjust to different areas of the scene individually, the current exposure setting only captures as much light range as it can within a single shot. Your camera’s limitations are determined largely by the ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings that you dialed in at the time the shot was captured.

This is in addition to the disadvantages of shooting JPGs.

While your camera does have limitations, there are adjustments you can make to both the internal and overall contrast of each image. Making these adjustments will bring your photos much closer in appearance to what your mind perceived when you clicked the shutter.

Low Contrast and Bad Color Balance

No matter how advanced your camera or how experienced a photographer you are, occasionally you end up with an exposure dud like this one. If the subject is important enough, you’ve got to find a way to rescue and restore the image to its full tonal range, color balance, and detail. The interior lighting of this centuries-old castle chapel was mixed and dark.

Your major adjustments are Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. To make the most of these tools I strongly suggest that you capture your images in RAW format and adjust them in a RAW interpreter (Lightroom, Camera Raw, Exposure X-3, ON1 Photo Raw, etc.). The major controls are very similar in each of these packages.

Conclusion

So do not ever be satisfied with what first appears on your monitor. If you captured the image in RAW format, you’ve recorded all the color and light information possible. On the other hand, if you only saved a JPEG file, your adjustments will be quite limited. Learn to move colors and tones around in your RAW images to see what your missing.

Push pixels around and stay focused.

The post You Should See what You’re Missing – Disadvantages of Shooting JPGs appeared first on Digital Photography School.

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