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Hot Topic (More than 30 Replies) What they left out of your camera manual. (Read 28255 times)
17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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What they left out of your camera manual.
Nov 16th, 2009 at 7:54pm
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Just like you can't learn to drive a car by reading the manual, you can't learn how to use your camera buy reading the manual.
Hopefully this can help someone out.

I'll start with Aperture Priority (AV or A mode)
You set the aperture and the camera automatically sets the other setting to create the correct exposure.
This is probably the mode I use the most, I like it because its pretty hard to get wrong.
What is aperture? its how open the lens is when taking the photo (how much light is let into the camera) and is measured in f/ numbers (f/stops).
The lower the f/ number the Larger the aperture is, this lets more light into the image sensor
The higher the f/ number the smaller the aperture, this lets less light into the image sensor.

How does this affect your photos?
1. Shutter Speed:
a) At a lenses lowest aperture say f/1.8 the aperture is wide open (on my lens), at f/1.8 95% of the time I can use the fastest possible shutter speed for the situation with out under exposing the photo.

b) At a lenses highest aperture say f/36, the lens has the smallest possible opening and 99% of the time you can use the slowest possible shutter speed for the situation, and get the correct exposure.

*note: When in aperture priority if you 1/2 press the shutter and the shutter speed flashes the photo will either be under or overexposed and you need to adjust the aperture.

2. DOF, Depth of Field.
a) A lenses lowest f/ number creates a shallow depth of field, This means that the area where the camera is focused is sharp, and the areas in the foreground and background are blurred.
This image is at an Aperture of f/1.8

b) a lenses highest f/ number creates and deeper depth of field and a larger percentage of the image will be sharp and in focus

This was taken with the same lens but using f/14 (not the lens highest f/ number)

*note: Low f/ number are great for portraits, flowers animals ect as they isolate the subject, create depth and cause the subject to pop out of the image, also good for capturing fast moving subjects
High f/ numbers are great for landscapes, multiple subjects ect, BUT BE AWARE THIS WILL CAUSE LONGER EXPOSURE TIMES, a tripod is recommended.

one last example

*note: while the apurtures and shutter speed are different the in both photos, and exposure remains pretty much the same.
Also note the reduced DOF is the photo on the left, the PS3 and pillow are blurred, where in the photo on the right they are sharper.
SO
Smaller f/numbers = Bigger apertures
Bigger aperture = Faster shutter speed, and shallower depth of field

Bigger f/numbers = Smaller apertures
Smaller apertures = Slower shutter speed, and a larger dept of field.
« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2009 at 7:05pm by »  
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17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #1 - Nov 16th, 2009 at 7:55pm
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Shutter Priority (TV or S) Mode
You set the shutter speed and the camera does the rest.
With this you need to be aware that its very easy to have a to fast or to slower shutter speed for the situation.

How do I know if the exposure will be correct? Press the shutter way down, if the Aperture f/number flashes the shutter speed is either to slow or to fast.

I really dont use this mode much, I'll try to explain why I prefer AV mode.
If I use my camera in TV mode and set the shutter speed to its fastest speed of 4000th of sec. only about 10% of the time there will be enough light to get a correct exposure.
But if I use AV mode set it to the lowest f/ number I get the fastest possible shutter speed, 90% of the time the exposure will be correct.
this is also the case when you do the opposite.

use the TV mode set the shutter to 30sec and only 10% of the time its will be dark enough for a correct exposure.
but use AV and use the highest f/number the camera will then use the slowest shutter speed possible for a correct exposure and will work probably around 95% of the time.

I hope that makes sense?

----------------------------------------------

M mode. Full Manual
You set the shutter and aperture.
There are two things I use this for.
1. Wireless flash, I have to manual set the camera up to sync with the flash. If I did this AV or TV mode, the camera would automatically use setting to take a photo with out the flash.

2. which can be cool. Really long exposure.
a)I can take long exposures of the stars moving through the sky, buy turning the shutter speed past 30 to "bulb" setting, In bulb mode the shutter will stay open for as long as you have the shutter release pressed down (use a remote shutter to keep the shutter open with out having to hold it.)
You want to set your lens to infinity focus, you will need to work out where that is on your lens.

b) the one every wants to do, take photo of lightening, again you do this by setting the camera to bulb, pressing the shutter and holding it till lightening strikes...wait for a few strikes if you can.
*Note: You don't want to keep it open to long as it will become noisy/grainy
« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2009 at 7:06pm by »  
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17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #2 - Nov 16th, 2009 at 7:55pm
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Auto Focus
Sick of camera auto focusing on the wrong area? Select AF points. I have my camera set to only the center AF works. I point the camera and subject half press the shutter, and the camera focuses, with the shutter still half pressed I re-frame the image (move the camera so the Subject is where I want it within the frame)
*Note: use the rule of 1/3's: (This is known as composition.
-try to avoid having your subject in the center of the frame
-when doing landscape try to avoid having the horizon in the center
Example


Moving Subject?
Go into the cameras menu and change the AF mode to AI servo.
In AI Servo mode, when the shutter is half pressed the camera will continually refocus on what ever is behind the AF point.
*note: In AI Servo you CAN NOT re-frame the subject.

----------------------------------------------

RAW, I recommend shooting in RAW, you can badly stuff photos up, and Fox them using a program like Adobe Camera Raw.
RAW files save a lot more information (which can be recovered) that normally gets lost/deleted when shooting in JPEG

----------------------------------------------

Want to get fancy? Try HDR.
We have all seen those surreal landscape photos and wondered how its  done, well alot of them are done using HDR
What is HDR? It stands for High Dynamic Range, and basically its a type of photo processing which uses a number of photos at different exposures and blends them into one image.
So you take 3 or more photos at different exposers, for example 1 normal 1 over exposed and 1 underexposed

In the normal photo the sky is probably to bright and the foreground to dark, with some ok stuff in between
In the overexposed photo the sky will be way to bright, the foreground ok, and the stuff in the middle a bit brighter than before.
In the underexposed photo the sky will look great, and everything else will look to dark

would you like the best of all 3? HDR does this.

HDR example
Before:

After:


This was created in a program called Photomatix.
You can use AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) in the cameras menu to take different exposures, it can also be done manually, see your camera manual

*note: when doing this its best not to have anything moving, its 3 or more images overlapping remember so if things move (clouds people trees what ever) it will create ghosting. If you look at the above example you can see some ghosting of the flax in the foreground

----------------------------------------------

Must Haves
-Tripod, a decent one is worth is
-Polarizing filter, just like your fishing glasses, it cuts reflection from non-metallic surfaces, and also bring out awesome contrast in the sky (whiter clouds and bluer skies)
-Graduated filter. Hate it how bright skies make your landscapes dark? these fix that, its a filter that fades from dark to clear, you put the dark side over the sky down to the horizon and the clear over the land/sea/ what ever. These also bring out the contrast is the clouds.
 - you can also get the above filters in different colours, to make that sunset look even better.
-Remote shutter, great for long exposures, and photo where you want to be away from the camera, and the eliminate the camera shake caused by pressing the shutter on the camera.
-Off camera flash, with wireless trigger, if you like taking photos of "stuff" this is for you, you can also add umbrellas for portraits ect.

----------------------------------------------

Here are a couple of my photos with one of my favorite set ups.
Fixed 50mm f/1.8 II lens, with a wireless flash, and an umbrella, I also used the a remote shutter.
enjoy




this is water dripping into an Ice Cream container, the red comes from the flash reflecting of my snowboard jacked.
« Last Edit: Nov 17th, 2009 at 7:09pm by »  
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17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #3 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 8:46pm
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ISO is pretty much the cameras sensitivity to light. With film cameras the films came with different ISO's, so its sort of a digital version of that, and produces pretty the same image as the film version.
so setting your ISO to 600 on a DSLR looks pretty similar to ISO 600 film or what ever the equivalent is called

Becuase the camera becomes more sensitive to light you can use faster shutter speeds, and/or smaller apertures (smaller apertures have larger f/number remember Wink ). Althought the higher the ISO the poorer the quality of the image.
Anything below about 400 is generally ok but once you get up around 800 and over it looks nasty, it gets noisy and grainy

Changing the ISO will affect the camera in a number of ways depending on what setting your in.

So in practice
if I have my Aperture set to f/1.8, and take a photo in my room this is what happens at various ISO

ISO100 the shutter speed is 1/4
ISO400 the shutter speed is 1/25
ISO1600 the shutter speed is 1/100
the photos all come out with the same exposure.

If I set the camera to shutter priority and do the same thing this is what happens. Shutter speed 1/10

ISO100 the aperture is f/1.8
ISO800 the aperture is f/5.6
ISO1600 the aperture is f/6.3
the photos all come out with the same exposure.

*note: the images are all pretty much the same exposure.


Now look closer, see ISO100 is blurry but "good quality" where as ISO400 is sharper but already the quality is degraded, and ISO1600 is well CRAP!!

so if your a party or what ever, trying to take photos of your friends, and your images are getting blurry, you can turn up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed.

*note: Higher ISO will make the image noisy

I try to keep my ISO at 100. I have changed it at times, for example I was trying to take photos of fish in a fish take, and at ISO 100 the shutter speed was to slow.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #4 - Nov 16th, 2009 at 9:41pm
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Some bloody great info here, its pretty much what I learnt out of a whole year of photography at school.
  
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17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #5 - Nov 16th, 2009 at 10:08pm
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Roaring_Red wrote on Nov 16th, 2009 at 9:41pm:
Some bloody great info here, its pretty much what I learnt out of a whole year of photography at school.


Cheers.

I want to try get some deer shots, and pratices stalking, so thinking of going into woodhill to shoot some fallow...with my camera  Wink
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #6 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 12:21am
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Nice thread, but very biased... Towards Canon. Grin For Nikon users swap AV for A, TV for S, M for M. Why Canon came up with 'TV' for shutter priority is beyond me.

Personally I HATE the rule of thirds, rules are there to be broken. But a very good thread and should really be made a sticky. It's what you need to know to begin photography. Well done 17HMRBT Cool Cool Cool
I look forward to seeing more posts like this and some more of your pic's. Cool Cool Cool
  

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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #7 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 1:43am
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Tv = time value... makes sense. Time the shutter is open, i.e. 1/60th of a second. It makes perfect sense....  S, what the hell does that stand for???  Wink
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #8 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 8:12am
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I agree, i look at other forums to get info,but were better place to get info on outdoor photography then here. Huh

Theres a few guys on here that really know there stuff and im willing to listen if the will depart with some knowledge on photography.

I would really like to know the in's and out's of shooting the moon, and night photography, also sunsets and what filters will help me.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #9 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 12:53pm
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SIKADDICTION. wrote on Nov 17th, 2009 at 8:12am:
I agree, i look at other forums to get info,but were better place to get info on outdoor photography then here. Huh

Theres a few guys on here that really know there stuff and im willing to listen if the will depart with some knowledge on photography.

I would really like to know the in's and out's of shooting the moon, and night photography, also sunsets and what filters will help me.


Im no pro but I found when trying to get the detail of the moon I needed quite a fast shutter speed otherwise it was just a white ball.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #10 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 1:28pm
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Roaring_Red wrote on Nov 17th, 2009 at 12:53pm:
SIKADDICTION. wrote on Nov 17th, 2009 at 8:12am:
I agree, i look at other forums to get info,but were better place to get info on outdoor photography then here. Huh

Theres a few guys on here that really know there stuff and im willing to listen if the will depart with some knowledge on photography.

I would really like to know the in's and out's of shooting the moon, and night photography, also sunsets and what filters will help me.


Im no pro but I found when trying to get the detail of the moon I needed quite a fast shutter speed otherwise it was just a white ball.


Yep that's what i found too R_R. I found the best way to get a good shot of the moon was to shoot at dusk when the sky was still light ish, and that way the moon isn't such a bright contrast in comparison with the pitch black sky around it, and my cam could pick up the detail in it. I then went into photoshop and took the colour out of the sky (desaturated and levels) so that it looked exactly like i shot it at night time, except it had a lot more detail.
If shooting at night time, i had to adjust the exposure and shoot about 3 or 4 full stops below 0 until it came up with any decent detail.
It's all just trial and error though, gotta love digital!
  
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17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #11 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 6:53pm
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MEB wrote on Nov 17th, 2009 at 12:21am:
Personally I HATE the rule of thirds, rules are there to be broken.


I tried to word it like it was an actual rule. Cheesy
There is always situtations where is meant to be broken. And the "rule also works different ways not just using vertical and horizontal 3rds
  
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17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #12 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 6:59pm
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SIKADDICTION. wrote on Nov 17th, 2009 at 8:12am:
I agree, i look at other forums to get info,but were better place to get info on outdoor photography then here. Huh

Theres a few guys on here that really know there stuff and im willing to listen if the will depart with some knowledge on photography.

I would really like to know the in's and out's of shooting the moon, and night photography, also sunsets and what filters will help me.


This is my only moon shot, it came out shit for a number of reasons. It was just after sunset and the sky was still blue so it wasnt contrasting enough, and It wasnt focused correctly.

FYI the moon isn't at Infinity Focus.

1/400 @ f/5.6, ISO200 (I don't know why should have been 100 but i didn't realise, 300mm

  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #13 - Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:11pm
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if you have spot metering use it to get a reading on the moon.
17hmr keep it up ,well done Smiley
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #14 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 9:22am
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This is an unaltered shot of the moon. Here'e what I went thru to get it... EOS350D, 2x teleconvertor, 1.4x teleconvertor, 400mm telephoto lens. Tripod, mirror lockup, cable released. With all that magnification, the mirror flipping up caused vibration that was clearly visible thru the viewfinder, which ruined the shot. 1/125, f11, asa400.     On the computor, if I zoom in and look close, I can see the craters and eploded bits and even little bits of rock!... Nah not really, but it is surprising what can be seen.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #15 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 9:48am
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Nice shot! is that picture full size frogboy? i.e no crop at all?
  
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frogboy
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #16 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 10:02am
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Yeah, no cropping at all. Stopping it down to f11 was the go with all those telecovertors stacked on. 400mm x 2 x 1.4 x 1.6 camera sensor crop = ???? brain overload. Anyone?
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #17 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 10:25am
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Im suprised you could see anything through all that glass Grin
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #18 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 12:00pm
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Quote:
Yeah, no cropping at all. Stopping it down to f11 was the go with all those telecovertors stacked on. 400mm x 2 x 1.4 x 1.6 camera sensor crop = ???? brain overload. Anyone?


Shit that's a decent focal length! I didn't know you could stack the extenders on top of each other, that's pretty cool. Can you still use all of the autofocus points with those extenders on?

I bet that moon looks bloody awesome fullscreen, good stuff  Cool
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #19 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 12:02pm
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whereami wrote on Nov 17th, 2009 at 10:11pm:
if you have spot metering use it to get a reading on the moon.
17hmr keep it up ,well done Smiley


Hey whereami how does the spot metering work? My 400 doesn't have it so haven't been able to play around. Does it just have a really narrow metering zone as opposed to trying to evenly meter most of the photo?
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #20 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 4:16pm
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the 400 has partial spot metering and yes it covers a very small area to meter from.
I will write a few articles on my blog and link them here when im finshed my website...if I ever finish it. Cry
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #21 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 4:44pm
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great shot.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #22 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 5:23pm
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Quote:
Tv = time value... makes sense. Time the shutter is open, i.e. 1/60th of a second. It makes perfect sense....  S, what the hell does that stand for???  Wink


S stands for shutter. A stands for Aperture. Quite easy if you think about it.
  

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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #23 - Nov 18th, 2009 at 8:08pm
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You mentioned ISO in your moon pic, but left it out in your very informative postings (or did I miss it?).

Do you ever mess around with ISO and for what reason? What part does it play now we don't use films??

  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #24 - Nov 19th, 2009 at 7:44am
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One of the things I was looking forward to most when switching from film to digital, was the fact that I could so easily switch the ISO/ASA speed to whatever I wanted. This is such a bonus. It is the first thing I do when turning on my camera, think about what "film" speed I'm gonna need. My camera has a range from 100-1600. All of them are very useable and it is hard if not impossible for me to tell the difference between them. Bright sunny day? I select 100-400. Sneaking around in the bush with a telephoto where it is dark and gloomy; I go with 1600, often dialling in underexposure -1 or even -2. As long as there is no bright sunlight in the pic, this works well too. A rough guide, bright sunny day, low ISO. Cloudy overcast, higher ISO. There is a direct relationship between ISO and shutter speeds and aperture values. This needs thinking about. Aperture controls the depth of field of the photograph, and shutter speeds control things like expressing movement or even wether a photo is usuable or ruined by unintended subject movement.    ISO/ASA.... First thing I think about.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #25 - Nov 20th, 2009 at 4:34pm
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just saw this on the explore page of my flickr
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #26 - Nov 20th, 2009 at 8:22pm
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Great posts everyone. That moon pic with the silhouette (is it a Wap?) is amazing.

Here's one I took in Whataroa - I can't remember the exact camera settings but it was ISO100, and I had to have a much faster than expected shutter speed (bit of trial and error to get it right).


For those wanting to learn more here's some great advice here from the legendary NZ stock photographer Rob Suisted:
http://www.naturespic.com/articles/articlecontents/articlecontents.html
  

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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #27 - Nov 20th, 2009 at 8:33pm
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H_R I think that moon/deer pic has been played around with a bit  Wink
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #28 - Nov 20th, 2009 at 8:38pm
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yes it has.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #29 - Nov 20th, 2009 at 9:12pm
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Roaring_Red wrote on Nov 20th, 2009 at 8:33pm:
H_R I think that moon/deer pic has been played around with a bit  Wink


Embarrassed  Embarrassed Embarrassed It wasn't entirely unfeasible...

Anyways I was gonna save this pic for a magazine article  - but as I was taking a sequence of the moon that night I spooked a good buck from the Whataroa Whitetail herd...

  Grin Grin Grin
  

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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #30 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:15am
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #31 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 11:13am
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Is that whereami biken home from the pub  Huh Grin
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #32 - Nov 21st, 2009 at 3:14pm
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SIKADDICTION. wrote on Nov 21st, 2009 at 11:13am:
Is that whereami biken home from the pub  Huh Grin

Grin Grin Grin That's good.
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #33 - Nov 22nd, 2009 at 2:57pm
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wasnt me the bike is still upright and Im not pushing it, its been years since Ive been able to get my leg over anything when Ive been a wee drunkin Grin
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #34 - Nov 22nd, 2009 at 8:02pm
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Awesome info thanks 17HMR_Ballistic_Tip
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #35 - Nov 24th, 2009 at 12:57pm
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All really good stuff, for some reason I really like that kiwifruit pic... I havn't played with off camera flash at all, I'm not really creative enough, ha ha.

One thing I have found helps for moving targets is to use back button focussing.

One some cameras there is a dedicated AF-ON button (or a * button on others) on the back. Through the custom functions you can program it to do the job of a shutter button half press (activates autofocus and the metering) and then program the shutter button half press to be an metering+exposure lock button.

Probably sounds confusing but basically it means you can separate autofocus from picture taking, which can be pretty handy for the focus recompose technique etc. Took me a week to get used to it but I'm never going back  Smiley
  
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #36 - Nov 24th, 2009 at 2:03pm
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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #37 - Aug 28th, 2012 at 9:51pm
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Awesome. Getting a new camera and trolling through this thread, 3 years old but exactly what I was after. Should be a sticky topic!
  

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Re: What they left out of your camera manual.
Reply #38 - Nov 28th, 2016 at 1:48am
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Just got myself a new camera and this info has been great  Smiley
  

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