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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by NedYoung View Post

I'm guessing the store had been ripped off by someone returning the junk you got and keeping the real thing. The store probably restocked the junk without examining it as closely as you did, and then it was available for you to buy.
I hadn't thought of that, Ned, but it is a very likely explanation.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by joraft View Post
Ain't that the truth! All very good points, Victor and Colin.

But on the subject of working with RAW files, I too was not enthusiastic about working with them at first, but I sure am now. Software like Lightroom lets you make all the adjustments you would normally leave to the camera, after the fact, and it gives you as many chances as you need to get it right. About the only mistake it can't help much with is over-exposure, so I always try to err on the side of under-exposure.

And as far as working with a large number files at once, Lightroom makes that a piece of cake.
John,
Sounds like your more comfortable manipulating your Images after the fact on your computer, rather than trying to work on getting them right on the shot, this is just an observation not criticism, however you get to the end result does not really matter as long as you get there !.
Personally I strive to get the exposure right on the shot. most DSLR's now days allow you to bracket your exposure automatically, in situations where I worry about exposure I set the camera to bracket + & - one full stop in half stop increments, one shot 5 photos, usually you get it right. then I save the computer for color correction and for working on composition. The reason I mention this is I used to rely on the software way to much, the more you "mess" with the photo the more it seems manufactured ....to me anyway.... Now I try to work on trying to as little to the shot as I can in my photo editing software and in turn I have learned a lot about using the camera to it's full..... Saying this I still have problems with composition I will take a photo which at the time I think is perfect, later when veiwing the image on the computer I will find with a little cropping a better photo hiding inside
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by ColinWhite View Post

... Personally I strive to get the exposure right on the shot.
Of course I do too, Colin. But, while I'm building the experience to be able to do that (at least most of the time) it's nice to be able to fix things after the fact.

I find adjusting RAW files to be different than "tweaking" them later as JPEGs. Rather than adding anything to the photo I'm making adjustments I could (or should) have set the camera to make. In fact, I find that doing this has actually helped me better understand the settings on my camera, and what settings would have worked better.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

John,
Just goes to show how flexible digital photography is and how many other skills can be of help to you, who would have though computer skills would have been useful to a photographer 15yrs ago. I am just happy to see you are enjoying your new camera and having fun, manipulating your images will probably become another hobby in itself.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

Manipulating the white balance after the fact was most important benefit for me in shooting raw. Digital cameras now are just so good at getting the white balance challenge under control.
Professionals making a living with their photos appreciate the luxury of post processing. Even those guys are now just shooting jpegs because of the time associated processing RAW files.

For me skin tones is everything and my S3 does a magnificent job on out of camera jpegs. In mixed lighting tricky conditions is where you may want to use flash/lens filters or set a custom white balance. Technically there will be a compromise if all the lighting is not the same color temperature.

I worked weddings for a period and shot everything in high quality JPEG. If I had to go back and process 2000 raw images I would of gotten out of it sooner than I did.

To RAW or not to RAW? Completely up to the individual
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by joraft View Post
Of course I do too, Colin. But, while I'm building the experience to be able to do that (at least most of the time) it's nice to be able to fix things after the fact.

I find adjusting RAW files to be different than "tweaking" them later as JPEGs. Rather than adding anything to the photo I'm making adjustments I could (or should) have set the camera to make. In fact, I find that doing this has actually helped me better understand the settings on my camera, and what settings would have worked better.
Thats the way I feel about developing the RAW files. It helps me understand what each tweek would look like. Sometimes I take the adjust from one extreme to the other just to see what it does.

I know I'm going down a slope. Too bad the emotiocons don't have a dude sliding down a slope. Thanks vteknicle for offering me to borrow some of your photo books, and the other advice. I'm trying to take my personality into this purchase. I like the best, but I cannot afford it, If given the chance to upgrade to a nicer setup, probably would. This alone has almost got me thinking Nikon, just cause the lenses have always worked on the newer cameras (from what I have read, I might be wrong). Then I'm trying to decide what my needs are. I would say at family get togethers it would be a lot of portrait type photos. I have an untrained eye, but the Panasonic I got actually did a really good job at this. I could of used a tri-pod, but the pictures turned out great. The other type would be candid shots of the kids. This is where I am most frustrated with this setup. I have gotten some good pictures, but I have missed a lot.

One camera that caught my eye was the Casio EX-FH20. It claims to shoot 40 frames a second, and a 20x optical zoom. I wonder if this would be all I would need , but then I would still have a point and shoot. I would like to be able to use some UV filters as well. I also wouldn't be able to do any other changes on lenses either.

One other reason why I don't mind investing some money is because the end benefit is I have more pictures of my family. I have always wished I had taken more pictures of my Dad before he had passed away. I had always taken pictures of the kids, at birthday partys or other times. Partly because kids are always changing, and growing. I never thought to get pictures of the "grown ups", becuase I thought they would always be there.

I always figured on a budget of about $3000 for the body, but realistically it would have to be about half of that. I don't want to just have a body, and thats it. Any more advice would be appreciated. I have purchased the latest Shutterbug Magazine, and it had a lot of good info.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by ColinWhite View Post

... I am just happy to see you are enjoying your new camera and having fun, manipulating your images will probably become another hobby in itself.

I spent years manipulating bitmapped images in Photoshop, and vector based images in Illustrator, applying special effects and outputting color separations for the screen printing process.

As with you, Colin, my goal now is to learn how to use my camera properly, and take good photographs. Eventually leaving the software for final output only. Fortunately, my experience with the software has been a big help to me during the learning process.

And any time I'm learning something new, I'm having fun.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

John, when the manager at Circuit City saw the camera she said they would just have to take a loss for it. I think someone replaced the D300 with it and returned it.

Rob,
DSLRs have the advantage of being able to use many different lenses as well as flash set ups, produce great images, near instant start up and fast shot-to-shot times and many of the higher end cameras are quite durable. But for family gatherings I still usually take a point and shoot camera just because it's so small I can keep it in a pocket between shots. I like having both a point and shoot and dslr - just go out and find a camera that fits your hand and has the features you want.

Tom.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

I shoot almost everything (except shop pix for posting) in Nikon's NEF Raw format. Using Nikon Capture, I can actually adjust my exposure mistakes (white balance, color temperaature & etc) on the computer after I screwed up in the field. Software son't correct all mistakes perfectly, but NEF processing makes it much easier.
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