Archive for the ‘Canon EOS-300D’ Category

Camera / Lens Test

November 6, 2009

I’m always looking out of my apartment window at the grand view I have of Bangkok. The window faces west and I have a fine view all the way from Rachadapisek Road all the around to the tall office buildings in the Chatuchak District.

Today I noted someone had erected a new billboard on a building about three miles away to the north. I thought I’d see if I could read it from a photograph.

I have two Canon DSLR bodies: a 2004 vintage EOS-300D (the original silver Digital Rebel) and a 2006 EOS-30D.

My longest lens is the Canon EF 75-300mm F4-5.6 zoom (non-IS). It is good for a US$200 lens but of course not up to “L” standards.

I decided to do a test using the same lens on both bodies with the same shooting conditions. Fortunately today was clear in the morning so I had a good view.

I set the cameras up on a tripod with a cable release with these settings:

  • Aperture priority – F8. (I read this is the len’s optimum aperture)
  • ISO 100.
  • RAW
    • 3072 x 2048 for the EOS-300D‘s 6.3MP sensor.
    • 3504 x 2336 for the EOS-30D‘s 8.2MP sensor.
  • Pattern metering mode.
  • Zero exposure compensation.

I took photos at 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm and 300mm with the same lens on both cameras.

I imported all the pictures into Lightroom 2.4, converting them to DNG and the Pro Photo RGB colour space in the process. I used the Lightroom “Camera Landscape” camera calibration profile (which matches Canon’s Landscape Picture Style). I set the white balance to Daylight (5500K).

Here are the views taken at 75mm:

Bangkok Chatuchak District from the Apartment (EOS-300D)

EOS-300D

Bangkok Chatuchak District from the Apartment (EOS-30D)

EOS-30D

You can examine larger pictures on Flickr by clicking on each picture.

I was interested in the pink billboard at the centre of the pictures.

I used Lightroom to make two crops of the 300 mm pictures’ DNG files to show only the billboard. Here they are:

Billboard (EOS-300D)

EOS-300D

 

Billboard (EOS-30D)

EOS-30D

 

Yes! I could read them.

They are advertising new “Paradise” condominiums on Chaeng Watthana Soi 14. They have an offer of free furniture.

But I was surprised that the picture from the old EOS-300D seemed clearer. I think I applied the same processing parameters in Lightroom. I would have thought that the newer EOS-30D would have delivered a better result.

Maybe the EOS-30D’s sensor is dirty. I don’t have the courage to try to clean it myself.

I have not yet found anywhere in Thailand where I can rent Canon camera equipment. It would be great to rent a L telephoto lens for a few days to compare the results in real use.

Is there anything wrong with my methodology?

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Straight Down

October 27, 2009

Moving His Bike
This is why I always keep a camera handy in the apartment. This man was cleaning his motorcycle. I noticed him as he pushed it under a tree. As always red photographs well.

I took this with my ancient (2004) Canon EOS-300D and the cheap Canon 75-300mm lens (non-IS). The quality is fine for web display but I wouldn’t want to exhibit it.

I thought I was half a second late as he was partly under the tree. But I think it works quite well for a random shot.

What do you think?

Beautiful Bangkok Morning

October 25, 2009

Bangkok Morning from the Apartment
It’s a lovely Sunday morning in Bangkok. The sky is clear and it isn’t too hot or humid. I took some photos out of the window using the Nikon Coolpix P6000’s “Landscape” mode. That reminded me on a minor annoyance in Lightroom 2. I wanted to see if Adobe have fixed it in the Lightroom 3 Beta.

No, they haven’t, but it probably isn’t their fault.


With my Canon EOS-30D, if I take a photo in one of the camera’s preset modes: “Action/Sports”, “Closeup”, “Landscape” or “Portrait” this setting shows up in the “Exposure Program” field of the EXIF information as displayed in Lightroom.

But Lightroom 2 and 3 Beta both show Exposure Program Normal for the Nikon Coolpix P6000.

I assume this is because Nikon store this information in a non-standard format and Adobe don’t extract it from the file.

I checked my old Canon EOS-300D in Landscape mode. Lightroom 2 does not display an EXIF Exposure Program setting at all.

That may mean that the storage of this information in the EXIF is not standard and Adobe made a special case for the EOS-30D.

I tried searching my pictures for those taken in Landscape mode using Lightroom’s filters. It isn’t a standard filter and it does not work if I set up a text filter on “Searchable Metadata” or “Searchable EXIF” for the string “Landscape”. that’s a bit inconvenient. I’d like to be able to do that.

I tried it in both version 2 and version 3 with the same result. The fact that Adobe use the term “searchable” implies that some EXIF (and IPTC) fields are not searchable.

The problem is obviously not simple. My current guess is that “Exposure Program” is an enumerated type rather than a string and each manufacturer encodes it differently.

I know “serious photographers” don’t use these scene modes at all. On Canon cameras, for example, you cannot shoot in Raw if you use a programmed mode. I am a pragmatist. I’ll use whatever it takes to get the picture I want. I do draw the line at what I think are silly modes like “Food“.

The Bangkok Frugal Photographer

October 16, 2009

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Definition of frugal from Dictionary.com:

  1. Economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.
  2. Entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.

Synonyms:

thrifty, chary, provident, careful, economical.

Maybe I should rename this blog “The Frugal Photographer”. Unfortunately the domains frugalphotographer.com and thefrugalphotographer.com have been taken already.

Everybody I know is getting the latest cameras and accessories like the Canon EOS-7D. I am on a budget and I’m going to control myself. It is great to read about the latest equipment. I am sure I would love to be able to purchase anything and everything that takes my fancy. But I want to be responsible and frugal.

(Of course with the 7D I can easily say that – it isn’t available in Thailand yet.)

I am reading all the first impressions (for example Michael Willems’s ongoing summaries) and reviews and every time I see something even mildly critical I saw “Oh well then, it isn’t worth it!”.

I console myself with the fact that a good photographer can take exceptional pictures with common equipment. My 2004 Canon EOS-300D Digital Rebel still takes great pictures if I am careful and patient (it’s slow!).

My 2006 Canon EOS-30D is much, much faster and takes fine photos. OK it does not have video or Live View and it doesn’t scrub its sensor every morning and evening but I still love it.

I have a modest selection of Canon lenses but nothing from the L series. My Canon MP610 printer / scanner is nearing its second birthday.

My laptop is a modest Compaq Presario CQ40 with no additional screens or other fripperies. I do have tons of disk space and up-to-date versions of the key software I use daily.

I take some pride in the fact that I have zero recurring software expenses. I have free accounts with Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Flickr, PicasaWeb, EveryTrail, Mozy Home and so on. And of course this blog is free courtesy of WordPress.

I’ve written extensively about my Nikon Coolpix P6000. That’s my only photographic extravagance this year. It’s getting a bit worn now but I have finally worked out how to work around its sloth and I enjoy it a lot. 80% of the time I do not take either DSLR out with me. The P6000 does fine.

Of course the P7000 will be out soon and I’ll have camera-envy all over again. But there have been no new rumours since August, so I’ll have bragging rights about one of my cameras for a little while.


frugal. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/frugal (accessed: October 15, 2009).

The Original

August 26, 2009

This is the original of the picture that made the Bangkok skyline silhouette.

The Original

The Original

At Last!

August 25, 2009

At Last!

Originally uploaded by Ian Fuller

This is the first time I’ve been able to get a good silhouette of the Bangkok skyline from the apartment. The sun was in the right place.

I took a picture with my trusty Canon EOS-300D and loaded it into Photoshop. I was able to select the sky easily. I made separate layers of the sky and the buildings.

Then I applied an Exposure adjustment layer to make the buildings black. I applied a Levels adjustment layer to the sky to make it more dramatic. It didn’t need much: the sky was great anyway.

The good thing is, since everything is done with layers and adjustment layers. I can reuse the picture in many ways. Maybe I will make it into a new masthead for the blog.

4 Panoramas Comparison

August 21, 2009

It’s a lovely clear morning in Bangkok. Delighting in the view from the apartment I shot similar panoramas with my four cameras:

  1. Canon EOS-300D with an image stabilized 28-135mm lens set at 28mm.
  2. Nikon Coolpix P6000 in Landscape mode with the lens set at 12.3mm.
  3. Canon EOS-30D with the 75-300mm lens set at 75mm.
  4. Sony DSC-W35 in Landscape mode with the lens set at 6.3mm.

I processed them all in Lightroom / Photoshop CS4. Using the same parameters for each.

I posted them all to my GB-in-TH account at Flickr (I have more free upload quota there this month.)

1.

Bangkok Morning from the Apartment

2.

Bangkok Morning from the Apartment

3.

Bangkok Morning from the Apartment

4.

Bangkok Morning from the Apartment

Which one do you prefer?

My Old Canon EOS-300D

July 9, 2009
My Canon EOS-300D

My Canon EOS-300D

I still use my 2004-vintage Canon EOS-300D Digital Rebel. It has been reliable and takes perfectly acceptable photographs in most situations. It finish is faded and I lost the viewfinder eyecup a long time ago.

I bought it from Keeble & Shuchat in Palo Alto, California. I remember the salesman, Bill Graham. I wonder if he still works there. I had little idea about DSLRs and I recall him giving me a quick education about shooting in Raw.

Bill recommended I reject the 17-55mm EF-S kit lens and buy a EF 24-85mm instead. I think that was good advice. The original kit lens was not good. The camera, lens and a few accessories came to US$1,510 including tax.

Even today there are only two things that are hard to accept: the tiny LCD screen and it’s slow performance especially when shooting Raw and writing it to the card. The continuous shooting buffer is only 6 images.

The only reliability problem is that the Thai humidity has got to the flash hot shoe. Sometimes the camera does not realise that there’s a flash attached. My Canon EOS-30D has the same problem.

Today I keep it ready for use with a flash mounted. It’s fine for photography in and around the apartment. I rarely take it out any more. I like its inexpensive wireless remote control: very good for getting into a picture.

I’ll keep using it until something expensive goes wrong.