Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Things To Consider Before Shooting Pictures

Before you are able to take the kind of pictures you want to learn to take, it is important to think about the equipment you would like to start out with. Probably the most important decision you will have to make is what kind of camera to buy. There are so many options and companies now that the whole process can seem quite overwhelming

If you are planning to become a serious photographer you should probably buy an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera. The term single lens reflex comes from the fact that the camera has a view of the subject through a single lens and that view is reflected to the viewfinder so the photographer can see exactly what is going to be in the picture. The Digital SLR's are getting so advanced that it's very hard to chose a film camera over a digital. The main advantages of an SLR camera over a point-and-shoot digital camera is the fact that you can change lenses and filters whenever you want to. Although new point-and-shoot cameras have increasing optical zoom and similar capabilities. Point-and-shoot cameras are also a great idea if you just want something simple and small that is convenient to carry wherever you go.

Lenses are what your camera uses to focus on the world. All lenses are defined by their focal length and aperture. The focal length tells you what the angle of view is and how far it magnifies. The aperture is the amount of light that the camera is letting into the sensor. Any lens lower than 50 mm focal length is considered wide-angle. Any at 50 mm is considered normal. And any lens above 50 mm is considered a telephoto. But there are also zoom lenses that have a variable focal length. With a zoom lens you can cover a wide range such as 28 mm to 105 mm or 80 mm to 210 mm.

Lenses can be very expensive and very cheap and it is usually the faster lenses or the ones with the wider apertures that are the highest priced. The faster lenses are more appealing primarily because they can produce better pictures in dim light without a tripod. But it is quite possible to find great lenses at low prices. Probably the first lens you buy should be broad range zoom lens such as a 28 mm to 105 mm. The slight drawback of zoom lenses is that they are slower and they don't quite match the sharpness and contrast of a fixed focal length lens.

Another very important item that you should definitely acquire is a ultra-violet filter (UV filter). It is a simple piece of glass that screws on to the end of your lens and protects it from scratches, dust, dirt, moisture and fingerprints while reducing unwanted ultra-violet light.

We would also strongly recommend that you buy a tripod of some kind which is vital when there is not enough light to handhold a picture. Some of the best pictures you've seen at dusk, night, or just when its cloudy have almost certainly been taken using a tripod. Tripods allow you to use your camera's full range of shutter speed and aperture combinations which can sometimes creating amazing unexpected results. You should pick a tripod that is plenty sturdy but also convenient enough to carry wherever you might want it. You also might want it tall enough so you can look through your camera at eye level.

But when you buy a UV filter you might as well get a polarizer filter as well.A polarizer filter is most commonly used for darkening the sky by cutting through atmospheric haze. This affect can also dramatically improve the results of black and white photography. Polarizer filters are also good for removing reflections from glass or water.

Memory cards are extremely convenient with digital cameras but you need to make sure you have all the space on them that you want. It is always a good feeling to know that you can take all the pictures that you want when you think you have a good opportunity. Most SLR's take Compact Flash memory cards, smaller cameras usually either take Secure Digital memory cards or Sony memory sticks.

It is convenient to have only one format of memory card if you have multiple cameras because then you can interchange them even between a big SLR and a small point and shoot camera. The smaller cameras usually use secure digital cards and Sony memory sticks but some very nice ones use compact flash cards. One thing you must always do is remember to format the card after you unload pictures and put it back into the camera or else you won't have the full capacity of the card.

Nikon D3 Hands-on Preview


The professional Nikon D 'single digit' series of digital SLR's started life back in June 1999 with the groundbreaking D1. Groundbreaking because it was the digital SLR which broke Kodak's stranglehold on the digital SLR market and fundamentally brought prices down to a level which most professionals could afford (around the US$5,500 mark). Since then we have seen a steady progression of this line of cameras, while the core values of a high quality full size body with integrated grip have remained the line split into two halves, one targeted at high resolution photography the other high speed sports type photography (lower resolution but faster continuous shooting); the X and H suffixes. It's been almost three years since Nikon introduced a completely new digital SLR with a new sensor (the D2X) and there has been much anticipation that Nikon's next move would be a full-frame chip.
This predictions have come true with the introduction of the 'FX format' (new moniker created by Nikon) D3 which features a 36 x 23.9 mm 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor as well as a vast array of new features which absolutely raise it another notch above previous single digit Nikon DSLRs. Important headline improvements include high sensitivity support by default, up to ISO 6400 with 25600 available as a boost option, 14-bit A/D conversion, a new standard image processor, a new shutter, new auto focus sensor, focus tracking by color, nine frames per second continuous, dual compact flash support, DX lens support (albeit at lower resolution) and a 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor (which it has to be said is lovely).
Some will undoubtedly question Nikon for 'only' delivering twelve megapixels on their first full frame digital SLR, all we can presume by looking at past model line history is that this camera is designed for speed (both in sensitivity, auto-focus and continuous shooting)।


Nikon D3 Key Features
-First ever Nikon DSLR with a Full-Frame (36 x 24 mm) sensor (coined FX format)
-12.1 megapixel full-frame sensor (8.45┬Ám pixel pitch)
-ISO 200 - 6400 (with boost up to ISO 25600)
-Also supports DX lenses, viewfinder automatically masks (5.1 megapixels with DX lens)
-5:4 ratio crop mode (10 megapixels, up to 9 fps, viewfinder masked)
-14-bit A/D conversion, 12 channel readout
-Nikon EXPEED image processor (Capture NX processing and NR algorithms, lower power)
-Super fast operation (power-up 12 ms, shutter lag 41 ms, black-out 74 ms)
-New Kevlar / carbon fibre composite shutter with 300,000 exposure durability
-New Multi-CAM3500FX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
-Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
-Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning) now available (fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings)
-Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
-Picture Control image parameter presets (replace Color Modes I, II and III)
-Custom image parameters now support brightness as well as contrast
-frames per second continuous with auto-focus tracking
-Eleven frames per second continuous without auto-focus tracking
-Ten / eleven frames per second continuous in DX-crop mode (AF / no-AF)
-Dual Compact Flash card slots (overflow, back-up, RAW on 1 / JPEG on 2, copy)
-Compact Flash UDMA support
-3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor
-Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus
-Virtual horizon indicates if camera is level (like an aircraft cockpit display)
-HDMI HD video output
-'Active D-Lighting' (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
-Detailed 'Control Panel' type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
-Buttons sealed against moisture
-Dual battery charger as standard
-Available November 2007

Nikon D3 and d300 now support 'D2X mode'




Nikon, obviously realizing that many users of its previous flagship DSLR will be migrating to its successors, has made available 'Picture Controls' aiming to emulate the color reproduction of the D2X(s) on the new D3 and D300। There are three such controls, mirroring the original color modes I to III। These settings may be used as a base point to add further tweaks and should prove a major time-saver to photographers wishing to upgrade their camera bodies and continue with their existing workflow। The Picture Controls are available now via Nikon's website, links after the jump.