Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

  1. #1
    Adrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    427
    Real Name
    Adrian

    Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    We have a 40D and we are presently exploring its capabilities.

    There are three user programmable settings on the selector dial on top of the body, with which one can set preferences for sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone for each of the three programs.

    I wonder if a more experienced digital photographer can give me advice on what I may use for portrait settings? I am not shooting RAW, but have chosen at the moment JPEG's at their highest quality setting. I am not looking for studio type settings, but more "grasp the moment" pictures of my partner when we have minimal equipment with us. An example occurred at the weekend, when we came across a bluebell wood in dappled sunshine (after we had been out for Sunday lunch).

    The preprogrammed portrait mode simply takes the sharpness back to 2 (from 3 for standard and 4 for landscape) and like all of the program modes leaves everything else at zero. Presumably the aim of Canon's automatic portrait mode is softer skin tones, but to me the result of these settings is not especially pleasing on this camera.

    Obviously I can experiment but advice from those more expert than me would be welcome. Thank you.

  2. #2
    xeliex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    93
    Real Name
    Elie

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    While I am not an experienced photographer, it is nice to put those programable functions to good use.

    I tend to shoot as "RAW" as I can and do subtle changes later in post processing.

    In DPP, the software the comes with the Canon, there is access to a bunch of "picture styles" which can be loaded on the camera, or done in the DPP program. A few more are available for download. They are fun to play with.

    What I would recommend for you to do, since a pleasing portrait if subjective, is to shoot with "normal" (default adjustments) and then try things out in DPP. Change the sharpness, saturation, etc to your liking in there. Experiment with a bunch of pictures. Once you find the combination that you like, just implement on board the 40D.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Elie

  3. #3
    Adrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    427
    Real Name
    Adrian

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    Thanks. I have not really explored the Canon software as I use Aperture for organizing and editing my shots. However, I will take a look at the options available.

    I tend not to shoot RAW as I prefer to try to get my pictures right on the camera, rather than in post processing. This is purely a time factor point for me.

  4. #4
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Real Name
    Sean

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    Good advice about using Canon's DPP to experiment with custom adjustments for sharpness, saturation, etc. These are really quite subjective and dependent on one's personal style, so it's hard to recommend something that would work for everyone. Using DPP is the best way to get instant feedback on the effect of adjustments while keeping the shot identical, even though I personally do not use DPP for anything else. It's the only way to exactly replicate how your camera processes RAW files.

    My opinion is that even if you can find a custom setting that you're happy with 95% of the time, it's nice to have a RAW file as a backup just in case you need to adjust things later. I mean, what if you happen to capture one of those rare moments...even if on just a casual outing? You might therefore try using RAW+JPEG if space is not too tight.

  5. #5
    Adrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    427
    Real Name
    Adrian

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    McQ - thank you for your advice. I must admit I am a bit puzzled by this as I have a film not DSLR background (and somewhat amateur at that).

    Aperture does allow me to edit my JPEG's quite effectively if I wish to. Various colour alterations, two types of sharpening, white balance, contrast etc are all available along with clone tools and numerous other repair options. I am wondering what extra facility I get with RAW?

    I am aware that RAW delivers the unprocessed camera data and that shooting JPEG's involves a degree of in camera processing. I have accepted this, partly, I must admit, based in reading somewhat controversial figures such as Ken Rockwell (who advocates shooting JPEG's, not worrying too much about camera specifications, and concentrating on getting a good artistic shot in camera). This approach seems logical to me as I want to take good photographs, not be a good graphic designer with many hours spent poring over CS3 (which I do not have!)

    I did try the RAW plus JPEG option, but then I got mightily confused when I downloaded the images from the camera. I was not sure how to organize and process the RAW files.

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    1,473
    Real Name
    Sean

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian
    Aperture does allow me to edit my JPEG's quite effectively if I wish to. Various colour alterations, two types of sharpening, white balance, contrast etc are all available along with clone tools and numerous other repair options. I am wondering what extra facility I get with RAW?
    Exposure compensation and superior shadow/highlight recovery are notable facilities, although all of the options you mention are improved when performed on a RAW file. Take a look at the page on advantages of the RAW file format (as compared to JPEGs) for more examples. Don't get me wrong though, I am not saying that RAW is an absolute must--just that it is nice to have as an alternate version when absolutely needed. Most people can do just fine with JPEGs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian
    I did try the RAW plus JPEG option, but then I got mightily confused when I downloaded the images from the camera. I was not sure how to organize and process the RAW files.
    I usually just organize all photos by their time stamp, where photos from a given day are stored in a "YEAR-MONTH-DAY" folder, and each image has a name of "Image year-month-day hour.minute.second image#" within that folder. This naming convention can be customized using a number of different download programs. There's various ways to name them, so it's really a matter of personal preference. Just find a system and stick to it.

    I store the RAW files along with JPEGs, or in a subfolder. You can basically pretend the RAW files do not even exist until you have some reason to use them over the JPEG (such as with a blown exposure or very incorrect white balance). There's no need to process them unless needed. This way, at worst things are no more complicated than shooting in JPEG, but you have the flexibility of RAW for select shots.

  7. #7
    Adrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    427
    Real Name
    Adrian

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    McQ - thank you for your advice. Up until yesterday I have merely been operating Aperture on a 30 day trial, but I have now bought it. It organizes photos into events (days basically), folders, albums and so on in a multitude of flexible ways.

    Where I think I may have confused myself is with the RAW images. I understood - and I now think this is probably wrong - that if I shoot RAW and JPEG together, that the JPEG is simply a processed version of the RAW image - and will ignore whatever custom settings I have chosen on the camera. Thus, when downloading, I was under the impression that I have to process the RAW image.

    However, your advice to shoot both and simply ignore the RAW image until I need it, does appeal to me, especially for shoots where I may expect to take valuable photos.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Lincolnshire,UK
    Posts
    148

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    Hi Adrian,

    I come from a film background too. There is one slight problem with shooting RAW+jpeg I find when I've tried it - I shoot +2/3rds stop over almost permanently (with 1-series) with jpegs but then opening RAW and selecting 'vivid' the RAW becomes slightly blown in whites or ivory wedding dresses. RAW I found likes to be exposed at '0' whereas jpeg likes just a tad over-exposure in Canon bodies which reduces the noise in the shadows.

    My youngest Daughter's 40D likes + 1/3rds exposure comp but the white balance is very poor in artificial light. Much worse than my 10D. A grey card solves that with important images such as presentations etc but spontaneous shots in the woods/walks will probably come out a bit blue. My cure is to select the presets ('cloudy' in open areas or 'shade' for instance in woods) if you wish to avoid RAW.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    Quote Originally Posted by McQ View Post
    I usually just organize all photos by their time stamp
    Good to see you've still got time for shooting after running this very time-consuming site!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South Devon, UK
    Posts
    11,273

    Re: Custom settings & RAW+JPEG - Canon 40D

    Lets get back to Adrian's original question for a moment.

    Pages 83-93 of the Canon Instruction Manual explain the operation in good detail. But here goes with an attempt to explain how I work, but other people will do some things differently. I have tried to give a simplified explanation of a slightly complicated subject so true professionals will definitely do things differently.

    On the Mode selector dial there are 3 manual options plus P (Program) which is a semi auto setting that allows you to set Exposure preferences, ISO speed and camera drive (one shot AI focus & AI servo). And you can also set flash compensation or exposure compensation with the top buttons and rear wheel.

    I usually use the P setting as my default position so that the camera is ready for instant use on one of those once in a lifetime quick shots which are lost if you include 'thinking time'. I keep an average default ISO of 400 and use spot metering, although the all encompasing Evaluative is probably better for most people. Then after taking the first shot, or doing some thinking, I switch to one of the other modes.

    Tv controls the shutter speed and the aperture setting must fall into line with shutter speed. I find this useful for moving subjects where too low a setting would cause camera shake blurring of the image. One tip to remember is that altering the ISO setting can compensate for any potential problems caused by too high or low an aperture.

    Av controls the aperture which gives variation in the 'depth of field' which means the distance of a scene which is in sharp focus. A higher number, say F22, gives a small aperture and the maximum area of sharp focus. But most lenses produce best results around the middle of their range. Always be carefull to ensure that the shutter speed stays within the 'useable' range.

    Forget Manual for now, although professionals use this control frequently.

    So for standard posed portraits I would use Av and pick an aperture setting to suit the scene. For instance F4 or less if you want the background to blur out or F16 if you want to include the background. But keep an eye on ISO speed so as to get a usable shutter speed (generally set ISO as low as possible). Speed will depend on the lens but lets say around 1/100 sec to 1/500 sec as average. You will require higher speeds if the subject is moving quickly, like running or jumping in the air etc.

    I would generally use spot or partial metering for portraits because evaluative can give false readings due to it taking too much notice of an unwanted background.

    But remember these are very general suggestions and will vary depending on the actual situation. Eg the angle of light and lens used etc.

    With regard to other camera settings. I like to set everything to unenhanced settings Faithful mode and 0 sharpness, colour etc. Then I can add enhancement at will, if and when required, with suitable editing software. Most of the cheaper or free programmes will be sufficient for what you need.

    And a quick comment about RAW. This is just as easy as JPEG to shoot. The only disadvantage is much larger files and longer download times. I don't usually do any editing while converting RAW files with the rather basic Canon DPP editing software, except for any correction of White Balance.

    The DPP software is, I find, a bit confusing when first trying RAW but you soon get the hang of things; and you can always ask for more advice here.

    Hope you can make some sense of this. Also, remember to read the Tutorials on this site, where everything will be explained in greater detail.

    Geoff.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •