Question for everyone about Picture Control Settings

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Natural_Disaster, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Natural_Disaster

    Natural_Disaster TPF Noob!

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    Under picture control options, Which do you chose and do you adjust contrast, saturation, sharpening, etc...Do you keep them at the same settings at all times, or do you change them depending on what your shooting.
    It seems that i may need to change mine, but im not sure exactly what settings i should change them to..Like, should i set up the contrast, set down the saturation, etc. Or should i just do it all in pp later....
     
  2. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Its a marketing gimmic. Leave it on standard and change things on the computer
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I go further than JimmyO.

    I only shoot RAW, which effectively makes them none functional.

    But, yes I do all my post processing on my computer. Mainly because I don't like the idea of letting a committee of Japanese camera engineers have input on how my images should look. ;)
     
  4. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Yet you let them make your cameras, lenses, and memory cards?
     
  5. red1013

    red1013 TPF Noob!

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    Yep Standard, process in computer
     
  6. Natural_Disaster

    Natural_Disaster TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking the same, but it just seems that no matter what i try, im not getting the images to look "great" in the camera, and when i upload and start to do editing, there are things i just cant fix.
    I still haven't figured out how to get RAW files from my camera to my computer, so im shooting in RAW-JPEG.
    And im wondering if my lcd is too bright or something because the pictures never look the same when i upload them as they do when im viewing them on the screen.
    I took tons of photos today at the park and they all looked bright and clear when i went through and viewed them on the camera. Everyone wanted to take a peek and said how great they looked. I uploaded them, and below is an idea of what several of them looked like....Obviously it was my settings, but why were they not showing dark and grainy on my lcd considering how bad they actually are....
    Thankfully i had hubby using the Canon for backup!!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    If you're in a totally controlled environment then you can spend the time to arrange your lighting, set up reflectors, and change the various settings in your camera. If you shooting the kids or as you stroll downtown you're lucky if you have time to set the ISO and f/stop.

    You import raw files exactly the same as you import JPEG files. A file is a file. You do have to view the raw files in a program that has the proper codecs to allow your specific raw file to appear as a photo.

    If you're using the Windows operating system then you can download codecs that will probably be appropriate for your camera. Google "fastpictureviewer" to find the codecs.

    Your editing software has to recognize your raw files, too, and most of the popular ones will.

    My advise is to forget about the in-camera settings and spend a half-hour learning to import raw files.
     
  8. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    i use RAW and do it all on the PC.
     
  9. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yet you let them make your cameras, lenses, and memory cards?[/QUOTE]


    there is a big difference in using equipment designed by folks who know what they are designing and having an enginer deside my color palette and what i feel is the correct saturation for the scene in front of my eyes.

    when they set the defaults they are trying to please the general public, which does not include many serious photographers,
     
  10. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Natural D.
    the worst place to evaluate your image is on the back of the camera.

    another thing to realize what you do see on the back of the camera is a jpeg not the raw file, so when you do get your raw files loaded on your computer don't be surprised how different it is going to look.
     
  11. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What you need to use is the Histogram in the camera. Forget the auto edit settings they won't help you produce better images if your settings are incorrect for the lighting and further they can mess things up since they take time to change and not every shot will want the exact same auto edit changes. Leave the settings on standard and edit in the computer later - when you can define what you want to happen to each shot.

    Now the histogram - stage one read your camera manual for how to activate its display on the back of your camera. This is an invaluble tool because unlike the image review the histogram is not affected by how good your screen is nor how muchlight there is to see the screen by - it shows you the lighting in the shot as a graph and lets you see how your exposure measures up.

    Now you don't want to get into thinking that every shot must "look" like something on the graph, because each shot is unique and the graphical display is just a representation of that fact. What you do want to look at are 3 main things; The left, the right and the bump.
    The left side of the graph shows black areas of the shot, the underexposed and darker areas - any part of the line that hits the very right side is going to be pure black on the camera with no details. Now its perfectly fine to have some black, infact many shots have a bit kicking around; but the shot you show above would show a lot of black which would be a warning as its not a dark scene that you are trying to capture and show.
    The right side on the other hand shows overexposure; that is pure white areas. Many cameras also show the image in partial preview along with the histogram and will have flashing in the overexposed areas to further show where they are. Again like blacks a few spots here and there is (whilst not highly desirable) going to be a factor for many shots, but a massive blotch covering (say) a face is going to be a mess on your photo.
    The bump - not every shot has a highly defined bump, but many will have a rise on the graph where it shows the majority of the exposure - ideal with digital you want his to be as far over to the right side as you can (without of course hitting the full right side and overexposing). This means you have the most image data captured and thus you can adjust the shot the most - you can lower the lighting and make darker areas in editing - however raising dark areas into brighter often comes with a cost - that cost being increased noise in that area and often less fine details. Of course often limitations will mean that you can't get it all on the right - don't get mad about it, but keep it as a fact to remember when reviewing and retaking.

    More info here:
    Histograms - Part I
    Histograms - Part II
     
  12. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yes, at least that way they are mostly limited by the laws of optical and electronic physics, the same as all other camera engineers. ;)
     

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