Questions: Canon, CF, RAW…

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by (Ghastly) Krueger, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,
    I have a bunch of questions, thought I’d pack ‘em up in one thread.

    I’m looking into buying my first DSLR. I’m on a tight budget, paying the mortgage and all, so I’ll get an entry level model. I already have some Canon lenses for my Elan, which of course I’d like to reuse.

    This narrowed my choices nicely: either the Rebel XT or the XTi.

    I know about the size and weight issues, but I’ll have to do with them.

    Now the questions:
    1.-Are the upgrades in the XTi really worth $200? I think not (for a tight budget), but I’d like to hear your input.

    2.-I first thought I’d get the body only, but the lens that comes with the kit seems quite good for $80. What’s your opinion?

    OK, those were more seeking support. Here are some true questions.

    CF:

    3.-I’ve never used compact flash cards. There seem to be a lot of different types. Is there something I should be aware of? Does the Canon accept every kind?

    4.-What is the difference among the types (I, II, extreme)?

    5.-I understand the brand is important (some may lose information?). If so, which brands are good besides SanDisk?

    RAW:

    6.-I’ve never used RAW and it’s very probable that I will have no time to get used to it / learn to convert before I attend an event I want to capture. Should I keep it safe and stay with JPEG?

    7.-I understand the camera can take both RAW and JPEG. Is this correct? Does this reduce the FPS?

    8.-Is it possible to view RAW files or do they have to be converted?

    Thanks for your answers!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are quite a few upgrades on the Xti. Personally, I think the differences may be worth $200...but maybe not $300. That's me though...it may be different for you.

    The kit lens gets a lot of bad rep...but it's actually not bad...and it's a good deal at only $80.

    Yes, either camera should accept all 'Compact Flash' cards. Both Type I and Type II. The only thing to watch for...is don't buy 'counterfeit' cards.

    I have a couple different brands...they are all pretty good. The thing that will make the difference is the 'performance' level (speed) of the card. I like the faster cards like Sandisk 'Extreme' or 'Ultra'...but the other cards are fine too...just a little slower when uploading or viewing the images on the camera.

    I would say that 'keeping it safe' would be to shoot RAW. Raw has more latitude than JPEG...which gives you more room for error. If you have enough memory, you can shoot both...just to cover all your bases. But yes, dealing with RAW files does have a bit of a learning curve.

    Yes, you can shoot in just RAW, just JPEG or RAW+JPEG. You can also choose from several sizes and levels of JPEG...I recommend staying with Large/Fine. It does not immediately reduce your FPS...but it does decrease how many shots you can rattle off consecutively. As you shoot, the info is moved to the camera's buffer and then to the card. If the buffer fills up...then your FPS slows down. A faster card will help to clear the buffer faster. This shouldn't be a factor unless you shoot your camera like a machine gun. Typically, if you wait a few seconds between bursts...you will be OK.

    RAW files have an embedded JPEG, which allows you to see them on the camera's LCD and to preview them on your computer.
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    dunno

    dunno either ;) .. I'd guess kit lenses don't sell well on ebay as most people have 'em.

    all generic CF cards should be accepted I suppose, there might be issues with VERY large cards, but those we all cannot afford anyway yet ;)

    speed, maybe durability, not every camera will take advantage of every speed though.

    I'd go for sandisk, but kingston should be fine, and so should lexxar. just don't go for general cheap photobrands which just buy cheap cards from some unknown source and lable them HAMA, or whatever ....

    if you want to get the most of an image, shoot raw as it gives you most flexibility and it has the side effect that you can compensate for minor glitches in exposure and totally messed up white balance.
    For 9 out of 10 shots JPEG might be perfectly sufficient, it is just very sad when the one you really want would have needed RAW.
    In complicated light I would always shoot RAW.

    Anyway, this is just my personal and totally biased opinion ;)

    Keep in mind though, to effectively work with RAW, not to waste time, you need an optimised workflow and most likely workflow-oriented RAW-converter software

    my Canon can, but it is a different one from yours.

    in my case RAW does not reduce the FPS , but the total number of images you can take in a row without taking a break (RAW needs some time writing to the CF card... and the camera bufffer is limited)

    no, RAW data cannot be viewed directly as an image, it has to be converted: The Bayer-array sensors do not have full colour information for each pixel but only for R, G or B depending on the pixel. The full colour has to be extrapolated for each pixel by including neighbouring pixels. Furthermore, sensors do not record exposure in a linear way, therefore it makes no sens to look at the RAW data in a linear way. Before viewing, a sensor-characteristic non-linear curve has to be applied to translate into something we would enjoy looking at. And there is even more to it ...

    .. HOWEVER, do not despair, RAW might contain preview info so you can look at them in low res in most viewers ;) ... and the Canons also come with full RAW-converter software.
    The latter is quite good, just not very workflow-optimised, therefore you might want lightroom, aperture, bibble, breeze browser or any other raw converter
     
  4. tempra

    tempra TPF Noob!

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    Q3 CF type is I & II I think the XT & XTi take both - extreme is a Sandisk brandname as are their Ultra II and III cards

    Q4 CF II is thicker than CFI (5mm vs 3.3mm)

    Q5 Lexar & Kingston are supposed to be good

    Q6 It's safer to use RAW, as you can adjust more on your PC later - especially if you are just getting used to the camera

    Q7 Yes it can, it shouldn't reduce the initial FPS, however the buffer might fill up quicker and then slow down

    Q8 you can view RAW files as a slide show using the latest version of Canon Zoombrowser which should ship with the camera

    As for Q1 & 2, I don't know :)
     
  5. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    OK, all perfectly clear.

    I thank you all a lot, Mike, Alex and Tempra.

    You've been a lot of help. :mrgreen:
     
  6. Hobbit

    Hobbit TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for this information. I'm about to buy my second camera and this is the only one that caught my attention at Costco (the rest were either too cheap and another was way out of my budget).

    Do you think it would do good taking pictures of bands playing live? Also, can I attach wide angle lens/fisheye lens? Please respond to this! =)
    (I don't wanna hijack your thread but it seems your question was answered)
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The camera itself will be fine for just about anything, it's the lens that will make the difference. If you want to shoot bands, then you should get a 'fast' lens (big maximum aperture). You can buy wide angle or fish-eye lenses for the camera as well.
     
  8. Hobbit

    Hobbit TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! The camera already comes with lens so I'm not gonna buy any yet until I get better. I just wanted to be sure so I don't have to buy another camera in the future.

    Edit: It's now mine! Hopefully I can post some stuff soon.
     
  9. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you are not planning on buying another camera in the future you are probably getting into something you shouldn't. I applaud your earlier questions and the fact that you want to learn before you buy some lenses. Keep in mind though, once you get a DSLR you are not buying a camera, you are buying a system. When you start buying lenses, if you get good glass and take care of it, it will last you a lifetime of bodies. If you are serious about this venture you will outgrow your camera body and move up to a better one. That is the dark side of photography with a DSLR. It only gets better, and usually more expensive over time. :)
     
  10. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    Wanted to add my two cents even tho have decided already. ... I think the $200 price increase is worth it. Jumping from 8MP to 10MP seems significant enough to me by itself. I'm torn if the sensor cleaning is necessary or even helpful at all. If you buy the 8MP and decide you want higher resolution later, you have to buy a whole new body. Why not pay a bit more now will delay the need for doing that later? The Nikon equivalent (I think the D80) is significantly more money than the XTi.

    It's not totally terrible but not great either. You should shop 3rd party lenses to compare.

    The nice thing about RAW is that you can set it to save JPEG+RAW as another user suggested, quite easily. Shoot your event in this mode, and then learn to edit/convert them afterwards. There is almost no penalty for shooting RAW, the learning curve will be AFTER you're done shooting and not before, so this shouldn't delay your shooting. The only reason not to do RAW is if your CF card is literally too full to do it, but I think you're better off buying a larger CF card and doing RAW, the difference in the image quality is substantial and easily worth it.

    At first I didn't believe that RAW was better, but if you're using PS to change things like brightness (etc) you notice HUGE improvements relative to monkeying around with JPEGs. I use RAW at all times now, and had to buy a larger CF card than I'd originally planned, which was worth it.
     
  11. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the extra input, Sothoth
     
  12. burtharrris

    burtharrris TPF Noob!

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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I had one question of RAW+JPEG.

    I assume they shoot concurrently. So when i pull the files off my memory card, will I have a Raw and Jpeg with the same file name? I'm going to get a Canon 20D after graduating in May. The Pentax I have on loan only shoots Raws and it is a pain to convert every file just to see which ones I want to edit. Thanks.
     

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