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Customer Discussions > Photography forum

Canon T3i for home photography of my kids???

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Showing 26-50 of 65 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 9:41:05 AM PDT
"when you have an f/5.6 lens and insert a converter which makes it f/11"

That is the capability of the lens, and yes, at f/11 phase detect usually fails. I thought 2x converters sounded cool, but then I discovered that they add two full stops, and the problems that brings. If teleconverters didn't cause problems, you could just get a shorter lens and stack a bunch of converters on it until you have a nasa telescope. The way you initially stated it, sounded like you thought autofocus would fail if you were shooting at f/11 with an f/2.8 lens, which is an occasional misconception, and not the case.

The degree of blur you can get in camera is minimal? Really? One of us is doing something wrong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 10:48:03 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
Looking at his wishlist someone needs to warn him about purchasing that bundle.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2012 12:13:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 28, 2012 12:17:04 PM PDT
No kidding... A $40 non-TTL flash that requires manual control of power level and zoom head position? We're back to the flash I used on my Canon A-1 back in the mid 80s. The maker's web site doesn't even identify any specifications (guide number?)

Out of that "kit", the $10 cleaning kit may be okay, and the Transcend SD card might be useful.

The flash, tele/wide adapter lenses, and Vivitar UV filter can be used as targets for a pellet gun. {In the late 70s, early 80s, I'd cut Vivitar some slack as they were a real company... But last time I looked Vivitar was now just a name stamped on random sub-contracted parts imported by some unknown company.}

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 2:30:54 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
This is a LOT easier to do on a DSLR with a prime lens or an f/2.8 zoom with any normal to long focal length.
It is even easier to do in editing :-) I was not looking to get a blurred background with the bird shot merely commenting that it would be a hard subject to tackle in editing.
The sort of blurr I see from DSLRs is largely a joke to me.
As for the closed mind of ZB well no further comment is required.

Posted on Jun 29, 2012 4:25:49 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
I didn't notice the wish list until you pointed it out. Yes... definitely DO NOT buy that "bundle".

The only thing you'll actually "need" that won't come with the camera is a memory card. Buy an SD or SDHC card rated at "Class 10" (the class certification logo looks like the letter "C" with a number inside it.) This represent the transfer speed of the card (in megabytes per second). If the card isn't at least a Class 6 card then it won't be able to keep up when shooting video (the camera can capture data faster than the memory card can accept it.)

Memory cards aren't very expensive. You might want to buy 2 of them... just in case your the sort of person who will take the memory card out of the camera, slide it into your computer to unload the photos, and then forget to put it back in the camera. Then you go out to do some shooting and realize your memory card is back at home in your computer. I always have a spare memory card in my camera bag.

DO put the book on your wish list: Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

If you shoot on automatic (as many people will do when they first get a camera and haven't yet learned to exploit it's features) the camera won't necessarily select exposure settings that create the blur you want. To get the blur in the most automatic way (but yet be assured that you'll get it) you can shoot in "aperture priority" mode (the mode dial will say "Av" which means "Aperture value") with the 50mm lens set at a low f-stop (such as f/2 or f/2.8). That tells the camera that you require that it use the f-stop you chose... but that it may adjust the shutter speed or possibly also the ISO sensitivity in order to create a properly exposed shot -- but it's not allowed to change the f-stop (because a higher f-stop value would not give you the blurred background you want.)

The book will explain all of this, and it's pretty easy to understand.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 4:48:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 10:25:45 PM PDT
Richard says:
The thing I would add to this bokeh debate from what I noticed at time I do do Photoshop blurring and lenses bokeh:

1. Lens bokeh produce a look that blurring can't do in PP or PS. Bokeh produce by light, let say you did a bokeh shot of a christmis light in the background, the bokeh blur might have a 5, 6, 7 sides shape depending on the number of blades in the lens. When you see the circle bokeh between as light pass through the tree leaves they have irregular circle same too, not just a blur. Like someone else mentioned, not all lens bokeh are smooth on a cheaper lens. For say the sandpaper round pentagon bokeh isn't that smooth or creamy delicious chocolate as on a larger aperture(more expensive model) lenses.

2. when you have an image focus on the right plane, it is so much sharper then shooting at f11 or infinity (or larger DoF) and blurring the background.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 11:24:27 PM PDT
There are costly Photoshop plug-ins that can do emulated iris (aperture blades) (or even other odd shapes -- keyhole highlights anyone).

But without one of these plug-ins to do reasonable DoF emulation in Photoshop will take hours; since DoF is, well, depth dependent. The amount of blur varies with the distance from camera to object. One would have to mask out the portion of the image that is supposed to remain sharp (maybe feather the edge of the mask), then add a small amount of blur to the rest of the image. Now repeat, expanding the mask to represent what may be +/- two inches (just an example) from the plane of sharpness, apply more blur; expand mask, ... until the mask covers the entire image. Note that expanding the mask doesn't mean just enlarging the mask over the initial subject -- if the subject were, say 10 feet away, and a tree is 14 feet away to the side, at some stage one has to include the tree in the mask, but not the field between tree and subject.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 7:18:00 AM PDT
T. Campbell says:
Here's an example of "fake" bokeh that I had to do a while back (I think I've posted these before).

The first shot has a natural amount of bokeh deliberately intended to be moderate -- not too strong. This is because the food was the main attraction (this is for a restaurant the shots were published) but I wanted to create a bit of mood. We styled the table we a wine bottle, a glass of wine, bread, a bud vase with flowers, etc. I didn't want the viewer to necessarily be distracted by the background, but I didn't want to go crazy on bokeh -- I needed to make sure that it'd be clear to a viewer what all those things were. With that in mind, here's the first shot (again... no fake bokeh here... this is real and taken at f/4)

Next, I needed to shoot an appetizer. The chef plates this on a rectangular dish and it's placed at an angle. This means that to get the she whole dish in focus, I needed to increase the DoF. Of course, increasing the DoF means that the bokeh in the background will decrease noticeably. Here's the result (again... this is not modified, but it's also not as much bokeh as I wanted.)

Notice that you can actually read the label on the wine bottle -- it's soft, but it is legible. Since both shots were going to appear on the same page, I wanted the bokeh to match. I decided to apply some fake photoshop bokeh BECAUSE this image happens to lend itself to the work. This is because if you look at the plate from the left edge to the right edge, I have a path that separates the "foreground" from the "background". I needed to select everything in the foreground by following that path along the back edge of the plate, tracing the profile along the top of the food where it extends above the plate from left to right. The selection is then cloned into it's own layer. The background is duplicated (so there are three layers now... two backgrounds and a foreground.) ONE of the backgrounds get's a "lens blur" out of Photoshop -- just enough so that the level of blur matches what the lens produced naturally in the image of the Perch. This leaves an ugly ghostlike aura of a plate where the blur doesn't match the focus of the edge of the plate and looks unnatural -- but everything else in the image looks good. I then use a brush to "clear" the blurred layer just around the edges of the plate and food -- revealing the true (original background -- not the copy of the background that I blurred). The three layers then have a fairly natural look and here's the result:

This was a fair bit of work. The effect doesn't work on all photos. I've tried it photos that don't have a clear border separating foreground from background and the transitions always look awkward no matter how much time I spend on them. I'd MUCH rather just use the lens. Also note that this is the bokeh I get at f/4... the particular lens I used is an f/2.8 -- so I could have gone stronger (as I said... I deliberately did NOT max out the bokeh.) And of course I could have swapped to a longer focal length f/2 lens to produce ludicrous levels of cream.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 3:21:00 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
Oh these guys do rabbit on with a lot of esoteric twaddle LOL Blurr is blurr is blurr, period.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 9:40:39 PM PDT
"Blurr is blurr is blurr, period."

The term 'bokeh' was coined to describe the aesthetic quality of blur. Good bokeh is highly valued by photographers. And lens makers are certainly aware of bokeh as they have spent extra effort to design rounded aperture blades or add more aperture blades when only five would suffice for controlling exposure. It is indeed an esoteric topic but the subtleties of any art are. By definition.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 10:43:55 AM PDT
Michael C says:
Bokeh is MORE than just blur. Among other things it is how that blur is shaped. I think the fact that you can't comprehend that sheds a tremendous amount of light on this entire conversation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 10:58:29 AM PDT
when only five would suffice for controlling exposure.

I've got a camera with only two blades... Each blade has a V shaped notch, and they just slide in/out to set aperture. <>

Made for interesting flying saucers sun flares <G>

{Mamiya/Sekor 528TL... Probably only two blades as the shutter priority automation likely couldn't move more blades reliably -- considering that the system appears to work by having the shutter button lock the meter needle, and then have aperture move until stopped by the locked needle. Two blades could be pulled by a softer spring than five blades.

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 2:15:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2012 2:16:28 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 2:31:44 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
Yes Paul I should have described the situation with more detail since I was comparing getting greater reach ... the DSLR with a converter and the M4/3 with an adaptor.
It is obvious to me that phase detection and contrast detection have progressed to the point where they are comparable and both will have situations where they fall down, though most of the time they work with similar efficiency.
The addition of an adaptor was a case of trying out something that I had rather than a desirable way to go if one had the cash to buy the proper lens. I have a personal reluctance to change lenses which though I now have an interchangable lens camera I prefer to use the x10 zoom most of the time ... a good couple of months since I changed lenses.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 8:39:48 AM PDT
I don't like the word, it doesn't feel right in my mouth, but what it describes is an important concept in photography. I can use the concept without using the word. If you can take good pictures at f8 and up all the time, and just apply blur filters in post processing, and that gets you a look that works for you, more power to you. I can't. That approach is time consuming and the results are not satisfying. I don't know anyone who works that way and is pleased with it. Everyone I know figures out how much b-word they want when they shoot, and sets their camera settings accordingly. Trying to adjust focus in post processing is a short road to discouragement.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2012 8:57:35 AM PDT
EdM says:
Agreed. Still, there is a subjective aspect to blur, as not everyone sees the same. Bokeh is very important to me as I'm particularly sensitive to poor bokeh. Here is one of the better articles [IMO] as it explains technically how Bokeh "works":

"Boke (or Bokeh if you prefer), is the Japanese-originated concept of the difference between out of focus areas of an image due to lens design. This article will be heavy going for some, but should be of interest to anyone desiring a technical understanding of this complex and controversial topic..."

"To summarize then, your camera paints its image with a repertoire of brushes whose characteristics are determined by the shape of the diaphragm opening and the details of the lens design's aberrations. Some brushes are softer-edged than others, and that's what makes the difference in boke."

I believe that macro lenses have better bokeh on average, as macro shot technique/composition often occurs in conjunction with an OOF background, and good lens designers will accordingly optimize that aspect of the lens as well as normal macro lens acuity aspects.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012 3:00:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 3, 2012 6:52:59 AM PDT
Michael C says:
I have recently noticed that when processing the same RAW files in both color and monochrome the bokeh looks significantly different. The color results are much "creamier", while the monochrome results tend to be less so. The shots in question were made with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens at longer focal lengths and f/2.8. This is even before changes have been made to the default settings in DPP. I can see how changes in contrast, color temperature (color), color filters (monochrome) affect bokeh, but can anyone point me to a good technical explanation of why color looks "creamier" than monochrome?¤t=201206050028MLR.jpg¤t=201206050028LR.jpg

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 8:18:36 AM PDT
T. Campbell says:
I checked out your images, but I did it by opening them both in adjacent tabs on a browser (so that the images would exactly line up). That way I could toggle between them and the image switches between color to b&w without moving on my screen.

As I expect it very carefully... nothing is moving. The _only_ difference I can see is that color is turning on & off. If anything I think the B&W looks smoother, but that's only because certain colors which are different will map to gray-shades which are very close... causing the B&W image to appear to be blended more smoothly. But it's only an illusion. As I inspect the pixels, nothing is _really_ changing in the background. The bokeh appears to be identical in both shots.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 3, 2012 8:41:24 AM PDT
Richard says:
I agree with Mr.Campbell here. Why some people like B&W so much. It has a depth feeling to it and simplify things.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2012 5:36:55 PM PDT
Michael C says:
Thanks for your reply. Your comment about the different colors that map to very similar shades of gray explains a lot of what I've been observing. With the color versions, colors that are next to each other overlap and create what I mean by "cream". By reducing the adjacent pixels to similar shades of gray much of that frothy stuff is smoothed out.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:41:07 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
This is a great video on the subject.
How Color Influences B&W Photography: Ep 232: Digital Photography 1 on 1

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 9:06:05 AM PDT
As the Author of Photography: Develop your skills one shot at a time and workbook I can vouch for the Canon T3i. I myself own a canon 60d which is not much different than the T3i. One thing you may want to look out for is...the T4i just came out. It has a better sensor that has less noise at high iso, other than that not much different except the touch screen but I would never use that. T3i prices should drop and give you a better deal. Hope you find what is right for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 1:19:10 PM PDT
EdM says:
Eric - Never miss a chance to mention/push your book, do you?

Strange that you don't mention the same AF sensor of the 60D in the T4i with all 9 points being cross type as a notable improvement, as opposed to the single cross type sensor [of 9 AF sensors total] of the T3i, as a notable improvement. Perhaps the video improvements with the new 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lens will not matter for some. OTOH, I agree that the touch screen LCD seems not so worthy as an improvement, although who knows if it might take off in popularity in time. See:

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 2:36:41 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
When you combine the touch screen with precise focus picking with a target area smaller than any DSLR [ that I'm aware of ] you start to cook as with Panasonic's G3. Though if you don't use a tripod it is not all that useful ... but it is nice to have the feature for when one needs it. Like fully articulated LCDs with live view.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 3:03:14 PM PDT
go for the Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging (Body) only, with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens lens and you will have more camera than you really need. I use one for street work every day and have thousands of shots with it up at
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  65
Initial post:  Jun 24, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 5, 2012

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