Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Archive for the ‘Equipment’ Category

Monitor Calibration – Temporary Fix

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I’ve found a solution to the calibration problem. Taking a number of coloured objects outside I photgraphed them in natural light with all in camera corrections turned off. I exposed so that the image on the LCD looked exactly like the scene, proper colour representation and brightness.

I then uploaded the images to computer and fiddled about with the colours on the system until the image on screen matched the image on the LCD on camera, which of course in turn matched the scence. That should mean my monitor is now calibrated. Any prints will be slightly darker due to the medium, but the colour representation should now be spot on, so I’m a happy tog once more.


Written by James

January 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Return of the Camera

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I’m unreliably informed that my camera will be back with me tomorrow. Apparently the repair was completed on Friday but not in time for shipment so it went out first thing today.

Much as I would have loved to have had the camera for these three weeks I would say that in the long run my photography can only have been helped. The 300D was the first “entry level” DSLR to hit the market. It’s as basic as DSLR’s are likely to come and so I haven’t been bogged down with features. Point it the right way, get the composition right, get the exposure correct and fire away.  I haven’t played about with fancy presets because it hasn’t really got any.

As a result, I now know the things that I think are worth paying for. Better high ISO performance is great and worth shelling out to get. Fast processing is worth paying for so you can rattle off a lot of shots quickly.  Spot metering would be great. Beyond that, there is very little. You can discuss user interfaces and the only thing I would like to see added would be an ISO display in the eyepiece.

I don’t perceive increased sensor resolution to be of any use, the 6mp of this camera is a nats on the small side if you wish to crop images, but 10mp is plenty. Granted some people will need more than 10mp, but unless you can justify more than 10mp without resorting to ignorance (well, just, because…) you don’t need it.

No doubt there are features on the latest and greatest cameras that I have failed to consider. Image stabilsation possibly, though I think that has more to do with the lens than the body.

For the professional there is no doubt an advantage to having a piece of kit thats is fractionaly better, at increased costs. From my point of view I perceive little value in someone new to photography going much beyond the basics. Spend the money on lenses if you have it.

Written by James

November 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Good news

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My camera is to be repaired free of charge including postage. It took a fair bit of emailing and phoning around but I got the people at digital river to agree to pay for the postage to the repair center.

There is a 2 week turnaround so I am going to be without my new baby for a while but I have the loaner I mentioned earlier to practice with so no drama.

I will be uploading a few images in the next couple of days too once I figure out the best place to host them. That will probably end up being flikr but I am unsure as yet. In fact I’m going to do it now. Watch this space.

Written by James

November 3, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Equipment, Photography

A disaster

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I got the camera and it is dead on arrival, the auto focus is broken meaning my only option is to focus manually. That isn’t even remotely workable so I now have a choice. I can either send the camera back for a full refund or I can send it off to a canon service center for repair.

My decision is going to be determined primarily by postage. If canon or digital river (the canon seller on ebay) will pay the postage to have the item repaired I will get it repaired under warranty. If I have to pay for postage myself then I will send the camera back for a refund, a subsequent purchase then being neccessary.

Written by James

October 31, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Posted in Equipment, Photography

Buying a Camera

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So I’d decided to buy a camera, but I didn’t have the first clue what to get. To figure out where to head I had to consider what my restrictions were. Clearly I needed a D-SLR. Secondly, I need to keep things pretty cheap. My first thought was to look for a second hand camera on ebay, the model that jumped out was the Canon 350D for around 200 quid. The second option was a second hand camera from a friend of a friend. Third of course was to buy a new camera.

Each had positives and negatives. A new camera is up to date, full warranty, no worries, but you pay for that security. A camera from an ebay user is the cheapest, but there is an element of risk and you get an out of date model. A camera from a friend of a friend takes a middle ground, but there is still the worry of usage.

Then I found a fourth option. It turns out that canon sell off refurbished equipment with substantial reductions. You pay what you would for normal second hand gear, but you get a full 1 year warranty. This is the option I took, for £275 I got the Canon 400D refurbished by Canon. The warranty is the key for me, if anything goes wrong I have peace of mind. Canon sell all their refurbished gear via ebay, a user called canon_uk1. The camera arrived today but sadly I am not at home and a family member took delivery. I won’t get hold of it until Thursday.

Written by James

October 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Equipment, Photography