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07-24-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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manual auto focusing

I was wondering, do you know the auto focus dial on top of the fn button? i noticed that if you put it on sel you can tell it where to focus right? i was wondering how i can tell it where to focus?

also y is it that when i do burst shooting it takes sooo long to load the process the photos on the camera?

has anyone taken a picture of a sunset? what settings do you guys use?

07-24-2010, 08:38 AM   #2
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Each camera has a buffer when shooting continuously, and the more shots you take, the longer it takes to write it to the card.

When in SEL mode, simply look through the viewfinder and press the ok button. Then, use the arrow keys to choose which focusing point to use.
07-24-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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BTW, it would help to say what camera if you want help with which specific buttons to press.

As for sunset pictures, there are no magic settings. Either you understand exposure and how to control shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to get the results you want, or you need to find a good basic book on photography to explain these things. And then you'll know everything you need to know to get whatever kind of sunset picture you want - one exposed for ground or one exposed for the sky.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-26-2010 at 03:23 PM.
07-25-2010, 05:17 PM   #4
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Hi jolee,

From previous posts, I see that you are using a K20. With this body, you only have to press the arrow buttons to move the AF point in SEL mode. Realize that the AF sensing area is considerably larger than the red square or line that lights up in the viewfinder though, and anything inside this area can be chosen by the AF sensor.

The center focus area is roughly the size of the central ( ) in the viewfinder, and the surrounding eight AF sensors are slightly smaller and essentially fill the remainder of the central [ ] area of the viewfinder. The farthest two AF sensors to the left and right are line sensors, so they only detect contrast borders that intersect their line. The central 9 sensors are cross type sensors and can detect contrast borders of about any direction, but are most sensitive to those that are either vertical or horizontal.

The 14MP images create large files, so it takes a while to write to the card. This is why it takes so long to be able to see a review after you've taken a burst of shots in continuous shooting. The continuous write speed of the card you use can make this even longer if it's slow, so if you want to speed this up, you might look into getting a faster card. When I first got my K20, I noticed this and did a little testing. I found that a 133x (20Mb/sec) card gave me considerably faster write times than the Transcend Class 6 cards I'd been using, so I ended up getting Sandisk Extreme III 20 Mb/sec cards since, at the time, these were one of the few brands that actually gave continuous write speeds beyond the (at least 6Mbsec spec of the Class 6) "Class"system.

From some other users who have more patience and tested write times more precisely, I've found that the K20 writes to the card at about 18Mb/sec, which my informal tests pretty much confirmed, so I'll only use cards at least this fast for my shooting, which occasionally requires bursts.

Sorry, I can't help with the sunset stuff. . .

. . . Probably more information than you wanted, but. . .

Scott

07-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #5
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Thank you very much!
i had no idea that some cards put images in at a slower rate!, wow i relaly have to look into that. another thing thats been bothering me is, y does burst shot only take photos of small megapixels? like 1 megapixals for each photo?...

that focusing i got it to work, but scott, haha i am not totally sure what it all meant though i get a gist of it.

as for the sunsset thing, i ahve been trying sooo much but i just dont get what i want, i bought 2 polorizers and i use it but it isnt the best, i also got a neutral density filter even though its not for a sunset, so i am planning to get a graduated neutral density filter because i heard it helps?

yesturday i was in Washington DC and i was taking photos of people in the dark, and i was having sooo much trouble, when i used flashed it look so horrible, if i did slow shutter speed you can see the person but the washington monument was glowing like a light stick and vice versa. how can i use the in camera flash to make it look good? and when i go to fn and press down for flash i notice it takes you to the flash settings and there i can control the + and -. Does + mean more power? and - mean less power? please help!! i am getting soo frustrated.
07-27-2010, 09:52 PM   #6
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My advice on getting a book on photography still appplies. There are a lot of fundamental concepts to understand about photography, and these concepts are common to pretty much all cameras. Getting familiar with those concepts - and pretty much any basic book on photography will explain them - is the necessary first step to being able to understand and effectively make use of any answers you might be given here.
07-28-2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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Hi jolee,

First of all, I second Marc suggestion that you get a good book on the basics of photography. You've got a pretty sophisticated camera that's able to do some pretty advanced stuff, but you need to have a very good understanding of the basics to take advantage of this.

QuoteOriginally posted by jolee1990 Quote
Thank you very much!
i had no idea that some cards put images in at a slower rate!, wow i relaly have to look into that. another thing thats been bothering me is, y does burst shot only take photos of small megapixels? like 1 megapixals for each photo?...
On your K20, there are 3 modes that could be considered "burst" (multiple shutter actuations with one press of the shutter button). Continuous Hi, which gives a max 3.2 frames per sec. (fps) with a limitation to frames before the buffer (incamera memory) must be flushed, Continuous Lo which gives a max of 2.5 fps until the card is full (in jpg), and Hi Spd Burst mode which takes 20 fps and needs you to use Live View.

The first two can take whatever resolution you normally shoot. The 3rd choice defaults to 1.6 MP shots only


QuoteOriginally posted by jolee1990 Quote
as for the sunsset thing, i ahve been trying sooo much but i just dont get what i want, i bought 2 polorizers and i use it but it isnt the best, i also got a neutral density filter even though its not for a sunset, so i am planning to get a graduated neutral density filter because i heard it helps?

yesturday i was in Washington DC and i was taking photos of people in the dark, and i was having sooo much trouble, when i used flashed it look so horrible, if i did slow shutter speed you can see the person but the washington monument was glowing like a light stick and vice versa. how can i use the in camera flash to make it look good? and when i go to fn and press down for flash i notice it takes you to the flash settings and there i can control the + and -. Does + mean more power? and - mean less power? please help!! i am getting soo frustrated.
Polarizers have their greatest effect on skies when shooting at right angles to the light source, so they're not very useful for sunsets where you're shooting directly at (or close to) the light source. Neutral density filters just darken the entire scene, which you can do by generally underexposing the shot, so they won't help much here either. A graduated ND is probably what you want. It will allow you to darken the sky at the same time as you correctly expose the landscape.

You can figure out how much by taking some test exposures without a filter. Set up your camera for spot metering and Av priority and a preset ISO value so your meter will only change the shutter speed (say f5.6 and ISO 400). Aim the center point of the viewfinder at the brightest part of the sky (not directly at the sun) and note the shutter speed indicated, then aim the center point at a darker portion of the foreground and note the change in shutter speed. What you're effectively doing is metering the extremes of your scene. Let's say that your "sky" shutter speed is 1/1000. If your "dark" shutter speed is 2x as long (1/500), then you need a 1 stop difference between the light and dark sections of the graduated ND. If it's 4x (1/250), then you need 2 stops difference, and 8x (1/125) = 3 stops, 16x (1/60) = 4 stops. I believe the most common is a 4x (2 stop) difference in graduated ND filters. Another alternative is HDR, but I won't get into that. . .

Your night shot scenario with a person in front of the lit up Washington Monument is an "advanced" flash technique, but not too hard. It's best accomplished with an external flash, but I think you can get good results with the popup. You have to do some work though. . .

You can simulate this scene indoors with a dark room, a test subject, and a single shaded low wattage lamp. Place your subject in front of the lamp, but with the lamp fully in view to the side. Take a shot without the flash, and the lamp will probably be pretty well exposed with the person dark -- like the night shot you mentioned. If you spot meter on the person, then he/she will be properly exposed, but the lamp will be blown out.

Set up your camera to "Link AF point to AE". This will bias the flash exposure to the area around the AF point chosen. Turn your camera to "M" mode with spot metering, pop up the flash, and meter the lamp at the center of the viewfinder. Shutter speed will be limited to 1/180 max because the flash is activated.

Next, switch to "Sel" focusing mode, and "multipoint" metering mode, frame the shot with the person off center, choose the focus point somewhere on the person's face, then focus and take the shot. There are ways to minimize the camera setting changes, but the method I describe here limits the possible mistakes, IMO.

The lamp should be properly exposed because of the shutter speed and aperture chosen and locked in with "M" mode. The person should be properly focused and exposed because of the chosen focus point and P-TTL metering biased around the focus point caused the flash to cut off when the person's face was properly exposed.

If you find the popup flash too harsh, try draping a tissue over it -- it looks kinda dumb, but it will soften the light. if you want softer, fold the tissue over for more layers. There are more "professional" looking diffusers available (the Gary Fong Puffer and Lumiquest Soft Screen are two that come to mind), and there are plenty of do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions posted here if you can do a search. FWIW, external flashes are preferable because they're much more powerful and versatile for positioning and modifying the light produced, but the popup is always there, and it's useful -- despite what many might say.

Figuring this stuff out seems daunting, but the start is always really understanding your camera and the processes of exposure and lighting -- it's worth the effort.

Scott
07-28-2010, 09:26 PM   #8
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thank you very much, i have done the tissue on flash thing and i didnt like it much, i am planning on getting an external flash but till then i have no choice.

i used the polorizer filture on the statue of liberty today and it came out absolutly beautiful.
maybe ill put it up sometime.

as for your pop up flash instructions i am going to have to practice taht ASAP since i am gonna be at niagra taking photos at night.

I have done alot of DIY flash diffussing stuff but it doesnt give what i want, but maybe its because as you tell me to do, set up the focusing and exposure at right locations.

yeah i know graduated ND filter is what i needed but i was hoping i that a polarizer could help because my budget is sort of small :/

i really wish that my burst could take more pics wiht bigger megapixels :/

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