Yesterday we had the pleasure of a meeting with Guffe Funck the inventor and creator of the Swedish Chameleon DSLR rigs. We have featured Swedish Chameleon a couple of times now on the site, firstly here at Focus on Imaging and then also at BVE, but this was our first chance to discuss the rigs and thinking in detail with Guffe.
Tag Archive for: Tripods & supports
How can a camera help you to take better pictures?
Digital SLR cameras have come on in leaps and bounds, the technology packed in to the latest cameras like the EOS 650D is nothing short of amazing. [Amazon]
Digital SLR cameras, just like film cameras, are not able to record the same range of brightness as the human eye can see. For new photographers this is one of the top things to learn and then make use of to improve their pictures. You need to prioritise which elements in the frame are to be rendered correctly and which are ok to blow out or fall in to shadow. This limitation is termed the dynamic range.
“Better” range for your pictures
In recent times a technique scarily titled High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging has become more popular. Basically this involves the taking of several frames of the scene at different exposures then combining them together in software to make an image with apparently greater dynamic range than the camera could capture. Execute the technique well and it can look quite good, do it badly, or overdo it, well that’s where you might call it art.
EOS 650D puts increased dynamic range right at your fingertips
The EOS 650D adds Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control to the scene modes on the camera mode dial. Handheld Night Scene icon is at the 9 o’clock position on the mode dial above and the HDR Backlight Control mode is at the 8 o’clock position.
Handheld Night Scene mode
Taking advantage of the increased 5fps frame rate, the camera captures four shots at a shutter speed fast enough to prevent camera shake. The four shots are then combined in-camera to create a single well-exposed shot with minimal blur in low light conditions, lessening the need to use a tripod. This will make sure that more photographers get better pictures in low light conditions, giving them confidence to use the camera more often.
HDR Backlight Control mode
This is a typical HDR type mode, the camera captures three shots in continuous shooting mode, again using the faster frame rate. One shot is under exposed, one is at the metered exposure and one is overexposed. Then the camera analyses the frames to create a composite image with greater dynamic range than would be possible with a single shot.
THe EOS 5D Mark III also has a HDR mode, but it’s more hidden in the depths of the cameras menus, here’s a simple example of an HDR scene that the camera captured and processed to give the impression of wider dynamic range.
It’s really great to see this kind of modes coming to the EOS 650D since it will help more people get better pictures in difficult photographic situations. The key question is how will someone know if it’s the right time to use these modes? For that I suggest a short session of training or consultancy with EOS Network.
At the recent BVE show in London we got the chance to meet up with Mattias Holmer from Swedish Chameleon and check out their latest Swedish Chameleon Tiny shoulder rig for HD DSLRs. For the video we shot two angles with the front, or head-on shot being done with an EOS 5D Mark II fitted to a Swedish Chameleon Tiny rig.
Don’t forget to check out our other Swedish Chameleon coverage from last year.
Looking for your next fix of Canon kit to get your hands on and drool over? Then don’t fear, because Canon Pro Photo Solutions 2011 is fast approaching!
Scheduled for the 25/26th October at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, the show is Canon’s own trade show where you get to see the complete range of Canon kit, talk to Canon staff and also look around solutions from other manufacturers that compliment the Canon system. This means that if you’re interested in cameras, printers, projectors, video, software, and accessories, there will be something there for you to get your teeth into.
As if that isn’t enough, there will be a range of talks and presentations from a wide range of professionals to help you better understand your kit and improve your results. Last year both Brian and I presented seminars, Brian covering software in one of the seminar rooms while I took the main stage to run through Canon workflow from capture to output.
To register, visit the following link and click “Register” http://www.canon.co.uk/prosolutions2011/
See you there
A useful tip today for all you users of APS-C and APS-H sensored cameras (so the likes of EOS 7D, EOS 60D and EOS-1D Mark IV).
The rule of thumb to avoiding camera shake is to shoot at a shutter speed no slower than the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens. This means take the focal length of the lens, say 200mm, and then put a 1 over it so it looks like a fraction = 1/200. This now looks a lot like a shutter speed and gives you the steer that you should not use a shutter speed any slower than 1/200sec when hand-holding a 200mm lens that does not feature an Image Stabiliser.