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Cameras and Sensors

Lesson 2 from: FAST CLASS: Nature and Landscape Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

2. Cameras and Sensors

Lesson Info

Cameras and Sensors

So let's talk about cameras. What sort of camera should you use? What type of camera can you use? Let's talk about the general camera qualities that nature photographers like. First off, we want high image quality in nature and landscape photography. There's been a long tradition of very, very good quality images, highly detailed, so we want high image quality. We want to be able to control the exposures. We want to be able to control the focusing, and it's nice to have some different lens options so that we have a variety of looks that we can have for anything that we're doing. And on top of all of this, let's make it very portable because we're going to need to be moving around. We're not often just shooting straight from our car, and so what this means to you is going to be something different than what it means to me and somebody else. And so the balance of these features is where you get to make your own choice among the gigantic world of camera choice. Now, the three types of cam...

eras I will be talking about is the good old SLR, the new and upcoming mirror less cameras and then talking about point and shoots as well. We're not gonna go into the full details of how these work that's in my other more basic classes, the SLR. The big advantages that I like with the SLR is the really incredibly sharp viewing. Because you are viewing through a mirrored system, you get to look through the actual lens. You get to see the world as sharp as you can see it with your own eyes. It's very good under low light viewing images. So if you're trying to focus on stars or the moon or something very, very dark, you get to use your own human vision, which is actually very good under low light conditions in that viewing system. And these cameras in general have very, very high image quality because they have a larger size sensors, which is what we're gonna talk about in a moment now. The disadvantages that we have with these SL ours is this mirror box in the camera isn't completely necessary, and it's taking up a lot of space, and we'll see that more when we talk about the mirror less cameras, the image that you see is what you get to see with your own eyes, and that is not the way the final image comes out. It's not representative of the dynamic range that you're going to have. It's not representative of the color balance that you have. And so you could be misled into thinking, looking through an SLR that that's what my final picture is gonna look like. That is just simply a preview of what you're going to see. And there is a limited digital assistance. And this digital a senses assistance is something that is in the new muralist cameras. And there's a lot of very cool things that are being done with this. And I'm gonna show you more about this when we get to the focusing section, because I have examples of how different cameras have things like magnification and peaking in order for you to get super super sharp images. And we don't have that with the SL ours in their view finder the muralist cameras, which are kind of the up and coming popular cameras that a lot of people are liking because they're smaller in size and so it's easier to hike and carry more equipment with you. We have our digital focusing and info aids that I've been just talking about. And the image that you look at in one of these cameras very much represents the final image. One of the things that I like about muralist cameras is that you are looking at a digital image, and that's what your captain capturing. I found that I changed my work flow with the mirror list camera, and what I've done is I no longer have my image playback on the back of the screen because normally on an SLR, I would shoot a picture, and then I would look at the back of the camera to see well, how did that turn out? Here's what it looks like. Here's what I think. It looks like there's what it actually looks like now with the muralist camera. I've turned that part off, so I just shoot. I see a preview of what I'm shooting and I shoot it, and I don't worry about playback. And so it actually has sped up the shooting process when shooting with the mere list camera. The disadvantages with the mirror list is that the E V f, the electronic viewfinder is not a sharp and so judging, critical focus requires those digital aids that come in in general, a lot of these muralist cameras. It's not a rule, but in many of them we have a lower pixel count than we do in the SL ours, and it's just because a lot of them are using smaller size sensors. It's not the case. In all I know. There's some exceptions out there not gonna mention particular cameras. They can be just as good. But in general, the choices out there are mostly that. There are a little bit lower image quality, and finally you're out pretty far from electricity and charging batteries. They do tend to go through batteries more quickly, I find with my muralist camera, I can go through a battery a day pretty easily, but on my SLR and might last me a week, depending on my style of shooting. And so you have to be a little bit more aware of that battery usage. Now we don't have as many people shooting with the point and shoot cameras out there. Obviously, these are going to be very small in size. They're lightweight, very low cost the type of thing that if somebody's gonna go on a long hike, they're gonna hike the Pacific Crest Trail. That's gonna take him six months to hike. This is the type of camera that they would bring because they can't budget very much weight. The problem with these cameras is that you have very few options, especially when it could comes to manually controlling any sort of features on the camera. They're very difficult to use in bright sunlight because they don't have a traditional viewfinder on it. And because they're small in the use small sensors, they have a lower resolution. And so you are going to be limited in what you can get out of the camera. Are these bad cameras? I didn't say that. You have to look at what your needs are and what you want from it. If you want to post some pictures on Facebook and you want to do a little slide show on an HD screen more than enough resolution to do that. But if you really want to get into controlling the various aspects of the camera, they're going to be highly limited. In that regard. I'm just gonna keep moving right on through to sensors because integral part of the cameras. Obviously there's a lot of different cameras on the market, and one of the most important differences in them is the size of the sensor in the camera. So these are some of the most popular sensor sizes out on the market today. Full frame indicating it's the same size is a 35 millimeter frame. I I am not a big fan of this naming system, and I would like to propose that we change the naming to just simply measuring the diagonal of the sensor. It would be able to make things a lot more comparable. It's the same way we measure TV screens and computer monitors, and so the 43 millimeters sensor could be very directly compared to a 28 millimeters sensor, and you have a a good feeling for the size difference between the two. There is a crop factor that we will talk about when we talk about these lenses, and the full frame sensors are what most of the serious professionals are doing because it can fit the most number of pixels and it can get the highest quality of image. And so, in very general terms, the bigger the sensor, the better quality you're going to get. And so you want to get the biggest sensor that you're willing to carry around in cameras and lenses and whatever that total bulk ISS.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Light Keynote
Focus Keynote
Equipment Keynote
Subject Keynote
Timing Keynote
Composition Keynote
Exposure Keynote