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My camera settings.

ckristoff 13 994 Wales
4 Sep 2008 9:55PM

in my quest to use my 450D to the best of my ability, I have been studying the handbook.

I consequently put these settings within the camera's menu.

Metering mode - Centre weighted average

Exposure compensation - - 2/3 compensation

Picture Style - Landscape, with the following settings

Sharpness - 5

Contrast + 1

Saturation + 1

Color tone + 1

Therefore my ISO setting is 200.

I take my shots as Raw. I'm trying to use a tripod more often and make use of ND grads, which I have Cokin P.

I would welcome any comments you may have, on the information I've provided.


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Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
4 Sep 2008 10:04PM
your picture style, and settings like saturation etc won't have any effect on Raw.

Doesn't 450d have spot metering?

And why -2/3? Just check the histogram!
Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
4 Sep 2008 10:14PM
I would have thought evaluative metering would give you a better result for general photography.

You should treat your ISO in the same way as aperture and shutter speed. It is something you should consider on every shot: counsel of perfection though - few of us do, I'm guessing! Wink
justin c 14 5.0k 36 England
4 Sep 2008 10:19PM
You certainly don't want to set minus 2/3 exposure compensation, you want to expose each scene individually.
Whilst a small amount of minus compensation may help prevent blown highlights in some situations, in other situations it may give a terrible result and be exactly what you don't want.
For instance shooting a snow or frosty scene, shooting near bright water, shooting towards the sky, etc, etc will likely want the exact opposite of minus exposure compensation.

Setting the sharpening to a plus value is beneficial IMHO, whilst it won't have any effect on the Raw file it will give a more pleasing result when looking at your image on the back of the camera or when viewing a jpeg preview in an editing program.

Setting contrast to 0 or even a minus amount is often recommended for giving a slightly more accurate histogram reading (which is based on the jpeg).

ISO should be set according to each individual situation. There is no optimum single setting for all situations. You may want iso 50, or 100 for landscapes and iso 800 or ISO 1600 for other scenario's.

Metering method is what you prefer using. In some situations evaluative is good, in others center-weighted is better, in others, spot metering is better still.

ckristoff 13 994 Wales
4 Sep 2008 10:20PM

thanks for your reply.

450D has spot metering, I haven't tried using it yet.

I use -2/3, because I feel I get better images on that setting.

Histogram, I'm still trying to figure out. For example, if I check it, what am I looking for and what do I do about it?

So am I to believe that Picture Style is a waste of time, like all the automatic settings below the green square?


before you all ROFL, please bear in mind, that since the age of 21, I've only used film cameras. I've only tried to make a conscious effort to improve my photography for the past 3 years or so.

The 450D I only bought about 4 months ago. As I'm 51 years old, I'm a middle-aged git, who ain't a computer or Photoshop expert. So please be nice!! Smile

ckristoff 13 994 Wales
4 Sep 2008 10:24PM
CB and Justin,

thank you both for your informative replies. I've definitely got a lot more to consider.

User_Removed 16 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2008 10:30PM
Hi Frank

We've all been there and people need to remember that Wink

To be honest, this sort of learning curve can be very steep and this is definitely one situation where being with other people does help. Trying to explain some of the nuances of digital photography are much easier and clearer with one to one 'tuition'.

Have you considered joining a local club as there will be plenty of people who could at least set you off on the right road?
Coleslaw 12 13.4k 28 Wales
4 Sep 2008 10:36PM

Quote:people need to remember that

How come I feel like that's directing at me......:-(
I was only giving answer and asking questions.
Why did I bother....
ckristoff 13 994 Wales
4 Sep 2008 10:37PM
Hello Barrie,

thanks for your comment. I'm not in a position to join a camera club at present, due to work commitments ( my brother's Londis store ). Also I have recently joined a creative writing course, which means my photography at the moment isn't a priority. For example, I can go 2 weeks without picking up my camera.

ckristoff 13 994 Wales
4 Sep 2008 10:39PM

worry not my friend. I always find your posts are useful and helpful.

Your comment was valid.

User_Removed 16 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
4 Sep 2008 10:39PM

Quote:QuoteTongueeople need to remember thatHow come I feel like that's directing at me......:-(
I was only giving answer and asking questions.
Why did I bother....

Sorry.. it wasn't directed at anyone honestly I just think sometimes it's easy to assume everyone must have the same level of experience.

What is easy to one person might be really confusing to another (I still can't work the washing machine.. or at least that's what I say) Wink
Overread 9 4.1k 19 England
4 Sep 2008 11:05PM
Try to break your "fixed settings" into subjects - that is how I (very recently) was thinking. Think what it is you want the camera to be doing for a different subject.
For example landscapes want a small aperture (big F number) a tripod and a low ISO - shutter speed often long to get all the light and details in.

Break your fixed settings into your subjects makes it more managable, and easier to understand than trying toget fixed settings that work all the time.

As for the histogram, it looks complex, but is simpler than you think - if the bars are all to the left you have underexosed (black) sections of shot; if they are all to the right you have overexposed/blowouts (white) areas of the shot. Recovering the details in either case if most often impossible, even when working in RAW mode - a blowout is a blowout and the exposure adjustment won't be able to do anything with it.
Idealy you want the histogram to show the bars all in the middle or leading over to the right (thus having light and details to work with) but of course not touching the right hand side (the overexposure)

Get into the habit of setting your review screen to show the histogram each time you shoot and check it = this helps to get a shot from OK to well exposed - of course you will get many times when you will only get one chance at a shot - stock settings will help some what and as you expand your experiences and practice you will pick up on the changes in a scene that require different settings.
Have fun learning
ckristoff 13 994 Wales
5 Sep 2008 9:49AM
Hello Alex,

thank you very much for your post, very much appreciated!

I suppose I just need to work at it a ittle bit more.

dragarth 14 247 1 Scotland
9 Sep 2008 5:20PM
Hi Frank,
they say you are never too old to learn and heving a great deal of camera experience means you will be good at things some people find difficult as most of the skills learnt with film will still be applicable. I don't have a canon so won't even try to advise on the settings but if you have read the manual and it's half as good as the nikon one you'll have the basics and it's just a case of trying things out and not being afraid to play with it. the delete function is the advance you will love the most as its free! play, read, learn and most of all enjoy.

PS i'm may not be 51 but I have not stopped learning different tricks and settings since I got my camera over a year ago and unlike some people on here I barely use photoshop though keep threatening to learn more!
Kris_Dutson 15 8.2k 1 England
9 Sep 2008 5:47PM
Personally Frank, for landscapes, I'd forget the menus and learn to use it in manual. All you have to do then is select aperture, meter bright area - sky, dark area - shadow region on ground, compose and lock it off on the tripod, select grad and set the shutter speed to the dark area meter reading and shoot. Smile

That's the basics in a nutshell - you may need to experiment a bit with shutter speeds to get it perfect.

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