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OT: Digi Photography & Skiing

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Camera noob here.

I'm buying a Canon Rebel XTi with 300mm zoom for ski photos, water photos & general use including lots of children snapshots.

My primary question has to do with lens filters. What would work best for bright & low light snow conditions?
I'm already getting a circular polarizer for sun. Will this work well for snow also?
Should I consider a +2 neutral density?

What about low light (snow days) ?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 13
You have picked a great camera, hope your lens has good optics. You will learn pretty quickly that taking a picture with bright white snow will fool the camera's sensors but if this camera has a mode for this situation perhaps it won't be as big of a problem as one who has a film camera.

A polorizer IMHO is pretty much the only filter you need. Shot a the right direction it can turn a dull blue sky into a deep saturated blue. Sometimes, again depending on the direction can work too well and result in a very unnatual looking image in that half of the sky is deep blue while the other half is pale blue.

Like most things pratice makes perfect.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee View Post
You have picked a great camera, hope your lens has good optics. You will learn pretty quickly that taking a picture with bright white snow will fool the camera's sensors but if this camera has a mode for this situation perhaps it won't be as big of a problem as one who has a film camera.

A polorizer IMHO is pretty much the only filter you need. Shot a the right direction it can turn a dull blue sky into a deep saturated blue. Sometimes, again depending on the direction can work too well and result in a very unnatual looking image in that half of the sky is deep blue while the other half is pale blue.

Like most things pratice makes perfect.
Thanks for info.

In addition to the standard 55mm lens I am also getting the 300mm.
post #4 of 13
No problem....I used to teach photography. I am alittle confused tho. You first said 300m zoom then just 300mm. Is it a fixed focal length or a zoom? The zoom will probably include a 55mm length which BTW is not a normal/standard lens in the digital world, it's closer to a wide angle lens. I am still having a hard time getting used to that.

If you have not bought the lens it's critical you buy a lens with the best optics you can afford not only for pic quality but for taking those low light pics you asked about.

I used to tell my students(pre-digital) that the lens is way more important than the camera body as the camera body basically just keeps the film from falling on the ground while the quality of the lens will effect every aspect of the resulting pic.

That statement might not work in the digital world but the importance of the lens quality has not changed.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
The camera came as a Thanksgiving package special from Ritz.
It comes with the 18-55mm & 70-300mm Canon EF lenses.

Thanks again !
post #6 of 13
SW,

One of the great advantages of digital photography is the ability to post process the images after you download them. This makes the need for a variety of filters almost "unnecessary". Get an image processing program like Picasa (free from google). You'll be amazed at what you can do with this program. If you really want to go wild drop the cash on photoshop.

Good luck and have fun!

L
post #7 of 13
Personally, I have a Nikon D-70, and as far as filters go, I used both a UV and Polarized filter on my lenses, and have liked the results. Check the camera as you should have some White Balance settings which will come in VERY handy shooting on Bluebird days on the snow.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus View Post
I used both a UV and Polarized filter on my lenses, and have liked the results.
Oh yes. Gotta have the UV to protect the lens.
post #9 of 13
Shoot in RAW instead of JPEG -- it'll give you a lot more control in post-processing.. Also, it's better to underexpose than overexpose when shooting -- in post-processing you can tease out detail from underexposed areas, but not much from overexposed areas.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
Shoot in RAW instead of JPEG -- it'll give you a lot more control in post-processing.. Also, it's better to underexpose than overexpose when shooting -- in post-processing you can tease out detail from underexposed areas, but not much from overexposed areas.
The one thing to consider here though is shooting sequences, shooting in RAW is too much data for a fast sequence, often times for otimal sequence speeds you will have to play with JPG size and quality to get the speed you want.
post #11 of 13
Manus makes a good point. In addition, while shooting in RAW is all the rage right now if you don't have a fast CPU or a big hardrive you could be sitting there for awhile waiting for each image to appear. A good compromise would be to customize your jpeg setting to keep as many pixels in the image as possible, pretty easy to do.

At this point, however, I wouldn't worry about this stuff as your learning curve will be steep enough just figuring out how to use the camera and whatever image software you choose to use. I would also reccomend using software like Pro Paint Shop vs Photoshop. Costs hundreds of dollars less and will do everything you will need plus more.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info folks.
Ritz was taking 33% off purchase of 3 filters so I got the UV & polarized and the +2 neutral density was essentially free.

Photoshop....check. While I'm a computer hack, my wife owns an internet/graphic design firm in Loveland,CO and she's an expert. Now all I gotta do is pin her down to teach me some ABC's.
post #13 of 13
Thank goodness for the wife. You're going to have great fun with your new camera! The Canon shoots more like a film camera than most of the other cameras, so you can avoid many of the problems with digital, such as shutter lag, etc. The Canon lenses are the fastest in the biz, so that will help you as well.

Nice selection of lenses, as far as I can tell. As stated earlier, the quality of the lens is the key, especially with film, but also with digital. But the processor is also a major factor in digital, and Canon is one of the best. You're going to want to protect those lenses, so those filters will come in handy. The great thing about digital is that you can manipulate your images to do whatever you want, whether that be to make them wildly spectacular, or just get them to look like you invisioned them when you shot them. Therefore, filters are basically unnecessary, because you can get the effect you're going for in photoshop. But....a polarizer will cut down on the glare that can ruin a photo, and which is tough to get rid of in PS. The most important thing is protection for your lens. If you scratch the filter, you can easily buy a new one. Scratching the lens itself becomes a pricier misfortune. The rest of the stuff is really easy. Photoshop elements will have everything you need, and it will probably come bundled with your Canon software. Have loads of fun!

IMHO, it would be too counter productive to shoot in RAW, especially since you are a newbie. As mentioned earlier, RAW take A LOT of memory, as the file size is huge. To manipulate the images takes much longer, especially if you have a slow machine. You do hae much greater control over a RAW image, so if you want to frame or blow something up, you might consider using this mode. I really wouldn't use it for snap shots though.

As mentioned earlier, snow is tough for focusing, and it also easily fools the sensors. Experiment all you want. You're not going to be wasting film. One thing you will wnat to have absolutely correct is the white balance in snow. You can correct this in PS as well (and this is a situation where RAW come in mightly handy), but better to get it correct right off the bat.

Be aware too that condensation will ruin a digital much easier than it will a film camera.
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