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Features information, tips and hints on all aspects of photography as well as photo editing technique. Your critique, comments and compliments are always welcomed to help me improve and learn.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Canon 450D

Canon launches its latest D-SLR, the EOS 450D. Featuring a 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, EOS Integrated Cleaning System, 3.0” LCD with Live View mode and a new 9-point AF system, the model presents consumers with an unprecedented level of image quality and versatility at this end of the market. The Canon EOS 450D employs features already proven in Canon’s professional EOS-1 series cameras, including the DIGIC III image processor and a redesigned menu system that enables features such as direct control of Speedlite flash units from the camera LCD. A choice of 13 custom functions allows the photographer to customise the camera to their shooting style.



The Canon EOS 450D features:

  • Built for better photos

Built for better photos

The EOS 450D is designed to make photography a fluid experience for photographers of all levels and experience. Housed in a compact body that weighs less than 475 grams, the camera features an improved grip design that provides a natural, ergonomic fit with the user’s hands. A large, bright viewfinder makes image composition clearer and more comfortable. The menu system inherited from professional EOS cameras uses a simplified tab structure that does away with scrolling. It includes a user-defined My Menu tab for instant access to frequently used settings.

Several custom functions are available to optimise the quality of photos captured in a range of situations. Highlight Tone Priority boosts the dynamic range at the highlight end, providing better tonal detail from wedding dresses, cloudy skies and other bright objects. The new Auto Lighting Optimiser corrects brightness and contrast during image processing, while improving skin tones in portraits by ensuring correct exposure for faces. Photographers can also enable additional noise reduction for shots captured at high ISO speeds.

Live View

Available for the first time on a Canon consumer D-SLR, Live View mode makes it easier to shoot from awkward angles, such as ground-level macro shots or when shooting from a tripod. The image from the Live View mode is displayed as a smooth, 30fps video feed on the 3.0” LCD, which is 50% brighter than the screen of the EOS 400D. A grid line display and live histogram can be selected to help with shot composition and exposure. While focusing, the photographer can zoom in on specific details with up to 10x magnification of the image displayed on the LCD screen. Two types of auto focus are available: Quick AF flips the camera mirror momentarily to engage the AF sensor; Live AF uses the image contrast data to focus - a method familiar to anyone upgrading from a compact digital camera.

Specification:

Sensor:

• 12.2 million effective pixels
• 12.4 million total pixels
• 22.2 x 14.8 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in low-pass filter with self cleaning unit
• 3:2 aspect ratio

Dust reduction:
• Low-pass filter vibration at power-on (can be interrupted)
• Anti-static coating on sensor surfaces
• Software based dust-removal (camera maps dust, removed later)

Image sizes:
• 4272 x 2848 (L)
• 3088 x 2056 (M)
• 2256 x 1504 (S)

Output formats:
• RAW (.CR2 14-bit *)
• RAW (.CR2 14-bit *) + JPEG Large/Fine
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine, Normal

Image processor:
DIGIC III

Lenses:
• Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
• 1.6x field of view crop

Focus modes:
• Auto Focus
• Manual Focus (switch on lens)

Auto Focus:
• 9-point CMOS sensor
• Cross-type F2.8 at center *
• AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)

AF modes:
• AI Focus
• One shot
• AI Servo

Shutter:
• Focal-plane shutter
• 30 - 1/4000 sec (0.5 or 0.3 EV steps)
• Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Bulb

Aperture values:
• F1.0 - F91 (0.3 EV steps)
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used

DOF preview:
Yes, button

LCD Live view:
• Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Grid optional (thirds)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Optional Auto-focus with mirror-down / mirror-up sequence
• Two modes; normal and quieter
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
• Manual focus only

Record review:
• Uses last play mode
• Magnification possible
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold

Flash:
• Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
• Guide number approx 13
• Modes: Auto, Manual Flash On/ Off, Red-Eye Reduction
• X-Sync: 1/200 sec
• Flash exposure compensation: +/-2.0 EV (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps)
• Coverage up to 17 mm focal length (27 mm FOV equiv.)

External flash:
• E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• Hot-shoe

Storage:
• SD / SDHC card

Power supply:
• Lithium-Ion LP-E5 rechargeable battery (7.4 V, 1050 mAh)
• CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)

Weight (no battery):
475 g (1.0 lb)

How to Get Professional Photos from your XSI

The reason photos are blurry, flat, or not very dynamic is due to a few factors.

1) inadequate lighting - low lighting, hard to distinguish subject matter from surrounding environment. Colors are flat, image lacks pop, often times when its past dusk and there is not enough available sun light. Can be rectified by the use of external lighting such as flash.

2) Poor focus - focus can be affected by inadequate light, the focus systems rely on adequate light to differentiate contrast. The focus system focuses via contrast phase detection, so adequate contrast and light is necessary for accurate focus.

3) Subject matter or camera shake blur - when an inadequate shutter speed is used, it will be hard to hand hold the camera or freeze subjects that are moving fast. Fast shutter speeds are required for action and hand held photography. For action / sport photography, a shutter speed of 1/500th or greater is almost always necessary.

Noise Reduction: When shooting in JPG mode, your camera will likely be applying noise reduction. Noise reduction softens digital noise introduced from high ISO sensitivy or underexposure of photos. Shooting in raw enables greater control in the balance between noise reduction and image sharpness. The end user can process the RAW file as they see fit.

Shooting in JPG:
If you are shooting in JPG, refer to my previous explanation of Picture Styles. These picture styles are user selectable options which change the sharpness, contrast, and other characteristics of your photos in camera on the fly while taking the photos. When shooting a JPG, the camera captures a raw file - compresses the data and processes it using its in camera algorithms and then discards the raw file saving only the JPG. Therefore JPG’s are already compressed, edited, and not extremely capable of being altered in post processing. You will want to maximize the results of your cameras inbody software if you are going to use it.

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