How to take pictures with a digital camera

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by dosferatu, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. dosferatu

    dosferatu Guest

    I'm old school, heavy SLR's with fast glass. Elbows in and camera against
    your face.

    I just can't get used to these new cameras where you have to hold them away
    from your body. Any hints?
    dosferatu, Apr 8, 2008
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  2. dosferatu

    ray Guest

    Yes. Don't get one. I've had three digital cameras and the wife, two. All
    of them have viewfinders. I'm not going to go that route either. I could
    do quite well with no back panel LCD at all.
    ray, Apr 8, 2008
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  3. dosferatu

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    I know where you're coming from. I had similar problems when I first picked
    up one of these feather-weight, LCD equipped little monsters.

    In my case, I have a Canon A720 IS and a Fujifilm E510. The Canon has image
    stabilization while the Fuji doesn't. I have to say that the image
    stabilization feature helps a great deal but, since I tend to like shooting
    at ISO100 to cut down on noise, I still find the need to hold my breath and
    adopt the statue posture quite often.

    Here's how I've adapted.

    Given the size of my camera and it's itty bitty, always moving lens, I found
    it psychologically necessary to add the optional lens adapter for most
    shots. The size and shape of the adapter makes it ideal as a lens hood, and
    it adds something semi-rigid to the front of the camera for me to widen my
    grip. With the adapter / lens hood attached, I've switched supporting the
    weight of the camera from my left hand to my right. I position my left hand
    so that my little finger and ring finger are curled slightly, and resst
    against the adapter / lens hood at about 10 or 11 o'clock. The tips of my
    index and pointing finger of my left hand are positioned at the top left
    corner of the camera body. My left thum slides under the camera near the
    left edge and is used to partially support the camera's weight, and to
    control the orientation of the camera body around the axis of the lens.

    I cup my right hand a bit so that I can take the bulk of the camera's weight
    on my right palm. The little finger and ring finger of this hand are curled
    around so that the backs of these fingers can slide under the adapter / lens
    hood in order to help stabilize any forward / backward tilt. The right
    index finger curls around the camera's protruding grip, and, of course, the
    right pointing finger is used to slowly press down on the shutter release.
    My right thumb is positioned on the back of the camera, near the top right
    corner. I use it, in conjuntion with my right pinky and ring finger to
    control the forward / backward tilt.

    At faster shutter speeds, there is no real problem with camera shake,
    especially with my Canon, but, when I am shooting slowly, I try to sit down
    and prop my hands on my knees. This allows me to position my forearms in a
    nearly vertical alignment. This helps to compensate for the loss of being
    able to press the camera to my face, since I find the viewfinder unusable.
    Also, since I can't make out much of what is displayed in the LCD display
    either, it allows me to put my head behind the camera and use audible
    feedback and my imagination to aim and frame my subject.

    In your case, you should have the option to either use the traditional
    viewfinder (if your camera is so equipped), or to position yourself so that
    you can see what is in the LCD without having to angle your arms too much.

    I find that it is when my forearms start to drift away from the
    perpendicular that I start to have problems with keeping the camera steady.
    As long as I can keep my forearms on the straight up-and-up I do fairly

    When standing, it helps to rest your elbows on a fence, vehicle fender /
    roof, window ledge, or just to prop yourself against a tree, poll or
    something similar. My white cane comes in handy here; I can place it under
    one of my elbows, and it becomes a quick, "down-and-dirty" monopod. Sounds
    crazy, but it works.

    I hope this helps,
    Dudley Hanks, Apr 8, 2008
  4. um, not so.

    I can take off my glasses and damn near brace the camera on the end of
    my nose and use the LCD. But, I wouldn't recommend _that_ 'special
    situation' to anyone else. :)
    Allodoxaphobia, Apr 9, 2008
  5. You are confusing digital (electronic sensor instead of film) with live
    view (LCD instead of viewfinder). Unfortunately many manufacturers are
    confused, too, and there are fewer and fewer digital (non-SLR) cameras
    with a viewfinder. Get one as long as that bread is not extinguished
    Jürgen Exner, Apr 9, 2008
  6. Even more convenient of like me you have a nose which can used as a
    spectacle focussing ramp, and can just slide them out of the way :)

    LCDs supply a lot more useful detail when you can easily see down to
    the pixel level.
    Chris Malcolm, Apr 9, 2008
  7. dosferatu

    Marvin Guest

    If the camera is on a neck strap, tension on the strap will
    help. If your camera has image stabilization,turn it on. A
    monopod is useful. In bright light, you should have no
    trouble anyway.
    Marvin, Apr 9, 2008
  8. dosferatu

    canon.user Guest

    The biggest problem I encounter using a digital camera is that my
    pix are not level and have to be straightened up with software on
    the PC (PhotoFiltre). Old film cameras like mine (Canon EOS) were
    much easier to take pix which are level and better framed.

    Even if the pocket digital has a viewfinder, it might not be TTL,
    so will not take a WYSIWYG picture.

    Apart from that, I wouldn't go back!
    canon.user, Apr 9, 2008
  9. dosferatu

    Paul Bartram Guest

    Given the price of petrol this morning, we all might have to!

    Paul Bartram, Apr 10, 2008
  10. DSLRs are often less symmetrical in shape than older film SLRs. which
    makes it harder to hold them straight with two hands just by "feel",
    so you have to do it purely optically. If the LCD allows a grid to be
    projected on the image that makes it easier to align image verticals,
    and also to check that all image verticals are parallel.

    You can also improve the feel of the camera for verticals by adding a
    vertical handle to it, such as a folded up monopod without a head,
    forcing the pod to be aligned rectangularly to the camera.

    Looking back at my old SLR photographs, however, it's clear that the
    most important reason I now have more difficulty with my verticals is
    that I'm now much fussier about vertical precision. I suspect the
    reason for that is that I view and print my digital images at larger
    sizes. That has also made me more critical about focus.
    Chris Malcolm, Apr 10, 2008
  11. dosferatu

    canon.user Guest

    Well actually my current digital isn't a DSLR but an ordinary
    Canon S70 :-(
    I am planning to change it for either a G9 or SX-100IS to get the
    longer zoom lens. Some of my best pix in the past have been taken
    using a 300mm zoom on my old EOS.

    But that's a very interesting point you raise about a grid on the
    LCD. That would significantly help me to take level pix.

    I wonder why a grid isn't standard? Can't be too costly...
    canon.user, Apr 12, 2008
  12. dosferatu

    peter Guest

    I just can't get used to these new cameras where you have to hold them
    This is nothing new. With view/field cameras, not only do you have to hold
    them away from your body, you need a large dark cloth.
    Even medium format cameras requires you to hold them away when using a waist
    level finder.
    peter, Apr 14, 2008
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