New to Digital cameras

Techniques and equipment.

Moderator: Moderators

Postby BrianC » Jan 9, 2007 8:23 pm

Ah Ha! ave one of those around here somewhere! I used it for a video camera, I hope it will work!
User avatar
BrianC
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2061
Joined: Oct 2, 2006 2:34 pm
Location: up on this here mountain
  

Using Canon Powershot 630

Postby Mark Ostrander » Jan 14, 2007 9:03 pm

Hey there,

I noticed that someone else had gotten a Canon Powershot 630 for Christmas. I just took mine to Limrock Blowing Cave (Jackson Cty, AL) on Saturday to try it out. It was the first time I was using it and the firefly/flash. I took a tripod as well. I got some good pictures, but much remains to be learned.

Of all the pictures that I took, I didn't really get a good one using the firefly and remote flash. I tended to use the purely auto settings on the camera for those attempts. I reviewing the pictures, I didn't really see eveidence of the flash going off, but I know that in real life, it did go off. I am wondering if the camera mode somehow didn't respond to it, or missed it.

I did get some wonderful rich images of a caramel-colored waterfall that used just the camera flash. The external flash on the firefly tended to turn everything more to black and white.

The best pictures that I got were when I switched it to shutter priority mode and maxed out the exposure length to 15 seconds. That allowed me to use some handheld flashlights to "paint" in the lighting. That worked good in the 70' dome with the waterfall just past the Sidewalk, and worked great in the rimstone dam passage near the register.

I had a bunch of images not being focused as I would like. I don't know if there is a trick to the camera or what. Many of the unfocused ones were close-ups when we were trying to take pictures of the bats. One of the unfocused ones occurred in the rimstone dam passage when I tried zooming in a little and set the picture delay to allow me to run and get back in the shot but with the firefly/flash pointing downstream.

I'd be curious to hear about other people's experiences with the camera.

Mark O.
Mark Ostrander
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: May 5, 2006 12:48 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
  

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 14, 2007 10:10 pm

I've got the Canon Powershot 630. But, I've never taken it underground. It's the family camera. Just use it for point-n-shoot pics above ground. I like the camera tho. I wish the flash was a little more powerful for indoor shots, but other than that, it's great.
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Re: Using Canon Powershot 630

Postby NZcaver » Jan 14, 2007 10:48 pm

Mark Ostrander wrote:I noticed that someone else had gotten a Canon Powershot 630 for Christmas. I just took mine to Limrock Blowing Cave (Jackson Cty, AL) on Saturday to try it out. It was the first time I was using it and the firefly/flash. I took a tripod as well. I got some good pictures, but much remains to be learned.

Of all the pictures that I took, I didn't really get a good one using the firefly and remote flash. I tended to use the purely auto settings on the camera for those attempts. I reviewing the pictures, I didn't really see eveidence of the flash going off, but I know that in real life, it did go off. I am wondering if the camera mode somehow didn't respond to it, or missed it.

It sounds like a pre-flash issue. You might need to get those new Fireflys (or other digi-slaves) that can be set to ignore your Canon's pre-flash. Either that, or mount the camera on a tripod and "paint" the scene like you mentioned. Obviously if you do that, everyone in the shot will also need to turn their headlamps off so you don't get streaks of light and ghost images everywhere.

Good luck! :grin:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6351
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Postby Mark Ostrander » Jan 15, 2007 9:28 am

Thanks NZcaver, for the pre-flash suggestion. I had forgotten about that. Might be time to consult the dreaded 'manual' to see if there is a way to turn that off.
Mark Ostrander
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: May 5, 2006 12:48 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
  

Postby Mark Ostrander » Jan 15, 2007 9:33 am

I will say this about using the camera (Canon Powershot 630) - I loved the swiveling screen. It came in real handy for a number of shots. In pointing up at the high waterfall, I could swivel the LCD screen off to the side and up so it was easy to see from behind. Another image, I had it out at 90 degrees so I could poke the camera in and still see what it was seeing.
Mark Ostrander
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: May 5, 2006 12:48 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
  

Postby BrianC » Jan 15, 2007 10:34 am

Mark! I used my A630 for the first time yesterday in Neversink and I too didn't get any pics using manual settings that were any good! Even with a tripod! Automatic were ok ! I am going on a photo learning trip wed so I'll let you know how it turns out. I have no experiance with manual settings on a camera, and the manual doesn't tell me how to take pics in a cave! maby they should have a section an (Cave Photos)!
User avatar
BrianC
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2061
Joined: Oct 2, 2006 2:34 pm
Location: up on this here mountain
  

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2007 6:52 pm

Mark Ostrander wrote:Thanks NZcaver, for the pre-flash suggestion. I had forgotten about that. Might be time to consult the dreaded 'manual' to see if there is a way to turn that off.

Happy to help. :camera:

I just checked the specs, and unfortunately it seems you can't disable the pre-flash without turning off the flash altogether. Lost of current digital compacts are afflicted with the same handicap. The 630 is a nice looking camera though, similar to my "non-caving" camera - the Canon A540 (which has the same pre-flash issue).

Two other factors with the 630 make it less desirable in my opinion. One is the lack of optical viewfinder, meaning you always need to have the screen turned on to frame your shots. The second is the custom Lithium-Ion battery pack, which requires a specific charger. I much prefer cameras that use standard easy-to-replace AA batteries - NiMH, Alkaline, etc. But, of course, your experience may vary. :cool:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6351
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2007 7:03 pm

Mark Ostrander wrote:I will say this about using the camera (Canon Powershot 630) - I loved the swiveling screen. It came in real handy for a number of shots. In pointing up at the high waterfall, I could swivel the LCD screen off to the side and up so it was easy to see from behind. Another image, I had it out at 90 degrees so I could poke the camera in and still see what it was seeing.

Your post here has me a little confused. I searched the specs on the Canon Powershot SD630, and didn't find any indication of a swiveling/fold-out screen.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_reviews/sd630.html

This camera, right? :question:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6351
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Jan 15, 2007 7:55 pm

NZcaver wrote:
Mark Ostrander wrote:Thanks NZcaver, for the pre-flash suggestion. I had forgotten about that. Might be time to consult the dreaded 'manual' to see if there is a way to turn that off.

Happy to help. :camera:

I just checked the specs, and unfortunately it seems you can't disable the pre-flash without turning off the flash altogether. Lost of current digital compacts are afflicted with the same handicap. The 630 is a nice looking camera though, similar to my "non-caving" camera - the Canon A540 (which has the same pre-flash issue).


I don't know specifics but in listening to some of the photo gurus around here I heard that you can get slave flashes that will understand the cameras pre flash and fire on the second flash. I think this was a setting on the slave flashes, of course this probably makes your slave flashes more expensive :doh:
User avatar
fuzzy-hair-man
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 955
Joined: Apr 6, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra, Australia
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NUCC
  

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2007 8:07 pm

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:I don't know specifics but in listening to some of the photo gurus around here I heard that you can get slave flashes that will understand the cameras pre flash and fire on the second flash. I think this was a setting on the slave flashes, of course this probably makes your slave flashes more expensive :doh:

http://www.d-store.com/d-store/Digi-Sla ... eindex.htm (you can find cheaper sources if you look)

http://www.fireflyelectronics.co.uk/pag ... tm#BF1SPEC
(scroll down to Firefly 3 - this is probably your best option for a pre-flash compatible caving slave)
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6351
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Did I mis-state the model number?

Postby Mark Ostrander » Jan 16, 2007 8:08 pm

The camera that I got for Christmas is the Canon A630, not the SD630. I looked on the Canon website, and believe this to be the one.

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/contr ... elid=14108

I looked on the specifications link, and saw the following options.

Built-in Flash
Auto, Auto w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Auto w/ Slow Synchro, Flash On, Flash On w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Flash On w/ Slow Synchro, Flash Off

I think I'm screwed with any of the red-eye reduction modes, but don't know what the 'slow synchro' means.

Out of curiosity - on a camera that works well with a firefly, is there a term for the way the flash works?

I was going to actually register the thing and contact tech support at Canon.

Still hoping for a work-around
Mark Ostrander
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: May 5, 2006 12:48 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
  

Postby Mark Ostrander » Jan 16, 2007 8:19 pm

NZCaver, I followed the link you supplied on the Firefly 3. I see what you mean. I have purchased a Firefly 2. Bought it from Peter Jones up in Maine. Oh well.
Mark Ostrander
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: May 5, 2006 12:48 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
  

I did get a couple of decent pictures though

Postby Mark Ostrander » Jan 16, 2007 8:25 pm

I did manage to post a few of my pictures to the US Cavers Forum. Feel free to check them out. Sorry about the long link below.


http://nssmembersforum.proboards28.com/ ... 1168959950
Mark Ostrander
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 82
Joined: May 5, 2006 12:48 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL
  

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Jan 16, 2007 9:03 pm

I'd be trying different settings on the camera flash before you run off to buy another flash gun...

try the flash on setting with no slow synchro or red eye reduction...

I am new to cave photography too so don't listen to me too much.

BTW: I find the 15 second exposure and painting in the light a very fun and creative way to take photos especially when you can find a shawl(bacon, draperies) to backlight :kewl:

BTW2: Nice photos.
Last edited by fuzzy-hair-man on Jan 16, 2007 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
fuzzy-hair-man
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 955
Joined: Apr 6, 2006 2:09 am
Location: Canberra, Australia
Primary Grotto Affiliation: NUCC
  

PreviousNext

Return to Photography and Videography Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users