Thursday, November 22, 2007
To our troops overseas, I wish you a speedy and safe return. Having been separated over the holidays myself I know how it feels.
I was going to start off by diving into the Mode Dial, but a lot of what happens in the different modes really depends on how the camera is setup. So in order for us all to be on the same page when talking about a certain mode we need to understand the settings and what they do. If we understand the settings then when our final images differ we will understand why.
Lets start with the Record Mode Settings Menu. It is the first menu that pops up when we hit the menu button.
10MP: Image Width = 3872 pixels
Image Height = 2592 pixels
File size is around 2Mb
6MP: Image Width = 3008 pixels
Image Height = 2000 pixels
File size is around 1Mb
2MP: Image Width = 1824 pixels
Image Height = 1216 pixels
File size is around 500Kb
What this setting really affects is the maximum size of a print. For example in 10MP mode Photoshop says at 300dpi your print size will be about 12.9 inches by 8.6 inches. If you set the dpi to 250 you can get a print size of about 15.5 inches by 10.4 inches. At 6MP the print sizes will be about 10 by 6.7 at 300dpi and at 2MP they are about 6 by 4.
This only affects the JPEG image and does not change the image size of a RAW image. If you shoot in RAW only mode then this setting does nothing.
I leave mine on 10MP as I don't ever want to forget that it is set lower when I am trying to get the largest image size possible. I shoot mostly in RAW mode or RAW+ unless I am photographing a large event where there will be many photos where I need the memory card space or won't have time to post process the RAW images.
This again is only useful in JPEG mode and in fact once you enable extended bracketing your file format changes to JPEG. So use it to set your saturation/sharpness/contrast and then turn it off.
In white balance extended bracket mode the white balance can be bracketed by +1, +2, or +3 in the green/magenta or blue/amber ranges.
There are several applications where this mode can be useful, one being astrophotography and the other where you want a long exposure but the conditions are too bright and you don't have a ND filter. Astrophotography could benefit by the in camera stacking of long exposures. This will bring out more detail in deep space objects such as nebulae. You will want to use an equatorial mount for this though. The other use is when you are trying to take a long exposure of a water fall (or similar moving object) in bright daylight with out an ND filter. The resulting multiple exposure will show the moving parts as blurred yet the EV compensation will keep the exposure within range.
This could be useful if you are experimenting with different setting but don't want to save them. Just turn them all off and go experiment. If you really screw up the settings you can of course hit the reset option in the respective menu.
A note straight out of the manual (pg 200) says the file no. when turned on will save the current image number and all images thereafter will be sequential even if you swap memory cards. If it is turned off it will use the last image number found on the current memory card.
Also a new folder is created when the current image count is over 500 (except bracketed images which are kept together).
You have to have the shake reduction switch turned on for the camera to ask for the focal length when it is turned on.
This concludes all the settings in the record mode menu.