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Friday, April 11, 2014

Basic Equipment

 DSLR Megapixel :  Most of entry level comes with 18 Megapixel, but if you buy a second hand try to stay above 12mg.

Most of the DSLR are able to shoot raw, and you should get in that wagon, this was a big question few years back, but it make sense to shoot raw and let me tell you why you should shoot raw over Jpegs “Jpegs are compressed files and are referred to as lossy files”inability to hold and maintain the original format means every time you open and close a Jpeg file it degrades due to data being lost. If you use Jpegs shoot JPEG FINE, and save the file in a Tiff format.
 Raw in 16 bit have over 65000 levels in each channel “red green and blue" compare to Jpegs 8 bit with 256 levels.  Raw is not compress and can be save as a Tiff file after post processing. Raw is like your negative, it's also a proof that the image is yours, you can always rework them, they contain all the file information.
In the past the problem with raw and tiff was their size, very large, but today storage is not a problem, I am currently using two portable external hard a 1T and a 2T, the price when down a lot in the past few years, what you pay today for a 2T is cheaper than what was a 250GB just a few years back.  I also have a couple of USB memory sticks 64GB for travel purposes.

Buy the best memory cards that are required for your camera, I always travel with 3 cards for each camera, an 8, 16 and 32GB

The basic lens to get, a wide angle zoom lens ranging from 10mm to 40mm more or less, a medium telephoto zoom like my all-time favorite lens Canon 24-105, and a large telephoto zoom  like a Canon 70-200 or Canon100-400 “image stabilization is a plus if you can get it”.  If you don’t want to use a flash the best lenses are the fast one with an aperture of f2:8 or less, you can also use a tripod, and boost your ISO, today DSLR are doing a great job at ISO 800, I try not to go over 800 even if my camera can handle ISO 1600 while keeping image quality. When buying a flash make sure to get one with a swivel head.

Before going out shopping for your camera read all the reviews and set your budget, used the internet to compare the benefits and features of each and the best price you can get. 
Most of DSLR comes with all the features you can think off, make a list of what is important to you, ask questions. 
I am a Canon fan since ever, and I know that Nikon is as good, I think the most important decision is what brand to buy, when you start with a brand, it’s very costly to change.

 One of the  most important piece of equipment is the tripod, I own 3 tripods and one monopod all Manfrotto, the first one I bought the 055XPRo is big, heavy and strong with a load capacity of 7kg, and a minimum height of 10cm, I use a ball head to go with it, the head is as important as the tripod, and most of the time more expensive, mine has a load capacity of 16kg, this head add to the weight of the tripod not easy to carry, and not the kind of tripod you want to bring on a trip, for the longest time when traveling I used an inexpensive Manfrotto 725B Digi, comes with a ball head attached with a load capacity of 3.5kg, do not go low, but it was strong enough for most of my work when out traveling, small and light, easy to bring along. Preparing my gears for my next adventure in South America, I wanted to get a tripod that is great for travel very light and I found it; " the new Manfrotto Befree"

“Befree is a new and innovative tripod dedicated to photographers who love to travel. Compact, light and portable Befree is the ideal travel companion.

A high quality tripod that fits into carry-on luggage and backpacks; it’s a dream come true for any photographer on the go. Thanks to the unique folding mechanism the legs fold perfectly around the head and quick release plate attachment. In the closed position it is only 40 cm long.
Its small size and portability don’t mean compromise on sturdiness and image quality. The Manfrotto Befree delivers sharp images by keeping your camera steadily locked in the desired position. Its new aluminum ball head is solid, quick and simple to operate. The Manfrotto Befree has a maximum payload 4 kg (8,8lb), guaranteeing stability and sturdiness even with longer zoom lenses.
The new patented leg angle selectors quickly allow you to select between two inclinations offering maximum versatility for camera positioning.”

This amaze me how small and compact this tripod is, the perfect tripod to bring along.

Software, Adobe is probably the best choice, they have a photographer plan, that give you access to Photoshop CC and Lighroom 5.3 for only 9.99 per month, for me this is it, no more upgrade to thinks about, you always have the latest version, I also use Corel Painter, and many Plug in, like onOne, Nik, Topaz, Akvis, Alien Skin etc…

You also need a good monitor that is easy to calibrate.

And at last and most important a computer with at least 8G ram, and the latest video card.

That’s a start, and quite a bit,
For my next adventure I will try to go as light as possible, easier said than done!

When using a Canon 70-200 or a Canon 100-400, a strong tripod is a plus, this is my big guy strong, sturdy and quite heavy. Sebastien my son, his wife Sandra and I are great shooting bodies, that was a beautiful day in Moraine Lake, that turn into a storm.

Family day at Moraine Lake, Canon 5D Markii, Canon 16-35 at 16mm, f22. 1/15sec ISO200
I wanted to thanks Sandra Dugas, for the great shots, thank you girl:)

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