Transfering artwork to digital domain sm
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2.3 Camera Settings

In this lesson, you will learn how to set up your camera to get the best quality results in the most amount of detail. So no matter what kind of camera you have, getting it dialed in, so that it takes very sharp pictures with the right amount of depth of field and and low noise should be fairly straight forward. Now I'm going to be using a Canon 7D, which is a APSC sized DSLR with a 17 to 15 millimeter F.28 lens, but that almost doesn't matter. Because as long as your camera has some manual controls, you're going to be able to get really good results like this. Because I don't need a super fast lens, what I need is a lot of depth of field and the maximum amount of detail and that's going to usually always mean closing down the aperture even if you have a kit lens that's fairly wide like a 18 to 55 or whatever. It's probably going to have a maximum aperture of somewhere between F3.5 to F5.6, but I'm going to be shooting for an aperture smaller than that. So it doesn't really matter, because almost all lenses, when you close the aperture down enough are going to give you really, really sharp results. The first thing that I wanna do is determine how far I can close the aperture down, because I want the sharpest image and the most amount of depth of field that's possible. Now you may be thinking depth of field is not really a big deal here and it's not really, but if there's any kind of height variation or variation in the flatness, if you will of my artwork or my photos, I wanna make sure that I'm capturing all of that detail. And usually, lenses get sharper as you stop them down, as you use an aperture with a higher value or basically, a smaller hole. You'll get more in the acceptable sharpness range, what's called depth of field. And things just, overall, look better, especially from corner to corner. The problem is if you stop them down too much, if you close that aperture down too much, things start getting worse. There's a point in the lens in your camera system where things becoming sharp and they actually start becoming softer, and this is due to diffraction. Now, diffraction happens at, basically, any aperture, but it starts to become detrimental to the image quality at a certain point. Now that certain point varies depending on your image sensor's size and I'm fairly certain from tests that I've done, and research that I've done that an APSC sized sensors that the limit is right around F11. Between F11 and F16, you'll see things look really sharp at F11 as I go to F16 things look a little bit worse. On a full frame sensor, I believe that's around F22. And on a micro four-third sensor, I think that's in more neighborhood of F5.6 or maybe F8. So, you really don't have a whole lot to work with, with those cameras. That's not to say that you can't get good results, because you can, but it's something that you should know about. You can't just crank any camera's aperture down to F32, because I promise you, those images will not be as sharp as you want. So for me, I know the optimal settings for this camera in terms of aperture is going to be F11. So, that's where I want to start. I know I'm gonna get the most amount of sharpness, the most amount of depth of field at that aperture. Now, the other things that I need to control are noise. And basically, I don't want noise. I want to keep noise the lowest that I can, so I'm going to set my ISO down fairly low. Now if I turn my ISO down low or my image sensitivity down low, that means I have to use a longer exposure time. And since things aren't moving here, that's not really a big deal. Now I can turn my ISO down as far as ISO 100, but I believe that I get a little less noise at ISO 160. So, that's what I'm gonna use for this camera and it's not probably super critical. ISO 100. ISO 160. ISO 200. ISO 320. There's probably not gonna be huge amount of difference in those, because cameras of this generation, do really well with noise and it's probably not gonna make a huge difference. If you're using a camera with a smaller sensor, you're probably going to wanna use whenever the lowest ISO option is on that camera system to make sure that you get the lowest amount of noise possible. You're also not going to wanna keep the camera on live view, because it basically keeps the sensor on the entire time if possible. Now if you're using a mirrorless camera, I don't believe that's going to be possible. So, you may want to just keep that in mind. If you keep the sensor on for long periods of time, it can generate more noise. Because as the sensor heats up, I believe that can lead to more noise. I know that's true for this camera. If I leave it in live view for a long, long time. Eventually, this sensor will over heat and over time that will lead to images with more noise even if the ISO is at low. It's just kind of a function of the sensor getting hot. So I have aperture set, I have ISO, I know where I want that to be. In terms of the other settings on my camera, I'm going to be shooting raw on this camera system. So I don't really need to worry about white balance or the picture color profile or anything else, because in raw or raw plus JPEG, it's not going to bake any of those things in. It's just gonna record the image to the sensor. So, I don't really need to worry about any of that stuff. If your camera doesn't shoot raw, you're going to wanna make sure that you match the white balance to whatever lighting you're shooting in. In fact, the probably the best way to do it is to setup a custom white balance and that's going to be pretty simple. You can look in your camera's manual to find out how to do that. But usually, it involves shooting a white thing in the lighting that you're using and then setting that as your custom white balance. That's probably gonna get you the best results and then you're gonna wanna choose a picture profile that does not give you extra contrast and extra sharpness, something that's fairly neutral. For this camera system, there is one that's called Faithful, that does a pretty good job, but you're gonna have to look into that if you are shooting JPEG. But I would recommend, if you can shoot raw, because it's going to be easier to manipulate the image in post production and dial things in after. Now, what about shutter speed? We haven't talked about that yet. We've talked about aperture and ISO, but you will need to set your shutter speed to make sure that you're exposing things properly here. And that's not something you're going to be able to determine until you setup your lights and that's something we're gonna look at in the next lesson.

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