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Digital Camera Basics NCLA Workshop
 

Digital Camera Basics NCLA Workshop

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Workshop presented by Emily Gore and Amy Rudersdorf at NCLA 2007

Workshop presented by Emily Gore and Amy Rudersdorf at NCLA 2007

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    Digital Camera Basics NCLA Workshop Digital Camera Basics NCLA Workshop Presentation Transcript

    • Digital Camera Basics Amy Rudersdorf, NC State University Libraries Emily Gore, NC ECHO
    • Digital Camera Basics
      • First half: mechanics of camera
        • Printed materials offer a basic guide
      • Second half: capture and lighting
        • Learning curve with digital camera
        • “ Craft of lighting” can take a lifetime to master
    • Digital Camera Basics: Mechanics
      • Digital camera definition
        • A (primarily) still camera that captures images as discrete numbers (as opposed to variable intensities of light) by an array of charge-coupled devices (CCDs)
        • There is a fixed maximum resolution and number of colors that can be represented
    • Digital Camera Basics: Mechanics
      • Analog photography
        • Negative or slide film is medium of capture
      • Digital photography
        • The “film” is a light sensor*
      • *Either a CCD (charge-coupled device) or CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor)
    • Digital Camera Basics: Mechanics
      • Light sensors
        • Convert light into thousands [or millions] of pixels
        • Pixels are tiny “dots” in which color/light data is stored
      • Capture occurs at single moment when shutter opens and closes
    • Digital Camera Basics: Mechanics
      • Digital camera types
        • Point & shoot (P&S)
        • Single lens reflex (SLR)
        • Overhead/stationary
        • “Scan backs”
    • Point & Shoot (P&S): Digital Cameras
      • Adjusts settings such as focus and exposure automatically
      • Some P&Ss offer manual controls
      • Compact
      • Typically has LCD* screen; may have viewfinder
      • LCD screen is excellent because it reduces image to two-dimensional view
      *Liquid crystal display
    • Single-lens reflex (SLR): Digital Cameras
      • “Professional-level” cameras
      • View image through viewfinder
        • Much better for action, but limits the user to viewing through camera
      • Interchangeable lenses, higher quality optics
      • Larger than P&Ss
      • High ISO (light sensitivity)
      • Shutter response is faster than P&Ss
    • Single-lens reflex (SLR): Digital Cameras
      • Mirror behind the lens reflects light coming into camera onto a ground glass screen
      • View through lens is seen through viewfinder
      • As shutter button is pressed, mirror lifts away to allow the light to reach image sensor and board where image is captured
    • Single-lens reflex (SLR): Digital Cameras
    • Overhead/Stationary: Digital Cameras
      • High-volume reproduction
      • High-quality reproduction
      • Single angle of view
      • Expensive
      • Programmatic
        • Mostly used for two dimensional art and books
    • “ Scan-back” : Digital Cameras
      • Scanning sensor usually replaces film in large-format view camera
        • Scanning backs use a CCD sensor with a single row of pixels (sensing elements) that physically moves (scanned) across the image area, capturing one row of information at a time
      • Extremely high resolution and quality
      • Long capture time
      • Requires high-end optics, dedicated computer
      • $20,000+
    • Choosing a Digital Camera
      • Most camera packages are not designed (primarily) for photographing objects
        • Standard lenses for “landscape” or people
        • May need to purchase a special lens, e.g., macro, to capture object detail
      • Manual exposure controls are essential
        • Automatic exposure will make white or black background grey
    • Choosing a Digital Camera
      • Best if the camera can be “tethered” to a computer to allow live viewing of subject
      • Resolution is important, but only if the lens is of adequate quality and the camera is reasonably easy to use
      • Any digital SLR camera will meet requirements, a carefully chosen high-end P&S may suffice
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution
      • DPI – dots per inch
        • The measurement of resolution of display, printing, and capture systems. As the “dot” (or pixel) rate doubles, the number of dots quadruples.
      • 100 dpi = 100 x 100 = 10,000 dots/pixels per inch
      • 200 dpi = 200 x 200 = 40,000 dots/pixels per inch
      http://photo.net/equipment/digital/basics/index?&for_print=1
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution
          • A 5 x 7 inch photograph captured at 600 DPI will be how many pixels across on its longest edge?
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution
      • ANSWER:
        • 7 inches x 600 = 4200 dpi on the longest edge
      • 8 x 10 inches at 300 dpi is the same as:
        • 4 x 5 inches at 600 dpi
        • 32 x 40 inches at 75 dpi
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution
      • Different output devices require different resolution
        • Computer screens display at 72 dpi, although software may zoom in
        • Print devices print no higher than 300 dpi
          • Human eye cannot discern more than 300 dpi without magnifier
      • For digital preservation higher resolution is better
        • What sort of detail will a researcher need?
        • What will future technologies be able to display?
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution
      • Confusing terminology!
        • Many printers offer high dpi, e.g., 1440 dpi
          • Refers to the microscopic pixels that make up the printing dots that are at 300 dpi or less
          • A printer with higher dpi offers more gradations of color , rather than higher resolution.
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution and Megapixels
      • Megapixels
      • The n umber of pixels that comprise the surface of the image sensor
      • 1 megapixel = 1 million pixels
      • A 4.0 megapixel (or higher) can output an acceptable 8 x 10 inch printed image
        • 4 MP cameras have 2,289 x 1,712 pixels
          • 200 DPI image is 11.4” x 8.6”
        • 14 MP cameras have 4,500 x 3112 pixels .
    • Digital Camera Basics: Resolution and Megapixels
      • Megapixels do not equal quality!
        • Camera manufacturers have greatly increased megapixel resolution, but noise has increased as well
      • Physically larger sensors have less noise
        • Digital SLR cameras offer noticeably better images compared to P&S cameras with higher numbers of pixels because P&Ss tend to be physically smaller cameras
      http://photo.net/equipment/digital/basics/index?&for_print=1
    • Digital Camera Basics: File Formats
      • Digital images can be encoded in many ways
      • Most digital cameras record JPEG by default
        • Lossy compression
      • RAW format recorded from the sensor offers the most color and brightness detail
        • However, each camera manufacturer has a different standard
      • Some cameras can record TIFF files, which is the archival standard
        • Recommended
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Basic photography concepts
        • Aperture
        • Shutter speed
        • White balance
        • Lighting conditions (Exposure)
        • Bracketing
      • Other considerations
        • Background
        • 2d objects
        • 3d objects
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Aperture The size to which the shutter opens to let light in to the sensors
        • The smaller the f-stop number, the larger the opening
        • The larger the f-stop number the greater the depth of field, or perception of distance
        • Similar to squinting
      http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-to-digital-camera.htm
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Aperture (slide 2)
      f/32 f/# 0.5 0.7 1.0 1.4 2 2.8 4 5.6 8 11 16 22 32 45 64 90 128 f/5 For f/32 or smaller (number wise) or larger (apeture wise) -- you’ll need a tripod because the lens will be open for a good long time.
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Shutter speed The amount of time the shutter is open, allowing light to be exposed to the sensors
        • A fast shutter speed “freezes” movement
        • A slow shutter speed shows, or “blurs” movement
        • Measured in (parts of) seconds, e.g., 1/500
        • Indoor settings: somewhere around
        • 1/100 or 1/200 (you’ll need a tripod for
        • anything slower than 1/60 or so)
      http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-to-digital-camera.htm
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • White balance In a camera, a setting that compensates for the differences in color temperature of the surrounding light.
        • White balance adjusts the image’s colors to look similar to daylight
        • You can set custom white balance using a “white card”
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • White balance (continued) Indoor lighting is very different from natural lighting
        • Incandescent lights (light bulbs) are yellow-red compared to sunlight
        • Fluorescents tend to look green
      • P&S will try to make the background and the subject an even grey color
      http://www.scrapjazz.com/topics/Photography/Lessons/587.php
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Lighting conditions Aperture and Shutter Speed are determined by the availability and source of lighting
        • Bright, sunny or hazy light allows for smaller apertures and faster shutter speeds: f/16, 1/500
        • Overcast, close-up, back-lit subjects: f/5.6, 1/500
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Exposure The amount of light falling on the sensor
        • Proper exposure is critical for image quality
        • Determined by:
          • Brightness of the scene
          • Quality of the sensor
          • Shutter speed (ISO)
          • Aperture
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Bracketing
        • Taking several shots of the same subject using different or the same camera settings
        • Typically used when lighting is challenging or there is lots of movement
      125th/sec @ F8 – correct exposure 60th/sec @ F8 – overexposed 1 stop 250th/se @F8 – underexposed 1 stop
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Backgrounds
        • Plain, non-reflective surface keeps focus on subject
        • Try several different colors or textures
          • Neutral colors typically work best
          • Smooth out unnecessary folds
          • Cloth, table surface, foam core, etc.
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
        • Papers, maps, and photos (“flat” material)
        • Soft, even light across entire surface. No glares or light spots
      • Two-dimensional objects
      http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/805/450713.JPG
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
        • Avoid keystoning, or distortion: photograph from a central point directly above (if laid horizontally) or parallel (if vertically)
        • Resolution: sufficient that the digital surrogate can be reproduced at the same or larger size as original
      • Two-dimensional objects
    • Digital Camera Basics: Capture
      • Three-dimensional objects
        • Household items, sculpture, clothing, tools
        • Avoid light spots or extreme shadows
        • Get close
        • Consider taking more than one photograph (e.g., full & detail)
        • Shoot in the shade or on a cloudy day to take advantage of soft lighting and to show more detail
        • Expect to experiment, and that means time!
      http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/Arts/
    • Digital Camera Basics: Environment
      • Camera. Check. What else do you need?
        • Lights
        • Physical space
        • Accessories
          • Ladder, table, tripod
          • Gloves, object stands
          • Computer storage – or direct computer connection
          • Others?
    • Digital Camera Basics: Environment
      • Physical space recommendations
        • Dedicated
        • Appropriate and adequate lighting
        • Adequate physical space to capture your objects
          • A large object will require a greater amount of space for capture
        • Quiet and clean
        • Ideally, the walls and floors are neutral colors and low reflection
        • Storage for accessories when not in use
    • Digital Camera Basics: Costs
      • Digital Camera
          • 10 Megapixel P&S => $300
          • 10 Megapixel SLR => $900
          • Scan-back systems => $25,000+
      • Lenses
          • $100+
      • Lights
          • 2-light “economy” kits start at $150
      • Tripod
          • $25-$300
    • Digital Camera Basics: Costs
      • The top-rated 8 MP (and up) semi-pro SLR cameras reviewed by CNET staff as of 10/8/2007 were
      • Nikon’s D200 and
      • Canon’s EOS 20D.
      • They cost between $800 and $2000.