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      12-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
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Detailed old boat captured with my first DSLR experience

After a few weeks of hard use, my car was starting to look less than 'new' so after some considerable effort which took 2 days (including wheel's off cleaning!), I thought I'd capture the results by using a friends DSLR camera. Having never used a DSLR before, I was also intrigued to see if there was much difference between it and a decent compact.

The DSLR is a Nikon D5000 and my compact is a pretty decent Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 - I have to say, I wasn't that impressed with the DSLR at first as it took a while to auto-focus (it was my first ever go so I didn't even attempt any manual settings!) and on the camera screen, there appeared to be no benefit to the picture. Shows how little I know....when uploaded, I thought the difference was staggering, especially when use of the flash was involved.

I really don't know a lot about camera's so I'm not sure if the D5000 is any good or even 'current' (my friend has had his D5000 for a while) but, after the result I achieved below, I think it's a purchase that I'm going to investigate further. I did find it a bit big and it's lethargy to focus means it's hardly a 'point and shoot' device so maybe one of these 'Bridge' cameras are a good compromise? I know there are some experts on here so please feel free to recommend a good DSLR for a sub-amateur like me and also any advice on how a bridge camera differs - they look similar but smaller but do they do the same thing?

If I do end up purchasing one, I'll definitely be taking some tuition to learn to get the best out of it! Theres not much else for me to say so if you don't want to see a load of pics of an old-mans Jag, head off to one of the numerous VAG threads
























Some 'indoor' ones:




















Now some taken with my compact camera....







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      12-16-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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Well, now I've actually submitted this thread, I don't actually think the quality of the photo's abive are very well represented! Bloody waste of time if you ask me....on my laptop (admittedly one with a Retina screen so they look über-sharp) the ones taken with the DSLR look incredible....honest!

On here, there seems to be little difference seen between the photo's taken with the compact and those of the DSLR....this might seem a silly question, but, do you lose quality when uploading photo's (I do it through Photobucket)?
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      12-16-2012, 06:33 PM   #3
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Mate, looks a tad tidier than last weekend . My only critisism is the placement of the leccy seat controls, look fussy there, I'd prefer them hidden by the seat (though sometimes tricky to find when sat down).

Defo a difference between the photos, even on here, I got my DSLR two years ago (Canon 550D) and am as amazed now as I was when I bought it. The difference betwen compacts and DSLR's is staggering. OK, if the light is right, a compact can produce a decent shot, but a DSLR will always give you a good shot. I noticed too that the flash is much better on a DSLR and rarely 'blows-out' the contast.
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      12-16-2012, 06:35 PM   #4
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I know cock all about photography Andrew,but I think the pics are terrific

Stunning car,I particularly lke the train shots,shame the steam locomotive isn't in the shot,it would have finished the pics off nicely,two classics in the same frame

Is that Ronnie Biggs in the second of the two train shots.

That garage is the dogs danglies,do you ever leave it?

Joking aside,it is a stonking motor,you must be well pleased with her.
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      12-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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I'm amazed you can see a real difference above Roger....I even considered removing this waste of time thread after seeing what the pics looked like after upload. They seem as good on the Photobucket site as on Aperture on my laptop but not on here...the sharpness and clarity just aren't there.

On the electric seat controls, it's only the XK of the Jag range that has them on the door as all the other are located in the normal place...it's typically more a Merc thing. The controls are on the seat in the RRS so when I haven't driven the Jag for a bit, I tend to fumble down the side of the seat before remembering where the buttons are!
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      12-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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...meant to say the garage is totally you!!! Bet the Jaaaaaaaaaaag sounds epic when started from cold in there. My Masser was garaged at my old house - I never tired of firing up the V8 from cold .
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      12-16-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmnuts View Post
I'm amazed you can see a real difference above Roger....I even considered removing this waste of time thread after seeing what the pics looked like after upload. They seem as good on the Photobucket site as on Aperture on my laptop but not on here...the sharpness and clarity just aren't there.
Mate, defo a difference, every DSLR shot is clear and the colour tones just right. The first two with your compact aren't clear, then the paint colour on your internal shot is too bright (due to flash I guess - the interior is clear though) whereas the colour in the bottom external shot is dull.

Get you hand in your pocket mate.
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      12-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotcoupe View Post
I know cock all about photography Andrew,but I think the pics are terrific

Stunning car,I particularly lke the train shots,shame the steam locomotive isn't in the shot,it would have finished the pics off nicely,two classics in the same frame

Is that Ronnie Biggs in the second of the two train shots.

That garage is the dogs danglies,do you ever leave it?

Joking aside,it is a stonking motor,you must be well pleased with her.
Ha ha...thanks. It's a bit cold at this time of year as I don't have heating in there (yet). I'm also pissed off with the lighting....32 spotlights and it's still not great for seeing things clearly like paintwork swirls. I put it down to the fact that I wasted my time and money on LED spotlights - I mentioned on another thread how I'm not getting on with LED spotlights in my house as they're just not bright enough - much like car LED's used for DRL's, they look bright when you look at them but they have no 'range' so in your house (or garage) they don't give much light on the deck. I should've saved my money and stuck with 50w halogens

Anyway, in 4 weeks my two separate doors are coming out to be replaced by one big electric sectional door Can't bloody wait as it's a tight squeeze getting in those single doors.

I love the car but it's a pricey old thing....I'm toying with replacing it with something cheaper (ohhh...like a brand new 911, which would save me a small fortune in finance payments!) but every time I look at it and hear it, I can't bring myself to do it.

Pics were taken at the car park of the Great Central Railway in Quorn - it featured on top gear about a year ago when they took a car (an old Jag ironically) on the tracks.
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      12-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
Mate, defo a difference, every DSLR shot is clear and the colour tones just right. The first two with your compact aren't clear, then the paint colour on your internal shot is too bright (due to flash I guess - the interior is clear though) whereas the colour in the bottom external shot is dull.

Get you hand in your pocket mate.
Yeah, I see the dullness from the compact pics, but like the DSLR pics, these also look a lot better on my laptop which leads me to believe something is lost when uploading them. For instance, the first two picture's taken with the compact are extremely fuzzy....in reality, it's a little fuzzier compared to the DSLR but not that bad!

My OCD is turning to picture quality now....I need to do some more research and get some advice before my hand goes anywhere near my pocket!
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      12-16-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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You need some of these Andrew

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-X-500W-T...item4ab4af2841
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      12-17-2012, 12:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmnuts View Post
Well, now I've actually submitted this thread, I don't actually think the quality of the photo's abive are very well represented! Bloody waste of time if you ask me....on my laptop (admittedly one with a Retina screen so they look über-sharp) the ones taken with the DSLR look incredible....honest!

On here, there seems to be little difference seen between the photo's taken with the compact and those of the DSLR....this might seem a silly question, but, do you lose quality when uploading photo's (I do it through Photobucket)?
You yourself pointed out that the point and shoot you have is pretty decent

Indeed the gap between a good point and shoot and a DSLR is getting narrower by the day and of course cameras on phones are catching up too.

Sure the potential to get a better photo out of DSLR is greater but most people leave the thing on auto so don't realise that potential.

As somebody once said, the best camera in the world is the one that you have with you. Some of the most memorable photos seen in the media over recent years have been taken with camera phones

BTW

Nice pix

Quote:
This one works best for me not because of the quality of the image but because of the contrast between the blue of the car and the red of the train and the whole composition.

I think even with an iPhone that one would have been a great picture.
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      12-17-2012, 04:28 AM   #12
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To oversimplify things

The quality of a camera mostly depends on the quality of its lens. Given that most SLR camera lenses cost more than the entire compact camera is the main reaon for the difference in quality. Camera lenses come in consumer, hobbyist and professional quality. A £2000 Nikon or Canon lens will seriously outperform the hobbyist quality zoom that most DSLRs are packaged with, which in turn will seriously outperform the mass produced consumer grade lenses of most digital compacts.

When you upload pictures, they are compressed for the sake of transmission speed and storage space. In the pictures you post, the number of pixels used to represent the image is massively decreased and the file is said to be compressed, therefore the high resolution detail is lost. A typical DSLR picture is 3-20 MByte; in compressed internet files 200-500 KByte... a reduction (or compression) of around 30:1, so bye bye quality. Same in music with those ridiculously bad MP3 files.

In order to show very shallow swirl marks, you need angled rather than overhead light. Think of a scratch as a valley with 2 'walls'. Overhead light lights up the entire valley and makes it essentially invisible. Incident light i.e light that hits at an angle creates a shadow in the bottom of the valley and off one the the vallay walls, which are slightly higher that the scratch. The scratch thereby becoming visible due to the contrast of light and dark.

Incident lighting in a garage will drive you nuts as your car will never look good. You need overhead light so you can admire your car everyday, then use an angled handheld floodlight with the overhead lights off when you want to see how bad the swirl marks are becoming. In a garage, like a jeweller's store, you want your car to look 'showroom good' and not highlight every imperfection.
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      12-17-2012, 05:51 AM   #13
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Car looks fab in the photos

Regarding image quality with DSLRs, its often said that a good photographer with rubbish camera will get better pictures than rubbish photographer with a good camera. A DSLR in auto mode is almost wasted, in fact photos may look worse than compared to a compact camera in auto mode, this is because the more expensive lens on DSLRs are very specific for focus points and aren't very forgiving, so if you leave it to the camera to pick the focus point more often than not it will not get it right. The camera will than use the focus point to work out exposure settings so that future adds to the problem.

Heres one of example I did had recently!! The camera left on Auto, focused on background, and as a result the image was out of focus and under exposed.


But get the setting right, a DSLR will produce pictures no compact can get near, mainly because the big fat lens let in more light, and the sensor is so much larger so you can get that much more detail. The ability to change the lens also allows you gives you much more chance of getting the right shot no matter what the situation ... Just a few examples of shots from this year which I wouldn't have got without a DSLR, all ranging from really close up shots to wide angle to super telephoto (I essentially carry around 3 lens with my DSLR)







Regarding uploading photos, I think what your describing is how "sharp" the image looks, and of course a high resolution image on a high resolution screen will look amazing but not quite so good when compressed for the web...but actually for printing you don't need that much resolution, the first pro DSLR only had 5-8MP and what was enough for the massive billboard prints. Theres a whole different level of science/geekyniess about how to measure the "sharpness" of a lens (different from resolution) which I don't really understand

As you can probably tell I’m a big fan of DSLRs, I personally wouldn’t waste your money on bridge cameras, I had 2 my self before my DSLR and now wish I had just gone straight to the DSLR.

If you don’t fancy carrying around a big SLR (I cannot blame for you not wanting to!!) the new “Mirrorless/Micro 4.3” camera are actually very good, and offer pretty much all the features of a DSLR but in a smaller body. They don’t focus as quick as DSLRs but overall I had a play with my mates Sony NEX5 and was impressed

Incidentally one of the things I really love with my DSLR is that I can literally switch the camera on, compose a shot, focus and get the shot all with-in about 2 seconds so I’m not sure why the Nikon had a hard time focusing on a static car

Last edited by gangzoom; 12-17-2012 at 06:04 AM.
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      12-17-2012, 06:00 AM   #14
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I'm not a Jag man, (far from it) but everytime I see photos your car Andrew I am always stunned. It's a mental looking car!!
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      12-17-2012, 06:02 AM   #15
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Awesome looking car.
That Nikon D5000 camera is amazing from the review's I have seen.

You got some great shots
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      12-17-2012, 06:15 AM   #16
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Loving the car pics! Hope our new garage looks as good when it's finished...but somehow I doubt it!
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      12-17-2012, 10:20 AM   #17
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2006 BMW 335i  [5.00]
wow! awesome pics!
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      12-17-2012, 10:27 AM   #18
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This thread is so much win. Learn something new everyday

Car looks spot on.
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      12-17-2012, 02:33 PM   #19
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Andrew, pics of the XKR are fabulous - an awesome looking machine, love the seats! However, I think I am more jealous of your garage...... That's exactly how I wanted my double garage to be, before it became a bedroom and wet room! I see there is room for the R-S, bikes and beer fridge(s)!
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      12-17-2012, 03:02 PM   #20
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Operating any camera in Auto.....

is really a bit of a cop out. Even the lowliest compact cameras have something called Program Mode, which tells the camera what it is you're trying to shoot and sets up all the controls accordingly.

Program mode typically includes landscape, portrait, close-up and sport. Then there are even more specific programs like nightime, back-lit, through glass, food, baby shots, skin tones and a host of other 'context' settings. You don't need to be a good photographer to select a simple program and get good results.

A good compact camera with Zeiss or Leica lens should take perfectly good shots when used correctly. These cameras are specifically designed with the non-photographer in mind.

The problem with full auto is that the camera has no clue what it is you're trying to shoot so will take a stab at a setting, based on the content of the viewfinder. But if it selects the mountain and you wanted the person off to the right, don't be surprised if your focus is out. Just by selecting a program, you tell the camera what its supposed to be doing and your success rate will go up dramatically.

a DSLR requires a lot more knowledge to operate properly vs. a compact, but has the capacity to take much better shots. Every aspect of a DSLR is user programmable so even in auto you can select the way the light meter and auto focus operates.

Take the picture of the lady raising her glass, where she'd out of focus and the background is in focus. The faults in this picture were caused by the photographer, not by the auto program! Half pressing the shutter release triggers the auto focus and light metering systems. In the view finder the camera pinpoints the areas its focused on so you can see if its made the right choice. If not, simply release the shutter release button and try again. The camera will automatically offer you a different set of focus points. If you've set up your camera for centre weighted focus then the camera will do as its been told and focus on what's in the middle of the viewfinder. If the face is off to one side, its simply a matter of pointing the camera at the face, half depress the shutter so the autofocus locks onto the face, then recomposing your shot, without releasing the shutter button. Easy!

Think of a DSLR like a high performance car and a Compact like a small diesel hatchback. They both transport you to your destination but for the skilled driver, one will be a lot more fun than the other.

Gorgeous car BTW. Just love that interior
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      12-17-2012, 03:39 PM   #21
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Thanks for the feedback and advice guys...

SteveC - some very useful advice and information, all of which makes perfect sense (especially the bit about ceiling lighting and valley analogy....really very simple isn't it!)

Gangzoom - some really good (and bad!) pictures there and again, thanks for the info


To the comments on my garage, well, I got my priorities right!

We moved in 4 months ago but it took me all of 4 hours before I started getting my garage just the way I wanted it....I've been depserate for a double garage that I could lock myself away to polish my car for years (out of my neighbours sight as they always think I'm weird ). Before we'd even finished unpacking, I'd had the garage ceiling installed, first lot of (15) spot lights fitted and walls plastered. A couple of weeks later, I did the painting (still not finished...the wood round the top still needs doing) skirting and flooring....and all this lot, even a dumbass like me did all on my own!). Then more recently I decided that 15 spotlights wasn't enough and doubled them to 30!

In mid Jan I get a new double garage door and even then, even then.....it still won't be exactly how I want it! You see, for me I never wanted it to house bikes and other such like but my shed is already full - I definitely won't have any dirty garden equipment in the garage! The garage houses the bikes, beer fridge and two (overflowing) filing cabinets with my 20+ years collection of car brochures (I think I have about 3.5k of them....very sad, but I can't bring myself to get rid of them). Putting the ceiling in is also handy as my house hardly has any roof space so I now have a loft. Simple pleasures huh! If you look at some garages people have, mine is nothing but amateurish!
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Last edited by Palmnuts; 12-17-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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