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Don Hoey
08-04-06, 17:12
Sometime over next weekend Nikon Foxy Bob is visiting to give me a tutorial on Digital Darkroom Techniques. While he is here he wants to have a play with flash.

Remembering a post by Wolfie in the Macro Forum where he connected a laptop to his camera I thought this could be a quick and easy way of showing the effects of flash positioning, diffusers, adding reflectors etc.

I was very impressed with my first attempt and feel a thread dedicated to this might be of value.

If you have a laptop you may well be able to connect your camera to it. Down load the pictures straight to your hard drive and view them quite quickly. In the case of single images within 10 seconds of taking the picture. The advantage is that you can see the image at full screen there and then and can make any adjustments to the subject or camera controls immediately.

In the past I have used a 2 1/2 x workshop magnifier on the rear screen to see if things were right. I have a picture in my gallery of Stevies D100, where I wanted a reflection to appear over the LCD. As I could not see that in the viewfinder it took over an hour to get right.

As I am using Nikon I can only describe the sequence from a Nikon standpoint. I am sure Canon would do similar.

I have Nikon Capture software Version 3.5 on the laptop and that was the program I used here.

First step is to connect the camera to the laptop with the supplied lead. At this stage it must be switched OFF. Fire up the laptop and open NC. Turn the camera ON. Then on the top toolbar go to ' Tools ' and click on Show Nikon Capture Camera Control. This will detect your camera and ask for a file location for your images and numbering preferences. Once set you will see the camera controls as shown in the screen shots. From your laptop you can make any number of settings to the camera. I have shown screen shots of some of the tabs. Current camera settings are displayed on each tab. Other than phsical changes to camera position, or focal length, all controls including triggering can be done through the PC.

As this laptop is a bit underpowered by todays standards I viewed images in Paint Shop Pro 8. Nikon Capture as an image editing program is far too slow. For speed in setting up a shot it is quicker to use JPEG Fine. For the final image you can shoot in RAW ( adjustable from PC ).

Screen capture 1 shows my view 10 secs after taking the picture. Two of Capture Controls are visible on the left of the screen.

Screen capture 2 shows the Status. Once the image is downloaded the histogram is diplayed. Image download and its progress is displayed in the Current Task area. Blown highlights can be checked by ticking the box ' Emphasise area over '.

Screen captures 3 and 4 show various tab views of Camera Control.

Don

Canis Vulpes
08-04-06, 17:25
Now I am amased. I considered this as a cheap remote shutter release (MC-36 cost £100!). I never realised controls, certain menu and battery info were available.

Whoosh.....of to grab camera and laptop!

Don Hoey
08-04-06, 17:33
Of course I forgot to mention you can do a quick check on the effects of any post processing you may make before you commit to the final exposure.

Don

Saphire
08-04-06, 17:38
Don do you know whether this is possible with canon, there doesn't seem to be any software.

Canis Vulpes
08-04-06, 19:35
Nikon Capture Control is part of Nikon Capture (RAW editor and converter). I imagine Canon have something similar. The camera needs to be identified as a camera by the computer, not as a mass storage device. Once identified as camera images can be imported into Photoshop CS directly using File ->import -> (camera as identified).

Only one issue with Nikon software, it cannot be used in mirror lock up mode. Although a simple work around is activate shutter manually wait 30s for timeout and image is transferred to PC. All camera control can still be performed.

Words cannot express how pleased I am with this - shame on me for not trying earlier and thanks to Don for reminding me to try it.

Don Hoey
08-04-06, 19:38
A few more screen shots to show some more adjustments that can be made.

In image 1 I turned the camera to AF and Program mode to show additions to the first view of this control screen. I have added the download options, and file naming.

Image 2, 3 and 4 show more options available by selecting ' Camera ' in the control panel.

Should be enough here to convince Nikon Foxy Bob that you get more than the MC30 is going to offer. It is a bit more portable though. :D

Don

Don Hoey
08-04-06, 19:45
Don do you know whether this is possible with canon, there doesn't seem to be any software.

Christine,

I know Harry uses Canon so he may be able to advise. I will however do a web trawl as I am sure they do too.

Don

Don Hoey
08-04-06, 19:50
Only one issue with Nikon software, it cannot be used in mirror lock up mode. Although a simple work around is activate shutter manually wait 30s for timeout and image is transferred to PC. All camera control can still be performed.



Stephen,

As I have to do a bit of playing to check NC 4.4 trial on my main machine, perhaps you can look in the camere settings to see if there is a self timer adjustment.

My laptop is having a cool down period at the mo. :D

Don

wolfie
08-04-06, 19:52
Don do you know whether this is possible with canon, there doesn't seem to be any software.

Christine, Canon remote capture can be found on the EOS disk that came with your camera, or can be downloaded from the Canon web site.
Check out post 40 on the following thread.
http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/showthread.php?t=94&page=4

As an alternative you can download the trial version of DSLR Pro http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/index.htm

This is far superior to Canons own offering.


Harry

robski
08-04-06, 19:53
Don do you know whether this is possible with canon, there doesn't seem to be any software.

Christine

Remote capture is supplied as part of the software bundle.

Saphire
08-04-06, 20:12
Thanks Rob. I don't have it on the computer so will find the disk.

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 10:24
Just setting up for another play today. :D

Don

Canis Vulpes
09-04-06, 16:09
I had my play for real this morning and found I could spend more time composing a shot than peering through the viewfinder or changing settings on the camera. Nikon camera control lacks a histogram but easily fixed by viewing an image in Nikon Capture (RAW converter and viewer). Exposure can be made exact by varying in capture then transferring these changes to camera using capture control. DOF can be monitored by using laptop screen simple changes can be made to get the photo just right. The photo 'Flight Planning' see link is a full frame not cropped and nothing edited in Nikon capture except convert and pass to photoshop.

To gain distance from camera to laptop I used a USB hub to double distance and achieved approx 3m remote cord. I do have a 2-3m USB cable somewhere just need to locate it. Using this remote technique I was able to scare our cat who visited the scene, she did not expect a bright flash and jumped out of her skin and scarpered! - we are still friends :) and no animals were harmed during the making of the photograph!

For still subjects this is a must do technique.

Finally I am now able to add an image comment in camera, my photos now carry (c) Stephen Fox in EXIF data


http://www.worldphotographyforum.com/gallery//showphoto.php?photo=4946

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 19:58
Another play session with controlling the camera by laptop.

As Stephen has said being able to see the effect on a large screen makes all the difference. Any exposure alterations can be made directly on the pc. I was also able to see what imact a change in contrast made in post processing would have.

I attach an image that shows what would not be seen through the viewfinder or viewing the camera LCD screen with a magnifier.

As I am using an earlier version of Nikon Capture than Stephen I was able to see the histogram once the image was downloaded. I am attaching two screen shots of these, also one of the test JPG images. The final JPG image is in the Flash thread and the Nef ( RAW ) image is in my gallery.

The only negative I found was needing to midway exit NC and turn off the camera to allow the batteries to recover. As I was doing screen captures as well as dealing with the scene, the camera was on for quite a while. Battery power dropped to a point that the camera would not trigger, but a 10 minute switch off returned battery power to 90%.

Don

Canis Vulpes
09-04-06, 20:16
As I am using an earlier version of Nikon Capture than Stephen I was able to see the histogram once the image was downloaded. I am attaching two screen shots of these, also one of the test JPG images. The final JPG image is in the Flash thread and the Nef ( RAW ) image is in my gallery.

The only negative I found was needing to midway exit NC and turn off the camera to allow the batteries to recover. As I was doing screen captures as well as dealing with the scene, the camera was on for quite a while. Battery power dropped to a point that the camera would not trigger, but a 10 minute switch off returned battery power to 90%.

Don

I notice an arrow above the LHS side of histogram. I assume histogram is a 'drop down' feature, if so there is a possibility I missed it. In Capture Control V4.04 there is a feature for to wake camera so I believe with this enabled camera should stand-by in the normal manner. I too lost a battery during my experience. I cannot check histogram in control as battery is currently charging!

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 20:34
Stephen,

Once I click on shoot in ' Camera Control ' I get the status pane appear. In current task it shows down load progress. Once the image is down loaded you get a large thumbnail and histogram, as in the top part of the two screen captures. You can then check the ' Emphasize area over 245 ' and a blue bar will appear on the histogram to highlight the affected area. Additionally all areas of the thumbnail that fall in that zone will flash.

The lower screen shot shows what you get if you check the R,G,B boxes. For this post I put them together just to show what you can get.

Interesting to compare the NEF and JPG histograms. It shows the result of in camera processing in the JPG one.

Tomorrow I will hook my camera up to the main pc which has trial NC 4.4 to see the differences.

Don

wolfie
09-04-06, 20:50
Due to the very inclement weather I've also being playing, but with a slight difference.
As I cannot work with a laptop very well, I sent the image from my laptop
over my wireless network to my main PC.

I desperately need to master my macroflash and as I shoot mainly flowers & bugs, I chose to use flowers.

Attached are a screenshot from my laptop using DSLR Pro (A Breezebrowser program). This is far superior to Canons Remote Capture. It also costs approx 70 more.

Harry

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 21:01
I don't know what to say Harry. That image just knocked my socks off. :cool: :cool: :cool:

Wireless networking ...... that adds a new dimension.

Don

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 21:28
Stephen,

NC 4.4 does show histogram. In down load options tick ' When image is recieved from camera ' - ' Do nothing.'

When you take a picture there is a arrow at the bottom of the status bar, click that and histogram will appear.

Will try to do a screen capture and post it.

Don

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 21:38
Stephen,

Screen shot attached. The little black arrow on the left is the key.

Don

Don Hoey
09-04-06, 21:44
Stephen,

I cannot find anything for use of mirror lock unless you are able to set that in a ' Shooting settings bank '. Something I cannot try I'm afraid.

If I set Anti Mirror Shock mode it works so that may be a way round it.

Don

Canis Vulpes
09-04-06, 21:49
Stephen,

Screen shot attached. The little black arrow on the left is the key.

Don

Hmmm, I get 50% of that status window. Very odd, after I saw your last post I figured something needs clicking to access. Unfortunately it will be end of this week until I can test again.

Jon Sharp
12-04-06, 13:55
Thanks Rob. I don't have it on the computer so will find the disk.
Look for the Canon Utilities in programs menu and then camera window. It isn't obvious from this that it manages the camera remotely.

I tried it with a 350d and it was fine.

Jon

Saphire
12-04-06, 13:58
Found it Thanks Jon never would have dreamed that was the right program.

Jon Sharp
12-04-06, 14:06
Found it Thanks Jon never would have dreamed that was the right program.
Took me a while to find it - I looked at it briefly over a month ago and last night I had cause to play with it again and I struggled to remembe how to access it!

Canis Vulpes
12-04-06, 21:28
Hmmm, I get 50% of that status window. Very odd, after I saw your last post I figured something needs clicking to access. Unfortunately it will be end of this week until I can test again.

I have taken a new look at this and found the histogram, it was the arrow (black triangle) on the LHS bottom of original window. Below shows window with and without histogram. I did not notice before but highlights flash as in highlight menu of camera 'playback'.

Don Hoey
12-04-06, 21:41
Stephen,

Now this one has been cracked, its just the mirror up one to look at. Afraid I cannot try this.

You could probably save me some time looking at the D2X manual I have downloaded if you use shooting banks. I don't, but have discovered that you can set these up for specific types of photography. If you only use bank one, I think another can possible be set up to use mirror up facility.

Don

wolfie
12-04-06, 21:49
Took me a while to find it - I looked at it briefly over a month ago and last night I had cause to play with it again and I struggled to remembe how to access it!

Christine and Jon, you will find that Pro-DLSR from Breeze systems is far better, you can download it on a trial basis http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/index.htm

I'm not sure about the 350D, but Canons remote capture does not allow save to flashcard for the 10D & 300D.
This being the main reason I started using wireless to send my images from laptop to desktop, whereas DSLR-Pro will allow either or.

Harry

Canis Vulpes
12-04-06, 21:59
Mirror lock up is a mode off the shooting mode dial on camera. Normally set to Ch (Constant high speed) I select M-up and try capture control only to receive the message below. I guess Nikon want to sell a shutter release cable to photographers who wish to use this feature with capture control. A workaround is to manually operate shutter in M-up mode and wait 30s for timeout then image is transferred to PC instead of CF card.

wolfie
12-04-06, 22:18
Mirror lock up is a mode off the shooting mode dial on camera. Normally set to Ch (Constant high speed) I select M-up and try capture control only to receive the message below. I guess Nikon want to sell a shutter release cable to photographers who wish to use this feature with capture control. A workaround is to manually operate shutter in M-up mode and wait 30s for timeout then image is transferred to PC instead of CF card.

MLU is quite simple with the Canon, but does have to be selected first in menu.


Harry

Jon Sharp
19-04-06, 21:24
Christine and Jon, you will find that Pro-DLSR from Breeze systems is far better, you can download it on a trial basis http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/index.htm

I'm not sure about the 350D, but Canons remote capture does not allow save to flashcard for the 10D & 300D.
This being the main reason I started using wireless to send my images from laptop to desktop, whereas DSLR-Pro will allow either or.

Harry

Quite right - I investigated this recently and Chris Breeze system is excellent. I've actually decided to invest in the system and ordered it to be used in conjunction with a 50ft mast. Looking forward to launching a small part-time business when I finally relocate to Cumbria in early May!

I'll keep all posted how I get on with it when it arrives.

Jon