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General Photography Technique Discussion on General Photography Technique

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  #1  
Old 08-04-06, 17:12
Don Hoey's Avatar
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Default Camera Remote Control through a PC

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
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screen capture 1.jpg (134.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Screen capture 2.jpg (93.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg Screen capture 3.jpg (89.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Screen capture 4.jpg (83.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Dividing Head.jpg (156.6 KB, 10 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-04-06, 17:25
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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!
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Old 08-04-06, 17:33
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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
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Old 08-04-06, 17:38
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Don do you know whether this is possible with canon, there doesn't seem to be any software.
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Old 08-04-06, 19:35
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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.
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Old 08-04-06, 19:38
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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.

Don
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File Type: jpg Image1.jpg (87.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Image2.jpg (98.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Image3.jpg (82.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Image4.jpg (67.8 KB, 4 views)
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  #7  
Old 08-04-06, 19:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saphire
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
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Old 08-04-06, 19:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Fox
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.

Don
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Old 08-04-06, 19:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saphire
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...hp?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
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Old 08-04-06, 19:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saphire
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.
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