[Tweeters] Simple Camera Question

Bill Anderson billandersonbic at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 29 14:10:45 PDT 2014

The principles of shutter speed, aperature opening, and sensitivity of the camera to light (ISO) apply across the board to both film and digital single lens reflex cameras.

If you are not going to take videos, I suggest a Canon Rebel T3i. The buttons to control shutter speed, aperature opening, and ISO are easy to use and don't require multiple steps through an onscreen menu like some of the point & shoots do.

Bill Anderson; Edmonds, WA. USA

On Monday, September 29, 2014 1:19 PM, Marc Hoffman <tweeters at dartfrogmedia.com> wrote:

Hi Jeff,

Virtually all DSLRs have the setting you need. Depth of field is
controlled by aperture size: the smaller the aperture, the greater the
depth of field (note that the aperture size is inverse to the setting:
f/22 is tiny; f/1.2 is a very large opening). Of course, you also get
less light admitted with a tiny aperture, so there are very few cases
where you'd want maximum depth of field, since the camera would have to
compensate with a very slow shutter speed (more prone to subject- or
hand-motion blur) and/or very high film/sensitivity speed (which
increases the graininess of the image). On a DSLR, you would set your
aperture and set the mode to Aperture Priority and you're there, though
you might want to monkey around with the film speed/sensitivity (the

That said, it's not all that complicated to shoot in some other mode.
Shutter Priority (sometimes designated as TV) lets you set the shutter
speed and will compensate by changing the aperture and/or
"film" speed. Shooting full manual you need only understand how
shutter speed, aperture, and film speed (sensor senitivity) affect the
amount of light, and how aperture affects depth of field. Unless you were
shooting film in full automatic mode, the DSLR's are no more complicated
than that. And if that's too complicated, you probably don't want a DSLR
and would be happier with a mid- to high-end point-and-shoot, which will
have many of the same modes as a DSLR.

I've been shooting in full manual mode for years now. I never memorized
any formulas other than understading, for instance, that an aperture one
stop smaller lets in half the light, as does a film speed that's twice as
fast, as does a shutter speed that's twice as fast. Mostly I just know
where to set things based on experience, and shooting digital lets you
take all the shots you want without spending money on film and

Good luck,

Marc Hoffman

At 12:09 PM 9/29/2014, Jeff Gibson wrote:

I've had such good luck with the
occasional query to tweeters I thought I'd try it again.


>Oh sure, I know I've been a wee bit snarky, in some of my posts, about

digital technology at times, but I do have a simple camera question that
maybe one of you nature photographers out there may have a simple answer


>You see, I used to do a lot of nature photography - back when cameras had

film - and I really haven't made much of a transition to digital yet.
Using my simple manual Nikon FM, I got real professional -like results.
What I usually did was use my camera for landscapes, close-ups of nature
, etc. I put my little camera on a tripod and went for max depth of


>And that's all I wanna do now. No bird photos for me - unless they're

dead, or dumb as a Ptarmigan, and thus allowing easy artistic
close-ups. For some reason bird photography - the process - has always
left me cold. But that's OK because many of you tweeters already do a
good job of it. I'll just look at your photos.


>Anyway, I'm wondering if there are now simple, and I mean simple, digital

cameras that allow easy manual operation just like my ol' Nikon. An SLR
that I can use like I used to - without having to have some sort of
digital argument with the damn thing, go thru 5 overrides, or whatever,
just to get a simple in-depth photo. Is that too much to ask?


>As a family camera we have a point and shoot Canon Powershot SD850 IS

which is capable of some pretty good photos - I've taken some remarkably
good insect photo's with the thing - but it doesn't have any depth of
field control really. As near as I can tell.


>Anyway, if anybody out there has a simple digital SLR out there to

recommend, I'd love to hear about it!


>Jeff Gibson

>digitally challenged person


>Tweeters mailing list

>Tweeters at u.washington.edu


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