Camera Help

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TruckLover, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi Guys, wondering if you guys could help me with setting up my camera to take some BETTER pics lol

    I have a Samsung L730. Its a 7.2 Mega Pixle Camera

    I found this on Atlas Model Railroad Forums while searching for more info on submitting to MR and RMC

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]

    I have NO experience in cameras. I have always just used it on the auto setting :oops: LOL

    Can someone help me set my camera to the settings he mentioned above?

    • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]How do i change the F stop? He says to change it to the highest. Mine is on 3 right now it says, can it go higher? how do i change it?[/FONT][/FONT]
    • My camera is set to 7M and the quality is set to super fine so i think that is okay?
    • Is my shutter speed set to auto from the factory? I dont think ive ever changed it before lol
    • How do i adjust my cameras white [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]balance? I want to do what Jim said and adjust it against a piece of plain white paper, how would i do that?[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Also, whats ISO? Mine is set to ISO AUTO, it lists ISO 80, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, and ISO 1600. Which would be best?[/FONT]
    • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Whats EV? Mine is set to 0 but it goes plus/minus 2. Do i need to change that?
    • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Any other settings i could change to take better pics?[/FONT]

    I know im asking alot here lol, so Thanks for any help :mrgreen:
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    In order to adjust any of those settings, your camera will need some sort of manual override setting. Sometimes listed as "M" on the dial or switch that selects all the other modes (sports, landscape, portrait, etc are common "semi-automatic" settings). Sometimes it is listed as "C" for custom - you can save one or two manual settings on some cameras.

    For specifics, you will need to *gasp* read your manual that came with the camera...! ;)

    But generally, Jim's advice is good.

    See above about your manual...

    Probably yes. Although some "auto" settings end up witha smaller photo (file size) for some reason. You would be looking for the biggest file you can create.

    No, but it is set to work automatically. An picture is made by opening a hole in the camera (aperture) to a certain size, for a certain amount of time (speed). This translates into a "volume" of light that is admitted to the film or CCD (digital sensor). The aperture and speed must always work together, if not the picture is over or under exposed, or blurred.

    Again, see your manual.

    ISO is more or less a measure of the sensitivity of the film. Higher numbers are more sensitive, so need less time/light to make a picture but can be "grainy". Lower numbers make for nice rich colours and sharp detail, but require much longer to make a picture.

    That's Exposure Value. You can force the camera to slightly over or under-expose the picture by adjusting this value.

    Probably the only other useful thing might be the macro setting. More important considerations are lighting and a tripod. More than one source of light (or natural light if possible) would be good. A tripod or other device to steady your camera will be important too.

    Good luck!

  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Andrew for the tips and advise, I was looking for my manual before i posted this, and i could not find it wall1 wall1

    Wonder if i could read the manual online maybe?
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Glad to help. I bet it's available as a download at samsung...

  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Based on the specifications I'm going to guess you can't manually set the aperture or shutter speed.

    If this is for your article submissions you really need to use an SLR on a tripod with studio lights or be outdoors.
  6. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I downloaded the manual for my camera and went through and changed some of the settings. I have to say, there is a big difference. The pics still are not great, still need to fine tune a little more and get some better lights. Im also going to take one of my modules outside and snap some pics with natural light with the new settings. But i can see big improvements so far with just changing a few settings...

    I have a Tripod that i will be using to take the article photos with. Whats a SLR? Camera?

    I also need to gets some better lights, my lights are very yellow, and i need to get some that are white.... lol
  7. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    It's short for single lens reflex. You'd recognize them as cameras with interchangeable lenses. What they offer is total control of making a photograph. You will need to be able to manually set the exposure, focus, and lighting to take the kind of photos needed for publication.

    You will also need to be sure to have a sturdy tripod. One that wiggles is as worthless as not using one at all. You will need to take photos with long exposures to get the needed depth-of-field and any vibration of the tripod and camera will translate into a fuzzy photo.

    You will need to learn about color temperature in general and white balance on a digital camera. While it is possible to fix mismatches in post-processing it is infinitely easier to have everything set correctly to begin with. Remember, just because a light looks white doesn't mean it truly is. Your eyes have a way of tricking your brain in that regard.
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    You won't necessarily need an SLR. What you need is a camera with a sharp lens, and good lighting. Take a look at any of the shots submitted by DoctorWayne. He uses an inexpensive point-and-shoot set on his layout for his great pics.

    Your camera should have auto white balance (RTFM) - that should get rid of the yellow you see. The colour of the lights doesn't matter, but the position does. You don't want conflicting shadows, or really deep shadows, so you want to set them up in such a way that the lighting looks natural.

    If you want to get up-close-and-personal with your trains, use the macro mode (RTFM) on your camera it's good from 10-80 cm.

    DON'T use the highest f-stop. Most lenses are designed to be sharpest at the mid-apertures... f5.6-f8. for your typical f2.8-f16 lens. Going for more depth-of-field with a higher f-stop will sacrifice sharpness, which is really what you're after here. Besides, you only have a minimum aperture of F7.7 at wide angle and f14 at tele. Don't use telephoto too much, since it will tend to foreshorten your pictures.

    The great thing about shooting digital is that it doesn't cost you anything to practice.... except maybe time!

    One other thing you'll want to get is some sort of photo-editing software. Try to edit the shot as much as you can in-camera, but you can always make it better by cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast and colour balance after the fact.
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    One thing you can try with the tripod is turn off the flash and let the camera take a short time exposure (just push the button and stand back). I have identical photos with and without flash and I find the the flash shots have a bluish tint and the non-flash a yellow-brown feel. I coud probably adjust that by changing the auto settings - I get drawings of a girl, a flower, snowflake ...
  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Ah, good point David! I meant to mention that... don't use the flash at all, just use available light. On the little PaS's (and DSLR's for that matter) the flash will over-expose the nearfield, and underexpose the background. Even with TTL flash, you still have to fiddle and diddle to get good results in complex closeup subjects like model railroads. Just use available light.

    The other thing that will help (since you're going to have very slow shutter speeds with only available light), is to use the self-timer when the camera is on the tripod. Just the motion of your pressing the shutter button can be enough to shake the camera.
  11. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I cant believe all the help im getting in these topics, this is wonderful and i cannot thank-you guys enough :mrgreen:

    I do have a sturdy tripod, the only thing that would possibly throw it off is the fact that i am going to be setting it up on thick carpet floor....

    Also, i have decided that i want to get a couple lights to hang from the ceiling. I want these to be "white lights". What would you suggest i should get? Tube Bulbs? I want to make it the best i can, so i dont only have to shoot during the day, and when i do shoot during the day, there is more then enough light in the room. My lights right now are bulbs from a ceiling fan and they are very yellow lol
  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I figured out how to set the custom white balance and i did so on a white piece of paper. I tried it out after i changed some other settings and i got a very good close-up shot of one of my trucks. I was very pleased with the shot. This was during the day, with the natural light coming in from the window and no yellow ceiling fan lights. Unfortunately, i forgot to put the memory card in the camera for the few test shots i took so i cannot post them until i can take some more tomorrow morning....

    If you want to get up-close-and-personal with your trains, use the macro mode (RTFM) on your camera it's good from 10-80 cm.[/quote]

    Macro is good, im very familiar with using this function, and most of my photos are taken using this setting.

    DON'T use the highest f-stop. Most lenses are designed to be sharpest at the mid-apertures... f5.6-f8. for your typical f2.8-f16 lens. Going for more depth-of-field with a higher f-stop will sacrifice sharpness, which is really what you're after here. Besides, you only have a minimum aperture of F7.7 at wide angle and f14 at tele. Don't use telephoto too much, since it will tend to foreshorten your pictures.[/quote]

    The F stop that i was using to take the test pics was F3.0. The I experimented with a few of the shutter speeds and i found a few that give the best results (1/8, 1/6, .5, and 1 seconds). The 1/8 and 1/6 were used during the day when there was more natural light and the others were used at night when the yellow ceiling fan lights were on. The new white balance and the slower shutter speed did eliminate some of the yellowniss to the pictures, but they were still quite yellow.

    The other settings i changed were quality to super fine, sharpness to vivid +, contrast to high, focus area to multi AF, and ISO to 80 along with the custom white balance
  13. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    I never use the flash for any of my pictures, the flash always gives a very non-realistic effect and WAY to bright effect to the outcome of the pictures lol

    Thanks for the tips on the self timer too, i believe that would really help in getting the best possible shots over all as well :mrgreen:
  14. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Just as you don't necessarily want to use minimum aperture, you also don't want to use maximum aperture either. You'll have very little depth-of-field (only your main subject will be in focus).

    I'm not familiar with your camera, but you should be able to either set either the shutter speed or the aperture, and the camera will select the appropriate other, or be able to choose various combinations of shutter and aperture. If the latter, pick one that gives a medium aperture.

    Since you're shooting from a tripod, shutter speed isn't important, aperture's the thing.
  15. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One point about lighting from above - Squid said to avoid deep shadows.

    I would disagree on this point. If you look at the dioramas that are shot under natural light, there can be deep shadows, and it is a "hallmark" of natural light (i.e. single point - the sun). As he pointed out, you do want to avoid conflicting shadows that point in different directions, but you also want to avoid washing everything out, unless it's a hazy or foggy day look you are going for.

  16. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    He can't. I checked on his camera already. It doesn't have an aperture priority, shutter priority, or shiftable program mode. The best he can do is flood it with light to force a smaller aperture and faster shutter.
  17. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Squid, Andrew and Railohio

    How do i make it so that more then just my subject is in focus? Cuz that seems to be one of my main problems. Does this have to do with not enough light?

    What F stop should i be using? As i said, im using 3.0. F Stop is the aperture right?

    Sorry for the lame questions lol wall1 :wave:
  18. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    When I was talking about deep shadows, I was thinking more in terms of a poorly positioned light source that would cause shadows which obscure details. For instance, a strong source directly over a locomotive or freight car could cast deep enough shadow to obscure trucks and running gear.
  19. GWoodle

    GWoodle Member

    Since the camera is the automatic type, there isn't much that can be done with it. Flood it with light (outdoors) on a clear day.

    Watch for sales on cameras. You may enjoy an older Nikon or Canon thats getting down into the $400-$500 range. Either one could be a good one to learn about DSLR's. Both would be fine for posting photos here or other forums.

    You may find a $200 ZLR that allows some manual controls. Sony, Kodak, & others have a lot of models in this price range.

    For photo questions, I like

    I have no idea where prices are headed with stores CC, LNT, etc going belly up. Check out your local electronics retailer too.
  20. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    So basically i need to get a new camera? lol

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