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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:47 pm 
The point of this thread is to ascertain the optimum settings of the Canon 40D instead of leaving everything default "out of the box”.

Professionals say that the 40D can be used "out of the box" the ID 3 cannot, or should not.

But it would be nice to know that we have our new Canon 40D’s configured optimally.


I’m sucking this information in like a sponge so I was just looking for some clarification.

Incidentally, Defiance and I did answer the PS CS3 RAW issue and sRAW issue.

Highlight Tone Priority (HTP) is recommended by the professional photographers that frequent eos-forums.com but there will be occasions where the professional will know when not to use it. I'm not a professional and although some may state that settings should not be set willy nilly, I will go with the general consensus to keep it on until I understand it in more detail. If I believe there are situations where it is ill advised to use it I will disable it.

Member of eos-forums.com say, that if you only set one setting set this to enabled . However, there will be others that state otherwise.

From: http://tinyurl.com/36f2jw

"The Canon 40D introduces a new feature to improve highlight detail. This has always been a weak point of digital versus film cameras: digital cameras do ugly things the instant highlights get even a little out of control. There is no shoulder as we have in film.”

“Canon cryptically calls this "Highlight Tone Priority," which makes no sense in English. Setting this mode extends the highlight dynamic range. The 40D only operates from ISO 200 to ISO 1,600 in this mode."

"...this feature does help preserve brilliant highlights, but it's not a big deal."

"…leave this mode activated all the time. You can't get to ISO 100 while you're in it."


From eos-forums.com: http://tinyurl.com/2rxp3k (This relates to the Canon IDS 3).

"...if you do nothing else, set C.Fn II-3 Highlight tone priority = 1 to enable greater dynamic range."

But if enabled there may be an increase in noise up the far end of the ISO range. Again this relates to the discussion about the Canon IDS 3.

Until there is a detailed discussion on Cameralabs about specific settings then I guess I am going to have to figure this outside of Cameralabs. I’ve only been doing cameras for a week. Not bad I think.


Last edited by G on Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:25 pm 
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Hi G,

I've split your post out of pravdo's Canon 40D thread so that his thread and question about sRAW can remain on-topic.

Does anyone have any views about when it is appropriate to use Highlight Tone Priority? Should it be left enabled all the time?

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:36 pm 
Another quote Bob and there are many more.

The renowned photographer at this site: http://tinyurl.com/2lcw9y

" Highlight Tone Priority - Image Salvation!

It's the "Whip cream and cherry on top" for the new Canon cameras. Highlight Tone Priority - it's one of those new features that get listed in the specs but receive little"real world" discussion as to how it applies to the wedding shooter. Well, let's change all that right here. This is the hottest feature of the new Canon (and Nikon) cameras just announced last month. It makes JPEG shooting pretty darn easy - almost full proof in my opinion. Even if you are a RAW shooter the benefits are unbelievable."

As far as I can gather the consensus is that is it worth having enabled for wedding shots, sunrises and sunsets and anything with a wide dynamic range.

And there are many more links and information on this. But again the research for each setting would take days. HTP is just one setting of many. I’m just trying to learn here.

I'II have more info tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:35 pm 
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Hi G,

Many thanks for re-posting your last in this new thread and deleting it from pravdo's. Much appreciated. 8)

It's all a matter of context. There are certainly situations where HTP provides a subtle but real advantage. The classic example is the fine detail on a wedding dress. However, this does come at the cost of potentially higher noise in dark areas of a photo so it's up to the individual to decide which is more appropriate.

I don't usually link to pages on the Imaging-Resource site as they block links to CameraLabs (rude IMHO) but when the situation demands one must dance with the devil. They have a fascinating page of Canon EOS 40D Imatest Results. I have no idea how good their testing methodology is, and so how valid their comparisons with other cameras are, but the Imatest results are pretty central to this discussion.

I found that their dynamic range test using RAW files with and without HTP enabled interesting. Most telling is their conclusion for JPEG (but referred to again in their discussion of the RAW results) that "the total dynamic range (irrespective of image noise) is about 0.8 stops greater in HTP mode, but the useful dynamic range (limited by noise performance) is essentially identical". Note the word useful. This test is, of course, concerned with the sensor's total dynamic range rather than "expanding the dynamic range from the standard 18% grey to bright highlights" that Gordon mentions on this page of his 40D review.

I was very excited about the prospect of using HTP before I bought my 40D. However, after doing some admittedly very rough and ready tests, I came to the conclusion that for me the benefits were not sufficient to throw away the ability to shoot at ISO 100, though I would certainly enable HTP if I thought it might help for a particular shot. Others will, of course, find that for their own favourite subject matter HTP is a boon. For those who might switch regularly the custom positions (C1, C2, & C3) on the Mode dial might be programmed to the relevant settings. Alternatively, the facility to enable/disable HTP can be added to the "My Menu" page for reasonably quick access.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 2:08 pm 
Another important option to enable is Highlight Alert.

This will help users prevent against overexposure. This will be less of an issue when shooting using the RAW format over the JGP format

I'II get back to the HTP (Active D-Lighting for Nikon) later Bob.

But Bob why is it so important to have ISO 100 when you can have ISO 200 and HTP which will aid in preventing overexposure within 1 stop?

Why do camera users obsess on everything being ISO 100 and nothing else. I have read pages and pages (up until 5AM in the morning on occasions) from professionals and renowned photographers that leave everything on Auto, why because it is the vision, the creativity of the image that is important and not so much what one uses to take the image. Any monkey can have an IDS 3 and shoot but I bet a pro with a point and shoot will do better. And it is not just experience, it is vision just the same as that of an artist.

That’s the photographer I want to be.

I'm just a beginner. I haven't even been out and shoot anything yet (had the flue) but the consensus is to enable HTP. there may be a disadvantage as you have mentioned but it seems to "save the day" more than it loses.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:34 pm 
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G wrote:
...But Bob why is it so important to have ISO 100 when you can have ISO 200 and HTP which will aid in preventing overexposure within 1 stop?...

Noise. Check out the CambridgeInColour tutorial Understanding Image Noise, Part 2: Examples and Characteristics. DSLR sensors are still susceptible though they are much better than the small sensors typically found in P&S and Bridge cameras. If you need to pull detail out of shadowed areas of an image then the lower the ISO setting used the better the result. For some images (wedding photos etc) that won't be an issue and HTP will be of benefit.

May I request that if you post about Highlight Alert (or other Settings topics) you do so in a new thread. This is totally for the convenience of other forum members as a new thread with an appropriate heading will be easier for those interested in that subject to find and subsequent posts in each thread will result in a coherent conversation.

Do this for each of your 40D Settings topics and then, when you are done, you can create a new "Index" thread with links to each of your settings threads in its first post (using the [url=..]..[/url] syntax, of course). :idea:

Bob.

P.S. Hope you are well on the way to recovery from the 'flu and will be fighting fit in time for Christmas.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:04 pm 
I can do that Bob.

I’m ok, saw the doctor today. More antibiotics.

The Highlight Alert was just a little add in as are my final choice of four settings I learnt about through extensive reading. In future when I have HTP out the way I will start on another setting area.

But surely the noise from ISO 100 to ISO 200 is minimal, and even if the exposure setting called “Highlight Tone Priority” (HTP) increases noise it is imperceptible at ISO 200 by look but not by test result; even then it is very marginal and specific to shadow noise is particular. But the benefit is also that HTP helps with overexposure (that the settings “Highlight Alert” when enabled will pick up) up to 1 stop. Noise should only be an issue in darker regions but this can be compensated for if seen at all – yes? I mean how dark under ISO 200 with HTP set does the dark regions need to be for HTP to influence noise/grain into the image.

But like you have said, it depends on the situation, e.g., portraiture, landscape, etc, will have difference settings for different needs, excluding the creative side of course.

Does that mean you “never” go over ISO 100? Sometimes there is no option unless one wants to miss a beautiful shot. I asked Martin from Martin’s Camera shop about how high he goes with ISO settings, and he said that he doesn’t go any further than ISO 400. But with an f/2.8L lens and a tripod this also helps reduce the ISO further that a lesser lens (one with f4) and no tripod would not – yes?

One of the reasons I wasn’t concerned that the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L lens I have doesn’t have IS is because I will be using a tripod. The same went for my Nikon bins over the Canon IS version than had lesser range.

I like the use of the histogram but on testing they do have the advantage of being able to split the contrast (amount of light) into three separate histograms: high, middle, and low. We have to make do with one that is a composition of the three separate ones. So I guess the histogram is of value but not like it can be in a test labs results and charts. It does make a lot of sense to understand the high-key and low-key and the like for the RGB and contrast histogram. I think after reading all about this, I’II be using the histograms all the time as my measuring device, unless I want overexposed or underexposed or over contrast or under contrast. The histogram does not necessary have to follow a Gaussian curve (Normal or “Bell”-shaped curve) and its standard deviation (the spread of the data), if one is after a certain effect.

But I think also from reading about noise and HTP that your desire to stay with ISO 100 may be overstated Bob. Especially since camera technology has significantly improved in this and many other areas e.g., noise reduction, lens improvements, more sensitive and larger camera sensor and electronic integrated circuits and a good RAW converter and associated third-party noise reduction filtering software.

It’s not just about ISO 100 and noise.

From Image Recourses:

“This chart compares the Canon EOS 40D's noise performance over a range of ISOs against that of other cameras… each time point out that the noise magnitude is only a small part of the story, the grain pattern being much more important. In the case of the Canon EOS 40D, the magnitude of the image noise is quite low at ISO 100, but increased somewhat at higher ISO settings, with a noticeable "bump" at ISO 800. As noted above though, the 40D's noise is very fine-grained, and so not nearly as objectionable as that from some cameras with similar or lower levels but a more blotchy appearance. A job well done.”

Lab tests ect doesn’t tell the full picture. It must be seen with our own eyes.

I need to test this out but as far as I’m concerned, four settings I will be using in this configuration for the Canon 40D are as follows:

Updated from more information read.

HTP = enabled
Highlight Alert = Enabled
Picture Style = Neutral if using RAW format (0,0,0,0) - keep everything zero, e.g., contrast, saturation etc, as post-production software will do a better job)
White Balance = Daylight (then you have a constant to work within post-production software)
Underexpose your images by at least a 1/3 (a stop to the left) or even 1/2. An underexposed file can be corrected later in post-(processing) productions, an overexposered image is much more difficult. It also eliminates many of the problems from "blinkies" or highlight alerts.

Set under C1

Let me know what you think Bob, or any one else. Let’s work it out together.


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