The Canon EOS and Photography Forums

Photography Forums => The Canon EOS Forum => Topic started by: emanresu on October 19, 2009, 06:51:31 PM

Title: 3 questions on my newly arrived XSi
Post by: emanresu on October 19, 2009, 06:51:31 PM
Hello,  my very first DSLR Canon EOS Rebel XSi just arrived and as I was messing around with it, I had a few questions, and would like to get some answers.

1. This camera has the depth-of-field preview button.  But when I press on it, quite honestly, I could not tell the depth-of-field through the view-finder, especially when the aperture is wide.  If I decrease the aperture, the view finder gets darker and darker, but I am still not seeing the benefits of the DOF.  Am I not using it correctly?

2. I configured the camera to save RAW images only because everyone says this gives the maximum "post-production" room.  But I noticed that some of the photos were saved in RAW format, but some others were saved in JPEG, and if I see the pattern correctly, all these taken using "automatically programmed" settings were saved as JPEGs.  I probably should be more careful when reading the manual but just want to know if I can force the camera to save "RAW" all the time?

3. The camera comes with software for editing RAW pictures.  The software is very nice, but the installation is a bit awkward that it can only be installed under an admin account (on vista).  I also happen to have Paint Shop Pro X, and it is supposed to be able to open .CR2 RAW files... however, when I tried it with the XSi CR2 files, it kept saying the format was not supported... so is CR2 raw format a loosely defined format that changes from one camera to another?

Sorry about all these questions, but as a newbie, I don't know where else to ask for help.  Thanks!

Title: Re: 3 questions on my newly arrived XSi
Post by: Bob Atkins on October 19, 2009, 08:15:41 PM
You're basically correct on all three issues.

The DOF preview button does show increased DOF and reduced image brightness as the lens is stopped down. You may need to look closely to see the changes in DOF. The smaller the aperture, the larger the DOF change you will see. The change in brightness is obvious of course, but the change is DOF is more subtle.

RAW images are only saved in the "creative" modes (P, M, Av, Tv etc.). In the automatic modes, only JPEGs are saved. You can't save RAW files in the "auto" and "scene" modes.

Canon's DPP is much better than PSP when it comes to RAW file processing. PSP is very basic indeed, even if it will open the files. I don't know if it supports XSi files. It's well worth any trouble you have to go to in order to install Canon's DPP. I don't use Vista myself - I stayed with XP and installation under XP is quite simple - so I really can't help with specific Vista issues.

Title: Re: 3 questions on my newly arrived XSi
Post by: emanresu on October 20, 2009, 10:28:39 AM
Thank you Bob for answering all my questions!  Yeah, I also found the paragraph in the manual that says no RAW when using point-and-shoot mode... sorry about that - I will refrain from asking such questions in future.

The canon's software was indeed amazing almost to the point of being magic!  I took a photo that was way under exposure, and adjusted it using the software to an excellent one.  I will play with it more to see what else it is capable of.

vista's security setting is a bit overdone.  I ended up installing it this way, in case someone else wonders:

1. login as an admin and change the account under which you want to install the software to an administrator (if that account was a standard user before).

2. switch to the newly elevated administrator account and install the applications

3. after the installation, it will ask you to do a restart.  do it.  after your computer boots up, log into the elevated account again to finish up any post-installation procedures.

4. verify that all the icons and program groups are present, and log off from this account.  re-login as the other administrator, and demote the other account to a standard user

5. log off as admin, log back into the demoted account.  your software should still be there and usable.

Title: Re: 3 questions on my newly arrived XSi
Post by: KeithB on October 21, 2009, 11:03:20 AM
You really need to train your eye to see the depth of field, and not just because the frame is darker!  When you look at a scene (without the camera) you don't really notice depth of field since your eye darts around and changes focus.  Generally you need to train yourself to notice the *reduced* depth of field in the viewfinder when the lens is wide open.  I find that I am focusing so much on the subject that I don't see depth of field in the viewfinder.

Or is this just me?

Title: Re: 3 questions on my newly arrived XSi
Post by: whizkid on October 21, 2009, 12:17:23 PM
Not an answer but one feature I really miss that Canon once offered was a good DOF shooting mode. Not the junk being used in recent years but in perhaps only a few EOS models when EOS came about in 1987. I still have an EOS 650 (the first EOS model made) and the first thing that attacted me was it's DOF shooting mode.  Later I bought a large grip and wrist strap plus a data back for it. It's depth mode was great.You selected the nearest object for reasonable focus and by depressing the shutter that distance was marked Then you did the same with the most distant object you had in mind to keep in reasonable focus. The camera set a hyperfocal point of focus and f/stop that would include the whole zone. Recompose and shoot. It never got any better than that and I won't part with it for anything.