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KEH CAMERA BLOG
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Digital Media Card Tips

No matter which type of card (CF I&II, SD, XD, SM, MS, etc.) your camera takes, it's a good idea to format it on a regular basis. While it may not happen often, these little cards of information can fail & reach the end of their life if used a lot. To keep your card in good health, format it in the camera from time to time.  This clears up the card and erases all of the data. Of course make sure that you have downloaded and saved onto a computer all of the files on the card before formatting. Some older cards & cameras may also show error messages if the card is not properly formatted to that camera.


Each camera menu is different, but you can typically find the formatting function in one of the last sections in your menu (usually marked with a wrench symbol & yellow in color), and also in the menu when you're in "playback" mode. If you can't find it, refer to your user manual. All you have to do is select "format" and hit your enter or set key and confirm.

A few other things to remember about cards is to keep them in their little plastic cases when not in the camera body. This protects the small connection holes/contacts that transfers your data from camera to card, card to computer, and protects the shell of the card itself.


Also, when putting in and taking the memory cards out of the card slot, both in a camera & in a card reader, be gentle! There are little pins on the other end that can be easily bent. If the pins get bent too many times the pins can also break off. If either of these things happen, you won't be able to use the camera or card reader until you get it repaired.

The most efficient & reliable way to download your digital information. Why use a card reader instead of just plugging your camera into the computer to download? It's a safer transfer, downloads faster, takes up less space on your desktop, doesn't need batteries, does not use the cameras battery power and you don't have to dig for the correct connection cord. They are inexpensive and plug directly into your computer via USB or FireWire. 
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Digital Troubleshooting Sensors & CCDs

If you're having an issue with your (straight out of the camera) digital images, it may be one of the following things:
Dust on your sensor... If you see little specks on your images, probably in the same areas, it's most likely dust. This is very common, and pretty easy to fix. There's a few options to clean your sensor including: by the cameras "sensor clean" in the menu, by store bought kits, or by a professional repair shop. This will only occur on a digital SLR, happens often, and is mostly preventable. For tips to keep this mess out of your life, refer HERE and HERE.
This is an example image from a bad CCD. This can happen in both point & shoot digital cameras and digital SLRs. This is especially a common issue in many of the older p&s. This is an extreme case of bad CCD, but they sometimes go out gradually and you may have your actual taken image with some minor lines or discoloration through it. This is not an easy problem to fix, and is not an issue for home repair. If you have this problem, you will need to send that camera out to a repair shop, or in some cases may be under warranty through the distributor.
Monday, February 15, 2010

Digital Pinhole

An experiment shooting digital pinhole:

Toy cats as the test subjects.

A homemade pinhole cap (with filter glued on the front so dust would not get inside the lens mount and reach the sensor).
Shot straight from the camera using pinhole cap.
Shot using pinhole cap and a fisheye adapter screwed into the filter (that's glued on the cap).

Instead of making the area of view wider with the fisheye adapter, it made it much smaller as if looking through a doors peep-hole.

The softness was an interesting outcome.  Aren't pinhole images supposed to have a huge depth of field where everything is in focus? Research indicates this is what happens when the element of digital is introduced to pinhole photography, and diffraction is the culprit.

For more on the diffraction/pinhole/digital issue, refer HERE and HERE.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shooting TTV: When Old Meets New

Shooting "Real" TTV: You may be wondering what to do with your old film cameras that may or may not be in working condition. An interesting way to combine old and new technology is to shoot through the viewfinder, or TTV. One of the most common cameras being used for this technique is the Kodak Duaflex, but any camera with a large waist level type viewfinder will do.
The Duaflex has a convex viewfinder which creates a nice edge effect.In addition to the Duaflex, you will need a digital SLR with a macro lens. A lens with an extension tube or a close up filter would also work. In order to keep most of the light out and avoid glare on the viewfinder, you will also need material to build a shade which you will shoot the viewfinder through. I used cardboard and duct tape that I spray painted black. To determine the height of the box, focus the SLR and lens you are using on the viewfinder so that it fills as much of the shot as possible and measure the distance between the SLR camera and the top of the Duaflex (or other viewfinder model).

My finished product looked like this:
The images have a vintage feel with the immediacy that comes with using digital technology. This technique is also nice for creating texture and a different look without using Photoshop.

Shooting "Fake" TTV: You can also create this effect in Photoshop if you take one shot TTV on a white background to use as a "filter", or download a pre-made TTV filter.Once you have the TTV image, pick any image you would like to transform. Open both images in Photoshop. Select "all" in your TTV image and copy your selection. Now click on your regular image and paste the TTV image into this image (I resized my image to more closely match the TTV image). You will not be able to see through the pasted TTV shot until you select the layer with the TTV image and switch the drop down menu from normal to multiply. Now you can choose to manipulate the opacity until the desired effect is produced. I also selected my background layer and adjusted the brightness a little higher since the TTV layer darkened the original layer.
Either way you do it, this process produces a fun effect that is rapidly growing in popularity!

~Christina Hodgen
Thursday, February 18, 2010

G9 Franiec Lens Ring

If you happen to purchase one of the Franiec lens rings for the Canon G9, (shown here- it's all back vs. the Canon's stock ring which has a silver stripe around it), be aware that there's a slight trick to getting them on properly.
The ring must be mounted with the small bayonet flange facing up. Be gentle, and let it click into place. If it's forced on, the only way to remove it is to cut it off. This seems to be a common problem, as we've seen many of these that have been forced on.
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