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I finally got a dSLR!

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gore42

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This wasn't exactly what I had planned, but I can't complain.

It's a new Nikon D80 kit, with the standard 18-135 lens. It isn't 100% new, I suppose... it does have a couple of hundred pictures behind it, but for all practical purposes, it's brand new.

I got lucky. My grandfather bought this camera last spring. He's an enthusiastic photographer, but not very strong on the technical details. He was wisely able to decide that the camera was really too much for him... he needed something simpler. So, he gave this one to me.

So, I read through the manual today and have stared playing around with it... and so far, I like it. There are some things that I'll have to get used to, and some things that I still have to figure out.

For those of you with Nikons....

What software do you use for editing the raw images? I have the Adobe RAW plugin for Photoshop CS2, but I'm not especially fond of how it handles them.

What quality setting do you use for the images (in the Image Optimization menu)? I started off with "normal" and found the images a bit soft out of the camera, so I tried vivid, and didn't really like the color saturation, but the sharpness was a little better. So, now I'm going to play around with the custom mode. Any suggestions?

I'll start posting some photos once I get the camera all figured out (and maybe once I have some new blooms that I haven't posted already :) )

- Matt
 
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Ayreon

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Whoo. Congratulations.
I have a D200 myself.

To be honest I have completly stopped shoting RAW. It only takes time and hard drive space, and the quality of the JPGs that the D200 (and probably the D80) delivers is GREAT. Actually I took a picture and let the camera save it as both JPG and RAW. Then I worked on the RAW file for 10 minutes and then I compared it with the JPG from the camera. And actuallt the JPG from the camera looked better... that's when I decided to stop the RAW thing :)
 
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Bolero

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Awesome stuff, I wish I had one. I currently have a Fuji S9500 which serves ok but in a year or two I will upgrade to something better.

I can't wait to see your photos.
 
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Darin

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Matt,

Congrats on the new DSLR. RAW is absolutely the way to shoot if you want maximum potential for post processing your images. Adobe Lightroom does a fantastic job for handling Raw images and the simpler (more photography related) post processing activities. It is also fabulous for keeping your images organized, creating slideshows, and web galleries.

One thing you may really like is the ability to increase/decrease exposure by 1/3 stop increments on RAW images. This would allow you to adjust the individual frames when creating your orchid bloom movies.

Darin
 

SlipperFan

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I use RAW, also. After processing them in Photoshop, I save them as .psd files and discard the RAW ones. I would not use .jpg in camera for anything but the most simple uses, nor would I save original files in .jpg as it is a lossy file format, meaning information is discarded upon compression, never to be truly returned.

Like you, Matt, I bring the images into Photoshop CS2. Using the RAW process, with my Nikons, I find I may have to set the color temperature a bit different from what the camera has done (even with setting the white balance), and I often have to make slight exposure and shadow corrections. The rest, (sharpening, color correction, etc.) I find I can do best within Photoshop itself.
 
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Bolero

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How hard is RAW to play with? I must admit I just take high quality JPG images and RAW has always scared me off. Makes it sound like I have to work a lot to get the pictures to look right.

Am I wrong? Any tips?
 

SlipperFan

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How hard is RAW to play with? I must admit I just take high quality JPG images and RAW has always scared me off. Makes it sound like I have to work a lot to get the pictures to look right.

Am I wrong? Any tips?
The idea behind RAW is that the full data is there, uncompressed and uninterpreted. If you know how to do color/exposure/contrast correction in Photoshop or another image processing program, I think RAW is the best thing to use in-camera.
 
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paphjoint

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Hey I'm jealous too -- Are there only rich guys on this forum ;-)

Congrats !!
 
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gore42

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Thanks for the tips, everyone :) For the past week or so, I've been playing around with the camera shooting the largest jpgs, but now I'm switching back to RAW. I have a several plants that are in spike that I'm waiting to open so that I can take some new photos that are worth posting... shouldn't be too long.

Does anyone use Capture NX or Camera Control Pro?

- Matt
 

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