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Canon EOS 350D Parameter settings


ajohnson
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Sorry if this has been posted before, but so far I haven't found it on a search.

My budget does not yet extend to upgrading my trusty EOS 350D with something newer with more pixels and a more sensitive chip etc, I am trying the argument about great the holiday pics will be in 18Mp as opposed to 8 but this is not going far! So I have been playing with the basic settings for RAW images to get a better initial picture. Why do this when you can play with these in DPP after the event ? Basically this is an extra processing step and rightly or wrongly I believe that if you get the best shot first time you will loose less in post processing, also my family would like to see me on occasion! My goal here is to try and see if there are some preset I can use to make the initial "as shot" image as good as I can get it before feeding my stack of images to DSS or PIPP, especially PIPP as I not it does handle RAW settings as well as DSS. One trick that I already use is to vary white balance to "Tungsten" at home and other light polluted sites as this seems to compliment the LPF in cutting down light pollution in the initial image.

Has anybody tried using different parameter settings when taking the initial shots, I ask this because the other night I took some shots on the preset Parameter 2 as opposed the default Parameter 1 and got some very washed out shots of the Owl Nebula, which prompted me to wonder if there is a more combination of pre-sets that will produce a better initial image. Last night I took 7 groups of 5 shots ISO 800 @ 30 sec of M51. I used this target because it's almost directly overhead at midnight (OK just passing) and has a good range of bright areas in the cores and diffuse light in the arms. I now have 7 very different sets of images, before I continue the experiment (hopefully tonight) has anybody else tried this and have any comments/advice, I don't want to waste a lot of time on this if it is either futile or someone has done it before. Actually lesson 1 seems to be to turn down the saturation parameter as this looks like being a major contributor to noise.

Of course the other alternative is that I drop this lot into a more detailed review for general consumption if someone thinks it will help them.

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i always shoot in RAW and the default parameters 1 setting, i did find this which might be worth a read.

Parameters: Lets you reference any of up to three sets of manually-set image processing parameters, or three default sets: Parameter 1, Parameter 2, and B/W. These parameters can affect contrast, sharpness, color saturation, and color tone adjustments in a way similar to how Canon's RAW Image Converter software does when processing RAW format images (for finer control, however, you'll still want to shoot RAW and convert on the PC). The Parameter 1 option increases contrast (+1), saturation (+1), and sharpening (+1), while Parameter 2 sets the camera up to record images like the EOS-20D's default settings (all controls set to "zero"). The B/W option is of course for Black and White mode, which includes Contrast, Sharpness, Filter Effects (applying the equivalent of a Yellow, Orange, Red, or Green filter to darken skies), and Toning (which applies Sepia, Blue, Purple, or Green tints to the monochrome images).

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I do much the same all of my images are in RAW, on the EOS 350D there are 3 additional "User" settings which allow you play around on the camera.

Once on the PC these settings are largely irrelevant as DPP allows you to fine tune them, however there is a big differnce in apparant image between Parameter 1 & 2 so I was pondering if there are any other pre-sets I can play with. I have 2 aims here:

1. To reduce the amount ot time I take adjusting individual or groups of frames in DPP before all of the images go into a stacker

2. When stuck in the middle of a field making quality checks on the 2" viewer I was looking to see if there is an initial set that helps me to verify if the camera is capturing a reasonable image under the prevailing conditions or whether I should just drop the camera in a bag and pull out the eyepieces and just enjoy the sky.

So far I have taken 55 shots (11 groups of 5 at different parameter settings) I'm still analysing the results but so far it looks like Saturation needs to be kept to around 0 or even -1 (Parameter 1 has this at +1 which is why the Parameter 2 shots look better) colour tone should also be left at zero, this washes out the on camera image and in combination with saturation seems to contribute to noise quite severely.

I think after that it's going to be a case of personal preference over contrast and sharpness when I manage to put all 11 variations on a single slide / document I will make a call on the setting that I am going use.

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