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Complete beginner "my first camera is the Q" help and tips please


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#1 Bongo

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:54

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Hi All,

 

I would like to confess that I am a complete beginner at age 53, i want to explore photography in a fun way, so I bought the Q after much searching for what would be a great camera for daily use, street photography, some Macro and Food Macro [my fav subject].

 

I appreciate amy will say the Q is not a beginners camera, I am though pretty good at picking up the basics, and always happy for any and all advice.

 

Up to now i have experimented with night photography with the Q which seems amazing, and some Macro, I have invested in a very good Tripod.

 

Just want to capture my family in the best way I can, and have fun learning, but like most I want to learn fast, so if you see me on here asking what appears to be basic questions about general photography with the Q you know I am learning, but I am loving the Q and enjoying learning all about basic photography.

 

I enjoy using the Q in manual mode although, I expect I need to learn much more about standard camera procedures.

 

Thanks

 

 

 



#2 Bongo

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 01:54

Hi All,

 

I would like to confess that I am a complete beginner at age 53, I want to explore photography in a fun way, so I bought the Q after much searching for what would be a great camera for daily use, street photography, some Macro and Food Macro [my fav subject].

 

I appreciate many will say the Q is not a beginners camera, I am though pretty good at picking up the basics, and always happy for any and all advice.

 

Up to now i have experimented with night photography with the Q which seems amazing, and some Macro, I have invested in a very good Tripod.

 

Just want to capture my family in the best way I can, and have fun learning, but like most I want to learn fast, so if you see me on here asking what appears to be basic questions about general photography with the Q you know I am learning, but I am loving the Q and enjoying learning all about basic photography.

 

I enjoy using the Q in manual mode although, I expect I need to learn much more about standard camera procedures.

 

Thanks


Edited by Bongo, 06 January 2017 - 01:55.

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#3 ropo54

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 03:20

I happen to like AF, and it is quite good on the Q.

Feel at ease shooting at f 1.7 as well.

For portraits, be aware that if the head shot is too close to the wider part of the viewfinder you might get some distortion, so keep the head shots a tad more to the center, than wide.  Nonetheless, you can get some wonderful portraits even using the 28 mm. Check the thread on this site too on portraits under the Q site.

RAW photos are also much better than the jpegs.

You will thoroughly enjoy the Q as it is quite user friendly.

Good luck!

Rob


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#4 Hoppe

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 03:39

Here tips and tricks from Youtube VDO that I found.


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#5 Infiniumguy

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 04:41

I would read all that you can and try many different aspects of photography until you figure out what you enjoy the most.

Join a local photography club and actively participate.

Take workshop or two in areas you really like. I've learned a lot at everyone I've taken.

I'd pick a good editing and organization program and spend time learning how to use it. I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC. Other folks use other programs.

Two excellent sites that I look at virtually everyday are:

Www.photofocus.com

Www.outdoorphotography.com.

I'm not associated with either site.

Enjoy the Q. It's a really fun camera to use.
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#6 mathorp

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 05:28

I wish I could have had a Leica Q for my first camera!

Actually, you have probably got a camera that is well suited to a beginner who wants to learn the basics, and it has the advantage of almost instant feedback compared to the film cameras some of us started with. You can also experiment by taking lots of shots with different settings - and then seeing what difference they make.

Two suggestions:

1. Buy a beginner's book on photography that explains about aperture (f numbers), ISO (film speed), shutter speed and the trade offs between them. There will also be some good pointers on composition, etc.
2. Examine your photos on a computer using Adobe Lightroom or an equivalent. (A large monitor with 4K resolution will help). Be ruthlessly self-critical in looking at what worked and what failed. This is where the multiple shots with different settings will be useful.
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#7 Macberg

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 09:02

I completely agree with mathorp, these are great tips, especially his no. 1, but before buying a 4K resolution monitor, you should know that you would also need a graphics card that supports that resolution. You might also only notice the difference between FullHD and 4K from a certain size of the monitor upwards. Here are some thoughts on that topic which I just found on the web and which should be considered first: http://www.howtogeek...mputer-monitor/

 

Have fun with using your new great tool!


Edited by Macberg, 06 January 2017 - 09:04.

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#8 Belle123

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 17:17

Just a general tip for one new to digital photography, learn post processing. I use Lightroom and found many many tutorials online that help tremendously. Is essential for getting the most out of your photos. Just tweeking color and contrast and exposure, that is the tip of the iceberg. Go beyond.
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#9 Iduna

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 20:14

I agree with all our friends here.

 

The Leica Q has no complicated menue and the beginner will benefit from the philosophy of concentrating on the " essential".

What you have to do is learning some basics of the technique of how to achieve the picture you have in mind with the camera and how to give your imagination a finishing touch by processing the RAW files.

 

Lightroom is an excellent RAW converter and brings about an almost self explaiing range of tools. Here fou find many tutorials on YouTube or you can buy a magazine etc. Do not worry it is not that difficult. On a good monitor you'll enjoy the full IQ of this camera.

 

To get into photography you find also on YouTube nice turorials. If you want to invest in a tutorial worth buying check under

 

visual wilderness, photography by Varina and Jay Patel. Both of them are dedicated to find very good tutorial easy to understand and effective. Check the website and look for tutorials, ebooks etc.


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#10 sbeckhardt

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 20:48

Bongo, thanks for this thread; great topic!

 

I've been following this forum for awhile although I have not yet purchased a Q.  I plan to in the near future.  I have a fair amount of hobbyist experience with photography (I have a Sony RX100 v1 now and have owned DSLRs), but no experience doing post-processing.  I understand the idea of post-processing (I've watched several tutorials on both Lightroom and Capture One) and I understand why the RAW photograph has much more information than a JPG.  

 

So my question is when someone says:  "RAW photos are also much better than the jpegs"  is this meant to mean:

  • They have the potential to be much better after you've done some significant post-processing or
  • Perform the RAW to JPG conversion out of the camera, even with little to no post-processing, because the RAW converters do a much better job than in-camera conversion.

Basically, what I want to know is if I do the RAW conversion with Lightroom, but little or no post-processing, will I usually get a better photograph than the OOTC JPG?

 

Thanks!


Edited by sbeckhardt, 06 January 2017 - 20:49.

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#11 Sulis

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 21:34

The RAW files have much more information on them - you can tell by the difference in file size!

 

Most of the time, this extra information isn't really visible (though at 100% you may well see differences in sharpness and in artefacts from JPEG noise reduction). However, if you'd like to make changes to the way the image looks - make it more contrasty, darker, black and white, boost the sky, etc. - then the extra information in the RAW files lets you do far more than you can with the JPEG (which will quickly show banding or strange artefacts if pushed too far). 

 

And if - like me - you like to compose in black and white, then being able to shoot in RAW + JPEG means I can have a black and white JPEG (to see how it will broadly look in black and white) as well as the full colour RAW version that I can experiment with in Photoshop or Lightroom (usually using the free Nik Silver Efex Pro plugin now supplied by Google).


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#12 lucerne

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 23:11

Bongo, thanks for this thread; great topic!
 
I've been following this forum for awhile although I have not yet purchased a Q.  I plan to in the near future.  I have a fair amount of hobbyist experience with photography (I have a Sony RX100 v1 now and have owned DSLRs), but no experience doing post-processing.  I understand the idea of post-processing (I've watched several tutorials on both Lightroom and Capture One) and I understand why the RAW photograph has much more information than a JPG.  
 
So my question is when someone says:  "RAW photos are also much better than the jpegs"  is this meant to mean:

  • They have the potential to be much better after you've done some significant post-processing or
  • Perform the RAW to JPG conversion out of the camera, even with little to no post-processing, because the RAW converters do a much better job than in-camera conversion.
Basically, what I want to know is if I do the RAW conversion with Lightroom, but little or no post-processing, will I usually get a better photograph than the OOTC JPG?
 
Thanks!

sbeckhardt

Just make sure you are clear. The camera produces an image (the jpeg), and/or a separate Raw file with all the data captured on the sensor. That's two very separate items. In fact you can switch Off the production of the JPEG completely if you don't want it. Lightroom automatically opens the Raw file, shows you the basic image and provides you with a large set of tools to modify it. You don't have to do any conversion. Raw is raw out of the camera and lightroom interprets it and the rest of the processing is up to you. There are other image editors capable of managing and editing Raw files.
Your camera may be able to enhance your images during shooting, but the enhancements only apply to Jpegs. You can't enhance the Raw images by presets in your camera. For example, you can't set a Leica M9 to shoot Raw black and white. The camera will show a b&w on the rear screen, but the recorded Raw file will contain all colour information. The jpg will be B&W.

Hope that helps.

More detail is available from raw data and you will be able to extract more from the file.
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#13 sbeckhardt

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 23:29

Gordon, thanks for taking the time to reply, but I do understand the theory; I've just never done it.

 

Here's the question:

 

If I do a RAW to JPG conversion in Lightroom, with little or no post-processing, will I likely get a better photograph than if I have the camera do the conversion?  I.e does Lightroom do a better conversion than the camera?

 

The context is, I don't have time the time or equipment to spend a lot of time to individually optimize each image in Lightroom .  But I could use Lightroom to perform batch conversions.  Is it worth doing this over just using the in camera JPGs?

 

Thanks!


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#14 lucerne

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 00:03

Gordon, thanks for taking the time to reply, but I do understand the theory; I've just never done it.

Here's the question:

If I do a RAW to JPG conversion in Lightroom, with little or no post-processing, will I likely get a better photograph than if I have the camera do the conversion? I.e does Lightroom do a better conversion than the camera?

The context is, I don't have time the time or equipment to spend a lot of time to individually optimize each image in Lightroom . But I could use Lightroom to perform batch conversions. Is it worth doing this over just using the in camera JPGs?

Thanks!

Briefly.
The Raw and the jpeg aren't going to be the same. The former is Raw and the latter is modified in the camera.
Yes, (1) you could immediately export your raw image from lightroom in jpeg format. In fact, that's the most likely scenario. Additionally, (2) you could incorporate changes such as size and sharpness. (3) To be more objective, you could prepare a single import filter to achieve a preferred look and batch apply to all images extracted from your sdcard.
The basic Raw isn't the best possible file, but a processed Raw can be, so an internally massaged jpeg might initially look better when both are compared, but my preference is to work the Raw. I'm sure others will agree.
Also, bear in mind that Raw files can be edited and then returned to their original. Edited jpegs can't usually be reversed.

Using the leica Q in jpeg mode and ignoring the Raw file really is waste of a great camera. IMHO.

Edited by lucerne, 07 January 2017 - 00:13.

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#15 Bongo

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:38

Thank you all, for the great advice, am excited to take all the advice and put into some practice, and get a feel for capturing a good image, then using lightroom I will play around and try post editing after checking out the tutorials. Going out tomorrow to buy a book on the basics of photography. many thanks.

 

Cheers 



#16 Bongo

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:54

thank you very much for the great advice and tips, much appreciated.

 

Cheers



#17 marchyman

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 06:33

The image out of lightroom will look a bit flat with the default settings.   I've never compared it to the camera jpeg (I've jpeg turned off) so I can't give you a camera jpg vs lightroom comparison.

 

Don't think of lightroom as a "conversion" tool.   Import images into lightroom.   Adjust as you like (or not).   Print the images you want to print and export the images you want to post.  Or use one of the Publishing services.   You can export in several different formats, not just jpeg.

 

I copy the dng files from the memory card to a hard drive, placing the images in the folder where I want them to live.   I then drag that folder on top of the Lightroom icon to import the images into the Lightroom catalog.   All that is doing is taking notice of the images and building some previews.  No extra copies of my original images (I'm not counting the previews) are made.

 

Then I go through the images and pick the once I like.  On a good day that will be about 30% of the shots I take.  Mostly much less.   Finally I tweak the shots I like for printing or posting.  Here's a quick example using a snapshot taken on a rainy day.

 

First, the image exported from lightroom with no tweaks. 

 

p-163581634-2343-1.jpg

 

I thought that was a little flat so spent a few minutes tweaking this and that.  The result...

 

p-163581634-2343.jpg

 

I think the second image was worth the couple of minutes it took me to tweak the values.   I did not tweak the values of the other images I took that afternoon.


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#18 jaapv

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 09:34

Gordon, thanks for taking the time to reply, but I do understand the theory; I've just never done it.

 

Here's the question:

 

If I do a RAW to JPG conversion in Lightroom, with little or no post-processing, will I likely get a better photograph than if I have the camera do the conversion?  I.e does Lightroom do a better conversion than the camera?

 

The context is, I don't have time the time or equipment to spend a lot of time to individually optimize each image in Lightroom .  But I could use Lightroom to perform batch conversions.  Is it worth doing this over just using the in camera JPGs?

 

Thanks!

I fear you will have to invest some time to learn Lightroom. You need it to get the best out of your camera. The reality of digital photography is that capturing the image is only half of creating the image. Well, that is true of film as well, but then you can farm out the darkroom bit to a laboratory.  Digital is far more DIY in this respect. Using JPG is like using a one-hour service for convenience. It can be OK, but nothing like optimal.

Fortunately, as you become more proficient at LR, it gets (a lot) faster to use.

 

Shoot raw and JPG fine and only use raw and LR for your top shots until you are really fast.

 

Oh - essential: backup, backup, backup...


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#19 Herve5

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 10:47

The context is, I don't have time the time or equipment to spend a lot of time to individually optimize each image in Lightroom .  But I could use Lightroom to perform batch conversions.  Is it worth doing this over just using the in camera JPGs?

I am aware I'll expose an almost opposite position to all that was said up to now, but then again you'll make up your own opinion, maybe by counting the posters ;-)

Like you I just don't have the time to hand-correct all images.

I shoot with raw+jpeg by default.

I consider Leica definitely has an excellent process for creating jpegs (which, additionnally, you can adjust in multiple ways in the settings), and my position, for the kind of picture I take, is that in 90% of cases the autogenerated jpeg is not only perfectly fit, I even found cases where I tried to adjust some shadows or contrast, and after carefully playing with the raw, I had to painfully admit my result was not better than the default :-)

 

So, I consider the DNGs only if I'm really dissatisfied by the jpegs.

This only happens

- when I made a mistake, in which case the larger dynamics in the DNG just comes to compensate silliness

- when indeed there is a very large contrast in the scene and I want to still improve lights or shadows -but again, this is very rare indeed : even backlightings with the sun in the image are excellently processed by default : see for instance http://www.ipernity....erve_s/41905050 which is totally the standard generated jpeg

- when I am imaging artworks, where generally I'll reframe and correct the perspective to get 'the perfectly rectangle frame' with white balance validated by a grey card etc. : in this case, again I feel that working with a larger dynamics when 'moving pixels' should be better. But I wouldn't even say I demonstrated it on my pics.

 

Now, we come to the processing tools themselves.

Again, to the risk of shocking people here, I consider Adobe Lightroom is an extraordinarily complicated, costly, and personally intrusive software (just think that the default 'save' function proposes you to upload to Adobe...)

Having been a long, long-time photoshop user years ago, I installed LR anyhow, because when I bought the Q there was a free license coming along.

Well I just verified this was indeed complicated and intrusive, and I went back to the more efficient and compact software I'm used to.

GraphicConverter on MacOSX, Darktable (on any platform, open source and the best, hands down, when it comes to noise processing), RawTherapee (also open source). AutoPano pro for the occasional panorama making.

For each of them I have a preset that compensates the Q lens deformation, and there we go...

 

I personally consider LR is needed only when a professional photographer already inherits an existing process on Adobe -that's not my case.

And IMHO the only reason Leica offered LR licenses along with the Q was to damp the info that indeed the raw images are terribly barrel-deformed, in such a way that old (fossil?) photographers from the analog film era would have criticized. (because LR comes with a preset that autocompensate this, not even leaving you see the original geometry)

As I personally consider that in a digital world, this was a good tradeoff to rather favor color alignment and rendering, I am not shocked at all, I just 'debarrel them first' when I need raw, that's all ;-)

 

Go on with raw+jpeg shots, then just open the jpegs, then go DNG in the very few cases you'll be dissatisfied -and in these cases, don't waste time learning Adobe : choose simple tools...

H.


Edited by Herve5, 07 January 2017 - 10:51.

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#20 Iduna

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 18:53

I agree with all friends here on this thread.

 

Perhaps let me add one thing concerning time.

 

The jpg is a compression which does not allow much adaption. Leica Q produces very nice jpgs,  that's for sure.

 

In practice I found that jpgs in full daylight, travelling snappies etc they are good enough.

 

The more tricky exposures where you expose in order not loose any highlights it is different. Landscape, portrait, lowlight situations are better to shoot in RAW. Landscape needs as much information as your sensor can cover because of the contrasty depth, portraits need a reduced clarity, in low light situations you may want to open the shadows a bit.

Within a very short time you will learn to handle all this within a few seconds.

 

Most of the things you can do with Lightroom, for retouching often Photoshop Elements is more convenient. A fantastic tool is the Nik Filter collection which is provided by Google as a free download and works as plug-in for LR and PSE.


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Best regards

Iduna
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