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familyguyman
02-05-2007, 12:27 PM
I was just wondering how people make such photorealistic images with lightwave? Is it just practice or is there some secret to it?

mattclary
02-05-2007, 01:16 PM
Practice and study.

Captain Obvious
02-05-2007, 01:17 PM
Turn on radiosity. :)

(Yes, I am kidding.)

shrox
02-05-2007, 01:20 PM
It's a secret, a dirty secret...

Bog
02-05-2007, 02:03 PM
secret? ...
In the presets there is a "get nice picture", "get great piture" and my favorite "get Hollywood like renderings"...

Yeah, right under "Rig", "Make Pretty" and "Animate".

animate.p hasn't shipped with many copies of LightWave, though. There's a secret drawing every month, where all the dongle IDs are put in a hat, and Jay Roth picks out two who'll get this secret plugin.

*koff*

Anyway: The key to good renders seems to be:

1) Observe carefully the world around you
2) In detail.
3) More detail.
4) Keep looking. Really, you're only looking at the surface. Really see.
5) Forget what you think you saw, and look, darn it!
6) Learn intricate and meticulous rules for surfacing and lighting.
7) Toss all of 6) out the window and do it again for nodal
8) Start modelling your beautiful scene.
9) In detail.
10) More detail.
11) Come on, now, you've barely started. Dent that bit, knock a chip out of that wall, add some dust for goodness sake!
12) That's better.
13) Until you look at that new render someone else did.
14) Er... darn.
15) More detail.
16) And again.
17) Tweak.
18) And
19) You're
20) There.
21) 'til next time.

;)

gjjackson
02-05-2007, 02:22 PM
Using a digital camera is one of the best for texturing. Lighting is crucial to make an image look it's best. There are books devoted solely to lighting. You can do a search for them. There had been a couple of books a while back on doing photorealistic 3d images.

tyrot
02-05-2007, 02:22 PM
dear mark

22- you are coolest

Best

Bog
02-05-2007, 02:35 PM
*chuckle*

It's fascinating though, isn't it? I was looking at walls as I was strolling down the street just now (ran out of gum, trying to quit smoking, GAH!) and looking at the light on the bricks of the school over the road from me.

I got to thinking that with "traditional media", it's the very imperfections of the tools which assist the artist using them down his path. What's a paint? What's a paintbrush? What's canvas? Certainly not "Colour", "Colour Applier" and "Colour Receptor" - the story's far more complex than that. Brushes leave marks and patterns, paper and canvas and everything else one could conceivably paint alter the charater of the paint and indeed the way the bristles of the brush move.

A traditional media artist learns to work with the myriad imperfections of their tools, and to turn them to his or her own strength - using the tooth of the paper, or the grain of the brush, or the curve of the palette knife, or the grain of the charcoal to imbue texture and tone to their imagey by the very nature of their materials.

Digital artists have to come at it from the opposite direction. When we've got a colour, It Is That Colour - quantified and absolute. Variations might be brought about from looking on different displays, but that's an artefact not connected with the colour itself. For the last few years we've had intensity as well - HDR imaging gives us the difference of yellow candle flame and yellow sunlight in the Sahara and the yellow of a packet of Lemsip. Yet absolute, and pure - our airbrushes are perfect, our paintbrushes are mathematically circular.

Admittedly, there are more tools - Dogwaffle and Painter spring readily to mind - that hark at a Natural Media simulation, which is great and groovy for a lot of things, but I can't help but think it might be missing the point a little.

As digital artists, though, our job is to bring imperfection to perfection. Our tools have a surfeit of purity, which whilst able to creat abstractions and ideals that are incredible, have to be worked hard to create the chaos and disruption that is nature. Walls aren't square and straight in the real world. Glass isn't flat. Metals are never clean.

So if you really want to do photoreal images... look to the flaws. Look to the disorder, the heterogenous surfaces, the not-idealised.

bobakabob
02-05-2007, 02:49 PM
Hey Familyguyman

Check out this thread

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62703

There's an amusing / interesting debate over just how technology is making it increasingly easier to create (photo)realistic humans and whether or not it's a bad thing that traditional art skills may be undermined by this. I'm on the ropes in there, but then again I'm a Luddite and like making things from scratch :)

shrox
02-05-2007, 03:11 PM
*chuckle*

It's fascinating though, isn't it? I was looking at walls as I was strolling down the street just now (ran out of gum, trying to quit smoking, GAH!) and looking at the light on the bricks of the school over the road from me...

Sometimes, I see tiling in the real world! That can be a bit disconcerting.

bobakabob
02-05-2007, 03:33 PM
As digital artists, though, our job is to bring imperfection to perfection. Our tools have a surfeit of purity, which whilst able to creat abstractions and ideals that are incredible, have to be worked hard to create the chaos and disruption that is nature. Walls aren't square and straight in the real world. Glass isn't flat. Metals are never clean.

So if you really want to do photoreal images... look to the flaws. Look to the disorder, the heterogenous surfaces, the not-idealised.

So true. Here in the UK us kids in the 60s / 70s were transfixed by Gerry Anderson's TV series Thunderbirds. And one reason we believed in this ridiculous sci fi series was because - kudos to the artists - the models were filthy!

Thunderbirds are go! (http://youtube.com/watch?v=9RzCB3VRruE)

Note how Thunderbird 1 in particular is in need of some industrial strength Mr Sheen.

Captain Obvious
02-05-2007, 04:12 PM
Sometimes, I see tiling in the real world! That can be a bit disconcerting.
Not NEARLY as disconcerting as seeing wireframes in the real world.

Bog
02-05-2007, 04:13 PM
Not NEARLY as disconcerting as seeing wireframes in the real world.

I find it comforting that I'm not the only one who sees 'em.

Phew.

bobakabob
02-05-2007, 04:17 PM
I've been wondering why my observations about sub-surface scattering at a polite dinner party were met with blank looks and stony silence recently.

Bog
02-05-2007, 04:18 PM
Don't go to dinner parties with Muggles. ;)

shrox
02-05-2007, 04:24 PM
Not NEARLY as disconcerting as seeing wireframes in the real world.

I didn't want to go so far as to admit that...

bobakabob
02-05-2007, 04:25 PM
Don't go to dinner parties with Muggles. ;)

Well the it was a posh candlelit meal so the caustics were fascinating... and all the guests had luminous earlobes...

Bog
02-05-2007, 04:35 PM
Well the it was a posh candlelit meal so the caustics were fascinating... and all the guests had luminous earlobes...

Cracking chance for seeing real-life subsurface scattering partially attenuated by cartilage! Excellent!

Did you take notes, or better - photos? ;)

bobakabob
02-05-2007, 04:38 PM
Cracking chance for seeing real-life subsurface scattering partially attenuated by cartilage! Excellent!

Did you take notes, or better - photos? ;)

Better... I whipped out my laptop and started modelling the scene in Lightwave. I was meticulously adjusting the Kappa node settings in Layout when I realised everyone had gone. Worse, they'd drunk all the wine :(

Bog
02-05-2007, 04:46 PM
Rule one, mate - get the booze in first! ;)

Captain Obvious
02-05-2007, 04:51 PM
Have YOU ever tried setting up a complex nodal network after a bottle of wine? It ain't easy. The last time I tried, I ended up pouring half a glass of red wine all over my old Apple Extended II keyboard. :(

Iain
02-06-2007, 02:53 AM
The hard way (but by far the most interesting, flexible and fun) to get realistic, high quality renders is to follow Bog's rules.

The easy way is to get Maxwell or Fryrender and wait, and wait.....and wait.

Dave Jerrard
02-06-2007, 04:47 AM
Don't go to dinner parties with Muggles. ;)
:ohmy:


You can't beat that advice. Well, maybe don't line the toilet seat with razor wire to prevent the dog from drinking out of it *might* beat it, especially if you don't have any pets.


He Who Just Hates Poking His Eye In The Shower On Barbed Wire When Reaching For Soap.

colkai
02-06-2007, 08:21 AM
i found myself staring at the paving the other day and dying to hit sub-divide to smooth out the rough edge - very disconcerting. :)

Looking at things thinking you need to bandsaw them or even, could do with using move-snap on that to line it up properly.

My wife just looks at me with the sort of pity normally reserved for errant children. Of course, "He Who" should not have to worry about that particular problem, in theory. ;)

Maxx
02-06-2007, 08:28 AM
My wife just looks at me with the sort of pity normally reserved for errant children.
I get the same thing from my wife when I start going off about the fresnel effects of reflection on the transparent surfaces of a bottle of beer, as well as the IOR differential between the glass itself and the (by this point in the conversation) quickly diminishing amount of beer in the bottle. And then I wonder how they got that perfect thumb-print on the glass, and whether or not hypervoxels were used for the condensation. Then I typically go to bed...

kopperdrake
02-06-2007, 10:41 AM
Yep - you know you're a lost cause when you get back from a holiday and the balance of photos is heavily biased towards 'lovely textures' rather than 'romantic moments'...

...of course, they're not mutually exlusive, I've captured some cracking textures with the added bonus of getting the wife in the shot too ;)

Stooch
02-06-2007, 10:50 AM
haha, its funny but i always look at a glass of water and look for caustics. or slosh the water around and admire the caustics.

I have a really thick glass coffee table that is infornt of me when i watch tv, i always wander my gaze to the edge of the glass table and marvel and the refracted TV image stretched in the glass. Or the animated fractal noise like patterns in the surface of this table when i wipe it and the cleaning agent begins to evaporate.

or imagening a turbulence field applied to the branches of a tree thats swaying in the wind outside. its repetitive but not. the fresnel effect. etc.

i think i need counseling.

Stooch
02-06-2007, 10:56 AM
:ohmy:


You can't beat that advice. Well, maybe don't line the toilet seat with razor wire to prevent the dog from drinking out of it *might* beat it, especially if you don't have any pets.


He Who Just Hates Poking His Eye In The Shower On Barbed Wire When Reaching For Soap.

i think the best solution for dogs drinking out of toilets is to throw a heater into the toilet to make poochie burn his lips. or maybe avoid flushing it in order to dissuade woofie with objectionable flavor. or throw some hydrochloric acid into the bowl.

or maybe just close the **** lid. lol.

he who finds cats superior in every way (but had a cat that drank out of the toilet)

T-Light
02-06-2007, 11:36 AM
Get a half decent digital camera (or several) and take at least one with you everywhere you go.

Here's a typical romantic days shoot with the girlfriend last year...

11 pics of victorian roof + pidgeons (taken hanging out of the car window from B&Q carpark)
39 woodland pics for a cgi backdrop
1 pic of girlfriend

:D

Bog
02-06-2007, 05:15 PM
Gouraud and Phong both drink out of the loo. I tried to blame it on them being Manx cats, but I had to admit in the end: I just have strange cats.

Pawprints in the bowl are harder to explain when you're a cat-owner. *sigh*

Then again, I schlepped in the door after an afternoon's demoing at Video Forum this arvo, and Phong promtly curled up on the laptop satchel.

It's been about seven years since the first time Sue calmed fellow holiday-goers at my photographing bus-wheels and bits of eroded limestone saying "He's... graphical. Very graphical. Just stay away from him and he won't take macro shots of your skin."

One girl volunteered for that, it pleased me.

familyguyman
02-06-2007, 05:28 PM
Wow. I wasn't aware of how... strange this thread was getting.

Bog
02-06-2007, 05:42 PM
This isn't strange, kid. You stick around. You'll see strange.

Colkai - the gelatine. Mr. Jerrard - your dancing pants, please.

Brent? MUSIC!

Andyjaggy
02-06-2007, 07:12 PM
It always amazes me how many CG artists are completely clueless when it comes to photography. Half the people out there don't even understand how the aperture and shutter work. I think it is very beneficial to get a basic undertsanding of photography, it helps with your composition, lighting, texturing, and your ability to understand and use the camera controls within LW.

colkai
02-07-2007, 03:37 AM
fo? po? fatog? piccies? :)

Me got camura, it pretty, black N everyfink. got lots of pic of my nose, my eyes hurt from all bright lights too.

What me do wrong? :p ;)

Captain Obvious
02-07-2007, 04:05 AM
HOW I MINE 4 CAMERA??+


Bog, you have cats named Phong and Gouraud? That's brilliant!

DiedonD
02-07-2007, 04:41 AM
This isn't strange, kid. You stick around. You'll see strange.

Colkai - the gelatine. Mr. Jerrard - your dancing pants, please.

Brent? MUSIC!

*moves fingers up and down, waiting..... *

DiedonD
02-07-2007, 04:45 AM
Get a half decent digital camera (or several) and take at least one with you everywhere you go.

Here's a typical romantic days shoot with the girlfriend last year...

11 pics of victorian roof + pidgeons (taken hanging out of the car window from B&Q carpark)
39 woodland pics for a cgi backdrop
1 pic of girlfriend

:D

Cant argue with the facts. But how do we know that its your girlfriends picture, and not your own, or some passers by. What if your making this whole thing up, just to appear "as if" you have a girl? :D

T-Light
02-07-2007, 08:07 AM
diedond -

Cant argue with the facts. But how do we know that its your girlfriends picture, and not your own, or some passers by. What if your making this whole thing up, just to appear "as if" you have a girl?
Oh noooo, the truth is out. I have a pair of boots with jean bottoms I take with me everywhere so people think I have a life :D
Seriously though (and this is really terrible), I'm just going though several cd's and dvd's looking for a picture of Her, I've been through thousands of images, my condition must be worse than I thought :D

Bog -

Brent? MUSIC!
I have a keyboard and two working guitars, unfortunately, I'd probably get a better melody out of them if I played them with my feet.

Iain
02-07-2007, 08:44 AM
I play a mean cowbell.

"MORE cowbell"

Captain Obvious
02-07-2007, 08:47 AM
One can never have too much cowbell.

T-Light
02-07-2007, 09:30 AM
Iain -

I play a mean cowbell.
You do... but really try to explore the studio space this time :D :thumbsup:

News just in...
Finaly found pictures of the girlfriend, a whole three of them in one folder. :eek:
Was worried I was loosing my touch, then realised they were part of a depth of field test on the new Tamron :foreheads

shrox
02-07-2007, 09:40 AM
Iain -

You do... but really try to explore the studio space this time :D :thumbsup:

News just in...
Finaly found pictures of the girlfriend, a whole three of them in one folder. :eek:
Was worried I was loosing my touch, then realised they were part of a depth of field test on the new Tamron :foreheads

Are you sure you weren't just stalking some random woman?

T-Light
02-07-2007, 10:25 AM
Shrox -

Are you sure you weren't just stalking some random woman?
Nope, it's difficult to stalk someone with a 300mm lens stuck on your camera(or should that make it easier?), either way, it's definitely 'Er Indoors', I've checked :D
Ere's one more from inside the dingy, and that's yer lot. If She knew I was posting pics of her I'd lose an important part of the anatomy in a freak cat induced lawnmower incident :D

One from the vid.

Maxx
02-07-2007, 11:23 AM
How very true. Plus with a decent SLR and photoshop you can make your own HDR maps etc. You'll also gain a lot of knowledge abuot about exposure when dealing with RAW image workflows, and last but not least, being a good photo colour grader (or video) will do no end of wonder to your post work on 3d images.
So, along this vein and because the thread has already veered totally off topic - what's a decent fairly inexpensive SLR digital camera? I'm looking for one now and have no clue as to what to look for, other than higher resolution...

Captain Obvious
02-07-2007, 11:34 AM
So, along this vein and because the thread has already veered totally off topic - what's a decent fairly inexpensive SLR digital camera? I'm looking for one now and have no clue as to what to look for, other than higher resolution...
It's definitely not a mainstream camera, but I rather like my Pentax K100D. I'd say any of the lower-end DSLRs are more or less equal, and you should probably go for whichever one fits best in your hand and feels the most comfortable.

Maxx
02-07-2007, 12:48 PM
Excellent - thanks for the suggestions, guys. (And yeah, neverko, you really can't get any closer to "just starting out" than me in this situation :p - total photography newbie...)

Thanks again!

shrox
02-07-2007, 12:54 PM
Shrox -

Nope, it's difficult to stalk someone with a 300mm lens stuck on your camera(or should that make it easier?), either way, it's definitely 'Er Indoors', I've checked :D
Ere's one more from inside the dingy, and that's yer lot. If She knew I was posting pics of her I'd lose an important part of the anatomy in a freak cat induced lawnmower incident :D

One from the vid.

I just thought it was funny that the first three were all from the back.

kopperdrake
02-07-2007, 01:54 PM
LOL - to be honest, most of my holiday ones with the wife in are her from the back and she just plods on whilst I stop to take photos :)

As for 3D artists and cameras, I took up photography as a kid before CG was even around - that's what you get for having a dad who was a photographer in the RAF. Saying that, it was only with the advent of digital cameras did I get the bug back for carting lumps of metal around with me ;)

Oh - and the Canon 400D would make a great camera :)

Speedmonk42
02-07-2007, 01:55 PM
I second buying the Canon.

If you get hooked on photography you have way more room to expand.

Canon has (though the others may soon) full frame DSLR's. that means that when you stick a 50mm lense on it, it is 50mm.

So you can buy a cheap DSLR with good lenses you can use later on a full frame DSLR.

Just don't buy a lenses made only for the 1.6X CMOS sensors, EFS. Buy regular 35mm lenses.

Also if you want to do anykind of fast action stuff like sports, the Canon lense s are probably the best. The motor that drives the autofocus is in each lense as opposed to the camera. So a big lense has an appropriate motor.

I hope all that made some sense. Way too much to tell.

Andyjaggy
02-07-2007, 04:03 PM
I second that when buying a DSLR you are buying into the whole system not just the camera, and honestly Canon has the best range and selection of lenses and accessories. Maybe a little overpriced but still good.

You can always go the Sigma lens route too, which will be a lot cheaper and almost the same quality, I have had good experiences with the Sigma lenses.

If you get the Canon 400D skip the kit lens. You will think it is cool for about a month until you see something taken with a non kit lens and suddenly you will feel shafted. My suggestion is skip the kit lens and get the 50mm 1.8. It's not a zoom lens but for 80 bucks it can give you some very very nice pictures. I also love my 50 2.5 macro, which is another great lens to start out with. I think it runs about $250.

T-Light
02-07-2007, 04:45 PM
Maxx try here for in depth reviews, they're about the best around (way better than the usual 2 or 3 page photography magazine reviews)
http://www.dpreview.com/
Here's the review on the canon 400D
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/
and here's its predecessor
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos350d/

The new canon (400d) has the advantage of 10 Mpix over the 350D's 8Mpix, it also has an auto cleaning system for taking dust away from the sensor (useful), it has a larger display screen and it's actualy cheaper than the the 350D. The disadvantages are a lack of lcd display for reviewing settings and a much shorter batterylife. You might be able to find a 350D at a special price now if you look around :)

tsoe.com
02-08-2007, 03:33 AM
back to topic
- someone interested?

"real pictures"

- forget faces!


let's start very outside/inside (you'll see - that shifts)

Most western poeple grew up with similar forms of learning about what is, and what is to see. In most cases first it's an aducational situation and in most cases it turnes out (sometimes hidden), that target of such a conversation is to confirm to see what another one tells/teachs you, and than it's ok for that situation. And when you got so far that you can play with a 3d-program as ligthwave you learned it so far very well.
So everybody around the globe has his own form to see and describing that what he booked as "seen"(=understood/checked/accepted...). And nearly everybody gets that more ore less as "natural" and basically. In some critical situations (school/family...) this has to be accepted as self-evident - and if you deny that then you are judged as unpleasant ore opportunistic or what the situation is.
So everybody in most languages ist forced to beleave in most cases, that seeing and describing-what-was-seen is a clear and self-evident case of reality. But it's not.

- and forget faces!

So when you will produce "real"-looking pictures you'll first heave to check the very habitual boundaries this aducational ideas heave given to you (which are absolutely well und usefull in other situations - but not when making such pictures).

- and forget faces!


Then you notice in a smooth moment, that everybody interpretes what he is looking at. Some people uses very very different forms of looking - let's put it into a row for better handling: some sit and look as long as you while producing the picture, and other look more and more shorter. And at least i am sure you will find some who even don't look at all - but although judge it (that's unfortunately no joke, sometimes just those ones underline the paycheques).

So: What you see is individual - completely, but in most situations you can't state this without getting in trouble with the others around you
If you try to show "the reality" in your picture you heave the responsibility what is to show then! Often your decision and the decision of the other observers about that are different - and they are equal right. Thats wy your pic. should be "round" enough to lead the viewers completely through the scene, showen there. So it is a differnt thing for whome you produce such a picture (your mother will find it well in most cases, but your teacher/friend/client? Better your check out before what they expect to see)

...- and forget faces! Faces are wishing wells for amateurs!

What will work? Take photographs you really like - there are so much in the web. Look whether and how much they are similar to those in advertisings, books of interests ...and the forums you're in, for to get an feeling how near ore far away your taste is from the mainstram and in which coloring your justifications in the programm/lighting/postprocessing usually will tend (beside the hardware).

- and forget faces!

Take a camera and shoot 5 x in different daytime the same house/home/car, what ever you like! Notice how the lights are mooving. You'll see that some of them along that photos really break from one color to another! Nobody ever will force you to produce a picture with an exact 3 am.-shadow, (because nobody normally can estimate the real one, even not an architect) but if you got a job for an afternoon-view you can estimate what kind of differences of colors they mean - and fake it. You can see unbelavable much renderings with all kinds of daylight in one view.

- and forget faces, the idea of faces and skin mislead you (for a good representational rendering) in every way, because if you communicate with others - also with your own body - (see skin and face as part of your userinterface) feelings and learned coordinations of feelings+muscles+reactions+interpretations are so huge, so much more important than an "objective" look onto it, that you first need some experiences in twisting the 3d-program into a state, that you can reproduce and sell as: your view. Than you can adjust your program to render beleavable skin - and faces if it's necessary. And then you heave a good chance to be faster than everybody who tries to show reality in his pics.
Thomas
www.tsoe.com

Iain
02-08-2007, 03:37 AM
That clears that up then.

Bog
02-08-2007, 04:07 AM
I agree wholeheartedly, modulo not knowing what the devil he's on about.

Phil
02-08-2007, 04:17 AM
Iain -

You do... but really try to explore the studio space this time :D :thumbsup:

News just in...
Finaly found pictures of the girlfriend, a whole three of them in one folder. :eek:
Was worried I was loosing my touch, then realised they were part of a depth of field test on the new Tamron :foreheads

I assumed that they were Fiber Factory reference shots :D

Maxx
02-08-2007, 04:21 AM
staying on topic is for people without imagination... or with an attention span, I can never remeber that one - ooh! shiny! look! look! it's all shiny and ... oh, yeah...

Anyway, thanks for the opinions and advice on DSLR's guys and gals (and thanks much for the links T-Light!). :thumbsup: Looking like Canon is the way I should go, so now it's time to save up just a bit more scratch and take the plunge!

T-Light
02-08-2007, 04:36 AM
Phil -

I assumed that they were Fiber Factory reference shots :D
About three months too early for FF, but now you mention it... :thumbsup:

Maxx, you're very welcome, Canon tend to win on colour and sensor noise, if you see another camera you like, pop back to DPreview and see what they have to say about it, it's a lot to read for every camera but you'll feel a heck of a lot more satisfaction in knowing your buying the best out there for the money you want to pay. Best of luck :)

jbarker
02-08-2007, 05:02 AM
In my experience, and humble opinion, it's the lighting. Something I used to overlook all the time when I started. But whenever I see a photorealistic image it's always the lighting that strikes me first.

Speedmonk42
02-08-2007, 10:42 AM
Of course if you really ask my what you should buy, my first inclination is that you should re mortage you house and buy....

But seriously though... if you are going to be into a lot of photography and really want to learn it.... I would suggest getting the much better interface on the 30D than the 2 extra mega pixels on the 400D.

If you are just shooting in green, then get the 400D, if not say your shooting in P or M then get the 30D.

T-Light
02-08-2007, 11:25 AM
All that money for an extra dial? :D
I'm suspecting the 400's like the 350, push a button with your thumb and you've instant aperture control with your main dial, not as easy as two dials but as soon as you get used to it, it's nearly as fast :)

(yeah, I know, there's other improvements but it's only a seperate aperture dial that really matters (to me anyway))

Dave Jerrard
02-08-2007, 11:45 AM
The new canon (400d) has the advantage of 10 Mpix over the 350D's 8Mpix, it also has an auto cleaning system for taking dust away from the sensor (useful), it has a larger display screen and it's actualy cheaper than the the 350D.
I was talking about the XTi (400D) with a salesman, who knows his stuff, and he's suggested waiting on that model for a while. The self cleaning sensor is new and the long term effects of it on the camera aren't known yet. The cleaning system vibrates the glass in front of the sensor to shake the dust off. Those same vibrations could adversely affect the sensor behind it. These things can get pretty finicky, as evidenced by the spate of CCD faults that have caused Nikon grief (http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/31/nikon-fesses-up-to-new-ccd-malfunction-problems/). It's probably a good idea to wait a bit on that model. I had a chance to try the 350D last year, and it's a nice little camera. I still prefer a metal body though, so I'll stick with my current 10D, but I am interested in that 400D. I'll just wait a bit before I take the plunge.

He Who Will Probably Get A Larger Printer First.

T-Light
02-08-2007, 12:24 PM
Wise words Dave :)

When I was looking at the 350 last year I came across a review that said Canon and Nikon were denying that dust on the sensor was a problem at all (Yeah, okeydokey:rolleyes: ), that was just before Sony released the alpha with its multi-antistatic-shakeandvac system :D

Dave Jerrard
02-08-2007, 12:45 PM
Dust on the sensor is my biggest problem on my camera. I take pains to try to minimize the exposure time to the mirror & internal workings when I change lenses, but I almost always seem to get one speck of dust in there. They're buggers to get out. It's pretty clean now, thanks to using a bright light to highlight the dust on the last cleaning.

As for the camera itself, over 17,000 photos, and only ever had a couple currupted files. I think those were due to eithe rbumping the camera as it was writng them a microdrive, or I opened the door to the flash slot accidentally. I was in a moving vehicle when it happened, but either way, I can't really blame the camera.


He Who Would Like A Resolution Boost Though.

T-Light
02-08-2007, 02:29 PM
Sorry to be going off the road and into the bushes on this 'off topic' thread but...

Dave, how do you clean your sensor? Mine had dust on it within the first few days of using it. I bought the 'recommended high tech kit' (ie WAY overpriced rubber blower). It helped, but it's not ideal. There's loads of advice out there on the net on cleaning, but when I went back to the shop and mentioned it they said 'NO WAY - send it back to Cannon'. Last time I sent a camera back to Cannon they had it for 3 months :devil:

Bog
02-08-2007, 02:30 PM
Can of compressed air?

Dave Jerrard
02-08-2007, 02:51 PM
Rubber blower brush! Also lens cleaning cloths, preferably the good ones with the microfibre fuzzy coating do a great job. They almost suck the dust up. What works well is get a nice bright flashlight - those white LED ones with strong batteries are great (an ear-clip one will leave your hands free) - and shine that inside. That will light the dust up real good and you can take a rolled up corner of the cloth and use it like a brush. I find that works about the best because it's not rigid enough to allow you to put too much pressure on it, which means it's not likely to be able to scratch the glass. It also works well for cleaning the mirror. Make sure you clean around the shutter too, or it could just drag another piece of dust onto the sensor when you exit the cleaning mode. I do a few blows first, then use the cloth, and then another few puffs to see if there's anything I missed.

The hardest part is cleaning the reticle, or screen above the mirror. That little rubber stopper that cushions the mirror loves to grab hairs & dust when you're trying to clean up there. Then you take one shot & bam, there's another friggin hair in the viewfinder! That usually needs a good blow (but don't we all?). :hey:


He Who Suspects He Crossed A Line Somewhere There.

T-Light
02-08-2007, 02:54 PM
Bog -

Can of compressed air?
You'd think that we be just fine. But...
The shop I bought the camera and the rubber ball from (Jessops) said not to use them under any circumstances??? Which I said to them was a bit weird as they sell them online. Got a shaking head and 'Send the offending instrument to Canon Sir, It's FREE'.

Which actually makes me wonder, If all these cameras are being sent back to Canon for free it must be costing them a fortune. Maybe that's why they've introduced the 'sensor shaker'. If as Dave says, they might be a bit dodgy, even if 10% of them breakdown under warranty they'll still be in the money.

Dave Jerrard
02-08-2007, 02:56 PM
Can of compressed air?
That could actually damage the sensor. COmpressed air can spit some liquid difluorethane into the camera, which isn't generally a good thing. It could also apply too much force on teh particles, causing them to leave scratches. That's why I use a blower brush - it's all dry air, and not too forceful. I actually even take the brush off it because those bristles aren't the softest.


He Who Thinks He Might Be Getting Strung Out On Caffeine This Week.

T-Light
02-08-2007, 02:58 PM
AHA, cheers Dave. I have a couple of lens cloths, I'll take a look at the type and buy some better ones if neccessary.

Thankyou :)

ps Thanks for light tip, it's a gudd'n :thumbsup:

Andyjaggy
02-08-2007, 08:14 PM
All that money for an extra dial? :D
I'm suspecting the 400's like the 350, push a button with your thumb and you've instant aperture control with your main dial, not as easy as two dials but as soon as you get used to it, it's nearly as fast :)

(yeah, I know, there's other improvements but it's only a seperate aperture dial that really matters (to me anyway))

Yes all that money for the extra dial. I had a rebel for a while and the controls drove. me . nuts. At the time I was also using the Elan 7ne which has the same layout as the 30D and I finally ditched my rebel and bought a 30D just for the better interface. When you shoot a lot, it matters and is well worth the extra money. Plus I like the larger body on the 30D the Rebel is just too small in my hands.

As for the compressed air. Very bad idea, don't do it or you might be forking out 800 bucks for a new sensor.

Bog
02-09-2007, 02:59 AM
I'd best point out that I do not know that much about cameras, so therefore gentle readers please listen to the "Compressed air? ACKPFFT! NO!" responses to my suggestion, and Don't Do It ;)