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D30/D60 Tips and Techniques

1) How to activate auto focus (AF), when using 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverters with f/5.6 or slower lenses.

It is simple. Just place a small transparent piece of tape on the last 3 pins of the converter. The tape should be placed on the left hand side of the converter when looking at it from the lens connection side. With these three left pins covered, the converter continues to operate on the D30 with the AF activated. It works great with the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS.

Click here to see a picture of the pins taped.

2) How to use the 550EX to aid with Infrared light ONLY:

a) Press the LCD lighting button; hold it down for 3 seconds. The CF symbol along with "F1 0" will come up on the LCD screen.

b) Click on SEL/SET once. The "F1 0" function will start blinking.

c) Click on SEL/SET two more times until you see "F3 0" (E-TTL)

d) While the function "F3 0" is blinking, click on the "+" button changing it to "F3 1" (TTL)

e) Click on SEL/SET one more time and then the "mode" button.

That is it! Now the 550EX is set to "TTL" mode. It provides infrared light, which aids in focusing in low light conditions, without triggering the pre-flash or flash.

To return to E-TTL mode, follow the same procedure (as above), except for one adjustment. You should change the CF function back to "F3 0" (using the "-" button).

3) How to increase the D30 RAW dynamic range, simulating a "gradual filter" when shooting landscapes:

There are several techniques that I have developed to aid in capturing a high contrast scene with extended dynamic range. I recently wrote an article revealing a systematic approach to this very useful technique.

Keep in mind that the "gradual filter" technique only works with images that have a linear contrast range. On the other hand, the DRI Photoshop action is capable of combining two images with different exposure settings into a much larger dynamic range file.

I also have developed the HR action, which recovers a fair amount of detail in over-exposed RAW files.

4) How to sharpen D30 images:

Canon D30 images are well known for outputting somewhat "soft" images. In my opinion, Canon's approach to sharpening, offers users great versatility when editing D30 images by aiming for high quality results.

The D30 sharpening algorithms are designed to provide a low setting of sharpening even when using the high sharpening parameter. This is preferable, since you can sharpen your own images to your taste and avoid several side effects that can be caused by sloppy sharpening settings.

I have developed a Photoshop action, which automatically sharpens only the subject. You can choose and customize what you specifically want sharpened and to what extent. This provides natural looking sharp images, free of halos, noise and artifacts. You may download the free EdgeSharpen 8-bit from my "free Photoshop actions" section. (EdgeSharpen 8-bit has only an AUTO setting and it's not compatible with 16-bit files).

I also developed EdgeSharpenPRO 16-bit, which has several automatic options as well as medium and advanced controls. This action works with 8 and 16-bit images.


5) When to use the non-linear and linear ICC profiles:

I do not recall a rule of thumb on this matter. It is a question of preference or level of software knowledge. Here is my opinion.

The linear profile is for those who want to obtain the pure RAW image, with no parameters adjustment to it except from the white balance. Linear images will appear softer (no sharpening applied), flat (no contrast applied) and pale (no color saturation applied). However, it still provides the perfect image for post editing. Curves will appear smoother and less jagged. Images look sharper when sharpened in Photoshop. They are also cleaner, and have less noise, since no sharpening is applied to them.(Especially high ISO pictures).

In addition, the dynamic range is greater and color gamut is larger in linear images. It is not intended to be used for snapshots or for those that don't feel comfortable editing images in Photoshop. It is a dream for those that want total control in post processing.

On the other hand, the non-linear profile provides accurate, natural looking colors. It can only be used with non-linear converted Tiffs or jpegs. However, keep in mind that there may be more noise, jagged curves, and smaller color gamut in non-linear images.

6) How to use D30 Auto WB with great accuracy

Several D30 users have reported getting blue casted images when setting their white balance to AUTO. To me, the discrepancy affects not only the blue, but the red channel as well. I developed D30_AWB_fix, which will instantly fix all your Auto White balanced shots for greater accuracy. You also have the option of batching all the images inside a folder using Photoshop's File/Automate/batch.

PS: For those using the linear and non-linear ICC profile actions with Auto WB images, first run the D30_AWB_fix_v1.1_.atn action prior to playing the ICC actions.

7) How to use focus confirmation when in manual Focus mode

1) Set you lens to Manual focus mode

2) Half press the shutter button or "*" button depending on how you configured CF2.

3) Rotate the lens manual focus until the confirmation dot light appears on the viewfinder.