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Old January 23rd, 2008, 04:06 PM
Wil Andrews Wil Andrews is offline
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Default Live View Stuff

Bart has shown us how to use Live View in the III cameras to test focus, and that is one of the greatest gifts the Canon III community has ever received.

But there is more to Live View than that. Many may have already explored all that it has to offer, but I have not done so. As I consider the possibilities, I get blown away. I am the father of a professional photographer in San Francesco, and I claim that I taught him all that he ever knew, but you know that is a lie. Many of his shoots involve art directors who hover over him while he shoots. For that reason, he uses tethered shooting with a 1DsII and a Mac computer (just can’t help if they get Mac crazy). When Live View became available with the DIII bodies, a father started looking at it for his son’s benefit (maybe the father will get something too).

Live View offers many advantages over tethered shooting. After all, it is Live View, and all can see the composition in real time before the image is shot, both on the camera LCD and the computer monitor.

Now that the art director or client wants to see the image, color corrected, and exposed properly. A Live View option for the LCD screen takes care of the exposure thing, but not the color correction.

Once you really consider how to get the proper color correction “before you take the shot” you are left with using the handy “Custom White Balance” function in the “III” cameras. The “III” cameras make it easier than ever to set a custom white balance, and as those text book authors I despise are want to say, “How to set the custom white balance is left as an exercise for the student.” I wil say that it involves the function button and the one to the right of it on the little screen below the camera LCD screen. If there is enough moaning, I’ll detail how to do it,

Once you know how to do it, here are the things to consider. The process requires actuating the shutter and recording the white balance information without recording an image on the CF card. The real question is how you will do it. Here are two possibilities.

WhiBal Card
I use a WhiBal card for every important shot I make. I shoot a lot of available light in very serious lighting conditions, and the WhiBal serves very well to get the correct white balance.

Normally I just take a shot that included the WhiBal and set the white balance on the test shot using the white balance dropper in Lightroom. Then Sync all shots with that lighting – works like a charm.

But there are complications in the Live View operation:
1. You must set the custom white balance before you take the first shot.

2. The target (WhiBal card) must occupy the entire “Center spot metering circle.” That gives you problems as the distance to the subject gets greater. My solution is to get the largest WhiBal available, currently 8.5 x 11. That should take care of most any studio and many event situations, but may still cause a problem with longer shots.

3. Remember, using the WhiBal like this requires setting up the white balance before the first shot – not a requirement normally with the WhiBal concept.

4. The WhiBal is used here simply because that is what I use, and because I don’t know of of anything as durable, nor as large to do this job.

5. Obviously, using the WhiBal requires placing the card so that incident light is falling on the subject.

The only other way I know to do this is to use an ExpoDisk. Remember that just like the WhiBal, the ExpoDisc is an incident light device. In this case, you must take the camera to the subject position, point the camera toward the shooting position, and then set the white balance. There are issues with the light being different when you and the camera replace the subject for the incident light shot, but that argument is beyond the scope of this report.

Once the “Custom” white balance has been set, your Live View images will show good exposure and correct white balance before you shoot them. What more could you want?

After setting the camera custom white balance, Live View will show every defect in your lighting setup that effects white balance. As a test, I did the custom white balance thing in my home office that has mixed incandescent direct and halogen light bounced off the ceiling.

I used a 3 x 5 WhiBal card to set the custom white balance. The bottom half of the test (where the card was) had perfect color correction. The top half was that awful orange thing you all have seen, but that was just what the color there was. It does show that you aren’t as smart as you think you are.

1. This report uses the WhiBal card and the ExpoDisc. Different equipment offering the same results may work as well, but these are the two I know about. I find using the WhiBal in the field easier than the ExpoDisc, but your experience may be different.

2. I’m sure we’ll learn more about Live View as we go along, but for me, at this moment, I think I’ll take every “static” shot in live view. The control is just simply marvelous.

Good Luck!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 06:08 AM
Peter Galbavy Peter Galbavy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 66

One other benefit I see for Live View - when I eventually upgrade my 1DII, maybe soon - it to help visualise B&W shots. While many photographers have developed the skill, I still cannot visualise what a scene is likely to look like in monochrome and all my cameras with the exception of a P&S Kodak have never been able to even display the shot afterwards in B&W.

In terms of the art, I love B&W and its the one reason I retained an old film body, but I see Live View being a big help for me, at least.
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