Tips and a Great Free Tool for Serious Photography

General discussions for all camera gear, camera equipment, camera products, general tips and tricks, and more.
Post Reply
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:51 pm

Tips and a Great Free Tool for Serious Photography

Post by CarArtRama » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:32 pm

Nikon will be happy to sell you their camera control software for about $180 U.S. Thankfully for the rest of us there is free software which will meet the requirements of most pros and serious enthusiasts.The software is called digiCamControl and it is 100% free, no ads, no malware...well just a little nag screen when it opens asking to support the developer on social media.

Once installed, you connect your DSLR (designed for Nikon but many brands are supported) either with a USB cable (I use a 15 foot mini USB cable) or thru WIFI (the WIFI transmitter for my Nikon is close to 1 grand U.S., so I don't mind stepping over a $15 cable). From the software, in host mode, you have control over your shooting mode, aperture, speed, ISO, jpeg quality, white balance - everything including the kitchen sink. But best of all the software allows you to remotely capture your shots and you can use your 17" laptop (or whatever size) to do a live preview and to instantly see captured shots. You can save your photos to the camera, to the PC, or both. You don't need a memory card installed if you're saving to the PC/Laptop.

1. Use a sturdy tripod, even if you think you have mastered the art of hand holding VR lenses at 1/60 second.
2. If your camera supports it, set the software to mirror up. This decreases vibrations further.
3. Use manual focus, it is much more accurate and with the big laptop screen almost foolproof.
4. Use natural light if you can, unless you want to create a certain mood (late night for example, or you want shadows)
5. Use A, S, or manual mode for aperture and speed - provides much greater control.
6. Use a small aperture (high F stop) if you want high depth of field. Having the combination of a tripod and the electronic release from the software will minimize camera shake. Locking up the mirror helps too.
7. Use a large aperture (low F stop) if you want a sharp subject and softer or out of focus background. This helps the subject to stand out.
8. Use whatever lens you're comfortable with, macro or zoom or fixed focal. I use long heavy lenses so a tripod and the electronic release allow me to shoot in natural light at slow speeds, low ISO (lower noise), and acceptable shutter speeds - with the option to have shallow depth of field or not.

Have fun.

Post Reply

Return to “Photography”