Sunday, December 27, 2009

Second walk with the Canon S90

I had to go to the store today so decided to take along the S90 in case something presented itself to photograph.
Took the long way to the store and realized the Polar Bear Express was here for a special Sunday run to make up for there being no train on Christmas Day. Not only that but it was leaving a couple of hours early, at 3:00 p.m. which meant it would be leaving in daylight.
Headed over to the train station and grabbed some shots of the train. The one I liked best was a shot of a woman with two suitcases and a small child.
Walked past the head of the train and across the rail bridge to get a shot of the train as it left. Once again reminded of the short telephoto range (28-105mm) of the S90 when I took a shot of the train from the opposite side of the creek.
Decided to try a video. Got a little scared when I noticed an eyedropper that had something to do with changing the colours in a video. Could not figure out how to get rid of the icon but dialed it to zero which I hope avoided its effects.
S90 video is low res 640 x 480. I wish it was a bit better as I recently shot some videos at 1080p (1920 x 1280) and 720p (1280 x 720). While the increased resolution does not always show up online it is clearly visible in the source files.
I was happy with the S90 video of the Polar Bear Express and posted it on youtube.
Once again, I shot in both RAW and JPG. I used the JPG's for quick shots and processed the RAW's in Adobe Capture Raw. I stuck with the Camera Standard profile. I found myself getting better at dealing with chromatic aberration; at times it takes a surprising large blue shift when dealing quite large areas of blue colour that show up.
To illustrate this, I took a shot of the front of the train and posted it with and without chromatic aberration correction. I didn't apply any post capture sharpening to either so I posted a "normal" shot as well. The shot was taken at 6mm (28mm equivalent). Some areas are quite bad, I illustrated the problems in the lettering on the boxcar, the side of the switchstand and the beginning of the railing on the bridge.
Manually correcting for chromatic aberration is no fun and I would love to have an automatic solution. I have DXO which has a module for the S90 but unfortunately that module does not handle this problem.
I am not that fond of Digital Photo Professional; probably because I do not use it very much. DPP did a better job with chromatic aberration than Adobe did.

The day had a nice surprise in store. While walking home I ran into two talented photographers from Toronto, Melissa McCauley and Crimson Hosking. Melissa is originally from Moosonee and brought Crimson here to enjoy the subarctic winter and compare grocery prices. It was great to have a visit and some photographic fun with other people who habitually walk around with heavy camera bags on their backs.

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