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REVIEWS: NIKON COOLPIX P600 OLYMPUS STYLUS SP-100 EE SONY CYBER-SHOT RX10




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14

INDIA’S NUMBER 1 IMAGING MAGAZINE!

HEAD
-TOHEAD

CANON EOS 1200D
VS NIKON D3300

PROFESSIONAL TECHNIQUES

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH FABRICS PHOTOGRAPHING WATCHES


INTERVIEW

RAVI DHINGRA

PROFILE

ATUL CHOUBEY

TRAVELOGUE

KILA RAIPUR

LEARNINGS HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IMAGING „ INTRO TO LAYERS, BLENDING, AND MASK „ KEY TO PERFECT PANNING

HERE’S
WHAT
MAKES US

#1

WELCOME

WE ARE GLUED TO THE GLOBAL
IMAGING INDUSTRY
Our team is updated with all the benchmarks
and road blocks that the field of photography
and imaging across the globe experiences.
This helps us record the changes in the global
perspective, thus making us the first to predict
which products will be a rage in the Indian
markets.

W

ith summer at its peak, for a lot of our
readers it is holiday time. Do not forget
to master your equipment before you
venture out. Also, remember that the best pictures
can often be taken in the most unlikely locations.
So trust your instincts and venture to new
locations with the sole objective of getting some
unique images.

WE’RE IMPARTIAL
Loyalty towards our readers is a given, and
their best interests are always on our mind.
Every verdict is honest and not influenced by
advertisers or personal favorites. So when we say
a product is a ‘BEST BUY’, then, it is just that!
OUR TESTS ARE CONDUCTED BY
EXPERTS
All equipment go through a series of tests at the
hands of our experts. Our reviewers are experts
in the field of photography across the country
and have many years of experience. That
gives us the foresight to distinguish between
a passing trend and a big change in the field
of photography and imaging. And finally, our
reviews are not extended to just fill up the pages!

If you are still to purchase equipment, have a look
at our comparison tests of two of the latest budget
D-SLRs in this issue. With the rupee stronger
than before, you will get some tasty discounts.
Also, with a stable government at the centre, the
economy should look up and the imaging industry
should see rosy times again.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU
There is no debate on why we are here. Our sole
goal is to provide you options and better your
judgement in product purchase while, sharing
tips and tricks to improve your images. Our
biggest joy is in building a bridge between you
and your perfect picture!

EDITOR
Hoshang S. Billimoria
TECHNICAL EDITOR
Rohinton Mehta
SENIOR CORRESPONDENT
Sujith Gopinath
COPY EDITOR
Tanika Godbole
PHOTOGRAPHY
Mahesh Reddy

CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Atul D. Bandekar
DESIGN
Nandkishor Sawant,
ADVERTISE DESIGN
Sanjay Awad, Shubham Rohatgi
PRODUCTION
Dinesh Bhajnik, Deepak Narkar, Ravi Parmar

H. S. Billimoria

PUBLISHER
Girish Mallya
PRODUCT MANAGER
Perseus Master
HEAD OFFICE - MUMBAI
2nd Floor, C Wing, Trade World, Kamala Mills Compound,
Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013
Tel: + 91 22 43525252 Fax: + 91 22 24955394
Email: [email protected]
CIRCULATION AND SUBSCRIPTION
Sanjeev Roy (Asst. Operations Manager)
Sachin Kelkar (Subscription Supervisor)
Tel: + 91 22 43525220 Fax: + 91 22 24955394
Email: [email protected]
Apple Newsstand & Magzter Queries: [email protected]
Zinio Subscriptions Queries: http://in.zinio.com/help/index.jsp
For Pocket Mags Queries: [email protected]

Views and opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Next Gen Publishing Ltd. Next Gen
Publishing does not take the responsibility for returning unsolicited material sent without adequate postal stamps
for return postage. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in part or full without the prior express written
permission of the publisher. Printed by Girish Mallya, Next Gen Publishing Ltd., Trade World, 2nd Floor, C Wing,
Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013. Published by Girish Mallya
on behalf of Next Gen Publishing Ltd., Trade World, 2nd Floor, C Wing, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati
Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013. Printed at Kala Jyothi Process Pvt. Ltd, 1-1-60/5 RTCX Roads,
Hyderabad - 20. Published at Next Gen Publishing Ltd., Trade World, 2nd Floor, C Wing, Kamala Mills Compound,

www.smartphotography.in

MARKETING OFFICES
Ahmedabad
305, 3rd Floor, AEON Complex, Near Angira Society,
Vijay Cross Roads, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380009
Tel: + 91 79 26405061/2/3
Bengaluru
Unit No. 509, 5th Floor ‘B’ Wing, Mittal Towers, MG Road,
Bangalore -560001, Tel: +91 80 66110116/17 Fax: + 91 80 41472574
Chennai
Unit No. 20, 3rd Floor, Modern Towers, No. 35/23 West Cott Road,
Royapettah, Chennai 600014. Tel: + 91 44 39149889 Fax: + 91 44 39149892
New Delhi
26-B, Ground Floor, Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase-III, New Delhi - 110020.
Tel: +91 11 4234 6600 / 6678 Fax: + 91 11 4234 6679
Pune
401B, Gandhi Empire, 2, Sareen Estate, Kondhwa Road, Pune 411040.
Tel: + 91 20 32930291 Fax: + 91 20 26830465
Hyderabad
Richard G.C., Territory Sales Incharge (Circulation), Mobile no. 09949217127
Kolkata
Vidyasagar Gupta Territory Sales Incharge (Circulation), Mobile no. 09804085683

Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013. Copyright 2006 SMART PHOTOGRAPHY
All readers are recommended to make their own independent enquiries before sending money, incurring
expenses or entering into commitments in relation to any advertisement appearing in the publication. Smart
Photography does not vouch for any claims made by advertisers for their products and services. The editor,
publisher, printer and employees of the publication shall not be held liable for any consequence in the events
of such claims not being honoured by the advertisers. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of
competent courts and forums in Mumbai only.
Editor – Hoshang S Billimoria

June 2014 Smart Photography

5

Contents
40
ISSUE 111 / JUNE 2014

34
REVIEWS: NIKON COOLPIX P600 OLYMPUS STYLUS SP-100 EE SONY CYBER-SHOT RX10




RS.125
ISSUE 3
VOLUME 10
JUNE 2014

REGULARS

INDIA’S NUMBER 1 IMAGING MAGAZINE!

HEAD
-TOHEAD

CANON EOS 1200D
VS NIKON D3300

PROFESSIONAL TECHNIQUES

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH FABRICS PHOTOGRAPHING WATCHES


INTERVIEW

RAVI DHINGRA

PROFILE

ATUL CHOUBEY

TRAVELOGUE

KILA RAIPUR

LEARNINGS HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IMAGING „ INTRO TO LAYERS, BLENDING, AND MASK „ KEY TO PERFECT PANNING

08 Mail Bag
10 News Watch
30 Picture of the Month
154 Tidbits

Cover credits
Photography: Ajay Sood

Just a moment!

Readers can find the updated Buyer’s Guide, log on http://smartphotography.in/news/monthly-special
Smart Photography thanks the readers who participate in the Picture of the Month contest. We would like to
bring to your attention a few changes in the rules for submission. From now on, you may send in your images with
the longer side measuring atleast 17 inches. Please note that the images have to be horizontal. This permits readers
to submit panoramic shots, which was not possible with the current size of 17 x 11 inches.

6

Smart Photography June 2014

34 Kaleidoscope

A platform for budding photographers
to exhibit their talent and get noticed!

40 Showcase

A photographic profile of the person
behind the lens

46 If I Were You

Our expert comments on how your
pictures can be taken to another level

49 Ask Uncle Ronnie
Your photo queries answered by
Uncle Ronnie

Smartphotography.in

29

SUBSCRIPTION
OFFER

page

64 72

78
LEARNINGS

54 Photo feature

Ajay Sood captures the Killa Raipur
Rural Olympics

62 Buying Cameras –
Taking The Right Steps

64 MasterCraftsman

The masters of the craft share their
insights and photographs
Smartphotography.in

72 Photographing Watches
78 Photographing Fabrics
84 HDRI
(Using Photomatix Pro 5)

90 A Beginner’s Intro to

REVIEWS

104 Canon EOS 1200D Vs.
Nikon D3300

110 Sony Cyber-shot RX10
114 Olympus Stylus SP-100 EE
118 Nikon Coolpix P600
122 AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-

Layers, Blending Modes and
Masks in Photoshop

140 f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR

101 Panning

124 Nissin i40
June 2014 Smart Photography

7

MAILBAG
REVIEWS: NIKON D4s FUJIFILM X-E2 CANON EOS 1200D LG G2 HP DESKJET INK ADVANTAGE 4515








RS.125
ISSUE 2
VOLUME 10
MAY 2014

INDIA’S NUMBER 1 IMAGING MAGAZINE!

Write to us at:
Mail Bag
Smart Photography,
Trade World, C-Wing, 2nd Floor, Kamala Mills Compound, Senapati
Bapat Marg, Lower Parel(W), Mumbai 400013.
E-mail:
[email protected]
LEARNINGS STYLING IN FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY „ SUNRISE/SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY „ AUTOFOCUS OR HOCUS POCUS?

Made for All
Smart Photography has beautiful, attractive, artistic and rare photographs in almost
all issues. It is just not for professional photographers but for all those who have some
interest in the subject. The May 2014 issue was just fantastic. ‘Buying cameras - brick
and mortar or online?’ was very useful. Also ‘Learning-Styling in fashion photography’
was informative.
Photography is like a computer without which no business /profession can flourish
well! Everyone needs good photographs of his/her daily activities for personal use—
they capture memories, especially events like weddings, trips, birthdays, parties, etc.
Relevant photographs on personal or professional websites enhance their utility. SP is
for all the people!
Mahesh Kapasi

An Acute Mobocam
LG G2’s 13 MP camera took our breath away when we came to know it performs like
a champion in Noise Control, as told in the May 2014 issue. On the one hand, the
resolution and IPS panel specialize the phone, whereas on the other hand, its sleekness
and size grab one’s attention quickly in the Android market. Audio zooming, Q remote,
Guest mode and Eco mode are feathers in its cap. Though this is a high-end model, it is
still affordable. The G2 is without doubt, the best of LG in a Smartphone.
Gaurav Mishra

WIN

S
A UNIROS
ARGER
1H LCD CH
.1,095/Rs
H
RT
WO
H FOR THE
EVERY MONT MONTH
THE
LETTER OF

LETTER OF THE MONTH

An Alternative Solution
The Q&A section in the May 2014 issue talks about the usefulness of a bean bag where a tripod is
impractical, like when one is travelling. I find that a U-shaped neck support that comes filled with
some sandy material (not the inflatable variety) serves both purposes well.
Phiroze B. Javeri

8

Smart Photography June 2014

www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
International

SNIPPETS
Canon Pixma
Printer emerged as
number one total
inkjet printer brand
for 2013 on unit sales
according to the
International Data
Corporation (IDC).
Canon dominated
the inkjet printer
industry in 2013
with a notable 40.9%
market-share, well
ahead of HewlettPackard (37.62%)
and Epson (24.56%).
Taiwanese lens
kit maker Kinko
Optical will invest
about US$16.5
million to expand its
monthly production
capacity for plastic
lens pieces from the
current 4-5 million
to 10 million units.
Taiwan’s ODM
camera makers
shipped just under
2.4 million digital
cameras in the
first quarter of
2014, down by
30.4% quarter-onquarter and down
58.6% year-onyear, according to
Digitimes Research.
Ability Enterprise led
as usual, accounting
for 71.7% of the
shipments, Altek for
25.3% Asia Optical
(AO) for 1.7% and
Foxconn for 1.3%.
Nikon was the largest
client, followed by
Fujifilm.

10

Smart Photography June 2014

Leica Japan to launch Leica
T plus 2 lenses
smooth surfaces and formal
minimalism. The camera utilizes
a newly developed Leica T
mount in range finder style.

L

eica Camera Japan Co.
will launch a new ‘Leica
T’ camera combining
pure design and handcrafted
excellence with an entirely new
operating system. The mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
has a 16 MP APS-C sensor and

is primarily operated through its
3.7-inch touchscreen interface.
It also offers Wi-Fi connectivity
and can be controlled with an
iPad or iPhone. The camera
body is manufactured from a
single block of aluminium to
present a look with clean lines,

The company also announced
two new lenses in T-mount—the
Summicron T 23mm
(equivalent to 35mm in 35mm
format) f/2 ASPH and the
Vario-Elmar T 18-56mm
(equivalent to 27-84mm)
f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens. Leica M
lenses can be used with the
new camera, with an optional
M lens adapter for Leica T. The
new products are available in
Japan from May 26 at suggested
list prices of 237,600 Yen for
the body, 243,000 Yen for the
Summicron 23mm and 210,600
Yen for Vario Elmar 18-56mm
including taxes.

Tamron’s Ultra-Telephoto
Zoom lens wins TIPA Award

O

n April 24, 2014,
Tamron has
announced the
release of the SP 150-600mm
f/5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model
A011), a 4x ultra-telephoto
zoom lens for Nikon mount.
This lens has been awarded
the TIPA (Technical Image
Press Association ) Award
for Best Expert D-SLR Lens
in 2014. The Nikon mount
model will be first launched
in the Japanese market, with
overseas launches to follow
in mid-May. The launch date
of the Sony mount model will
be announced at a later date.
Mounted on APS-C DSLR
cameras, it has an equivalent
focal length range of 233mm

to 930mm. The lens has 20
elements in 13 groups, with
three LD (Low Dispersion)
glass elements for enhanced
optical correction, enabling
the lens to compensate for
on-axis aberrations at the
telephoto end. The lens also
adopts eBAND (Extended
Bandwidth and AngularDependency) Coating and
conventional BBAR(Broad-

Band Anti-Reflection)
Coating to reduce ghosting
and flare. It has a 9 blade
circular diaphragm for bokeh
effect and offers Vibration
Compensation. The lens
also features a redesigned
tripod mount and comes with
SILKYPIX Developer Studio,
a RAW image development
processing software for
Tamron’s SP lenses.
www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
International

Fujifilm launches new
tele-converter lens
Fujifilm announced the launch of TCL-X100,
a tele-converter lens designed specifically for
the Fujifilm X100 and X100S cameras. The lens
can multiply the
fixed focal length
by about 1.4x,
converting it from
23mm (35mm in
35mm format)
to a 33mm fixed
focal length
(50mm in 35mm
format). This is
Fujifilm’s second
conversion
lens for the
X100 and X100S cameras, after the WCL-X100
wide-conversion lens. The TCL-X100 retains
the original optical characteristics even at an
aperture setting of f/2. The lens will be sold at a
price of about 30,000 Yen excluding tax.

Canon announces two
wide-angle lenses

C

anon announced two new
wide-angle lenses, the EF
16-35mm f/4L IS USM and
the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS
STM.
The EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
lens is the first L-series wideangle zoom lens equipped with
image stabilization and better
performance in low light. It is fully
compatible with all EOS D-SLR
cameras including full-frame
models like the EOS 5D Mark III
and EOS 6D. The lens offers an
Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) for
shake reduction. The minimum
focusing distance is 0.28m and the
maximum magnification is 0.23x
at the telephoto end. The lens

incorporates three GMo (GlassMolded) aspheric lens elements,
including a large-diameter aspheric
lens, which help improve image
quality by correcting aberrations.
Two UD lens elements help
reduce chromatic aberration and
enhanced fluorine lens coatings
repel dust particles and minimize
ghosting.
The EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6
IS STM wide-angle lens is an
affordable option for entry-level
users. It is ideal for Canon EOS
Movie Servo AF (available on EOS
70D, EOS Rebel T5i and EOS Rebel
SL1 cameras). The lens has one UD
lens element and enhanced multilayer lens coatings.

Transcend Releases Upgrade Kits for MacBook computers
Transcend announced the
launch of its JetDrive SSD
Upgrade Kits aimed at
MacBook computers. The
upgrade kits consist of four
SSD models, each fully
tested for compatibility and
reliability, and backed by
Transcend’s five-year limited
warranty. The JetDrive
Upgrade Kits are ideal for
professional photographers,
videographers, and graphic
artists looking to enhance the

12

Smart Photography June 2014

performance and capacity of
their MacBook system, and
even includes an easy-to-use
drive enclosure for converting
the original SSD or HDD
into a new USB 3.0 portable
storage device. It employs the
SATA III 6Gb/s interface to
achieve fast transfer speeds of
up to 560MB/s.
The upgrade enables
faster system boot-up and
application launch times, with

better responsiveness
and stability. The SSDs
are available in capacities
of up to 960GB. It also
comes with a USB
3.0 external storage
device made of durable
aluminium. The JetDrive
Toolbox uses S.M.A.R.T.
technology to analyze
the health status of the
Transcend JetDrive SSD and
includes a convenient tool for
enabling TRIM, which helps

to maintain optimum write
speeds and prevent long-term
SSD wear.

www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
International

Michiel Munneke steps down as
Director of World Press Photo

W

orld Press Photo
Supervisory
Board Chairman
Pieter Broertjes and Michiel
Munneke announced today
that Munneke will leave his
position as managing director
per 1 November 2014.
Munneke started his career
at World Press Photo in 1994
as an intern and was hired
one year later as a project
manager in the exhibitions
department. In 1997, he
became head of the contest
and education departments,
where he managed the
Joop Swart Masterclass and
laid the groundwork for
the organization’s current
educational programs by

initiating several workshops
for local journalists in
Africa, Asia and Latin
America. He was then
appointed Deputy Managing
Director in 1999 and
Managing Director in 2001.
The supervisory board has
great respect for the way
Munneke developed the
organization into a strong
international brand that
enjoys high esteems with both
the photographic community
as well as the public. Broertjes
said, “Under Munneke’s
leadership, the organization
has grown: revenue and
staff has doubled, the yearly
photo contest has been

Toshiba
introduces
UHS-II based
Micro SD Card
Toshiba Corp. announced that it
has developed a new micro SD card
based on the UHS-II standard, the
industry’s first, and will begin sample
shipments to hardware suppliers. The
company will
be launching
a 64GB and a
32GB model.
The 64GB
model has a
very fast reading speed of 145 MB
per second and writing speed of 130
MBps maximum.
The 32GB model offers 260 MBps
and 240 MBps reading and
writing speeds respectively. The
company claims that the speeds are
about 8 times faster than currently
available models.

14

Smart Photography June 2014

reformed, a multimedia
contest has been added, and
the educational programs are
now an essential part of the
yearly schedule. Munneke
is leaving behind a healthy
organization that is ready
for the future.” Munneke
said, “I have spent my whole
working life dedicated to this
wonderful foundation and the
last 12 years as its Director.
I feel honoured to have led
this great Dutch initiative for
more than a decade. Over the
past year, we have developed
a new strategy and now it’s
time for me to pass the torch
and make my next step.”
World Press Photo receives

support from the Dutch
Postcode Lottery and is
sponsored worldwide by
Canon.

Sony sells 7 million PlayStation 4
Sony Computer
Entertainment Co.
announced that sales of the
PlayStation 4 surpassed the
7 million unit line globally
as of April 6 since its debut
in November 2013. The
company sold the gaming
console in 72 countries and
regions. The sales pace was
faster than the previous
model, the PlayStation
3 which came up to 3.55
million units at the end of
March 2007 since its debut
in November 2006. Sony
also announced it sold 20.5
million copies of gaming
titles in retail stores and
through digital downloads
on PlayStation Store as of
April 13, citing favourable
introduction of software
titles as one of the reasons
of success. The company
expects another 120 titles

to be released during this
year. The integrated social
capabilities of PS4 continue
to be widely popular with
gamers. More than 135
million shares have been
captured via the ‘Share’
button on the wireless

controller. Broadcasting
via video streaming
platforms Twitch and
Ustream continues to
grow with more than
4.9 million gameplay
broadcasts and nearly 90
million separate sessions.

www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
International

Schneider introduces 5
lenses for Smartphones
Schneider Optics Inc., a professional lens manufacturer,
announced five accessory lenses for Smartphones and
Tablets. The line-up includes wide-angle, super wideangle, fish-eye, macro and 2x telephoto lenses which will
enhance the photography experience for Smartphone
users. The lenses are available on the company’s online
store (www.iprolens.com) at prices ranging from $39 to
$99. The company claims that each lens is engineered
with precision to ensure the best quality images. The
housings are precision machined from aluminium alloy
and anodized for durability. The elements are ground
and polished from high grade optical glass. They
are painted on the edge and have a multi-layer antireflection coat. Schneider has used the bayonet mounting
system to make changing of lenses quick and easy.

Samsung introduces Galaxy K
Zoom Smartphone
Samsung Electronics announced the new cameraspecialised Smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom.
The Smartphone is equipped with a 20.07 MP BSI CMOS
image sensor with an optical image stabilizer to reduce
blur and a 24-240mm (in 35mm format) f/3.1-6.3 10x
optical zoom lens. It also offers a Xenon flash. The phone
has a 4.8-inch OLED display and runs on Android 4.4
operating system.

Sony announces new
Projectors for Home
Theatre Market

S

ony Corp. announced two
new full HD projectors
for the home theatre
market, the VPL-HW55ES
and HW35ES, featuring high
quality images utilizing a
reflection type liquid-crystal
device, the Silicon X-tal
Reflection Display, which
is used with digital cinema
projectors for commercial

cinema theatres. The VPLHW55ES features dynamic
contrast ratio of max 120000:1,
while the HW35ES is a more
affordable model which
carries the basic features of
the HW55ES except for the
dynamic mode. The HW55ES
and HW35ES will be priced at
345,000 Yen and 245,000 Yen
respectively, excluding taxes.

Nikon announces telephoto lens
and teleconverter
Nikon Inc. announced the
new AF-S Nikkor 400mm
f/2.8E FL ED VR lens and
AF-S Teleconverter TC14E III, engineered to give
photographers optical
excellence and exceptional
telephoto capabilities. Both
are expected to be available
from August 2014.
The 400mm f/2.8 lens is light
and durable, meant to capture
sports, action and wildlife.
The super-telephoto lens
offers improved autofocus,
exposure accuracy and

16

Smart Photography June 2014

speed. The lens
contains two
fluorite elements,
two Extra-Low
Dispersion (ED)
glass elements
and Nano Crystal
Coat, which
reduce chromatic
aberration and
flare. The internal
construction of the lens
comprises 16 elements in
12 groups, and features an
electromagnetic diaphragm.
The lens utilises Vibration
Reduction technology. It

weighs 816 g.
The new TC-14 E III
Teleconverter is suited for
many Nikkor telephoto
lenses, offering users a
focal length boost while
maintaining clarity and
sharpness. It comprises of
seven elements within four
groups. The outer elements
have a fluorine coating for
enhanced resistance to dirt
and water droplets. For added
durability, the lens barrel has
been designed for increased
moisture and dust resistance.
www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
Business

Canon expects
50% increase in
operating profit
for Jan-March
Canon Inc. is expecting a 50% gain in
operating profit to about 80 billion Yen
for its first quarter ending in March
2014. Revenue for the period posted
a 7% gain to 870 billion Yen. The
continued depreciation in the Yen’s
value also led to a gain of around 17
billion Yen. In the Imaging division,
sales of cameras declined by 2% for
interchangeable-lens cameras and by
30% for compact cameras, in unit terms.
The company said sales of the EOS 70D
were high, and compact models with
greater zooming and image quality also
performed well.

Chugai Photo
and C R Kennedy
acquire Ilford
Chugai Photo Chemical Co. Ltd. Of
Japan and C.R. Kennedy and Company
Pvt. Ltd. Of Australia have been
successful in their bid for the Ilford
Trade Marks and Associated Assets. A
new company, Ilford Imaging Europe
GmbH has been established as a joint
venture and will be responsible for
all product development, production,
logistics, sales and marketing activities.
Clement Kennedy and Arnoud
Mekenkamp have been appointed as
joint Managing Directors.

18

Smart Photography June 2014

Fujifilm’s Net Profit rises
by 49% for fiscal 2013-14
ujifilm Holdings announced that
their net profit for fiscal 2013-14
showed a 49.3% year-on-year gain.
It rose to 81 billion Yen (US $810M) on
sales of 2.44 trillion Yen, up by 10.2%.
Profits in operation rose by 23.4% to
140.8 billion Yen.

F

Smartphones’ widespread usage and
compact digicams at affordable prices.
In the optical devices segment, sales of
camera modules for
Smartphones increased by a great extent
and sales of lenses for TV cameras also
went up.

Sales in the Imaging Solution unit
increased by 8% to 373.6 billion Yen
and operational profit turned black to
3.6 billion Yen from the previous loss
of 800 million Yen. The favourable
performance was due to the new instant
camera released in 2013 and instant
film, plus increased photo-finishing
services on the ‘Year Album’ photobook.
Digital camera sales plunged by
46.5% to 4.6 million units, affected by

The Document Solution unit’s sales
rose by 11.9% to 1.132 trillion Yen and
operational profits increased by 26.5%
to 96 billion Yen due to the sales of
multi-functional colour photocopiers
and digital printers for the professional
printing industry. In the outlook for
fiscal 2014-15, the company expects
sales of 2.46 trillion Yen, an operational
profit of 160 billion Yen and net profit
of 85 billion Yen.

Sony to post 18% bigger loss for
Fiscal 2013
Sony Corp. announced on May 2 that
it now expects to post a group net loss
of 130 billion Yen for the year ending
on March 31, 2014, 18% greater than it
had estimated in February. Including
the estimate for last fiscal year, Sony
has logged cumulative net losses of 940
billion Yen since fiscal 2008, the year of
the global financial crisis.
The company, which plans to exit
the PC business and take other
streamlining steps, attributed the loss
to additional restructuring costs in the
PC business and impairment losses

related to disc production. This marks
the third time that Sony has cut its
guidance for fiscal 2013, underscoring
its murky business recovery.
Sony will book another 30 billion Yen
in PC related restructuring expenses.
The company will aslo log charges of
25 billion Yen in the disc
manufacturing business. The additional
restructuring costs for fiscal 2013 will
decrease this fiscal year’s expenses. But
prospects are unclear for the TV and
Smartphone businesses, which are up
against intense competition.

www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
Business

Nikon posts 10% rise in net profit

O

n May 13, Nikon
Corp. announced that
net profit rose by 10%
year-on-year to 46.8 billion
Yen and profit in operation
increased by 23% to 62.9
billion Yen on total sales of
980.5 billion Yen, which were
down by 3%.
Sales of the Imaging business
section fell by 8.8% to 685.4
billion Yen as total demand
was reduced by the popularity
of Smartphones and Tablets.

Sales of interchangeable
lens-system cameras dropped
by 18% to 5.75 million units
while all-in-one compact
models plunged by 35% to
11.6 million units. However,
profitable D-SLRs performed
well. Centering on newly
introduced models and
cost-cutting measures of
advertising expenses for
mirrorless models, the
division’s operating profit
improved by 5.8% to 64.2
billion Yen. The Precision

business unit’s sales rose
by 14.8% to 205.4 billion
Yen and operating profit
by 53.4% to 20.08 billion
Yen. Steppers for flat-panel
display production systems
performed well due to to
growth in demand for small
to medium size LCD panels
for Smartphones and Tablets.
Sales of steppers for
semiconductor chip-making
machines also increased.
The company foresees the

Canon’s camera shipments
fall despite profit growth
Canon’s profit from its mainstay
camera business surged during
the first three months of 2014,
but declining sales volumes
created uncertainty over future
demand. Its overall net profit
grew 16% year-on-year to
47.6 billion Yen (US $476
million) for the January-March
quarter. Total sales rose by
6.3%to 868.3 billion Yen and
operating profit surged by 50.9%
to 82.6 billion Yen. Sales in the
Imaging Division fell by 1.8% to
292.8 billion Yen but operating
profit rose by 48% to 42 billion
Yen because of the sales of
D-SLR cameras and high-end
compact models. Production
cost cuts through personnel
reductions and other means

decline in demand for digital
cameras to continue, but to a
lesser degree.
It estimates sales of
interchangeable lens-system
cameras will fall by 6% and
compact models by 19% for
the fiscal year 2014-15. Total
group sales are estimated to
fall by 4.1% to 940 billion Yen.
Operating profit is likely to
remain level at 63 billion Yen
and net profit would go down
by 3.9% to 45 billion Yen.

Olympus’ Profitability
Improves for Fiscal 2013

also contributed. In terms of
volume, though, camera sales
shrank by 22% to 3.16 million
units. “Cameras appear to be
hitting the bottom, but this start
is weaker than our expectations,”
said Executive Vice President
Toshizo Tanaka at a news
conference.
Compact cameras accounted
for 1.86 million units, down
by 30%. SLR and mirrorless
models sales came to 1.3
milliopn, down by 7% year-onyear. The latter got a demand
boost in Japan before the
consumption tax hike starting
on April 1, but their worldwide
sales volume shrank due to
sluggish demand abroad.

Olympus Corp
announced the operating
profit for the fiscal year
ending on March 31, 2014
to be 73.4 billion Yen,
which doubled from the
previous year. The net
profit rose by 69.9% to
13.6 billion Yen on sales
of 713.2 billion Yen, down
by 4.1%. The company
had anticipated some 4
billion Yen net loss but it
secured profit, mostly due
to recovery in the global
economy.
The imaging division
sales fell by 10.7% to
96.1 billion Yen with a
continued operational loss

of 9.1 billion Yen. Sales
of interchangeable lenssystem cameras increased
from the previous year
but those of compact
cameras dropped.
The mainstay medical
business segment
sales rose by 24.7% to
492.2 billion Yen with
operational profit at 112.7
billion Yen, up by 29.5%.
The Life and ndustry
business sales gained
15.2% to 98.5 billion Yen
with operational profit
of 4.9 billion Yen. Other
business segment’s sales
fell by 36.8% to 26.3
billion Yen.

Fujifilm to cut Digital Camera Unit sales target
Fujifilm has reportedly
slashed the target numbers
of digital camera sales for
fiscal 2014-15 to 56.5% from
the previous fiscal year to 2
million units. The demand
for lower priced models
shrank drastically, hence the

20

Smart Photography June 2014

company will shift emphasis
to higher priced models. The
company sold 4.6 million
units during fiscal 2013-14,
a 46.5% slide. The company
has halved the number of
lower priced models. Fujifilm
will further trim the number

of affordable models for the
current fiscal year to secure
profitability.
Industry watchers foresee the
downtrend of digital cameras
to continue well into the
current fiscal year. Compact

camera sales will shrink by
20-30% and interchangeable
lens system camera sales
will decline slightly. Canon
reportedly anticipates a 10%
drop over the previous year to
18.1 million units for its 2014
shipments.
www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
National

International Digital Photography
Salon in Chennai

Chief guest Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja (center) discussing a photo with
Sanjay Shridhar, President, PSM, while B. Ramana Kumar looks on.

T

he Photographic
Society of Madras
(PSM), India’s oldest
photography club, conducted
its first International Digital
Photography Salon in Chennai
from April 28th to May
4th, 2014. The competition
attracted over 1,600 entries,
and was dominated by
international competitors.
The Salon, recognized by
The Photographic Society of
America, had the following
categories: Open, Photo
Travel, Nature and Macro.
There was also an exclusive
Member category for PSM
Members.
According to Sanjay
Sridhar, President, PSM,
“This International Salon
with recognition from The
Photographic Society of
America, has truly imprinted
PSM footprints on the global
stage. This salon also gave an
international platform for our
members, who are world class
photographers themselves,
to compete from home turf.
While this year we received
entries from 21 countries, we
are confident of attracting
entries from even more
countries the next year”.
Four hundred sixty six
award-winning entries
were on display at The Lalit
Kala Akademi in Chennai.
Concurrently conducted were
seminars and workshops
by some of India’s top
photography experts ,
including Ritwik, Parthiban
and B.Ramana Kumar from
PSM. The salon entries were
judged by an eminent panel
of judges: T.N.A. Perumal
-FRPS, MFIAP, Hon. FIIP,
Hon. FPSG; H. Satish - ARPS,

22

Smart Photography June 2014

MFIAP,
FICS, Hon.
YPS, Hon.
ECPA and K.
Jayaram
- ARPS,
EFIAP.
Describing
the entries
at the
PSM Salon
“among the
best”, Satish
commented:
‘Both the
Indian and
foreign
entries
were very
good, unlike
in most
contests
where I see more or less
repeated entries”.
Inauguration
Launching Chennai’s
Photo Week was famous
photographer and world
renowned musician, whose
name itself is music to the
ears of millions: Isaignani
Ilaiyaraaja. His message
was simple to absorb, apt
for the evening and entirely
convincing: “Sound and
shape are the essence of the
universe. Musicians and
photographers are therefore
comrades in their aesthetic
pursuit”.
Sanjay Sridhar, President
of PSM and Chairperson
of the salon committee,
explained the rationale for
the International Salon as
the urge of PSM, with its rich
legacy, to stamp its imprint in
the international photography
domain.
T. Parthiban, committee
member, presented a

Ponnadai to the Chief Guest.
S. Prabakaran, committee
member, garlanded the chief
guest.
Isaignani honoured PSM
by accepting an honorary
life membership of PSM,
jointly presented by Sanjay
Sridhar, President and Sunder
Guruswami, Vice President.
S. Vivekanand, Director,
Salon & Exhibitions and Mr
B Ramana Kumar, Salon
Treasurer spoke.
The chief guest released the
salon catalogue, the much
awaited collectors’ item
with 156 pages of stunning
photography from the far
corners of the world.
Valedictory
The First International Digital
Photography Salon organized
by The Photographic Society
of Madras (PSM) concluded
on a successful note at a
valedictory function held
at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
H.E Stuart B Campbell,
Acting Consul-General,

Consulate of Australia in
Chennai, was the chief
guest. In his address Stuart
Campbell complimented
the Photographic Society
of Madras for putting up
such a magnificent show.
He said that the quality of
photographs displayed was
among the best he has seen
and was happy to be here.
Sanjay Sridhar, President,
PSM said that, encouraged
by the success of the Salon,
PSM is determined to make
it an annual event. During
the function , K O Isaac, Past
President, PSM who played
a key role in sustaining the
organization during the last
decade was conferred with a
Lifetime Achievement Award.
PSM has signed an MoU with
iVolunteer and launched
‘Click-for-a-cause’ that
will enable PSM’s member
photographers to offer pro
bono photographic services to
iVolunteer’s member NGOs.
www.smartphotography.in

NEWS
National

SanDisk introduces 128GB micro
SDXC memory card

S

anDisk Corporation
is releasing the new
128GB SanDisk Ultra
micro SDXC UHS-I memory
card, the world’s largest
capacity micro SD card in
India. Designed for Android
Smartphones and Tablets,
the card provides consumers
the highest storage capacity
available in a removable form
factor. It is ideal for shooting
full HD video and taking
high quality pictures.
“SanDisk’s high-performance
128GB SanDisk Ultra micro
SDXC memory card will
reshape the way users interact
with their devices,” said
Stuart Robinson, director,
Handset Component
Technologies, Strategy
Analytics. “Until now,
consumers had to spread
out their content between
multiple products because

the memory on those devices
was not able to hold enough
data in one place. This 128GB
micro SD card is going to
be popular as the preferred
removable storage option,
giving users fast, secure
and reliable access to their
personal data archives.”
“The new SanDisk Ultra
micro SDXC card again
demonstrates how SanDisk
continues to expand the
possibilities of storage so
that consumers can benefit
from our latest technology
advancements,” said Rajesh
Gupta, Country Manager
India, SanDisk Corporation.
“With 128GB of removable
storage, consumers will enjoy
the freedom to capture and
save whatever they want
on a Smartphone or Tablet,
without worrying about
running out of storage space.”

A new version of the
SanDisk Memory Zone app
(available on the Google
Play Store in beta) lets users
view, access, and backup all
of their files from the phone
memory. As a part of the
Memory Zone app, SanDisk
is releasing OptiMem, a new
feature that allows Android
users to enhance their
phone’s internal memory by
automatically transferring
some of their old photos and
videos to their micro SD card.
OptiMem will continuously
monitor the user’s mobile
device memory levels, and
inform them whenever the
internal memory falls below a
pre-defined threshold. “The
technology used to design
the 128GB Ultra micro SDXC
card is well in line with
what mobile users expect,
and demonstrates SanDisk’s
commitment to mobility,”

said Christopher Chute,
research director, Worldwide
Digital Imaging, IDC. “Being
able to fit this much capacity
into a micro SD card smaller
than a fingernail is a game
changer, and expands the
possibilities of what people
can do with their mobile
devices. The card frees users
from constant concerns
around storage limitations.”
The SanDisk Ultra micro
SDXC UHS-I memory card
is available from May 2014
in 128GB capacity at around
Rs.9,999.

Fotogears launches Samyang
lenses in India

Sony launches portable
Smartphone Charger

Fotogears International Ltd, has
recently launched 7.5mm, 10mm
and 12mm Mirrorless Cinematic
Samyang Lenses in India.

Building on the
popularity of the
previous 2,800mAh
model, the new Sony
CP-V3A USB Portable
Charger offers a larger
battery capacity. The
CP-V3A comes in 6
colours and has an
increased capacity of
3,000mAh that can fully
charge a Smartphone.
Containing a Sonymade Lithium ion
battery, the new
charger utilises Sony’s
Hybrid-Gel Technology,
allowing it to retain
more than 90 per cent

The offer includes Samyang
10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS is
an optical lens featured with
nano crystal coating system. It
provides lower reflection, better
light transmission, reduce internal
reflections. It is ideal for indoor,
architecture and landscape
photography. It offers a rectilinear
image mapping feature. The
second lens is Samyang 12 mm
f/2.0 NCS CS wide angle lens for
APS-C mirrorless cameras. It is
ideal for landscape, interior and

24

Smart Photography June 2014

architecture shooting. Other lenses
on offer include Samyang 7.5mm
T3.8 Fish-eye Cine. This lens has a
minimum focusing distance of 0.09
metres. Lenses in 8mm, 14mm,
16mm, 24mm, 35mm and 85mm
for photo and video shooting are
also available.

of its capacity at 1,000
charges. With an output
of 1.5A for a speedy
boost, the CP-V3A
USB Portable Charger
is ready-to-use straight
out of its packaging.
It comes with a USB
charger. The charger
from Sony will be
available in India from
May 2014 onwards.
www.smartphotography.in

For the Good Life

For details contact:
[email protected]
or call +91 22 43525220

www.smartphotography.in

June 2014 Smart Photography

25

NEWS
National

Sony launches USM-SA1 USB drive

S

ony Electronics has developed the
new USM-SA1 USB drive which
possesses dual micro USB and USB
ports to offer consumers more options
to backup, share and store their favorite
photos, videos and music. This device is
a convenient way to transfer and share
files easily between devices, and is
useful for backing up the data on your
mobile device to a desktop, or when
files such as images and video clips need
to be shared quickly amongst several
individuals, without Wi-Fi connection
or a USB cable.

different devices with ease. It is available
in capacities of 8GB, 16GB
and 32GB for Rs.746, Rs.1,399 and
Rs.2,633 respectively.

The the USM-SA1 USB is compatible
with PCs and Android Smartphones
and Tablets. It can also function as a
storage device that can be easily plugged
in and detached.

on to the USB drive’s body for easier
unplugging from the PC.

The drive has a durable metal body and
a strap hole. The USM-SA1 comes with
a smart protective cap that protects the
micro USB port from damage and locks

Users can also download the dedicated
File Manager App for free on Google
Play onto their Smartphones and Tablets,
to help manage the content across their

26

Smart Photography June 2014

www.smartphotography.in

CLICK!
Photo Contest

India Weaved in
Frames

T

India Weaved in
Frames is a photo
contest organised by
Immagine NPO (Non
Profit Organisation)
that centres around
Indian states. This year,
the theme is Assam and
Manipur.

he Embassy of Japan and
the Japan Foundation in
New Delhi are organising
the CLICK! Japan Photo Contest
this year in June.
The contest is open to Indian
residents, who have stayed in
Japan for any duration, between
April 2013 and June 2014.
The pictures must be original
works of the contestant taken
in Japan. The contest is meant
for aspiring professionals to
get their work noticed at an
international level. The winners
will be given awards and their
photos will appear in the
publication of the Embassy of
Japan in India and the Japan
Foundation.

www.smartphotography.in

Selected photos will also be
displayed in a photo exhibition
at the Japan Foundation, New
Delhi, Gallery from August 1 to
August 30, 2014. The submission
of entries will begin from June 1,
2014 , and the deadline is June
30, 2014.
The contest allows only one
entry per person but if it is
a set, up to three entries are
allowed. Each image should be
more than 2MB and less than
5MB in size. The winners and
photos for the exhibition will be
chosen by a committee based on
expressivenessh of the picture
and on originality. Applicants
can send their entries to
[email protected] Log
on towww.jfindia.org.in.

Photographers of any
nationality, age and
skill level can join.
Participants can submit
only one photograph.
Only minor editing such
as colour, saturation,
contrast, and cropping
is permitted. The Assam
contest will be judged
by Dr. Caesar Sengupta
and the Manipur contest

by Mr. Phanjoubam
Santosh. The Best
Photographer of the
Series will be awarded
with a cash prize of
Rs. 10000 (The IWIF
Award). The top
three images selected
by the judges will be
featured in Immagine
exhibitions.
The winner will
be awarded with a
certificate of appreciation
by Immagine NPO. The
winners will receive
prizes sponsored by
Taj Pearl and Art online
shop. To know more
and participate, log on to
www.immagine.co.in/iwif

June 2014 Smart Photography

27

NEWS
National

Canon India
launches Canon
Business Services
Canon India has launched Canon
Business Services (CBS) to focus
on becoming a provider of digital
document management service and
print room services. CBS will help
companies adopt technologies that
can improve operational performance,
gain a competition advantage and
meet growing service demands
without compromising on the existing
infrastructure, according to Alok
Bharadwaj, Executive Vice President of
Canon India.

Photographer
Gopal Bodhe
passes away
On May 17, acclaimed aerial
photographer Gopal Bodhe passed
away following a heart attack while on
a shooting assignment at Jim Corbett
National Park in Uttarakhand. He
was 66 years old and is survived by
his wife and son. The Mumbai based
photographer specialised in aerial and
infrared photography. He captured the
history, ecology and architecture of India
and used his pictures for photographic
documentation and education.

Microsoft launches
Lumia 630 in India

O

n May 12, 2014,
Microsoft Devices
launched the Lumia
630 with the latest Windows
Phone 8.1 system. This is the
first ever dual SIM Lumia
Smartphone, with a quadcore processing engine and
a ClearBlack 4.5-inch LCD
screen. Speaking at the launch,
P. Balaji, Managing Director,
Nokia India (a subsidiary of
Microsoft Mobiles) said, “with
our Lumia range, we have
been successful at showcasing
innovation across our flagship
devices and then scaling it to
more affordable price points.
Today, wth the Lumia 630, we
are introducing people to the
best of Lumia and the best of
Microsoft, combined with our
Smart Dual SIM innovation.
We believe the Lumia 630 Dual SIM
is undoubtedly the best Smartphone
in its price range. It builds on the
success of Lumia 520 and 525 and
will consolidate our position in the
fast-growing affordable Smartphone
segment further.”
The phone offers two separate call
and messaging tiles in different
colours to keep the calls, contacts,
messages and calendars of each SIM
separate. It is also possible to link
both phone/message tiles into one.
Integrated features include one swipe

notifications from Action Centre,
the new Microsoft Enterprise feature
pack, Microsoft Office, OneDrive,
HERE Maps and Drive+. It has
better entertainment options with
Xbox games, the latest version of
MixRadio and Storyteller. The phone
also offers signature Lumia features
such as a 5MP Autofocus camera and
advanced imaging applications like
Nokia Camera and Cinemagraph. It
is available in stores starting May 14,
2014 at a best buy price of Rs.11,500.
A single SIM variant will be available
at a price of Rs.10,500.

Nikon India announces
16 Coolpix cameras
Nikon India announced the
launch of 16 new cameras in
its Coolpix Series 2014. The
cameras are designed for a
wide range of users, from
professional photographers to
hobbyists. Nikon has added
multiple features such as HD

28

Smart Photography June 2014

recording, Wi-Fi connectivity,
GPS and extended zoom,
amongst others.
These are all-weather light
cameras which offer a
stylish appearance and good
performance.
www.smartphotography.in

9

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PICTURE OF THE MONTH
We are sure that all of you have a few pictures that you think are prize worthy. It happens very often that you don’t know where to send the image that could put a
feather in your cap. If you have such images (we’re sure you have many!), send us ONE such horizontal image. If it qualifies, we shall publish it as a double-spread.
a. You have to guarantee that the picture was shot by you
b. If there are people in the picture who can be identified, we’ll need a model release
c. The picture should not have been printed elsewhere (magazine newspaper, or offered to any publication)
d. Mark the entry as “Picture of the Month” and rename the file using your name
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34

Smart Photography June 2014

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End of the Day
Camera: Canon EOS 600D
Aperture : f/10.0;
Shutter speed: 1/1250sec.;
ISO: 1600

As told to Tanika Godbole

I

’m a musician
and I run a music
instruments store
called ‘Full Volume’
in Hyderabad Since
childhood, I love
travelling to different
places. I happened
to visit Khana Tiger
reserve in 2006 and
fell in love with the
Anjani Kumar,
Hyderabad
majestic creature and
the jungle. I visited
several reserves after
that, but I never thought of documenting
the sights. I simply wanted to enjoy the
experience with my eyes. In May 2013, I
carried a Nikon point-and-shoot camera
on my trip, to enhance the experience. I
fell in love with the art of photography
and by July 2013, I had already upgraded
to a D-SLR. I now use a Canon 7D and
600D with Sigma 50-500 DG OS HSM. I
make use of Canon DPP and Photoshop
CS6 for post-processing the images.
Connecting with wildlife and nature is the
most important thing for me. Through my
pictures, I try to capture God’s creations
and convey the true beauty of the place at
that moment.
As a nature lover and wildlife
photographer, preserving the natural
environment is a priority. It is important
that the photographer doesn’t harm the
animals or forest and follows general
ethics on his shoots. The most satisfying
feeling for me as a photographer is when
someone asks me, “Where did you click
that image? I would love to go there.”
Bringing people closer to nature makes
me very happy.
ˆ

www.smartphotography.in

June 2014 Smart Photography

35

Other side Camera: Canon EOS 7D; Aperture : f/7.1; Shutter speed: 1/1250sec.; ISO: 250

Slam Dunk Camera: Canon EOS 7D; Aperture : f/7.1;
Shutter speed: 1/1000sec.; ISO: 400

Misunderstood Camera: Canon EOS 7D; Aperture : f/7.1; Shutter speed: 1/500sec.; ISO: 800

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Smart Photography June 2014

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Gotcha Camera: Canon EOS 600D; Aperture : f/7.1; Shutter speed: 1/50sec.; ISO: 1600

Higher and Higher Camera: Canon EOS 600D; Aperture : f/7.1; Shutter speed: 1/2000sec.; ISO: 400

www.smartphotography.in

June 2014 Smart Photography

37

SHOWCASE

PICTURESQUE
JOURNEY

Atul Choubey is a travel, art
and commercial photographer
based in Mumbai. He has won
many awards in competitions
and exhibitions around
the world for his pictorial
photography. He won the
Special Mention Award
from Photo Division of the
Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting for the 2nd
National Photo Awards 2012. His work can be
found on www.atulchoubey.com

As told to Tanika Godbole

I

am a Mumbai based freelance
commercial photographer with
over 20 years experience in
different genres of photography
like pictorial, travel, industrial,
interiors, product, fashion and so
on. After working for a few years in
the advertising industry, I took up
commercial photography.
I am from Jabalpur (Madhya

Pradesh) which has lush sal and
bamboo forests, grassy meadows and
ravines of Kanha and Bandhavgarh
wild life sanctuaries. Village life has
always inspired me for my pictorial
photography. My love of photography
stems from an early childhood
interest in art. I first picked up a
professional camera at the age of
eighteen during my graduation in
Lake in Leh

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Smart Photography June 2014

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Lone Photographer

applied arts, where photography was
one of my subjects. My first camera
was a Pentax K1000. Soon, I started
participating in many national and
international competitions.
Whenever I go for shoots I prepare
my camera and equipment in
advance and always carry my tripod
whether I am going for pictorial,
landscape or commercial shoots. I
try to go the same places which
I found suitable for photography
so that I am already aware about
what I have to shoot, the direction
of the sunlight, background and
foreground. For new explorations I
do my studying and plan the spot.
I visualize the pictures to be taken
from that outing or assignment. I
spend a great deal of time planning
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Camel
Ride
June 2014 Smart Photography

41

SHOWCASE

Morning Walk

the final image before pressing the
shutter release.
I believe photo-making is more
important than photo-taking. In
the age of digital technology postprocessing is very important. I think
every photographer should learn to
edit and bring his vision in the photo
by himself.
Pictures are moments frozen in
time. Moreover it is the individual
perception of every lensman that
alters reality and contributes to
making a photo. Many are of the
opinion that an expensive camera is
what it takes to create great images.
But it is the thought you give before
clicking that counts.
ˆ

42

Smart Photography June 2014

Cart Race

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Bhedaghat waterfall at Moonlight

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June 2014 Smart Photography

43

IF I WERE YOU
E-mail your images at [email protected]

Our Imaging
Expert
No one can take
a picture that
everyone likes.
But, almost
every picture
can have scope
of improvement.
Often, we are
not our best
critics, while
others can
immediately
point out the
faults. In If I were you, our expert
comments on how your pictures
could be taken to another level.

3. Always pay attention to
the background. In your
picture the sky, being devoid
of clouds or strong colour,
is distracting away from the
main element. There is
always an element of luck
when taking any picture;
sometimes you are rewarded
Camera: Canon PowerShot A640
ISO: N/A; Shutter speed: 1/125 sec; Aperture: F/8

with a beautiful sky, at other
times, you can have a bald
‘lifeless’ sky!
In the edited picture, I
have adjusted the tones in
Photoshop, re-composed the
picture, saturated the greens
and sharpened the picture.

Original Image

Rohinton Mehta,
Technical Editor, Smart Photography

Kodaikanal Lake
This picture of Kodaikanal Lake
comes to us from Dr. Amudhan,
a dentist by profession. He wants
to know how this picture could be
improved. Here are some general
points to consider:
1. Photography is a play between
light and shade. The subject one
chooses is important of course,
but how the light models (moulds,
gives form to) that subject is even
more important. Side lighting
brings out texture and detail;
frontal lighting ‘flattens’ the
details.
2. Composition (framing) is also
very important. First decide as to
what is there in the frame that has
attracted your attention. Try to
emphasise that element by clever
selection of lens and the picture
taking angle. In your picture,
you have created a somewhat
clash of interest by dividing the
picture into almost two equal and
similar halves (the trees with the
structure and its strong reflection
in the water).
Edited Image

46

Smart Photography June 2014

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Original Image
Camera: Canon
PowerShot G3
ISO: 400;
Shutter speed:
1/30sec;
Aperture: F/8

Its true that beginners want
to photograph “anything and
everything”. That’s okay, because
the more you use your camera,
the more you’ll understand its
potential and limitations. In the
case of your picture for example,
you’ll get to know the effects of
using different shutter speeds on
the little water fountain. But once
you are familiar with your camera,
you should concentrate on the
content of the picture.
The brightness of the water has
caused the camera exposure
meter to slightly underexpose the
background and at the same time,
there is some loss of required
detail in the water. I also feel the
scribbling at the right lower end a
bit disturbing.

Edited Image

The Water Fountain
Mohanty M. K. has recently
started with photography. He says
he photographs anything and
everything! And of course wants
to know if this picture could be
improved, and how?
www.smartphotography.in

Using Adobe Camera Raw
(I always open every picture in
ACR, whether it is a Raw file or
JPEG or TIFF), I adjusted the
highlights (to get detail in the
water) and opened up the shadows
(to get detail in the background).
Then in Photoshop, I got rid of
the scribbling using a combination
of Healing Brush and Clone Tool.
Finally I cropped a wee bit from
the top and sharpened the picture.
June 2013 Smart Photography

47

IF I WERE YOU
E-mail your images at [email protected]

Note: If I Were You is meant to encourage and guide readers, and help them improve their
photography. Please ensure that the required camera/exposure details are sent to us (or are
available in the EXIF data). We shall not accept images for this section if the required data is not
available. Readers are requested to send their images at 300ppi for 8 x 10-inch size. If they are
too small, working on them is difficult, and hence they may be rejected.

without the filter and then
place the G-ND filter in front
of the lens. Adjust the filter so
that the graduated part of the
filter blocks the light from the
bright sky.
Using the Shadows/Highlights

Tool in Photoshop, I opened
up the shadow details and
using the Gradient Tool,
created a vignette for the
sky. Finally, I cropped the
picture as you can see in the
edited image. You can now
clearly see the cars

Original Image
Camera: Kodak
Easyshare C143
ISO: 80; Shutter speed:
1/1250sec;
Aperture: F/5.5

Shooting into
the Light
This photo comes to us
from Nikhil Mishra, via
email. The photo shows
some cars around a
water body. Due to the
position of the sun in the
frame and the water body
reflecting the sunlight,
the camera’s exposure
meter is fooled into
underexposing the scene.
What remains is detailless sky and blocked
up shadows.
When metering for
such difficult lighting
situations, try to locate
an area that you think is
mid-tone and take the
meter reading from this
area. Additionally, you
can bracket the exposure
for reasons of safety.
If I were you, I would
have used a Graduated
Neutral Density filter.
First meter the scene
Edited Image

48

Smart Photography June 2014

www.smartphotography.in

Q&A
Ask Uncle Ronnie
Did you know...
Ronnie has
over 35 years of
experience in
photography?
In fact, he has
taught several
thousand photoenthusiasts
in various
institutions
and through
workshops, as well as judged
many national and international
photo contests, including the
prestigious International Photo
Contest held at Colombo, Sri
Lanka. So, if you have any photoqueries, whether conventional or
digital, don’t hesitate. Just go ahead
and Ask Uncle Ronnie at [email protected]
nextgenpublishing.net, ‘cause he
knows it all!

Polarizing Filter
I have a Polarizing filter but I am
not sure if it is a Linear or Circular
Polariser. Nothing is written on it. Is
there a way to find out if it is Linear
or Circular?
Arvind L, via email

Yes, there certainly is a way to find
out. For the uninitiated, we are not
referring to the shape of the filter;
both are round in shape. The Linear
polariser, due to its design, cannot
be used with digital cameras (and a
few film-based SLRs that use beamsplitters in its optical path). With
digital cameras, it is necessary to use
only the Circular Polariser (CPL).
To find out if a Polariser is Linear
or Circular, hold the filter with the
filter thread away from you, and look
through it into a mirror. A CPL’s
mirror image will be black, if not, it is
a Linear Polariser.

We regularly get requests to suggest a camera or a lens. While some do their preliminary
homework, most don’t. It is important for you to do some spadework and narrow down
your options before writing in to us. You also need to give us an idea of what genre of
photography you are interested in and how much you are willing to spend. We would then be
in a better position to evaluate your query and suggest suitable gear. We have received one
such ‘homework-done’ request from a reader who has narrowed down his choice but wants
to know if the extra amount that he would spend is justifiable or not. The questions he has
asked are relevant to every reader. Read on...

What Else?
Uncle Ronnie, as an SP reader, I
know your love for the tripod. What
other gizmos/accessories do you
usually carry with you?
A. N. D’Souza, Mumbai

What else I carry depends on the
kind of shoot. For local trips in
Mumbai, I carry a camera body, at
least two lenses, my trusty handheld exposure meter, extra memory
cards, a 18% grey card, and two large
plastic bags (but not where plastic
bags are not allowed). The plastic
bags are for safety of my equipment
from odd-season rains. I have seen it
rain in every month of the year (not
in the same year though).I trust my
hand-held light meter (an incidentcum-reflected light meter, offering
1 degree metering in reflected light
mode) more than I trust any camera
meter.
For out-of-Mumbai trips, along
with what is mentioned above, an
extra camera body, extra lenses
(depending on the kind of shoot),
padded knee-caps, a flashgun along
with its dedicated TTL Flash Cord,
and a torchlight. The padded kneecaps protect my knees when kneeling
down to take pictures, especially on
hard, rough surfaces. And though I
don’t have them, elbow-pads would
also make my life more comfortable
when crawling on the ground for
very low-level shots of ground birds
and small animals.
During the rainy season, I carry
an umbrella as well as a rain-coat.
The rain-coat protects me from
the vagaries of the season and the
umbrella protects (to some extent)
my camera, allowing me to take
pictures when its not pouring.

www.smartphotography.in

Super Zoom Camera and
D-SLR with Super Zoom
What is the difference between a
super zoom camera and a D-SLR
with a super zoom lens? Please
explain.
V. Varun Kumar, via email

When we photographers refer to a
super zoom camera, we are referring
to a non-interchangeable lens camera
(like a Bridge camera for example)
having a long-range zoom lens. A
D-SLR with a super zoom lens would
be similar except that lenses can be
interchanged if necessary. A D-SLR
also has a reflex mirror which the
other camera doesn’t.

Image quality: Mobile
phone camera Vs dedicated model
I intend to buy a Samsung S5 mobile phone which has a 16 megapixel
camera. Will its photo quality be as
good as that from any other 16MP
camera?
Ajit Rao, Chennai

I haven’t had a chance to use a
Samsung S5. Even then, as of today, I
am sure that a compact camera with
16MP (or even much lesser MP)
would produce better image quality
than what the S5 can produce.
This is not to run down the S5.
I am sure that the S5 would be a
great performer, but the very small
imaging sensor (1/2.6” Type) cannot
match the image quality of a larger
sensor (and often better lens) as
found in most digital compacts. As
long as you view the images on its
own screen, you’ll be amazed, but
bring them on a computer monitor,
and you’ll see the difference, more so
with pictures shot in low light.

June 2014 Smart Photography

49

Q&A
Ask Uncle Ronnie

Full-frame?
I’ve got a Nikon D5200 with 3
lenses - AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm
f/1.8G, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G
and AF Zoom-Nikkor 70 - 300
mm f/4-5.6G. I’m  interested in
Portrait photography. I love taking
pictures of my family and friends.
I’m planning of upgrading my
collection with a full frame body
(Nikon D610) and AF-S NIKKOR
24-70mm f/2.8G ED.
However, my budget is currently
limited to only one of these. Kindly
advise as to which one I should get
first and on my choice of D610 as a
portrait camera.
Sudhir Mairembam, via email

Any D-SLR body can be used for
portraits. What is important is the
lens. Here are my views:
1. From your current line-up of
lenses, the 70-300mm f/4-5.6G is the
weak link. If I were you, I would get
rid of it.
2. What, according to you, will a
full-frame model do better than the
D5200?

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Smart Photography June 2014

a) Superior tonality
b) Lower digital noise
c) Better dynamic range.
d) Ability to throw the background
out of focus (using suitable lenses)
Right. But how large will your prints
be? Will your portraits be generally
taken in low light? Will you be able to
discern the difference in the dynamic
range?
If you use ‘fast’ lenses with the
D610, you’ll be able to throw the
background out of focus much
better than with the D5200. The
D5200 and the D610 are both 24
megapixel models. The sensor size of
the D610 is almost 2.3 times that of
the D5200 (864 verses 372 sq. mm).
Hence the D610 can (and does) have
larger photosites, resulting in better
dynamic range and better noise
control. But, if you take the portraits
in good light, if your prints are going
to be of modest size (8x10”/12x15”),
and the post-processing is good,
I doubt if you’ll notice substantial
difference in the image quality

between the two models. Mind you,
I am not saying that there will be no
differences; what I am saying is that
for the size of the prints that you are
likely to have and the fact that you’ll
be mostly shooting in good light, you
(and others) may not notice those
differences.
But what the heck. We only live
once! If your heart is on the D610, go
ahead. Its a great camera.
Coming to the lenses, replace your
existing 70-300mm with the AF-S
VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.55.6G IF ED. It is a much sharper lens.
If you need a faster lens, consider the
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED
VR II. If you want even better control
over depth of field, consider the
85mm prime (f/1.4 or f/1.8). The 2470mm f/2.8 that you mention is also
a superb lens and at 70mm, could be
used for portraiture. However, for
portraiture, the 70-200mm would be
better in my opinion.

www.smartphotography.in

Which Wide-angle Lens?

There are 2 filters that I would
recommend for landscape pictures:
1. Graduated Neutral Density (1-stop
and 2-stops). Please purchase the
ones that are rectangular in shape.
2. A 3-stop Neutral Density [actually,
a variable ND filter (9-stops max)
would be ideal but its expensive].
I do not suggest a Polarizing filter for
a super-wide-angle lens.

I pursue photography as a
serious hobby and I am very
much interested in landscape
photography. Please suggest me a
good wide-angle lens and one or
two filters. My current equipment is
Canon EOS 1100D with
18-55mm IS and 55-250mm IS. My
budget for the wide-angle lens is
Rs.30,000 - 40,000/Srinivas M. B., Kochi, Kerala

Newer Version?
I have a Tamron 90mm macro lens
(the earlier model, without image
stabilization) and I am happy with

or use the delayed firing mode
(again if your camera permits that)
or use a remote-controlled shutter
release. Seems like a lot of hassle, but
the trouble will be worth it in terms
of image sharpness.
Since it is the recommended
practice to switch off the image
stabilizer when the camera is tripod
mounted, you might question
the need for having the stabilizer.
Well, for one reason, you may
not be using a tripod (because
it is inconvenient in a particular
situation), or you may be using
the lens for general (non-macro)
photography where having a image
stabilizer is always welcome.

Where can I buy a 18% grey card. I
have tried at various places but to
no avail.
For accurate White Balance, is it
better to have a white card?

Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

P. Ramachandran, via email

18% Grey Card

Tokina 11-16mm

18% Grey Card

Canon 10-20mm

it. Would you suggest that I sell this
and go in for the newer version that
has the image stabilization feature?

If you want a Canon lens to go with
your 1100D, there is the EF-S1022mm f/3.5-4.5 USM but it goes over
your budget (MRP Rs.59,995). Then
there is the new EF-S 10-18mm f/4.55.6 IS STM (no data available on
Canon India website) or go in for a
Tokina 11-16mm AT-X Pro II (MRP
around Rs.45,000).
www.smartphotography.in

A. S. Tamhane, Mumbai

If you are hand-holding your camera,
then the newer version with the
Optical Stabilizer may benefit you.
If you are using a tripod (at least
most of the time), then I don’t see
much of a reason to change. In terms
of sharpness, both the versions are
equally sharp.
For the ultimate sharpness that any
macro lens can offer, it is advisable
to use a firm tripod, put autofocus
off (focus manually), switch off the
image stabilization, lock up the
reflex mirror (if your camera has
that feature), and either use the selftimer to activate the shutter release

You could try ordering it via www.
amazon.in or some other similar
website.
Between a white card and an 18%
grey card, I would prefer the 18%
grey card for White Balance. While
in theory a white card is also
usable, there is every chance that
the white card/paper manufacturer
may have used a blue dye to make
the white card/paper look brilliant
white (similar to using a blue dye
for white clothes). If that is so, your
WB can go wrong; the camera will
‘see’ the blue and compensate with a
yellowish result (blue and yellow are
opposites). An 18% grey card also has
the advantage that it can be used to
measure mid-tone exposure.
ˆ
June 2014 Smart Photography

51

PHOTO FEATURE
Kila Raipur

54

Smart Photography June 2014

Smartphotography.in

Ajay Sood (Travelure)
Travel Photographer/Photo-educator

Ajay Sood is an
accomplished travel
photographer
and a travelogue
writer. He has
been covered as
Mastercraftsman in
Smart Photography
(May 2012).
He was on the
jury of Canon
Photomarathon 2012. He is also an
assignment photographer for National
Geographic Traveller.
Besides mentoring photography
workshops, he leads photo-tours, and
contributes travelogues and features
to various publications. Ajay has a
passion for capturing the sights, sounds
and stories of places he visits. He has
travelled across India extensively, and
to over 20 countries across the globe.
His 27 years in the communication
industry have been his training ground,
leading to his deep understanding of the
visual medium, reflected in his unique
compositions.

I

was perched precariously with
my camera gear on the crowded
4ft x 7ft roof of a guard tower
at the far end of the Kila Raipur
Stadium. A videographer, who had
earlier too shot at Kila Raipur, had
captured lion’s share of the available
roof space. There were 8-10 other
villagers standing alongside. And the
roof had no railing. Needless to say,
it was not a very comfortable place to
be, but it was a perfect vantage from a
photographer’s point of view.
 
I was asking a local a few questions
about the bullock cart race, which
was yet to begin. He had pointed out
the start line, the racetrack and the
finish line of this race. The finish line
was about 20ft below and about 50ft
away from where I was standing. I had
incredulously looked at that line and
had asked him - “These bullocks must
be running at a fairly fast pace, and
naturally, they don’t have any brakes.

Hadippa - Energetic bhangra

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June 2014 Smart Photography

55

PHOTO FEATURE
Kila Raipur
Turbo-charged bullock cart race

Attempt to reign in speeding bullocks past the finish line

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Smart Photography June 2014

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Applying brakes, rather unsuccessfully

How do they stop after the finish
line?” “They don’t stop. They just
continue to run out of the stadium,
into the fields, and stop when they
can,” he replied.
 
I am from Ludhiana, but, during
my entire Ludhiana life, I had never
attended the globally famous Kila
Raipur Rural Olympics, which have
been covered by BBC and National
Geographic, besides multiple other
global channels and publications. This
year, I was determined to correct this
anomaly.
 
Upon checking the schedule, I realised
Smartphotography.in

that this unique sports meet was to
happen on the weekend after Basant
Panchami, in end-February. I planned
this trip many weeks in advance.
Even though I travel extensively, the
excitement of visiting Kila Raipur far
exceeded the excitement levels I had
experienced lately for any of my other
recent travels.
 
We had made Hotel Sarovar Portico –
a centrally located, comfortable hotel
in Ludhiana – our base for 2 days. The
entire meet is a 4-day affair, but we
had decided to be there on day 3 and
4 as the star events happen on these
days. From there, the journey to Kila

Raipur is normally about 35 minutes,
traffic-permitting.
 
Once we reached there, the
programme sheet handed over to us
listed some real strange events. Despite
the bullock cart races being the star
attraction of the meet, the other events
had a rustic charm of their own. Dog
races, dancing ponies and camels, daredevil Nihang riders, motorbike stunt
riders, bare-back riders racing their
stallions, tractor races, timed loading
and unloading of trolleys, were some
of the rural attractions, besides the
standard hockey, athletics, Kabaddi,
tug-of-war, etc.
 
June 2014 Smart Photography

57

PHOTO FEATURE
Kila Raipur
High jump in progress in the background

Tractor race in progress

The entire atmosphere was that of
a large village fair. The parking lot
was large and orderly; the stadium
had a semi-finished look, and was
surrounded by the lush-green fields
that are so typical of Punjab; most
of the crowd was the villagers in
their ethnic attire – some had come
to cheer their village sportsmen,
others had just come to watch the
action; media persons were there in

58

Smart Photography June 2014

full force to cover the event; loud
and hilarious Punjabi commentary
informing the spectators about the
action in the stadium was flowing
incessantly from the loud-speakers
sprinkled across the entire stadium.
But, what contrasted it from a
typical village fair was the presence
of a large number of camerawielding foreign tourists thronging
the stadium.
 

A happy stunt rider

Riding 2 galloping horses with reign between teeth

To an avid sports fan, this event may
seem slightly disorganised, as there
is no schedule being followed; the
schedule gets determined minute by
minute. But, in its’ own way, the event
is a hugely organised effort. Some bits
of organising that go on behind the
scenes, and need to be appreciated
are – inviting the participants from
far-flung villages across the entire
Punjab-Haryana belt where, even
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Villagers arriving for the games

Riding 3 horses simultaneously

in this telecom era, communication
is still a challenge (in fact, this year,
there were some sportspersons who
had come all the way from Lucknow);
arranging for funds to get this event
going year-after-year (this year was
the 78th edition of these games);
getting the media to come and cover
the event; catering to the media and
its special needs from the make-shift
media centre; managing the crowds;
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organising VIP guests who also
provide grants for the meet; are just
some of the visible aspects. Lots more
must have been happening behindthe-scenes and that’s what makes this
entire mammoth effort a marvel.
 
Our two days were hectic since the
action was non-stop. For instance, as
soon as a race would get over, high
jump or some other athletics event

would start. While that was still
going on, a Kabaddi match would
begin. Show riders would enthrall
you, and before you had a chance
to share your amazement with your
group, the tractors would go flying
past as a part of the tractor race. On
top of that, the bullock cart races,
which punctuate the meet (since
there are many heats, quarter finals,
semi-finals and final), genuinely take
June 2014 Smart Photography

59

PHOTO FEATURE
Kila Raipur
Gatka exhibition

Kabaddi match in progress

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COVER STORY

Buying Cameras – Taking
The Right Steps

Illustration: Ajay Paradkar

H. S. Billimoria

answer in terms of choice. On the
other hand, if the camera is going
to be used seriously for different
types of photography, a D-SLR or
a mirrorless interchangeable lens
camera may be the solution.

Step 1
Before considering a camera
purchase, one needs to be very
clear as regards the ultimate

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Smart Photography June 2014

purpose of that purchase. If a
camera is purchased for casual
or candid use, a compact camera
or a Smartphone may be the best

Step 2
Is the weight of the camera going
to be a determining factor? If
so, you are better off buying a
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mirrorless camera. Mirrorless
cameras are generally smaller
and lighter than D-SLRs. This
is particularly true of cameras
which follow the Micro Four
Thirds sensor size. Mirrorless
cameras remove the need for the
mirror and the prism thereby
liberating both space and weight.
Of course, if you need the camera
only occasionally, a lightweight
compact camera or Smartphone
would suffice.

Step 3
Is image quality your main
object? An honest answer to this
question is very important. 95%
of photographers that we know
do not see images in sizes bigger
than 7x5 inches or A4 size. For the
others, who are quality fanatics,
sensor resolution becomes an all
important factor. For such cases,
a camera, whether D-SLR or
mirrorless with a full-frame sensor
is the answer. A full frame sensor
gives much better resolution, far
wider dynamic range and better
tonal quality. However, this is
likely to be noticed only if you are
to view or print images to large
sizes. A full frame sensor tends to
be more expensive. When buying a
camera for ultimate image quality,
it is desirable to record in RAW
mode. RAW records more data
and gives greater control over
image post capture. Most D-SLRs
and mirrorless cameras have RAW.

Step 4
Do you need an optical
viewfinder? All D-SLRs do
come with optical viewfinders
which means that you see the
scene through the lens. Whilst
most cameras also come with
LCD screens as viewfinders, it
becomes difficult to see the scene
clearly in bright light. A number
of mirrorless cameras feature
electronic viewfinders similar to
those found in camcorders. The
quality of electronic viewfinders
has improved by leaps and
bounds in the last couple of
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years and today they rival optical
viewfinders in quality. It is also
extremely useful to have a LCD
screen that can be fully articulated.
Whilst screens from companies
like Canon, Nikon and Panasonic
are vari-angle, companies like
Sony opt for a tiltable screen. If
you are technology friendly, a
touch screen may prove to be an
important attraction.

or AVCHD format. If you are
serious about shooting video, the
camera you choose must have a
port for external microphone and,
if possible, one that offers audio
monitoring via a headphone socket.
The best video quality available
in the market today comes from
Panasonic’s GH3 followed by the
Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Step 5

Will you need additional lenses
and other accessories? Every
manufacturer’s camera system is
supported by a range of accessories.
In the main, these consist of
lenses and flashguns. Nikon and
Canon have the largest system of
interchangeable lenses for D-SLRs.
On the mirrorless side, Olympus
and Panasonic have the largest
range of interchangeable Micro
Four Thirds lenses. Third party
manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron
and Tokina also make a range of
lenses but mainly for the most
popular brands like Canon and
Nikon. Along with the range of
accessories, one should also review
the capability of the manufacturer
or its agents to offer quality aftersales-service, should you need it.

Do you want manual controls? In
order to be really creative with
your photography, it is best to opt
for a camera which gives you full
manual control. These controls
should also be easily accessible.
Fujifilms’ retro-style cameras like
the X100s are good examples of
manual controls which are easily
accessible. If you intend to leave
your camera in auto mode, an
‘intelligent auto’ option made
available by several brands like
Panasonic may be your best bet.

Step 6
Will you need to shoot in very
low light or in near darkness?
If the answer is yes, you need a
camera which supports high ISO
speeds and will at the same time
reproduce pictures without much
noise. On the other extreme is the
area of action photography where
you will need high shutter speeds
and an autofocus system that
offers quick lock in. For action
photography, cross type sensors
with face detection pixels and fast
shooting speeds may be necessary.
Remember that some cameras
offer high burst speeds but only at
reduced resolution.

Step 7
Are you going to be shooting a
lot of video? With still-cameras
offering sophisticated video, the
distinction between still and
video cameras has begun to
blur. A number of D-SLRs and
mirrorless cameras now offer Full
High Definition video. Again,
video files can be saved in JPEG

Step 8

Step 9
Finally, there are a series of other
considerations that you need to
answer before you finalize your
purchase. A few of them are listed
below:
( a ) Do you want a Wi-Fi
function?
( b ) Do you want NFC (Near
Field Communication)?
( c ) Do you need a camera
with weather-proofing? For hot
and humid climates, weatherproofing is very important.
The Pentax D-LSR range with
the exception of the K-500 is
weather-proof.
Take the above key considerations
into account and you are well on
your way to making an educated
purchase.
ˆ
June 2014 Smart Photography

63

MASTERCRAFTSMAN
RAVI DHINGRA

and

Ravi was born in 1967
in Udhampur, Jammu &
Kashmir. He is involved
with lifestyle photography.
He has been associated
with leading publications,
advertisement agencies
and corporate clients and
his work has been widely
published. Currently based
in New Delhi, Ravi is
also a visiting faculty for
photography at various institutes. He
also co-founded a photography-based
organization called ‘Cameraunlimited
Foundation’.

Outside

Inside

As told to Tanika Godbole

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Modern Home

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June 2014 Smart Photography

65

MASTERCRAFTSMAN
RAVI DHINGRA
What is your life like? Tell us a little
about your background.

Photography for me is a hobby turned
into profession. I am a qualified
Cost Accountant and was involved
in Corporate Finance for almost
13 years before I took a plunge
into full time photography. Since
the year 2000, I have been earning

my bread and some butter from
lifestyle photography which includes
food, interiors, people, product and
travel photography. I have also been
teaching photography at various
institutes as visiting faculty and
conducting workshops on regular
basis for some brands associated
with photography. During the last

four years, besides displaying my fine
art photography, I have also curated
some fine art photography exhibitions
which brought established as well as
upcoming photographers together on
one platform.
How did you initially get interested in
the field of photography?

Wooden Look

Being a photographer is a gift.
Some people can sing, some people
can dance and some people can
take pictures. More than having a
technical command of the camera,
they see things in a certain way. They
have a world they wish to evoke using
a camera.
As a kid, I lived in an era where
information was not easily available.
There was no 24x7 media or internet
to widen the knowledge base. The
main sources of news were newspapers
and magazines. Two magazines were
instrumental in developing my interest
in photography. The Illustrated Weekly
under editorship of Mr. Khushwant
Singh, and India Today when Mr.
Raghu Rai was the photo editor, used
to carry a full page photo feature in
every issue. These were black and white
photographs, not necessarily related to
current affairs. For food photographs
(especially raw food), Reader’s
Digest became my inspiration. The
detailing, the focus and out of focus
areas fascinated me. I started framing
mentally and conceptualizing without
owning a camera.
You have covered a wide range of genres. What inspires you the most?

In the last 14 years I have been
involved in almost all the genres of
photography except wild life and
hard-hcore photojournalism. When
I started photography, I tried my
hand at all for the sake of learning,
exposure and obviously to earn. For
me, photography can be broadly
divided into two categories: the
‘guided’ one and the ‘unguided’
one. Most commercial photography
comes under the guided category,
where the creator of the subject is
guiding the look of the photograph.
For example, an architecture or
interiors photograph is actually
created partly by the architect/
interior designer and partly by the
photographer. What to highlight and

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Stairway

what to omit is predetermined.
It is the ‘unguided’ photography
which interests and inspires me
the most. The reason I left my
successful finance profession and
got into photography wash to
express my thoughts and feelings
through my photographs. Some
people do it with words, some
with paint brush. I was not good
at either, so the camera became
a tool for me. I love to travel and
capturing people in their habitat
is something really close to my
heart. It could be tribals in small
dwellings in far flung villages
or people in the cities in their
traditional or contemporary
houses.
How important is good equipment to photographers?

technology is evolving and better
equipment is introduced on a
regular basis. Though it is said
that the single most important
component of a camera is the
twelve inches behind it (the
human eye), yet the choice of
equipment is equally important.
Especially when it comes to
lenses, there is no single lens
which can cater to all needs
and genres of photography. A
good range of quality lenses
is an excellent investment for
any serious photographer. If
maintained well, the lenses will
last forever, though camera body
can be upgraded every few years.
Besides camera body and lenses,
a sturdy tripod, reliable lights are
some other equipment where
quality cannot be compromised.

“Phew! I have all the gear
I will ever need”—said no
photographer ever. The

In this digital age, how often do
you use post-processing tech-

White and Red

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June 2014 Smart Photography

67

MASTERCRAFTSMAN
RAVI DHINGRA

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Twilight

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June 2014 Smart Photography

69

MASTERCRAFTSMAN
RAVI DHINGRA
niques and how important are they?

With the introduction of digital cameras,
photography has become relatively simpler.
Results are instant and corrections can be
made immediately unlike the film-based
photography age, when it took at least a
day to see and analyze the efforts which
were put while photographing. Basic post
processing like cropping, dodging, burning
etc was possible in the film-age too. But
now advance software is available which
goes way beyond these simple techniques.
In the photography production team a
“touch-up artist” has become an integral
part. For me, the endeavour is to create a
good photograph at the stage of clicking.
A good photograph can be made better
by post processing but a bad photograph
cannot be made good. Post-processing for
me generally means doing basic adjustments
like contrast, colour, brightness, cropping
etc and conversion of Raw images to either

TIFF or JPEG depending on the use.
How do you prepare for your shoots? What
are the most important things you keep
in mind?

Before the photo shoot I try to gather
maximum information available on the
subject. Sharing a list of requirements
for the shoot with the client beforehand
is very important, because waiting for
things to happen is most frustrating at the
time of shoot. Also, double-checking the
equipment is a practice which happens
automatically every time before I shoot.
Another very important thing for me is
starting the shoot at the committed time.
It means reaching the location early and
keeping the set up ready well in time.
What do you enjoy the most about
photography?

The interaction with people is the most

fascinating part of photography for me.
From clicking celebrities to common people
on streets, capturing the right expression
which conveys emotion is the most
satisfying experience for me.
Any advice for newcomers to this field?

With photography becoming more
democratic, it is a challenge for
newcomers to create an image which
is unique, different and stands out in
the crowd. Everyday more pictures
are clicked than the number of images
which were clicked in the first 100 years
of photography. Observation is the key
to a good photograph and photography
helps to see without a camera. Be
sensitive to things around you, identify
the unusual among usual, look for good
light. Practice is another aspect which
needs to be emphasized upon by every
photographer.
ˆ

Fresh Wall

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LEARNING
Understanding Photography

Photographing
Watches

is facing North or South as a light
source. Stick some tracing paper to
the window to further diffuse the
light.
Generally, to get some modeling the
watch needs to be illuminated with
two lights - i.e. one key light and one
fill-light. If you are using only one
light or a window light then you must
use a reflector to provide a fill- in for
shadows.

W
Smart
Photography has
been continually
receiving
requests to start
a basic course for
beginners. With
this in mind, we
have asked a very
knowledgeable
photographer from
Hyderabad to take
over writing these
articles. We have
also requested him to be as jargon-free
as it is possible, so that newcomers to
photography feel comfortable to pursue
the hobby.
The author, Ashok Kandimalla has
been in the photographic field for
over three decades and has extensive
experience in both film and digital
photography. Being an electronics
engineer by profession and a
photographer, he possesses a unique
and deep insight into the technical
aspects of digital photography and
equipment. He has published several
articles on photography and some of
his writings have also been published
in the well-known international
magazine Popular Photography.
An avid collector of photographic
books and vintage cameras, Ashok
has a keen interest in the history of
photography and a passion for sharing
his knowledge on photography through
teaching and writing. He is presently
working as a Management and
Engineering consultant. You can see his
work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/
ashok_kandimalla . He can be reached
at [email protected]

atches are a sort of jewelry,
especially those which
are all mechanical (that
is not digital or quartz based) in
construction. They are beautifully
made precision instruments just
as the mechanical cameras (preelectronic age) are. You will find a
lot of people who cherish their old
watches and there are legions of
watch collectors all over the world.
Photographing watches is something
many collectors and photography
aficionados do. In this article I
will explain how to make beautiful
pictures of watches with minimal
equipment.

Light tent: A light tent (Picture 1) is
a rectangular box with translucent
material on all sides. Some of the
sides have openings (ports) that can
be closed or opened by means of zips
or Velcro. These ports allow you to
photograph the product inside the
tent. Since the sides are made of
translucent material, the light from
even a simple table lamp will get
diffused very nicely and will wrap
around the subject giving a very soft
shadow. Light tents are normally
foldable and hence are portable. They
can be set up in minutes. Most light
tents also have a provision to keep
a continuous sweep inside to give a
seamless background.

sometimes even in low light, you
will definitely need a sturdy tripod.
I suggest you don’t even start
attempting watch (or for that matter
any close up / macro) photography
without a good tripod. A good ball
head or pan head that will hold the
camera rock steady is also important.
Light sources and light modifiers:
Just forget using your camera’s
built-in flash as a light source. It will
simply not work. It is too small a
light source giving off very hard light
and since the subject will be close,
the lens itself will cast a shadow.

Camera and lens: This can be a
point-and-shoot or a D-SLR or a
CSC type camera that can focus
close. Usual kit lenses many not focus
close enough. If this is all you have,
you may have to crop the image a
bit but definitely a kit lens is usable.
You can use close-up lenses or
extension tubes to make your kit lens
focus closer. The latter, as you might
already know, can be used only if you
are using a D-SLR or CSC camera.
A macro lens would of course be the
best solution.

As you will see, you need highly
diffused light sources. However, if
you are using a light tent (explained
a little later), then you can use the
lights without any diffusers since the
light tent itself acts as an excellent
diffuser. Due to the very highly
reflective nature of metal watch-cases
and bracelets, the highlight transition
may still be sharp. To reduce this
you can add soft-boxes to the lights.
This is called double diffusing (light
tent + soft-box). This results in a
very soft light that will give you very
smooth transitions at reflections.
Remember that every time a diffuser
is used, there will be some loss of
light and you will need to increase
the exposure to compensate for
that. Check the exposure using the
histogram and highlight warning
tools. Do not just rely on the
playback screen of the image.

A tripod: After the camera and
the lens this is the most important
piece of equipment. Since you will
be working at close distances and

If you don’t have any strobe
lights, simply use CFL (Compact
Fluorescent Lamps) table lamps with
a light tent or use a window that

Before we go into the techniques, let
us see the equipment you will need.
Contrary to what many people think,
you can create wonderful watch
pictures with little equipment.
Here is a list of what you will need.

Picture 2: Angle of incidence of light is equal to the angle of reflection. The reflected ray
(red) leaves the surface at the same angle as the incident ray (green) hits the surface.

this is a much simplified diagram
(compared to a real world situation)
as it shows just one light ray incident
on a flat surface. In practice there will
be infinite light rays and the surfaces
will be curved. These factors make
lighting complicated.

However, buying a light tent is not
a must. If you are a DIY (Do It
Yourself) type of a person, you can
also make one quite easily. If you
search the Internet, you will find
several designs that can help you
make your own light tent.

Angle of incidence of light is equal to
the angle of reflection. The reflected
ray (red) leaves the surface at the
same angle as the incident ray (green)
hits the surface.

Principles of lighting
watches:

Before you proceed, just remember
what you learnt in your high school
physics – the angle of incidence
Light tents are not expensive (they
of light is equal to the angle of
cost a few thousand rupees at the
most) and are a worthwhile accessory reflection. I am sure that you have
seen the diagram shown here
to have if you are interested in
(Picture 2) previously. However,
photographing watches or jewelry.

Watches are generally enclosed in
highly reflective metal cases. The
surfaces are also curved. This means
that the watch case will reflect
the entire environment around it!
Hence, wherever you keep a light
source, the curved surface of the
watch will possibly show a reflection!
A reflection of light source will
appear as a “specularity” (also called
specular reflection), that is, a bright
spot, if the source is small. This is
opposed to a diffused reflection
which will be more spread-out, with
less abrupt transition. A specular
reflection will appear as a totally
blown-out, over-exposed white patch.
Small specular highlights can look
nice in an image when appropriate.
However, large areas that are blownout are very ugly to look at.
However, don’t think all reflections
are bad. If there is no reflection at
all from the watch then the resulting
photograph will make the watch
look dull. This in fact is totally
unacceptable, especially if the watch
is made of a precious metal like gold.

Picture 1: A light tent

72
Photographing
Watches

LEARNING

Photographing
Fabrics
Dilip Yande

Having
crossed over
20 active
years in
commercial
photography,
Dilip Yande
says his forte
is Fashion
and Portrait
photography.
He believes
variety is the spice of life, and to
keep himself motivated he does a
lot of tabletop as well. For Dilip,
names like Rembrandt, Renoir,
Gauguin, Picasso, Turner, Monet
are household names because of
his childhood that was spent in a
lineage of fine arts. This ‘fine art’
reflects in his work because he feels
that there is always a little bit of
‘you’ in everything one does. Having
shot for many advertising agencies,
juried a few competitions, mentored
many workshops, and guided many
photographers in their formative
years, for Dilip, photography is just
another way to romance his first
love – art. He may be contacted at
[email protected]

I

n one of my previous
articles, I had shared a few
lighting techniques on a
topic considered to be one of
specialization – Glass. One should
note that shooting glass primarily
involves accurate lighting,
exposure and control of highlights.
This time we are going to deal
with an equally challenging topic –
Photographing Fabrics.

In case of shooting fabrics the
parameters that take the calls are
entirely different; they are:
1) Colour of the fabric
2) Texture on the fabric (natural or
embossed)
3) Defects in weaving
4) The characteristics of the weave
of the fabric and the thickness,
softness or coarseness of the
threads used.
5) ‘Fall’ of the fabric, which is its
fluidity to fall when suspended
or its characteristic to be very
stiff in nature.
6) Material or quality of the fabric
(whether it is silk, cotton,
Manchester cloth, denim, jute,
synthetic material etc.)
7) The shine on the cloth which is
very much evident in cloths like
satins, synthetics, silks, china
silks, taffeta etc.
8) Colour scheme of the print on
it.
9) General property of the fabric
as to how heavy it is, whether
it can be blown in the air while
shooting. Or how much ‘net
like’ and ‘see through’ it is.
Primarily, photographing fabrics
comes under two categoriesa) Photographing loose cloth used
for shirting, trousers, dress
material etc.
b) Photographing stitched
products like shirts, T-shirts,
blazers, coats or any other
ready-made garments.

In this article I am not involving
models for the shoot, but
only covering the topic of
photographing the fabrics as a
table-top.
Whether you are shooting
category ‘a’ or ‘b’ above, the most
important person in the shoot is
the person termed as the ‘dress
man’. He should have thorough
knowledge about ironing different
kinds of fabrics and should be
equipped with the right types
of specialized irons. Care has to
be taken that a proper area in
the studio has to be given to this
person so that he can do his work
without any disturbance.

voltage which could cause the safety
switches to trip.

comparison to the gents’ wear like
shirts, trousers etc.

The second most important
entity involved in a fabric shoot
is a ‘stylist’. Unlike the job of a
‘food-stylist’ who only beautifies
a food-shot by selecting the
correct dish, and by arranging and
garnishing the dish, this stylist
has to play a more technical role
involving a lot of patience. His
job is not just to place the fabric
in an artistic manner as per the
vision of the art director, but also
to present it technically correct.
They always carry a styling kit
consisting of paper pins, needles,
threads, blue tac, double-sided
tapes of different thickness, cellotapes, pair of scissors, cutters,
fine fabric cutters, lint removing
brushes, thermocol sheets of
different thicknesses, cotton, felt
sheets, padding materials usually
termed as ‘buckram’ etc. The
required materials are cleverly
placed behind the loose fabric to
be photographed, thus giving it
the desired shape, contours, falls,
waves, and pinches as required.

A) Shooting loose fabric in a
studio set-up
Since we will be using studio flash,
keep the camera’s White Balance
to ‘Daylight’ (keeping the WB to
‘Flash’ gives a warmer tone). Even
if you wish to have a wavy look to
the fabric, the fabric still has to be
ironed neatly before creating that
look. The shooting area for a fabric
shoot has to be such that there
is enough space all around the
fabric for the purpose of lighting,
preferably the center of the room.
If you are shooting inside your
client’s showroom, take care that
no vibrant coloured walls are
nearby or they may create a strong
colour-cast on the
fabric, thus marring
the shoot. If this is
Curved Thermocol
unavoidable due to
space constraints,
then stick black
paper on that wall
to avoid the colour
reflection.

Kindly remember that this person
is not a fashion designer who
also does styling but a
specialized ‘handler’ of
fabric for table-tops. A
few dress men who iron
the clothes also offer
this service or
may suggest you the
right professional for
the same.

Whenever fancy designer-dresses
or party-wear are shot, care has to
be taken by the dress-man to check
the suitability of the cloth used as
the ‘lining’ inside a ‘see thru’ or
a netted dress. Any wrong setting
of the temperature control on his
pressing-iron can, in a jiffy, make
the lining stick to the other fabric
(or stick to his iron), thus ruining
the whole apparel.

Diag 1
Light with 32 deg grid

Your job as a
photographer
is to ‘bring out’

the basic characteristics of the
fabric – the correct shade, texture,
softness or coarseness, the ‘fall’,
and the beauty of the printed
design. After you are satisfied by
the composition, the lighting part
has to be completed. Once this is
satisfactorily done then place an
18% gray card on the fabric and
take a shot. Place the gray card
in that area which is well lit with
your main source of light. Use this
shot with the gray card as your
reference for colour correction
during post-processing. Apply
these corrections to the desired
shots. Follow the above steps in
the order I have mentioned and
you would not go wrong. Keep
a practice of executing such
shoots using a steady tripod and
do not forget
to bracket
the shots.

78

Soft Box on floor stand

tt

Best shots
of fabrics
are always a
result of the
right use of a
thumb-rule in
photographyImage
contrast =

Soft Box on floor stand

If you notice the market
trend you may observe
that where models are
not preferred in a fabric
shoot due to budget
constraints or because
of concept demands,
mannequins are made
to wear the desired
clothes. But when it
comes to pack-shots or
table-tops of fabrics or
ready-made garments,
you will find that very
few ladies’ products are
projected that way, in

If you are photographing in a newly
built studio or your apartment,
you need to take care that there
is adequate power supply. Some
professional steam-irons are very
wattage-heavy; hence with all the
air conditioners and lights on, there
are chances of overloading the line

Photographing Fabrics

Pic 1

LEARNING
Aperture: f/11.0 Shutter Speed: 1/50sec . ISO: 100

PANNING
Rohinton Mehta
anning’ is a technique
to convey the feeling
of speed, or suggest
motion in a two-dimensional still
photograph.
Let’s say you are photographing
a motor-cycle that’s moving very
fast. You could use a very fast
shutter speed and freeze the action
as you can see in the photo below.
Yes, the action is frozen but have
you captured the feeling of speed?
The answer is ‘no’. You could as
well have taken the photo of a
stationary motor-cycle or one that
was moving very slowly.

So how do you convey the feeling of
speed in a still (non-video) photo?

Keep this in mind:
a) You are going to photograph the
speeding subject when the subject is
almost perpendicular (90 degrees) to
you.
b) You will take the photograph using a
slow shutter speed (for example 1/30 or
1/15 sec; but that also depends on the
subject speed and your distance from
the subject).
c) The background behind the subject

should not be plain like an open sky or a
wall – there should be disturbing elements
like a fence, poles, people, trees etc.

The method:
1. Stand with your feet comfortably apart
and manually focus the lens at a distance
(focus on the ground) where you know
the subject to pass.
Photo courtesy: Ajay Sood (Travelure)

‘P

2. Take a camera meter reading from the
ground, but with a slow shutter speed as
mentioned above.
3. Now, maintaining your position
(perpendicular to the movement of the
Aperture: f/3.0 Shutter Speed: 1/800sec . ISO: 100

‘Panning’ the camera using slow shutter speed has created the background blur that imparts a feeling of ‘speed’ in a non-video picture. Observe the horse’s legs, which show some
amount of blur. This too adds to the impression of ‘speed’. Do take a note of the cluttered background, which in this case, was very necessary to create the impact of panning.

subject), and twisting your body only
above the waist, view the subject through
your camera as it moves from your left to
right (or right to left) in front of you. The
subject will appear out of focus but avoid
the temptation to refocus. Remember,
you have pre-focussed on the spot where
you expect the subject to pass.
4. Maintain the subject in the center of
your camera frame as you move (pan)
the camera smoothly in an arc of a circle.

Photo courtesy: Sanjay Raikar

5. A fraction of a second before it reaches
the pre-focussed point, release the
shutter but continue to pan smoothly
till the exposure is over. This is very
important.
6. Take further shots using some other
slow shutter speeds.

Using a fast shutter speed has stopped the subject in its tracks but has not given the impression of ‘speed’.

Why does this work?
Remember, you are panning the camera
along with the subject, at the same speed
of the subject. This means that the relative
speed difference between the subject and
the panning camera, is practically zero.

Because of this, the subject appears
sharp (or reasonably sharp), while the
background, which is stationary, appears
to show movement blur. You may now
realise the importance of having a
cluttered background. It is the lateral
blurring of the elements in the cluttered
background, compared to the sharp (or
almost sharp) main subject, that gives
an impression of speed.

Further considerations
Different shutter speeds will provide
different effects of movement. The
shutter speed you use will also depend
on the speed of the fast-moving subject
and the distance between you and the
subject. For example, if a subject is
moving at say 70kmph and is, say, 25
feet away from you, and you need to use
say, 1/15 sec for the pan, then for the
same subject moving at the same speed
but just 10 feet away from you may
require 1/60 or even 1/125 sec.
The lens that you use also has a part to
play. I have successfully panned at 1/250

sec with a motor-cycle going at 100kmph
just about 7 feet away, using a 24mm
lens. (Please avoid trying this; the motorcyclist may lose control because of loss of
concentration as he watches you panning
and may ram into you).
Generally, you cannot pan successfully if
the subject is far away or is moving very
slowly. You also cannot pan a subject
that is coming straight towards you or
is moving straight away from you. The
subject should move perpendicular to
you for a good panning effect.
Subjects like galloping horses and
speeding cyclists make for good panning
effects. Sections of horses’ articulated
legs move at a faster speed than their
body and this provides a blur to the legs.
Similarly, the cyclists’ legs moving in a
fast circular motion causes blurring of
the legs which add to the feeling of speed.
Do try this technique. You’ll love the
effect. And yes, vertical panning is also
possible, as when panning along with
a diver!
ˆ

101
Panning

Learnings

Ashok Kandimalla

LEARNING
Understanding Photography

Photographing
Watches
Ashok Kandimalla

W
Smart
Photography has
been continually
receiving
requests to start
a basic course for
beginners. With
this in mind, we
have asked a very
knowledgeable
photographer from
Hyderabad to take
over writing these
articles. We have
also requested him to be as jargon-free
as it is possible, so that newcomers to
photography feel comfortable to pursue
the hobby.
The author, Ashok Kandimalla has
been in the photographic field for
over three decades and has extensive
experience in both film and digital
photography. Being an electronics
engineer by profession and a
photographer, he possesses a unique
and deep insight into the technical
aspects of digital photography and
equipment. He has published several
articles on photography and some of
his writings have also been published
in the well-known international
magazine Popular Photography.
An avid collector of photographic
books and vintage cameras, Ashok
has a keen interest in the history of
photography and a passion for sharing
his knowledge on photography through
teaching and writing. He is presently
working as a Management and
Engineering consultant. You can see his
work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/
ashok_kandimalla . He can be reached
at [email protected]

72

Smart Photography June 2014

atches are a sort of jewelry,
especially those which
are all mechanical (that
is not digital or quartz based) in
construction. They are beautifully
made precision instruments just
as the mechanical cameras (preelectronic age) are. You will find a
lot of people who cherish their old
watches and there are legions of
watch collectors all over the world.
Photographing watches is something
many collectors and photography
aficionados do. In this article I
will explain how to make beautiful
pictures of watches with minimal
equipment.

sometimes even in low light, you
will definitely need a sturdy tripod.
I suggest you don’t even start
attempting watch (or for that matter
any close up / macro) photography
without a good tripod. A good ball
head or pan head that will hold the
camera rock steady is also important.
Light sources and light modifiers:
Just forget using your camera’s
built-in flash as a light source. It will
simply not work. It is too small a
light source giving off very hard light
and since the subject will be close,
the lens itself will cast a shadow.

Camera and lens: This can be a
point-and-shoot or a D-SLR or a
CSC type camera that can focus
close. Usual kit lenses many not focus
close enough. If this is all you have,
you may have to crop the image a
bit but definitely a kit lens is usable.
You can use close-up lenses or
extension tubes to make your kit lens
focus closer. The latter, as you might
already know, can be used only if you
are using a D-SLR or CSC camera.
A macro lens would of course be the
best solution.

As you will see, you need highly
diffused light sources. However, if
you are using a light tent (explained
a little later), then you can use the
lights without any diffusers since the
light tent itself acts as an excellent
diffuser. Due to the very highly
reflective nature of metal watch-cases
and bracelets, the highlight transition
may still be sharp. To reduce this
you can add soft-boxes to the lights.
This is called double diffusing (light
tent + soft-box). This results in a
very soft light that will give you very
smooth transitions at reflections.
Remember that every time a diffuser
is used, there will be some loss of
light and you will need to increase
the exposure to compensate for
that. Check the exposure using the
histogram and highlight warning
tools. Do not just rely on the
playback screen of the image.

A tripod: After the camera and
the lens this is the most important
piece of equipment. Since you will
be working at close distances and

If you don’t have any strobe
lights, simply use CFL (Compact
Fluorescent Lamps) table lamps with
a light tent or use a window that

Before we go into the techniques, let
us see the equipment you will need.
Contrary to what many people think,
you can create wonderful watch
pictures with little equipment.
Here is a list of what you will need.

www.smartphotography.in

is facing North or South as a light
source. Stick some tracing paper to
the window to further diffuse the
light.
Generally, to get some modeling the
watch needs to be illuminated with
two lights - i.e. one key light and one
fill-light. If you are using only one
light or a window light then you must
use a reflector to provide a fill- in for
shadows.
Light tent: A light tent (Picture 1) is
a rectangular box with translucent
material on all sides. Some of the
sides have openings (ports) that can
be closed or opened by means of zips
or Velcro. These ports allow you to
photograph the product inside the
tent. Since the sides are made of
translucent material, the light from
even a simple table lamp will get
diffused very nicely and will wrap
around the subject giving a very soft
shadow. Light tents are normally
foldable and hence are portable. They
can be set up in minutes. Most light
tents also have a provision to keep
a continuous sweep inside to give a
seamless background.

Picture 2: Angle of incidence of light is equal to the angle of reflection. The reflected ray
(red) leaves the surface at the same angle as the incident ray (green) hits the surface.

However, buying a light tent is not
a must. If you are a DIY (Do It
Yourself) type of a person, you can
also make one quite easily. If you
search the Internet, you will find
several designs that can help you
make your own light tent.

Principles of lighting
watches:

Before you proceed, just remember
what you learnt in your high school
physics – the angle of incidence
Light tents are not expensive (they
of light is equal to the angle of
cost a few thousand rupees at the
most) and are a worthwhile accessory reflection. I am sure that you have
seen the diagram shown here
to have if you are interested in
(Picture 2) previously. However,
photographing watches or jewelry.
Picture 1: A light tent

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this is a much simplified diagram
(compared to a real world situation)
as it shows just one light ray incident
on a flat surface. In practice there will
be infinite light rays and the surfaces
will be curved. These factors make
lighting complicated.
Angle of incidence of light is equal to
the angle of reflection. The reflected
ray (red) leaves the surface at the
same angle as the incident ray (green)
hits the surface.
Watches are generally enclosed in
highly reflective metal cases. The
surfaces are also curved. This means
that the watch case will reflect
the entire environment around it!
Hence, wherever you keep a light
source, the curved surface of the
watch will possibly show a reflection!
A reflection of light source will
appear as a “specularity” (also called
specular reflection), that is, a bright
spot, if the source is small. This is
opposed to a diffused reflection
which will be more spread-out, with
less abrupt transition. A specular
reflection will appear as a totally
blown-out, over-exposed white patch.
Small specular highlights can look
nice in an image when appropriate.
However, large areas that are blownout are very ugly to look at.
However, don’t think all reflections
are bad. If there is no reflection at
all from the watch then the resulting
photograph will make the watch
look dull. This in fact is totally
unacceptable, especially if the watch
is made of a precious metal like gold.
June 2014 Smart Photography

73

LEARNING
Understanding Photography
Certainly, no one wants to look at a
dull gold watch! This is the reason
you should not use dulling sprays
which reduce reflections.
Our aim should be to produce
a diffused reflection. Careful
positioning of lights and using light
sources that are highly diffused
(double diffused if needed) is the best
way to achieve this.
One of the neat tricks that you can
use to reduce specular reflections is
use gobos (also called ‘cutters’). Gobo
is a short form for “Go Between” something that you place between the
light source and subject. These are
normally black pieces of cardboard
and will cause a local blocking of
light thus reducing or eliminating
reflections. Recall once again that
angle of incidence of light is equal to
angle of reflection. By blocking the
light which is falling (incident) on
the surface, you can eliminate the
specularity. Here you need to move
the gobo as you see through the
viewfinder to find the ideal position.
Finally, can you use a polarizing
filter to eliminate reflections from
the watch? The answer is yes and no!
Since a polarizing filter can eliminate
reflections only if they are from a
non-metallic surface, it will simply
not work with watch cases which are
made of metal, but they can reduce
or even eliminate reflections from the
watch glass.

Before you begin, make
sure of the following:
• Mount your camera on a sturdy















Picture 3: Lighting
diagram (schematic),
top view.
a) Watch; b) and c)
Gobos on the left and
right of the light tent;
d) Light tent; e) and
f) Strobes on the left
and right of light tent;
g) and h) Softboxes; i)
Camera on a tripod.

You can set the shutter speed up
to X-Sync. If you are not sure
what this is, set the shutter speed
to 1/125 sec.
Set your camera to the lowest base
ISO for the best picture quality.
Use RAW format for best quality.
If you do not want to use RAW for
whatever reason, use JPEG with
highest pixel count (large setting)
with least compression (fine
setting).
If you are using JPEG format, set
saturation, contrast, sharpness to
minimum levels. It is easy to add
any of these but difficult to reduce
them in a JPEG.
Set the shutter to release with
the self-timer for maximum
sharpness.

Procedure: First set the product and
the camera at the angle you need. If
there are specular highlights, move
the light as you look through the
viewfinder (another great advantage
with a continuous light) and see
the position at which these are
minimized. At times, a longer focal
length lens can also help to reduce
reflections. As already explained, also
use gobos where needed.
The watch can be kept inside light
tent, flat on the surface or on its
edge or can be hung from top (light
tents have an opening at the top)
with a thin string. In case you are

doing the latter, you may have to
edit out the thin string later during
post-processing. If the watch has a
rigid bracelet, you can keep it upright
by using a gummy substance called
“Tack-It” (made by Faber Castell).
This is available in most stationary
shops.
A practical example: That being the
theory, I am sure you are keen on
seeing how it all works. The watch
was put on a plastic “C” bracket (the
type which is used to display watches
in show cases) and stuck with Tack-It
to the seamless paper inside a light
tent. The camera was adjusted so that
it was parallel to the face of the watch.
This will ensure that all parts of the
watch-face are equally sharp. This
is important since the depth of field
(DOF) will be minimal at these short
subject distances. The camera was
mounted on a sturdy tripod and an
aperture of f/8 was used for adequate
DOF.
Two strobes, both using soft-boxes
(Picture 3) were used. The use of softboxes plus the light tent resulted in
double-diffused super-soft light. This
in turn manifests in very soft shadows
(Picture 4). The result would be fine
as it is with the set up described so
far but remember that this is a steel
(chrome) cased watch with a steel
bracelet being photographed against
a white background. Due to this, the

tripod.
Use a lens with a focal length
between 50mm and 100mm
(equivalent 35mm focal length).
If you are using an APS cropped
sensor D-SLR, use a focal length
of 55mm at least.
Set focus to Manual.
Set your camera exposure mode
to Manual. The metering mode
(Matrix or Center-weighted, etc.)
is not relevant since you will be
determining the exposure with the
help of the histogram display.
Set the aperture for adequate
depth of field. This will be around
f/11 for full frame, f/8 APS-C or
f/5.6 MFT formats.

74

Smart Photography June 2014

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being overexposed and blown out
(Picture 5).
Tell a story: While most of the
watch pictures depict a watch and
nothing else, you can also develop a
theme with some props (supporting
elements) around that watch. Here
(Picture 6) shows how you can make
the photograph tell a story. The map,
the binocular, leather strap and a
retro-style watch support each-other
and give a sense that the watch is on
the table of an explorer!

Capturing the inner beauty: As you
have read in the beginning of this article,
mechanical watches are precision made
and are beautifully put together. The
internal mechanisms themselves make
excellent photographic subjects. Here,
the aim would be to capture the intricate
mechanism (Picture 7) and texture of the
metal, etc. The latter needs side lighting.
In the example shown, only window light
was used. Photographs like this need
high magnification (greater than 1:1) and
hence you may need a macro lens plus
extension tubes.

Picture 6:
Tell a story!

Picture 4: This is the result of the lighting shown in Picture 3. Note
the very soft shadow and the very clearly defined edges of the watch.
Tech Data: Nikon D600 with Zeiss 50mm Makro Planar lens. Exposure: Manual mode, ISO 100, aperture f/8 and shutter speed 1/160
sec. The strobes were equipped with radio receivers and were trigged
by a radio transmitter mounted on the camera. Exposure was set
using histogram and highlight warning tools.
Picture 5

chromed areas will tend to merge
with the background. To prevent this,
two gobos (black cards) were kept
on either side of the watch (Picture
3) inside the light tent. This is what
created the black edges which gave
the proper separation between the
watch and background (Picture 4).
Note that there are highlights as you
would expect but none of them are
blown out.
Here is one more example. The
jeweled watch was kept on a black
glass plate and lit with two strobes on
either side with very large soft-boxes
for highly diffused light. Both the
strobes were kept level with the watch
but pointing 45 degrees down. Once
again exposure was carefully chosen
so that the gems sparkled without
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June 2014 Smart Photography

75

LEARNING
Understanding Photography

Skeleton watches, a special case:
Despite the scary name there is nothing
sinister about these! Skeleton watches
have a transparent back and also the
dial is absent so that the workmanship
of the mechanism is revealed. Lighting
(for Picture 8) is as follows. First a flat
translucent Perspex sheet was placed
on a light table. A CFL lamp was kept
underneath this sheet.
Next, an orange gel sheet (also called
CTO gel) was placed on the Perspex
sheet. Another orange gel sheet was
taken and a circular hole (with a
diameter a millimeter or two lesser than
the watch) was cut in it. This was placed
on the first gel sheet.
With this you now have two sheets of
gel, one on top of other, but there is only
one layer of gel where the hole is. The
watch was kept centered above the hole.
Since there are two layers of the gel in
the surrounding area you will
get a deeper color all around while
under the watch you will get a lighter
color as there is only one layer of gel.
Another CFL light source was kept on
the top to throw some light on the face
of the watch (Picture 8). You can see
how this set up shows the mechanism
well and brings out the nature of a
skeleton watch.

76

Smart Photography June 2014

Picture 8: A skeleton watch. Here the watch was placed on a
translucent white sheet and lit from beneath. Two layers of CTO gel
were used with one having a circular cutout in the middle to give a
lighter shade. One more light was used from the left side to illuminate
the watch face and a reflector was used on the right.

General Precautions and Tips:
• The watches that you are planning to






photograph must be squeaky clean!
You will be surprised how well the
camera can capture blemishes, dust
specks, finger prints, etc. even if you
haven’t observed them during the
shoot.
Do not photograph watches that
have scratches on them unless they
happen to be something special or
vintage type. Scratches will look
ugly and spoil an otherwise good
photograph.
The room must be absolutely dark
without any stray light. This is very
important as stray light causes
unwanted ugly reflections.
The room in which you are
photographing must be completely
free of reflecting surfaces (window

CONCLUSION:
Watches are easy-to-find subjects as everyone
will have one. The older mechanical
(or analog quartz) watches are more
“photogenic” than the later ones with digital
displays. You can have endless hours of fun
photographing them. As you have seen you
need minimal equipment and even window
light will do. Try to photograph some watches
this week end and send us your results.











panes, glass shelves, etc.). In case
they are present, make sure that you
have covered them so that there are
no unnecessary reflections.
You need to carefully observe
the effect of lights (highlight and
shadows). You simply cannot do
this if your camera position is itself
changing. So, a tripod is a must.
If you are photographing a watch
head on, keep the camera sensor
parallel to the face of the watch dial.
Otherwise due to limited DOF only
a part of the watch face will be in
sharp focus.
Keep the watch hands at 10 minutes
past 10 O’clock (or 20 minutes past
7 O’clock) so that the hands don’t
obstruct the manufacturers name
and other inscriptions on the dial.
Do this just before you release the
shutter so that the image is captured
before the hands move!
Don’t attempt photographing
watches without a friend or an
assistant to help you. You need some
help to adjust lights, hold gobos, etc.
This is not a job for one person!
To check specularities, use the
highlight warning tool (in the image
playback mode). When you activate
this tool, blown highlights will blink
thus telling you exactly where the
specularities are.
ˆ
www.smartphotography.in

All text and images © Ashok Kandimalla unless otherwise stated.

Picture 7: Inside of a ladies watch (the watch back cover was removed). This image was
taken with a P&S camera with window light. Close up lenses were used to get about 2X
magnification (twice life size). You can see the jewels and the texture of the metal.

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LEARNING

Photographing
Fabrics
Dilip Yande

Having
crossed over
20 active
years in
commercial
photography,
Dilip Yande
says his forte
is Fashion
and Portrait
photography.
He believes
variety is the spice of life, and to
keep himself motivated he does a
lot of tabletop as well. For Dilip,
names like Rembrandt, Renoir,
Gauguin, Picasso, Turner, Monet
are household names because of
his childhood that was spent in a
lineage of fine arts. This ‘fine art’
reflects in his work because he feels
that there is always a little bit of
‘you’ in everything one does. Having
shot for many advertising agencies,
juried a few competitions, mentored
many workshops, and guided many
photographers in their formative
years, for Dilip, photography is just
another way to romance his first
love – art. He may be contacted at
[email protected]

I

n one of my previous
articles, I had shared a few
lighting techniques on a
topic considered to be one of
specialization – Glass. One should
note that shooting glass primarily
involves accurate lighting,
exposure and control of highlights.
This time we are going to deal
with an equally challenging topic –
Photographing Fabrics.

78

Smart Photography June 2014

In case of shooting fabrics the
parameters that take the calls are
entirely different; they are:
1) Colour of the fabric
2) Texture on the fabric (natural or
embossed)
3) Defects in weaving
4) The characteristics of the weave
of the fabric and the thickness,
softness or coarseness of the
threads used.
5) ‘Fall’ of the fabric, which is its
fluidity to fall when suspended
or its characteristic to be very
stiff in nature.
6) Material or quality of the fabric
(whether it is silk, cotton,
Manchester cloth, denim, jute,
synthetic material etc.)
7) The shine on the cloth which is
very much evident in cloths like
satins, synthetics, silks, china
silks, taffeta etc.
8) Colour scheme of the print on
it.
9) General property of the fabric
as to how heavy it is, whether
it can be blown in the air while
shooting. Or how much ‘net
like’ and ‘see through’ it is.
Primarily, photographing fabrics
comes under two categoriesa) Photographing loose cloth used
for shirting, trousers, dress
material etc.
b) Photographing stitched
products like shirts, T-shirts,
blazers, coats or any other
ready-made garments.

In this article I am not involving
models for the shoot, but
only covering the topic of
photographing the fabrics as a
table-top.
Whether you are shooting
category ‘a’ or ‘b’ above, the most
important person in the shoot is
the person termed as the ‘dress
man’. He should have thorough
knowledge about ironing different
kinds of fabrics and should be
equipped with the right types
of specialized irons. Care has to
be taken that a proper area in
the studio has to be given to this
person so that he can do his work
without any disturbance.
Whenever fancy designer-dresses
or party-wear are shot, care has to
be taken by the dress-man to check
the suitability of the cloth used as
the ‘lining’ inside a ‘see thru’ or
a netted dress. Any wrong setting
of the temperature control on his
pressing-iron can, in a jiffy, make
the lining stick to the other fabric
(or stick to his iron), thus ruining
the whole apparel.
If you are photographing in a newly
built studio or your apartment,
you need to take care that there
is adequate power supply. Some
professional steam-irons are very
wattage-heavy; hence with all the
air conditioners and lights on, there
are chances of overloading the line
www.smartphotography.in

voltage which could cause the safety
switches to trip.

comparison to the gents’ wear like
shirts, trousers etc.

The second most important
entity involved in a fabric shoot
is a ‘stylist’. Unlike the job of a
‘food-stylist’ who only beautifies
a food-shot by selecting the
correct dish, and by arranging and
garnishing the dish, this stylist
has to play a more technical role
involving a lot of patience. His
job is not just to place the fabric
in an artistic manner as per the
vision of the art director, but also
to present it technically correct.
They always carry a styling kit
consisting of paper pins, needles,
threads, blue tac, double-sided
tapes of different thickness, cellotapes, pair of scissors, cutters,
fine fabric cutters, lint removing
brushes, thermocol sheets of
different thicknesses, cotton, felt
sheets, padding materials usually
termed as ‘buckram’ etc. The
required materials are cleverly
placed behind the loose fabric to
be photographed, thus giving it
the desired shape, contours, falls,
waves, and pinches as required.

A) Shooting loose fabric in a
studio set-up
Since we will be using studio flash,
keep the camera’s White Balance
to ‘Daylight’ (keeping the WB to
‘Flash’ gives a warmer tone). Even
if you wish to have a wavy look to
the fabric, the fabric still has to be
ironed neatly before creating that
look. The shooting area for a fabric
shoot has to be such that there
is enough space all around the
fabric for the purpose of lighting,
preferably the center of the room.
If you are shooting inside your
client’s showroom, take care that
no vibrant coloured walls are
nearby or they may create a strong
colour-cast on the
fabric, thus marring
the shoot. If this is
Curved Thermocol
unavoidable due to
space constraints,
then stick black
paper on that wall
to avoid the colour
reflection.

Kindly remember that this person
is not a fashion designer who
also does styling but a
specialized ‘handler’ of
fabric for table-tops. A
few dress men who iron
the clothes also offer
this service or
may suggest you the
right professional for
the same.

Diag 1
Light with 32 deg grid

Your job as a
photographer
is to ‘bring out’

the basic characteristics of the
fabric – the correct shade, texture,
softness or coarseness, the ‘fall’,
and the beauty of the printed
design. After you are satisfied by
the composition, the lighting part
has to be completed. Once this is
satisfactorily done then place an
18% gray card on the fabric and
take a shot. Place the gray card
in that area which is well lit with
your main source of light. Use this
shot with the gray card as your
reference for colour correction
during post-processing. Apply
these corrections to the desired
shots. Follow the above steps in
the order I have mentioned and
you would not go wrong. Keep
a practice of executing such
shoots using a steady tripod and
do not forget
to bracket
the shots.
Soft Box on floor stand

tt

Best shots
of fabrics
are always a
result of the
right use of a
thumb-rule in
photographyImage
contrast =

Soft Box on floor stand

If you notice the market
trend you may observe
that where models are
not preferred in a fabric
shoot due to budget
constraints or because
of concept demands,
mannequins are made
to wear the desired
clothes. But when it
comes to pack-shots or
table-tops of fabrics or
ready-made garments,
you will find that very
few ladies’ products are
projected that way, in
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Pic 1
June 2014 Smart Photography

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LEARNING
Pic 2

Object contrast + Contrast
enhancing factors.
Objects which are light
in colour, or have hardly
any visible textures on
the surface to make them
noticeable, are defined as
those having ‘low object
contrast’. This has to be
compensated through proper
lighting so that the texture
is correctly enhanced or
should be placed along with
contrast coloured cloths or
props, to make its ‘identity’
felt. At the same time the
props used should have
some meaning and should
be related to the cloth being
shot in some way.
B) Shooting stitched fabrics
While shooting ready-made
garments, once again colour
is the most important and
all the precautions and steps
mentioned above have to be
followed religeously.
Pic 3

Diag 2
Strip Light

Soft Box medium size

Cutter

Grid
Small soft box
tt

Diag 3
Light throught Grid

tt

Small soft box

Strip Light

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Pic 4

a specialised Photo Editor . Please
remember that a person specialising
in face editing may not necessarily
be the right person to handle fabric
editing since this involves much
more patience and detailing. Every
shot has to be colour corrected,
cleaned of the dust and specks by
Diag 4

Bounce umbrella small
Light throught Grid

tt

Light throught Grid
Thermocole

Pic 5

While shooting products like shirts,
the collars of the shirt play a major
role. Care has to be taken that they
are very symmetric in arrangement
or have been purposefully kept
very asymmetric in order to give a
casual look. This all depends on the
kind of range you are shooting. The
shirts themselves are categorised in
different sections like the formals,
semi formals, striped ones, checks
variety, beach shirts, party wears
etc. The props used in the table-top
should match the collection that is
being shot.
The third most important person
involved in completing your job is
Diag 5
1mtr soft box on boom stand

Curved thermocol
Soft Box medium size

Strip light
slightly at
a height

Shirts

Strip light on floor stand

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June 2014 Smart Photography

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LEARNING
Pic 6

this a choice of ‘matured men’
& people of a refined ‘taste’. To
exaggerate the folds of the cloths
more of hard light was used as
shown in the diagram. (diag 4)
5) Pic 5- This was a stripe
collection and was once again
a ‘dead top’ shot. It had to be
shot from a height of almost
7 feet from the ground, where
the shirts were arranged on the
background. An even lighting
was needed hence the lights were
placed as per the diagram.
(diag 5)
6) Pic 6 is an excellent example of
‘low object contrast’. This has
to be compensated in lighting. I
would suggest that by carefully
studying the lighting diagrams
of pic 1 to 5 & after studying
Pic 7a

enlarging to more than 100 % on
the screen. Care has to be taken;
that the weave of the fabric is not
disturbed while cleaning the dust &
the pattern on the print on the fabric
should continue without getting
disturbed. If an inexperienced
editor goes wrong, it may appear
like a fabric defect, thus spoiling the
shoot. In case of making cutouts the
edges have to be softened correctly
by the editor.
Here are a few examples of the
shots for your reference1) Pic 1- Denim wear is always
considered rough-and-tough,
hence is symbolized that way
through the visual. A coffee
brown laminate sheet with
slight texture was chosen as a
background. This laminate had
lettering in black printed on it
as part of design. A mixture of
different shades of denim blues
was chosen and the composition
was made to give a messy look.
The lighting was done as per the
diagram. (diag 1)
2) Pic 2- The background of bricks
is what is called as a camphor
board. It has a matt finish to it.
To symbolise that these striped

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shirts would be a good
thing to gift someone
like your friend, this was
placed in a cane basket.
A matching tie was
kept with it, a bunch of
orchids with appropriate
shade was added to the
shot and the lighting
was done as per the
diagram. (diag 2)
3) Pic 3- This shirt was
from the ‘party wear’
collection. Hence props
like the cork opener,
wine bottles were added
to shot to create the
evening relaxed feel.
The lighting was done as
per the diagram.
(diag 3)
4) Pic 4- Shirtings with the
same shade of colour
were chosen for this
tabletop. The designs
were in stripes; checks
etc, but had one shade
in common. These
pieces of loose fabrics
were creatively styled
around a pencil sketch
of a bearded man, in
order to suggest that
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Pic 7b

the molding of the products,
you do an imaginative attempt
of placing the lights in the right
position. This will sharpen your
lighting skills.
7) Pic 7 a,b- Taby silks are very soft
and make nice compositions in
the air when blown by a mild
draft of air.
Last but not the least, do not
rely on the LCD panel on your
camera. Instead, carefully check
the images on your computer
monitor. Enlarge each image and
check corner to corner for ‘moiré
patterns’. Fabric table tops are
most prone to these problems and
can mar your shoot. These occur
when the ‘mesh’ of the pixels on
your camera sensors contradicts
with the mesh of the fibers that go
in the weaving of the fabric. This
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can be corrected to a large extent
with the help of some plug-ins
available in post-production.
But practice shooting the fabric
by zooming in slightly and then
zooming out a bit as this can give
you a position in which moire can
be avoided – these are the tricks of
the trade.
All the tips given above are a
‘must’ when it comes to shooting
textile-related catalogues or
web sites etc. It has to be a true
documentation of what is seen by
the naked eye and felt by the hand.
But when it comes to shooting
coffee-table books of say hand
woven fabrics then the challenge
is even more. The bridal feel in
the Kanchipuram and Maheshwari
sarees, the softness of Pashmina
shawls with its traditional colour
schemes, the pastel shades and

weak relief of fabric work in
Lucknowi chikan, the weaves
of a Jaamdani, distinct threadwork of Karnataki Kashida or
kashida embroideries of Kashmir,
the richness of Zardosi work
and Paithanis and the detailing
of a Kalamkari work needs to
be distinguished as handicraft
and separated from its digital
counterfeit parts. Hence you
require a much more mastery on
lighting. This should give you an
idea that shooting glass, diamond,
metals are not the only tough
chapters of photography, but in
fact every subject is deep in itself
and needs a lot of dedication. ˆ

Credit LinesCentury Textiles & Industries Ltd, Birla
Century & Maati Collection.

June 2014 Smart Photography

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LEARNING

HDRI
(Using Photomatix Pro 5)
Rohinton Mehta

I

am not an expert in using
Photomatix. For me, it is as much
of an experiment as it would be for
most of you. But I assure you that using
Photomatix is great fun if you like to
experiment.
HDRI stands for High Dynamic Range
Imaging. For those who may not have
tagged along with us in the past, HDRI
is a technique of creating images with
good detail in highlights as well as
shadows when the picture is shot in
harsh contrasty lighting or when the
subject contrast is too great for the
camera’s imaging sensor.

The human eye has a very wide
Dynamic Range (DR) – about 14-15 f/
stops equivalent. This means that if the
difference between the darkest shadow
and the brightest highlight is about
14-15 f/stops, our eyes are still capable of
seeing enough detail in both the areas.
The very best, top-of-the-line digital
camera sensors cover about 10-11 f/
stops, and that too only at lower ISOs. As
you increase the ISO, DR drops! To give
you a rough idea, at ISO 800, DR drops
by almost 2-stops! And don’t forget, low/
medium-end cameras have still lesser
dynamic range (around 6-7 f/stops
equivalent).
When you photograph a scenery
for example (and assuming that you
haven’t made a gross exposure error),
and find that the sky looks okay but
the foreground appears very dark, you
know that the scene DR is very high
and/or your camera has a low dynamic
range imaging sensor. The same is the
case when you photograph an interior
and find that if the room is correctly
exposed, but the area outside the open
window, is overexposed. You might

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be tempted to think that by averaging
the exposure for the two extremes (the
bright sky and the foreground, or the
brightness of the room interior and
the outside brightness), you would get
‘the’ exposure, you would be wrong. By
doing so, both the areas will suffer.
Enter HDRI.
To create a high dynamic range
image, the technique is to take several
frames of the same subject, at varying
exposures and then merge them in
a specialised software to create a
picture that has adequate details in
the highlights as well as shadows. For
the purpose of this article, we shall use
Photomatix Pro to create the HDR
image.
Note that not every scene that you see
is a candidate for HDRI. The digital
camera’s sensor is quite capable of
providing detail in shadows as well as
highlights under ‘normal’ lighting. It
is only when the lighting/scene has
excessive contrast, is HDRI a candidate.
Hence it is important to identify which
scene is suitable for HDRI and which
is not.
Since HDRI requires multiple frames of
the same subject (at varying exposures),
it stands to reason that the subject be
stationary; a moving subject will cause
alignment problems during postprocessing and hence is not the right
candidate for HDRI.

For and Against
There are those who just love HDR
images; they swear by them. And then
there are those who hate HDR images;
they swear at them! The antagonists
have a good reason to dislike HDR

images. Most HDRIs are over-done
and hence don’t look ‘natural’. Many
photographers in favour of HDR images
bring in so much shadow detail that
it just looks wrong. High Dynamic
Range Images don’t have to be entirely
devoid of shadows. That’s where your
judgement comes in. Yes, ensure that
there is good shadow detail where
required but don’t overdo it. Our eyes
can see shadow detail that camera lenses
can’t. We need to maintain that as well as
a good balance between the two.

How many shots should
one take to create a HDRI?
Well, that depends on the lighting/
scene contrast, the dynamic range of
your camera’s imaging sensor and how
many stops difference you allow between
each exposure. If the contrast is not
too high, you could probably get away
with just a 2-shot, +/- 2 EV bracket.
Some photographers use a minimum of
3-frames at +/- 2 EV difference between
each frame. Note that this also is a very
rough estimate and a lot depends on the
overall brightness range of the scene, the
angle of light hitting the scene, whether
there is cloud cover etc. In some extreme
cases, you may be required to shoot a
bracket of 5 or even 7 frames.

Is it possible that someone
may bracket more than
required?
It is possible both ways; someone may
bracket too much or too little! If you
notice that the brightest frame in your
sequence is pure white, you are overbracketing (taking more shots than
required); if the darkest frame in the
sequence is pure black, you are overbracketing too.
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How do you meter a scene
for HDRI?
We have to bracket our exposures (take
many frames of the same subject but
with varying exposures). We need to
overexpose the shadows in the brightest
frame and underexpose the highlights
in the darkest frame. This means that
there should be no shadow clipping
(underexposing) in the lightest frame
and there should no highlight clipping
(overexposing) in the darkest frame.
This may sound a bit complicated at
first, but its not really so.
Every modern camera has at least 3
types of exposure meters built into it:
Matrix/Evaluative, Centre-weighted,
and Spot. For the purpose of creating
an HDRI, its best to use the Spot meter,
which reads a very narrow area of the
scene (typically 3-5% of the screen area).
If you can get your hands on a separate,
hand-held, 1-degree Spot Meter, it
would be even better. A 1-degree spot
meter reads 0.05% of the screen area,
making the readings much more
accurate. (Of course you could go very
close to the metering area with your
camera’s spot meter but that would not
be convenient or even possible at all
times).

exposures since hand-holding the
camera can cause minute misalignments
between shots. Some HDR software do
take care of such minor misalignments
but why take a risk? You should also be
careful in spite of using a tripod that you
do not inadvertently move it between
shots. Using a cable release or infrared
/ radio controlled remote release would
be safer.

assume that our darkest area reading
was f/11 at 1/20 second and the brightest
area reading was f/11 at 1/320 second
(it actually was in the example you’ll
see). This means that the brightness
difference is 4 stops. Hence we need to
bracket between f/11 at 1/20 second up
to f/11 at 1/320 second. You could, if you
like, take one extra frame at either end
(something like an insurance), like I did.

3. Decide on your aperture, depending
on the depth of field you want. (In our
example, I have used f/11). Take a Spot
meter reading of the darkest area where
its important to show details (note
it down if you are forgetful). Take
another spot meter reading of the
brightest area (note it down).

So my bracketed shutter speeds were (at
f/11): 1/640, 1/320, 1/160, 1/80, 1/40,
1/20 and 1/10 sec. See images below.
1/640 sec.

4. It is very important not to change
the aperture between readings. Let’s

1/320 sec.

Here is my recommended method to
expose for HDRI:
1. Put the camera in Manual exposure
mode. We will shoot in Raw for a better
final image quality. We will manually
bracket the frames.
Why am I suggesting manual exposure
bracketing when cameras offer auto
exposure bracketing? Some cameras only
allow 3-frame or 5-frame bracketing.
Some cameras only allow bracketing at
1-stop interval. Of course if a camera
allows, say, 7 frame bracketing with
1-stop difference, and you want to use
2-stop difference, you can always do
that by not using the in-between frames.
By using manual bracketing, things
are simplified (but you run the risk of
shaking the camera between shots when
changing the shutter speeds manually,
even though the camera is tripodmounted).

1/160 sec.

2. Tripod the camera. It is best to use
a firm tripod when bracketing your
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June 2014 Smart Photography

85

LEARNING
1/80 sec.

Remember, we said we will use
Photomatix Pro to create our HDR
image. Why not Photoshop? Well,
Photoshop also offers HDR function,
but in my opinion, Photomatix Pro does
a better job of creating an HDR. Trial
version can be downloaded free from
www.hdrsoft.com. Also please note that
there are a number of ways you can use
Photomatix and each will give a different
result.

1/40 sec.

a) Open Photomatix Pro. I am using the
stand-alone version. Click on ‘Load
Bracketed Photos’ (Printscreen 1)
b) A dialog box will open (Prinhtscreen
2). Click on ‘Browse’.
c) Navigate to the folder where you have
saved the bracketed photos and select
them. Click ‘OK’ (Printscreen 3)

1/20 sec.

d) ‘Merge to HDR Options’ box will
open (Printscreen 4).
Since we have used a tripod, select
the radio-button taken on tripod.
‘Show options to reduce ghosts’ has
not been selected since we had shot
the pictures using a tripod.
Select Reduce noise on:
underexposed image(s) only
Select Reduce chromatic
aberrations.
Select Daylight for White Balance.
Select Adobe RGB for Colour
primaries based on:
Finally, click on Align & Merge to
HDR.
Photomatix Pro will take some
time to open the next window (how
much time will depend on the
configuration of your computer); so
be patient!

1/10 sec.

e) A new screen will open
(Printscreen 5).
On the right hand side, we have
different Presets. Select the one you
like (as you click on an individual
preset, the main image will change in
real time). I have selected Painterly.
On the left, there is Tone Mapping
and Exposure Fusion. Tone Mapping
is what is used generally (it provides
good details in the shadows without
burning out the highlights). I
have selected Tone Mapping. I
have also selected Natural in the
Lighting Adjustment box. Adjust the

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Printscreen 3

Printscreen 4

Printscreen 1
Printscreen 5

Printscreen 2

remaining sliders as necessary and
click Apply.
f) A final screen (Printscreen 6) will
open. Here you can fine-tune the
contrast, colour and sharpness to your
taste. Click on Done.
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Printscreen 6

You can now save the file using the
Save As command in Photomatix 5.0,
or take a stand on what you consider a
proper HDR. If you feel that the final
photo has too much of shadow detail
for example, or that some highlights
are too bright, you can always open

the file in Photoshop for further finetuning.
Remember that different effects can be
obtained using Photomatix. Try out a
couple of effects; the software is easy to
use and great fun. Enjoy.
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Tonemapped FINAL

LEARNING

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LEARNING

A Beginner’s Intro to
Layers, Blending Modes
and Masks in Photoshop
Rohinton Mehta

Does Photoshop intimidate you? Are you zapped by such terms as ‘Layers’, ‘Blending Modes’, ‘Masks’ etc? If the
answer is ‘yes’, then tag along. This short ‘learning’ is designed to set you on the right track. To understand ‘Layers,
Layer Blending Modes’, and Adjustment Layer Masks, we first need to be clear as to what a Photoshop ‘Layer’ is.
Then we need to know what ‘Blending’ is. Finally, we need to know what a ‘Mask’ is. Various books have been written about Layers, Layer Blending Modes and Masks but in keeping with our aim to keep things as simple as possible, detailed explanation of certain terms is not included. For example, there are different types of Layers – Image
Layers, Adjustment Layers, Type Layers, and Shape Layers. For this learning, we shall talk of Layers in general.

Layers
Open your notebook and using your
ball-pen, mark a square. It need not
be a perfect square – I am not here
to teach you geometry! Now, in the
square, draw a rough sketch of me.
Come on, do it. You know I don’t sport
a beard, but anyway, draw a beard on
my handsome face. That’s it. Now, even
though I have a receding hairline, draw
a good amount of hair on my head.
Lovely. But wait a minute, I’ve changed
my mind; I don’t like the beard you
gave me. Please take
it off.
What? You can’t?
Oh, I get it. You are
thinking that if you
had to draw my
sketch and create
all that work of art
using a pencil, you
would have been able
to erase whatever I
didn’t like, without
damaging anything
in the original image.
Correct? Not really!
If you were to use a
good magnifier, you
would see that the

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Smart Photography June 2014

With beard

With beard plus hair

Now let’s go all over this again,
but this time a bit differently. On
the original sketch, you place a
sheet of thin, transparent plastic
and then draw the beard on that
plastic sheet (Next page, top).
Looking from above, you would
be able to see the combination
as just one picture. Now place
another thin transparent plastic
sheet over this and this time,
you draw the hair on my head.
Again, looking at it from above,
you will see my picture with a
beard and the hair on the head. If
you don’t like one of your edits,
simply remove that particular
plastic sheet (the Layer). This is
‘non-destructive editing’. To put
it another way, Layers allow us to
edit one area of our image without
disturbing the other areas.
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Illustration: Ajay Paradkar

paper under the erased area is
slightly damaged. Now, if you were
to relate this in terms of an image
in Photoshop, by editing away
what you didn’t like, you would
have damaged the underlying
pixels (though you wouldn’t be
able to see the damage with your
naked eyes). This is known as
‘Destructive Editing’.

Let’s play a little game.

Transparent Plastic Sheet (Layer)

Original

Beard on layer

As seen from top

Transparent Plastic Sheet (Layer)

Original + beard Layer

Hair on new layer

Lets now take another
example.

Printscreen 1).

1. Create a new blank document in
Photoshop (Go to File > New and in
the dialog box that opens, type 800
pixels (or any other figure you like)
for the Width and Height, Resolution
to 72 pixels/inch, Background
Contains White and click OK (See

2. Using the Rectangular Marquee
Tool, draw a square. Go to Edit >
Fill and when the Fill dialog box
opens, in the Use box, select Colour.
The Colour Picker dialog box will
open (See Printscreen 1a). Select the
colour of your choice (I have selected

Printscreen 1

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As seen from top

red) and click OK. Then click the OK
button on the Fill dialog box. The
square will turn red (See Printscreen
1b overleaf). Now Ctrl + D to
deselect the marching ants outline
around the square.
3. Using the Rectangular Marquee
Tool again, make another square,

Printscreen 1a
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LEARNING

Printscreen 3
Printscreen 1b

the Background, red square and the
black square – on their individual
Layers and then see if we can move
them around and interchange their
places.
5. As earlier, create a new blank
document (read point 1 again if
you have forgotten how to). Open
the Layers panel (F7 key on the
keyboard) if it is not already open.
Observe that a Background layer,
with the word ‘Background’ in
italics and with a padlock, is already
formed. This is our base layer and
so that beginners don’t mess around
with it, it is ‘locked’. (You can get rid
of this lock but I am not giving you
the key, at least for now!).

Printscreen 2

6. In the Layers panel, in the bottom
right corner, next to the Trash can,
is ‘Create a new layer’ icon. Click on
it and you’ll see a new layer (called
Layer 1). It is automatically placed
on top of the Background layer and
is marked in blue to indicate that
it is the ‘active’ layer. Also observe
that it has a chequered pattern in
it, indicating that this new layer
is blank (Printscreen 4). I suggest
that you double click on the words
‘Layer 1’ and rename it as ‘Red
Square’. (Renaming Layers with
appropriate names is always a good
idea).
7. Now, using the Rectangular
Marquee Tool, draw a square and as

but overlap the red square as shown
here (Printscreen 2). This time,
we’ll colour it black. Since black is
already your foreground colour (if
its not, just press the ‘D’ key on your
keyboard), go to Edit > Fill and in
the Use box, select Foreground Colour
and click OK. Ctrl + D to deselect
the marching ants around the black
square.
4. Observe that the black square
appears to be overlapping the red
square (Printscreen 3). I want you
to move the squares around and
also interchange the positions of
the squares – place the red square
overlapping the black square. Can’t?
That’s because the Background, the
red square and the black square are
all on the same Layer.

‘Add layer mask’ icon

We shall now place the three items –
Printscreen 4

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Smart Photography June 2014

Printscreen 5

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done earlier, and make it red (read
point 2 again if you have forgotten
how). Ctrl + D to Deselect.
8. Once again click on ‘Create a
new layer’ icon at the bottom of the
Layers panel. A new blank layer will
be formed above the Red Square
Layer. Since we had earlier renamed Layer 1 as ‘Red Square’ (see
point 6), the new layer is now called
Layer 1 (if you had not re-named
Layer 1, the new layer would have
been called Layer 2). Rename this
layer as ‘Black Square’ (Printscreen
5) by double clicking on the words
Layer 1 and assigning it the new
name.
9. Using the Rectangular Marquee
Tool, draw a new square, but
overlap it on the red square. Fill
this new square with black colour
(read point 2 once again if you have
forgotten how). Ctrl + D to deselect.
10. Now let’s say you want to move
the red square. In the Layers panel,
click on the Red Square layer to
make it the active layer, and then,
using the Move Tool (the letter
‘V’ on the keyboard), you will be
able to move the red square. If you
want to move the black square,
first click on the Black Square
layer in the Layers panel to
make it the active layer, and then,
using the Move Tool, you will
be able to move the black square
(Printscreen 6).

Printscreen 6

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To recap

11. The black
square is
overlapping the
red square. If you
want to reverse
that – make the
red square to
overlap the black
square – simply
drag the Red
Square layer (in
the Layers panel)
and place it above
the Black Square
layer. Here’s how
you can do this:
Select the Hand
Tool from the
Toolbox and place
it on the words
‘Red Square’ in
the Layers panel.
Now click the
mouse and drag
the Red Square
layer upwards till
you see a dark
line appear (see
Printscreen 7).
Release the mouse
and the red square
will overlap the
black one (see
Printscreen 8).

We now have a fair
idea as to what a
‘Layer’ is. A Layer
can be thought of as
a thin, transparent
plastic sheet that
you place over
the image to be
edited, and do all
the editing on that
transparent plastic
sheet. If you don’t
like the editing
or if you change
your mind, simply
remove the ‘Layer’
and you are back to
the original image.
If however, you
like your editing,
simply ‘flatten’ the
layers (go to Layer
> Flatten Image)
– all the layers
will merge into the
Background layer,
and then save the
file using the Save
As command. This
is non-destructive
editing.

Printscreen 7

By following the method explained
above, we are guaranteed that no
pixels will be damaged. This again
is ‘non-destructive editing’.

Printscreen 8
June 2014 Smart Photography

93

LEARNING

Blending Modes
To ‘blend’ is to ‘merge’. In this case
we are referring to the merging
or blending of various Layers in
Photoshop. Here is a printscreen
showing the available blending
modes.

Multiply (To darken)
This is an immensely important
blending mode. It is used primarily
to darken an overall light picture
(see picture 1). The entire picture
is overexposed, hence light in tone.
By applying the Multiply blending
mode, the tone in the entire image
has darkened (see Printscreen 1).
To darken even further, we can pull
down the Background copy once
again to the ‘Create a new layer’
icon at the bottom of the Layers
panel (see Printscreen 2).

Picture 1

Printscreen 1, Multiply bleending mode applied

Printscreen showing various blending modes

From a photographer’s point of view,
not all blending modes are important.
Let’s see which of these modes benefit
us. To use a blending mode, we first
need to make a copy of the Background
layer by dragging the layer to the ‘Create
a new layer’ icon at the bottom of the
Layers panel. Then we need to set the
blending mode. To do that, click in
the box named ‘Normal’ and select the
required mode.

94

Smart Photography June 2014

Printscreen 2, Multiply bleending mode applied second time

If you feel that the image has
darkened more than what you
desired, you can adjust the tones
using the Opacity control in the
Layers panel (see printscreen 3
on next page, where
I have reduced the
Opacity to 35%).
Screen (To lighten)
This again is a very
useful blending mode.
It is used primarily to
lighten an overall dark
picture (see picture 2
and printscreen 1).
The Screen mode does
not affect the blacks in
the picture. To lighten
even further, we can
pull down Background
copy once again to the
‘Create a new layer’
icon at the bottom of
the Layers panel. And
just like in the Multiply
blending mode, you
can always adjust the
amount of lightening
by using the Opacity
control in the Layers
panel.
Overlay (Increases
contrast). Picture 3
next page
The Overlay blending
mode will make
shadows darker and
highlights brighter. In other words, it
increases contrast. Areas that are 50%
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LEARNING

Picture 3
Printscreen 3

Overlay bleending mode applied

Picture 2

Soft Light bleending mode applied
Printscreen 1, Screen bleending mode applied

grey are not affected by this blending
mode.
Soft Light (Increases contrast, but
not as much as Overlay does)
This works almost the same way as
Overlay but the effect is ‘softer’.
Hard Light (Increases contrast,
even more than Overlay does)
This works almost the same way as
Overlay but the effect is ‘stronger’.

Luminosity
The Luminosity blending mode is
used after an image is sharpened
using Unsharp Mask. After
sharpening, go to the blending
mode and select Luminosity. This
ensures that only the black & white
data is sharpened, leaving out
the colours. Colours should not
be sharpened as it is possible for
sharpened colours to bleed beyond
the edges.
Hard light bleending mode applied

96

Smart Photography June 2014

www.smartphotography.in

LEARNING

LAYER MASKS
Layer Masks allow us to
hide the contents of a layer.
You can hide the contents
partially or wholly. When
you create an adjustment
layer, a layer mask is
automatically added next
to the layer. In certain cases
however, a layer mask is not
formed automatically and
you have to create the mask
if need be.
See the landscape image.
While the water is reasonably
okay, the trees in the
background are quite dark. I
would like some more detail
in those trees. In the Layers
panel, you can see the image
as the ‘Background’ layer
(Printscreen 1). Drag the
layer to the ‘Create a new
layer’ icon at the bottom of
the Layers panel. The new
layer, Background copy, has

Original image

a blue band, indicating that it is the
active layer (Printscreen 2).
Go to the Blending Mode (where it
says ‘Normal’), and click. From the
drop-down menu, select Screen.
The trees have become lighter (we
wanted to make them lighter) but
the water has also become lighter
(something that we didn’t want). See
Printscreen 3, next page.
Also observe that a Layer Mask is not
automatically created. Hence we will
create the required mask by clicking
in the Add layer mask icon (the square
with the circle in it) at the bottom of the
layers panel. As soon as you do that, a
white layer mask is formed. Also observe
the chain link between the image icon
and the Mask; it tells us that the two are
connected (See Printscreen 4, next page).

‘Create a new layer’ icon

Printscreen 1

98

Smart Photography June 2014

Printscreen 2

Note: Once you click on ‘Add layer
mask’ icon, it will turn to ‘Add
vector mask’ but don’t worry about
it at this stage.
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LEARNING

‘Add layer mask’ icon

Printscreen 3

Printscreen 4

Printscreen 5

Printscreen 6

We now want to bring back the
water to its original tonality. This
is where the Layer Mask comes in.
Using the Brush Tool (with soft
edge), we can paint over the area
covered by the water. The mask is
white, hence we shall paint using
black as the foreground colour
(the Toolbox shows two squares
at the bottom. The black square
should be in the front. If not, hit

100

Smart Photography June 2014

Final image

the ‘D’ key on the keyboard). And
since we want the water to be
as it was in the original picture,
we shall paint at 100% Opacity
(Printscreen 5).
See the mask in the printscreen. It

shows (in black) the area that we
have worked on (Printscreen 6).
You can now perform any other
additional edits if required and
then save the file using the Save As
command.
ˆ
www.smartphotography.in

LEARNING

PANNING
Rohinton Mehta

‘P

anning’ is a technique
to convey the feeling
of speed, or suggest
motion in a two-dimensional still
photograph.
Let’s say you are photographing
a motor-cycle that’s moving very
fast. You could use a very fast
shutter speed and freeze the action
as you can see in the photo below.
Yes, the action is frozen but have
you captured the feeling of speed?
The answer is ‘no’. You could as
well have taken the photo of a
stationary motor-cycle or one that
was moving very slowly.

So how do you convey the feeling of
speed in a still (non-video) photo?

Keep this in mind:
a) You are going to photograph the
speeding subject when the subject is
almost perpendicular (90 degrees) to
you.
b) You will take the photograph using a
slow shutter speed (for example 1/30 or
1/15 sec; but that also depends on the
subject speed and your distance from
the subject).
c) The background behind the subject

should not be plain like an open sky or a
wall – there should be disturbing elements
like a fence, poles, people, trees etc.

The method:
1. Stand with your feet comfortably apart
and manually focus the lens at a distance
(focus on the ground) where you know
the subject to pass.
2. Take a camera meter reading from the
ground, but with a slow shutter speed as
mentioned above.
3. Now, maintaining your position
(perpendicular to the movement of the

Photo courtesy: Sanjay Raikar

Aperture: f/3.0 Shutter Speed: 1/800sec . ISO: 100

Using a fast shutter speed has stopped the subject in its tracks but has not given the impression of ‘speed’.

www.smartphotography.in

June 2014 Smart Photography

101

LEARNING

Photo courtesy: Ajay Sood (Travelure)

Aperture: f/11.0 Shutter Speed: 1/50sec . ISO: 100

‘Panning’ the camera using slow shutter speed has created the background blur that imparts a feeling of ‘speed’ in a non-video picture. Observe the horse’s legs, which show some
amount of blur. This too adds to the impression of ‘speed’. Do take a note of the cluttered background, which in this case, was very necessary to create the impact of panning.

subject), and twisting your body only
above the waist, view the subject through
your camera as it moves from your left to
right (or right to left) in front of you. The
subject will appear out of focus but avoid
the temptation to refocus. Remember,
you have pre-focussed on the spot where
you expect the subject to pass.
4. Maintain the subject in the center of
your camera frame as you move (pan)
the camera smoothly in an arc of a circle.
5. A fraction of a second before it reaches
the pre-focussed point, release the
shutter but continue to pan smoothly
till the exposure is over. This is very
important.
6. Take further shots using some other
slow shutter speeds.

Why does this work?
Remember, you are panning the camera
along with the subject, at the same speed
of the subject. This means that the relative
speed difference between the subject and
the panning camera, is practically zero.

102

Smart Photography June 2014

Because of this, the subject appears
sharp (or reasonably sharp), while the
background, which is stationary, appears
to show movement blur. You may now
realise the importance of having a
cluttered background. It is the lateral
blurring of the elements in the cluttered
background, compared to the sharp (or
almost sharp) main subject, that gives
an impression of speed.

Further considerations
Different shutter speeds will provide
different effects of movement. The
shutter speed you use will also depend
on the speed of the fast-moving subject
and the distance between you and the
subject. For example, if a subject is
moving at say 70kmph and is, say, 25
feet away from you, and you need to use
say, 1/15 sec for the pan, then for the
same subject moving at the same speed
but just 10 feet away from you may
require 1/60 or even 1/125 sec.
The lens that you use also has a part to
play. I have successfully panned at 1/250

sec with a motor-cycle going at 100kmph
just about 7 feet away, using a 24mm
lens. (Please avoid trying this; the motorcyclist may lose control because of loss of
concentration as he watches you panning
and may ram into you).
Generally, you cannot pan successfully if
the subject is far away or is moving very
slowly. You also cannot pan a subject
that is coming straight towards you or
is moving straight away from you. The
subject should move perpendicular to
you for a good panning effect.
Subjects like galloping horses and
speeding cyclists make for good panning
effects. Sections of horses’ articulated
legs move at a faster speed than their
body and this provides a blur to the legs.
Similarly, the cyclists’ legs moving in a
fast circular motion causes blurring of
the legs which add to the feeling of speed.
Do try this technique. You’ll love the
effect. And yes, vertical panning is also
possible, as when panning along with
a diver!
ˆ
www.smartphotography.in

110
Compact Review

104

Head-to-Head
Canon EOS 1200D Vs.
Nikon D3300

114
118
124 122
Compact Review

Olympus Stylus SP-100 EE

Compact Review
Nikon Coolpix P600

First Look

Lens Review
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140
f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR

Nissin i40

Change in Rating System
Smart Photography’ s new rating
system exercises stricter evaluation
in view of improvements in the
overall performance of photographic
equipment. Marks will be awarded for
the following parameters...

Final Rankings
Recommended ......................................... 75-80%
Best Buy .........................................81% and above

Reviews

Sony Cyber-shot RX10

D-SLR CAMERAS

LENSES

COMPACT CAMERAS

Design & Build Quality .................... (out of 20)

Design & Build Quality .................... (out of 20)

Design & Build Quality .................... (out of 20)

Key Features........................................... (out of 20)

Key Features........................................... (out of 20)

Key Features........................................... (out of 20)

Ergonomics ............................................. (out of 20)

Ergonomics ............................................. (out of 20)

Ergonomics ............................................. (out of 20)

Performance
Autofocus ....................................................(out of 5)
Metering ......................................................(out of 5)
Noise control ...........................................(out of 5)
Distortion/Sharpness..........................(out of 5)
LCD/Viewfinder.....................................(out of 5)
Auto White Balance...........................(out of 5)

Performance
Autofocus ....................................................(out of 5)
Sharpness.....................................................(out of 5)
Distortion control .................................(out of 5)
Aberrations ................................................(out of 5)
Darkening of corners.........................(out of 5)
Extra Features............................................(out of 5)

Performance
Autofocus ....................................................(out of 5)
Metering ......................................................(out of 5)
Noise control ...........................................(out of 5)
Distortion/Sharpness..........................(out of 5)
LCD/Viewfinder.....................................(out of 5)
Auto White Balance...........................(out of 5)

Value for Money ....................... (out of 10)

Value for Money ................................. (out of 10)

Value for Money ....................... (out of 10)

Grand Total ............................... (out of 100)

Grand Total ......................................... (out of 100)

Grand Total ............................... (out of 100)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Canon EOS 1200D Vs. Nikon D3300

The Flyweight
Challenge!
Sujith Gopinath

C

anon and Nikon are evenly
matched when it comes
to the range of inventory.
Also, the image quality depends
on the camera-lens combination,
rather than the body or lens taken
separately. So a comparison of
professional D-SLRs can throw up
varying results depending on the
lens-body combination. However,
entry-level D-SLRs usually come
bundled with their standard kit
lenses and this is the combination

that most beginners are likely to
use. So a head-to-head comparison
between two entry-level D-SLRs
makes perfect sense. Both Canon
and Nikon launched their upgraded
entry-level D-SLRs within a month
of each other. Here we compare the
Canon EOS 1200D and the Nikon
D3300, bundled with their respective
standard 18-55mm kit lenses.

Design and Build Quality
In terms of design, the first thing to

say is that the 1200D is designed
like a Canon and the D3300 is
designed like a Nikon. So we
are ignoring the trivial design
elements such as the placement
of power button, command dials
and buttons. The Nikon is lighter
and slightly smaller than the
Canon. The AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm
1:3.5-5.6G VR II lens is shorter
and diametrically smaller than the
Canon EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS
II lens. The Canon lens has a 58mm

` 34,995

` 37,950

(with 18-55mm
IS II kit lens)

(with AF-S 18-55mm
VRII kit lens)

104

Smart Photography June 2014

Smartphotography.in

filter thread, while the Nikon lens
has a 52mm thread. The Nikon offers
slightly better grip, while the Canon’s
rubber lining on the grip feels more
durable. Both are evenly matched
when it comes to build quality, except
for the smaller kit lens and the lighter
body of the D3300.

Key Features
The following table will give you an idea
of how the key features are matched.
The highlights indicates ‘Better’. It is not
too difficult to judge who the winner
is. While Nikon upgraded the D3200
with their latest EXPEED 4 processor,
Canon did not incorporate the DIGIC
5 or the latest DIGIC 5+ processor.
The DIGIC 5+, according to Canon, is
17 times faster than the DIGIC 4, and
it would have made a huge difference
in performance. Even the other key
features pale in comparison to the
D3300.
Feature
Effective pixels
Image sensor
Processor
Dust-reduction System
Max. Image size
File format

On the features front, the
Nikon is a clear winner.

Ergonomics
Both the Canon 1200D and
the Nikon D3300 match
well when it comes to the
placement of dials and
buttons on the camera,
though the Nikon’s Live View
appeared crisper, probably
due to the higher resolution
of the screen. What could
make a real difference while
using the camera is the
placement of the memory
card slot. While the 1200D’s
card slot is within the battery
compartment, the D3300’s
Memory card slot is at the
side, on the grip. The Nikon’s
design enables faster access
and also facilitates changing

Canon EOS 1200D
18.0 million
22.3 x 14.9mm CMOS
DIGIC 4
No
5184 x 3456 pixels
Raw (14-bit ),
JPEG, Raw+JPEG
Media
SD, SDHC, SDXC
30 to 1/4000 sec; Bulb
Shutter speed
Max. Flash sync speed 1/200s
Frame advance rate
Up to 3 fps
Exposure compensation ±5 EV in 1/3or 1/2-stop increments
ISO sensitivity
ISO 100 – 6400,
expandable to ISO 12800
Focus Points
9
Built-in flash
Approx. 9.2m
Guide Number
at ISO 100
Flash compensation
±2 stops in 1/3- or
1/2-stop increments
Built-in flash as
No
‘Master’ flash?
Best Video quality
1920 x 1080,
30p/25p/24p
Video format
MOV
Monitor
3 inches
Screen Resolution
460,000 dots
Dimensions
Approx. 129.6 x
99.7 x 77.9mm
Weight
Approx. 480g
Smartphotography.in

Nikon D3300
24.2 million
23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS
EXPEED 4
Yes
6000 x 4000 pixels
Raw (12 bit),
JPEG, Raw+JPEG
SD, SDHC, SDXC
30 to 1/4000s; Bulb; Time
1/200 s
Up to 5 fps
±5 EV in 1/3stop increments
ISO 100-12800, Can
also be set to ISO 25600
11
Approx. 12m at
ISO 100
-3 - +1 EV in
increments of 1/3 EV
Yes
1920 x 1080, 60p/
50p/30p/25p/24p
MOV
3 inches
921,000 dots
Approx. 124 x
98 x 75.5 mm
Approx. 460 g

of memory card with the camera
mounted on a tripod. The 1200D may
require unmounting from the tripod to
change the memory card especially if
the camera plate is large. Another factor
that goes in favour of the Nikon is the
non-rotating filter thread of the kit lens,
which allows the use of polarisers and
graduated filters.
Here again, the Nikon edges ahead.

Performance
Autofocus
Both the cameras focussed well and
fast when using the optical viewfinder.
June 2014 Smart Photography

105

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Canon EOS 1200D Vs. Nikon D3300

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Smart Photography June 2014

Aperture:f/8.0 Shutter Speed: 1.0sec ISO:200

CANON EOS 1200D

Smartphotography.in

NIKON D3300

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Aperture:f/8.0 Shutter Speed: 0.6sec ISO:200

June 2014 Smart Photography

107

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Canon EOS 1200D Vs. Nikon D3300
But Live View focussing made the
real difference. Most of the times, the
Canon 1200D simply kept on hunting
for focus, while the Nikon D3300
had no problems with focussing even
under low light. To make matters
worse, the Canon’s focussing process
made lot of noise while the Nikon’s
was barely audible.
Continuous Shooting
To check the continuous shooting
speeds of the cameras, we used two
identical SanDisk 4GB Class 4 SD HC
memory cards. Though the specified
speeds are true only for Class 10 cards,
the Class 4 cards would still be a fair
comparison. Both cameras were set
to High Speed Continuous mode and
we checked the time for JPEG and
Raw images separately. Canon shot
12 JPEG Large and Fine images in 4.5
sec before the buffer got full, clocking
2.6 frames per second, and took
approximately 15.4 sec to write the
images to the card. The Nikon, on the
other hand, shot 11 JPEG Large and
Fine images in 3.4 sec before filling
the buffer, achieving 3.2 frames per
second, and took approximately 24.5
sec to write the images to the card.
In case of Raw images, The 1200D
shot 5 frames in 2.8 seconds before
running out of buffer space, providing
approximately 1.8 frames per second,
while the D3300 shot 5 frames in
1.4 sec, providing approximately 3.6
frames per second. While the Canon
took 30 sec to write the images to the
card, the Nikon took 26 sec.

apertures at the wide-angle end.
Here the Canon 1200D controlled
the darkening very well, producing
almost imperceptible darkening
at the extreme corners, while the
Nikon D3300 exhibited prominent
darkening.

While the D3300 had better
continuous shooting speed, the 1200D
had slightly better writing speed in
the case of JPEG images. However,
the Canon was slightly slower to write
Raw images on to the card, probably
because of the higher bit depth of
Canon Raw images.

Flare and Chromatic Aberration
To test flare and chromatic aberration,
we photographed some tree branches
with the sun peeping through them.
While we observed strong flare and
heavy purple fringing in case of the
1200D, the D3300 controlled flare very
well. We did not observe any fringing
in the Nikon.

Darkening of Corners
The Canon 1200D offers Peripheral
Illumination Correction, whereas the
Nikon D3300 does not incorporate
any such feature. This feature was
kept ‘On’ in our test since it is crucial
to evaluate how well the camera-lens
combination handles Darkening of
Corners at the wide-angle end. Both
the lenses were kept at their widest

Distortion
In the test for distortion, we kept
the Auto Distortion Control feature
‘On’ for the D3300, while the 1200D
does not offer any equivalent feature.
Both lenses produced some barrel
distortion at the wide-angle range up
to about 24mm (marked focal length).
However, the Nikon produced slightly
less distortion than the Canon.

108

Smart Photography June 2014

Sharpness
The sweet spot of the Canon lens
shifted from f/5.6 to f/8 from 18
to 55mm, while the Nikon’s sweet
spot remained consistent at f/11.
From 18mm up to about 35mm,
the Nikon combination had a clear
advantage without a hint of doubt.
But towards the telephoto end, the
Canon combination showed marked
improvement. It was difficult to
determine which one was better.
Metering
Both the cameras fared well in
metering. We have no complaints
about the metering of either cameras.
Since both the cameras have different
field-of-view crop factors, we couldn’t
make the frame exactly similar. So
we give the benefit of doubt though
there was 1EV difference between the
exposures.
Auto White Balance
We tested the Auto White Balance
performance of both the cameras by
photographing a standard Gretag
Smartphotography.in

Macbeth colour chart in daylight.
Other light sources were not used
because in the case of artificial light
sources, the colour temperature is
greatly inconsistent. Both the cameras
produced ideal tones.
Noise
Though the 1200D’s specifications
mention that the ISO sensitivity can
be expanded to 12,800 equivalent, we
could set it only up to 6400 manually
in our settings. The Nikon D3300 has
approximately 6 million photosites
more than that of the Canon 1200D,
squeezed on to the sensor. Hence each
of the 1200D’s photosites covers almost
20 percent more area than that of the
D3300. This means that each photo
diode in the 1200D captures almost 20
percent more light than the D3300, and
more light captured means less noise.
This was evident in our noise test. The
Canon proved its mettle at all ISOs and
its images were perfectly usable up to
ISO 3200, while the Nikon’s images were
usable only up to ISO 1600.

CANON EOS 1200D
FINAL SCORE

NIKON D3300
FINAL SCORE

75%

82%

Design and Build Quality 16/20

Design and Build Quality 17/20

Key Features

15/20

Key Features

18/20

Ergonomics

16/20

Ergonomics

18/20

Performance
Autofocus and
Burst Shooting
Darkening
of Corners
Flare and
Chromatic Aberration
Distortion
Sharpness
Metering
Auto W/B
Noise Control
Sub-Total
Value for Money
Total
Smartphotography.in

2.5/5
4.5/5
2.5/5
3.5/5
3/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
28/40
7/10
82/110

Performance
Autofocus and
Burst Shooting
Darkening
of Corners
Flare and
Chromatic Aberration
Distortion
Sharpness
Metering
Auto W/B
Noise Control
Sub-Total
Value for Money
Total

Value for Money
The Canon 1200D retails with the
18-55mm IS II kit lens at an MRP of
Rs.34,995, while the Nikon D3300
carries a price tag of Rs.37,950 with
AF-S 18-55mm VRII kit lens. The value
for money depends on the performance
and the other parameters. When we
compare the price tags in this way, we
feel the Nikon D3300 is better in terms
of value for money, though it is more
expensive by about Rs.3000.

4/5
2.5/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
2.5/5
29/40
8/10

VERDICT
It is surprising to see a head-to-head
comparison of two close competitors
yielding such a clear result. At most stages,
there was no ambiguity about which was
better. The images spoke for themselves
except in the case of Auto White Balance
and Metering. Both the cameras have their
advantages as well as flaws. Both are very
close to each other in performance. In fact, a
better kit lens would have certainly tilted the
balance in Canon’s favour, but better lenses
are more expensive. Overall, the Nikon
D3300 is the champion of the Flyweights
along with the kit lens.

90/110
June 2014 Smart Photography

109

COMPACT Review
Sony Cyber-shot RX10

Heavyduty Compact!
Sujith Gopinath

C

amera manufacturers are
increasingly trying to woo
customers by incorporating
premium features in compact
cameras. By this, they target the
non-D-SLR camera users looking
for a super zoom bridge camera that
provides image quality close to lowend D-SLRs. The Sony RX10 is such
a premium bridge camera with quite
premium features.

Design and Build Quality
The Sony RX10 looks and feels like
a D-SLR sans the prism bulge at the
top. The camera has a refined look
that provides a professional feel.
The outer body is made of tough
polycarbonate material, which hides
the beast within. Within this plastic
shell is a robust magnesium alloy
shell that encloses both the front
and top portions of the camera. The

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Smart Photography June 2014

camera has a dust and moisture
resistant design. The lens is rather
large, having a 62mm filter
thread. There are two rings on the
lens — one being the focussing ring
and the other, an aperture control
ring. The F-numbers are marked
on the Aperture ring. The camera
features a tilting LCD and a metal
tripod receptacle.

Key Features
The 20.2 megapixel Sony RX10 uses
a 1.0-inch Type (13.2 x 8.8mm)
back-illuminated ExmorR CMOS
sensor. It uses a BIONZ X image
processing engine, which is believed
to significantly enhance the image
quality. It features a Carl Zeiss VarioSonnar T* 24-200mm equivalent lens
featuring optical SteadyShot image
stabilisation system. The lens has a
constant maximum aperture of f/2.8,

` 84,990
Inside the Box
✓ Camera
✓ Rechargeable Battery Pack (NP-FW50)
✓ AC Adaptor
✓ Micro USB cable
✓ Shoulder strap
✓ Lens cap
✓ Shoe Cap
✓ Lens hood
✓ Eyepiece Cup
✓ Instruction Manual
www.smartphotography.in

Aperture: f/4 Shutter Speed: 1/500sec . ISO:400

and is constructed with 14 elements
in 11 groups including 7 aspheric
elements. The lens focusses from
approximately 3cm to infinity at the
wide-angle end and approximately 30
cm to infinity at the telephoto end.
Focus modes available are Direct
Manual, Manual, Single-shot AF,
Continuous AF, Wide AF, Centre AF,
and Flexible-Spot AF.
The camera provides metering
options of Multi-pattern, Centreweighted, and Spot. Exposure can be
compensated up to +/-3EV in 1/3-EV
steps. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO
125 to 12,800, which is expandable
up to ISO 80. White Balance
options are Auto, Daylight, Shade,
Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent
(3 types), Daylight, Flash, Colour
Temperature, Filter, and Custom.
Shutter speed can be set from 30
to 1/3200 sec, with an additional
www.smartphotography.in

Bulb option. Self-timer can be set
to Off, 10 sec, or 2 sec. Aperture
range is from f/2.8 to 16. Shooting
modes available are Superior Auto,
Intelligent Auto, Program Auto,
Movie Mode, Panorama, Scene
Selection, and Memory Recall.
Scene selection provides options of
Night Scene, Night Portrait, Portrait,
Landscape, Handheld Twilight, Anti
Motion Blur, Sunset, Macro, and
Sports/Action. The RX10 provides
Picture effects such as HDR Painting,
Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature,
Toy Camera, Pop Colour, Partial
Colour, Soft High-key, Water Colour,
Illustration, Posterization, High
Contrast Mono, Soft Focus, and
Retro Photo.
The RX10 records still images in
JPEG and Raw formats with a
maximum size of 5472 x 3648 pixels.
Movies are recorded in AVCHD

and MP4 formats with the best
quality of 1920 x 1080 at frame
rates of 60/50/25/24 fps in AVCHD.
The built-in flash has a range of
approximately 10.2m on Auto ISO.
Flash modes available are Off, Auto,
Fill-flash, Slow sync, and Rear
curtain sync.
The RX10 is overflowing with
features and hence it is beyond
the scope of this review to list
out all of them and try them out.
However, there are two that require
mention. These are Focus Peaking
and Zebra. Focus Peaking is now
part of many cameras and is quite
useful for precision focussing in
Manual focus mode. Focussing
manually with the Live View is a
challenge. Though most compact
cameras feature focus point zooming
function, this is hardly perfect. Here
Peaking comes to your assistance.
June 2014 Smart Photography

111

COMPACT Review
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
NOISE
ISO 80

ISO 3200

ISO 200

ISO 6400

ISO 800

ISO 12800

KEY SPECIFICATIONS
Sensor Type
Size
Effective Pixels
Lens Type
Lens Construction
Aperture
Focal Length
Focus Range

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Screen Size
:
Number Of Dots
:
Name
:
Imaging Processor :
Image Stabilizer System:
Focus Modes
:
Light Metering
Exposure Comp
ISO Sensitivity
White Balance

:
:
:
:

Shutter Speed
Self-Timer
Flash Mode
Flash Range

:
:
:
:

112

ExmorR CMOS sensor
1.0 type (13.2mm x 8.8mm)
Approx. 20.2 Megapixels
Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T*
14 elements in 11 groups (7 aspheric elements)
f/2.8 constant
Approximatey 24-200mm equivalent
Approx. 3cm (1.2’) to infinity (W),
Approx.30cm(0.99’) to infinity (T)
3.0 inch
1,228,800 dots
Xtra Fine / TFT LCD
BIONZ
Optical SteadyShot
Direct Manual, Manual, Single-Shot AF, Continuous AF,
Wide AF, Centre AF, and Flexible-Spot AF
Multi Pattern, Centre-Weighted, and Spot
+/- 3.0EV in 1/3 EV step
Auto, 125 to 12800 (Extendable to ISO80)
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent
(3 modes), Daylight, Flash, Colour Temperature,
Filter, Custom
Bulb, 30 – 1/3200 sec
Off, 10sec., 2sec.
Flash Off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync.
ISO Auto: Approx. 1.0m to 10.2m

Smart Photography June 2014

Aperture
Face Detection

: f/2.8 to f/16
: Yes
Max. No of Detectable Faces 8
Shooting modes
: Superior Auto, Intelligent Auto, Program Auto, Movie
Mode, Panorama, Scene Selection, Memory Recall
Scene Selection
: Night Scene, Night Portrait, Portrait, Landscape,
Handheld Twilight, Anti Motion Blur, Sunset, Macro,
Sports Action
Picture Effect
: HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Toy
Camera, Pop Colour, Partial Colour, Soft High-key, Water
Colour, Illustration, Posterization, High Contrast Mono.,
Soft Focus, Retro Photo
Recording Media
: Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo/PRO HG Duo/SD/SDHC
SDXC/Memory Stick XC-HG Duo/Micro
Recording format
: Still: JPEG, Raw Movie: AVCHD, MP4
Max Still Image Size : 5,472×3,648 pixels
Best Movie Quality : 1,920 x 1,080 (60fps/50fps/25fps/24fps)
Digital Level Gauge : Yes
Peaking
: Yes
Zebra
: Yes
Wi-Fi
: Yes
NFC
: Yes
Interface
: Micro HDMI
Power Source
: Supplied Battery 1080mAh
Dimensions
: Approx. 129.0 x 88.1 x 102.2mm (W x H x D)
Weight
: Approx. 813g (with Battery & Memory Stick)

www.smartphotography.in

This feature highlights parts of
the frame that are in sharp focus.
You can set the Peaking colour to
Red, Yellow, or White. Even the
peaking level can be set to High,
Mid, Low, or Off. Another feature
is Zebra. Well, Sony does not give
a Zebra free with this camera.
This is just another name for
highlight warning ‘blinkies’ that are
present in most cameras. The only
difference is that the RX10 displays
it in the form of black and white
stripes. The RX10 can detect up to
8 faces in the frame.
The RX10 uses a 3.0-inch,
1,228,800-dot Xtra Fine TFT LCD.
It uses a Memory Stick or SD
card as removable memory. The
camera features WiFi and NFC
(Near Field Communication),
making it easier to pair with your
Smartphone. The device is powered
by a 1080mAh Li-ion battery pack.
The camera has dimensions of
129.0 x 88.1 x 102.2mm and weighs
approximately 813g with battery
and Memory Stick.

prominent in normal everyday shots.
The lens produced prominent flare
in strong against-the-light shots
along with purple fringing. Images
were sharp out of the box and it
retained much of the sharpness
even at the telephoto end. The sweet
spot changed from f/2.8 to f/4 while
zooming from 24mm to 200mm.

flash to go all the way up to
minimise vignetting. Like all new
Sony cameras, the battery is charged
in the camera itself using a mini
USB cable (provided). But the cable
provided is very flimsy and is likely
to break. The cable that came with
the review unit was faulty and we had
to use my Smartphone’s USB cable to
charge the battery.

Auto White Balance performed well
under natural light, both in bright
and shady conditions. Native image
size was 18.24 x 12.16 inches at
300 ppi. At 25 percent of the screen
size, images were practically noisefree up to ISO 1600, but could be
used up to ISO 3200. Observed at
50 percent, the images were free of
noise up to ISO 200, but could be
used up to ISO 800. At 100 percent
screen size, we observed slight noise
even at ISO 80, but could be safely
used up to ISO 200.

Performance
The Sony RX10 performed
reasonably well. Autofocus was fast
and precise. It locked on well even
in low light. Slight darkening was
observed at extreme corners, but
this is not a concern. The metering
modes performed well as expected.
The EVF and LCD were bright and
images appeared crisp. We observed
very slight barrel distortion up
to 70mm equivalent, but this was
barely noticeable and might not be

Value for Money
The Sony RX10 retails at an MRP of
Rs.84,990. Though this is certainly
high, it should be noted that the
camera sports a 24-200mm lens
with a constant aperture of f/2.8
throughout the zoom range.

Ergonomics
The Sony RX10 is comfortable to
hold and use. The camera is slightly
heavier than most bridge cameras,
but is very well balanced. In fact,
most lighter bridge cameras feel
‘hollow’, but this one is certainly
different. The RX10 has a deep,
rubberised grip, which provides
a solid hold on the camera. The
power switch and zoom lever
are placed along with the shutter
release unit. The shutter release
button is threaded so that you
can use a threaded cable release
(though I feel it is not going to
be used, since you have Wi-Fi
based triggers available through
Smartphones).
The flash unit pops up with a loud
and violent thud. When the flash is
raised, the housing goes absolutely
parallel to the camera body, which
makes it slightly inconvenient
to lower it (you can break the
mounting hinges if you put
pressure in the wrong direction).
But Sony couldn’t have done much
since the large lens requires the
www.smartphotography.in

FINAL SCORE

83%

Design and Build Quality 18/20

PLUS

Sharpness
Aperture: f/2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/80sec. ISO:100

VERDICT
The Sony RX10 is a
premium compact camera
with a slightly larger sensor
than in normal compacts.
With a weather-sealed
body and a magnesium
alloy chassis, it certainly
stands tall amongst
compact bridge cameras.
Best Buy indeed.

• Excellent
build quality
• Weather
sealing
• Magnesium
alloy chassis
• Constant
f/2.8 aperture
• Great
performance

MINUS
• Price could
be a turn-off
• No separate
battery charger

Key Features

MINUS

Ergonomics

Performance
Autofocus
Metering
Noise Control
Sharpness
LCD/EVF
Auto W/B
Sub-Total
Value for Money

18/20
18/20

4.5/5
4/5
3/5
3.5/5
4/5
4/5
23/30
6/10

June 2014 Smart Photography

113

COMPACT

Review
Olympus Stylus SP-100 EE

The Hunter
Rohinton Mehta

` 26,990
Inside the Box






Camera
Battery
AC Adapter
Power Cord
USB Cable

W

hat makes super zoom
bridge cameras more
attractive than D-SLRs is
the enormous zoom range and the
low price they offer, even though
it comes at the expense of image
quality. Olympus has launched a
super-zoom in the form of the
SP-100EE, sporting 50x optical
zoom and a new feature called the
Eagle’s Eye. Here is SP’s take on
this camera.

Design and Build Quality
Made of sturdy polycarbonate, the
Olympus SP-100EE is designed to
resemble a D-SLR, and has a trendy

114

Smart Photography June 2014

matte finished exterior. It has a
deep rubberised grip, another rubber
grip around the lens housing and a
prominent thumb rest. The SP-100EE
has a dot sight, which is hidden
amongst the built-in flash unit.
The dot sight can be activated
with a switch near the flash pop-up
switch. See Key Features section
for more about this feature. The
camera has a fixed LCD screen and
features a zoom lever at the side of
the lens housing in addition to the
zoom lever near the shutter release
button. The camera has a plastic
tripod receptacle.

Key Features
Olympus did not supply a user
manual with the camera and the
specifications provided on Olympus
India website is incomplete. Hence
it was impossible for us to obtain
the complete specifications of the
camera. So it is likely that we have
missed out on some of the not-soobvious features. Olympus does not
specify the type of sensor used in
this camera. We guess it is a 1/2.3inch Type sensor. The camera is a
16 megapixel model and houses
a 24-1200mm equivalent lens.
The lens features Optical Image
Stabilisation. In the Normal mode,
www.smartphotography.in

the lens focusses from 7 cm to
infinity at the wide-angle end
and from 3.5 m to infinity at the
telephoto end. In Super Macro
mode, it focusses as close as 1
cm. Autofocus modes available
are Face Detect iESP, Spot, and
Tracking.
The camera features a unique
Dot Sight to aid quick framing
at the telephoto end, called
‘Eagle’s Eye’ (this feature
is responsible for the EE
designation for SP-100). This is
a technology that has trickled
down from firearms. It consists
of a red target light reflected off
a partially-reflective mirror and
a viewfinder-type frame to view
the subject. When the sight is
raised, it provides a normal view
with the red dot placed at the
centre. The sight is placed such
that the red dot aligns perfectly
over the subject when the lens
is zoomed to the telephoto end.
The utility of this requires some
explanation. Suppose you are

photographingh a bird in the
forest at the maximum zoom
position. If the bird suddenly
relocates to another tree, it will
be difficult for you to quickly
track the bird and re-focus the
camera exactly over the bird.
Since the Eagle’s Eye provides
a wide-angle view of the scene,
it is easier to locate the bird
through this without zooming
out. Now if you align the red
dot on the bird through the
wide frame, the lens would have
automatically aligned to the
bird at the centre of the frame,
without the need to zoom out
and re-locate the bird through
the live view.
ISO sensitivity ranges from
ISO 125 to 6400. Shutter speed
ranges from 30 to 1/1500 sec.
Aperture can be set from f/2.9
to 8.4 at the wide-angle end
and f/6.5 to 19 at the telephoto
end. Still images are recorded in
JPEG format with a maximum
size of 4608 x 3456 pixels

KEY SPECIFICATIONS
Effective pixels
Removable memory

: 16 Million
: SD/SDHC/SDXC Card
(UHS-I supported)
Internal memory
: 37MB
Max recording image size : 4608x3456
Lens focal length
: 24-1200mm equivalent
Focus range
: Normal: 7 cm to infinity (Wide),
3.5 m to infinity (Tele)
Super macro: 1 cm to infinity
LCD monitor
: 3.0-inch approx. 460,000-dot TFT
ISO sensitivity
: ISO 125 to 6400, Auto, High
Art Filters
: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale and Light,
Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama,
Dramatic tone
Panorama
: Yes (Smart Panorama)
Image stabilizer
: Lens Shift
AF mode
: Face Detect iESP/Spot/tracking
AF Tracking
: Yes
Face Detection
: Yes (up to 8)
Movie Recording format : MOV/H.264
Best movie quality
: 1080 60p (1920x1080)
Battery
: LI-92B Li-ion battery
HDMI
: Yes
Dimensions
: 121.2x91.3x133.2 mm (W x H x D)
Weight
: 589 g (Including batteries/card)
Aperture: f/6.3 Shutter Speed: 1/320sec. ISO: 800

www.smartphotography.in

June 2014 Smart Photography

115

COMPACT

Review
Olympus Stylus SP-100 EE
Ergonomics
The Olympus SP-100EE offers good grip
and balances well in your hands. The menu is
intuitive and controls easy to locate.
However, we were puzzled by the behaviour
of some of the features, complicated by the fact
that Olympus did not provide a User Manual
with the camera. Both the LCD screen and
the electronic viewfinder requires much
improvement. The Eagle’s Eye was easy to
use and aligned well with the image at high
zoom positions.

Performance
The Olympus SP-100EE impressed us with
its performance. Autofocus was fast and
precise, and the system latched on to the
subjects even under low light without any
problem. The lens did not produce any
darkening at the corners even with the lens
wide open at the wide-angle end. This is quite
surprising for a compact camera.This could be
either due to better optics or a superb processor
at work. All metering modes worked well.
Distortion was very well controlled, though
slight irregular distortion could be spotted.
Auto White Balance performance was laudable,
and the pre-set modes were also found to
provide textbook results, except under a couple
of artificial light sources.

Aperture: f/5.6 Shutter Speed: 1/640sec. ISO: 125

while movies are recorded in
MOV format with the best
quality of 1920 x 1080 (60p).
The camera can detect up to
eight faces. Shooting modes
include iAuto, Art (Art Filter),
Scene, Panorama, Program (P),
Shutter Priority (S), Aperture
Priority (A), and Manual (M).
In the Aperture and Shutter
Priority modes, the camera
does not allow you to set the
ISO manually. The Art Filters
incorporated in the camera
are Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale
and Light, Grainy Film, Pin
Hole, Diorama, and Dramatic
tone. Scene modes provide
options of Portrait, e-Portrait
(Smooth Skin Tone to view on
HDTV), Landscape, Interval
Shooting, Hand-held Starlight,
Night Scene, Night+Portrait,

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Smart Photography June 2014

Sport, Indoor, Self Portrait,
Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine,
Documents, Beach and Snow,
Super Macro, and Backlit HDR.
White Balance options available
are Auto, Sunny, Cloudy,
Incandescent, Fluorescent,
and One Touch (2 options).
The device features built-in
panorama mode called Smart
Panorama. The SP-100EE uses
a 3.0-inch approx. 460,000-dot
TFT colour LCD screen. The
camera has internal memory
of 37MB and accepts an SD/
SDHC/SDXC Card (UHS-I
supported) as external storage.
The SP-100EE is powered by a
supplied LI-92B Li-ion battery.
The camera has dimensions of
121.2x91.3x133.2 mm (W x H x
D) and weighs 589 g including
batteries and memory card.

Native print size of the images was 11.52 x
15.36 inches at 300 ppi. At 25 percent of the
screen size, images were noise-free up to ISO

Sharpness
Aperture: f/2.9
Shutter Speed: 1/125sec. ISO:125

www.smartphotography.in

NOISE
ISO 125

ISO 1600

ISO 400

ISO 3200

ISO 800

ISO 6400

3200. ISO 6400 showed slight noise,
but barely noticeable. Viewed at
50 percent, images remained free
of noise up to ISO 800, but were
usable up to ISO 3200. Enlarged to
100 percent, the images remained
noise-free up to ISO 200. Slight
noise obserbed at ISO 400 was barely
noticeable. The images could be used
up to ISO 800. We would consider
this good noise control.
On the negative side, the lens
produced prominent flare along
with purple fringing. It also
produced lateral chromatic
aberration while photographing our
test charts under certain conditions.
Images out of the box appeared
sharp. The SP-100 applies aggressive
sharpening at high focal lengths and
the images at extremely high focal
lengths show sharpening artifacts.
We observed prominent flicker
on the LCD under some lighting
conditions. Images appeared a bit
hazy in the Electronic Viewfinder.
www.smartphotography.in

Value for Money
The Olympus SP-100EE retails at an
MRPof Rs.26,990. At this price, the
camera seems to be a good buy. ˆ

VERDICT
Olympus SP-100EE is a
great performer when it
comes to general image
qulaity, but it has some
overpowering weaknesses
that cannot be ignored.
The aggressive sharpening
at the telephoto end
nullifies the utility of its
high zoom range, and
so does the fact that
ISO sensitivity cannot
be controlled in priority
modes. If these flaws were
plugged, it would certainly
have been on our Best Buy
list. For the time being,
Recommended.

PLUS
• 50x optical
zoom
• Useful Eagle’s
Eye
• Good overall
performance
• Competitive
price

FINAL SCORE

78%

Design and Build Quality 17/20
Key Features

16/20

Ergonomics

17/20

Performance

MINUS

Autofocus

4/5

• Over
sharpening at
telephoto end
• Heavy flare
and chromatic
aberration
• No ISO
control in
priority modes
• Only USB
charging

Metering

4/5

Noise Control

3.5/5

Sharpness

3/5

LCD/EVF

2.5/5

Auto W/B

4/5

Sub-Total

21/30

Value for Money

7/10

June 2014 Smart Photography

117

COMPACT Review
Nikon Coolpix P600

Beyond Visual Range Camera?
Sujith Gopinath

N

ikon has raised the potential
of its popular P-series superzoom bridge camera with
a whopping 60x optical zoom. The
result is the 16.1-megapixel Nikon
Coolpix P600. It is time to put the
new camera through our rigorous
tests and find out what this camera is
capable of.

Design and Build Quality
The Nikon P600 is built with a
polycarbonate exterior and is
styled like a smaller version of
Nikon D-SLRs. We received a
black coloured piece, which had a
predominant professional looking
matte finish, unlike the red version.
The camera has a fully articulated
LCD. The lens has a two-segment
construction with a zoom lever at the
side of the lens housing in addition to
the main zoom lever near the shutter

118

Smart Photography June 2014

release button. The tripod receptacle
is metal.

Key Features
The 16.1-megapixel Nikon P600
uses a 1/2.3-inch Type CMOS
sensor, supported by an EXPEED
C2 image processing engine. The
camera houses a Nikkor 24-1440
mm equivalent f/3.3-6.5 lens. The
lens is constructed with 16 elements
in 11 groups including 4 ED and 1
Super ED element. It also features
optical Vibration Reduction. The lens
focusses from approximately 50cm
to infinity at the wide-angle end and
approximately 2.0m to infinity at
the telephoto end in Normal mode
and from approximately 1 cm to
infinity in Macro mode. The camera
uses Contrast-detect method for
autofocus. Focus area options are
Target-Hfinding AF, Face Priority,
Manual (spot), Manual (normal),

` 23,950
Inside the Box
✓ Camera
✓ Camera Strap
✓ Lens Cap LC-CP29 (with cord)
✓ Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL23
✓ Charging AC Adapter EH-71P
✓ USB Cable UC-E21
www.smartphotography.in

Aperture: f/5 Shutter Speed: 1/125sec . ISO:800

Manual (wide), Subject Tracking.
The P600 records still images in
JPEG format with a maximum size
of 4608 x 3456 pixels, while videos
are recorded in MOV format (Video:
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: LPCM
stereo) with the best quality of
1920 x 1080 (60p/25p/60i/50i/30p).
Shooting Modes available are Auto,
Scene, Special Effects, P (Program),
S (Shutter Priority), A (Aperture
Priority), M (Manual), and User
settings. Scene modes available are
Night landscape, Night portrait,
Landscape, Scene auto selector,
Portrait, Sports, Party/indoor, Beach,
Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Close-up,
Food, Museum, Fireworks show,
Black and white copy, Backlighting,
Easy panorama, Pet portrait, Moon,
and Bird-watching. Drive modes
include Single, Continuous H (about
7 fps for about 7 frames), Continuous
L (about 1 fps for about 200 frames),
www.smartphotography.in

Pre-shooting cache (about 15 fps for
20 images), Continuous H:120 fps
(120 fps for 60 frames), Continuous
H:60 fps (60 fps for 60 frames), BSS
(Best Shot Selector), Multi-shot 16,
and Interval timer shooting. In Preshooting cache mode, the camera
begins to capture images when the
shutter release button is pressed
half way down. These images are
stored in the cache and when the
shutter button is pressed fully, the
camera saves a few images captured
immediately before pressing the
button in addition to the images
captured after the button is fully
pressed down.
The P600 provides sensitivity options
from ISO 100 to 6400, expandable
to Hi 1 (equivalent to ISO 12,800) in
certain modes. It provides the usual
metering modes of Matrix, Centreweighted, and Spot. Exposure can
be compensated up to +/-2.0 EV in

1/3 EV steps. The camera houses
a hybrid mechanical and CMOS
electronic shutter, providing shutter
speeds of 15 to 1/4000 sec. The
lens incorporates an electronicallycontrolled 6-blade iris diaphragm for
aperture control. Self-timer can be set
to 10 sec or 2 sec. The built-in flash
has a range of approximately 0.5 to
7.5 m at the wide-angle end and 1.5
to 4.0 m at the telephoto end when
ISO sensitivity is set to Auto. Flash
control is through TTL auto method.
Flash exposure can be compensated
up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-EV steps.
The camera has a 0.2-inch, approx.
201,000-dot electronic viewfinder.
For main display, it uses a 3-inch,
approx. 921,000-dot, wide viewing
angle vari-angle TFT LCD with antireflection coating. The camera has an
internal memory of approximately 56
MB and accepts an SD/SDHC/SDXC
memory card for external storage.
June 2014 Smart Photography

119

COMPACT Review
Nikon Coolpix P600
NOISE
ISO 100

ISO 800

ISO 200

ISO 1600

ISO 400

ISO 6400

KEY SPECIFICATIONS
Effective pixels
Image sensor
Lens
Lens Construction

:
:
:
:

Vibration reduction
Motion blur reduction
Autofocus (AF)
Focus range

:
:
:
:

Focus-area selection :
Viewfinder

:

Monitor

:

Storage Media

:

File formats

:

Max. Image size
Shooting Modes

:
:

120

16.1 million
1/2.3-inch Type CMOS
NIKKOR 24-1440 mm equivalent f/3.3-6.5
16 elements in 11 groups
(4 ED and 1 super ED lens elements)
Lens shift
Motion detection (still pictures)
Contrast-detect AF
Normal: Approx. 50 cm to infinity (W),
Approx. 2.0 m to infinity (T)
Macro mode: Approx. 1 cm to infinity
Target finding AF, face priority, manual (spot), manual
(normal), manual (wide), subject tracking
Electronic viewfinder, 0.5 cm (0.2-in.)
approx. 201k-dot equivalent LCD
3-inch, approx. 921k-dot, wide viewing angle vari-angle
TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 6-level
brightness adjustment
Internal memory (approx. 56 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC
memory card
Still: JPEG; Sound files: WAV; Movies: MOV
(Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: LPCM stereo)
4608 x 3456
Auto, Scene (Night landscape, Night portrait, Landscape,
Scene auto selector, Portrait, Sports, Party/indoor, Beach,
Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Close-up, Food, Museum,
Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, Easy

Smart Photography June 2014

Drive modes

:

Best movie quality
ISO sensitivity
Exposure Metering
mode
Exposure comp.
Shutter
Shutter Speed
Aperture
Self-timer
Built-in flash Range

:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:
:

Flash control
:
Flash exposure comp :
I/O terminal
:
Wi-Fi
Power source
Dimensions
Weight

:
:
:
:

panorama, Pet portrait, Moon, Bird-watching), Special
Effects, P, S, A, M, User settings
Single, Continuous H (about 7 fps for about 7 frames),
Continuous L (about 1 fps for about 200 frames), Pre
shooting cache (about 15 fps for 20 images), Continuous
H:120 fps (120 fps for 60 frames), Continuous H:60 fps
(60 fps for 60 frames), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Multi
shot 16, Intvl timer shooting
1920 x 1080 60p/25p/60i/50i/30p
ISO 100-6400, Hi 1 (equivalent to ISO 12800)
Matrix, centre-weighted, or spot
+/-2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV
Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
15 to 1/4000s
Electronically-controlled 6-blade iris diaphragm
Can be selected from 10 s and 2 s
(approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto) [W]: 0.5-7.5 m;
[T]: 1.5-4.0 m (5-13 ft)
TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
+/-2 EV in 1/3-EV steps
Micro-USB connector HDMI micro connector
(Type D) (HDMI output)
Yes
One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL23 (included)
Approx. 125.0 x 85.0 x 106.5 mm (W x H x D)
Approx. 565 g (including battery and SD memory card)

www.smartphotography.in

Aperture: f/5
Shutter Speed: 1/400sec .
ISO:800

VERDICT
The Nikon P600 is a
super-zoom bridge camera
capable of producing
reasonably good images
under most conditions.
However, the slow
autofocus and other minor
flaws could spoil the party
for this camera. Certainly
Recommended.

The P600 features built-in Wi-Fi. It
is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion
battery EN-EL23 (included). The
camera has dimensions of 125.0 x
85.0 x 106.5 mm (W x H x D) and
weighs approximately 565 g including
battery and SD memory card.

3200. Viewed at 50 percent, slight
noise was observed from ISO
400 onwards, and ISO 3200 and
6400 were noisy. At 100 percent
magnification, we observed noise
throughout the ISO range, but you
could use them up to ISO 800.

Ergonomics

The camera was slow to focus even
in reasonably good light, though
outdoors, it was slightly faster.
Prominent flare was observed in

The P600 is comfortable to hold,
aided by a deep rubberised grip and
a rubber-lined thumb rest. The tilt
and swivel LCD allows you to shoot
from virtually any angle you would
ever require. The controls are easily
accessible while the menu is intuitive
and easy to navigate.

Native image size was 11.52 x
15.36 inches at 300 ppi. At 25
percemnt of the screen size, the
images were noise-free up to
ISO 1600, and were usable up to
www.smartphotography.in

Value for Money
The Nikon P600 retails at an MRP
of Rs. 23,950. At this price, the
camera seems good value for money
considering the 60x optical zoom.

PLUS

Performance
The Nikon P600 produced mixed
results in our test. We did not
observe any darkening of corners
even at the wide-angle end with the
lens wide open. The camera did not
produce any significant distortion
to write about. All metering modes
performed as expected. Auto White
Balance performed very well under
daylight, but struggled under all
other light sources. Images were
reasonably sharp, and the sweet spot
was found to be near the widest
aperture.

strong against-the-light shots, but the
lens did not produce any chromatic
aberration. The Electronic Viewfinder
suffers from tunnel vision. However,
the images appeared sharp on both
EVF and LCD.

Sharpness
Aperture: f/3.3
Shutter Speed: 1/3sec. ISO:100

FINAL SCORE

77%

• 60x optical
zoom
• Good build
quality
• Excellent
grip
• Easy to
navigate

Design and Build Quality 17/20

MINUS

Performance
Autofocus
Metering
Noise Control
Sharpness
LCD/EVF
Auto W/B

• Slow
Autofocus
• Noise control
could have
been better
• Only 2-stop
aperture
control at
the telephoto
end aperture
control at the
telephoto end

Key Features

16/20

Ergonomics

17/20

Sub-Total
Value for Money

2.5/5
4/5
3/5
4/5
3.5/5
3/5
20/30
7/10

June 2014 Smart Photography

121

LENS REVIEW
AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140 f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR

An Everyday Lens
Rohinton Mehta

A

long with quality,
consumers demand
convenience and the AF-S
DX Nikkor 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6 G
ED VR covers both. Lightweight
and compact, it can be a perfect
companion for beginners and
advanced users alike who need
quality at a reasonable price. This
27-210mm equivalent lens covers
the range of focal lengths for most
day-to-day use.

Design & Build Quality

lens covers an angle of view of
76° - 11°30’, equivalent to that of
a 27-210mm lens on a full-frame
(35mm) format. It is constructed
with 17 elements in 12 groups
that include 1x ED lens element
and 1x aspherical lens element
for superior image quality. The
18-140mm lens has an IF (Internal
Focus) design that not only helps
to achieve faster focus, but also
maintain the lens’ overall length
during focussing. The filter ring

does not rotate, making it easy
to use PL and Graduated ND
filters. During zooming, the lens
extends by 52mm. Further, the
lens is backed by a Silent Wave
Motor (SWM) that ensures silent
operation. The 4-stop advantage
Vibration Reduction(VR) system
adds the icing to the top.
The minimum focussing distance
is a mere 0.45 m (less than 20”),
allowing a maximum reproduction
ratio of 0.23x at the 140mm end.

The lens is a 3-segment
construction that telescopes out as
you zoom from 18mm to 140mm.
The outer body as well as the filter
thread is made with polycarbonate.
The lens appears to be well made
at this price point. Unlike the 1855mm kit lens and the 18-105mm,
the 18-140mm lens has a metal
mount. The zoom ring is quite
broad (50mm) while the textured
rubber grip is about 38mm. The
ring is marked legibly at 18, 24, 35,
50, 70, and 140mm settings. The
manual focus ring is 10mm broad
and is towards the lens mount. On
the left of the lens (as when in use)
are the VR (Vibration Reduction)
and A-M switches. This being a
G-type lens, has no aperture ring;
apertures are controlled from the
camera body. Filter diameter is 67mm.

Key Features
The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm
f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR is designed for
APS-C sensor (DX) cameras. The

Inside the Box

` 26,200

✓ Lens
✓ Front cap
✓ Rear cap
122

Smart Photography June 2014

Smartphotography.in

Shutter Speed: 1/640sec; Aperture: f/7.1; ISO:400 VR ‘on’. Picture shot hand-held at
100mm equivalent focal legnth

SPECIFICATIONS
Focal length
: 18-140mm
Equivalent focal length in 35mm : 27-210mm
Aperture range
: F/3.5-22 (W);
F/5.6-38 (T)
Angle of view
: 76° - 11°30’
Lens construction
: 17 elements in 12 groups
(includes 1 ED lens element, 1
aspherical lens element)
Focussing
: Internal Focussing (IF) using
Silent Wave Motor
: Manual focussing with separate ring
Minimum focus
: 0.45 m (1.48 ft)
Diaphragm blades
: 7 (rounded)
Max. Reproduction ratio
: 0.23x
Filter size
: 67mm diameter
Dimensions
: 78 (D) x 97 (L) mm
Weight
: Approx. 490g

The lens has a white
plastic index dot that
helps to align the lens
to the body even in low
light. The lens mount
has a rubberised ring to
prevent dust getting into
the body. Its 7-bladed
circular diaphragm
helps to achieve smooth
bokeh. The lens weighs
approximately 490g.

Performance
We tested the lens using
a D7100 body (outdoors)
and a D80 body
(indoors) and were quite
satisfied with its overall
performance. Pictures
were sharp at all focal
lengths. Corner sharpness
was almost as good as
the center sharpness (an
advantage with APS-C
sensors). Try not to use
very narrow apertures
(like f/16, f/22 etc) or
else diffraction will
take away the sharpness
this lens is capable of.
Autofocussing was quite
fast. Flare and ghosting
was well under control.
Chromatic aberration too
was very well controlled
with the D7100 but we
noticed it (a bit) on the
D80. Distortion was
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much less with the D7100
(the camera body has
distortion control, so
enable it). Darkening
of corners was noticed
with the lens wide open
at 18mm (corresponding
to 27mm on the 35mm
format).
The VR seems to work
as specified though
we have no means of
scientifically checking
its performance. The
18-140mm suffers from
focus breathing. This
happens with few other
lenses too. What this
means is that as you focus
closer (without changing
the focal length setting),
the focal length changes
causing the angle of view
and the magnification to
get smaller. This is not
a big deal in real use. If
you step up a bit closer,
you’ll get back the same
magnification.

Value for Money
The AF-S DX NIKKOR
18-140 f/3.5-5.6 G ED
VR retails at an MRP of
Rs.26,200. At this price
and performance, we say
that the lens is good value
for money.
ˆ

VERDICT
A very
good lens.
More
versatile
than the
18-55/18105mm.
Best Buy!

PLUS
• Sharp
images
• 4-stop
advantage VR
• Lightweight

MINUS
• Plastic filter
thread
• Lens hood is
optional

FINAL SCORE

80.5%

Design and Build Quality 17/20
Key Features

16/20

Ergonomics

18/20

Performance
Autofocus
Sharpness
Distortion Control
Aberrations
Darkening
of Corners
Extra Features
Sub-Total
Value for Money

4/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
4/5
2.5/5
22.5/30
7/10

June 2014 Smart Photography

123

FIRST LOOK
Flash-Gun

NISSIN i40
Rohinton Mehta

No matter how good a camera you have, there always
comes a time when an external flash-gun is required to
supplement the available light. In this ‘First Look’, we
look at the Nissin i40 flash.

one set of fully charged batteries can
provide between 220 - 1700 flashes.
The i40 also offers fractional power
output ratio (manually) between
1:256 – 1:1. For use in very low light
conditions, where autofocus becomes
difficult, the Nissin i40 provides an
AF-assist beam (0.7 - 5m ) to enable
the AF system to latch on. The flash
recycling time is 0.1 - 4 seconds,
while the flash duration is 1/800 ~
1/20,000sec. The emitted light has a
colour temperature of 5600K.

S

leek, highly portable, and
weighing a mere 203 g (without
batteries and soft-box), the
Nissin i40 flash-gun is a winner of
the prestigious TIPA Awards 2014 for
the “Best Portable Lighting System”.
This perfect travelling companion
offers a Guide Number of 40m at ISO
100 at 105mm zoom head position
and 27m at 35mm zoom head
position. The flash covers a focal
length of 24 - 105mm (16mm when
using the built-in wide panel).
Exposure control is via the various
TTL modes for Canon and Nikon

124

Smart Photography June 2014

models (Sony, Fujifilm mirrorless and
Micro Four Thirds Systems version
will be launched later). Wireless TTL
slave (only applicable to wireless
slave mode), non-TTL Slave (Slave
Digital –synchronises to pre-flash
system), and Slave Film mode –
synchronizes to the traditional single
flash system) is also available. Flash
exposures can be compensated by
+/- 2EV in increments of 0.5EV.
The flash-head can be tilted up to
90 degrees and rotated horizontally
– left/right – up to 180 degrees.
Depending on the subject/distance
conditions and the flash mode used,

Video light with 9 steps of output
level adjustment is built into the
i40. The video light can run for
approximately 3.5 hours on a fully
charged battery set. The device
operates on 4 x AA size batteries. The
flash-gun’s dimensions are 85(H) x
61(W) x 85(D)mm.
The Nissin i40 is available at an MRP
of Rs.19,500 (inclusive of taxes).
Srishti Digilite Pvt. Ltd.
47-49, Abdul Azeez Street, T. Nagar,
Chennai 600017
+91 4424364778
For Marketing / PR related enquiries,
please contact:
Balasubramanian V., on +91 9884080690
E-mail: [email protected] ˆ
www.smartphotography.in

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TIDBITS

KODAK TRI-X:
An icon reborn?
H. S. Billimoria

W

e are now well into the digital
age and some of our younger
photographers may never have
used film. It is, therefore, interesting to
know that even today there are diehard
professionals like Don McCullin and
Sheila Rock who still believe in using the
film format for their professional work.
For such professionals, panic set in when
Kodak started collapsing and then went
into bankruptcy. As the leader in the
world of films, Kodak had developed some
emulsions which have become almost
iconic in stature. One such film was the
black and white TRI-X.
TRI-X first appeared in 1940 as a sheet-film
for large format cameras. In 1954, it became

154

Smart Photography April 2014

available in the 35mm format. Since then
it has ruled the black and white market
inspite of competition from Kodak’s own
range and from other companies like Ilford
and Fujifilm. The main USP of TRI-X was
its flexibility. Although it was nominally
rated at ASA 400 (what we now call ISO,
was then known as ASA, which stood for
American Association of Standards), it
was possible to push it during processing
to ISO 800 or more. No other black and
white film was as flexible or forgiving of
mistakes made by photographers. The
blacks produced by TRI-X were also unique
and its grainy pattern gave it character.
Newspapers standardized on this film for
their pictures and art photographers also
loved the film.

Although digital can now rival the quality
of film, a certain section of professionals
feel that the moot point is not talking
about megapixels. A picture produced by
film, according to them, is realistic and
authentic and not plasticky as in the case
of digital.
A new company by the name Kodak Alaris
has taken over the production of Kodak’s
film and TRI-X continues to be available to
the small section of fans who will not accept
anything else. And so, TRI-X lives on.
Are there any equivalent of TRI-X in the
color film sphere? We can think of Fuji’s
Velvia emulsion but sadly it has been
discontinued. ˆ

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