The Digital Journalist
Tech Tips
February 2007

by Chuck Westfall

Does Canon have recommended sharpen parameters for 5D to counter the AA filter blur effect? I use Adobe® Photoshop® CS2.

The default sharpness setting for the EOS 5D is Level 3 on a scale from 0 to 7. This setting can be accessed and adjusted on the camera's LCD menu in the Picture Style submenu, along with similar adjustments for contrast, saturation and color tone. Considered as a group, these settings go a long way towards allowing photographers to customize the "look and feel" of in-camera JPEGs. The Level 3 sharpness setting overcomes the blurring effect of the camera's anti-aliasing filter, and it is intended to minimize or eliminate the need to adjust sharpness for inkjet prints on glossy paper. Of course, individual photographers have individual preferences when it comes to sharpening, so I would suggest that you experiment with different sharpness settings in the camera to determine the setting that's most comfortable for you. For maximum control over sharpness levels in your 5D images, it's best to shoot in RAW mode and make your adjustments in post processing.

I have a Canon EOS 5D. I recently downloaded the "Emerald" and "Twilight" Picture Styles from Canon's Web site, but these were not recognized by Adobe Camera RAW, even if I select "As Shot" in the program. I also use Photo Mechanic and iView Media Pro 3.0, and both of these applications render the Picture Styles as shot. Is there anything I can do so that ACR recognizes the Canon Picture Styles?

Current versions of Adobe Camera RAW do not support Canon Picture Styles, so the answer is no. You may want to check with Adobe to see if they have any plans to add this feature. In addition to the programs you mention, which display Canon RAW images but do not have full image editing capabilities, current versions of Canon's RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional software support Picture Style settings for RAW images captured by EOS Digital SLRs.

Should one turn off the camera when changing the flash cards? You said before it isn't necessary to turn off the camera when changing lenses.

With most current DSLRs it's OK to change memory cards while the camera is on, as long as you're sure that the card busy signal is off before you open the memory card compartment cover. However, turning the camera off before changing memory cards is a good habit to acquire if you really want to play it safe.

I'm one of those film photographers that still hasn't made the transition to digital. I guess my greatest concerns are regarding archiving files. Given that so many photojournalists are shooting digital, and I assume have concerns over archival stability for historical purposes, is this concern of mine really valid?

Archiving is important for all conscientious photographers, whether they choose to capture their images digitally or on film. In both cases, a good asset management system is crucial. Key concerns include not only a robust classification system that's scalable as your image collection grows over time, but also feasible plans for recording media and storage facilities. One of the best resources I've come across for digital asset management is "The DAM Book" by Peter Krogh. This book does an excellent job of explaining professional-grade image classification and media storage strategies. For more information, be sure to visit this Web site.

I am a pro shooter as well as a biologist. I find the Nikon D200's ability to record GPS location in EXIF data extremely useful (and it's the reason I've chosen it over the Canon EOS 5D for my work - the Nikon D2X and the Canon EOS-1Ds MarkII are too heavy). However, I have one question: Why have no DSLR manufacturers incorporated Bluetooth into their bodies so one can use a Bluetooth GPS with the camera? The cable from the GPS to the camera is, quite frankly, a real pain in the ass when one is trying to walk through the bush. Mounting a small GPS unit on top of the camera is also a clunky and expensive solution. It is far better to have a GPS in your backpack or in a shoulder pouch and have it connect via Bluetooth to the camera. I know you're connected to Canon, but can you give me some way of communicating this suggestion to Nikon, too?

Thanks for the raising this issue! I'm happy to forward your comments to my friends at Nikon as well as Canon's Product Development Center.

Will any Canon software provide a full-screen display of an image on my laptop when using remote software like EOS Capture? I want to give a demonstration that requires the image to be projected via a digital projector when I press the shutter. Thumbnails are of no use to me as I would have to click on them. I have a 20D.

There are two potential solutions to your request:

1) For a true full-screen view, you can connect the camera's video out function to your digital projector.

2) If you prefer the higher resolution of a computer, Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software comes the closest to a full-screen view during remote capture. There will still be a toolbar at the top of the screen, but it occupies only a small percentage of the total area, especially with a high-resolution projector. You can see a demo of EOS Capture with DPP 2.1 in our online tutorial.

Keep in mind that we've updated to DPP 2.2 recently, and also that EOS Utility 1.1 (not to be confused with the older EOS Viewer Utility software) has replaced EOS Capture 1.5. If you use DPP 2.1 you must use EOS Capture 1.5, but if you update to DPP 2.2 (which I recommend), you must also update to EOS Utility 1.1. In both cases, the remote capture functions are similar for supported cameras. DPP 2.1 works with all EOS models up to the 30D, but you'll need DPP 2.2 if you're using a Digital Rebel XTi. Of course, DPP 2.2 also works with all previous EOS models as well as the XTi.

Assuming you update to EOS Utility, you can set the preferences of that program so that it downloads to DPP. You can set DPP's preferences so that the program switches itself automatically to the Edit Image Window (for nearly full-screen viewing) during remote capture operation. Once you've identified a folder on your system for captured images, you can use DPP's toolbar to turn off the folder view window and tool palettes to increase the size of the image.

A question you answered previously in Tech Tips is giving me some grief. When I try to upload a curve, all the file selections are greyed out, so I can not choose a file to upload. This is to an EOS-1D with current firmware, over Firewire, from MacOS 10.4, EOS Utility 1.108.

I just rechecked the custom tone curve upload function with my sample of the EOS-1D and it's working fine. To clarify, here are the procedures that must be executed in order to upload a custom tone curve with EOS Utility. These steps are outlined in the EOS Utility instructions on page 3-7 in both the Macintosh and Windows versions:

1. Using an image recorded by your EOS-1D camera, create and save a .TCD custom tone curve file in RAW Image Task software. (This is a component of the ZoomBrowser EX software for Windows and the ImageBrowser software for Mac OS X). Free updaters for the latest versions of ZoomBrowser EX and ImageBrowser are available here.

Click on the Drivers/Software link and follow the prompts to download the correct software for your computer's OS. Check the onscreen installation instructions if you have any questions.

2. Once the software is installed and you've created a custom tone curve file, connect your EOS-1D camera and launch EOS Utility.

3. Follow the steps I outlined in my previous Tech Tips column, and when you get to the Parameters Setting screen, click on one of the "Add" buttons.

4. Use the resulting pop-up window to navigate to the .TCD file you saved in Step 1. Click "Open," which will lead you back to the Parameters screen and display the file you selected under the corresponding Add button.

5. Click on Apply to Camera.

Once this has been done, the custom tone curve file will be available in your camera. You still have to select Parameters from the EOS-1D's Record menu, and then you can select your custom tone curve from Set 1, 2 or 3 depending on where you uploaded it.

Thanks for reading Tech Tips! That’s it for now. See you in March!

You are invited to submit questions about photo equipment, imaging technology, or photo industry trends that may have a bearing on your work or interests. I cannot promise to answer everything, but I pledge to do my best to address the issues that concern you. (Please use the e-mail link provided at the end of this article.)

© Chuck Westfall

After earning a degree in Professional Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and accumulating some valuable on-the-job experience during a 10-year stint in commercial photography and photo retail, Chuck Westfall began his corporate career with Canon U.S.A. in 1982 as a Technical Representative. He has steadily advanced through the ranks to achieve his present position as Director of Media & Customer Relationship for the company's Consumer Imaging Group, working out of Canon U.S.A.'s headquarters office in Lake Success, N.Y. Among his many assignments, Chuck Westfall is currently Canon USA's main media spokesman for new camera products. He also provides a unique insider's perspective to financial analysts who follow the company's CIG sales and marketing activities.

Chuck's involvement with digital cameras began in 1994, when he assisted Canon and Kodak engineers in developing the EOS-DCS series of professional SLRs. Since then, his responsibilities have expanded to include participation in the development and launching of many other Camera Division products, including Canon's professional and consumer-oriented digital cameras. Over the last 10 years, Chuck has continued to participate in the design, development, introduction and marketing support of camera products. Most recently, he supervised the launch of a comprehensive on-line and on-site dealer training initiative for the Camera Division.

On the personal side, Chuck married his beautiful wife Ying in 2000 and they have been blessed with a wonderful daughter, Anna. As Chuck says, "Bringing up the baby is a blast, and we're enjoying every minute of it."