Photo Taco Podcast

photo-taco-smallWelcome to Photo Taco, the only photo tips you can learn in the time it takes to eat a taco–or perhaps a burrito. Photo Taco is the off-beat, hilariously boring photography show for amateur and enthusiast photographers. Jeff Harmon breaks down interesting and unique photography tips and invites other photographers from the Improve Photography Network to join the show once per week. Ole!

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49 thoughts on “Photo Taco Podcast”

  1. Cary Covington

    I have an answer to the mystery of why weathersealing didn’t protect your camera as well in some situations as in others. The answer is “how well does the water conduct?” The damage is caused by the water allowing little electronic components in the camera to short out, burning up neighboring components. But not all water conducts electricity the same. Pure water (like humidity and rain) is a rather poor conductor. But salt content (and other soluble impurities,) increases how well it conducts. So lots of Costa Rican rain water didn’t cause any electronic problems–but minor amounts of sea water and pool water killed your cameras. It wasn’t the quantity, but the quality that messed with you.

  2. Question: I am a Canon user looking to upgrade. I cannot figure out the Canon model numbers and the logic in the names… can you help? We have double digit models and single digit models (7D and 70D) and Mark II and III. The numbers don’t seem to go along with release times (one would think 5 came first but it is in release now). It is very confusing to me. Perhaps you can help explain as a podcast?

  3. @Sally,

    I agree! It is very confusing. I had no idea what I wanted when I got started and those model numbers didn’t help a lot. I think it makes a little more sense on the Nikon side of things, although they aren’t intuitive either in my opinion.

    To make matters worse, the names you have seen are only used in the U.S. They are named differently internationally, which just seems crazy to me. Maybe there is a reason for it that I am not yet aware of, but like a lot of consumer electronics it seems like the companies that make them want you to be confused.

    The most entry level camera models are the Rebel series, having a name like T3, T3i, or with the most current version T6i and T6s . The changes from T3i to T4i To T5i were very minimal, with the sensor being exactly the same in all of them for example. They had a 18 megapixel APS-C crop sensor in them. With the T6i/s they went to a newer 24 megapixel sensor. They were very clearly targeted to the consumer market – the soccer mom for example.

    Then there are bodies that have more bells and whistles in models like the 50D, 60D, and 70D bodies. Both still had the same APS-C crop sensor (60D and 70D sharing the same sensor as the T3i to T5i) but they had faster processors in them, better grips, more direct access buttons instead of digging through menus, maybe faster shutter speeds, etc. Small things really, since the sensor is by far the most important thing in the body. The idea with these lines was instead of bumping the number up with each “update” to that body, they added a “mark” revision to them. Each one of these got a little better along the way too, with sensor upgrades in them and so on, but still very targeted to the consumer rather than professional market.

    At the high end of the consumer market is the 7D. Still an APS-C crop sensor that was exactly the same as the others depending on when it was released, the 7D had more weather proofing and the most direct access buttons. It was essentially the same body as the far more expensive line with full frame sensors, and targeted the prosumer. Some professionals would choose this camera body as it had the advanced menu features and direct access buttons they needed to be faster on their feet to change with shooting situations, and the crop sensor gave them extra “reach” to get more zoom out of a lens for wildlife for example. Strange that the model wasn’t something like the 700D to indicate it was better with the surrounding components than the 70D, right? The other thing different about the 7D is that when they improved on its design they used the Mark 2 designation instead of giving it a new number. Probably makes sense to someone, just not me.

    So T3i, 60D, 70D, and 7D all had exactly the same sensor inside. The model numbers just reflected differences in the other pieces of the camera body. Then you have the 5D and the 6D. With that name you would think it is a body with fewer features than the 7D, right? Wrong. The 5D is the mainstream professional body with a full frame sensor. The 6D also has a full frame sensor, but is much cheaper because the rest of the body is made of cheaper components than the 5D. Again, with the 5D, as it has been improved over the years they have added a Mark designation to it. Currently there is the 5D, 5DMII, and 5DMIII. The 5DMIV is rumored to be coming very shortly. The sensors have improved over time in them as they have been “marked”, if that is a word.

    Now there are new 5DR and 5DS models that have just been released making a huge jump to a 50 megapixle frull frame sensor size. Crazy. The differences are slight between the two models, having to do with some automatic things happening inside the cameras with the signal processing.

    That isn’t all. There is the 1D line, where the sensors are the same as the 5D line, but they are weather sealed better and have much smaller shutter lag (time between shots).

    Does that help?

    1. I am so glad someone asked this question and you provided such a helpful detailed answer. Here I am, thinking there is no way I can call myself a serious photographer if I can’t even understand the camera model numbers! It’s comforting to know that the crazy model number system confuses other photogs too! 🙂 Thank you, Jeff.

  4. Jeff, I can only say “Wow”…..thank you so very much for your detailed reply! You have really helped explain the “nearly unexplainable”.

  5. Nick,

    I was getting caught up on my Photo Tacos this morning. I was listening to your Instagram work flow and I use gramblr.com to upload my pictures from my PC directly into Instagram. So far it has worked well for me.

    I enjoy the podcasts. Keep up the good work.

  6. I’m a faithful listener to IP and Photo Taco, and I finally figured out how to join the IP Facebook group, but I don’t see how to join the Taco group.

  7. I am not on Facebook so I can’t join the discussions. However, I wanted to share this with the Improve Photography community and didn’t know where to post it. I recently changed my antivirus on my Windows 7 PC from Norton to McAfee. I did it only because I could get the McAfee about $20 cheaper. How does this relate to photography? Well, my Lightroom runs faster now!!! I am still using Lightroom 5.7.1 and I noticed that my photos render a lot faster now that I switched. It took a while for the raw photos to load as I switched from one photo to the next. Now I breeze through.

    Antivirus makes a big difference. Now, I just hope my PC is still secure. McAfee Internet Security doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as the Norton 360 that I use to use.

  8. Hi Jeff, great work explaining the difference between crop and full frame. You made a couple of points about ISO performance and DOF. I like how you explained the field of view crop factor as digital zoom, because that’s what it is. I am not a true expert on this, but I think I can help with a couple rules of thumb. Full frame ISO performs about 1 stop better across the range, and full frame DOF is 1 stop shallower when zoomed to the same field of view. That gap is somehow mathematically joined to the sensor area. Hence that gap will always exist and smaller sensors will never actually catch up to lager sensors that are using the same sensor tech. You made a good point about what is visible in the image and what is “acceptable” is moving down the line more and more. For example, my iPhone shoots pretty great images, but it lacks the full creative control you can get with a full frame body. Full frame bodies allow very shallow DOF, but also allow deep DOF. The ISO range generally goes lower and higher allowing more range of shutter speeds in the same light. Another thing that speaks to your point about good enough is many folks are shooting Micro 4/3 cameras or other cameras with a base ISO of 200. Compared to a full frame body, a M43 body shoots 2 stops noisier than full frame, meaning it would shoot equivalently to a full frame camera stuck at ISO 800. The good news is that ISO 800 on a full from is pretty good. That same M43 camera has 2 stops less shallow DOF, meaning an f/2.8 lens on M43 shoots like f/5.6 on full frame with the same field of view. In other words, the bottom of the range is gone on smaller sensors. This is similarly true if you want to achieve a slow shutter speed. A full frame camera, such as a Nikon D810, can shoot at ISO 64, with a really small aperture, such as f/18 to achieve a long shutter speed for things like making water silky etc. If you were to try the same with a M43, you would not be able to dial the ISO below 200 and you would not be able to stop down to f/18 without getting diffraction artifact, hence you would need to use an ND filter, and still it would produce a technically inferior image (that may or may not be beyond detection). So I think full frame comes down making a sacrifice in size, weight and cost for a system that generally has more range of creative options. It probably takes more skill to use a tool with a wider range, making it somewhat more suited to pros and enthusiasts.

  9. Coming from the old film photo school… I feel like a time traveler that stepped out of a Tardis into the future. I am familiar with Jpeg… it has been around a long time… I can understand camera raw (it is proprietary to each camera/manufacturer). I can even kind of understand the role of DNG (digital negatives… I can relate… negatives in digital format… right? yes, no? ok.. whatever)

    I have never used other formats… I do not know their pros and cons… what is their role in photography?

    Your podcast is beginning to help me understand these issues… I just wish it was all as easy at 35mm versus 120 versus 4X5 was for me then.

  10. I’ve got a Macbook Pro with 500 GB H.D. I shoot with a Canon 6D, and import all my photos into LR5. I then create a collection, and edit the photos. This quickly has filled my HD. subsequently I can’t import more photos due to lack of space, so I don’t photograph as much as I’d like, or I have to delete existing photos to make room. HELP. How do I hook up an external HD, export my EDITED raw photos to this drive, (copying them, not moving them), so I can put ALL my photos onto this drive eventually and really free up my computer. Now, I’m exporting these collections to my desktop, but they convert to JPEGS, so I’ve lost my raw file. PLEASE, demonstrate how easy this is to do, because I can’t find a way to do it. Thanks for all you do. I’m a subscriber to your podcast and love your work. Thanks in advance.

  11. Hello. Enjoy listening to your podcasts.

    I wanted to clarify a statement you made in the podcast about camera profiles. I’m not wanting to be critical, but I don’t want folks who don’t use Canon DPP miss out on a useful camera feature.

    At least for Canon DSLRs, Long Exposure Noise Reduction does alter the RAW file and the effect is visible in Lightroom (and all other software). LENR subtracts the black frame noise pattern from the image file (otherwise the file would be twice as large if it simply embedded the data).

    High ISO Noise Reduction (another Canon feature) is a tag in metadata and is only visible in Canon DPP for RAW files or is applied in-camera to JPEGs.


    1. @John, I have tested it a bit further myself and agree that there is evidence LENR does actually alter the RAW image itself. However, the impact of using the exposure mode is still seems very ineffective. I can’t tell much if a difference using it or not when processing in Lightroom. I haven’t tried it in DPP but I was taking the word of Mark Gee (2013 Astrophotographer of the Year) as saying it is only effective there.

      1. Coincidentally, I received a response from Rudy Winston of Canon USA sometime ago after asking these particular questions and he indicated as follows:

        1) High ISO NR – the information is tagged to the file but it’s up to the software to read the tag which would be effective in DPP. Third party software may not be capable of reading the tag and applying the noise reduction.

        2) Long Exposure NR – The actual pixel information is embedded into the file when it is written to the card. Thus, LENR would be independent of the processing engine used to read the file.

    1. @luc the core of the advice is to get the exposure just touching left and right until you get better at using them and making an educated decision to clip a channel or the general histogram based on what you want out of the shot.

  12. Portrait Retouching Episode

    That “hidden” feature blew my mind! I also noticed there is a way to erase part of the mask created. What a time saver! I’m a novice and watched a ton of tutorials but never heard of this. The adjustment brush will be used a little more now. Thanks for sharing!

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