Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Best D-SLRs For B&W
There’s more to getting a good black-and-white image than just shooting in color and doing a conversion. In the field, take advantage of your camera’s settings and you can unleash its inner TRI-X!
Panasonic D-SLR users gain access to in-camera monochrome via three Film Modes: B/W Standard, B/W Dynamic (increased contrast) and B/W Smooth (reduced contrast). There’s also a Multiple Film Mode that lets you shoot color and black-and-white images simultaneously.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-L10
All Panasonic D-SLRs provide monochrome capability via their Film Modes feature. We like the DMC-L10 for its free-angle Live View monitor with movable guidelines to help keep things aligned—especially handy for keeping the horizon level in landscapes, no matter where it appears in the frame. You can choose from three monochrome and six color Film Modes. B/W—Standard is great for general shooting, B/W—Dynamic for added “snap” and B/W—Smooth for lower contrast. Press the Live View button, and you’re in Live View mode, where you can preview the monochrome effects.
Pentax’s current and recent D-SLRs provide a Custom Image mode called B&W that lets you shoot monochrome images. You can choose straight B&W, add a colored filter effect (green, yellow, orange, red, magenta, blue, cyan or infrared color) or tone the image warm or cold at one of nine levels. Many Pentax D-SLRs also let you convert color images to monochrome in-camera after shooting via the Digital Filter feature. You can convert an image to B&W, apply a red, green or blue filter effect, or sepia-tone the image. The filtered image is then saved under a new name, leaving the original as it was.
Pentax’s top-of-the-line K20D is a 14.6-megapixel, APS-C sensor model with very good image quality and AF performance, Live-View capability, and a dust- and weatherproof body. It does monochrome images via its Custom Image feature. Press the Fn button, then press OK to bring up the Custom Image menu screen. Use the left-right keys to choose the Monochrome Image Tone. Use the up-down keys to choose Filter Effect, Toning, Contrast or Sharpness, then the left-right keys change to select the desired effect. Press OK when done. To enter Live View mode, focus on the subject, then turn the main switch to the Live View (iris) icon. The mirror raises, and the image appears live on the LCD monitor.
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