Digital SLR Update, Plus the Tabbed Browser Split

by Charlie Miller

First, a quick “thank you” to everyone who offered suggestions and encouragement to my post last week, Buying a Digital SLR. I was very pleased with the amount of information everyone provided and it really helped me focus my search for a first digital SLR.

So what did I get? (Drum roll please…)

I ended up going with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi paired with a Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Wide Angle Lens. I chose Canon for a number of reasons, but it came down to a few factors: First, I’ve owned other Canon digital cameras and I’ve always been pleased with them. Second, I have several friends and colleagues who shoot Canon, and the ability to borrow lenses is very appealing. And finally, I plan on shooting while traveling and the small size and light weight will really help lighten my load. I chose the wide angle lens because I plan to be shooting in low light and I wanted something high-quality but affordable. The EF 28mm f/1.8 seems the perfect choice.

I’ll continue to share my experiences getting started with the XTi, but this is the Inside Aperture site after all, so how about a couple of Aperture tips?

Two tips today about customizing Aperture’s Browser window. First, many users don’t realize that Aperture features a tabbed-browser very similar to Safari. Try Command-clicking on any project, album, Light Table, etc, in your Project panel. Each collection will open as a separate tab in your Browser.


Try it with the Viewer hidden and visible to get an idea of the possibilities.

Second, a variation on Browser tabs: the Browser split. Try Option-clicking on a project or album in your Project panel: the Browser window splits into two panes.


This is particularly useful if you have a 23” or 30” widescreen display. And to take it one step further, you can combine the tabbed Browser with the split screen view to create a further customized workspace. Now if only Safari supported the split browser…


Bob R.
2007-05-11 14:22:06
With the 1.6x 'multiplication factor' a 28mm lens is no longer a wide angle. It is a 45mm lens, or equivalent to a 'normal' 50mm lens for those of us who remember film.
2007-05-11 15:29:10
Yes, it is nearly a 45 mm, but terminology aside, it seems it was bought for the fast f/1.8 aperture, rather than the wide angle. Charlie, have a great trip and enjoy the new toy !
2007-05-11 17:00:47
I have a Sigma 30mm f1.4 for my Nikon, which has almost exactly the same equivalent focal length as your 28mm, and I love it! Although it is not a "wide angle" by any stretch, it is a very useful and natural focal length (giving a similar natural perspective as the human eyes). It is also basically as wide as you can go in fast lenses before things start getting ridiculously expensive...

I'm sure you'll love it!

Steven R.
2007-05-12 07:49:47
Hey Charlie,

Enjoy your new camera! I always get a huge burst of creative energy when I get a new toy. Can't wait to see some shots!

By the way, I think what Charlie is saying is the lens itself is a wide angle, as it was manufactured as this. He wasn't referring to how it appears within the camera. If he had purchased a full-frame camera, it wouldn't be an issue. There's a difference between being instructional and just being picky.

jake lovel
2007-05-12 14:22:45
for 100 bucks or so I bought a 1.8 50 to go w an xt -- I use it more than my 17-40L (4) cuz of the 1.8 -- and w the 1.6x it's like an 85 or so, which I also love, even for non-portraits.
2007-05-12 23:41:27
Second the 50mm f/1.8 - dirt cheap lens, excellent value for money. The only gripe I had with it (which was why I went for the 1.4 a little while ago) was (and is) the five bladed aperture.

But definitely a lens to consider adding to your arsenal; you cannot beat the image quality for the price.

2007-05-14 04:01:10
What's cool about the Split screen: you can view one project in Thumbnails and the other(s) in List view.
2007-05-14 08:25:20
I think comments on this site should go the other direction.

Having to scroll down to read a comment, then scroll BACK UP to see the following comments is sort of against logic. the timeline goes one direction, and thus the order and sequence should follow, with the END of one comment bringing you to the BEGINNING of the next.

Sorry, but after visiting so often, it becomes a slight annoyance.

Heath Clayton
2007-05-14 12:56:18
Is there anyway to customize a particular view as the default? For example: I like to edit a single photo in the viewer, without the project panel, but with the adjustment HUD up. Right now I hit alt-cmd-v (to get the viewer), then w (to remove the project panel), then click on the adjustment HUD (to bring up the adjustments). It would be nice for me to set the viewer default to this. Is that possible?

Cheers__ Heath

Charlie Miller
2007-05-14 15:18:50
Heath, I think you're on the right track. Pressing Command-Option-V maximizes the Viewer and remove the project panel. Then pressing H will bring up the Adjustment HUD. I'm not aware of an easier way to get your workspace customized.
2007-05-15 09:20:14
THIS is the reason I vist this blog every day, great tip!!
Maria del Mar
2007-05-22 07:21:08
Awesome tip Charlie. Makes me want to Command+click and Control+click everything now, just to see if there are more surprising things in Aperture!
Enjoy your new toy!