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by Bart Arondson

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All Questions

36
votes
10answers
4k views

What should I look for when shopping for my first DSLR?

I am thinking of buying a digital SLR camera. What things should I be looking for?
46
votes
5answers
11k views

What is “angle of view” in photography?

I read on the Lens Buying Guide @ neocamera: Focal-length determines the angle-of-view seen through a lens for a given sensor-size. With a full-frame sensor a lens gives the same angle-of-view ...
93
votes
7answers
18k views

What is the “exposure triangle”?

What is the exposure triangle? How do the "sides" affect my photographs?
47
votes
4answers
3k views

What exactly determines depth of field?

There are several questions here about the definition of depth of field, about focal length, and about subject distance. And of course there's the basic how does aperture affect my photographs. And ...
35
votes
8answers
33k views

What is aperture, and how does it affect my photographs?

How does aperture affect my photographs? Why should I care about the aperture with which a photo was taken?
36
votes
11answers
3k views

Are there disadvantages to a prosumer camera for a beginner, aside from cost?

I basically decided on a whim (from reading this site, talking to some friends, and always admiring great photos) that I want to get into photography. Are there disadvantages to starting out with a ...
66
votes
10answers
4k views

How much do lens lineups vary across DSLR platforms?

I was reading this question and recalled how often I hear the advice "choose your lenses and then choose the body that matches" in the context of deciding on a camera platform ...
56
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I generate high quality prints with an ink jet printer?

Creating high-quality photo prints using an ink jet printer is no trivial matter. Depending on the tonal range and color depth desired and the expected viewing platform, how you approach printing may ...
79
votes
7answers
34k views

When do the differences between APS-C and full frame sensors matter, and why?

I'm trying to decide on a higher-end digital SLR, and I'm down to choosing between an APS-C model and a full-frame model. I understand that the sensors are of different sizes, and as such have an ...
120
votes
3answers
41k views

What do all those cryptic number and letter codes in a lens name mean?

Then looking at a lens name there is a lot of acronyms in the name describing it's features (often specific to the manufacturer). Examples, Nikon: Nikon AF-S DX 16-85mm VR f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED Nikon ...
36
votes
10answers
4k views

What is crop factor and how does it relate to focal length?

I'm reading that a 50mm lens is recommended as a first prime lens for DSLR owners as it's supposed to give a 'natural' perspective, but when used on (most) DSLRs, the view is cropped, as if you were ...
205
votes
11answers
33k views

Good examples of RAW's advantages over JPEG?

I'm curious to see some real examples of where simply capturing the same photo in RAW (and being processed by someone who can do it justice) has significantly improved the photo at the end of the ...
35
votes
5answers
88k views

How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom?

What is the rule to convert the 'mm' notation to the 'optical zoom' notation? I searched a bit and found this one: optical zoom = maximum focal length / minimum focal length For example a 18-55mm ...
44
votes
7answers
7k views

What is a “diffraction limit”?

I've seen the term used, but what is a "diffraction limit", when should I worry about it, and what undesirable effects are a result of it ?
24
votes
4answers
4k views

Does my crop sensor camera actually turn my lenses into a longer focal length?

So, I mount a 200mm lens on my Canon 450D. It effectively becomes a 320mm lens. Is this the equivalent of 320mm on a full frame camera? That is, from what I've figured out I get an equivalent field of ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Can a smaller sensor's “crop factor” be used to calculate the exact increase in depth of field?

If APS-C and similar crop-sensor digital cameras have a focal length multiplying effect such that a 50mm lens has an apparent focal length closer to the field of view of an 80mm on a full frame ...
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do images get “corrupted”?

I have had my Nikon D40 for a while, and some of the pictures are coming out distorted. Two examples are below: So my questions are: How do I fix them after the fact? - i.e. after they have been ...
88
votes
5answers
5k views

What is “ISO” on a digital camera?

What is "ISO" in general, and how is the scale defined? How does the ISO scale for film speed differ from ISO sensitivity as used in digital cameras? Is lower ISO always better?
34
votes
5answers
54k views

Is there a general formula for image size vs. print size?

What size images do I need for common print sizes, such as wallet size, 8x10, and 16x20? Is there a general formula? How could that size change if, for example, a 16x20 was printed on canvas rather ...
34
votes
12answers
16k views

How can I get dramatic shallow DOF with a kit lens?

I'm currently using an entry-level DSLR with 18-55mm lens and having great trouble trying to creating a blurred background effect in my photos. Now matter what aperture or shutter speed I choose, I'm ...
33
votes
10answers
8k views

Which focal-length lens is usually used for portrait photography, and why?

What focal length or range of focal lengths are usually used for portraits? What is used by professionals? Why would one select a certain focal length? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ...
33
votes
12answers
7k views

How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have a compact digital camera, and in macro mode I can manage to achieve a blurred background, if the background is far enough away. Can this be done when taking non-macro pictures, and if not, is ...
36
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the “Rule of Thirds”?

Please can someone explain the "Rule of Thirds"? What is it? What does it tell me? Why is it important? What can I do with it?
34
votes
15answers
7k views

How can I maximize the “blurry background, sharp subject” (bokeh) effect?

I know that this effect occurs when there's a shallow depth of field. My question is, what are the various ways I can increase this effect in my photos when I'm taking them? Note that I'm not ...
26
votes
8answers
7k views

How can I recover deleted photos from an SD Card?

My technophobe mother returned from a European trip to discover she'd erased all but 15 images from a nearly full 2GB card. As I am the computer guy in the family, she posted the card to me and asked ...
46
votes
13answers
9k views

Is there any significant difference between Nikon and Canon?

I'm considering purchasing a DSLR for the first time here in the next couple of months. The two "big boys" seem to be Canon and Nikon. I've looked at both companies, and I can't really see significant ...
93
votes
7answers
7k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
48
votes
4answers
2k views

What should I pay attention to when choosing a tripod?

I am a novice in photography and my current camera (Sony alpha 230 kit) which I recently have bought is the first DSLR of mine. Soon I'd like to buy a tripod for it. Please advise me what should I ...
51
votes
7answers
36k views

Can the sun damage the camera sensor? Under what conditions?

I want to experiment taking photos where the sun appears. I'm afraid of what might happen if I take one with a narrower angle (where sun would be bigger). Can the lens act as a magnifying glass and ...
29
votes
9answers
58k views

What is the difference between EF and EF-S lenses?

This is specific to Canon, but what is the difference between EF and EF-S lenses?
51
votes
4answers
36k views

What does f-stop mean?

What does f-stop mean? Is it the same thing when people say "2 stops" for example?
57
votes
15answers
9k views

How does one focus for landscape photos in very dark conditions?

Tonight I tried my best to take some night landscapes in the darkest of dark conditions. Hoping for an epic composition of the Milky Way and a landmark. Of course, none of my glass could auto focus ...
28
votes
12answers
7k views

Should I buy a camera with kit lens, or body plus lens separately?

I am planning to buy a DSLR soon. Before I zero in on the model, I want to know whether it is advisable to buy a kit (body + 18-55 lens) or not? OR should I go for the camera-body and the lens ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I know what speed card to get for my camera?

Cameras rarely specify exactly what speed cards you should be using in them - I just checked the manual for my DSLR, and all it says is to use an SDHD card, and a "high speed" card should be used for ...
39
votes
5answers
4k views

When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight?

What are Multi-Zone/Matrix metering, Center-Weighted metering, and Spot metering? What about Partial? Is there a good rule of thumb, or a few pointers, on when best to use each metering mode?
34
votes
8answers
4k views

Do megapixels matter with modern sensor technology?

Are more megapixels good? Are more megapixels bad? Do more megapixels increase detail? Do they make my images sharper? On the other side, is there a point that is too much? Do megapixels cause ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

What are neutral density filters and how do I use them to create long exposures in daylight?

I've seen a few related posts on the site but nothing specifically on this point: I'd like to be able to take long exposure photos during daylight (like the examples in this Flickr group). I'm told ...
47
votes
4answers
15k views

What is the best way to micro-adjust a lens?

I have a Canon 7D with a 50mm f/1.4 lens, and I think the auto-focus of the lens is off. How can I test and adjust this reliably? Will this approach work with all of my lenses? If I had a different ...
52
votes
9answers
38k views

What is the 'Golden Ratio' and why is it better than the 'Rule of Thirds?'

Somebody recently told me that I will be able to compose more pleasing pictures if I use the Golden Ratio instead of the Rule of Thirds, and that the Rule of Thirds was an inferior way to compose ...
68
votes
5answers
2k views

What is RAW, technically?

From a technical perspective, what exactly is RAW and how does it differ from JPG or bitmap images? I'm not asking about the pros/cons versus another format, but rather what constitutes RAW format, ...
38
votes
16answers
12k views

Which tools are good for creating panoramas/stitching multiple photos?

Can anyone recommend some good tools for creating panoramas from multiple photos. (Free and commercial) Personally I use either Windows and Ubuntu, but I'm not fussy, suggestions for other platforms ...
34
votes
12answers
3k views

What are the pros and cons when shooting in RAW vs JPEG?

In general shooting in RAW format uses a lot more file storage than JPEG. What am I gaining when shooting RAW? Besides file size are there any downsides to shooting RAW?
20
votes
6answers
6k views

What is one “stop”?

I always hear this term, e.g., I had to go down one stop Increasing X by Y raises Z by one stop I turned down the flash/the light two stops This lens/sensor/strobe/Photoshop tweak raises X by ...
27
votes
4answers
11k views

What is a macro lens?

I've read a few threads on here that mention some elementary descriptions of macro lenses and found some marketing fluff in the box for my Canon about them as well, but being a complete novice I was ...
23
votes
7answers
2k views

What are good resources for a beginning photographer?

What are good resources (tutorials/books/videos/etc) for a beginning photographer? Keep in mind that this is for a beginning photographer, who has recently moved from a point-and-shoot to an ...
24
votes
15answers
14k views

What lenses would best comprise a travel photography kit?

On a crop sensor camera, e.g. Canon EOS 7D, what would be the best kit to travel with around Europe for a few weeks? My shooting style will focus on landscape, architecture, and general travel shots ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

What characteristics make a lens good or bad?

When reading lens reviews on the Internet, I often find subjective statements about the image quality that a lens produces, such as "good contrast" or "sharp". The problem is that I don't think I am ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

What is noise in a digital photograph?

What kinds of effects are present in digital images that are referred to as "noise"? What are the different sources of noise? What causes each type of noise? What are the characteristics of the ...
26
votes
6answers
11k views

Why does a bigger sensor lead to a shallower depth of field?

It has been mentioned at a few places that a larger sensor results in images with a shallower depth of field. Example image: APS-C Canon 30D left, FF Canon 5D right, same lens, same composition, ...
85
votes
6answers
4k views

How and why do you use an image histogram?

I realize that an image histogram is a graphical display of an images tonal distribution (i.e. horizontal darks to lights, vertical pixel distribution), but how does one really use it and why? I mean, ...

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