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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 ...
34
votes
9answers
7k views

Why do people recommend 50mm or other prime lenses as starting lenses for learning photography?

I've seen quite a few people recommend the 50mm prime lenses, in particular the sub-$100 50mm/f1.8, as a starting lens for photographers (especially because they're likely to be using cameras with ...
41
votes
8answers
6k views

Are there reasons to use colour filters with digital cameras?

Digital photos can have colour filters applied after the fact by software, so are there any good reasons to use colour filters with a digital camera? As I understand it, the main reason for them ...
46
votes
5answers
2k views

What should I look for in a monitor for photo processing?

What aspects should one keep in mind when choosing monitor for photo processing? What about color gamut, panel types, input types, requirements for video card, different gammas, refresh rate, angle of ...
25
votes
2answers
3k views

How does exposure fusion work?

I understand that "exposure fusion" is a method for combining different exposures into a single image. How exactly does it work, and how is it related to HDR?
47
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it lenses which make your photographs, not camera bodies?

I read somewhere on this site itself that you should spend more on your lenses and less on your camera bodies. Is it a myth or a fact that mostly it is the lenses which make your photographs not the ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

What do Pentax, Sony, and Olympus DSLRs offer that differs from Canon and Nikon?

We have a question and answers outlining the significant differences between the "big two" DSLR brands. I'm interested in the other DSLR makers, and how the cameras they make compare in terms of ...
38
votes
19answers
31k views

Should I buy an original manufacturer battery, or is a generic brand OK?

I need another LP-E5 type battery for my Canon 450D. Should I buy an original Canon battery or one of the many generic brands available? There are loads of cheapos on eBay, for example. I should add ...
19
votes
9answers
3k views

Prime lens or flash: which upgrade will most improve baby photos?

I current own a Nikon D5000 with kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) and am looking to take better indoor photos of my fast-moving 9-month-old, which sometimes come out blurred or not natural I use the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
84
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, ...
49
votes
5answers
20k views

Tips for landscape+stars photography?

I'm leaving for holidays tomorrow, and there's a good chance that I'll be able to be by night on a field with no artificial light around, and no moon in the sky. I'd love to take some picture of the ...
36
votes
5answers
36k views

How do I combine multiple exposures for action shots?

I'd like to create one of those "stacked" action shot images where multiple exposures are combined to show the subject moving across a static background. Here's an example I found on Flickr (by ...
38
votes
11answers
4k views

How do I tell which point-and-shoot cameras take good low light photos?

I have a Canon Powershot A710 and I previously had a previous Powershot A-series model. I love them due to the high amount of control they offer. Sadly, they both suck in low light conditions, their ...
33
votes
5answers
8k views

What does it mean for a photograph to be “high key”?

As I learned the term, a high-key image is one where the shadows are effectively eliminated, and the mid-tone detail pushed into brighter zones. My question is simple: is this an accurate definition, ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

What is “Hyperfocal Distance”?

I'd like a clear & easy-to-understand (especially for non-physics-types) explanation of what Hyperfocal Distance is, how it affects photographs, and what determines its value.
17
votes
5answers
8k views

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed to avoid blur from camera shake?

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed at which I can effectively avoid camera shake while hand-holding the camera?
15
votes
7answers
16k views

How can I recover photo files from a memory card with a corrupt filesystem?

I know this is not specifically a photography issue but since many of us with prosumer/professional-level DLSRs use Compact Flash cards, it is bound to happen to others as well. I have a Sandisk 16GB ...
56
votes
10answers
5k views

Are there any downsides to using a good-quality UV filter?

Are there any real downsides to using a UV filter? I know that a poor quality UV filter can effect image quality ... but, assuming I use a good quality UV filter, will that actually be an issue? Is ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views

When should you use a normal flash vs a second-curtain flash?

There have been many questions lately that focus on improving the quality of the image taken, where the answers circle around using a second-curtain flash to reduce blur and freeze motion. Why not ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is the depth-of-field preview in the optical viewfinder of my Canon 500D inaccurate?

I have noticed that in my Canon 500D, the depth-of-field preview in the optical viewfinder is inaccurate with large aperture settings. If I press the DoF preview button, there is very little ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Lens upgrade paths (sub $1000) for the EF-S 18-55mm IS kit lens for Canon APS-C cameras

This is somewhat a follow-up to my earlier question on the limitations of the kit lens. I have browsed through quite a lot of sites including this one for user opinions & reviews of different ...
44
votes
23answers
5k views

What's a good strategy for choosing which photos to keep?

Since moving from a 6 megapixel DSLR to a 12.5 megapixel micro-four-thirds, the much bigger file sizes (especially shooting RAW) mean that I can't be so open about keeping everything I shoot. I only ...
50
votes
13answers
30k views

What tools are available for RAW image processing in Linux?

I have been taking photographs with RAW format. What tools are available for working with RAW under Linux?
68
votes
6answers
12k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are ...
31
votes
8answers
15k views

What should I consider when using DSLRs in cold weather?

What temperatures can consumer-level DSLRs and lenses typically handle? Are there any precautions one should take too minimize potential problems (e.g. condensating water)? What about moving in and ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

How do you find out the “sweet spot” of a lens?

I've tried googling this, but have never found a satisfactory answer. I've heard the term "sweet spot" thrown around by some photographers to mean the f-stop of a lens which results in the highest ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “white balance”?

I would like to understand the term white balance. My camera has settings for white balance with the following options: Auto white balance Daylight Cloudy Shade Flash Incandescent lights White set1 ...
23
votes
11answers
1k views

What are considerations when choosing a DSLR brand?

Realizing that: no single brand or camera model is perfect, most DSLRs are "good enough" for most situations there is no single right answer to which camera should be purchased ...what are some ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

When do you need a model release?

Revised Question: After a bit of a think I realised that this question can also be asked the other way round and much more simply: In what situation(s) have you required a model release? Original ...
49
votes
3answers
3k views

What historic reasons are there for common aspect ratios?

The most common width to height ratio rates in the "old good" paper photography seems to be 3:2, which was adopted by today's DSLRs. Early (non-professional) digital cameras adopted 4:3 aspect ratio, ...
26
votes
8answers
83k views

How do popular free RAW editor/converter compare to each other on Windows?

I'm looking for a free RAW editor/converter on Windows. Can you tell me some strong/weak points of them comparing with Capture NX and/or Adobe Photoshop Elements? RawTherapee PhotoFiltre Able RAWer ...
30
votes
15answers
3k views

What options are there for good, cheap online backup of photos?

What is a good and cheap solution for online backup of over 100Gb, probably growing to 200+ in about a year, and then no doubt more after that. I am looking for something that can work in the ...
34
votes
5answers
6k views

How to get a miniature effect on pictures without special equipment?

I was browsing Behance and came upon these pictures: http://www.behance.net/gallery/The-Little-Things/402879 I was wondering how he got this miniature style effect? I'm guessing a Gaussian Blur on a ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I test a new lens to make sure it is operating correctly?

How can I test a new lens to make sure it is operating correctly? I found two similar questions with answers specific to things such as sharpness and focus, but I want to cover any and all possible ...
26
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I make extra money with photography?

I have photos in Getty Images, in Shutterstock, Imagekind and I recently added some to RedBubble, but I'm not having the expected results. Does anyone have some history of success selling photographs ...
50
votes
6answers
7k views

Why are wide-angle lenses so much more expensive?

What is it about wide-angle lenses that makes them so much more expensive than an equivalent-quality tele or prime lens? Take the Canon EF-S 10-22mm USM, for example. RRP is nearly £1,000! Are they ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

What precautions should I take when taking a camera into humid conditions?

My camera's manual warns about sudden changes in temperature, but there are a few cases when I can't see how to avoid this. These include entering a reptile house in a zoo, or a trip to tropical ...
21
votes
9answers
2k views

How to choose a lens for my first DSLR?

I am considering buying my first DSLR. How do I know whether I need a 18-200 lens, 17-85, or 18-55? Or something else?
16
votes
5answers
5k views

What focal length gives a “normal” field-of-view on APS-C cameras?

I wish to purchase a "standard angle-of-view" prime lens for my Canon Rebel, which has an APS-C sized sensor. Various articles note that the popular "nifty 50mm" lenses are a little too much of a ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

What does it really mean that telephoto lenses “flatten” scenes?

This is another perspective distortion question. I understand that perspective distortion is primarily a function of capture and viewing distance, but I am still working on fully understanding the ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the limitations of a typical kit lens as a general purpose lens?

I have a Canon EOS 550d with the 18-55mm IS kit lens. I have done quite a bit of shooting with it over the last few months (portraits, nature, night shots etc), and find the image quality to be pretty ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

What is a normal lens?

I've heard people call 50mm lenses "normal lenses". For a lens to be considered normal, does it have to be exactly 50mm or is there some leeway? Does the normal focal length depend on crop factor of ...
28
votes
18answers
2k views

What software is focused on reviewing and organizing images?

If I wanted to just view, sort, and organize (via tags or folders or both), what programs are geared toward doing this quickly? I know I could do this in most any photo editor, but it's not ideal for ...
40
votes
6answers
3k views

How is ISO implemented in digital cameras?

If I change the ISO settings on my camera, obviously the gain of the system is increased, amplifying the signal from the sensor. What's not clear to me is where the amplification takes place. I see ...
30
votes
14answers
23k views

How do Micro 4/3s cameras compare with DSLR cameras?

What are the major (and perhaps more subtle) differences between the newer Micro 4/3s format in comparison to the well-established DSLR cameras? What are the pros and cons of the Micro 4/3s format, ...
37
votes
8answers
6k views

Why is the 50mm prime lens the most standard?

Seems that most photographers choose the 50mm as their prime lens (at least from what I've read). I'm looking at getting a prime lens for my Nikon D3000 and the cost difference between the 35mm 1.8 ...
33
votes
5answers
4k views

In which situations should I use my circular polarizing filter?

I received a circular polarizing filter as a gift, but I have a hard time determining when I should be using it. I've done river shots with some success, but other than that, it doesn't seem to do ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

How to start learning photography?

How to start learning photography?
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Technically, why is the out of focus area blurred more when using a bigger aperture?

I'm wondering, technically, why and how does the out of focus areas blur more when using a bigger aperture. I think it'd help a lot if I presented a problem that's been driving me nuts for a long ...

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