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17
votes
7answers
36k 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 ...
57
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I get started in Astrophotography?

I have a Canon 20D. I'd love to take some photos of the moon and stars. How do I get started? I've search the web and the information is sparse and cryptic. I'd like to know what equipment is the ...
103
votes
6answers
5k 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, ...
23
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
50
votes
22answers
36k views

How can I backup my RAW photos while travelling without Internet access?

This question seems similar to this one, but my needs are different : I shoot in RAW exclusively I'm looking for a 100% offline solution: while traveling, Internet won't be accessible the "laptop" ...
53
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
23
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?
32
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
14k 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?
41
votes
19answers
61k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
7k views

Why do Full Frame lenses and crop body lenses exhibit the same crop factor when used on a crop body camera?

I have a Canon 7D, which has a crop factor of 1.6x. When using a Canon EF-S lens I get the focal length stated on the lens, when using a Canon EF lens I get the focal length times 1.6 when used on ...
45
votes
16answers
18k 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 ...
28
votes
4answers
17k 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
4answers
12k 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 ...
21
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
62
votes
3answers
6k 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, ...
38
votes
5answers
12k 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, ...
26
votes
14answers
19k 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 ...
34
votes
7answers
3k 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.
35
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
56
votes
5answers
25k 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 ...
53
votes
18answers
3k views

What are the first few photography books someone should read?

The books that helped me most initially were the Bryan Peterson books and more recently the Joe McNally books. Both of these working photographers give a lot of honest and helpful examples. These ...
40
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 ...
30
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
59
votes
12answers
7k 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 ...
59
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
26
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 ...
28
votes
6answers
17k 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, ...
23
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
22k views

Why can't I get a decent white background with product photography?

I'm a new photographer, and I'm trying to take photos of a product with a pure white background (#ffffff). I'm using a light box (something like this one), so my lighting should be solid. But I ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the Yongnuo flash naming conventions?

I'm trying to get an idea of which Yongnuo flash will fit my requirements. I'd like to have a flash to pair with my SB-900 with TTL support for use both on and off camera (Nikon CLS-compatible). My ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a linear and a circular polarizer?

When I bought my polarizer, a friend told me that I should get a circular one, because the linear ones can mess with the autofocus. Is this true? What should each be used for?
18
votes
3answers
707 views

What is Chromatic Aberration?

What is Chromatic Aberration? Is it a physical part of the lens, or just an optical illusion?
40
votes
5answers
57k 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 ...
48
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 ...
26
votes
2answers
4k 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?
37
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 ...
71
votes
6answers
22k 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 ...
34
votes
8answers
32k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is HDR photography?

What is HDR photography, and when might it be useful?
48
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there any practical difference between saving at 300ppi or 72ppi?

I often see statements in discussions about web displayed image quality that go something like this: "I only upload pictures at 72 dpi and 1200 pixels on the long edge, so if someone copies and prints ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

What does an expensive flash unit buy over a cheap one?

General question: What will I get from an expensive flash unit, that I can't get from a cheap one? Specific example: The $250 Canon Speedlite 430EX II vs. the $50 Neewer TT560. To my naive eye, the ...
31
votes
4answers
33k views

What is the “Rule of 600” in astrophotography?

This question mentions the "Rule of 600" for avoiding star-trails in astrophotography. What is this rule? How was it derived? How should it be applied?
30
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...

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