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28
votes
5answers
56k views

How many actuations are “too many actuations”?

When looking at used camera bodies, a question that comes up a lot, is "how many shutter actuations, or clicks, does it have?" What I am wondering is, how many is too many. In other words, is there ...
28
votes
9answers
1k views

Should higher ISOs really be preferred (all other things being equal)?

My understanding of the ISO setting on digital cameras is that, unlike film-cameras, changing the ISO does not evoke any physical change in the camera. Rather, it simply tells the camera to multiply ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I give someone a critique of their photograph?

I often read about giving and getting critiques on a photograph or series of photographs. Specifically how do I go about giving a critique? What do I say, what points do I want to hit, etc.
28
votes
4answers
2k views

How does aperture work without “cropping” the image hitting the sensor?

I've been teaching myself the various settings in cameras and now have a much fuller understanding of how to use my camera effectively, but one thing is still bugging me. When the aperture size is ...
28
votes
10answers
5k views

Better to buy an older high-level camera or newer entry-level camera?

What are the pros and cons of buying an older higher-level camera if the price is about the same as a new entry-level one?
28
votes
4answers
10k views

What are the differences between Picasa and Lightroom, other than price?

I've heard about Adobe Lightroom before, but never really understood what's so great about it, or why you'd pay for it when you can get Picasa for free. I know Lightroom probably has more ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't they make all DSLRs with an electronic shutter?

Why don't they make all DSLRs with an electronic shutter? Is it technically possible? Surely this would allow easier syncing with flashes (rather than the usual 1/200s or 1/250s max). I could even ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Why no zoom lenses below f/2.8?

I can understand that a zoom below f/2.8 would be difficult and costly, but it seems like something pros would kill for. Surely it can't be more expensive (if its possible) than some of the $10k+ ...
28
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 ...
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

What does a hexagonal sun tell us about the camera lens/sensor?

In this picture, we see that the sun comes out as a hexagon. I am sure it is not arbitrary. What does the hexagon tell us about the instrument that captured the image?
27
votes
4answers
1k views

(How) should I start with film photography?

I've been toying with the thought of starting analog (film) photography for a while. Buying a film SLR and the equipment to develop and print the photos doesn't seem to be too expensive. Now my ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the definition of a “prime lens”?

There are many discussions of differences between prime, zoom and macro lenses. I have not heard about prime lenses until recently. Could someone explain what exactly a prime lens is? Is it ...
27
votes
5answers
969 views

What's a concise “I'm not dangerous” phrase for a business card?

Not being a street photographer, I find myself intimidated by onlookers when shooting in public. Given that and an increasingly hostile government attitude toward photographers, I'm thinking a ...
27
votes
9answers
1k views

How do I move my post-processing beyond Picasa?

Over time I've become fairly skilled in using Picasa to do post-processing starting with NEF files, but I'm thinking it's time to step it up a notch, and explore what I can do with a more ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

How much benefit can one expect from a monopod?

I'm thinking about getting a combined monopod/trekking pole, as I use a trekking pole already and I can't really be bothered to carry a heavy tripod into the hills during daylight. I'm wondering how ...
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 ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is the blue channel the noisiest?

It is widely observed that the blue channel in digital cameras is the noisiest. I've certainly noticed that with my camera. Why is this? Is it an artifact of some particular technology (e.g. Bayer ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

What is the advantage to back-button autofocus?

I've heard some advanced photographers talk about using back-button autofocus. As I understand it, this involves changing one of the camera's custom setting to engage the AF when a button on the rear ...
27
votes
6answers
11k views

What's the best way to scan in hundreds of pictures?

I have thousands of old pictures which were sitting in a photo album. Unfortunately, instead of the photo album protecting the pictures, the plastic coverings yellowed, and the pictures themselves had ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Tips for photographing a wedding

I guess this comes up for most of us that are known by friends as "the photographer"... I've been asked to be the official photographer at a wedding. I think I have the equipment sorted. I have my ...
27
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 ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

Do sensors wear out?

We all know that shutters wear out and they have a limited number of actuation's. The question I have is, do sensors wear out too? Do they suffer any kind of damage after each shot? Should I be ...
27
votes
3answers
1k 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?
27
votes
15answers
6k views

What options do I have for GPS/Geotagging with a digital SLR?

I would like to track GPS points while I am photographing with my Canon EOS (5D) camera. What option do I have track them and what do you recommend?
27
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a pancake lens?

I've read about a "pancake lens" but don't really understand what that means. What the pros and cons of having a pancake vs. another type of lens? I'm thinking of getting a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 ...
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 ...
26
votes
8answers
10k views

What are the major differences between these camera series by Canon?

Here is a shot of the different series of camras that Canon has to offer: There's several models of Rebel, then there's the 50D, the 5D, and the 1Ds. Broadly, which one is for whom broadly?
26
votes
11answers
2k views

Will a tilt-shift lens solve my 'leaning building' shots?

I shoot primarily with a Nikon D300, and that's not likely to change soon. The camera does everything I need it to do, but this. I also use a 17-55 lens, which I know that Thom castigates as being ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it possible to be color-blind and still be a good photographer?

Is it possible to be colour-blind (or color-blind, in the US) and still be a good photographer? Are there any steps one can take to mitigate the effects of colour-blindness? Can you point me to any ...
26
votes
13answers
8k views

How does one get manual focus right with a fast-aperture lens?

I have got an old lens (f1.4) that I have to use only with manual focus on a DSLR. Well, it is difficult for me to get the subject on focus. Although on focus according to the viewfinder, the actual ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a trick to shooting large group portraits without blinkers?

When shooting large group portraits, is there a trick to getting everyone to not blink (other than taking many shots)?
26
votes
12answers
4k views

How do you make the most stunning sunrise and sunset photos?

I've been lucky on a few occasions, but I often struggle with capturing awesome sunsets. What can I do to remove the element of luck and get more consistent results? Additionally, is it possible to ...
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 ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do photos of digital screens turn out the way they do? [duplicate]

When I take pictures of a screen at school or at my house, they turn out really weirdly. When blown up to 100%, they look fine, but when they get sized down, they look really weird, here is a ...
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 ...
26
votes
9answers
8k views

How can I get a good HDR image from a single RAW file?

I've heard that it's possible to create an HDR image from a single RAW file. (Obviously, it won't be as good as using multiple bracketed RAW files; I know that much.) Every time I try — using ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it practical to shoot portraits by only candlelight?

Is it practical to shoot portraits in candle lights, only, provided there is no flash around? If yes, then for portrait shots, where and how should one place the candles? Are there any specific ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Why are some lens hoods petal shaped and others not?

I have one lens hood for a 28-105mm lens that is petal shaped. I have another lens hood for a 50mm lens that is fully round. If the purpose of the lens hood is to block stray light, then wouldn't ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the best techniques for making great photographs of LEGO creations?

There are better and worse photos of LEGO creations out there. What techniques give better photos? It seems hard to photograph LEGO blocks because they are shiny.
26
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the effect of a scratched lens?

I have a lens with a small but significant looking scratch near the center. But I don't see any difference in the photos. Where does the imperfection show up? How important is it to get the piece of ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I keep the horizon straight when taking a photo (without a tripod)?

I use a DSLR and I very often find that when I shoot without a tripod, and with my eye to the viewfinder (as opposed to using LiveView), my photos end up slightly crooked: lines that should be ...
26
votes
7answers
5k views

When to use shutter priority instead of aperture priority?

Under what circumstances would you use aperture priority vs. shutter priority and vice-versa? I typically don’t use shutter priority (ever) and favor aperture priority to try to get a max aperture ...
26
votes
9answers
87k 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 ...
26
votes
10answers
1k views

Are Sigma lenses comparable to Canon lenses for a Canon camera?

I always feel that I should buy a Canon lens for my Canon camera, and Sigma would just be a cheap knock-off. Is that the case?
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, ...
26
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it ok to breathe on the front glass element of a lens to fog it and clean it?

Nikon specifically recommends not breathing on the glass elements to clean them as harmful acids in the breath can damage the coatings on the glass. However, I've read on many other websites that it ...
26
votes
4answers
7k views

What are the pros and cons of lab prints versus using a printer?

As newcomers to photography and printing we would like advice on the best way(s), regarding both quality and cost, of printing. In the main my wife is photographing birds and insects, so natural ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

How does Image Stabilization / Vibration Reduction work?

I know the effect of IS and VR, but what exactly is going on when they're enabled... how do they work from a technical standpoint?
26
votes
7answers
5k views

Does a photographer take pictures or make pictures?

Most people speak of the process of photography as taking pictures. However, many serious photographers instead refer to making pictures. One might be inclined to dismiss this as jargon, but there's ...

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