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11
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
5k views

While shooting in RAW, do you have to post-process it to make the picture look good?

I always shoot in RAW. But I take lots of pictures, when I am out shooting I might come home with 600+ pictures. Many of these pics are copies of the same motive, but with different aperture, shutter, ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

How to improve image sharpness on Canon 700D?

I'm currently using a Canon 700D with a few EF-S lenses, I like the Canon system, the looks, feel and ergonomics but I'm not happy with the files I'm getting. Whenever I come across a photo that ...
61
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 ...
76
votes
15answers
18k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

What is ETTR (Expose To The Right)?

Picking up from this answer and this question, What exactly is ETTR? How it may reduce the image noise? And how is it difference from film to digital sensors? In the answer linked above, what are the ...
45
votes
19answers
108k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
11k views

What is a rolling shutter? When do I have to be aware of it?

In answer to another question, Adam Davis writes: Your camera complicates this by using a rolling shutter above a given speed (usually around 1/200. This means that only a portion of the ...
25
votes
9answers
5k 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 on-...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the formula for percent of frame filled at a specific distance and focal length?

I am thinking about buying a new lens specifically to take photos of distant targets (birds, bears, etc). I currently own the Canon 70-300 IS USM, which is a nice lens, but I find that if I want to ...
18
votes
8answers
4k views

Is a UV Filter required/recommended for lens protection?

Is it still required/highly recommended that I buy a UV or similar filter to 'protect' the front element of my lens? I ask because this advice has been around for 30 years and you would think that ...
15
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Which offers better results: FoCal or LensAlign Pro?

I am in need of microadjusting my autofocus for a couple of my lenses with my Canon 7D. Namely, I need to adjust the 100-400 L lens, which seems to consistently AF a bit softer than I've seen from ...
34
votes
7answers
22k views

How do I capture the milky way?

Can the milky way actually be photographed like this? I know the image is manipulated, and is probably a composite, but how do you capture such contrast in the milky way? Is an equitorially mounted ...
49
votes
16answers
22k 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 ...
43
votes
5answers
16k 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, ...
39
votes
7answers
75k views

Is it better to shoot with a higher ISO, or use lower ISO and raise the exposure in post-processing?

Suppose there are two photos taken in the following scenario: Scenario 1 - Photo taken using ISO of 3200. Scenario 2 - Photo taken using ISO of 100. Both photos are taken in a medium light scenario....
76
votes
16answers
26k 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 ...
40
votes
5answers
122k 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
4answers
21k 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 ...
30
votes
5answers
26k views

Why does my Lightroom/Photoshop preview change after loading?

Everybody who is using Lightroom probably has seen this. After importing RAW files, Lightroom shows a preview, but contrast and color of the preview change after a few short seconds to a slightly ...
26
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
48
votes
3answers
389k views

What does STM mean on a Canon lens?

The Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 has a designation of STM on the lens. What does this mean? What are the advantages of having it and does it replace an older technology? We have a terminology thread that ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

What exactly is flash sync speed, and should it be a factor in a buying decision?

What exactly is flash sync speed and should it be a factor in a buying decision?
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Are Yongnuo flashes interchangeable between dslr's or are they brand specific?

I see the Yongnuo triggers are brand specific. For example YN-622c (for Canon) and the YN-622n (for Nikon) I was looking at the YN-565 and YN-568 but did not want to make a wrong purchase and buy a ...
13
votes
7answers
4k views

How to know you've outgrown your equipment?

I have only started shooting recently, as a hobby. I use Canon EOS M100. I use a EF to EF-M adapter to use EF 50mm f/1.2L USM. The camera seems to have trouble focusing and light metering (with auto ...
68
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
6k 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?
42
votes
5answers
7k views

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

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 exposure metering mode?...
34
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
46k 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 can'...
11
votes
4answers
15k views

What is the EV scale?

I have seen an "EV" (exposure value) scale that's sometimes used to express a camera's exposure settings, or scene brightness. How exactly does this scale work?
45
votes
6answers
10k views

How do constant aperture zoom lenses work?

Cheaper zoom lenses usually are faster at the wide end and slower at the long end (for example, the $150 Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6). More expensive constant-aperture zoom lenses have the same ...
10
votes
6answers
98k views

Is it possible to scale up an image to increase the the pixel density?

I have taken a picture whose resolution is less. I can resize the image easily (i.e I can scale to higher resolution) but the image quality goes for a toss, which is true because the image might not ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

What lens characteristics are important in star photography?

In optimal world I would buy a lens that is good in every way. But I'm on a budget and have to find a balance in quality and price. I'm looking for a lens for star photography, so in my case it will ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

I'm having trouble getting sharp pictures while shooting a concert from a press pass location

I am a bit of a noob when it comes to photography. But I recently got the opportunity to shoot John Mayer this past weekend in Wisconsin. Upon getting home, I noticed the pictures weren't as sharp ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a Canon equivalent of the Nikon CLS?

Does Canon have its own version of the creative lighting system?
64
votes
5answers
29k views

How to get the best results for landscape and stars photographs?

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 ...
60
votes
17answers
4k views

What are the first few photography books someone should read? [closed]

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 ...
24
votes
8answers
4k 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 entry-...
30
votes
14answers
22k views

Which lenses should be included in 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 (...
18
votes
4answers
99k views

How can I upscale a low-res image to make it appear higher-res?

I want to enlarge an image to a bigger size. This will cause pixelation. So I want to apply some treatment to it in Photoshop that will suppress some of this pixelation. Of course I cannot generate ...
32
votes
4answers
30k views

How can I calculate what the effect of an extension tube will be?

There must be a mathematical description of the difference that an extension tube makes to a lens -- is it something that can be easily described? (For example, with teleconverters you can say things ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I prepare best for my first wedding photography event?

I am going to shoot a wedding this weekend, and I want to do my best for my friend's big day. What can I do to prepare for the day in order to minimize failures and mistakes? How do I avoid missing ...
26
votes
4answers
8k views

What is focal length and how does it affect my photos?

What is focal-length? Are focal-length and zoom synonymous? How does the focal length of a photo affect it? Are there common uses for different focal lengths, and how can I decide what to use when?
27
votes
10answers
7k views

How do I choose a polarizer?

It was suggested that I should get myself a polarizer filter to get over my reflection problem. ( How to avoid reflection when taking a picture of a ceramic object with a shiny glaze? ) I found out ...
19
votes
8answers
8k views

How can I take crisp sharp shots without an expensive lens?

Recently I bought my first DSLR camera. It is a beginner's one, a Sony Alpha A230 kit. To tell the truth, my shots are no more crisp than those I used to take with my old point and shoot Nikon Coolpix....
25
votes
6answers
33k views

What are jpeg artifacts and what can be done about them?

I know JPEG is a "lossy" compression algorithm that discards information in order to save space. What is the visual impact of this? I've heard of "JPEG artifacts". What do these look like? Are there ...
18
votes
8answers
21k views

What focal length lens do I need for photographing the moon?

I would like to know whether it is possible to photograph moon without any flaws with a canon EOS 550d.. Also to get an image of the moon as close as the following image, what kind of equipment(lens,...

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