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43
votes
7answers
13k views

Is there a sane reason why ¹⁄₁₂₅ is not, instead, exactly half of ¹⁄₆₀?

Here are some common shutter speeds you will find on most DSLR cameras: 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000 As you move from left to right, or as you increase the shutter ...
43
votes
16answers
8k views

How can I backup my photos while travelling?

I'm going travelling around the world for a year in September and am already panicking about how best to send my photos home while in various countries. Requirements: I only need to backup JPEG ...
43
votes
10answers
33k views

What are the dangers of removing a lens while the camera is on?

The manual warns that you should turn the camera off to remove the lens, but it doesn't say why. I suspect this may have to do with dust, but I could imagine there are lots of other reasons. I'm ...
43
votes
7answers
7k 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.
43
votes
8answers
8k views

Can you tell from a blurry photo if focus was too close or too far?

If you focus on a focal plane that is sufficiently in front of your subject, or past it (relative to depth of field), the subject will appear blurry. Is there some way of telling purely from the ...
43
votes
5answers
185k views

How do I calculate the distance of an object in a photo?

If I took a picture of a windmill on the horizon — given that I know the sensor size and the focal length of the lens and other factors to do with the shot — could I calculate how far away an object ...
43
votes
12answers
14k views

Any good tutorials for learning how to post-process images?

I don't really know where to start with post-processing my images. I normally just straighten, crop and sharpen. Do people know of any good resources on the internet for getting a grip with Photoshop ...
43
votes
6answers
6k views

Is crop-factor a bad thing?

It seems to me that there is a preference for full-frame sensors rather than cropped sensors, and I'm curious as to why. It seems to me, that the cropped sensor means that I get more bang for my buck ...
43
votes
11answers
5k 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 ...
43
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?...
42
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
42
votes
1answer
13k views

How does one create the Dave Hill effect for portraits/action shots?

Inspired by the question here by sebastian.b, and the response to the subsequent meta question. I would like to ask how to achieve a specific photo effect. There may be more photographers that pull ...
42
votes
5answers
72k 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 ...
42
votes
10answers
51k views

What can a fisheye lens be useful for?

I have a variety of lenses in my camera kit. One that I do not have, and has me curious, is a fisheye lens. I mostly understand what it does: it captures an image with distortion similar to what you ...
42
votes
7answers
16k views

Why is there an ISO setting when shooting raw?

Raw files are supposed to contain mostly unprocessed data from the sensor. What's the point of having an ISO setting if it doesn't affect the amount of photons counted, but only provides amplification?...
42
votes
3answers
34k views

Why is a 1" sensor actually 13.2 × 8.8mm?

I'm wondering how sensor sizes are calculated. The Sony RX100 reportedly has a sensor size of 1" which is 13.2 x 8.8 mm according to the press release and various sites. How does that work? That's a ...
42
votes
7answers
22k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using auto ISO on a DSLR?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using auto ISO on a DSLR? Using manual ISO obviously gives you more control, but auto ISO may mean that you get "the shot" under quickly changing ...
42
votes
5answers
132k 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 ...
42
votes
3answers
6k views

How do you photograph a lunar eclipse?

Tonight is the night of a lunar eclipse, and I'm curious, what kinds of tips do you guys have for photographing one? I'd like solutions for both consumer-grade equipment, as well as DSLRs, so that ...
42
votes
7answers
10k views

Why use a dedicated light meter instead of the one built into the camera?

I know a few people who carry around a dedicated light meter unit (such as this one by Sekonic) and use that to meter photos instead of using the meter built into their cameras (and these are ...
42
votes
8answers
51k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the best way for a hobbyist to start generating income from photos?

What is the best way for me to look into the feasibility of selling my shots (hopefully including some sort of feedback on my technique) and examples of places where I can have someone manage the ...
41
votes
7answers
19k views

Why is giving clients RAW files such a sensitive matter among photographers?

I've been trying to understand why handing out the RAW files to clients is a sensitive issue among professional photographers. I've often heard explanations that compares the RAW files to film ...
41
votes
2answers
26k views

How were photographs printed in newspapers in 1929?

This is an advert from 1929 I am curious as how this and other similar things were printed back then. How were the images printed on the advert? Seems to me like this wasn't possible back then! Can ...
41
votes
5answers
8k views

Why don't cameras offer more than 3 colour channels? (Or do they?)

Currently, most (all?) commercially available cameras capture light in three colour channels: red, green and blue. It seems to me that it would be very useful to have a camera with a greater spectral ...
41
votes
6answers
5k views

Should I get DX for my APS-C camera, or FX lenses in case I upgrade to full-frame in the future?

I recently bought a Nikon D90 camera body, which has a "DX" APS-C-sized sensor.. Within the same budget, should I go with DX lenses or should I get full frame lenses in case I upgrade to a full frame ...
41
votes
10answers
20k views

What software can show my most frequently used focal length?

Many people recommend a focal length of 35mm, 50mm, and sometimes even 85mm and upwards for those interested in purchasing a prime lens. I, however, would like to figure out what focal length(s) I use ...
40
votes
14answers
17k views

What's the best way to store over 400 GB of digital photos?

My Mom has over 400GB of photos on a quickly dying 2011 IMac. We are getting her a new computer but I am hoping to set up some system where she can safely store all these files in an easy to access ...
40
votes
16answers
144k views

Is there good free software for editing Canon RAW files?

I've lost the install disks that came with my 500D and I was wondering if there was any better software for editing Canon RAW files. I Had a quick skim of the Canon website and couldn't find anything.
40
votes
8answers
15k views

What methods do macro photographers use to get so close to butterflies, bees, insects and the like?

I have seen some super macro photos of things like butterflies and bees that left me wondering how the photographer is able to get so close to the subject long enough to take a photo. Most of the ...
40
votes
5answers
10k views

What's the point of capturing 14 bit images and editing on 8 bit monitors?

I am bit confused. If my DSLR is capturing 14 bit image while shooting RAW. Don't I need a 14 bit monitor also to take full advantage of capturing in RAW? Whats the point of capturing an image in 14 ...
40
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the point of the depressible peg on a quick release plate?

Many tripod quick release plates have a plastic or metal peg near the screw. You can press down on the peg, and then when you release it, it pops back up. I've looked at photos of many camera ...
40
votes
13answers
6k views

What are the must-have filters for a new photographer?

What filters are good and why?
40
votes
8answers
17k views

If an image is rotated losslessly, why does the file size change?

I was searching for methods of lossless image rotation and happened upon this question which explains it rather nicely: Are "Windows Photo Viewer" rotations lossless? So I created a 256×...
40
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
40
votes
6answers
16k views

Will too much time-lapse photography reduce a DSLR's life, or cause any other damage?

I own a Canon 550D, and I'm planning to do some time-lapse experiments this weekend just for fun. Will it cause any damage or reduce my DSLR's lifetime if I do too much of it?
40
votes
6answers
9k views

Why do stars appear as circles, not points?

Excluding the Sun, stars are so far away that their angular diameter is effectively zero. However, when you take pictures of them, brighter stars appear as circles, not points. Why? In theory, any ...
39
votes
17answers
9k views

What are alternatives to a tripod when I can't take one along?

Due to weight restrictions I cannot take my tripod on my next foreign trip. What are the alternatives?
39
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
39
votes
15answers
11k views

What is the best way to clean the sensor on a interchangeable lens camera (mirrorless or digital SLR)?

I've got a couple of spots of dust on the sensor of my Canon 20D. A rocket blower isn't shifting them, and I'm ridiculously scared of some of the more direct methods for cleaning sensors — what ...
39
votes
5answers
7k views

Focus problem vs. motion blur vs. camera shake - how to tell the difference?

I'm not sure if the title of the question captures what I mean, but it's hard to be succint in the space allowed. Suppose you have a picture that is not as sharp as you think it should/could be. (...
39
votes
5answers
9k views

What should one look for when buying a used lens?

When buying a used lens, what should the buyer check? Other than looking for obvious physical damage on the outside of the lens, what else should be inspected to identify the condition or quality of ...
39
votes
5answers
8k 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?
39
votes
2answers
8k views

Why no zoom lenses with a maximum aperture wider than f/2.8?

I can understand that a zoom lens with a maximum aperture wider than 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 ...
39
votes
8answers
25k views

How can I get sharp manual focus despite poor eyesight?

I suffer from astigmatism. It's only mild, though I feel it's affecting what I'm seeing when looking through the viewfinder. Frequently, after shooting a photo with my Canon EOS 7D, I'll load it into ...
38
votes
7answers
34k 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 ...
38
votes
12answers
13k views

Are equipment reviews from websites like kenrockwell.com and bythom.com reliable?

I know that nothing helps more when buying a lens to test it out yourself, but getting more than one perspective is also helpful. In particular, I run into Kenrockwell.com a lot when trying to get ...
38
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
38
votes
3answers
6k views

How to reproduce a photo with silhouette and bokeh?

I recently found a photo with a silhouette and bokeh at DSLR vs Mirrorless: Wedding Photographer's review. The subjects are as dark as the background, there is only a rim light shaping their heads. I ...
38
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...

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