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How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

Through-the-lens focusing cameras had focusing screens — usually ground glass or fresnel lens (related: What is a focusing screen?). View cameras (the old-style large cameras with bellows) projected ...
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74 votes

Why is there "single" in the term DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)?

A picture is worth a thousand words, here. This is a Twin Lens Reflex camera: The two lenses are linked together so they focus as a set (either the whole front panel moves, or the lenses are linked ...
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65 votes

Why are SLR mechanisms still prevalent among high-end digital cameras?

Is there any significant benefit to having an SLR mechanism in a digital camera? Particularly in terms of a benefit that's large enough to make up for the liability of adding a mechanical part ...
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56 votes
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Why are SLR mechanisms still prevalent among high-end digital cameras?

And with a digital camera, you don't need a hinged mirror as you can show the user exactly what light will be captured by just routing the sensor output to an LCD display. This is the reason for the ...
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54 votes
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What is the advantage of a digital still photo camera over digital video for nature photography?

There are at least four reasons. Resolution First, although the same sensor may be used, video generally uses only a portion of it (either by skipping lines or some more sophisticated method). 4K UHD ...
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54 votes
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Why is there "single" in the term DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)?

Single lens means that there is only one lens attached to the camera at once. This is to distinguish it from a twin-lens reflex camera, which has two lenses - one used for the viewfinder and one used ...
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50 votes
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Is it safe to change the lens on my new DSLR?

I'm just terrified that if I make one wrong move, a hair or a piece of dust could fall in there, and then the camera will be irreparably damaged and I'll never be able to use it again. Fear not, ...
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45 votes

How can I use my dSLR or mirrorless camera as a webcam?

What you need A camera that can stream using one of the methods described below. Software to set up a virtual camera for your video conferencing platform; or if you are using HDMI, an HDMI capture ...
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39 votes
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How can a tripod be unstable?

A tripod can be unstable by: Having cheap leg fasteners / too heavy a load for the legs My first tripod ever was a hand-me-down Velbon that had seen some abuse. Even sporting just a 20D and 70-200 ...
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36 votes

Is this light stripe at the top of images from my DSLR a light leak?

tell me whats happening Considering that the White Thing seems to affect an entire band at the top of the image, I don't think it's a light leak. A leak that happened to shine evenly across the ...
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35 votes

What should I look for when shopping for my first DSLR?

Things to consider when thinking of purchasing your first dSLR. 1. Can I afford a dSLR? If you've never used an interchangeable lens camera system before, realize that the cost is astronomical in ...
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35 votes

Why am I getting a small black patch when I take photos?

To investigate sensor dust, perform the following test: Close your aperture as much as possible (high F-number). This makes the sensor dust more visible. Increase the focal length as much as ...
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  • 1,402
34 votes

Why are my sky photographs coming out dark?

This is usually caused by the camera taking the scene as a whole and treating it as 18% gray. This is the way light meters (and camera meters) are calibrated to see the world. Scene mostly snow? 18% ...
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34 votes

Can smartphones, like iPhone 12 Pro, replace entry-level DSLR cameras?

There is no clear answer: That depends on your type of photography. If you want the camera just to take the usual this and that photos, you are probably not missing out very much. The computational ...
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33 votes
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Will a lens upgrade from the kit lens give me better colors on my backpacking travels?

"Better image quality." You use that phrase. When we say image quality in reference to comparing two lenses, we rarely are talking about anything with regard to which one is "... less dark and gives ...
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32 votes
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Quiet mode on my DSLR is not quiet enough. How can I make it quieter?

Disclaimer: This answer does not offer any help with decreasing shutter volume - it is an anecdote and therefore just a viewpoint that is related to your status quo. I think that there is not much ...
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32 votes

Is an entry level DSLR going to shoot nice portrait pictures?

If you read the other answers, it should be apparent that the qualities you seek such as (a) better portraits and (b) the desire to have a blurred background ... aren't really one thing, but a ...
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  • 3,567
30 votes

Does a "body-only" DSLR need a lens added before use?

You need a lens. It's probably possible to persuade the camera to expose the sensor without a lens on it, but nothing would be in any sort of focus whatsoever. As an aside, if you're asking this kind ...
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30 votes

Can an old DSLR be upgraded to match modern smartphone image quality

The overall difference in typical image quality between a current smartphone like the Huawei P30 Pro and an older DSLR like the Canon EOS Rebel T1i/500D isn't the difference between the sensors. The ...
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  • 168k
29 votes

Is it safe to change the lens on my new DSLR?

This might sound like a stupid question, but… is it actually “safe” to change the lens on the camera? Is this likely to destroy it? Changing lenses is quite safe for your camera, less so for your ...
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  • 31.2k
29 votes

Why are SLR mechanisms still prevalent among high-end digital cameras?

Don't forget a major drawback that EVF's require power to compose, and are much harder on batteries if you spend a lot of time with the screen on. Also, as previously mentioned, because of delays, it ...
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28 votes
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Can an old DSLR be upgraded to match modern smartphone image quality

You could get a really fast 50mm f/1.4 [or cheaper 1.8] lens for $£€ 200 second-hand that will make those fabulous blurry background photos that smartphones can now fake quite well, in low light too. ...
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27 votes
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Should I use the highest shutter speed for regular shooting?

It depends on what you mean by "highest". If you have enough light, then the first thing you should do is to reduce the ISO setting to the minimum, so that you can get as much light as possible on ...
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27 votes

Why am I getting a small black patch when I take photos?

There's probably something on the sensor - maybe a dust particle. You can check if the Canon camera has a sensor cleaning option and use it or take the camera to a local repair shop and have the ...
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26 votes

How to capture rays of light in a photograph using a DSLR camera

The first step is to find a situation where the atmosphere is right for such effects to appear to the naked eye - whether it's steam or fog or dust or whatever else in the air that is reflecting the ...
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25 votes

Why do DSLR cameras still use monochrome LCD as their top displays?

The main reason is that it is low powered. An raster LCD - color or not - requires much more power and most of them need a permanently on back-light. New OLED display do not need the back-light but ...
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25 votes
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Is there really no way to power a DSLR by USB?

Is there really no way automate a DSLR to shoot every 24 hours without having to pick it up, charge/replace its battery, and put in back on the same spot ? Canon and Nikon cameras can be connected to ...
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25 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented? Pretty well for those willing to learn how to do it with the tools we had at at the time. The same is true now. The only difference is that ...
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