mattdm
  • Member for 11 years, 2 months
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What's the difference between cross-type autofocus points and regular ones?
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19 votes

Phase-detect autofocus sensors are basically tiny, simple rangefinders — light from each side of the lens is split into two paths, and the two paths are projected onto small linear sensors. The ...

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Best fluorescent bulb color temperature for shooting people and interviews?
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19 votes

The problem with fluorescent lighting isn't the color temperature, exactly. You can generally adjust white balance to account for that. If there's a green tint, that can usually be compensated for ...

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Does JPEG-to-JPEG export Lightroom reapply compression?
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18 votes

The image will be recompressed. The two scenarios you describe are actually effectively the same, because the lossy part of the JPEG compression discards information which stays gone when the image is ...

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What is a resolution unit?
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18 votes

This is in the Exif standard for metadata, on page 26: ResolutionUnit The unit for measuring XResolution and YResolution. The same unit is used for both XResolution and ...

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Why do my photos look like they're painted?
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18 votes

This looks like the effect of noise reduction at high ISOs. Heavy NR is common in compact cameras with small sensors. Fujifilm cameras of that generation did it very well compared to others of the ...

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Why is the range for manual white balance so limited at the bottom and top?
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18 votes

Digital color works by separating light into three channels: red, green, and blue. This roughly mimics the way the human vision system creates the perception of color. Our vision system compensates ...

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Can I do "back conversion" of a B&W JPEG to color?
18 votes

If this image were RAW, the color would still be there. But since it is JPEG, I'm afraid not. The fact that the image is in RGB format does not help, because I'd you look, you will find that in fact ...

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Is it possible to make a photo's EXIF look like it was taken with a DSLR?
18 votes

Yes, it is possible. But you should not do this. Being dishonest with your teacher is never a good move. If you have a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a large sensor, you may be able to ...

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What does 'how much zoom' mean?
18 votes

Since your question is "What am I supposed to tell them?", I'm going to go a little bit off the literal math — which you can find at How do I convert lens focal length (mm) to x-times optical zoom?. ...

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Do jpgs have "layers"?
18 votes

Not really. Weirdly, "jpeg" is really the name of the compression and not the standard for the file format that bears the .jpg name. There's various different container formats that can hold jpeg-...

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Should I store unedited/raw, edited, or watermarked images while backing up on DVD/CD?
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18 votes

I would suggest backing up three things: The original RAW files. Your RAW software's database of adjustments — usually, this is kept as lossless storage of what changes you made. High-quality (100%-...

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Why store both JPEG and raw?
18 votes

I shoot JPEG + RAW because my camera produces really good JPEG output. It has flexible control over tone curves, color, and contrast. I'm not usually interested in producing HDR-compressed images — in ...

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Why am I having trouble getting sharp results with my new DSLR, compared to a point and shoot?
18 votes

Okay, so, looking at the examples in your flickr gallery, including the ones from your parents' point and shoot camera, I see a number of things: You're seeing the effect of a smaller depth of field,...

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Why can't my newer cameras focus on my hands and something behind them at the same time?
18 votes

All lenses can really only focus at one distance from the camera. Everything in front of or behind that point is increasingly blurry. In practice, there is a range of distances where the blur is ...

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How to tell if a film camera is actually making shots?
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18 votes

You won't be able to tell by looking at the film. When the film is exposed, the changes in the crystals in the film's emulsion are invisible, and the exposed film is said to contain a latent image. ...

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How can I justify a new camera purchase when I'm not a top photographer?
18 votes

A wonderful thing about photography is that it's multiple hobbies in one. You can enjoy the act of capturing moments distinct from the production of final images. You can develop your skill in print-...

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What is an auto-focus motor?
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18 votes

An auto-focus motor is just what it sounds like: a small electric or piezoelectric ("ultrasonic") motor which moves the lens elements to facilitate autofocus. In some camera systems, this motor is in ...

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Why do JPEGs only look right when exported from Lightroom in sRGB color space?
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18 votes

I expect you are looking at the exported JPEG photos with some program which does not properly take the color space into account — it just assumes sRGB, the standard default. So, only your photos ...

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How does the colour of ambient lighting affect colour rendition?
18 votes

The issue with these sorts of light sources isn't the color temperature, but rather the spectrum provided by the light. A camera (or your eyes) can only record colors which are reflected from the ...

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Should I keep Image Stabilization (IS) off when I do not actually need it?
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18 votes

I don't know how it works with this lens, but I've seen charts for Pentax's in-body stabilization system where the data shows that contrary to conventional wisdom I.S. gives a (decreasing but still ...

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Why is Nikon 1.4g better when Nikon 1.8g is sharper?
17 votes

1) Sharpness is complicated. Lens sharpness is just one aspect of the overall resolving power of a camera system. The appearance of crispness is separate from the rendition of detail. And a lens can ...

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Telephoto lens: is optical stabilization important?
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17 votes

If you're shooting with a tripod ­— a good, solid one, not a sub-$100 deal — image stabilization isn't very important. If you're shooting in a controlled environment with strobes, it's not very ...

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How do I interpret individual colors on RGB histogram?
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17 votes

Simple: the color of the sky is comprised of the mix of all three channels. If it were gray, there would be equal amounts of red, green, and blue. It's not, though — there's a lot more blue, a little ...

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Are there standards for 5 star rating scales of photos?
17 votes

There is no absolute standard, nor is there any standard that is generally applicable or generally accepted. There are certainly certain situations where specific systems are used — your example list ...

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Are there entry-level DSLRs with built in autofocus motors?
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17 votes

There are three parts to the answer to this, which is appropriate, because with Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, and Sigma focusing on mirrorless designs, there are really only three companies ...

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How can I avoid circular banding artifacts in clear skies when de-noising?
17 votes

I actually wouldn't describe what you're seeing as a halo artifact. It seems to me to be posterization — there just aren't enough tones to smoothly represent the gradient of the sky. It just happens ...

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Is an EF 50mm f/1.4 the same as 50mm with an EF-S lens on a Canon 550D?
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17 votes

I'm going to go with the very simple answer here: The lens does not change. The f/1.4 50mm EF lens has exactly the same focal length (and everything that goes with that) as your EF-S zoom lens set to ...

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Should my collection of older Pentax lenses be a deciding factor in my first DSLR purchase?
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17 votes

So, there a couple of basics to get out of the way first. Pentax DSLRs are just fine compared to Canon and Nikon; they're solidly built, have a decent but smaller following, and in fact often have ...

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Why don't sensors have a wider aspect ratio?
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17 votes

A few Panasonic cameras actually do have wider sensors to match 16:9. However, this hasn't really catapulted these models to success, or caused a lot of other camera makers to follow. If this were ...

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Is it worth using Pentax's Premium JPEG quality setting?
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17 votes

I default to the three-star setting (out of four), but I always use RAW + JPEG so I can revisit the choice, because there are situations where yes, it makes a difference. Particularly, when there is ...

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