Focussing needs thought. You can tell the serious photographer from the snapper by the amount of thought they give to this process, even with the highly sophisticated autofocus systems now found on modern cameras.
As with so much to do with digital cameras, you get the best results from autofocus if you take control of it and direct it, rather than relying on the well-meaning, but ultimately impersonal electronic wizardly inside the case. So what do you need to be mindful of to beat the shakes?
How to focus a camera: 01. Gauge the light
It’s hard to focus in poor light. If your subject is in some tough shadow, see if you can move them to a better lit spot, or see if changing your vantage point makes a difference. Don’t be afraid to up the ISO to increase your camera’s light sensitivity if you would rather not use flash.
Most decent SLRs generate tolerable levels of noise up to ISO 3200 and many can cope way beyond this rather conservative level.
Don’t write flash off completely, though. Wind the flash output down and bounce the
The saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is as valid for photography as any other activity, so we’ve put together a collection of exercises that will help you become a better photographer.
1. Spot meter
Modern metering systems have great general-purpose modes, often called Evaluative, Matrix or Multi-area, which do a great job of accessing a scene and setting good ‘average’ exposure settings in many situations.
However, they’re not 100% foolproof and very dark or very light scenes, or backlighting can trick them into over or under exposure.
They’re also not psychic and don’t know what you’re seeing in your head when you take a shot.
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Switching to spot metering puts you in control of where the camera meters from and helps you develop a much better understanding of the tonal range in a scene.
A standard spotmetering system allows you to meter from a very small part of the scene and it suggests exposure settings that will render your target a mid-tone.
Consequently, you need to take care with the positioning of this spot, study the scene carefully and decide which
Recently we wrote about some of the things photographers might not realise about their camera’s metering system. So overwhelming was the response we came up with seven more!
Modern metering systems are incredibly sophisticated and while they may not deliver a correctly exposed image every time, they generally do a pretty good job in most situations.
In this article we’re going to take a look at a few things that you may not know about your camera’s metering system that could be very useful.
1. Your camera expects a midtone
Although they have become very sophisticated metering systems generally expect the brightness of a scene to average out around a midtone.
This means that very bright or very dark subjects can trick your camera into under- or over-exposure respectively.
When photographing a snowy scene, for example, the camera is likely to suggest exposure settings that will render the white snow grey.
Conversely, the camera will set an exposure that renders the inside of a coal bunker grey instead of black.
When this happens you need to take control either by shooting in manual exposure mode or using the exposure compensation
Although good quality storage has never been cheaper thanks to services such as Canon’s irista platform it’s still important to know how to keep your image file sizes down while still ensuring high quality.
It’s also important to know how to properly set image dimensions. Nothing is more embarrassing then sending images off to be printed only to discover you have set the dimensions wrong and millimeters or even inches have to be shaved off your carefully considered compositions!
Before we begin though, it’s important to point out that there is no one-size-fits-all approach – only you know what dimensions you want to print out an image, or how big it needs to be on your website.
1. Shoot in raw
The first thing to do is to ensure that you are shooting in raw so your camera is capturing as much image information as possible. JPEG images have compression and sharpening ‘baked in’ so you have less leeway to work on these images at the editing stage.
You can shoot raw and JPEG simultaneously so you can quickly check the JPEG image before working on it in your raw editor – though remember that you are seeing a
There are many occasions when, and reasons why, an SLR is better than a compact camera, but sometimes the reverse is true and compact camera is the best choice. Let’s take a look at eight reasons why you might want to use a compact camera and leave your SLR behind.
Canon may have been able to shrink down the SLR design to produce the impressively small EOS 100D, but it’s still not small enough to slip in a pocket to take to a party. When you want to travel light a compact camera is a great option.
Many allow lots of control, take great images and are easy to transport. After all, the best camera is always the one that you have with you.
. More depth of field
The majority of compact cameras may have a smaller sensor than an SLR, but that means that they are capable of recording greater depth of field.
Granted, there are times when you want to restrict depth of field to isolate your subject from the background, but there are also lots of occasions when you need to get a scene sharp from the foreground to the background, and the extensive depth of field brought by using
There are many things that differentiate a pro photographer from an amateur/enthusiast, but it’s far to say that most pros know a lot more ‘tricks of the trade.’
By which we mean handy shortcuts and hidden settings that help them get better shots in less time –– their livelihoods depend on this, right?
The keen amateur may have read the manual several times, but as they are not using their camera day in, day out, they may not always realise that there are a quicker and more efficient ways of doing things.
To help level out the playing field, here are some handy pro settings that can transform the way you work.
1. Shooting in Manual
Now, it’s not absolutely essential to shoot in Manual all the time, and if you are just switching to M mode and then slavishly placing the metre dead centre all the time then you might as well be shooting in Program mode, as the camera is still calling the shots.
But for certain genres, the fine degree of control you get over both aperture and shutter speed in Manual is really essential.
Many sports photographers use Manual, for instance, as it enables them to keep the shutter speeds high for ensuring
Upgrading from a ‘phone, compact or bridge camera to an interchangeable lens camera is an exciting move that takes your photography to a new level, enabling you to take greater control and produce higher quality images.
Choosing the right model to go for isn’t easy as there are lots of options available. Ideally you want something that keeps things simple and doesn’t intimidate at the outset, but that gives you everything that you’ll need further down the line when you know a bit more about photography.
In this article we take a look at some great cameras, SLRs and compact system or mirrorless models, that fit the bill.
1. Canon EOS 100D/Canon EOS Rebel SL1
Billed as the World’s smallest SLR when it was announced, the Canon 100D is significantly smaller than Canon’s other APS-C format SLRs.
Nevertheless, it has a chunky grip and a mode dial to allow quick exposure mode selection with the enthusiast favourite options (aperture priority, shutter priority and manual) finding a place alongside fully automatic and scene mode options for less experienced users.
There’s also Canon’s Creative Auto mode which helps novices take control over the camera without using photographic terms.
Like the D3300, the 100D makes heavy use of the screen