Now Available: Lynda training for the Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III

Posted by & filed under Features.

If you’re the lucky own of a Nikon D800 or Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and you’d like to know more about how to use either camera, then you’ll want to check out my two latest Lynda.com courses. Both classes walk you through all the critical features and operations of each camera, and are designed to work in concert with my Foundations of Photography series. Note that the 5D Mark III class is also ideally suited for users of the 5D Mark II. Click here if you’re a 5D user or click here if you’re a D800 user.

Some Notes on Canon’s Evaluative Metering

Posted by & filed under Features.

I’ve been shooting with Canon SLRs for a long time, and for the most part, I’ve always been pleased with the camera’s metering. Granted, I can never remember which icon corresponds to which metering mode, but now that I keep the PDF of the manual on my phone, I can always look it up. During a recent shoot, though, I came across a curious detail about Evaluative metering that I never knew – one that can dramatically alter metering behavior in certain situations.

Read more »

Camera-Specific Training at Lynda.com

Posted by & filed under Features.

There’s a lot to know to be a capable photographer. Exposure theory, lighting, composition. On top of all that, there are all those buttons and dials on your camera. To help you understand exactly how your camera works, you might want to check out one of my camera-specific courses at Lynda.com. These courses will work you through all of the features of their respective cameras, and help you understand those features in the context of larger photographic theories. Courses are now available for the Canon EOS60D, the Nikon D7000, the Canon Rebel T3i, and the Nikon D5100.

Choosing the Best Resolution for Inkjet Photo Printing

Posted by & filed under Features.

The last step of any photo workflow is to sharpen and output. If your final goal is an image for the web or email, then output simply means resizing and saving your image. If your final output is to print using an online printing service, then you’ll need to follow their size, resolution, and format specifications very carefully. Similarly, if your final destination is your own desktop printer, you’ll also need to set size and resolution before you print. While choosing size is pretty simple – you just resize the image to the printing dimensions that you want – choosing a correct resolution is a little trickier. In this article, we look at exactly what you need to consider when choosing a resolution for desktop inkjet printing.

Revisited: Do you need a full-frame sensor?

Posted by & filed under Features.

Five years ago, I wrote this piece on whether you should buy a full-frame or cropped sensor digital camera. At the time, cameras with a full-frame sensor were substantially more expensive than cropped-sensor cameras, and a lot of people believed that, eventually, cropped-sensor cameras would be phased out and replaced by more affordable full-frame cameras. Five years later, we’ve seen that that’s not going to happen, but the question remains: do you need full-frame or is a cropped sensor camera okay?

Read more »

Choosing A Starter Camera

Posted by & filed under Features.

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

If you’re looking to buy a starter digital camera – either for yourself or as a gift – then you might be surprised to find that your options are fairly limited. Now, I know what you’re thinking: "Are you crazy?! Every time I go into Best Buy there’re huge piles of little point-and-shoot digital cameras!" While this is true, there are very few of those that I would consider a "starter" camera. "Starter" implies that this first camera will be a start – that you’re looking for a camera that will be a jumping off point, and that you (or your gift-ee) might want to learn from this camera, and one day move on to something more advanced. Here’s what you should buy, and why.

Read more »

Should you upgrade from a Canon 5D to a 5D Mark II? Part II

Posted by & filed under Reviews.

It says a lot about the Canon EOS 5D that, years after its debut, the release of a successor does not necessarily compel 5D users to upgrade, even though the new model packs 21 megapixels, improved high ISO performance, and burst speed, high-def video, and more. The fact is, the original 5D is a great camera, and many users are coming to realize that they may have all the pixels they need for the type of output they do. However, the 5D Mark II’s improved noise performance and interface changes are good enough that, depending on what and how you shoot, the cost of an upgrade might be worth it. And, while you don’t need 21 megapixels for every shot, the ability to print large, and crop tight, can be welcome in many situations. In Part 1, I looked at the interface and physical changes between the 5D and the 5D Mark II. Now it’s time to discuss image quality.

Read more »

Should you upgrade from a Canon 5D to a 5D Mark II? Part I

Posted by & filed under Reviews.

As a friend pointed out a few months ago, it used to be that you bought a camera that you liked, and you used it for years and years, if not the rest of your life. While you might change films regularly, and experiment with new processing techniques, once you’d chosen a camera, it was a tool that you committed to for the long haul. Like me, my friend has been shooting with a 5D for years, and we were discussing how, if we had to use that camera and only that camera for the rest of our lives, we’d actually be content, and would not be limited in our ability to create great images. (At least, not limited by our camera choice.) Then Canon released the 5D Mark II.

Read more »

The Canon Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion

Posted by & filed under General.

Rebel XSi Companion

The Rebel XSi is a great camera (and you can learn more about it here). If you’re lucky enough to have one, you can learn more about how to use it with my Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450 Companion. While that’s a bit of a mouthful, I promise the text inside the book is concise and to the point, and should do a good job at teaching you how to use your new camera.

Read more »

Canon Rebel XSi

Posted by & filed under Reviews.

Canon Rebel XSi

Canon has positioned their new Rebel XSi at the “entry-level” end of their product line. But it’s getting increasingly difficult to divide digital cameras into “entry-level” and “mid-range” and “high-end.” In the early days, there was a single distinguishing feature that made it simple to tell what market a camera was aimed at: the image quality of an entry-level camera was markedly different from a high-end, “pro” level camera. Those days are now long gone, and ‚Äì just as with entry-level and pro-level film cameras ‚Äì you can now shoot high-end image quality with an entry-level camera. Canon’s Rebel XSi marks the high end of Canon’s low end, and the new model offers important changes over its predecessor, the Rebel XTi.

Read more »