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

November 9, 2012 by · 5 Comments
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

September 20, 2012 by · 12 Comments
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.

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Camera-Specific Training at Lynda.com

February 27, 2012 by · 7 Comments
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

February 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments
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?

March 29, 2010 by · 11 Comments
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?

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Choosing A Starter Camera

November 20, 2009 by · 12 Comments
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.

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

January 28, 2009 by · 9 Comments
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.

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

December 15, 2008 by · 19 Comments
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.

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The Canon Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion

October 6, 2008 by · 6 Comments
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.

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Canon Rebel XSi

July 18, 2008 by · 6 Comments
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.

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Canon EOS 40D

February 27, 2008 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 
Canon EOS 40D

Following close enough on the heals of the EOS 30D to be annoying to anyone who bought that camera, the new Canon EOS 40D takes a strong place in the middle of Canon’s digital SLR line-up. As with most of the upgrades that have happened over the last few months, the 40D now offers Live View, which lets you use the camera’s LCD screen as a viewfinder, but this is just one of several significant changes to the camera.

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Notes from PMA ‚2008

February 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: General 

PMA is not a typical photography trade show. Because it’s geared for photo dealers and studio photographers, there are lots of vendors hawking goods that the typical photographer doesn’t need. Laser etching machines, photo printing kiosks, industrial-grade large format printers, and other exotica, abound at PMA. However, many of the usual suspects attend PMA—Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Fuji and all the other major camera vendors—as well as many accessory and software vendors. This year’s PMA included a couple of important announcements, and a stroll through the maze of camera booths revealed some great new technologies.

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Canon PowerShot G9

December 19, 2007 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 
Canon PowerShot G9

Canon’s G-series of high-end point-and-shoot cameras have long offered pro level features in a well-designed point-and-shoot body. Unfortunately, for serious shooters, or SLR shooters looking for a second camera, the last few models have been disappointing due to their lack of raw support.

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Specialty Lenses

November 30, 2007 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Features 

In the digital age, it’s easy to get so caught up in cool post-production effects and techniques that you forget about what can be done in-camera with the right lens. If you’re a long-time film shooter, then you’re possibly well-trafficked in the realm of specialized lenses, but if you’re new to digital SLRs, then you may know what is possible to achieve inside your camera, with a simple lens change.

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Should you buy a Rebel XTi or Nikon D80?

November 10, 2006 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 
Rebel XTi or Nikon D80

As digital camera vendors continue to slice the low to mid-range digital SLR market into narrower and narrower niches, deciding which camera to buy becomes much more complex. In addition to there being more cameras to choose from, it has become more difficult to decide exactly how much you’re willing to pay – no matter what price point you choose, there’s probably a slightly better camera priced just $100 more. Two recent entries into this market, the Canon Digital Rebel XTi, and the Nikon D80 are a prime example of this phenomenon.

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Canon Camera XSi Repair

September 9, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Book Support 

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Buy a 30D now? Or wait for the Rebel XTi?

September 3, 2006 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Canon’s recent announcement of the EOS Digital Rebel XTi/400D is confusing for shooters were were about to spring for an EOS 30D. Priced at $799 for the body only, the new Rebel is $600 cheaper than the 30D, but offers a higher-resolution sensor and new dust-proofing technologies. So what’s the advantage of the 30D? Should you wait until the reviews are in on the new Rebel, or stick with your current plan?

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Should you upgrade your Canon EOS 20D to an EOS 30D?

March 30, 2006 by · 6 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

Buying a camera from scratch is never an easy task. But trying to figure out whether you should upgrade a camera is sometimes even more difficult. If your current camera has obvious shortcomings that are fixed by a newer model, then the choice is pretty simple. But if you’re satisfied with your camera and a newer model has some extra “luxury” features, then what do you do? Many Canon EOS 20D owners are facing that dilemma right now.

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Should you buy a Canon EOS 30D or Nikon D200?

March 28, 2006 by · 43 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

The Nikon D200, a 10 megapixel SLR with an APS-sized sensor began shipping in November of 2005. At $1700 for the body, it was $200 more than Canon’s nearest competitor, the 8.3 megapixel EOS 20D. Canon has now fired back against the D200, but not with a similarly-pixeled competitor. The new EOS 30D offers several improvements over the 20D that it replaces, but rather than matching Nikon’s pixel count, Canon stuck with the 8.3 megapixel sensor of the 20D, and dropped the price of the 30D body to $1,399. Photographers who are looking for a mid-range Canon or Nikon camera now find themselves asking "Do I need more pixels, or more dollars?"

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Canon 17-85 EF-S vs 18-55 EF-S vs. 24-85 EF

October 6, 2005 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Reviews 

For the last couple of years, I’ve been using a Canon 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 EF lens as my general walk-around lens, first for my Canon EOS 10D, and now for the 20D. While I like the lens for its small size and light weight, the 35mm equivalent focal length range of 38 to 136mm is very often not quite wide enough for casual street shooting. While I love my Canon 10-22 EF-S lens for wide angle shooting, having to carry it and swap lenses on the street was beginning to grow tedious, so I decided to look for a new solution. For price reasons, I quickly narrowed the possible alternatives to Canon’s 18-55 EF-S and 17-85 EF-S lenses. I was very curious to see if the more expensive 17-85 yielded noticeably better quality, as well as to find out if these were good alternatives to my 24-85.

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