B+H Photo Video

B&H Photo Video is my recommended vendor for any photography equipment. They are based in New York and have the best sales, selection, and customer service that I have experienced.

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How much camera do you need?

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How Much Camera Do I Really Need?

The question inevitably will come up: “How much camera do I really need?”

It’s not possible to know the answer to this unless you know what you will do with the camera.  But, here is a rough guide:

  • Pro: the most camera you can buy for the money, dSLR, of course.
  • Semi-pro: not more than a 15 Mp dSLR (Canon T1i/D500)
  • Amateur: a high-end point and shoot (Canon G-series)
  • Hobbyist: a compact point and shoot (Nikon L-series)
  • Novice: a low-end point and shoot (maybe even just a camera phone)

This is a proven list by the way.  I’ve lived it and I own those listed above.

What am I?

“But, what am I?”, you ask. Well here is another list for that: Continue reading

Choosing a Focus Mode and AF Frame

Focusing Modes Explained

Choosing a focusing mode (also called AF Mode) for your camera can be confusing. Very confusing. It’s not something you’re going to want to be thinking about when you’re ready to shoot, that’s for sure! Here’s a simple explanation for some common focus modes and how I use them. Continue reading

Speeding Up a Normal Video to Simulate Time-Lapse

Speeding Up a Normal Video to Simulate Time-Lapse

This is a video of downtown Budapest that has been sped up to three times normal speed. To see the difference between it and the original, normal speed video, I included the normal speed video below also.

How I Made This Video – Speeding Up a Normal Video

Continue reading

How to Make Your Camera Settings Before You Need Them

Mode dial with custom settings of C1 and C2 shown.

Mode dial with custom settings of C1 and C2 shown.

I often take my camera with me, and rarely know exactly what I will be shooting. The best photos are not planned ones. How frustrating when I have to stop and set-up my camera. Here’s one thing that I do to make sure I am ready to shoot: Continue reading

Video: Downtown Budapest

Downtown Budapest, Hungary

Here’s a video I shot from my hotel room in downtown Budapest, Hungary. No tripod. No set-up. Totally spur of the moment! I just cracked open the window and pointed my Canon G12 toward the street. I hand-held it and steadied myself against the window sill. This shows that it doesn’t take a lot preparation or equipment, to take great video!

Camera Focusing Modes

I couldn’t write it better…so I won’t. Here’s a link to a great article on focusing modes.

This is one item that has tripped me up more than once. There’s nothing worse than going for a shot and having it ruined by bad focus. More than once I’ve been perplexed by my camera and why it won’t focus on what I want it to focus on!

Focusing Modes | Understanding Autofocus Modes.

via Focusing Modes | Understanding Autofocus Modes.

Dynamic Range in the Camera

If you are shooting for high dynamic range photos, then your camera should be capable of providing the dynamic range necessary. But how much dynamic range is really needed?

Since the goal in photography is to capture what you see, how much dynamic range can you see? You can see a maximum of about 13 – 14 stops (13 – 14 EV) when viewing any scene. So, you would want your camera to provide something close to this if you hope to capture what you saw. But digital cameras don’t provide as much range as your eyes, and they tend to come in at around 9 EV for the JPEG files they output.

But, if you shoot in RAW, you have an advantage – the RAW files always contain more data than the JPEG files and therefore more dynamic range. Just how much more range is dependent on your camera, but in general it is about 1.0 – 1.5 EV more on the highlight end and 1.0 – 1.5 more in the shadow end, with a total not usually exceeding around 2 EV more dynamic range. Here’s a list of dynamic ranges: Continue reading

Photographing Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

Here’s what I learned about photography from my recent trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons!

I went there on vacation in mid-September, and it was the perfect time with the crowds gone and the elk running all over the place. The foliage was still green in low lands, but turning in the high lands where it had just frosted.

Before leaving, I was really wondering what gear to take to get the types of shots I wanted. So, I took everything I had. But here are the items that I really used, so maybe you won’t have to take so much stuff. Continue reading