30 2016 Nov

Selecting the Perfect Camera Lens.

When I shop for a new camera lens, I like to do my homework first. Since I know my intended use(s) for the new lens, I know what features I want my new lens to have. So I can narrow down my list of prospective purchases online.

52mm Macro LensRather than just ordering the best choice from my list, I then like to go to my favorite camera store and physically look at the lenses that are available from my list. I expect to spend a lot of my hard earned money on a good lens package. I want to know that the manufacturer has used good quality glass and that the housing is durable and will keep out dirt and moisture.

I also verify that the thread of the lens package will fit the lens thread on my camera body. If it doesn’t fit, I know in advance that I will also need to purchase a lens adapter in order to use the new lens package. This means a little extra weight and may slightly affect my balance when holding the camera with the lens attached. I can check this out at the store, as well.

Occasionally, the camera store doesn’t have the particular lens that I am considering in stock. In this case, I ask to look at a similar lens package from that manufacturer. If possible it should be similarly priced. This way, I still get to look at the manufacturer’s workmanship in advance.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

29 2016 Nov

Some Camera Lens Filters Help Me to Get the Photo I Want

1-camera-lensWhen I recently started to work with some different types of camera lenses that I could place on my camera, I was able to start taking pictures with all kinds of different effects. I have always loved to experiment with different types of picture taking and so having the lenses that I can use for all kinds of different types of picture taking is extremely important for me to do.

In addition to just using some different types of lenses, that I can place onto the camera, I have been adding some various types of lens filters that I can use on a regular basis. These are really very cool because I can do even more with the right kind of camera lens filters. It is really great to be able to use these filters to get pictures that are really special.

Having the different types of filters is really something that makes it so that my pictures are able to turn out really great. I love being able to use the right kind of lenses to make sure that my pictures look great. Showing people these special photos is always fun since everyone loves to look at the photos like these.

29 2016 Nov

Selecting a Great Digital Camera.

A customer recently asked for my advice in choosing a great digital camera for her son. She says that he has been using a Canon PwerShot ELPH160 point-and-shoot for a couple years now, and he takes great pictures with it. But she feels that he is ready for more challenging photography.

Canon Rebel T5I told her that his next step might be an interchangeable lens camera, so that he could continue developing his photography skills while experimenting with different types of lenses. We discussed the options and advantages to both DSLR and mirrorless digital cameras.

The main advantages of the mirrorless, of course, being its higher frame rate and less noise since there is no need to flip a mirror each frame. The down side being a higher cost and fewer models to choose from. I believe these higher costs will come down more over time, making them eventually more appealing to the hobbiest.

For now, I recommended a couple DSLR bundles which included 2 lenses to get him started. She could see the value in buying from a good manufacturer well known for a large, relatively inexpensive selection of compatible lenses, great manufacturing standards, and a large selection of compatible accessories.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

28 2016 Nov

Choosing the Best Camera Tripod.

Manfrotto 190 Go TripodI find that there is nothing worse than to spend a lot of time lining up a perfect shot using my camera tripod, only to have one leg slip right when I’m ready to shoot. This usually occurs because the clamping mechanism for a leg is either ineffective or has simply lost its grip due to poor maintenance or age.

To help avoid this from happening to me, I choose a tripod with well performing leg locks from a reputable manufacturer in the first place. Personally, I like the twist lock design. But there are other designs distributed from well known tripod manufacturers that work well too.

I also maintain my tripod as recommended by the manufacturer regularly, like cleaning my tripod legs at the end of the day after using my tripod outdoors, to remove the dust and grime that has collected around the locked areas. I test the leg locks periodically, to ensure that they do not slip, just like I did when I brought it home for the first time.

By performing these common sense actions, I have found that it saves me both time in lining up a great shot and money in the long run. It also allows me to enjoy my hobby more.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

24 2016 Nov

Selecting Digital Cameras for Action Video.

Happy Thanksgiving! We wish all our readers and their loved ones a safe holiday!

Canon EOS Rebel T5 BundleSo why did I choose a digital camera for action video over a camcorder? There are pros and cons to consider when choosing one over the other.

I reasoned that I would be using my camera’s video capabilities mostly for the viewing of family video clips at sporting events and family gatherings. So I really don’t need the professional audio and video options available in camcorders. I also wanted to use the same camera for good quality stills, so that I don’t need to carry two cameras around with me. So I felt that a good DSLR with high quality video capabilities and reasonably good sound, with a microphone input, would serve me best.

If you are a professional videographer or hope to develop your hobby into one, your choice will probably be different than mine. For you, a huge array of camcorders await you with audio and video features that will definitely WOW the enthusiast and professional, alike. However, a good quality camcorder does sport a very high price as well. So consider your options carefully.

While it is true that I do occasionally need the features of a professional level camcorder to, for example, create a high quality video clip for my website, I have found that it is much more reasonable for me to rent one on those rare occasions for only that purpose, if it is necessary.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

23 2016 Nov

Selecting the Perfect Camera Lens.

EF_S 24mm f_2.8 STMA wide angle camera lens is a perfect companion when traveling. From lake views to waterfalls to panoramic views of the mountains, it’s the perfect choice to capture all the scenery.

With a diagonal angle of view of almost 60 degrees and easy to carry weight of only 4.4 ounces, the Canon EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM wide angle lens is easy on the budget, too! I find it’s a fantastic companion when traveling across country. It takes up a very small amount of space in my camera bag.

As a fast and versatile lens with advanced AF and superior optics, and with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 38mm, it’s appropriate for a wide variety of purposes. The lens features optimized lens element placement and includes an aspheric element for high image quality from the center of the composition to the corners, and has specialized coatings on the lens elements to reduce ghosting and flare. To ensure excellent color balance, a 7-blade circular aperture provides superb out-of-focus detail. The EF-S 24mm f/2.8 STM excels during video shooting, thanks to an STM motor that enables silent and smooth focus tracking (on EOS cameras with Movie Servo AF) and a micro-stepping drive that keeps aperture changes quiet. The lens also offers full-time manual focus, manual AF adjustment (one-shot AF), and can focus down to a minimum distance of 0.5 ft. (0.16m). With a standard filter thread of 52mm it is easily adaptable to special effects.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

22 2016 Nov

Selecting a Great Digital Camera.

Canon SX530So you are looking for a great digital camera, with all the modern bells and whistles, but you are on a hobbiest’s budget. Here’s a good place to start your search, if you’re looking for something to shoot great pictures right out of the box.

Whether it’s still photography with up to 10 shots per second (burst mode) or video clips of up to 30 minutes duration, you’ll find this camera is well suited for the task in high quality performance. And with a self timer, it allows you to get into your images, as well.

Great for traveling, you’re ready to shoot close up or distant shots with the 50x (24-1200mm) zoom power of this camera. The quality of both your still images and breathtaking 1080p Full HD video will impress you, especially in low-light situations, due to a 16.0 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor.

The camera is also equipped with wireless connectivity, so sharing your spectacular images and videos with friends, family and other devices is seamless and simple. You can record videos in convenient MP4 format for the easiest online sharing.

From its comfortable ergonomic grip to advanced systems like Intelligent IS and Zoom Framing Assist, the Canon PowerShot SX530 HS is designed to let you track your subject easily, and capture it with accurate focus and clarity. This is a fantastic choice to fit right into your hobbiest’s budget.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

21 2016 Nov

Choosing the Best Camera Tripod.

gopro-miniI recently introduced a mini tripod with a universal cell phone clamp that I use with my cell phone when taking pictures with it. I drink a lot of coffee during the work day, OK probably too much, but it makes my hands shaky when trying to get my shot with the phone.

But this happens to all of us from time to time for other reasons as well. A good mini tripod with smart phone clamp provides an inexpensive, stable platform for all your selfies and other shots. It sets up quickly, unlike a full sized tripod. Just setup and click! No more jitters or blurs.

I’m really happy with my mini, and at the low prices available online, who wouldn’t be? They are very compact, too! Stick it in the glove compartment and go. Or carry it in your back pocket. It’s the easiest way I know to get a sharp photo with a cell phone every time.

And now, there’s a pixi mini for your GoPro camera, too! It’s called the Manfrotto PIXI Tripod with GoPro Mount and Phone Clamp. I costs about $5 more than their basic pixi mini. What a fantastic improvement in a small package!

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

18 2016 Nov

How to select a lens filter for your DSLR?

I find that glass lens filters, while a little more expensive, will introduce fewer aberrations into your photography than plastic filters. For some special effects you may find these aberrations to be quite acceptable. So lets review…

Circular, Screw-on filters are the most popular. These mount directly onto the filter thread in front of a lens. They come in different sizes, depending on the lens filter thread. The most common size of screw-on filters for professional lenses is 77mm.

Lee 100mm Filter HolderA filter holder that can hold one or more Square filters directly, which attaches to the lens filter thread is popular for landscape photography. The most popular sizes, 3×3 and 4×4, can be stacked together in the holder in some situations, but may negatively impact image quality and add reflections in the wrong combinations. Sets are available online for both circular and square filters.

UV / Clear / Haze filters may be used to protect the front element of a lens. There is no longer a need to use UV filters on DSLRs. Many photographers today use these filters to protect the front lens element, because it is easier and cheaper to replace a filter than to repair a scratched or broken lens element, and they are easier to clean than the lens element. Only a high quality glass clear filter with special multi-resistant coating (MRC) should be used to avoid nasty reflections, ghosts, flares, and poor image quality.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!

17 2016 Nov

A camera bag that lets me travel light.

270_images_s_images_slrc_200I have a sling camera bag that is roomy enough to carry all my camera accessories with me, but sometimes I like to travel light. That’s why I own an SLR Camera Holster.

On days when I only plan to use my SLR camera and its kit lens, the SLR camera holster is light and comfortable to wear all day, on my belt or over my shoulder. It’s roomy enough to hold my DSLR, kit lens, an extra power pack, memory card, and even a lens filter or 2, in a squeeze.

It’s got a water-proof EVA base for stability and protection, while memory foam on interior of the lid protects my LCD screen. A front storage pocket holds my extra stuff just fine. It comes complete with a shoulder strap or slips right onto my belt. At 6 3/4 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches high by 6 1/2 inches deep it doesn’t take up much room while still having a roomy interior of 6 inches wide by 5 7/8 inches high by 4 5/16 inches deep.

Until next time, Happy Shuttering!