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Darktable vs Lightroom Classic CC

I first heard about Darktable software in 2016 and actually was quite fascinated with the name itself.  Within a few hours of hearing about it, I went to the official Darktable website and downloaded it on my Linux laptop. I have been using it for quite a while now alongside Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and hence decided to write this small review post. If you are looking for a free Adobe Lightroom alternative, this might be or might not be for you depending on what you need.  Darktable is a free open source post-processing software which can do non-destructive RAW photo editing and photo management. Non-destructive means it does not change the original RAW file, all the edits are written to a sidecar file. It is not a raster editor like GIMP or Adobe Photoshop. It has evolved through so many phases of bug fixing and operating system compatibility. The latest version is available for Linux, Ubuntu, MacOS and Windows. Being an open source software it doesn't surprise me that it is a…

Capture One Pro 11 vs Lightroom Classic CC

Capture One Pro, made by Phase One, is one of the competitor software for Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. I have been using Adobe Lightroom since I started my photography journey but I recently installed the trial of Capture One to use it alongside Lightroom. I decided to make this post as a simple comparison test talking about few of the good and bad sides. Currently, there are three versions of Capture One:
Capture One Pro 11. Works with all supported DSLR camera files with full functionality.
Capture One Pro Sony 11. Works with supported Sony DSLR camera files only with full functionality set. This Sony version is available at a huge discount because Sony made an agreement to subsidize part of the cost. If you are a Sony user, this could be the reason for you to try and see if you like it. 
Capture One Express Sony. Free version. Works with supported Sony DSLR camera files only but with less number of functionalities. Here is the link to PDF file from the official Phase One website talki…

In-camera DSLR body image stabilization vs optical lens stabilization

I recently went on a trip and took a lot of photos using a telephoto lens that has image stabilization built into it. As I was taking photos, I realized I should write a blog post explaining what image stabilization basically does and how the two techniques (lens vs in-camera body) are different from each other. If you have a Canon or Nikon lens, you must have heard terms like IS (Image Stabilization for Canon) and VR(Vibration Reduction for Nikon) while buying lenses. These naming terms indicate that the lens supports image stabilization.
Image stabilization, as the name itself suggests, is a technique for reducing the effect of shake or vibration on the final image. This vibration might be coming from shaky hands, tripod leg sliding at 1 mm per second or just natural body rhythms that get magnified at higher zoom values. While Nikon and Canon are still sticking with traditional lens-based image stabilization technique to reduce shake, manufacturers like Pentax, Sony and Olympus fol…

CCD vs CMOS image sensor based DSLR camera

Just like the battle of Nikon vs Canon or Canon vs Sony, few people love to talk about the versus battle when it comes to photography and videography. There are endless versus topics where you can compare nearly everything starting from DSLRs to video stabilizer rigs and what not. I believe ultimately it all boils down to your own preference and needs.  What is CCD? What is Image sensor? Remember, CCD image sensor was the leader if we go back by 10-12 years of photography time. Yes, all we could hear was Kodak and Fuji CCD sensor cameras as there were not many CMOS sensor based cameras. The CMOS technology came later than CCD technology. Someone on my Facebook page recently asked me if CCD sensors are better than CMOS sensors?  Coming from electronics background, I know what CCD sensors are and how they work but I have never used a camera with CCD Sensor.  I paused for a good 1-2 minutes before replying and then typed a few words of technical mumbo-jumbo. Pretty sure the person who a…

Adobe Lightroom CC vs Apple photos comparison

With the release of macOS 10.13 High Sierra, Apple updated the Photos application to version 3. Some of us would still not be happy with Apple for ditching iPhotos and Aperture in earlier operating systems, but the editing tools offered by Photos are so well thought for beginners and hobbyists.  -Syncing of people albums across iCloud.  -Third party photo editor support such as Luminar and Pixelmator Pro.  -AI-powered search.  Coming to Adobe Lightroom CC, this application is the cloud-based version and minimal version of the desktop software Lightroom Classic. It basically stores every raw photo from your DSLR in the cloud and they can be accessed across multiple devices such as iPad, laptop and smartphone. Some of the exciting features of Adobe Lightroom CC:  -Dehaze.  -Separate RGB curves.  -Split Toning  -Full-screen view  -Adobe Sensei (Artifical Intelligence similar to what Apple and Google has implemented). Those who are using the full Lightroom Classic desktop app find this application …

How to photograph the milky way in 5 easy steps?

Taking pictures of the Milky Way with a normal DSLR is every beginner's dream. If you know the very basic settings of your camera (Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO) and have a tripod, this post will be your guide to stunning Milky Way shots. The five major steps to a great Milky Way photograph are:
1) No clouds or moon. Make sure the weather is clear and there is no full moon. New moon nights are the best. Clouds will block your view completely and you will not be able to see any part of the Milky Way. Make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out. 
2) No city light pollution. As Milky way is a faint band consisting of various gases, stars and other astronomical matter, it is extremely difficult to see it among the city lights. In order to photograph the milky way, we need light pollution free sky. To find a nearby dark sky area, a good website is the dark site finder world lightmap. Zoom into your area and find the nearest possible green/blue/grey zone area. Make sure the…

How to avoid star trails during night photography using 500 rule?

What is a star trail? Movement of star captured across several pixels of a given image leads to the formation of a star trail. This is a really common problem when doing long exposure night sky photography or astrophotography. Pretty sure most of us like to star gaze and observe those tiny little twinkling dots in the sky on a clear day. If our eyes can see it, so why not our DSLR? We want exact same tiny cute little stars to show up in our DSLR photos too. Once you have learned how to focus your DSLR lens to infinity, next thing to think about is how to avoid star trails. This is where 500 rule or 600 rule comes to the rescue. I have seen a lot of discussions about 500 rule vs 600 rule, I personally have always been happy with 500 rule only. Sometimes I even go for 400 rule but never 600 rule. Who invented this rule? I did search but couldn't find anything relevant or meaningful. Only thing I know is all modern day astrophotography folks love this rule. I will try to explain the r…