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Pentaprism vs Pentamirror optical viewfinder

A digital single lens reflex camera consists of many mechanical and electronic parts working in parallel to produce a digital photograph. One such part is the viewfinder, which allows the human eye to view the scene and decide on composition and focusing. Taking into account the latest development in electronics, the viewfinder can be either electronic or optical. An optical viewfinder (also called as OVF), as the name suggests, shows an optical representation of what the scene looks like. The view offered by an optical viewfinder does not change when shutter speed, aperture or ISO is changed. If it is a dark environment (night photography), it will show darkness.  Let's talk a little bit about how light travels inside a digital camera.

To explain the path traveled by light rays inside a camera, I made a simple diagram to make it easy to understand. Skipping over other parts, let's look closer to what's happening just before the viewfinder. The light rays have to pass thr…

Depth of field photography guide for beginners

Depth of field in photography is essentially what's in focus. It could be +/- "y" feet from point of focus. There are a lot of discussions on the internet about bokeh vs background blur which makes depth of field a confusing topic for beginners. Terminologies such as bokeh, background blur, shallow depth of field and deep depth of field are all interlinked with the concept of depth of field. Commonly abbreviated as DOF, depth of field forms a very important part of modern-day digital photography. It can tremendously help to achieve creative shots in literally any field of photography. In the next section, I will describe the above terms in simple words skipping any involvement of physics.
Shallow depth of field means everything except the focused subject is blurred out. This can include an object either from foreground or background. A deeper depth of field means everything is sharp and in focus. A good example of deep depth of field photographs would be landscape photo…

Is lower ISO always better?

Confusion about the impact of ISO on an image is a very common question that comes into every photographer's mind when learning photography. ISO is often referred to as the bad guy of photography, introducing noise and grain in digital images. In contrast to this, ISO also comes to rescue when shutter speed and aperture reaches limitations to achieve a shot. I have been to that scary place of "Do not increase ISO, it causes noise" as a beginner, never went above 200 ISO for the first 3-4 months of manual mode shooting. The struggle to take handheld landscape shots at 1/10 second because ISO should stay at 100. Outcome? Blurred shots due to handshake.

What does ISO do?
Yes, it makes the image appear brighter and helps to achieve proper exposure by increasing the sensitivity of the sensor towards light. What happens in the background? By increasing ISO value inside the camera, the gain could happen in any of the three ways:  -> In the sensor, by increasing voltage. ->…

Exposing to the right (ETTR) technique explained

If you are a total beginner to setting exposure in the camera, I would highly recommend reading my previous post about how the exposure triangle works and then continuing with this post to have a better understanding. For those who are familiar with exposure settings and what highlight or shadows refer to, let's begin. There are two commonly known quirks in the digital photo editing world:
1) Blown or clipped highlights cannot be recovered.  2) Shadow recovery is noisy. Recent cameras have improved this a lot but still, it can be painful to recover dark shadows without introducing noise. In order to get an optimized exposure keeping in mind the above two points, a technique known as ETTR was developed. It is a helpful but very controversial technique. Some photographers intentionally overexpose or underexpose certain parts of an image as a part of their creative arsenal, but ETTR is more than just increasing the exposure of an image.  What is ETTR?
ETTR stands for expose to the ri…

HDR photography guide for beginners

HDR basically stands for high dynamic range. As a beginner, you must have heard the term "HDR" being thrown around everywhere on the photography forums. With recent advancements in technology, HDR games and HDR TV units are also into the digital market now. HDR may sound complicated from the name itself, but to be honest it is a very straightforward and simple technique. Let's start with an introduction of dynamic range and why do we even need HDR photos.
Dynamic range Dynamic range in photography is the difference between the brightest and darkest part of a scene that a camera sensor can capture. Let's keep it simple silly as the whole purpose of this post is beginner focused. The dynamic range of a given camera sensor becomes important when the photo has a major difference between the dark and bright parts. Example: A room with a window during the daytime. When trying to take an indoor space shot, it would be super hard for the camera to capture everything in one s…

sRGB vs Adobe RGB colour space explained

Digital images are everywhere, both offline and online. Each digital image is made up of a large number of square sized individual pixels. Zoom into an image at 2000 % or more in any of the viewers, you will see these pixels. Here is an example:

In order to categorize pixel colours, RGB and CMYK are the two widely used colour models. According to the RGB colour model, each pixel colour can be considered as an addition of different shades of red/green/blue light. These light shades are calculated according to the bit depth of the image. Jpeg images are usually 8 bits per colour channel (red, blue or green), which means 2^8 ( 256) different shades of each red/blue/green colour are possible. Few examples to make it clear how different colours shades are represented:
Red: (255, 0, 0)
Green: (0,255,0)
Blue: (0,0,255)
White: (255, 255, 255)
Black:  (0,0,0)

What does CMYK do? It is a subtractive colour model for printing purposes and stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. According to …

Best Lightroom export setting for Instagram and Facebook

Social media forms an important part of every professional and amateur photographer's online success. In addition to a website, having good social media presence helps with getting clients and networking with like-minded passionate people. When it comes to digital photography, Facebook and Instagram lead the way due to the huge number of active users. Instagram is so easy to use and totally centered around the concept of sharing stunning mobile images. The huge success of this app has attracted even non-photo related businesses too. But what about the photo size and resolution requirements so that our huge sized DSLR photos don't lose quality? We will focus on Adobe Lightroom Classic CC image export settings for both Instagram and Facebook in this post. 

Little background: Uploading a full resolution DSLR camera image to Instagram or Facebook is an easy way to trigger the complex resize-compression algorithms and ruin image quality. Both Instagram and Facebook use compression …

Fixed aperture vs variable aperture zoom lens

As a total beginner, it can be confusing to understand the meaning of F/3.5, F/5.6, F/2.8, etc. written on DSLR camera lenses. Some lenses have two F numbers, while others have only one F-number. So what's the difference between these two lenses? How do they work when changing in-camera settings?
Lenses with single F-number value like F/1.8, F/2.8, F/4, F/5.6 are known as fixed aperture lenses. Fixed aperture lenses are not to be confused with fixed focal length lenses, fixed focal length ones are called prime lenses.  Prime means the lens will only have one focal length, and all the zooming in and out part is done by the user moving physically. On the other hand, lenses with multiple values such as F/3.5-F/5.6, F/3.5-F/4.5, etc. refer to variable aperture zoom lenses. In simple words, these lenses change their widest aperture values when zoomed in or out.

Example of fixed aperture prime lenses:
Canon EF-S 24 mm F/2.8
Nikon AF-S Nikorr 85 mm F/1.4G
Nikon AF-S DX 35 mm F/1.8G

Contrast detection autofocus vs phase detection autofocus

When I started my photography journey 6 years ago, a simple question came to my mind one day while fiddling with a manual focus lens. How does a camera autofocus work? Is it the lens doing all the work or the camera does something too? Being totally new to digital photography at that time, a simple question turned out to be a great learning experience for a few weeks. Using my T2i, I learned the basics of autofocusing and the difference between live view focus and viewfinder focus. The two very basic techniques of focusing in digital photography include:  -Manual -Autofocus
Manual, as the name suggests, is a technique where the user rotates the lens focus ring to achieve focus. In this mode, there is no help or assistance offered by the electronic circuit inside the camera to achieve focus. Night sky photography enthusiasts love the manual focus, as explained in my post about achieving infinity focus.  Coming to autofocus, half-pressing the shutter button activates the focus search m…

Digital photography histogram explained for better photos

The ability to read histograms in digital photography is an excellent skill that every photographer should have. Getting a properly exposed shot is crucial when it comes to photography, and using the histogram is a solid way to achieve it. That 2 to 3 inch LCD screen located on digital cameras is only a quick way to look at the photo exposure and its details. In harsh lighting or vivid ambient lighting conditions, it can prove to be misleading to the human eye. Sometimes the LCD brightness level can also create issues with judging the exposure of a shot. So what does histogram explain about an image? How can histogram help you to take better images? In this beginner-friendly post, I will try to answer these questions. You can consider it as a tutorial or cheat sheet for digital photography histograms.
Photography histogram image examples: The histogram is basically a mathematical way of representing data, and it applies to digital image information too. In digital photography, histogr…