Posts Tagged ‘ cameras ’

What the heck is FP High Speed Sync?

The simple question of “how do I set a faster shutter speed whilst using a flash” led me to discover FP High Speed Sync on my camera (just called High Speed Sync with Canon).  Have you ever been looking at a scene, switched on your flash and had your camera dramatically over expose a photo or change your carefully selected aperture?  If the answer is yes, then you need to know about High Speed Sync.

What is FP or High Speed Sync Mode? Continue reading

Something Fishy

By Jack Berglund

On April 26, 711, Tariq ibn Ziyad and his army invaded Gibraltar and famously ordered his men to ‘burn the boats’ so there would be no thought of retreat their minds.  This feet was repeated by Cortez many centuries later in South America and no doubt by other commanders throughout history.  This somewhat extreme form of motivation seems to have had the desired affect in both cases with the respective armies triumphing.

And so it was this weekend when I headed out armed with nothing but a 10.5mm Nikon fish eye lens.   I didn’t set fire to my more usual collection of lenses (I simply left them at home) but the affect was similar.  I had no choice but to keep snapping with the fish eye even when I wished I had something more conventional to hand. Continue reading

Three Day Weekend

If you’re stuck in a rut with your photography, there are lots of potential sources of inspiration (I’ll come back to this theme on more than one occasion). One simple way to get yourself off the couch and try some new things is to rent lens for the weekend. Try something wider (shorter focal length) or longer (longer focal length) than you currently own to get a new perspective.  Fisheye lenses are also fun.

The good news is that many rental companies count the weekend as a single day of rental. Better than that, if you’re in New York, Adorama have a weekend rate which starts on Thursday after 4.30pm with returns on Monday morning and only cost a little more than a single day’s rental. This is a full three days. For example, you can rent a 10.5mm Nikon Fisheye lens for a day for $18 or three days over the weekend for $23.

If you needed an excuse to take a day off work and go somewhere, now you’ve got one…

I’m Living in a Box, Living in a Cardboard Box

No, this post is not about bands from Sheffield but you can’t beat a bit of 80 reminiscing: Click for a reminder of the Living in a box video.

Yesterday was a cold and rainy day. Listening to the rain against the window and the wind howl, I was glad to be inside. There is a limit however to what you I can photograph in my one bed apartment without going outside. What if there was a way to experiment and learn about different lighting conditions without leaving the apartment? Simple, build a photography studio.

Space being a consideration here in Manhattan, I decided that a small photography studio was the way to go: not 20 feet across, not 10 feet across, not even 5 feet across. This studio measures 14 inches square! Now clearly you’re not going to be photographing normal size people (not even Tom Cruise will fit) but many of the same principles apply to photographing products, flowers etc as real people. Continue reading

What Camera to Buy – Part 1: Choosing a Make

By Jack Berglund

Related Posts
What Camera to Buy – Part 2: Cameras by the Pound
Buying a Camera – Part 3: Whats in a name?

Choose the Make First

With a wide range of cameras from big name manufacturers such as Nikon, Canon, Sony and Pentax, picking your first DSLR can be difficult and time consuming but it needn’t be. Somewhat counter intuitively, when buying your first SLR camera the best approach, in my opinion, is to pick a make first and then the model. With most other purchases you would compare the different offerings from different brands in the price range you were looking at and pick the one that best suited your needs. Buying an SLR camera is different.

At any given moment, the camera with the best set of features for the price might be a Canon, Nikon, Sony or other brand. With the different release schedules, one manufacturer may have an edge after releasing a new model or drops the price of an existing model but this can change quickly. At a given moment, the Sony might have a million more pixels or the Canon higher resolution video but resist this kind of thinking…

Trust Me, Choose the Make First then the Model

Why is the brand more important than the camera? Imagine you were buying a car knowing that whatever make you bought would be the make you’d buy for the rest of your life. You love the looks of the new little Fiat 500, the price is right and the package great. However, looking down the line, you realize that Fiat don’t make any good midsized or large cars and you’d be hard pushed to upgrade in the future. It wouldn’t matter how good the Fiat 500 was. Clearly, in reality you’re free to switch makes of car any time you like but with cameras its more difficult to jump. Continue reading

Buying a Camera? Watch out for scams

By Jack Berglund

I’m assuming you use your common sense and judgment when ordering expensive items online but there are a couple of specific things to look out for that have caught out people I know:

Bait and Switch

There are a number of companies in the US and I’m sure elsewhere with an extremely frustrating business model.  They will advertise items with a low but not completely unbelievable price.  When you place an order, they will contact you and push to sell additional items such as an uprated battery or more memory for hugely inflated prices.  From what I’ve been told, their sales tactics are very pushy, boarding on unpleasant.  If you decline all the options, more often than not you will get an email that your order has been canceled.

To avoid waisting your time and effort, do a quick check on any company before ordering, particularly if it seems to be to good to be true.  Reseller Ratings is a good site for checking companies in the US.  Here is an example of one company to avoid:  http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Rogers_Camera

I recommend using a known reseller such as B and H Photo, Admorama Camera and Amazon.com in the US. In the UK try Fixation, Calumet and Mifsuds.

A note on Amazon.com: Amazon has been criticized for not checking out its third party vendors as carefully as people would expect.  In the US, Amazon stock a lot of the mainstream photography equipment themselves, but check when ordering where the item is shipping from.  If you’re unlucky, one of the smaller resellers listed on the Amazon site might not be legitimate or go out of business before you receive your order.

To eBay or not to eBay?

There are deals to be had but when using eBay be very, very careful…

My girlfriend recently found what looked like a good deal on a new Nikon D3.  The seller had a well organized store front and 500+ positive ratings.  Continue reading

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