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Category Archives: Digital Camera World

Digital SLR cameras explained: 10 things every new photographer must know

On our Understanding Your DSLR Camera course we explain all of these things so it is good to find them in one place and available for all those poor people who don’t live in Oxford and so can’t attend our courses. This comes from Digital Camera World

Digital SLR cameras are the preferred tool of most professional photographers and they’re the first choice of camera for enthusiast photographers for decades, but what is a digital SLR, how do they work and why are they so popular? Our head of testing, Angela Nicholson explains all you need to know.


Digital SLR cameras explained: 1. Why Single Lens Reflex?

The name single lens reflex camera seems rather odd today, but there was a time when twin lens reflex (TLR) cameras were very popular – there are still one or two models on sale today.

The two lenses of an TLR have the same focal length and their focusing mechanisms are linked, but they are used for two different tasks.

The ‘viewing lens’ is used for focusing while the photographer looks in the waist-level viewfinder, while the ‘taking lens’ sits in front of the film, ready for exposure in a separate chamber.

The word ‘reflex’ in the name stems from the fact that TLR and SLR cameras have a reflex mirror, essentially a mirror at 45 degrees, that reflects light from the lens into the viewfinder.

In a TLR the mirror is fixed and the scene is visible in the viewfinder throughout the exposure.

In a digital SLR camera, however, the mirror flips up during exposure to allow the light to reach the film or sensor, this blanks out the viewfinder for the duration of the exposure.

See the rest here

4 ways to get a studio look without a photo studio

On our Portrait photography course we spend a lot of time explaining about light, how to use daylight rather than needing to invest in some form of studio lighting. Remember how we all thought digital photography was going to be free once you owned a camera? This article via Digital Camera World offers another way to set up a home studio and in general everything here is valid and the advice would help you to be a better studio, portrait or still life photographer.

Few amateur photographers can afford the luxury of a dedicated studio, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take top-quality images that look like they were taken in a studio. In their latest guest post the team at Photoventure show you  how…


Best photography competitions to enter in 2015

What a useful site DCW can be, here is a list of some of the most prestigious competitions for you to enter this year

Landscape Photographer of the Year 2015

The brainchild of renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite, Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year celebrates British landscapes. Although only landscapes taken in the UK are accepted, photographers from any country are welcome to enter, and with the grand title winner taking home a total prize worth £20,000, you might find entering is worth your while!

A Beginning and an End, Glencoe, Scotland

Image: A Beginning and an End, Glencoe, Scotland, by Mark Littlejohn

Travel Photographer of the Year 2015

Founded in 2003, Travel Photographer of the Year has grown to become one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world, receiving entries from around 100 countries each year.


Image: By Philip Lee Harvey

International Garden Photographer of the Year

Run in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the IGPOTY’s Ninth annual competition will take place this year, with an award of £5000 for the grand title winner, and an award of £2000 for the Portfolio winner.


Image: My Prairie Garden by Rosanna Castrini

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

The long-running and well-respected Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, now in its 50th year, is co-owned by the prestigious Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide. It now receives entries from around 100 countries across the globe. The top award for best single image is £10,000, along with a trophy and personalised certificate. There are other generous prizes for awards in other categories.


Image: The last great picture by Michael ‘Nick’ Nichols

Sony World Photography Awards 2016

Priding itself on being the largest photography competition around, the Sony World Photography Awards attracts a large number of submissions from entrants – of all ages and skill levels – across the world.


Image: by John Stanmeyer, winner of Contemporary Issues category



Canon EOS 760D vs 750D vs 700D: 9 things you need to know

You wait around for new cameras and then they all come at once. Canon has introduced 2 new mid range cameras, the 750D looks like an update of the 700D although the latter has not been ditched from the line up and the 760D has a number of other improvements that pitch it higher.


This report from Digital Camera World covers the basic differences and explains why you will choose one rather than the other to suit your photography.

EOS Rebel T6s / T6i (760D / 750D) key features

  • 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 19-point autofocus system
  • Hybrid CMOS AF III focus system (live view)
  • 7560 pixel RGB + IR metering sensor with skin tone detection
  • 3″ fully articulating touchscreen LCD
  • Eye sensor for use with optical viewfinder [T6s only]
  • LCD information display on top plate [T6s only]
  • Quick control dial on rear [T6s only]
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 1080/30p video
  • Servo AF in live view [T6s only]
  • Wi-Fi with NFC

DP Review has more detail as you would expect, if you want that here is a link

Digital Camera World come up with these as conclusions

Canon EOS 760D vs 750D vs 700D: Conclusions

With the launch of these two new APS-C DSLRs, alongside the announcements of the Canon 5DS and Canon 5DS R and the new EOS M3, Canon has made a bold start to 2015.

Will the 760D and 750D cannibalise existing EOS DSLRs? Although the 700D remains in the range, we anticipate it being gradually phased out and the 750D becoming the flagship entry-level EOS.

The 760D is certainly going to be tempting to those photographers looking to step up the range and who would otherwise be considering the 70D. If you don’t need the 70D’s faster frame rate and weather sealing, then the 760D is the smarter buy.

In our opinion, the additional convenience offered by the EOS 760D’s top LCD display and Quick Control Dial alone are worth the £50 premium over the 750D.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II: new camera with surprising ability

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 II – price tag £899.99 body only; release date late Feb 2015 – has been announced today, offering photographers the opportunity to create 40-megapixel images using its 16MP sensor.

I don’t quite know how they have done this, it seems like smoke and mirrors, maybe that is it.

ID: 17114

This new Olympus camera is able to offer this new functionality thanks to an enhanced 5-Axis Image Stabilisation system first introduced in its predecessor, the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II is able to capture 40-megapixel still images by moving its 16-megapixel LIVE MOS sensor between each shot and merging eight single exposures into one final image with detail and resolution far beyond the sensor’s normal capacity.

Normally used by manufacturers to counteract the effects of camera shake, Olympus has used this sensor shifting technology to create high-resolution composites that Olympus says rivals the quality of many full-frame cameras.

But it also eliminates camera shake, too. Olympus says the enhanced 5-axis Image Stabilisation system can eliminate shake in all five planes of movement, achieving the equivalent of 5 EV steps faster than shutter speed. And because the system is built into the body of the OM-D E-M5 II it will work with any lens, is what we learn from Digital Camera World

More information is available at DP Review

Olympus’s OM-D E-M5 II is, like its predecessor, a small, attractive and usable 16MP camera. In fact, at first glance it looks relatively unchanged. The most obvious additions are its more advanced movie capabilities and a clever multi-shot 40MP mode, but you have to look a bit more closely to see how much work Olympus has put into this new model.

How do you follow up a classic? A little more time is going to have to pass before the E-M5 can truly wear that mantle but I have little doubt that that’s the question Olympus’s engineers and product planners have been asking themselves. And, it must be said, it’s quite a challenge. Technology has moved forward since the first OM-D was launched but simply bringing the camera up-to-date risks feeling like a let down.

Sure enough, the E-M5 II doesn’t feel like as big a step forward as its predecessor was. But how could it be? Cameras such as the Sony’s a6000 and a7, and Samsung’s NX1 have raised the expected level of capability so far that it would be hard for any new model to represent as much of a breakthrough. Nonetheless, Olympus has probably done as much as it can to move things forward.

Close examination of the camera shows that almost every aspect of its design has been tweaked, refined and polished. Without access to a higher pixel-count sensor, it’s not obvious what else Olympus could have added to the Mark II.


Olympus E-M5 II key features

  • 16MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • 40 MP multi-exposure mode
  • 1080/60p shooting and 1080/30p at up to 77Mbps (All-I)
  • 5-axis image stabilization in both stills and movie modes
  • 10fps continuous shooting, 5fps with AF
  • 1/8000th sec maximum shutter speed (1/16000th with electronic shutter)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Clip-on rotating, bounceable flash
  • The standout change for stills shooters is likely to be the 40MP multi-shot mode. This uses the camera’s sensor-shift system to move the sensor to eight fractionally different positions and create a high-resolution composite image from these eight exposures.

As digital photography and cameras continue to develop new and innovative ways of improving results step into the light every so often. These new innovations make us think wow I would like one of those but rarely do we actually stray from our preferred camera manufacturer. I still see classes on our excellent Understanding Your DSLR Camera where everyone has either a Canon or a Nikon. There is an very occasional Pentax, sometimes a Sony and less often still an Olympus but by a huge margin it is Nikon or Canon. We try to keep you up to date with new developments in cameras, do you remember last year we reported on the revolutionary Lytro. A camera so advanced that it allows you to refocus your image on the computer after you have taken the picture. Choose anything you want in focus in your image and it can be! If you don’t believe me here is a link to our post. Well I have never seen one, have never met anyone who has one or who has seen one. Will this be the case with this new Olympus, who knows? If the idea works and is a useful addition to the process of making images I guess Canon and Nikon will make their own version once they have figured out how to get around the patents.

So should you be considering changing all your gear for one of these? Personally I would wait to see how good it is, what problems with the moving sensor and then whether you actually need a 40mp camera. That will make a 120mb file! The Nokia Lumia 1020 phone has a 41mp camera, honestly who cares.

Nikon D5500 vs D5300 vs D5200 vs D5100

From the rather excellent Digital Camera World


Nikon has announced a new camera in its beginner line-up at CES, the annual consumer electronics show over in Las Vegas. The D5500 sits alongside the other D5XX cameras in its range. At the time of the D5300’s release, Nikon announced the older D5100 and D5200 models would continue, and while the company is yet to confirm whether all four will stay in the line-up, all four should remain available to buy for some time yet.

As such, all of them are now intriguing options in Nikon’s Nikon’s DX DSLR range, but which is best for your needs? Our extensive Nikon D5500 vs D5300 vs D5200 vs D5100 comparison looks at what each camera can offer.

This piece examines all four cameras, fully updated to include the D5500 and its new specifications. At first glance, it would seem like the D5500 is merely an incremental upgrade from the D5300, and with this piece we’ll be examining whether that’s true or whether it’s worth the upgrade.

All four Nikon cameras are aimed at creative amateurs and people upgrading from compact digital cameras, all four share a compact, lightweight design with flip-out LCD display, and all three offer quite sophisticated photographic controls and effects.

So here is a blow-by-blow Nikon D5500 vs D5300 vs D5100 vs D5200 comparison of key specifications so that you can see the differences and decide what’s most important to you.

Need more?

Better photo tips: 60 of the best

From Digital Camera World comes this leviathan of help, tips only just scratches at the surface of what you will find here.

Following on from our popular 77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything post, we’re bringing you this list of 60 incredibly useful bits of photography advice.

If you’re new to photography, this resource of surprising camera tips and time savers provides an invaluable shortcut to better photos and a smarter workflow. If you’re a more experienced photographer, there’s still plenty of technical and technique refreshers here.

We’ve separated the advice into three key sections, covering camera settings, composition and exposure, and general photography tips. If you find the advice useful or you want to share your own little-known photography trick, please leave a comment below…

Tip 01: Zoom first, focus last

Tip 02: Set the Neutral Picture Style for RAW

Tip 11: Avoid the smallest aperture on the lens

Tip 13: Your camera’s display is lying to you

just 4 of 60 and these are only about camera settings

Tip 36: Fill-flash in daylight

Tip 43: Research the position of the sun

Tip 42: Wear old clothes

OK you could just come on our courses, and you would get more than 60 tips, you would learn how to make great pictures. Here are a couple by John Wilhelm from an earlier post here to keep you going




want to see more of the 60….HERE


10 pro tips you can use in any genre of photography

From Digital Camera World, words of wisdom, or it’s obvious really but still worth saying

It doesn’t matter whether you like to shoot landscapes, portraits or still life photography, these ten tips from our guest bloggers at Photoventure  will help you improve your images time and time again…..

©Jane Buekett

©Jane Buekett

1. Keep it simple

As a rule it’s best to keep things as simple as possible. In the studio this may mean using two lights (or even just one) rather than three, or including fewer props, but it’s also a useful thing to remember when composing landscapes and still life.

Avoid complex, confusing scenes and look for compositions that have clean lines and nicely spaced elements.

When large format cameras were more common, many photographers claimed the fact that they showed the scene upside down and laterally reversed helped them improve their composition because they stopped seeing the subject as a recognisable object and instead saw a collection of shapes to be photographed in an attractive arrangement.

Modern cameras show the image correctly orientated (usually even if you review a shot and turn the camera upside-down) so you have to use your imagination to see images as shapes and patterns of light rather than objects.

See the other 9 tips here

8 reasons your photos still look like snapshots

When people come on our courses they sometimes think all they want to know is how to make their pictures look better. We slowly coax them into understanding that there is no magic button hidden on their camera that will suddenly improve their pictures. We explain that understanding their cameras, knowing how to use the controls to suit the specific requirements of their subject, and that not all subjects are the same so it is not one size fits all. We encourage practice, we suggest that, like learning to drive, it is hours of doing the same thing that gets them skilled in camera use, and that the same goes for their eye. I am occasionally confronted by people who say they take really nice pictures, ‘they have a good eye’, but they don’t know how to use their camera. I save myself from asking how they take ‘really nice pictures’. It is the whole, your vision, your knowledge, your understanding that makes great images. Our courses are aimed first at getting people to understand their cameras, then on teaching them how important composition is and that it can be learned as long as they are prepared to look and practise and finally how to explore more. This means to look at their subjects carefully, to explore them with their eyes and their cameras and then to think about what they are trying to say with their picture. In essence why are they taking the picture, knowing why helps to inform how.

This article on Digital Camera World touches on some of these ideas and if you are finding your pictures do not do what you want read it here. If you are inspired look at our courses and find the ones that will help you become a truly better photographer. We have been teaching photography since 1982, we do know.

here is some of the article

Photography can be a frustrating business when you’re a beginner. If you spend long enough browsing online photo sharing websites like 500px or Flickr, you may be both inspired and infuriated in equal measure. How do other photographers get their pictures to look so good? Why do my photos look like snaps while everyone else’s look like works of art? What camera trickery do they know that I don’t?

The good news is that you’re not alone: no photographer started creating magic the minute they picked up a camera. It can take months or years of work until you’re completely happy with the pictures you take. But there are some steps you can take today to stop your photos looking like snapshots. In their latest guest blog post the team at Photoventure offer some suggestions…

1. You’re not paying enough attention to the light

The quality and quantity of light will make or break a photo. If you’re not shooting in light that complements the subject or the look you’re after, then you’ll end up with a so-so snap.

We’re not suggesting you should take all your photographs during the ‘golden hours’ at the start and end of the day. You can have too much of a good thing, after all. No, shooting at dawn and dusk might be the classic advice for landscape photography, but it doesn’t suit every subject.

Some subjects work better with more directional, hard-edged light, while others are better photographed under softer, more diffuse light. The harsh, burning light you get in the middle of clear, sunny day is generally the least flattering, particularly if you’re creating portraits or close-up photos.

If the light’s not working, then try enhancing it: a diffuser or reflector can help you manipulate the existing lighting, while fill-flash will allow you to reveal detail in shadows that would otherwise be lost.


©KeithBarnes Visit our course website here

See the rest of this valuable article here


What is a compact camera?

If you are thinking of buying a compact camera for someone for the upcoming spendathon then perhaps this article will explain all you need to know. It won’t tell you what to buy but it will inform you

Compact cameras have come a long way in recent years, and as well as basic snappers, there are plenty of cameras suitable for enthusiasts and experts. To help you choose your perfect model, we’ve put together this straightforward buying guide.

The term ‘compact camera’ isn’t actually very helpful, though. It made sense at one time, when they were almost always pocket-sized cameras you could take anywhere, but they’ve moved on since then, and ‘compact’ cameras now come in all shapes and sizes.


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