Video

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Most of today’s digital cameras include functionality for recording digital video. Today’s high-end DSLR cameras, with their relatively small size, high quality interchangeable lenses, and highly adjustable shooting modes, have become the de-facto entry point for high quality videography. DSLR video is even being used for television and movie production. HD Video Digital video currently comes in two main resolutions (with a third, higher resolution, becoming more mainstream): standard definition, and high definition (HD). Standard definition is usually considered to be any resolution with a vertical height of less than 720 pixels (abbreviated to 720p), and high definition is 720p and above. 1080p is considered “Full HD”, and is the most prevalent resolution for today’s flat panel televisions, and most television broadcasts are now in the same resolution. Higher resolutions are becoming more prevalent in both monitors and television sets, as well as recording equipment. Ultra High Definition (UHD) resolutions typically start at 2160 vertical pixels and above, which, when combined with width, has four times as many pixels as Full HD. Frame Rate The frame rate of digital video is the number of frames in one second of footage. The frame rate of video plays an important part of how video looks. Whereas many digital video recording devices record at 30fps or higher, movies are almost always filmed at 24 frames, which gives it a “cinematic” appearance. Very high frame rates usually creates video that appears artificial, sometimes called the “soap opera effect”.

Camera Flash

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A camera flash is either and internal or external light that illuminates the scene for better exposure. Flashes come in a myriad of styles, configurations, and capabilities. External Flash Many digital cameras come with a built-in flash, and most cameras come with the capability of working with external flash units. Cameras with the ability to fire external flash units are the standard in studio photography, and in situations where there needs to be either off-camera lighting, or lighting from multiple sources. Flash Sync Flash sync is the synchronization between the shutter exposing the sensor of the camera, and the flash being fired. Most flashes operate at 1/60th of a second, which means that if the shutter is open for less than that time, the sensor will not fully expose, resulting in black bars at the top and/or bottom of your photo. Flash Sync Speed Modern DSLR cameras offer “flash sync” shutter speeds that enable faster shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible to use with a flash. Flash Sync controls your camera operate differently than usual: while in normal operation, the sensor curtains (two frames inside the camera body that cover the sensor) open to expose the sensor fully to the image. With flash sync, the sensor curtains closely follow each other so that only part of the sensor is exposed. This operation happens faster than a flash. This enables using a much faster shutter speed while still being able to use a flash. Wireless Sync Cameras that offer flash sync have traditionally synchronized via a …

Flash Memory

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Flash memory is the storage medium for DSLR cameras. Most digital cameras today use either SecureDigital (SD) or CompactFlash (CF) removable flash memory cards. Memory cards are rated by their size (the amount of storage), and speed (the rate at which data can be written to the memory). Larger size cards will hold more photos, and faster cards will be able to store photos quicker. When purchasing memory for your camera, consider the size and speed of the card, as well as the resolution of your camera, and the environment you will be shooting in. How high is your camera’s resolution? The higher the resolution, the faster and bigger your flash card needs to be in order to maximize the number and speed of photos you can take. How many photos will you be taking? Will you be in a place where you can transfer the photos from the card to a computer? Larger cards enable taking more photos before swapping cards or transferring and wiping the current card.

Shutter Priority Mode

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Often abbreviated to S or Tv. Shutter priority mode is a semi-auto mode on DSLR cameras that automatically adjusts both ISO and aperture settings to compensate exposure for the manually set shutter speed. Shutter Priority is most useful for capturing movement with the desired effect, such as capturing motion blur, or “freezing” the subject in the frame.

Metadata

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Images taken by digital cameras contain both the optical information captured from the image sensor, as well as information about the image. This additional information is called metadata. This metadata often includes datum such as filename, capture date and time, the camera model and settings used, and geographic information if the camera supports it. EXIF data EXIF is short for Exchangeable image file format, and is a metadata specification for image and audio files, and is an area of the file that contains metadata information. Geotagging Photos taken with a device that has access to geolocation data can tag that information in the metadata of an image. Images that have this location data are referred to as “geotagged”.

Bracketing

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Bracketing in photography is the technique of taking multiple photographs of the same subject at different exposures to either obtain a properly exposed photo, or to combine later for high dynamic range photography. Bracketing can also be used for multiple captures at different aperture or shutter speed settings. Automatic Bracketing is a feature in DSLR cameras that automatically captures multiple photos of the same subject at different exposure settings. Automatic bracketing can often be adjusted for a number of captures and exposure values between each frame.

AE Lock, FE Lock, and AF Lock

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AE Lock Auto Exposure Lock is a mode on all Canon EOS cameras. AE Lock sets the camera to the current exposure setting, regardless of shutter or aperture changes. Unlike setting exposure manually, AE Lock enables the use of the built-in metering capabilities of the camera to easily pick and set an exposure. AE Lock is especially useful in filming video, as automatic exposure might cause unseemly changes in exposure while shooting, whereas AE Lock maintains a consistent exposure. FE Lock Flash Exposure Lock. Locks exposure to flash settings, often tied to AE Lock. Useful when using flash in hard to expose scenes. AF Lock Auto Focus Lock. AF Lock happens automatically when pressing the shutter button halfway. Locks focus to current Auto Focus target. This mode is especially useful when wanting the in-focus subject to the side of the frame.

Buffer

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When taking a photo on a DSLR, the image sensor sends the image data to the camera’s buffer. The buffer is an area of memory built into the camera where image data is processed (and compressed) before being sent to the memory card. The size of the camera buffer affects how many photos can be taken in a given amount of time. High-end DSLR cameras have continuous or burst shot modes, taking photos in quick succession. The speed and number of photos are dependent on the speed and size of the buffer.

Program Mode

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Often abbreviated to P. Program mode is a semi-automatic camera shooting mode that automatically sets shutter speed and aperture.

Bokeh

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Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of blur produced in unfocused areas of a photograph, and is most visible in the most unfocused areas of highlight. The shape of bokeh is caused by the shape of the aperture in the lens. Through most lenses, bokeh appears as hazy circles. Bokeh can be intentionally used for composition purposes, often to create highlights or to make backgrounds or foregrounds intentionally hazy in order to draw focus to the subject. Some lenses are built specifically to alter the shape and quality of bokeh produced.