The Nikon D850 is Nikon’s latest high resolution full-frame DSLR, boasting a 46MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. But, in a fairly radical departure for the series, it is also one of the company’s fastest-shooting DSLRs. This combination of properties should significantly widen the camera’s appeal to high-end enthusiasts as well as a broad range of professional photographers.
45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor
7 fps continuous shooting with AE/AF (9 with battery grip and EN-EL18b battery)
153-point AF system linked to 180,000-pixel metering system
UHD 4K video capture at up to 30p from full sensor width
1080 video at up to 120p, recorded as roughly 1/4 or 1/5th speed slow-mo
4:2:2 8-bit UHD uncompressed output while recording to card
1 XQD slot and 1 UHS II-compliant SD slot
Battery life rated at 1840 shots
3.2″ tilting touchscreen with 2.36M-dot (1024×768 pixel) LCD
19.4MP DX crop (or 8.6MP at 30fps for up to 3 sec)
SnapBridge full-time Bluetooth LE connection system with Wi-Fi
Advanced time-lapse options (including in-camera 4K video creation)
The use of a backside illuminated (BSI) sensor means that the light collecting elements of the sensor are closer to the surface of the chip. This should not only increase the efficiency of the sensor (improving low light performance) but should also be expected to make the pixels near the edges of the sensor better able to accept light approaching with high angles of incidence, improving peripheral image quality.
Like the D810 before it, the D850 continues to offer an ISO 64 mode, that allows it to tolerate more light in bright conditions.
The D850 has gained a more usable electronic first curtain shutter option, which can now be used quiet shutter mode, as well as live view and Mirror-Up mode. To get the full benefit, though, you need to turn on exposure delay (which has had two sub-second delay settings added). However, exposure delay persists across all shooting modes. Thankfully, and presumably thanks to a redesigned shutter and mirror mechanism, our quick check with a pre-production model suggests shutter shock may not be an issue, even without engaging it.
The D850 has no anti-aliasing filter, which should allow for slightly finer detail capture but with added risk of moiré, if any of your lenses are sharp enough to out-resolve a 45.7MP full-frame sensor. There’s still no sign of the clever design Nikon patented so, unlike the Pentax K-1 or Sony RX1R II, you can’t engage an anti-aliasing effect if you do find false color appearing in densely patterned areas.
In addition to the increased speed, the D850 also gains the full AF capabilities of the company’s flagship sports camera: the D5. This includes all the hardware: AF module, metering sensor and dedicated AF processor, as well as the full range of AF modes and configuration options, which should translate to comparable focus performance combined with high resolution.
Given the D5 possessed one of the best AF systems we’ve ever seen and could continue to offer that performance in a wide range of conditions and shooting scenarios with minimal need for configuration, this is an exciting prospect.
As part of this system, the D850 gains the automated system for setting an AF Fine Tune value. It only calibrates the lens based on the central AF point and for a single distance, but it’s a simple way to ensure you’re getting closer to your lenses’ full capabilities, which is handy given you’ll now be able to scrutinize their performance with 46MP of detail.
Impressively, the D850 can shoot at nine frames per second if you add the optional MB-D18 battery grip and buy an EN-EL18b battery, as used in the D5. As well as increasing the camera’s burst rate, this combination also ups the battery life to a staggering 5140 shots per charge. You don’t get this same boost in speed or endurance if you use a second EN-EL15a in the grip, though.
An MB-D18 plus an EN-EL18b is likely to set you back over $580 over and above the cost of the camera body ($399 for the grip, around $149 for the battery, $30 for the BL-6 battery chamber cover plus the cost of a charger).
The D850 also includes a sufficiently deep buffer to allow fifty-one 14-bit losslessly compressed Raw files, meaning the majority of photographers are unlikely to hit its limits.
In terms of video the D850 becomes the first Nikon DSLR to capture 4K video from the full width of its sensor. The camera can shoot at 30, 25 or 24p, at a bitrate of around 144 Mbps. It can simultaneously output uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit UHD to an external recorder while recording to the card.
At 1080 resolution, the camera can shoot at up to 60p, with a slow-mo mode that can capture at 120 frames per second before outputting at either 25 or 24p. The 1080 mode also offers focus peaking and digital stabilization, neither of which are available for 4K shooting.
Body & Camera Features
The D850’s body is primarily made from magnesium alloy and fairly closely resembles the D810. The newer model gains a D750-style flip up/down cradle for its rear screen, which is not only much higher in resolution but also touch sensitive. Unlike the D5 and D500, this touch sensitivity can be used in live view mode and for navigating menus, as well as for in playback mode.
The camera’s grip has been reworked, making it more comfortable than the D810 when holding the camera for long periods or with heavy lens combinations.
The most obvious visual difference between the cameras is a different viewfinder hump, with the new camera having no built-in flash. Instead, strobe users will have to make do with the flash sync socket or purchase the WR- radio control trigger set (the WR-A10, WR-R10 and WR-T10 that allow remote triggering of the camera or remote control of radio compatible flashguns such as the Speedlight SB-5000).
Nikon says that the removal of the onboard flash allows the D850 to be better weather-sealed than the D810, since there are fewer seams on the top of the camera to protect against moisture ingress.
As with the Nikon D5, the D850 has a 153-point AF system featuring 99 cross-type points. The central AF point is rated as working in light as low as -4EV, with the rest still active at -3EV (and, since the metering sensor is meant to work down to this level too, it may still be possible to use the camera’s 3D tracking mode in these very low light conditions). Fifteen of the camera’s AF points clustered near the center of the frame will work with lens + teleconverter combinations with maximum apertures of just F8, which should make it useful for pursuits such as birding.
This Multi-Cam 20K AF system, like the D5’s, offers a good degree of frame coverage for a full frame camera: 30% wider than on the D810, the company says. The move from the D810’s 91,000-pixel metering sensor to the D5’s 180,000-pixel chip should improve subject recognition. This and the inclusion of a dedicated AF processor means the D850 should be a match for the D5, which can keep AF points on a moving subject even in continuous shooting, rather than subject tracking performance dropping noticeably during bursts, as the D810’s did.
So far as we understand, the only significant difference between the D850’s AF system and the D5’s is the viewfinder display. The D5 has an organic electro-luminescent display layer that allows it to light the active AF points as they change in 3D tracking mode, the D850 has an LCD layer on which the points only light up when they’re manually moved or when focus is initiated or acquired.
The removal of the camera’s built-in flash frees up room for a new viewfinder, so magnification is able to leap from 0.7x to 0.75x which is the largest optical viewfinder on any Nikon DSLR. The larger finder, which features a new condenser lens and an aspherical element in the design, retains a reasonable (17mm) eye point, as we understand, so the whole scene should be visible even for most glasses wearers.
As with previous Nikon cameras, the D850 has intervalometer functions built in, so that you can capture time lapses without any external accessories. This feature can be combined with the camera’s silent shutter live view mode, to avoid vibration or excessive wear on the mechanical shutter, though with the risk of rolling shutter.
The camera can either assemble the images together in a 4K video or retain the full resolution files, to allow you to create a full resolution time-lapse in third-party software. Nikon uses the camera’s high resolution to brand this second capability as “8K Timelapse,” since the images exceed the 7680 × 4320 dimension of that video format.
Like previous Nikons, the intervalometer lets you specify the number of shots and the delay between them but now adds the ability to create a new folder and reset the file numbering for each time lapse sequence, so that the files can easily be isolated and transferred to 3rd-party software.
The D850 can also use this ‘new folder and reset the counter’ approach for another of its features. The Focus Shift mode prompts the camera to shoot a series of photos at different focus distances. You can specify the number of images, the size of the distance steps and whether there’s a delay between each shot. Unlike the similar feature on Olympus and Panasonic cameras, the Nikon can’t combine the resultant images, but it can place them in a separate folder to make it easy to import them into 3rd-party focus stacking software.
We’re told the focus steps will be selected on a dimensionless 0-10 scale, presumably because the distance of the increments will vary depending on the type of lens you use.
The D850 includes Nikon’s SnapBridge connectivity system. This establishes a full-time Bluetooth LE connection between the camera and compatible smart devices. This is a step forward from the D810, which had no built-in wireless options, however, we have not found the SnapBridge system to be a good match for high-end systems in the past.
Existing implementations of SnapBridge lean very heavily towards using the Bluetooth connection to transfer images (unlike Samsung and Canon’s approaches, which use it just to keep lines of communication open, so that Wi-Fi communication can be established more rapidly). The camera can transfer every image it shoots automatically either at 2MP or in full resolution, but only over Bluetooth. Select the images on the camera and those will be sent (slowly) over Bluetooth, too. The only way of accessing Wi-Fi and its greater transfer speed is to use the app to browse your memory card and select from there.
Without a significant reworking of the SnapBridge app, we are concerned that the combination of a high-speed 46MP camera and a primarily Bluetooth-based connection with no ability to send Raw files will be inappropriate for the typical D850 user.
…it could really be a camera for all seasons
The Sony a99 II showed it was possible to offer high resolution images and fast shooting, but the D850 takes this a step further. There are some ‘ifs,’ of course, but if the sensor can offer the low ISO image quality of the D810 combined with the AF of the D5 at between seven and nine frames per second, then it could really be a camera for all disciplines, from high res studio work to street fashion, weddings, sports, landscapes…
Whether it lives up to this promise will come down to the implementation, and it’s what we’ve experienced of this, hands-on, that leaves us impressed. For a start, it seems that a revised shutter and mirror mechanism has resolved the shock issues the D810 exhibited with longer lenses. This is a critical improvement for such a high resolution camera and one that isn’t directly covered in the specs, but our quick shots suggest it’s done the job.
We weren’t able to examine the camera’s high ISO performance, but a quick check at base ISO suggests the ISO 64 mode does offer a DR advantage over ISO 100, which is what allowed the D810 to match the dynamic range performance of the GFX 50S and Pentax 645Z. We’ve also not had a chance to check the shadows, so this is a very preliminary impression, but ISO 64 does seem to be a ‘real’ sensitivity setting (i.e., not just ISO 100, but clipping earlier).
Tamron has unveiled a new all-in-one zoom lens called Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. The lens is designed for Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras with APS-c sized image sensor.
Weighing in at 705 grams, the 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD is remarkably compact and lightweight for a lens covering such an extremely wide zoom range. The focal length is equivalent to 29-640mm for Canon and 27-600mm for Nikon.
The optical construction of the lens comprises 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialised glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimises chromatic aberrations and geometric distortion. The AF drive system uses Tamron’s exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing.
Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD Lens Features
The world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens to achieve 400mm telephoto
The new Model B028 is the world’s first lens for APS-C DSLR cameras that covers a focal length range of 18-400mm and achieves a zoom ratio of 22.2x. The focal length of 400mm on the telephoto end enables the capturing of ultra-telephoto pictures with the 35mm equivalent of 620mm angle of view. Now, with just this one lens, a photographer can readily enjoy the power of ultra-telephoto to bring distant subjects closer as well as the perspective-flattening effects that only extreme telephoto settings can achieve. This all-in-one zoom lens is ideal for travel and everyday shooting. It allows a photographer to switch from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto without changing lenses, making it faster and easier to capture a much wider range of subjects including travel scenes, wildlife, action sports, landscapes, cityscapes, portraits and food. Among interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras (As of May 2017; Tamron)
Excellent image quality across the entire zoom range, from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto and macro
The optical construction of the B028 consists of 16 lens elements in 11 groups. The use of specialized glass elements such as LD (Low Dispersion) and aspherical lens elements effectively minimizes wide-ranging aberrations, including chromatic aberrations and distortion, thereby assuring outstanding image quality. Optimum power distribution among the individual lens element groups achieves both the optical performance and the compact size necessary for an ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens that boasts 400mm focal length. Also, it enables tele-macro photography with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9.
Lightweight and compact design exhibits Tamron’s basic philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses
Despite being an all-in-one zoom lens that achieves 400mm ultra-telephoto, Model B028 is light and compact with a total length of 4.8in. and a weight of 24.9oz.4 A new lens barrel design utilizing three-step extensions was developed to enable the necessary elongation to produce a 22.2x zoom ratio. Compared to the conventional approach, the division into a larger number of cams ensures comfortable operation and stability while zooming. Tamron’s philosophy for all-in-one zoom lenses is to allow each photographer to casually capture everyday photos with a lens of a practical size, and Model B028 fulfills this philosophy.
HLD motor provides high-precision AF and enables compact lens construction
The AF drive system for Model B028 uses Tamron’s exclusive HLD (High/Low torque modulated Drive) motor. The power-saving HLD motor produces outstanding driving torque, and adjusts motor rotation from low to high speed to enable accurate and quiet focusing. The HLD motor takes up less space thanks to its small size and circular arc shape that allows the size of the lens to be reduced.
Equipped with the Vibration Compensation system necessary for ultra-telephotography at 400mm
Despite its compact size, Model B028 is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC (Vibration Compensation) system, which effectively curbs camera shake under low light conditions (such as a dimly lit room or at dusk) and while taking ultra-telephoto pictures. This greatly expands opportunities for casual handheld shooting. The jitter-free stability of the viewfinder image allows for easier framing and enables the photographer to compose the subject quickly and comfortably.
Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses
The electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses. More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a motor through electronic pulse signals. Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm (D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600, D7000, D7100, D7200, D300S, D500) (As of May, 2017; Tamron)
User-friendly features for everyday comfortable use
With an eye toward active outdoor photography, Model B028 features Moisture-Resistant Construction to ensure worry-free shooting as well as confidence while shooting under adverse weather conditions. Also, the Zoom Lock mechanism prevents undesired movement of the lens barrel under its own weight when the camera is angled downward while walking.
Compatible with TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory product
The optional TAP-in Console provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling the user to easily update the lens’s firmware as well as to customize features, including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.
External design placing importance on functionality and ease of use
While inheriting the design that makes use of many organic curves and the delicately polished form down to fine details that characterize the SP lens series, the new Model B028 comes with a highly sophisticated design that also places a lot of importance on the lens’s functionality and ease of use, featuring an overall form that faithfully encompasses the internal structures within, a slim Luminous Gold brand ring and the switch shape design.
The Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD will be available from July Onwards.
Aperture is one of the three pillars of photography, the other two being ISO and Shutter Speed. Without a doubt, it is the most talked about subject, because aperture either adds a dimension to a photograph by blurring the background, or magically brings everything in focus. In this article, We will try to explain everything known about aperture in very simple language.
Simply put, aperture is a hole within a lens, through which light travels into the camera body. It is easier to understand the concept if you just think about our eyes. Every camera that we know of today is designed like human eyes. The cornea in our eyes is like the front element of a lens – it gathers all external light, then bends it and passes it to the iris. Depending on the amount of light, the iris can either expand or shrink, controlling the size of the pupil, which is a hole that lets the light pass further into the eye. The pupil is essentially what we refer to as aperture in photography. The amount of light that enters the retina (which works just like the camera sensor), is limited to the size of the pupil â€“ the larger the pupil, the more light enters the retina.
So, the easiest way to remember aperture, is by associating it with your pupil. Large pupil size equals large aperture, while small pupil size equals small aperture.
2) Size of Aperture -Large vs Small Aperture
The iris of the lens that controls the size (diameter) of the aperture is called diaphram in optics. The sole purpose of the diaphragm is to block or stop all light, with the exception of the light that goes through the aperture. In photography, aperture is expressed in f-numbers (for example f/5.6). These f-numbers that are known as f stop are a way of describing the size of the aperture, or how open or closed the aperture is. A smaller f-stop means a larger aperture, while a larger f-stop means a smaller aperture. Most people find this awkward, since we are used to having larger numbers represent larger values, but not in this case. For example, f/1.4 is larger than f/2.0 and much larger than f/8.0.
Now take a look at the aperture picture , courtesy Wikipedia
One important thing to remember here, the size of the aperture has a direct impact on the depth of field, which is the area of the image that appears sharp. A large f-number such as f/32, (which means a smaller aperture) will bring all foreground and background objects in focus, while a small f-number such as f/1.4 will isolate the foreground from the background by making the foreground objects sharp and the background blurry.
4) Lens Apertures: Maximum and Minimum
Every lens has a limit on how large or how small the aperture can get. If you take a look at the specifications of your lens, it should say what the maximum (lowest f-number) and minimum apertures (highest f-number) of your lens are. The maximum aperture of the lens is much more important than the minimum, because it shows the speed of the lens. A lens that has an aperture of f/1.2 or f/1.4 as the maximum aperture is considered to be a fast lens, because it can pass through more light than, for example, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4.0. That’s s why lenses with large apertures are better suited for low light photography.
The minimum aperture is not that important, because almost all modern lenses can provide at least f/16 as the minimum aperture, which is typically more than enough for everyday photography needs.
There are two types of lenses: Fixed (also known as Prime) and Zoom. While zoom lenses give you the flexibility to zoom in and out (most point and shoot cameras have zoom lenses) without having to move closer or away from the subject, fixed or prime lenses only have one focal length. Due to the complexity of optical design for zoom lenses, many of the consumer lenses have variable apertures. What it means, is that when you are fully zoomed out, the aperture is one number, while zooming in will increase the f-number to a higher number. For example, the Nikon 18-200mm lens has a variable maximum aperture of f/3.5-f/5.6. When zoomed fully out at 18mm, the lens has an aperture of f/3.5, while when fully zoomed in at 200mm, the lens has an aperture of f/5.6. The heavy, professional zoom lenses, on the other hand, typically have fixed apertures. For example, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens has the same maximum aperture of f/2.8 at all focal lengths between 70mm and 200mm.
Why is this important? Because larger maximum aperture means that the lens can pass through more light, and hence, your camera can capture images faster in low-light situations. Having a larger maximum aperture also means better ability to isolate subjects from the background.
let us understand the digital camera modes is essential to control the exposure in photography. As a good Photographer, you should know what each camera mode does and when it should be used, under what circumstances.
1) What are Digital Camera Modes?
Digital Camera Modes allow photographers to control the parameters of an exposure, specifically, Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. While certain modes can fully automate the camera exposure, there are other modes that let the photographer manually control some or all parameters of the exposure.
Today, most digital cameras have various types of camera modes that can be used in different situations. While most point and shoot cameras concentrate on automatic modes for simplicity’s sake, more advanced cameras feature modes that allow both automatic and manual exposure control.
2) Types of Camera Modes
Here are the four main types of camera modes that can be found in most digital cameras today:
Shutter Priority (Tv) or (S)
Aperture Priority (Av) or (A)
3) Program Mode
In “Program” mode, the camera automatically chooses the Aperture and the Shutter Speed for you, based on the amount of light that passes through the lens. This is the mode you want to use for “point and shoot” moments, when you just need to quickly snap a picture. The camera will try to balance between aperture and shutter speed, increasing and decreasing the two based on the intensity of light. If you point the camera to a bright area, the aperture will automatically increase to a bigger number, while keeping the shutter speed reasonably fast. Pointing the camera to a darker area will decrease the aperture to a lower number, in order to maintain a reasonably fast shutter speed. If there is not enough light, the lens aperture will stay at the lowest number (maximum aperture), while the shutter speed will keep on decreasing until it reaches proper exposure.
I personally never use this mode, since it does not give me much control over the exposure. There is a way to override the camera-guessed shutter speed and aperture by moving the control dial (on Nikon cameras it is the dial on the back of the camera). If you rotate the control dial towards the left, the camera will decrease the shutter speed and increase the aperture. If you rotate the dial towards the right, the camera will increase the shutter speed and decrease the aperture. Basically, if you needed to get a faster shutter speed for freezing action, you would rotate the dial to the right, and if you needed to get a large depth of field, you would rotate the dial to the left.
In “Shutter Priority” mode, you manually set the camera’s shutter speed and the camera automatically picks the right aperture for you, based on the amount of light that passes through the lens. This mode is intended to be used when motion needs to be frozen or intentionally blurred. If there is too much light, the camera will increase the lens aperture to a higher number, which decreases the amount of light that passes through the lens. If there is not enough light, the camera will decrease the aperture to the lowest number, so that more light passes through the lens. So in Shutter Priority mode, the shutter speed stays the same (what you set it to), while aperture automatically increases and decreases, based on the amount of light. In addition, there is no control over subject isolation, because you are letting the camera control the depth of field.
I try not to use this mode either, because there is a risk of getting an overexposed or underexposed image. Why? Because if the amount of ambient light is not sufficient and I set the shutter speed to a really high number, my exposure will be limited to the aperture/speed of my lens. For example, if the maximum aperture of my lens is f/4.0, the camera will not be able to use a lower aperture than f/4.0 and will still shoot at the fast shutter speed that I manually set. The result will be an underexposed image. At the same time, if I use a very slow shutter speed when there is plenty of light, the image will be overexposed and blown out.
5) Aperture-Priority Mode
In “Aperture Priority” mode, you manually set the lens aperture, while the camera automatically picks the right shutter speed to properly expose the image. You have full control over subject isolation and you can play with the depth of field, because you can increase or decrease the lens aperture and let the camera do the math on measuring the right shutter speed. If there is too much light, the camera will automatically increase the shutter speed, while if you are in a low-light environment, the camera will decrease the shutter speed. There is almost no risk of having an overexposed or an underexposed image, because the shutter speed can go as low as 30 seconds and as fast as 1/4000-1/8000th of a second (depending on the camera), which is more than sufficient for most lighting situations.
This is the mode that I use 95% of the time, because I have full control over the depth of field and I know that the image will be properly exposed under normal circumstances. The metering systems in most modern cameras work very well and I let the camera calculate and control the shutter speed for me.
6) Manual Mode
As the name suggests, “Manual” mode stands for a full manual control of Aperture and Shutter Speed. In this mode, you can manually set both the aperture and the shutter speed to any value you want – the camera lets you fully take over the exposure controls. This mode is generally used in situations, where the camera has a hard time figuring out the correct exposure in extreme lighting situations. For example, if you are photographing a scene with a very bright area, the camera might incorrectly guess the exposure and either overexpose or underexpose the rest of the image. In those cases, you can set your camera to manual mode, then evaluate the amount of light in darker and brighter areas and override the exposure with your own settings. Manual mode is also useful for consistency, if you need to make sure that both shutter speed and aperture stay the same across multiple exposures. For example, to properly stitch a panorama, all shots that you are trying to put together need to have the same shutter speed and aperture. Otherwise, some images will be darker, while others are lighter. Once you set the shutter speed and aperture to the values of your choice in manual mode, your images will all have consistent exposures.
Happy Photography, please share your inputs & thoughts
Shutter Speed is one of the three pillars of photography, the other two being ISO and Aperture. Shutter speed is where the other side of the magic happens – it is responsible for creating dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion. In this article, I will try to explain everything I know about shutter speed in very simple language.
1) Understanding The Camera Shutter?
It is highly recommend reading about what a DSLR is and what it consists of. Simply put, a camera shutter is a curtain in front of the camera sensor that stays closed until the camera fires. When the camera fires, the shutter opens and fully exposes the camera sensor to the light that passes through the lens aperture. After the sensor is done collecting the light, the shutter closes immediately, stopping the light from hitting the sensor. The button that fires the camera is also called “shutter” or “shutter button”, because it triggers the shutter to open and close.
2) What is Shutter Speed?
Shutter speed, also known as “exposure time”, stands for the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor. If the shutter speed is fast, it can help to freeze action completely, as seen in the above photo of the dolphin. If the shutter speed is slow, it can create an effect called “motion blur”, where moving objects appear blurred along the direction of the motion. This effect is used quite a bit in advertisements of cars and motorbikes, where a sense of speed and motion is communicated to the viewer by intentionally blurring the moving wheels.
Slow shutter speeds are also used to photograph lightning’s or other objects at night or in dim environments with a tripod. Landscape photographers intentionally use slow shutter speeds to create a sense of motion on rivers and waterfalls, while keeping everything else in focus.
Motion can also be frozen to an extent with a camera flash, even at low shutter speeds.
It was getting dark and even after increasing the sensor sensitivity to ISO 800, the camera still needed at least 1/250th of a second to properly expose this bird. If I had shot the bird at that speed, the bird would have turned out to be blurry, since it moved faster than 1/250th of a second. I used an external flash and fired the camera at 1/250th of a second and as you can see, it helped me freeze motion, despite having a low shutter speed for a bird in flight.
All of the above is achieved by simply controlling the shutter speed. In summary, high shutter speeds freeze action, while low shutter speeds create an effect of motion.
3) How Shutter Speed is Measured
Shutter speeds are typically measured in fractions of a second, when they are under a second. For example 1/4 means a quarter of a second, while 1/250 means one two-hundred-and-fiftieth of a second or four milliseconds. Most modern DSLRs can handle shutter speeds of up to 1/4000th of a second, while some can handle much higher speeds of 1/8000th of a second and faster. The longest shutter speed on most DSLRs is typically 30 seconds (without using external remote triggers).
4) Fast, Slow and Long Shutter Speeds
Fast shutter speed is typically whatever it takes to freeze action. For me, it is typically above 1/500th of a second for general photography and above 1/1000th of a second for bird photography.
Slow shutter speed is considered to be the slowest shutter speed that you can handle without introducing camera shake. Some of Nikon’s lenses such as the Nikon 70-200mm VR II have special image stabilization (also known as “vibration reduction”) technologies within the lens that can help photographers take pictures at very slow shutter speeds when hand-holding cameras, without introducing camera shake. Although it is important to know how to hold a camera, image stabilization can significantly help in reducing blur from shaky hands, thus allowing one to shoot at shutter speeds that normally would not be considered to be “safe” under the reciprocal rule.
How about long shutter speed? Long shutter speeds are typically above 1 second, when you have to use a tripod to get acceptably sharp images (for low-light/night photography or to capture movement).
5) How to Set Shutter Speed
Most cameras handle shutter speeds automatically through in-camera metering. When the camera is set to “Auto” mode, both shutter speed and aperture are automatically selected by the camera. When you shoot in “Aperture Priority” mode, you set the lens aperture, while the camera automatically sets the shutter speed.
There are two ways to manually set the shutter speed:
a) By setting the camera to “Shutter Priority” mode, where you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically selects the aperture.
b) By setting the camera to “Manual” mode, where you set both shutter speed and aperture manually.
I recommend letting the camera select the correct shutter speed for you. I personally shoot in “Aperture Priority” mode 99% of the time and I let my camera calculate the shutter speed for me.
6) How to Find Shutter Speed
Do you know how to find out what your camera shutter speed is set to? It is typically very easy to find the shutter speed. On Nikon DSLRs that have a top panel, the shutter speed is typically located on the top left corner:
If you look through the viewfinder, it should also be the number on the bottom left side of the screen. On most DSLRs, you will not see the shutter speed as a fraction of a second – it will typically be a regular number. When the shutter speed is slower than or equals to one second, you will see something like 1″ or 5″ (the ” sign indicates a full second).
If you still cannot find the shutter speed, set your camera to “Aperture Priority” mode, then look into the viewfinder and point at a really dark area. Remember the numbers in the display, then switch to a very bright area and see what number changes. The number that changes is your shutter speed.
Happy Photography, Please share your inputs on this.
The Right ISO The ISO setting determines how sensitive your camera is to light and also how fine the grain of your image. The ISO we choose depends on the situation – when it’s dark we need to push the ISO up to a higher number, say anything from 400 – 3200 as this will make the camera more sensitive to light and then we can avoid blurring. On sunny days we can choose ISO 100 or the Auto setting as we have more light to work with.
It is challenging to take good pictures without a good understanding of how ISO works and what it does. Camera ISO is one of the three pillars of photography (the other two being Aperture and Shutter Speed) and every photographer should thoroughly understand it, to get the most out of their equipment. We will try to explain ISO as simple as I can.
Before we go any further, you should first understand how DSLR cameras work.
1) What is ISO?
In very basic terms, ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of your camera. The component within your camera that can change sensitivity is called “image sensor” or simply “sensor”. It is the most important (and most expensive) part of a camera and it is responsible for gathering light and transforming it into an image. With increased sensitivity, your camera sensor can capture images in low-light environments without having to use a flash. But higher sensitivity comes at an expense – it adds grain or “noise” to the pictures.
The difference is clear – the image on the right hand side at ISO 3200 has a lot more noise in it, than the one on the left at ISO 200.
Every camera has something called “Base ISO”, which is typically the lowest ISO number of the sensor that can produce the highest image quality, without adding noise to the picture. Some older Nikon DSLRs and a number of other modern cameras such as the Fuji X-T2 have a base ISO of 200, whereas most modern Nikon and Canon digital cameras have a base ISO of 100. So, optimally, you should always try to stick to the base ISO to get the highest image quality. However, it is not always possible to do so, especially when working in low-light conditions.
Typically, ISO numbers start from 100-200 (Base ISO) and increment in value in geometric progression (power of two). So, the ISO sequence is: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and etc. The important thing to understand, is that each step between the numbers effectively doubles the sensitivity of the sensor. So, ISO 200 is twice more sensitive than ISO 100, while ISO 400 is twice more sensitive than ISO 200. This makes ISO 400 four times more sensitive to light than ISO 100, and ISO 1600 sixteen times more sensitive to light than ISO 100, so on and so forth. What does it mean when a sensor is sixteen times more sensitive to light? It means that it needs sixteen times less time to capture an image!
ISO Speed Example:
ISO 100 – 1 second
ISO 200 – 1/2 of a second
ISO 400 – 1/4 of a second
ISO 800 – 1/8 of a second
ISO 1600 – 1/15 of a second
ISO 3200 – 1/30 of a second
In the above ISO Speed Example, if your camera sensor needed exactly 1 second to capture a scene at ISO 100, simply by switching to ISO 3200, you can capture the same scene at 1/30th of a second! That can mean a world of difference in photography, since it can help to avoid camera shake or motion blur.
Take a look at this picture:
NIKON D700 @ 420mm, ISO 800, 1/2000, f/5.6
These Black Skimmers at 1/2000th of a second at ISO 800. So my camera sensor needed 1/2000th of a second to fully freeze the birds while they were in flight. Now what would have happened if I had ISO 100 on my camera instead? My sensor would have needed 8 times more time to capture the same scene, which is 1/250th of a second. At that speed, I would have introduced motion blur into my picture, because the birds were moving faster than that. In short, I would have ruined the picture.
2) When to Use Low ISO
As I have said above, you should always try to stick to the lowest ISO (base ISO) of your camera, which is typically ISO 100 or 200, whenever possible. When there is plenty of light, you should use the lowest ISO to retain the most amount of detail and to have the highest image quality. There are some cases where you might want to use low ISO in dim or dark environments – for example, if you have your camera mounted on a tripod or sitting on a flat, non-moving surface. In that case, bear in mind that your camera will most likely need more time to capture the scene and anything that is moving is probably going to look like a ghost:
3) When to Increase ISO
You should increase the ISO when there is not enough light for the camera to be able to quickly capture an image. Anytime I shoot indoors without a flash, I set my ISO to a higher number to be able to capture the moment without introducing blur to the image. Another case where you might want to increase ISO is when you need to get ultra-fast shots, like the bird picture I posted above. Before increasing the ISO though, you should first decide if it is OK for you to introduce some noise to the image. Remember, the bigger the ISO number, the more noise you will see in your images.
On many of the newer cameras, there is a setting for “Auto ISO“, which works great in low-light environments. The beauty of this setting, is that you can set maximum ISO to a certain limit, so when ISO is automatically increased based on the amount of ambient light, it does not cross the set limit. So, if I want to limit the amount of grain in my pictures, I typically set maximum ISO to something like 800 or 1600 on most entry-level cameras and I can push that number even higher on higher-end full-frame cameras.
Many photographers leave UV filters on their lenses more-or-less permanently. Many others do not. Who is correct? Should you invest to buy UV filters (or clear protective filters) for all your lenses?
This question is highly controversial amongst photographers . The only thing we can say for sure is that there is no definitive right answer. Lets analyse this in below updates.
We assume that the UV filter being used is of similar optical quality to the lens elements themselves. This is generally true for the best multi-coated filters from good manufacturers, but may not be true for the cheaper filters.
The filter blocks UV light and removes the blue cast from images taken in very bright sunny conditions
This argument is almost completely spurious for modern digital cameras. With old film cameras it was often necessary to use a UV filter because film is extremely sensitive to UV light. However, digital sensors are generally rather insensitive to UV, so the problem doesn’t arise to anything like the same extent.
Having said that, we have seen some evidence that for certain lenses a UV filter can reduce the purple fringing caused by longitudinal chromatic aberration. The purple fringing of longitudinal chromatic aberration only occurs in particular circumstances and is not to be confused with the much more common coloured fringing caused by lateral chromatic aberration (most noticeable in the corners of the frame).
My personal opinion is that these effects are almost always insignificant and do not provide a good enough reason for using UV filters on a regular basis with digital cameras.
The filter provides protection for the lens
There are two types of protection to consider.
Firstly, protection against damage caused by rough handling or dropping the lens/camera – We doubt if anyone has done a proper scientific study of this, but personal experience suggests that a mishap that damages the filter will probably also damage the lens. We have seen no good evidence that the presence of a filter significantly reduces the chances of seriously damaging the lens.
Secondly, protection against dust, dirt, smears and scratches on the front element of the lens – The presence of a filter on the lens certainly protects the front element, as the dust, dirt, smears and scratches get on the filter instead. Which is preferable?
The filter is flat and easily removed, which makes it much easier to clean. Also, if it does get scratched, or gets so dirty that it is too difficult to clean thoroughly, then it typically costs much less to replace than the lens.
this is partially right theory as you can remove the filter easily and clean it, then clean the glass surface of the lens.
The filter causes a loss of image quality
This is true in theory (except possibly in those rare cases of lenses that have been specially designed for use with a filter). However, the loss of image quality is likely to be very small in practice and so the real question becomes: Is the loss of image quality significant to me?
In trying to answer this, there are several different aspects of image quality that need to be considered:
Flare and ghost images
When we use the term flare to mean an overall veiling of the image (or parts of the image) due to stray light, while ghost images are secondary images of very bright light sources, usually badly out of focus and sometimes showing extreme coma, astigmatism and chromatic aberration as well.
Both flare and ghost images are caused by unwanted reflections or scattering from the various exposed surfaces within the lens and camera body. The glass surfaces of all the lens elements will contribute, as will the glass surfaces of the filter. Typical modern lenses contain up to 15 or more elements, and the addition of one more element (the filter) is not likely to make much difference in most practical circumstances.
We have never seen any convincing evidence that the presence of a good quality filter increases flare to any noticeable extent with ordinary camera lenses.
However, there is a particular circumstance in which the presence of a filter may cause noticeable ghost images. With some lenses, when used at full aperture (or nearly so), light reflected from the sensor back through the lens may be reflected from the rear surface of the filter back into the camera producing a ghost image on the opposite side of the optical axis. Ghost images of very bright lights are often visible in night shots taken with a very fast lens at full aperture if a filter (any filter, the type is irrelevant) is being used.
Although much fainter than the primary images, they can be very noticeable as they will be in focus if the lens is focussed at infinity and the lights causing them are in focus. These ghost images will disappear if the filter is removed, or if the aperture is reduced sufficiently (i.e. the F-number is increased).
Loss of light
We have never seen any convincing evidence that a good quality UV filter causes noticeable loss of light through the lens. Indeed, that would not be expected as the filter is just one additional glass element and most modern lenses already have at least 7 elements and often twice that number or even more.
Loss of resolution
Again, we have never seen any evidence that this is significant for a good quality filter on normal camera lenses. Good quality filters should have optically flat surfaces that do not disturb the direction of the light rays passing through the filter. If there is any slight variation from optical flatness (as may occur with a very cheap filter), the effect will be most noticeable with extreme telephoto lenses because of their magnifying effect.
Our evaluation of the evidence is that there is no really compelling evidence either to use a filter or not, except in a very few situations when it is better not to use a filter to avoid in-focus ghost images.
The effect of a dirty lens (or filter)
This only occurs in extreme lighting conditions such as when the sun is shining brightly and is within the image frame, or very close to it. Under such circumstances, light scattered by dust particles on the front element of the lens or on the filter can significantly increase the stray light falling on the image.
It’s generally not worth worrying about a little dust on the lens (or filter). In normal circumstances dust on the front element has no visible effect at all. But, if you are shooting into a bright sun or other very bright lights, then it is a good idea to clean your lens (and filter) first.