What is an Anti-Aliasing Filter?

If you’ve followed the ads for the latest cameras, you’ve probably heard the term “anti-aliasing” or “optical low pass” filter tossed around. So what is an anti-aliasing filter and why do many recent cameras seem to be getting rid of them?An anti-aliasing filter (or low pass filter) helps to reduce distortion in fine patterns—you often …

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What is ISO?

Cameras capture moments through light—ISO determines just how light sensitive a camera is. In film, the ISO isn’t a camera setting, but rather the film speed. But what happens when you swap out film for a sensor? What is ISO on a digital camera?The ISO setting on a digital camera (or camcorder) indicates how sensitive …

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What is Aperture?

Light enters the camera through the lens, hits the sensor and—viola!—a digital photograph. But there is a little more to it than that, like controlling how long light comes in (that’s shutter speed), how sensitive the sensor is (that’s ISO), or just how big that opening in the lens is (that’s aperture).Simply put, the aperture …

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How to Use Fill Flash

Lighting a dark place is the primary and most obvious use for a camera flash, but it is certainly not the only one. Fill flash is a quick and easy tool to drastically improve backlit or harsh lighting conditions. It’s a boon for outdoor portraits, where the sun doesn’t always cooperate.What is Fill Flash?The technique …

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How to Use Manual Modes

A camera’s auto and scene settings often result in great shots—but not always. There’s that sports photo that was still too blurred, that portrait that was too dark, and that indoor action shot that was both blurred and dark. Ultimately, for the most image control, you’ll have to leave auto and scene modes behind in …

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Types of Digital Cameras

Choosing a new digital camera can seem rather daunting—there are hundreds of options out there with a wide range of features and an even wider price range. But if you start by narrowing it down to what type of digital camera suits your needs, you’ll narrow down those overwhelming options. Options like size and features …

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What is Shutter Speed?

One of three elements that affect a photograph’s exposure (along with ISO and aperture), shutter speed determines the amount of time that passes while a single image is being taken, or the amount of time that passes while the shutter is open. When the shutter is open, a picture is being taken, when it closes, …

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Getting Acquainted: Auto and Scene Modes (And When to Use Them)

Most of the time, a good digital camera is pretty adept at sensing the lighting conditions and selecting the optimal shooting settings. Auto and the no-flash auto lets the camera do the thinking and the photographer do the snapping, often resulting in clear, well lit photos.There’s just one problem—cameras can’t actually think. On an automatic …

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What Is Image Stabilization?

When it comes to buying a new camera, there are dozens of features to consider—image stabilization is one of them, and it often gets overlooked. Manufacturers use different names like vibration reduction, optical image stabilization and shake reduction, but the bottom line is that image stabilization systems allow you to use your camera handheld at …

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