Posts Tagged ‘mode’

Program Mode: Everything You Need to Know (Ultimate Guide)

31 Aug

The post Program Mode: Everything You Need to Know (Ultimate Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

Program mode: everything you need to know (ultimate guide)

What is Program mode on your camera, and when should you use it?

Program mode is one of those “odd one out” camera settings – one that most folks never try because they simply don’t understand how it can help their photography.

Yet once you get the hang of it, Program mode is actually pretty darn useful. That’s why, in this article, I aim to share everything you need to know about this mode, including:

  • What it actually is
  • How it works
  • How to use it for great results

So if you’re ready to become a Program mode master, then let’s get started.

people sitting at a table in a restaurant; photographed with Program mode

What is Program mode?

The camera mode dial operates on something of a continuum. On one end, you have Manual mode, which gives you complete control over the three elements of exposure: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. On the other end, you have Auto mode, which gives you almost no control over exposure.

camera mode continuum Program mode Auto mode Manual mode

As you can see in the diagram above, other modes exist in the middle of the spectrum. These modes – Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Program mode – give you some degree of control, but your camera does significant work, as well. For instance, Aperture Priority lets you control the aperture and ISO while the camera determines the proper shutter speed for a good exposure.

So what about Program mode? What does it do?

Program mode exists somewhere between Aperture/Shutter Priority and Auto mode, and it works like this:

You set the ISO, while your camera sets the aperture and shutter speed.

(Remember: The ISO refers to the sensitivity of your camera sensor, the aperture refers to the lens diaphragm size, and the shutter speed refers to the length of time the shutter captures light.)

Program mode also gives you control over other camera features, such as exposure compensation, but I’ll discuss that in a later section. For now, just remember that Program mode gives you ISO control, but leaves the aperture and shutter speed up to your camera.

(In fact, Program mode is sometimes referred to as “ISO Priority.”)

When is Program mode useful?

While Program mode isn’t nearly as popular as Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority, it can make a big difference to your photography – you just have to know when to use it.

In essence, Program mode works best when you care about the ISO, but you don’t care about the shutter speed and the aperture. This is either because you know that your camera will automatically give sufficient shutter speed and aperture values or because these settings won’t affect the final result in a meaningful way.

So if you’re shooting outdoors and you want to produce minimal noise in your photos, you might select Program mode, dial in a low ISO, and then let your camera do the rest.

squirrel photographed in Program mode

I shot this using Program mode, which let me tweak my exposure settings on the fly.

Or if you’re photographing under powerful artificial lights, you might tell your camera to keep the ISO low, then trust it to nail the remaining exposure variables.

Bottom line:

If all you want to do is adjust the ISO, you’re set. Put your camera in Program mode, change the ISO, and focus on composing and framing your shots rather than thinking about the aperture, shutter speed, and overall exposure.

But that’s not Program mode’s only use. You see, Program mode is also a great transition mode. If you’re aiming to improve your photography skills but you’re still stuck on Auto mode, you might try leveling up to Program mode; you can then use it as a stepping stone to Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and beyond.

Program mode: beyond the basics

At this point, you should be comfortable with the Program mode basics: You set the ISO, and your camera does the rest.

But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find more useful features to unlock. Many of these can help you get the shot you want, instead of the shot your camera thinks you want. In this way, Program mode is like the late-night infomercial version of Auto; it handles all the nitty-gritty complicated stuff for you, but ends with a, “Wait, there’s more!”

First, Program mode allows you to use exposure compensation to correct any exposure mistakes. By adjusting the exposure compensation in one direction, you can force your camera to take brighter images, and by adjusting it in the other direction, you’ll get the reverse.

Say you take a photo of snow and it turns out too dark. With a little exposure compensation, you can bring back the snow’s natural brightness (note that you can’t do that in Auto mode).

And you can adjust plenty of other camera settings while in Program mode, including white balance, metering mode (full/center/spot), point of focus, and whether your camera should use its flash.

(Contrast this with Auto mode, and you should start to see the usefulness of the humble little “P” marker on your camera’s mode dial.)

Of course, Program mode isn’t always the way to go. Sometimes, you’ll want to independently adjust your shutter speed or your aperture, in which case one of the Priority options, or even Manual mode, is the right choice.

But when ISO is all that matters, give Program mode a try.

microphone in Program mode

Shooting in Program mode gave me a good overall exposure, but I didn’t like how the microphone was so dark.

microphone program mode

I switched to spot metering, retook the shot, and got what I wanted. Program allows for this flexibility, whereas Auto does not!

Program mode: final words

Program mode is a handy little option, even if it’s often eclipsed by Manual, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority.

So the next time you don’t want to give up all control over your camera but also don’t want to do everything yourself, consider Program mode. You might ask yourself, “Do I need to adjust the aperture? And do I need to adjust the shutter speed?”

If the answer is “No,” then Program mode is probably your best option!

Now over to you:

Do you use Program mode? Do you plan to start using it? Why or why not? What do you think of it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Program mode person with camera

The post Program Mode: Everything You Need to Know (Ultimate Guide) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Ringsmuth.

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Halide camera app comes to iPad with revamped interface, ‘Pro Mode’ and more

18 May

Lux, the team behind the popular iOS camera apps Halide and Spectre, has announced a major update to Halide that adds support for Apple’s iPad tablets.

The Halide experience on the iPad will be familiar to those who have used the iPhone version thanks to a similar design language, but the interface has been redesigned from the ground up to make to a more streamlined shooting experience on the larger display.

As a whole, the interface is more spread out across the edges of the display and Lux’s custom typeface is now bolder for easier viewing. Lux even took into account the radius of the iPad screen’s corners so they could match the radius of the buttons to neatly nest into the interface for minimal distraction. To minimize the need to reach across the screen when changing settings, Lux has included what it calls an ‘expandable honeycomb’ next to the shutter button that brings up the most commonly needed settings and tools

Since iPads tend to be more two-handed devices, Lux has also added a feature that will ‘flip’ the interface so it’s left-hand oriented for the southpaws out there.

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Lux has also addressed the issue of the iPad’s unusual aspect ratio that can sometimes make for a confusing experience when shooting. It’s called ‘Pro View,’ and what it does is shrink the liveview display into the center of the screen so it’s easier to see the entire scene and compose a shot. Doing this also adds extra space on the display to more prominently display the histogram, waveform, manual focus and other pro features, ensuring nothing overlaps with the liveview. Pro View can be toggled on and off in the bottom left-hand corner of the interface (bottom right-hand if you’ve flipped the interface).

The iPhone version of Halide has also been updated with bug fixes and other improvements, including a few UI changes inspired by the iPad update.

You can download Halide for free in the iOS App Store. An in-app purchase will unlock additional features for $ 1.99 per month or $ 9.99 per year.

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In Praise of Program Mode: Why Program Mode is Great for Beginners

14 Jan

The post In Praise of Program Mode: Why Program Mode is Great for Beginners appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Rick Ohnsman.

working with Program mode

Here’s a myth: Being able to shoot in Manual mode is the mark of a professional photographer.

I frequently see articles and beginner photography workshops with titles like Get Off of Automatic Mode. If these instructors don’t promote Manual mode shooting, they will at least tell you that “real” photographers favor Aperture Priority mode. Working with Program mode? They will roll their eyes and joke that maybe you thought the “P” on the mode dial meant “Professional.”

Working with Program mode - I used it then, and I still use it now.
The image of the Blue Angels (left) was taken with one of the first DSLRs Canon produced, the D30. I made the shot many years ago with the only mode I used at the time: Program mode. The Cooper’s Hawk shot (right) was made just a few weeks ago, also with Program mode.

Sure, as you grow as a photographer, you will ultimately want to understand which camera shooting mode might be the best for each situation. But knowing how to drive a manual transmission vehicle will not instantly make you a racecar driver, and knowing how to shoot in Manual mode is not a shortcut to being a great photographer.

car with motion blur
My first car was a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle, and it looked just like this model. Learning to drive a manual transmission as a new driver was a bit like immediately trying to use Manual mode as a new photographer – challenging!

I will date myself here, but when I learned to drive, a 1964 manual transmission Volkswagen Beetle was my first car. Learning to operate the gas, brake, clutch, and gearshift was an “interesting” introduction to driving.

My first camera was an East German Hanimex Practika Nova 1B. That was in the early ’70s. It had no mode dial, no autofocus, and since ISO was controlled by whatever film you used, the only exposure controls were a manual aperture ring on the lens and a shutter speed dial on the top of the camera. Even the exposure meter was not a TTL (through-the-lens) type, but a crude averaging meter that was just above the lens mount.

Hanimex Praktica Nova 1B - My first SLR camera.
My first SLR camera, used back in the early ’70s, was a Hanimex Praktica Nova 1B. It offered no autofocus, no TTL metering, a dial to set the shutter speed, and a ring on the lens to set the aperture. The film determined the ISO (then ASA).

With both the car and the camera, I had to handle all the controls myself. Did the VW make me a better driver? Did the Praktika make me a better photographer? No, and both caused far more frustration as a beginner than if I had started in a car with an automatic transmission and I had started photography with a fully automatic DSLR.

So that’s my point here:

Why you make a photo – choosing to communicate your vision with an image and then using the camera as a machine to capture it – is far more important than how you shoot a photo or what mode you use. If some help from modern automation makes it easier to get there, especially as a beginner, go for it.

Why get whiplash learning to feather the clutch (or as I once did, roll back into the car behind you when at a stop sign at the top of a San Francisco hill) when, as a new driver, you could have an automatic transmission?

Working with Program Mode when doing portraits.
I did a lot of portraits of friends, family, senior photos, and even weddings with some of my DSLRs. I would often use Program mode and a little fill light from the pop-up flash. This typically worked just fine, especially for a new photographer.

Program mode – yes, the “P” setting on your mode dial – is what I would term the “semi-automatic” mode on your camera. Unlike the green, fully-automatic mode where you simply “point-and-shoot” and the camera makes all the decisions, Program mode frees you to override the settings if you so choose.

Let’s use an example to explain how Program mode might work in a given situation.

Program mode: The “semi-automatic” setting

Back in the 35mm film days, you would often choose the film you used based on the shooting conditions you planned to work in.

ISO (or before that, ASA or DIN) was a function of the film. ASA speeds of common film types might be 25, 64, 125, 200, 400, and maybe up to 800. You could go a little higher with special processing. The rub was that, whatever film type you chose, you worked with the same ASA for the entire roll (be it 12, 24, or 36 exposures).

Many film rolls
With film, you had to stick with the same ISO (ASA) for the entire roll.

Working with Program mode can be a little like shooting film – in that the first thing you will do is pick your ISO setting.

This could be ISO 100 for good outdoor light, maybe ISO 200 or 400 for lower lighting conditions, ISO 800 or higher for dim conditions (or perhaps for when you will be shooting action and need to be able to use short exposure times).

Some have called Program mode “ISO Priority,” because once you choose the ISO, it will be the setting that will stay set, even as the shutter speed and aperture change. (Of course, the big difference from film is that you can change the ISO from shot to shot if you so choose).

So you start by setting your ISO.

Then, unless you have a special reason not to, I suggest you use the averaging metering modes: Evaluative on Canon, Matrix on Nikon. These will consider the entire image and calculate the exposure.

If your camera is set to Program mode, you will now see that it has selected both aperture and shutter speed settings. Depending on the available light, these will usually be toward the middle of the settings range – perhaps something like 1/125th of a second, f/5.6, and ISO 100. You may want to change these, and we’ll get into that in a minute, but if not, you’re good to go. Nail focus and take the shot.

You can shoot all day like this, the camera pretty much working as a point-and-shoot machine. As a beginner, rather than puzzle over what your settings should be for each shot, you can concentrate on more important things – chiefly composition – and let the camera figure out the exposure. Take away the clutch and the gearshift and driving is so much easier, right?

Creative control

The one thing you relinquish when you allow the camera to make exposure setting decisions is creative control. We may go a long way with artificial intelligence, but soulless computers or robots, while able to nail exposure, get perfect focus every time, and maybe even edit the shot afterward, will never be able to make true art.

Two concepts to understand as a beginning photographer are how aperture and shutter speed controls not only the exposure, but also the depth of field and the freezing/blurring of motion. If you have not fully grasped those creative concepts, I encourage you to spend time learning the relationship between aperture and depth of field, as well as the relationship between shutter speed and motion capture.

Working with Program mode will almost always get you a correct exposure, but you will also need to understand when you want to override the suggested settings to get the creative look you seek.

Some examples

Let’s break down how you might work in Program mode for different interpretations of the same subject.

  1. It’s an overcast day, so you set the ISO to 800.
  2. Your camera is in Program mode and it suggests an exposure.
  3. You decide you want a deeper depth of field, so you set the aperture to f/22. (Aperture can typically be changed with one dial and the shutter speed with another. Note that when you change one setting, the other setting automatically changes to maintain proper exposure.)
  4. Your settings are now ISO 800, 1/20s, and f/22. (Note that you’ll need to be on a tripod with a 1/20s shutter speed.)
  5. You focus, then take the shot.
smaller aperture setting

You take a look and decide it might be better to isolate the foreground leaves with a shallow depth of field. Still in Program mode, you roll one of your dials to put the aperture at f/4. Your camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed to 1/640th of a second to maintain proper exposure. You take another shot.

larger aperture setting

Easy, huh? The ISO stayed locked in at 800, and as you adjusted the aperture, the shutter speed adjusted itself.

Suppose now you want to see the effect of shutter speed on a moving object. Still in Program mode, you leave the ISO at 800. To freeze the droplets of a fountain, you roll the dial to get a 1/1600th of a second shutter speed. You take the shot.

aperture comparison
Note how the top shot, taken at 1/50s, has more blurred water drops and how the tree is sharper at f/22. The bottom image, taken at 1/1600s, better freezes the water – but at f/4, the depth of field is smaller.

Now, what if you want to get a little motion blur on those drops? Roll the dial to set a slower shutter speed of 1/50th of a second. The aperture automatically adjusts.

Exposure compensation is also possible should you need to make your images a little lighter or darker.

I mentioned earlier that you could lock in your ISO when working with Program mode. Depending on your camera, you might also let the ISO automatically adjust as light conditions change. Try Auto ISO in combination with Program mode and see how it works for you.

Then make the leap

Program mode can help you get good exposures. And if you pay attention to the settings it chooses, you’ll begin to understand the relationship between aperture, depth of field, shutter speed, and motion capture. Program mode can also give you a good jumping-off point to work with a mode such as Aperture Priority.

Say that after making a shot in Program mode, you see the camera chose f/11 as the aperture, and you like the amount of depth of field that resulted. You can then switch over to Aperture Priority mode (Av on Canon, A on Nikon), dial in an f/11 aperture, and start shooting. The camera will stay locked at f/11 while adjusting the shutter speed for various lighting conditions.

The same goes for shutter speed. If your Program mode shot shows a nice amount of motion blur at 1/5th of a second and you want to make subsequent images with that amount of blur, switch to Shutter Priority mode (Tv on Canon, S on Nikon), dial in 1/5th of a second, and shoot away.

The camera will stay locked on the shutter speed you chose and alter the aperture as needed.

aperture/depth of field comparison
In the left photo, the focus is on the tree trunk at the right edge. At f/22, there’s a good amount of depth of field. In Program mode, roll the dial to take the f-stop to f/4 for less depth of field. The camera automatically compensates, putting the shutter speed at 1/160s. The exposure stays identical.

Back to the safe spot

If you play around enough with settings, you may eventually mess things up to where you reach a bad exposure or become totally confused about why things are not working for you. That’s when Program mode comes to the rescue.

Working with Program Mode will very often get the job done and is a good option for the new photographer.
These were some of the first images I made when I got my Canon 10D years ago. Program mode was all I knew, but it got the job done. Don’t think you have to immediately learn to shoot in Manual mode to make nice shots.

Put the camera in Program mode, put the ISO back to a setting appropriate for your lighting situation (ISO 200 might be a good starting point), and it’ll be like hitting the reset button: you’ll be back to letting the camera choose exposure settings.

If you find Auto ISO works well, try that, too. The idea is to have a setup you can always turn to if you get confused (one that you can rely on to make good exposures consistently if needed).

exploring depth of field with leaves in grass
It’s easy to explore the relationship between aperture and depth of field while in Program mode. This series starts at f/4 on the left, before a roll of the dial took the aperture to f/8 (middle), and then to f/22 on the right. The camera did all the exposure calculations. As simple as one, two, three!

Regardless of what mode I choose to shoot in, even Manual, I always put the dial back to Program mode before turning off the camera and putting it back in my bag. Then, if that once-in-a-lifetime shot presents itself and I must grab the camera, quickly power up, and shoot, I can be assured I will get a reasonably well-exposed shot.

I hope you will not take this article to mean you shouldn’t learn to shoot in Aperture Priority mode or Manual mode, because it’s true that a great number of professionals use these settings. But if you are new to photography and are confronted with more information than you can immediately absorb, working in Program mode might just be the helping hand you need.

leaves and beach photos
Working in Program mode will free you to concentrate on composition while letting the camera figure out exposure.

Concentrate first on learning good composition. And make sure your images are well-focused, because blurry shots are impossible to fix in editing.

For now, let your camera help you with exposure until you begin to wrap your head around all there is to know. Even if you are a more experienced photographer, you might occasionally find that turning the mode dial and working in Program mode is the right choice for a given situation.

Mode doesn’t matter

monochrome images
Make a nice shot and no one is going to ask what camera mode you used.

People don’t usually ask what kind of paint, brushes, or canvas Leonardo da Vinci used when he painted the Mona Lisa. And when you make a great shot, no one should care what camera mode you used, what your settings were, or even what camera and lens you used.

Conversely, when your shot is poorly composed, doesn’t have an easily identifiable subject, or just doesn’t speak to the viewer, it doesn’t matter how masterful you might be in Manual mode or if you have the best camera money can buy.

Determine why you want to make a particular photo, find your vision, know what it is you want to communicate, and then use the machine that is your camera to produce that image. If working in Program mode gets you to that result, it’s a perfect choice.

Best wishes for great photos!

What do you think about Program mode? Have you ever used it? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post In Praise of Program Mode: Why Program Mode is Great for Beginners appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Rick Ohnsman.

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How to Avoid Blurry Photos by Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode

05 Jan

The post How to Avoid Blurry Photos by Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Lynford Morton.

autofocus mode

Sometimes the light is perfect, the moment is right, but when you get home, you find that your photo is blurry. Arrgh!

Why are your pictures blurry? One obvious reason is that your camera isn’t focused properly.

You see, while today’s cameras and lenses can help you quickly take sharp images in a wide variety of situations, you must first choose the right autofocus mode.

So here are some questions to help you diagnose any blurry-photo situations – so you can choose the correct autofocus settings, consistently!

autofocus modes

Are you using the auto-area autofocus mode or the single-point autofocus mode?

Who gets to decide your focus points?

That’s what you’re deciding when you choose between the auto-area AF mode versus the single-point AF mode.

With an auto-area autofocus mode, your camera decides what it should use as your focal point. It usually decides based on what looks most prominent in the viewfinder or is closest to the camera.

Is this a bad thing?

Well, it can work if your subject is obvious and there are no potential distractions. But what do you do when you’re trying to focus on a smaller subject within the frame?

For more control, you choose a single point autofocus setting.

The single-point mode allows you to choose your specific autofocus point (check your camera’s manual if you aren’t sure how to do this).

After all, only you, not your camera, know where your subject is – and where you want to position it within your composition.

(Also, note that your camera offers several additional AF area modes – but it’s a good idea to start by choosing between the auto-area mode and the single-point mode.)

Is your subject moving?

Most DSLR cameras give you four basic options for autofocus settings: single, continuous, auto, and manual.

To help you choose the right option, ask yourself, “Is my subject moving?”

Then, based on your answer, read the relevant advice below:

No, my subject is not moving

purple orchid close-up

If your subject is not moving, choose “AF-S” on your camera (though this mode is referred to as “One Shot” on Canon cameras).

AF-S acquires and locks the focus as soon as you half-press the shutter button. If your subject stays at the exact same distance from the camera, your photo will be in focus (and you’ll be able to keep taking photos and can expect them to be in focus, too). If your subject moves, then your photos will be blurry.

In other words:

Your subject has to be stationary for AF-S to work. In fact, the shutter won’t fire if your subject is moving and your lens can’t acquire focus.

AF-S also allows you to recompose. Let’s say the autofocus point is in the center of the frame, but you want your subject positioned close to the edge. As long as you maintain a half-press on your shutter button, the focus will remain sharp on your subject.

Then you can move the camera slightly left or right, positioning your subject away from the center of the frame.

Yes, my subject is moving

tricolored heron

If your subject is moving, use continuous autofocus (“AF-C” on most cameras, though Canon calls it “AI Servo”).

With this mode, you can place your autofocus point over your subject, and the focus continues to adjust while you press the shutter button. This keeps your subject in focus as it moves.

For example, if someone is riding a bicycle, you can place the AF point on your subject and half-press the shutter button. As long as you’re half-pressing the shutter, the autofocus will adjust continuously, keeping your subject in focus as they move.

When you’re ready to take the photo, depress the shutter completely, and the camera will fire a sharp, in-focus image.

No, my subject isn’t moving, but it might

dog playing in the grass autofocus mode

A third option merges the functionality of the single autofocus and continuous autofocus modes. This hybrid mode (“AF-A” for Nikon or “AI Focus” for Canon) works differently depending on your camera.

However, AF-A always involves some sort of automatic switching between AF-S and AF-C modes, based on whether your camera perceives a moving subject or an unmoving subject.

With AF-A activated, you can focus on an unmoving subject exactly as if you are working in AF-S. But as soon as the subject moves, your camera will switch to AF-C and begin tracking.

Make sense?

For some photographers, this is the best of both worlds and allows you to deal with erratic subjects that repeatedly move and then stop suddenly (i.e., birds). However, you’ll often lose the ability to focus and recompose, because your camera may attempt to refocus based on the position of its autofocus point – so make sure to bear that in mind.

My autofocus just isn’t getting it right

You always have the option of turning off the autofocus function and choosing the manual focus setting.

When should you do this?

Well, if your camera is having trouble detecting your focus point, it might be more efficient to focus the camera yourself.

Note that you can turn off your autofocus on accident. So every now and then, when your camera can’t seem to focus, and you don’t hear the motor searching back and forth, check to see if you selected manual focus without meaning to. This can happen more frequently than you might think!

Other issues to consider

What if you set up your autofocus properly and the lens still won’t focus?

I’d recommend you consider these solutions:

  • You might be too close. Try backing away. If you are too near your subject, the camera may not be able to focus properly.
  • Your subject might not have enough contrast. Your image needs to have some contrast for most autofocus systems to work. If you try to photograph a solid sheet of white or any single-colored wall, most autofocus systems will struggle. Why? Cameras use differences in colors and tones to determine their focus. If a camera can’t find any contrast, it can’t focus.
  • You might have an extremely shallow depth of field. In this case, your autofocus is working, but the depth of field is so shallow, it’s hard to tell that your subject is in focus.
  • You have camera shake. When you depress the shutter, you move the camera. If the shutter speed is too slow, the camera picks up that movement, and it gives you a blurry photo. Make sure your shutter speed is faster than the equivalent of your focal length. For instance, if you are zoomed out to 100mm, your shutter speed should be 1/100s or faster to avoid camera shake.
  • You have motion blur. If your subject is moving quickly and your shutter speed is too slow, the photo will end up blurry – so make sure you’re using a fast-enough shutter speed to freeze all motion in the scene.

Choosing the right autofocus mode: Conclusion

Why are your pictures blurry?

If the answer is related to your autofocus mode, your fix could be as simple as choosing the right settings.

And to prevent any future blurry photos, make sure you use the process I’ve laid out above.

Do you have any other autofocus tips or tricks you’d like to share? Please do so in the comments below!

The post How to Avoid Blurry Photos by Choosing the Right Autofocus Mode appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Lynford Morton.

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Fujifilm adds a 400MP capture mode to its GFX 100 camera with 3.00 firmware update

26 Nov

Fujifilm has announced a firmware update for its GFX 100 camera that adds Pixel Shift and Multi-Shot functions to its flagship camera, which work alongside Fujifilm’s new Pixel Shift Combiner software to stitch together up to 16 Raw photographs into a single 400MP Raw image.

The new 400MP image capture mode in firmware version 3.00 combines the capabilities of the GFX 100’s 102MP sensor, its in-body image stabilization and the X Processor 4 inside. To achieve this level of resolution, the GFX 100 will first capture a the base shot, before shifting the sensor one pixel left, right and down for a total of four images. The camera will then repeat this process with each of these four images for a total of 16 Raw photographs.

This method ensures each pixel records image data in red, green and blue, which helps to increase color reproduction accuracy with minimal false color. To get the final result, users will need to rely on Fujifilm’s new Pixel Shift Combiner software, which will automatically stitch all 16 Raw images together to create a single 400MP Raw image (DNG), which can then be edited in the program of your choosing.

The high color accuracy and resolution make this an obvious choice for digital archiving and art preservation, but also for commercial photographers who need resolution and accuracy, as showcased with this image of the one-off Koenigsegg Agera RS ‘Draken’ from Dan Kang:

This first image is the standard image as captured by the GFX 100:

The full-resolution version of this image came in at 51.5MB

This second image is a 100% crop of a photo captured with the new 400MP Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode:

The full-resolution version of this image came in at 204.9MB

Firmware version 3.00 for the Fujifilm GFX 100 also addresses a few smaller changes. Now, when rating images captured in the [JPEG + Raw] mode, both the JPEG and Raw file will keep the rating. Fujifilm has also fixed an issue that caused its EF-X500 to incorrectly fire other flash groups when using it as a commander in multi-flash scenarios. Eye AF performance has also been improved and a number of smaller bugs have been addressed as well.

You can download firmware version 3.00 for the GFX 100 as well as the new Pixel Shift Combiner program (macOS and Windows) on Fujifilm’s website.

Image credit: Photographs used with permission from Koenigsegg and Dan Kang.

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Google Photos Android app gets update with Portrait Light mode, one-tap editing and UI overhaul

01 Oct

Google has released an updated version of the Google Photos app for Android, bringing with it a few new features, including an after-capture Portrait Light mode, a one-tap editing feature and a slightly revamped editing interface.

As Google briefly demonstrated during yesterday’s Pixel 5 event, the new Portrait Light mode will edit the image to appear as though there’s light coming from a light source not actually in the image. While limited to Google’s new Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 devices for the time being, this feature lets you apply ‘lighting’ in post-production by editing the image to appear as though it’s coming from a specific direction.

As noted by PetaPixel, it’s possible this new adjustable lighting technology is derived from a research project Google participated in back in 2019. Google says this feature will be coming to other Pixel devices, but doesn’t specify which ones or a definitive timeframe.

Also included in this Google Photos update is a one-tap editing feature that uses ‘machine learning to give you suggestions that are tailored to the specific photo you’re editing.’ In its current form, only three suggestions are available: Black and White, color Pop and Enhance, but Google says more options for landscapes, portraits and more will be available ‘in the coming months.’

Google has also changed the user interface (UI) of the manual editing tools. There’s now a scrollable toolbar at the bottom with round buttons and icons, akin to the interface of Apple’s Photo app, VSCO and others. This updated interface, in theory, makes it easier to quickly find the settings you need and make the appropriate adjustments.

This update will go live in the Google Play Store this week. If you don’t already have the Google Photos app, you can download it for free; if you do, be sure to keep an eye out for updates. Google hasn’t specified whether or not we’ll see these new features and redesign make their way to the iOS version of the app.

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6 Things to Learn After Manual Mode

31 Jul

Now that you know how your camera manual mode works, and you are in control of what it is doing when you take a picture, what’s next? Our brain likes the process of constantly learning something new. That’s why we network with other people, visit conferences, read books and articles, travel, scroll social media feeds, and so on. There are Continue Reading

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What is Burst Mode and How Can it Benefit Your Photography?

30 Jul

The post What is Burst Mode and How Can it Benefit Your Photography? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

When it comes to photography, timing can be everything. Whether you are photographing a high-speed car or a static landscape, knowing when to press the shutter button is all-important. But the average human reaction time to a visual stimulus is 0.25 seconds, making photographs of brief opportunities somewhat difficult. Fortunately, when frantically depressing the shutter button just doesn’t cut it, there’s burst mode.

Let’s take a speedy look at burst mode, and how it can benefit your photography.

burst mode photography 737
Burst mode is great for capturing fast-moving subjects. 1/250s | f/9 | ISO 160

What is burst mode?

Burst mode is also known as continuous shooting mode or continuous high-speed mode. It’s a camera function that allows you to make a series of photographs in quick succession. With burst mode activated, a photographer can hold the shutter button down and the camera will take multiple photographs, minimizing the interval between shots.

burst mode photography cockatoo
I used burst mode to capture this moment of a cockatoo eating grass seed. 1/8000s | f/5.6 | ISO 500

When is burst mode used?

Burst mode can be used at any time, but it’s especially useful for fast-moving subjects and fleeting opportunities. Burst mode records moments much faster than capturing an event manually frame-by-frame. This increases the chance of making successful photographs of short-lived moments.

What is Burst Mode and How Can it Benefit Your Photography?
Handholding with extension tubes can be tricky. Using burst mode is one way to increase the ratio of sharp macro images. 1/100s | f/6.3 | ISO 100

Burst mode is often viewed as a setting best suited to photographing high-action sports events. But street photographers, for example, may use the mode to anticipate interesting photographic opportunities. Burst mode is also great for macro and wildlife photography and for capturing the nuanced expressions of subjects in portraiture.

How to use burst mode

Activating burst mode can vary depending on the camera. For my Canon 5D Mark II, I activate continuous shooting by pressing the dedicated AF•DRIVE button on my camera and selecting continuous shooting on the main screen with the quick control dial. If you aren’t sure how to activate burst mode, consult your manual or have a look online.

burst mode icon on a canon 5D mk II camera
The burst mode icon displayed on a Canon 5D MK II. 1/60s | f/9 | ISO 500

With burst mode engaged, you’ll also need to ensure you set the right focus mode. For burst mode photography, it’s best to shoot in continuous focusing mode. Known as AI Servo on Canon and AF-C on Nikon, continuous focus will constantly track moving objects, helping to maintain sharp focus while burst mode is activated.

Finally, set your camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) accordingly, and you are ready to go! Focus on a subject, depress the shutter button, and the camera will take a burst of images as long as the shutter button is held down (to an extent; see below).

The technical bits of burst mode

There are a few aspects that govern the performance of continuous shooting. The speed of a camera’s burst mode can depend largely on the camera itself. While some cameras operate at two or three frames per second (fps), higher-end cameras can perform at 8+ fps per burst.

In addition, burst mode photographs are saved to a shot buffer before they are transferred to your memory card. The size of the camera’s shot buffer and memory card determines how long you can shoot in burst mode, and the writing speed of any images taken. For example, with a UDMA card, my Canon 5D Mark II can shoot a burst of 310 large JPEG files.

Burst mode bee
Burst mode is good for capturing fleeting moments. 1/160s | f/6.3 | ISO 400

However, if I want to shoot in RAW, the buffer has the capacity for 13 images per burst with a UDMA card. This is important to know when planning a shoot as the requirement for a longer burst will depend on your willingness to shoot in JPEG.

Another option to improve the length of a burst is to change the camera’s frames per second setting. Not all cameras have this option. However, selecting a slower burst mode will maintain your burst for longer, but with a greater interval between each shot.

An additional aspect to keep in mind when using burst mode is battery life. Shooting in burst mode can drain the life of a battery faster than with single-frame shooting. If you plan to use burst mode frequently over the course of a shoot, it could be prudent to take an extra battery or two along with you.


Whether you’re photographing a family portrait with active kids, capturing a flock of birds in flight, or covering a sporting event, burst mode can snap up the moments that could otherwise be missed in single-shooting. By setting your camera to burst mode, you can anticipate events and make a series of exposures without worrying so much about reaction time.

The post What is Burst Mode and How Can it Benefit Your Photography? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Megan Kennedy.

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Fujifilm gives X-A7, X-T200 webcam mode via firmware, bringing X Webcam utility to macOS next month

22 Jun

Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its X-17 and X-T200 camera systems that makes it possible to use the mirrorless cameras as webcams without the need for extra software. Additionally, Fujfiilm has announced its X Webcam program will be launched for macOS next month.

Screenshot of the USB webcam option within the Fujifilm menu system.

Firmware version 1.30 for the X-A7 and version 1.10 for the X-T200 adds the option to use the camera as a webcam when connected to a computer via a USB cable. To access this setting, go into the menu, navigate to ‘Connection Setting,’ enter ‘USB Mode’ and plug in the camera to a computer via USB. Once connected, the camera should appear as a camera option on compatible video conferencing and messaging programs, such as Google Meet, Skype and Zoom.

A collection of screenshots showing how cameras should appear as input options for Zoom, Skype and Google Meet.

Fujifilm says this functionality should work on Windows 10 (x64), macOS 10.14 Mojave and macOS 10.15 Catalina. You can download firmware version 1.30 for the X-A7 and version 1.10 for the X-T200 on Fujifilm’s website.

On the topic of macOS, Fujifilm has also announced announced it’s working on bringing its Fujifilm X Webcam utility to macOS. First launched on PC back in May, the utility will allow macOS users to turn their compatible X and GFX cameras into webcams. Fujifilm says the program will be available in mid-July.

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Leica’s SL2 gets 187MP ‘Multishot’ mode with a new 2.0 firmware update

22 Jun

Leica has released firmware version 2.0 for its SL2 full-frame mirrorless camera bringing with it the much-anticipated ‘Multishot’ mode amongst other features and fixes.

When it was first revealed last November, Leica said its SL2 full-frame L-mount camera would eventually be able to capture 187MP images via a Multishot mode that would appear in a firmware update sometime in 2020. Now, the new feature is here and ready to be put to the test.

When set to Multishot mode the SL2 will combine up to eight images to create a DNG file up to 187MP. To achieve this, the sensor is shifted in half-pixel increments between each of the exposures.

Due to the Multishot mode using sensor-shifting to capture the high-res images, Multishot mode is limited to electronic shutter capture and automatically turns off image stabilization (both BIS and OIS). In addition to the final 187MP image, the SL2 will also save an image at normal resolution (47MP).

Other improvements in firmware version 2.0 include an updated video menu interface, the ability to change the size of the autofocus field using a long tap and a new setting that will automatically rename formatted SD cards to ‘Leica SL2.’ Leica has also addressed a number of bugs including better detection of M lenses when used with an adapter, a fix for artifacts in DNG files when shooting in ‘Continous — Very High Speed’ mode, a fix for the incorrect focus distance values and updates to wireless connectivity that should provide a faster and more stable connection between the camera and connected mobile or desktop devices.

Firmware version 2.0 for the SL2 is free to download on Leica’s website. Installation instructions and further details can also be found on the firmware download page.

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