How to effectively use ISO and white balance

Photographers who use the P, A, S and M shooting modes can control two key image parameters, which are blocked when the auto and scene pre-set modes are used: sensitivity and colour adjustments. These adjustments can influence the appearance of images quite dramatically.

Focusing options in a compact system camera

Most cameras provide two basic focusing options: automatic, which is controlled by the camera and lens; and manual, where adjustments are made by the photographer. Which you use is a matter of personal preference, although many photographers rely on the autofocusing (AF) system and use manual focusing to fine-tune focus in tricky situations. A capable AF system should lock onto subjects quickly and accurately when the shutter button is pressed halfway down.

Crop factors explained

The term ‘crop factor’ arose from a need to help 35mm film SLR photographers understand how their existing lenses would perform on cameras with smaller image sensors than traditional 35mm film.

Shooting tips: best ways to frame your shots

In this article, Photo Review technical editor Margaret Brown offers practical tips and advice on how to use both monitor and viewfinder to frame and evaluate the photos you intend to capture. Margaret uses a compact system camera for illustration in this article, and most of the tips and advice apply also to DSLR cameras.

Shooting Modes

Different cameras provide different levels of control, ranging from very basic to highly sophisticated. More sophisticated cameras have external mode dials, although the functions that can be accessed via these dials can vary between simple and highly automated and professional standard.

How to shoot and edit group portraits

Sooner or later, every photographer is sure to be asked to take a group photo, either at a family get-together or a reunion of friends and/or classmates or colleagues. It’s a daunting prospect and the larger the group you have to photograph – and the more diverse their ages – the more intimidating it can become. Here’s how to handle it and produce a well-admired group portrait…

Focusing and depth of field

Smart autofocusing can mean the difference between a usable image and a missed opportunity that will be discarded. Focusing also influences depth of field: the range of distance within a scene that appears acceptably sharp.

A shot in the dark

Don’t put your camera away once the sun goes down; there’s plenty of magic to record after dark, whether you’re in a bustling city or an isolated landscape. And you don’t require elaborate equipment if you decide to hand-hold your camera.