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Lens Systems

Lesson 6 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

6. Lens Systems

Next Lesson: Shutter Systems


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Welcome to Photography


Camera Types Overview


Viewing Systems


Viewing Systems Q&A


Lens Systems


Shutter Systems


Shutter Speeds


Choosing a Shutter Speed


Shutter Speeds for Handholding


Shutter Speed Pop Quiz


Camera Settings


General Camera Q&A


Sensor Sizes: The Basics


Sensor Sizes: Compared






Sensor Q&A


Focal Length: Overview


Focal Length: Angle of View


Wide Angle Lenses


Telephoto Lenses


Angle of View Q&A


Fish Eye Lenses


Tilt & Shift Lenses


Subject Zone


Lens Speed


Aperture Basics


Depth of Field


Aperture Pop Quiz


Lens Quality


Photo Equipment Life Cycle


Light Meter Basics




Histogram Pop Quiz and Q&A


Dynamic Range


Exposure Modes


Manual Exposure


Sunny 16 Rule


Exposure Bracketing


Exposure Values


Exposure Pop Quiz


Focus Overview


Focusing Systems


Autofocus Controls


Focus Points


Autofocusing on Subjects


Manual Focus


Digital Focusing Assistance


Focus Options: DSLR and Mirrorless


Shutter Speeds for Sharpness and DoF


Depth of Field Pop Quiz


Depth of Field Camera Features


Lens Sharpness


Camera Movement


Handheld and Tripod Focusing


Advanced Techniques


Hyperfocal Distance


Hyperfocal Quiz and Focusing Formula


Micro adjust and AF Fine Tune


Focus Stacking and Post Sharpening


Focus Problem Pop Quiz


The Gadget Bag: Camera Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Lens Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Neutral Density Filter


The Gadget Bag: Lens Hood and Teleconverters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Adapters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Cleaning Supplies


The Gadget Bag: Macro Lenses and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Flash and Lighting


The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Custom Cases


10 Thoughts on Being a Photographer


Direct Sunlight


Indirect Sunlight


Sunrise and Sunset


Cloud Light


Golden Hour


Light Pop Quiz


Light Management


Artificial Light




Off-Camera Flash


Advanced Flash Techniques


Editing Overview


Editing Set-up


Importing Images


Best Use of Files and Folders




Develop: Fixing in Lightroom


Develop: Treating Your Images


Develop: Optimizing in Lightroom


Art of Editing Q&A


Composition Overview


Photographic Intrusions


Mystery and Working the Scene


Point of View


Better Backgrounds


Unique Perspective


Angle of View


Subject Placement


Subject Placement Q&A




Multishot Techniques




Human Vision vs The Camera


Visual Perception


Visual Balance Test


Visual Drama


Elements of Design


The Photographic Process


Working the Shot


The Moment


One Hour Photo - Colby Brown


One Hour Photo - John Keatley


One Hour Photo - Art Wolfe


One Hour Photo - Rocco Ancora


One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen


One Hour Photo - Lisa Carney


One Hour Photo - Ian Shive


One Hour Photo - Sandra Coan


One Hour Photo - Daniel Gregory


One Hour Photo - Scott Robert Lim


Lesson Info

Lens Systems

Alright, it is time to start diving in to the different systems that we can use in photography. There's a lot of different ways to get out there and work with this. So first off, we're gonna talk about fixed lens cameras. These are the little point and shoots, and we're gonna throw in phones, tablets, and all of those sorts of things as a way to shoot pictures and they are a great way to have a really mobile system out there. Now, the other end of the spectrum are interchangeable lens cameras. Cameras that you can take the lens on and off. Now I know, on your phones, and on some of the point and shoots, they have these add-on lenses. And that doesn't mean they're interchangeable lenses on your camera, it just means that you can kinda add on a wide angle adapter for instance. And so we wanted to make sure we separate these two different categories of devices. So, this is where we have to start today, the mobile device, okay this is the thing that we have with us pretty much all the time...

so it's very very handy for shooting photos. And there's a lot of different cameras and we're not gonna get into the specifics of all the different models that are available out there. So clearly the advantage here is the portability, the quality is what I would call Good Enough quality. For most people, most of their needs, this is good enough to share photos on Facebook, even make decent sized prints off of them these days and one of the biggest advantages is the connectivity so that you can take a photo, and you can upload it just instantly wherever you want and these are some really nice advantages that we're not getting on many of the other cameras. Now, we have to be honest, there are some downsides to using these types of devices as our main camera. We have a fixed lens in most all cases. They're not really zoom lenses. We can do some digital zooming, but that's where we lower the quality. Generally, they're not very good under low light conditions because they use a very small sensor. We'll talk more about that in the next section, all on sensors. There is a very limited feature set. I know myself, who is a trained photographer, who likes to be able to make all these setting adjustments on the camera, when I go to my phone and I want to change to this particular shutter speed or that aperture, or change this or that, it often doesn't have that thing on it. And so having those limited manual controls can be frustrating to somebody who's gotten used to these things. And we actually have more disadvantages. So, some other little problems that I see with these phone and portable systems. Poor camera controls, you get tons of depth of field on everything. They're awkward to hold, controlling the focus is not easy. And so there's a lot of disadvantages to those type of systems. I have to admit, I do use my phone for taking photos. Not very often. You know, my sink broke, and I needed to fix something and I took photos of what the broken piece was so I could go down to the hardware store and I could show them. But when it gets down to the more serious photography, I prefer a tool that's dedicated to the job. And so, the point and shoot is kind of the next step up. This gives you more dedicated controls, and a better quality lens to work with. So let's talk about these different point and shoots. And I wanna share with you some of my favorite point and shoots that are available right now out on the market. Wide variety of manufacturers, and what's unique about this collection of cameras, is that they have a larger sensor than your phone, a larger sensor than most of the point and shoots, so that's one of the things that I would look for if you were in the market for this type of camera. It has what is known as a faster lens, which means it lets in more light. It has a lower f-stop number, like f-2.8 in some cases. Some cases they'll go down to f-1.7 I see over here on the Panasonic and so letting in more light allows you to shoot in a wider variety of situations, still maintaining really high quality images. These cameras also give you more manual control. Some of them have actual shutter speed dials and it's really cool to have that tactile feel on the camera. Makes things setting enjoyable and easy to do. Alright, let's look at some more point and shoots. These are what I call premium point and shoots, which kinda means they're gonna cost a little bit more money. Now these cameras use much larger sensors for the most part, so full-frame sensors, very large sensors, they're gonna give you more manual controls, and a really nice feel to the cameras. They're gonna feel good in the hands. It's gonna have really solid settings. They're not gonna be mushy buttons that you're not really sure if you pressed the button or not. It's just a very, very high refinement on it. So here's just a few of the cameras that I think that are really nice out on the market today. And so, overall advantages on these point and shoot cameras. The small size, you can fit them into coat pockets pretty easy. They're relatively low cost, and they're relatively simple to use 'cause there's a limited number of controls on them. One of the things about that low cost is that there are no interchangeable lenses and so once you buy the camera, and possibly a bag and a battery and a memory card, you're pretty much done with the whole system. When you get into the SLR and the interchangeable lens system, there is a world of money to be spent on accessories and add-ons that you can get. So this one, you're kind of limiting the budget right there. This all we really need to make it happen. There are some disadvantages. Because we don't have that interchangeable lens. You have a limited collection of things that you can do with the camera because of that lens. The depth of field option is not as great as it is with many of the interchangeable lens systems. And the auto-focus system in these cameras is not real good for action photography. And so if you were wanting to do sports photography or anything in that nature, these cameras are more challenging to work with. I'm not gonna say you can't use these, they're just challenging to work with if you want to do any sort of sports or wildlife-type action work. Alright, let's talk about the 800 pound gorilla. The Digital SLR market, which is dominated by Nikon and Canon. And so these two companies have been around for a long time refining their products, making them better and better every single year. Most statistics will have Canon as the most popular system out on the market. They have a large number of cameras that range between full-frame sensors, and a crop-frame sensor. They have a lens system, the EF lens system that you would use for the full-frame sensors. If you have the smaller crop-frame, you can use the EF or the EF-s lenses and we'll talk more about these lenses when we get into the lens section of this whole class. But, this is a really safe system. If I don't know anything about what a person wants to do in photography, this is usually the direction I point them, just because the whole world is available here. Whether it's super telephoto lenses or macro lenses or inexpensive lenses, they have just such a wide variety. It's a great place to go if you're not sure the direction that you're going to go. Because they have so many different options and so, definitely a very good system. The main competitor to Canon is Nikon and Nikon is equally good in my mind. It's used by a slightly smaller percentage of people, but it's ever so slight. And they actually have a larger collection of full-frame cameras available. They have an interesting option that Canon doesn't have in that category, but in many respects, Canon and Nikon are making model for model competitors to one another. And so you can look all day, compare specs and stats 'til you're blue in the face trying to figure out which one to buy, and it's gonna really come down to which one do you like. Does one feel better in your hands? Do you like the way the controls and the menu system works one one versus the other? Because, chances are, the actual results that you get from these two cameras are gonna be indistinguishable from each other. They're very, very similar products, despite the fact that they're so different in many, many different ways. And so I can see how someone would be perfectly happy using Nikon or Canon, in either direction. They're very, very similar choices. Now Sony still has, and technically it's not a digital SLR camera. It's the translucent viewing system that we talked about earlier. But it does kinda get thrown into this category. Now this is something that they inherited from Minolta. When Minolta, great camera company for many, many, many decades, went out of business, Sony purchased the rite to their lens mount and all of their technology. And they've taken that as their base and they've grown it into their very own customized system. Now the fact of the matter, comparing this to Canon and Nikon, you can see there are much less choices to be made here. And this is not the direction that I would point most new photographers. If you already have equipment here, yes. They have some very nice stuff. But it's not where I would direct most people, because it's pretty clear that Sony is directing more of their efforts to their new mirrorless cameras that we'll talk about in just a moment. These are more or less kind of propping up the users that they've had that they inherited from Minolta or people that been using the Sony SLR system for many, many years. I would not be surprised in three years if this category disappeared at all. Next up is Pentax. Pentax is one of the smaller SLR manufacturers that has a very dedicated base. The Pentax photographers are very dedicated to their system. Most of their system is surrounding the smaller crop-frame sensors right now, and because they're not as popular as Nikon and Canon, one of the things that you'll notice if you start comparing them with Canon and Nikon, is that they offer a really good value for what you get. They typically have a lot more weather-resistant cameras available on the market. They tend to offer just a bit more in the way of features. And a bit more in the way of certain technology. And they're doing this because they know that they have to compete with Nikon and Canon and these behemoths and so they try to offer a little better value. Now they are said, at least at the time of the recording of this class, that they're gonna be coming out with a full-frame camera. I was kind of expecting it was gonna be available and I could have a photograph up for the class, but it's not quite introduced. It's probably just weeks away, in some ways. And so that's got a lot of people with Pentax very excited. Now I had been saying Pentax, but the fact of the matter is that Pentax has been bought out by Ricoh. And so the company is Ricoh, but they're keeping the Pentax name in the cameras because of the long history that Pentax has with their SLR cameras. Now at some point in the future, that may change and they may put Ricoh up there. But that's been one of those little changing of the guards of who owns the system in there. And so that's where our Single Lens Reflex market has gone towards. So the reason to get a Single Lens Reflex camera, in general, is image quality, because all of these cameras are using a fairly large image sensor and a well-honed lens system for the manufacturers. We have lots of choices on lenses. A bit more with Nikon and Canon than with Sony and Pentax. And the versatility of those systems, from macro lenses and lights, and being able to hook up all sorts of accessories is just really, really good on these SLR systems, which is why they are favored among most serious professionals right now. Now, the downside is that they are relatively large. If Ansel Adams was here looking at me telling people that a 35 millimeter camera was large, he would think I'm absolutely nuts 'cause he had a horse and a cart and all sorts of gear to shoot photos. And so it's all relatively large compared to some of the new options that we're gonna be talking about in just a moment. The exclusive lens system. When you get into a Canon system, you pretty much have to look at Canon lenses. There are some Sigmas and Tokinas and Tamrons that you can get for it, but if you're using a Canon camera, you can forget about using Nikon lenses. For the most part, it's impossible to use. And when you buy Nikon cameras, while you can technically get an adapter and use a Canon lens on it, it comes with a lot of little caveats and it's probably not the thing that most people are going to do. You are really buying into the whole system. And for me, I really think about choosing which system I want to be in, it's kinda like choosing what city you want to live in. And there's a lot of reasons why you want to be one place or the other and it's very hard to transplant yourself from one to the other. It can be a very expensive proposition. And finally, the disadvantage on this is something called chimping. Does everyone know what chimping is? Let me explain what chimping is. On an SLR, when you look through the viewfinder, you see though the viewfinder, but you don't see what the final image is. And so when you take a photo, and let's go ahead and let's, let me take an actual photo. I want to remember this moment. So, here's my audience. I take a photo, and what do I do? I look at the back of the camera. All right? Now if I shoot a lot of photos, I'm probably gonna go, Ooh. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. And that is chimping. And so you'll find sports photographers watch a basketball game. Somebody goes in for a slam dunk and they're gonna boom boom boom boom boom. Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh. And then they go shoot the next series. And so that's something that you have to do on an SLR, is you gotta chimp to make sure that you got it right. And that takes away from your shooting time. All right. Next up. The mirrorless cameras. All right. Sony. Sony, the big player here. They got a lot of money, they got a lot of technology they're throwing at this. And so they have a number of cameras here in the mirrorless world. They have the smaller, crop-frame sensors and they have full-frame sensors. And these are the ones that have been gathering most of the photographic attention over the last couple of years or so, the a7 series. They brought out a full-frame camera that uses interchangeable lenses and you can get adapters and you can put on other brands of lenses. And so the downside to Sony right now is that they have four different systems running. They have SLR, they have mirrorless, they have crop-frame, and they have full-frame. And so as a Fuji representative recently said in an interview, their lens department is being pulled four ways. Who do we make a new lens for? One of these four different camps. Whereas most of the other manufacturers are just keeping, putting out into the one thing that they're trying to do. It would not be too surprising to see fewer of the crop-frame models and more of the full-frame models as we continue down the road in the future. The full-frame sensors are becoming more affordable and easier to make as we master that technology a little bit better. It does give us a little bit better image quality, but it does make the cameras bigger in size so they're still going to be an avid market for these. So I don't think they're going to disappear any time soon. But I think it's two different categories that they have created. But I think that they're gonna be supporting these systems for much longer than they are their single lens SLT systems, their SLR-type cameras. So with the mirrorless system, kinda what the whole deal is with mirrorless, if you're new to this, is that the image sensor and the lens mount can be a very short distance apart. This is called the flange distance. And they have their own dedicated lenses that work perfectly. They're absolutely matched so you get fantastic results. The idea is that you can take other lenses and work with them on a Canon camera. Now you can't just mount a Canon lens onto a Sony camera. Doesn't work because the focusing is not happening in the right place. It's not where the sensor is. And so because these are so small, you can take a lens adapter, mount it onto the camera, and then mount on your Canon lens, and voila, you have a Canon lens on a Sony camera. And so you can do this with a lens adapter. In fact, let's do it right now. Let me pull off my Sony camera. And I have a Canon lens right here, and I have an adapter. And this adapter has no glass in it, okay? So it's just empty piece of metal right there. It's to hold the lens in the right place. I'll take the Sony lens off. I mount the adapter on the camera. You want to get a real tight shot, you can see the sensor in there. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna mount on the Canon lens and I could have a Nikon adapter, I could use Pentax adapter, or get an adapter for whatever, whoever makes the adapters, as long as they make it for that lens. And now I have a Canon lens on a Sony camera. And so, for whatever angle of view, for whatever sharpness this has, this is some great options. The downside is, is that this is a Sony camera. And it doesn't know everything about this Canon lens and there's certain things that the camera will not do now. All right, so there is a certain bit of incompatibility that is not perfect. And so there are some areas where I don't mind using this at all. I think it works great. But there's other areas where I wouldn't want to use it. I wouldn't want to shoot sports photography like this because this camera doesn't focus this lens really, really fast. So that's the adapter that you can put on there. And if you have a collection of older lenses or different brands of lenses, you can get an adapter and it's gonna make that lens work on that Sony mirrorless camera, which is a really, really cool way of making use of a lot of older, very nice lenses. And these adapters, because there's no glass in them, can sell for very, very cheap prices. But there is a difference in quality with the mount system and whether there's electronics in there and so forth. And so there is a vast difference in the price and you have to look at the individual products you're getting as to what you're paying for. So the Leica system, the Rangefinders that we talked about, they have an interesting collection of cameras. They have their own system. This is a very classic system that goes back, was it, back to the 20's or so. And so their M system uses their M lenses, some really, really nice lenses. The Rangefinder viewing system that we talked about earlier. But Leica is trying hard, and they're doing pretty good at staying modern and coming up with some very new high-tech items. So they came out with their own mirrorless systems, which uses their own L Mount, which is completely different than their M mount. So they decided to go full new with this new lenses, whole new system. And they recently introduced another new camera. The SL, which is using a full-frame sensor. And it's using an L mount, so both of their mirrorless cameras use an L Mount, but this is a T Lens, which is designed for the smaller size sensor. And so this new camera holds a lot of capabilities because it's got, it's got the best viewfinder on the market right now. It's got a very robust body. It's a little bit on the big side and it's very divisive when you ask photographers whether they like the styling and the capabilities of this new camera. It got a number of votes for Worst Camera of the Year. For very bad reasons. You know, kinda styling choices. And so they brought out some lenses that look to be extremely good in quality, but they're also extremely large and extremely expensive. And so it is a very eccentric system, you might say. But they do make very, very high quality products that fit certain people's needs extremely well and you will find some of the most devoted users of a system in the Leica system. All right. So one of the newest systems on the block is the Fuji Film system. And they introduced a camera that had a lot of people look at it the way many people look at a little puppy dog. Awww, look at that! That is so cute! And they had a camera that was very retro style. It looked like something that came out of the 50's. Aww, look at this nice shutter speed dial and all the physical dials on the camera, bringing back the old style of the cameras. And they have brought this forward into some very modern technology. Fuji has a long history in photography. Obviously, right under their name, which I think is just one of the strangest names for a digital project, (chuckles) digital camera. Fuji Film is the name of the company. I want to call them Fuji, but they are officially Fuji Film. And they've made lots and lots of film and they have used a lot of their color knowledge and they have worked with it in their sensors, as you will see as we talk more and more about the sensors. And so they have a relatively small collection of cameras. But what they have done is that they have really worked on their sensor system and their lens system. And so lens optical quality, lens quality, is extremely important to them. And they have one of the most desirable sets of lenses out there. It's not the largest collection. But some of their individual lenses are absolutely fantastic. And this system, the terminology we use is it's punching above its weight. Even though they're using the smaller crop-frame sensor, the quality that they're getting out of this camera often rivals more full-frame systems. And that's because their sensor system is different and very, very good, and their lens quality is just very high. On the average lens, it's a very, very high level, but it's not ridiculous in price, which is a nice compromise for a lot of people. In the slightly smaller system, we're gonna see Olympus and Panasonic, which makes compatible systems. This Micro Four Thirds System actually started off as the Four Thirds System. They brought in a smaller system to make them even smaller. They have a couple of cameras which do not have viewfinders in them, which I find them distinctly at a disadvantage because you have to buy the viewfinder if you want and need it. Some people like the small size. So that's why they're just keeping it down with this. But they have a nice collection of cameras with lenses, and these are a little retro styled as well. They have a lot of physical dials on them, which make them very easy and intuitive. Just pick up and use. And so these are some very nice products because they can produce very nice lenses that are very compact in size. So if somebody was into travel photography, or they were gonna go on a big 50-mile trek over several days, over a week, and they wanted to carry a good camera, but a small camera with them, something like the Olympus system would work out very well. Now one of the things that's really nice about this is that they have some beautiful lenses that are really nice quality, but smaller in sizes, but they share a lens mount with the Panasonic cameras because they are both a part of the Micro Four Thirds System. They share the lens mount, the lenses work perfectly back and forth. A hundred percent compatibility. They make a couple of cameras that do not have viewfinders so I'm not as big a fan of those 'cause I really like to have a viewfinder. It's important for composing images. They have a number of cameras that have viewfinders. One of Panasonic's strengths, outside of the world of straight photography here, is video capture. They make really good video cameras. And they have brought a lot of that video technology into their cameras and so if you said, I want a camera that shoots still photos, but also does video really well, Panasonic is one of the better companies to go to because they do such good video and the GH4 has been an incredibly popular camera when it comes to shooting video. The other company that I'll throw back into the mix there is Sony. Sony has a very strong history in broadcast and film cameras, video production, and so they also have some very good video tools within their cameras as well. And so once again, they have some very nice lenses here that are completely compatible with the Olympus system. And so if you buy a Panasonic camera, you can choose. Olympus or Panasonic lenses, and the same back and forth, which is a really nice way to be able to have the widest variety, most competition possible. Now, what has been the talk of the photographic world for the last five years, is the fact that mirrorless is obviously the future that we are going towards. And Nikon and Canon, the two behemoths out there, what are they gonna do? Are they gonna introduce a mirrorless system and what are they gonna do? Nikon introduced a mirrorless system and they decided to do something very different from their DSLRs. I think they wanted to segment the market and say, We're not gonna compete with our DSLRs. We're gonna have a small, small camera so they chose a very small sensor so they could have a very small camera and their lenses would be very small. So they don't really compete with their SLRs when it comes to image quality. But for somebody who wanted the absolute smallest camera that you could interchange lenses on, they do provide a very nice system. It is one of the best mirrorless, and arguably, the best mirrorless system for auto focusing. And so I hate to use the term, but soccer mom who wants a small camera who's focusing on action, this is, in many ways, the perfect camera for them. 'Cause it's small, but it can focus on sports and action very, very quickly. It's a limited system and everyone is convinced that at some point, not too far in the distant future, Nikon is gonna introduce a larger, more serious mirrorless system. The question is when. So Canon has also dipped their toe into the mirrorless waters. It has been a bit of a lackluster start to the world of mirrorless. The cameras themselves are fine. There's nothing wrong with these cameras. It's just that, you know, I would really like to have the choice of more than five lenses. 'Cause that's what their system is. It's, or maybe four lenses right now and an adapter. So you can hook up the other Canon lenses, but do you really want to take a little tiny camera, hook on an adapter, and then a gigantic lens on top of it? It doesn't work for most people and so many of us are expecting Canon to do something more serious in the world of mirrorless in the future. As I say, nothing really wrong with this. In fact, I might be doing a class on this new M3 camera myself, 'cause it is starting to gain in popularity and I think there is some potential for growth in this market with Canon. But I would not doubt that we're going to see a full-frame mirrorless Canon camera not too long into the future. Well, you know, Pentax also makes the smallest of all the mirrorless. They're down to just one camera in this category right now. And it's almost more of a toy camera in some ways. It's almost a key chain camera it's so small. And they have a few lenses for it. What they lack in camera selection, they make up for in colors. And so if you like different colors to your cameras, they've got you made there. And so if you need a green camera with silver tint, that's maybe the only place you're gonna find it. So, been hot in the news recently is Samsung. And this is one of the slides, as I changed this class from last year, they have less cameras available this year than they did last year. The noise from the head offices is very, very quiet. And they haven't introduced anything in a while, and they've started to pull out of a few markets. And I could mount an argument that the NX1 is the best camera in the market. Best valued camera in the APSC-size sensor. Technologically the highest quality, most feature-heavy camera, best value on the market today. But they have a limited lens system. It's gonna be really hard to walk into a camera store and find a Samsung camera system. The whole Samsung world, I've been watching it, just kind of out of interest. What's gonna happen? What's going on here? And the analogy that I have is that Samsung is the world's greatest hotel a thousand miles away from everything else. It's really nice, but it's just kind of all on its own. And I would not be surprised if we saw them completely disappear from the market in the next four weeks. Would not surprise me at all. And so I, I really can't recommend somebody new going into this unless you are totally satisfied with the product that you buy right then and there and you're willing to ride that one camera and that lens system that you get for a very long period of time, because the support system seems to be very, very shaky at this time. I would not be surprised at all if this is not in my next version of this class. All right. So that is the world of mirrorless. Compact size. Little bit smaller size cameras. One of the main advantages. The electronic focusing aids. We've talked about that before. With the EVS. Lens adaptability. Canon, Nikon lenses on your Sony or other brand of cameras. Disadvantages though. There's a few. Systems are a little bit smaller. They're not as fleshed out as Canon and Nikon have right now. And so make sure that what you need is available. The systems are a little bit slower for action photography but this is changing quickly. Very quickly. There are some areas where it is actually faster than SLRs, but for the most part, they're not as fast and as good in a overall sense. And there are limitations to the electronic viewfinder. The refresh rate, the colors, the resolution, and these are continuing to improve, and because this is a technology that is just likely to improve better and better and better, it's gonna become less and less of an issue as we go forward. So Canon, Nikon, mirrorless, what's your question? (laughing) So this is from kjacobs15. If you use that Canon or Nikon lens with an adapter on, say, the Sony mirrorless, does the focal length change? No it does not. Which is one of the great benefits, is that I can stick a 50 millimeter on this and it acts exactly like a 50, has normal coverage, and it works very much the same way that it would on my Canon camera. Very, very similar system and so it's a relatively easy transition. All right great. Another question from Jane and Paul, are there any cameras that let you chimp through the electric viewfinder? Yes, and so on the electric view, or the EVS, you can choose, after an image is taken, do you want to view that image or not? And so one of the changes that I have made to the way that I shoot photography is with a mirrorless camera, is I have turned off the image review. In general, I don't need to look at something if I know what it looked like before I took the shot. Now the slight change to that is if I'm trying to time a particular piece of action and I want to see what that looks like. And so I'm gonna want to see, did I capture that specific moment? But to be honest with you, I leave it off on those situations and I will check that later, 'cause it's probably more important that I shoot right now and take care of business. Because if I'm shooting action and whatever's happening in front of me, I just want to shoot. I don't want to review images. That's not the time to review images. Review images when you're not taking photos.

Class Materials

Free Download

Fundamentals of Photography Outline

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Learning Project Videos
Learning Projects PDF
Slides for The Camera Lessons 1-13
Slides for The Sensor Lessons 14-18
Slides for The Lens Lessons 19-31
Slides for The Exposure Lessons 32-42
Slides for Focus Lessons 43-62
Slides for The Gadget Bag Lessons 63-72
Slides for Light Lesson 73-84
Slides for the Art of Edit Lessons 85-93
Slides for Composition Lesson 94-105
Slides for Photographic Vision Lessons 106-113

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!

Student Work