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Lesson 10 from: How to Choose Your First DSLR Camera

John Greengo

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Lesson Info


The next section we're going get into is exposure and we're gonna talk about how some of the cameras have slightly different exposure systems but for the most part it's not really all that different from camera to camera so most of the cameras these days use an exposure mode dial up on the top of the camera and there's usually going to be some letters and there's often going to be some symbols up there so for instance, the green camera is thief fully automatic mode I dislike this mode because it has too many things done for you and you can't jump in and make those changes yourself and so I consider this the type of mode that you would put it in tow hand the camera to a stranger to take your photo I think anyone who's taking the time and effort to watch this class to learn about photography is going to want to go beyond this. Mini cameras have what are called scene modes and these air modes that are adjusting the shutter speeds, apertures focusing and possibly other features two kind of...

specialize in that particular type of photography a little bit better than the full automatic mode now if you know what you're doing, you're going to be able to do better than what the camera khun dio and so just because the camera has a little scene though doesn't mean that it's the best in the world at doing that particular thing and so feel free to venture off on your own once you've gained the skills and the knowledge about what you're doing because in my mind these modes don't go far enough in what they're trying to do they're still playing it very safe for people who are just wanting to play around in photography in a very, very safe environment. So it's a it's a good place to just start learning and practicing but once you really want to get into things highly recommend going in to the more manual mode starting with program program is where the camera sits shutter speeds and apertures for you and you're going to find that these letters change so for instance, s stands for shutter priority which can also mean time value with other manufacturers. This is where you control the shutter speed and the camera controls the aperture aperture priorities where you get control of the aperture and the camera is going toe makeup and figure out what the light the time value or shutter speed that you need to use and then full manual well and actually on aperture priority shutter priority and program you can also enlist exposure compensation which is a way to make your images a little brighter or a little bit darker and then you will have full manual so you can take full control of the camera shutter speeds and apertures so these air really common and you're not going toe really find much difference on these and I would say that every one of these cameras over here is guaranteed gonna have the four most important controls up here manual aperture shutter priority and program and so this just doesn't very that much there are cameras out there that will have a few more things that I don't talk about that air just particular to that unique system so let's take a look at this exposure system a little bit more closely the aperture is controlling as we mentioned the aperture in the lens the shutter is in the camera body and our sensor is where our s o is controlled so I s o is simply the sensitivity of the sensor the sensor is rated at a certain number for instance one hundred is a very common number words set out but you can crank up the sensitivity by turning up the ice so there is a downside to turning up the sensitivity is that it doesn't get really clean information and when you look closely at it you're going to find that it's not as smooth of detailed information when you shoot at really high. I suppose now in this example you're not going to notice much difference in the top row because cameras are really good eso up to eight hundred s owes up to eight hundred but you'll notice the final two twenty five thousand six hundred twelve thousand eight hundred have a very grainy or unsmiling look to it. This is visual noise, and this is what we don't like in our photographs and it's going to be common when you shoot under low light levels and you have to crank up the I s o to those really high levels, so the noise is going to depend on what level you have your eye so set, but it's also going to depend a little bit on what size sensor you have because ultimately what determines it is the size of the pixel and how good it is recording light. And so in this case shooting at sixteen hundred, and if we crank it up a notch to thirty two hundred, you'll notice that as we go to the smaller sensors, we have mohr noise because those pixels are smaller in size, so let's, take a look at a real world example. In fact, these are two separate photographs one is shot with a full frame camera. One of them is shot with a point and shoot camera and it's hard to tell the difference which one is which when you're not viewing the image very large and so let's take an enlarged section and compare the two of them and you should be able to see a pretty clear difference in definition in quality between these two images here notice in the highlight information how the image on the left shot with the dslr has much better information in the highlights and the details of those windows, and so you can get a very nice shot with a point and shoot. But it does have limitations on how far you can go in and blow it up as well is using it under low light conditions. And so a lot of that information is information that we covered in the previous section on sensors. So as you start comparing different cameras, let's pull up a few different cameras, the new cannon t six I has a highest I so of twenty five thousand that they will happen to call it high one, but it's the same thing. It's twenty five thousand. The micro four thirds in five camera will also go up to twenty five thousand, but its native sensitivity, the base sensitive activity is so two hundred. Typically as you go up in sensor size, you go up in the capability of the range of esos that you consent on your camera. The highest ranges in the sony a seven s, which will actually go up to four hundred thousand. And generally what I'm thinking of when I look at these numbers is that I usually think the top two numbers are not very good, so whatever the last two on there are there going to be very low quality? So if you have a rebel, probably the highest I s so that you would want to use his eyes so sixty, four hundred and still maintaining some reasonable quality looking at the shutter speed range, not going to be two different. Among most of the cameras thirty seconds to one four thousand is the most common range that you're going to have one eight thousand is something that you'll get when you get an intermediate or higher and camera and it's not a big deal. For most types of shooters, the stopping ability of four thousandth birthday versus a thousandth of a second is insignificant in most things that you photograph one a thousandth of a second main attributes is when you are using a very fast lands out on a bright, sunny day, so if you're doing portrait's with a very fast lands so the shutter speeds air, obviously for stopping action fast ones, we're going to do a good job stopping things that move very quickly. The slow ones are going to be nice for blurring action. If you recall that the beginning of this talk about the water, the there was a picture of a river that had blurred water going through it very common technique for landscape photographers. Once you start getting below a sixteenth of a second you're getting into areas where you're going tohave potential shake from holding the camera yourself and so this is where the tripod needs to be employed or perhaps a stabilization system built into the lens or to the camera there are some cameras that used electronic shutters in fact one of the food she's over here will actually go up too sixteen thousand in thirty two thousand of a second and so those are going to be kind of nice for photographing under very bright light conditions and I like the fact that they have no moving parts which means there's less things toe wear out and so when you're comparing cheddar speeds between cameras there's really not a lot to compare most cameras have more than enough range for everything that we're going to do the aperture rage what apertures can we said well this is fully determined by the lens you put on the camera so if you don't like your aperture you just get a new lens and you'll have a faster aperture on your camera a large aperture like one point four is going to let in a lot of light great for low light situations and it's also going to be nice for shooting shallow depth of field so a portrait photographer is gonna have a very high value for a lens that goes down to two eight two or one point four the small apertures are often used by landscape photographers because they will allow you to have greater depth of field in your photographs. They don't allow in a lot of light, so you often need a tripod to make up for the difference in not having a lot of light in, and I think it's, very valuable for everyone to have some sort of fast lands that goes down to one point four or to play now just helps out in a lot of situations when you khun have a tool that helps you out under those low light situations, as faras theis sells the white ist range you can get the better, the wider the range, the better it is. And so whatever you can get more is always better there. This is determined by the sensor, and that is going to be dependent on the size of the sensor in the size of those pixels. Of course, now, in general, the lowest numbered setting so in this case here, one hundred is going to be the best quality setting for your sensor. Large sensors are better at high isil, so if you're going to be shooting under low light conditions, you want to get a larger size sensor and pixels we like pixels for resolution, but when it comes to it so it's better to have fewer pixels as I said before, the top two settings whatever they happen to be whatever they happen to be called are generally very low quality on pretty much all cameras there is also the option of letting the camera choose theis so I'm not a big fan of this because I really do like manually operating camp, but it is an option that can help out in some situations and all cameras have it, but some cameras have mohr fine tuning and customization of the auto I sell so that's something you use you can look closely at those details in your cameras that you're looking at so as far as the mod ill and how we're going to set our cameras the autumn oats are nice and simple, but they're going to limit the options and controls that you can get in and access. So if you set your camera in the green auto camera mode, you may not be able to change the isil or the auto focus system on it the camera's going to force you to do it in an automatic way. The program mode is a pretty quick and easy simple mode, but if you want to have more control, you're going to want to have a little bit more manual capabilities so getting it to go to aperture priority or shutter priority, I think, is a better choice. Getting it into full manual is one of my favorite things when I have a specific subject that is inconsistent, light, it's a great way for getting full control and getting everything dialed in so that when you shoot one picture and the next picture, they have the same look to him, the cameras not going behind your back and changing things. And remember, you are smarter than your camera and there is nothing your camera khun do that you can't do yourself so so long as you know what to do and so don't think the camera is smarter than you. It is it is only for a short time because you haven't chosen to educate yourself. There's a question from matthew wants to know what's the big difference or is there a big difference between one point four on the lens and one point eight this is we covered this in the last segment, but is there a huge visual that there isn't two thirds of a stop difference? Ok, which is extremely subtle and barely noticeable. Ok, it's, good that's, what it comes down to.

Class Materials

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John Greengo - How To Choose Your First DSLR - Reference Guide.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


I have to thank John Greengo and the CreativeLive staff for another wonderful class. Mr. Greengo is a very good instructor (he has a nice Bob Ross ambiance), very knowledgeable and very technical with the camera and the terminologies. I am very grateful that he has material to download so I can continue to review and learn. I own a DSLR but I never truly understood the baseline technology. I am in the process of purchasing a new camera system and lens for some photography but mostly for filmmaking. With the knowledge I gain by watching this course, I can better choose and identify the features of the future cameras in my upcoming new passion. Thank you CreativeLive and Thank you Mr. Greengo. I am looking forward to attending future classes.


This was a great class. I already had an idea of the direction I wanted to go as I start my new business, but this class really helped me focus on the most important upgrades I need to make to my current system. I was particularly impressed with the visual graphics used to explain the technical functions of cameras and how those functions affect image quality and camera use. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to up their camera system and I am looking forward to taking the classes that are specific to the camera systems I am using. I would love to see a class on image processing and getting the most out of editing software. Great Job! Glad I signed up for CreativeLive.

Bev Anne

Excellent course. I was happy to find out that I made a good choice when purchasing my entry level DSLR camera -- it does everything I need at the moment. I was also interested to find out that mirrorless is the wave of the future -- I really like the idea of the light weight because I am developing some arthritis in my wrists and when I am ready to move up in the future I will have great options. Meanwhile I also learned that there is an inexpensive lens that I can get that will upgrade my system enough for the immediate future. Thank you John Greengo for this informative class it was well worth the purchase price.

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