Reproduction ratio is a term used in macro photography to indicate the degree of magnification. A ratio of 1:1 is usually considered the minimum for ‘true’ macro photography. This means that an object is reproduced at exactly the same size on the sensor or film surface as it is in real life. If the first […]
An apochromatic (APO) lens is designed to offer improved correction of chromatic aberration and spherical aberration using specialised materials and combinations of lens elements. It’s a selling point for lenses, though only indicates the lens design used and isn’t really a guarantee of good performance on its own.
This is the name of the lens mount used by Sony mirrorless cameras. Regular E-mount lenses fit its APS-C format cameras, like the Sony A6500, while FE lenses fit its full-frame mirrorless cameras, including the A7 series and Sony A9. Sony also makes A-mount lenses for its Alpha SLT cameras, but these are not the […]
Many tripod heads come with quick release camera plates, and while some are specific to that tripod maker and tripod, which can be annoying, Arca Swiss plates use a standard design that means they should be interchangeable across tripod brands. It’s a good selling point in a tripod head.
Tripods usually come with rubber feet on their legs, but these may not give much grip or purchase if you’re using them outdoors on soft or uneven surfaces – this is where it’s often better to have a metal spike instead. On some tripods, the rubber feet will screw back to expose a spike. On […]
Cheaper tripods use aluminium legs which keeps costs down but does add to the weight. This isn’t usually a problem if you’re travelling short distances or working from the back of your car, but if you’re taking a travel tripod on a vacation or hiking any great distance, a more expensive carbon fibre tripod will […]
Carbon fibre is very light and very strong, so it’s popular in the tripod market, where balancing weight and rigidity is especially important. Carbon fibre is expensive, however, so many tripod makers offer both aluminium (cheaper but heavier) and carbon fibre versions of their tripods. Usually the carbon fibre is used only in the legs. […]
This is a small microphone designed to attach to a speaker’s clothing for interviews or presentations, for example. They’re usually small and unobtrusive, they’re hands-free and they help exclude other background noises. They may also be called lapel mics. Some are connected to the camera or sound recorder by wire, others work wirelessly.
A shotgun mic is a highly directional microphone usually used to capture audio from a subject a little way from the camera. They’re popular for on-camera use when it’s not possible to place a microphone on or near your subject. Shotgun mics are ‘unidirectional’, which means they capture sound from one direction only over quite […]
A style of videography where you’re not shooting from a static position, but following the action on foot as you film. You’d typically use it for action sequences. It takes a good deal of skill and it’s best used for deliberate effect, not simply to make up for any lack of planning or direction!
A flexible microphone mount specially designed to absorb vibration and shocks to improve the quality of sound recordings when the mic is mounted on a camera’s accessory shoe, for example, or a portable video rig. Sometimes they come as standard with microphones but you can also get them separately.
A made-up word to describe somebody mid-way between an amateur photographer (consumer) and professional (prosumer). A ‘prosumer’ has typically gone beyond snapshot photography has become interested in photography as a hobby or ultimately a profession, and has a certain amount of technical knowledge.
A system introduced by Nikon for some of its lenses where the lens aperture diaphragm in the lens is controlled electromagnetically rather than by the traditional mechanical linking. This gives more accurate and consistent exposures, especially during continuous shooting, where the lens diaphragm may be adjusted many times a second.
This is a new autofocus technology being introduced by Nikon in its consumer-level lenses. It used different autofocus actuators to its existing AF-S (Supersonic Wave) lenses. The AF-P system uses stepper motors for a fast, quiet and smooth autofocus action that’s especially well suited to video, where you don’t want fast, sharp focus movements or […]
A three way tripod head has separate adjustments for horizontal movement (pan), fore and aft movement (tilt) and camera orientation (vertical or horizontal). This makes a three way head heavier and more bulky than a ball head, but it’s easier to make precise, fine adjustments in one direction only.
Usually, when you slacken off a tripod head, the camera will move freely and easily – often too freely and easily for precise positioning. So some tripod heads have a friction control to offer some resistance, even when the head is slackened off.
A boom is essentially a horizontal pole used to position a microphone or other accessory closer to the subject but just out of shot. It’s used widely when shooting movies or videos.
A geared head is a special type of tripod head designed for very fine adjustments applied with handles or knobs that move the head via fine gears.
A geared column is a tripod centre column where the height can be adjusted by a flip-out handle – you turn the handle to wind the column up and down.
A reflector is a kind of lighting modifier designed to reflect light back towards your subject. Usually it’s a white or foil-covered disc stretched tight across a circular wire rim. When the reflector’s not being used it can be twisted into a much smaller disc and stored in a circular carry case.