PCMag Gives Me More Space

My first longer piece (actually a bunch of shorter pieces re-edited and combined) is on the front page of PCMag.com. It’s all about not using “AUTO” when you shoot with a DSLR.

From time-to-time PCMag.com has picked up some of my posts from AppScout.com and Gearlog.com. Those are usually a few paragraphs at the longest. It’s a pretty cool for them to publish my work at this length. I am happy.


A fight has broken out between two of my readers. There will be no fights here. I have deleted two comments and cut off additional comments for this entry.

End of story. Play nice.


5 thoughts on “PCMag Gives Me More Space”

  1. Geoff,

    Your DSLR article assumes a DSLR owner/purchaser needs such advise about how lenses work. Until the recent drop in DSLR prices, I would have said the article was for an audience that already knew this information.

    A few comments about the article:

    – I am of the mind that the term “Prime lens” should mean it’s original, intended definition. I only mention this because you took the time to explain the definition in the article. “Fixed” and “Zoom” are more accurate.

    – In addition, at the level of your article you could have done well by explaining the “mm” suffix on the lens designations.

    – You might not have mentioned that the 3rd thing affecting DoF is Focal Length. The shorter the focal length, the deeper the DoF (providing the other 2 factors you mentioned remain the same).

    – You mentioned the less prevalent body image stabilization, and neglected to mention lens stabilization. All the “pros” at that football game were using lens stabilization. You could have mentioned how good IS can buy you 2-4 stops.

    – In mentioning that there were only 3 adjustments to worry about (speed, aperture, ISO), but you left out the photographer. I don’t mean style, but rather how the movement of the camera during a shot (including advanced horizontal movement IS) can impact a picture. And of course, I’m completely leaving out filters such as polarizers and NDs.

    – Your rule of thumb for exposure (1/focal length) refers to hand held, not tripod/monopod/supported shots.

    – You only mention one of the “priority” modes (aperture). The rule is that if you are going to talk about any of the features at a specific depth, you need to cover them all at that depth. Also, DSLRs with Av and Tv usually have a “P” (Program) mode, which for your article would have been appropriate considering a beginner’s knowledge.

    – After you mentioned all the DoF factors, you neglected to say why the same settings and lens length of a DSLR and a POS (Point and Shoot) yield drastically different DoF in their identical images.

    – I know you didn’t treat focal length completely, but at least a mention of sensor sizes would have been appropriate. A lens with 50mm on a full frame body will behave far differently than on an APS-C body.

    – You didn’t mention that a RAW file is many times larger than a JPG in the context that as a result manufacturers rate their rapid fire stats on JPEG only (due to slower cards, it is even worse). Also, when shooting only in RAW, the camers still makes a JPEG for the on-camera view. I wouldn’t expect you to mention that, though.

    – “It’s as close to what the sensor saw as possible.” It _is_ what the sensor “saw”.

    – With regard to your treatment of RAW, you didn’t close things up by saying that a computer buyer should look for a camera that saves in RAW. You only mentioned it with regard to why someone who already had it should. Also, you didn’t mention options to look for/use/avoid like reduced reduction RAW formats like Canon’s SRAW or Nikon’s reduced bit depth.

    – When you talked about on-camera flash, you only took the ‘all or nothing’ approach. You might have served your audience well by at least mentioning on-camera flash reflectors and diffusers, no?

    – It would have been good to mention that you can actually set the color temperature on most all DSLRs when the shot is being taken (like your battery). You can make a shot warmer or cooler by simply adjusting the camera’s color temperature by either exact temperature or presets. And we didn’t even go down the white/grey cards path.

    – While on the subject of temperature, again the rule is that if you are going to mention it-explain it. You threw “Kelvin” out there as if everyone knew what that was. Perhaps just mentioning that light has “temperature” that makes it more orange, or more blue would have been enough.

    – In panoramas, you say that you should use manual or aperture priority. To keep DoF constant is only one of two aspects required for good panoramas. Leaving shutter speed up to the camera (aperture priority) will most often result in one of the panorama’s shots with a different brightness than another. This is no problem until you try to stitch them together in either a 3rd party product or one the camera comes with.

    – You failed to mention the most common panorama software-Adobe Photoshop.

    – When talking about holding the shutter open, why not also mention timers that allow a shot to be taken at intervals, or precise longer intervals beyond the camera’s max?

    – To be honest, you didn’t close the article. In other words, you didn’t follow the rule:

    1. Tell them what you’re going to tell them.

    2. Tell them.

    3. Tell them what you just told them.

    Don’t feel too bad about the constructive criticism… I would have torn you apart if you weren’t a Canon user…


  2. Wow is Right.

    It wasn’t intended to be a four year degreed photography course, but an effort to get “new” photographers to expand on what the D-SLR can do.

    It was well written, accurate and contained a lot of good information.

    I enjoyed the read, and I am a die-hard Nikon user. Let’s not get into the Cannon-Nikon, Mac-PC thing……

    Congarts Geoff.


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