Photography can be a pretty mysterious world with a lot of weird slang that general public and amateurs, but also enthusiasts or even pros, find difficult to understand. Are you often confused by some of the things your photographer friends say? Like any hobby or pastime, there are common photography terms that we all come to learn, and then there is some of the more bizarre slang you can spend a lifetime behind the lens never understanding. Below we’ve compiled a collection of common photography slang and obscure camera acronyms to help lift the veil on their mystery.
This is by no means a complete list. In fact, if there’s something we’ve missed feel free to add your own in the comments below – just keep it clean, people…
So here I am, thinking about dropping some hard earned cash on another camera system. I’ve definitely been a sucker for hype and the latest generation of cameras have lured hours of my attention from actual work. Maybe I was going to procrastinate either way, but at the end of this tunnel, I will probably be losing a hefty amount of cash to replace it with several hundred grams of magnesium alloy housing some serious CMOS circuitry.
Photographer or Photo Enthusiast?
As large camera manufacturers start churning out the hype machines, many photo-enthusiasts will start salivating for these new imaging monsters; bigger resolution, better dynamic range, higher sensitivity, faster processing, more connectivity, etc. It’s enough to make you go out and justify maxing out your credit card in order to ignite a spark that hasn’t been lit since the last time you purchased a camera.
But before you do that, you need to ask yourself this question: What do I need this for? It’s pretty simple but for many, this could be like walking through a land mine.
As mirrorless cameras start eating away at DSLR sales worldwide, the old guard of photography; primarily Nikon, Canon and Pentax have been trying to stop the hemorrhaging of their entry level and enthusiast range of cameras.
To this day, nothing excites me more than placing my eye against my Canon 5D Mk III eye piece and seeing a tried and tested system in that reflex but for many, it’s totally unnecessary to carry a bigger, heavier camera all for the sake of that mirror box . You see, many families now want great image quality without carrying the big DSLR, these mirrorless cameras can provide just that but on the other end of the spectrum, enthusiasts might require a sturdier built machine that can withstand nature’s elements.
You’ve dreamed about it? Here it is! As I promised you while sharing Cyril Verron’s interview, you can find here the tutorial of one of Cyril’s most outstanding pictures. I want to thank Cyril for revealing some of his secrets and of course for the time he took to share his knowledge with us. So without any further due, let’s start now!
First, let’s see its EXIF data obtained with his Canon 5D II and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Lens and then I let Cyril explain everything (Editor’s note: Translated from French, descendez tout en bas pour voir la version Francaise):
Michel is a precocious talent. At 22 years old only he already won 2 of the most prestigious wildlife photography prizes and is about to release his first book “A l’Affut” (“On The Lookout”) and yet still a student at a school of photography. iLHP is particularly honored to have him answer our questions and he has been kind enough to let us discover even more his world as a wildlife photographer.
iLHP: Hi Michel, I am very pleased and honored to be able to interview you for our online magazine. Indeed, as some might not know already, you just won at the end of 2014, two of the most prestigious wildlife photography prizes! (the Rising Star Award of the BBC Wildlife of London and the Fritz Polking Nachwuchspreis from the GDT of Lunen for photographers under 23). So I am very glad to showcase your photographs here! To start with, can you just tell us a little bit about you?
Michel: Hi, well thanks for inviting me in this magazine. What can I say ? I was born in 1992, in a very small village in the country side of Belgium drowned in a beautiful intact nature. I was very lucky to grow up among animals and little by little I became passionate about them.
Beginners can sometimes be surprised when they discover you have such an expensive camera and yet you are not able to zoom with it. “In 2014, we have good enough technology to make zooms in every camera,” one of my friends told me once.
However, the performance of the primes lenses is important for a lot of photography areas. I do think primes are better than zooms for different reasons and aspects. Here I am about to tell you why:
You can get very good prime lenses for a reasonable amount of money. Usually, 35 and 50mm f/1.8 are so common they are now quite cheap. Even the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 is available at around $300. For such a nice and sharp piece of glass, it’s pretty affordable, believe me. For this price, you will have one constraint though. It’s full manual, so no image stabilization and no autofocus. As pointed out in one of our previous article, it’s not always a problem especially for short focals. Unless you need a very long focal lenght like 300 or 500mm, most are good and affordable. For the price of one zoom you can often have 2 primes. Continue reading 5 Reasons Why Primes Are Better Than Zooms→