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JOIN THE CLUB... Welcome to the world’s No.1 weekly digital photography magazine. If you’re already a reader, thanks for your continued support and involvement; if you’re new to Photography Week, you’ve come to the right place! In addition to expert advice, brilliant tips and step-by-step tutorials, every issue features interactive galleries of the best new photos, how-to videos on

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CONTENTS Find out what’s inside this issue NEwS

F E aT U r E

LUmIx LaTEST

New mirrorless and superzoom models unveiled at CES 2017 F E aT U r E

makE a SCENE

Our definitive guide to capturing spectacular landscape images pHOTOS

gaLLERY

The very best reader images from around the world I N S p I r aT I O N GallEry

I N S p I r aT I O N

gOLdEN RULES

How the golden ratio works in the photos of ansel adams CraSH COUrSE

INSPIRINg SPIRaLS

learn how to take stunning shots of spiral staircases pHOTOSHOp

THE CUTTINg EdgE

Create perfect cutouts with the refine Edge dialog in Elements

SKIllS

ElEmENTS

GEar

CaNON REBEL T6/1300d vS NIkON d3400

looking for your first DSlr? we compare the beginner options

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w h at ’ s h o t The week’s Top headlines in phoTography

Panasonic GX850, FZ80 and lenses added to lumi X l ineuP New mirrorless and superzoom models arrive alongside the GH5 at CES 2017

a

longside the video-centric

these when the screen is flipped up

myriad Creative Control and Photo

Gh5, Panasonic has used this

for selfies. another new addition is

style options. there’s also a new Venus

year’s Consumer electronics

the Background Control mode, which

processing engine, as well as Depth

show in Las Vegas to add two more

lets you determine whether you

From Defocus (DFD) aF technology that

junior models to the Lumix portfolio.

want to capture sharp or defocused

promises to bring subjects into focus in

backgrounds, without resorting to

as little as 0.07 sec.

Billed as the “ultimate high performance compact mirrorless

manually changing the aperture.

the Lumix FZ80 (FZ82 if you’re outside the Us), meanwhile, is a budget

camera”, the Lumix GX850 (known as the GX800 outside the Us) arrives with

Creative options

superzoom bridge compact with the

a 180-degree tilting touchscreen, and

the model misses out on the latest-

significance of a 60x optical zoom. this

is unashamedly targeted towards those

generation 20.3MP Micro Four thirds

starts from a usefully wide focal length

who like to capture selfies – indeed,

sensors seen in the Gh5 and G80,

equivalent to 20mm in traditional 35mm

alongside 4K video and 4K Photo

although the 16MP alternative offered

terms, and culminates in a dizzying

options, it has the distinction of being

in their place is understandable given

1200mm setting.

the first Lumix model to offer a new

the target audience. the camera does

4K Selfie option.

at least omit an optical low-pass filter to

an Intelligent Zoom option, which

enable the capture of fine details.

doubles the effective maximum

another focus for the model is panoramic shooting, and Panasonic has even made it possible to capture

wi-Fi is on board, as are Focus stacking and Post Focus options, and

You can use this in conjunction with

focal length to 2400mm, and you can increase this even further with the Lt55


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The week’s Top headlines in phoTography tele Conversion Lens, a combination that’s claimed to be powerful enough to capture the surface of the moon. thankfully, the lens is partnered with a Power o.I.s. system that’s effective across both stills and video shooting, with images and videos recorded to an 18.1MP high sensitivity Mos sensor. Video options Like the GX850 / GX800, the FZ80 / FZ82 has the option of recording videos

the 12-60mm leica dG VarioElmarit is the first in a range of new f/2.8-4.0 lenses to be released

to the UhD 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) standard, together with high-speed video options and the same impressive 4K Live Cropping mode seen on many other Lumix models. this allows the

this sits a 0.2-inch eVF with a 1.17

dust and splash-proof design, and is

user to determine zoom and panning

million-dot resolution. extras include

said to carry on working without issue

movements in advance of recording

built-in wi-Fi and timelapse shooting,

in temperatures as low as -10 degrees

videos, thus removing the need for any

and a macro mode that focuses down

Celsius. this is the first lens in the new

manual adjustments while recording.

to 1cm from the subject.

Leica DG Vario-elmarit f/2.8-4.0 series

the FZ80’s aF system follows many

Panasonic has also introduced a

that has been released, the others being

other Lumix models in featuring Depth

new Leica DG Vario-elmarit 12-60mm

8-18mm and 50-200mm optics whose

From Defocus (DFD) technology, which

f/2.8-4.0 lens, which serves as one

development was announced at last

here promises focusing speeds of

of the kit options with the new Gh5.

year’s Photokina show.

around 0.09 sec. You can also use the

It supports the latest Dual Is Mark II

camera’s 1.04 million-dot touchscreen

technology, and has been crafted with a

Lens upgrades

to set focus with your

Furthermore, the company has also

finger, while above

announced plans to refresh four existing optics with more modern versions. these lenses – the Lumix G Vario 1235mm f/2.8 II asph. Power o.I.s., Lumix G Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 II Power o.I.s., Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 II Power o.I.s. and the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 II Power o.I.s. – support the both Power o.I.s. and Dual I.s. technologies, and the latter two have also been primed with dust and splash-proof designs. the GX850 / GX800 will arrive in March, in Black, silver, tan and orange versions, priced at £499.99 (Us pricing to be confirmed). the FZ80 / FZ82 will be available at the same time, with an RRP of $399 / £329.99. Pricing of the

the GH5 completes the lineup of new Panasonic lumix cameras

lenses is yet to be disclosed.


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landscape masterclass Take control of your camera and capture spectacular landscape photos today!

andscape photography is by far the most popular subject for photo enthusiasts, which is why we’re providing you with a complete guide to help you improve your own scenic shots. In this feature we’ll go in depth into the camera skills and photography techniques you’ll need to learn to capture landscape photos like a professional. We’ll begin with essential tips for setting up your camera to give you the best chances of capturing

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successful shots: from the optimum aperture choice to lens selection and the benefits of using a tripod. We’ll polish up your compositional skills, from the rule of thirds to using leading lines to improve your framing, and show you how to use Live View effectively when focusing and composing your photographs. Is it dull and grey outside? We’ll reveal how to become a monochrome master, and how to tackle boring weather and still end up with top

shots. We’ll even show you what to do if it’s hammering down in your neck of the woods! Lastly, we’ll explain the best techniques for capturing great shots of watery scenes – from lakeside reflections in landscapes and shutter speed tips for blurring watery movement to shooting scenes under night lights. All of our techniques are backed up with inspirational images that illustrate each teaching point. So read on – and start taking better images today!


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Get set up For sharp shots use a tripod, and the appropriate camera settings, for blur-free images

efore you start shooting the beautiful landscape in front of you you’ll need to set your camera up correctly. In general you’ll want to use a wide-angle lens to get as much of the scene as possible in shot; this could be the wide end of your kit lens (e.g. 18mm on an 18-55mm lens) or, better still, a dedicated wide-angle lens. Set your ISO to 100 for the best quality images (you’ll mostly be using a tripod, so won’t need to up the ISO to enable fast shutter speeds), and choose the Av shooting mode so you can fix your aperture. A narrow aperture of f/11 to f/16 on a wide-angle lens is best for landscapes, as you get the optimum combination of a good depth of field, so the scene is sharp from foreground to

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horizon, and also the optimum aperture on your lens for sharpness from the centre to the edge of your frame. In Av mode your camera will set a suitable shutter speed for a standard exposure. When using low ISOs and/or the narrower apertures necessary for landscapes, shutter speeds are likely to be too slow to shoot handheld without camera shake becoming a problem, so you’ll need to use a tripod. Not only will a tripod keep your camera rock-steady for sharp shots, it also enables you to compose in a more considered way. use a remote control, or the camera’s self-timer, to trigger the exposure, so that you don’t jog your camera when pressing the shutter button, which could result in a blurred shot.

Raw image quality Shoot in raw as you’ll have greater scope to get the best out of your shots. You can instantly change the white balance to warm up or cool down the ‘temperature’ of your landscape images, and you can also adjust the exposure to darken skies or brighten foregrounds by up to +/- 2 stops without losing image quality, as you would if you’d shot in JPeG mode – and you can do both independently in newer versions of Adobe Camera Raw.


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Raw image pRocessing f you shoot JPeGs you get readyto-use images straight from the camera. If you shoot raw files you get the equivalent of undeveloped film, so you need a software ‘developer’ to turn your raw files into usable and printable images. Most photographers use Adobe Camera Raw. this is the raw conversion plugin used by Photoshop elements and Photoshop. It’s also the technology that underpins Lightroom. But there’s a snag: every camera model produces its own raw file format. Nikon DSLRs produce Nef files, for example (Canon’s raw format is CR2), but the Nef file from a D3300 is different to the Nef file from a D7200. every new camera comes with a new raw format, and Adobe must add support for a new format to its software. this is why it can take a few weeks, and a software update, before raw files from new cameras can be opened in Adobe programs.

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top tip light my landscapes! the best times of day for shooting landscapes are early in the morning, just before and after sunrise, and early evening, just before and after sunset. At these times the sun is lower in the sky, and so the light is softer and more atmospheric, creating shadows and adding depth to scenery – plus there’s potential for more colour in the skies to enhance the scene.


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learn to master composition follow a few simple rules to get perfectly composed images omposition will have a massive impact on the success of your landscape shots, and it’s one of the key skills that separates the amateur from the professional. Beginners often plop their camera on a tripod at the first opportunity, take a couple of snaps, then move on. Pros will take their time, walk around like a prowling cat, kneeling down, getting up high, shooting handheld initially, zooming in and out so that only what they want to feature is in the frame; only when they’re happy that they’ve got the best possible composition will they fix their camera to a tripod and take a shot. It

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look for man-made or natural lines, such as roads, fences, trees or coastal cliffs, which can be used to as ‘leading lines’ to draw the eye into your landscapes

pays to really think about your composition, as when you get it right your shots will look so much better. there are a few handy framing tricks you can use when photographing landscapes. first up, use Live View – it’s brilliant for both focusing and framing your shots, but we’re going to concentrate on the latter. Swith to live view, and enable the 3x3 grid display option – most cameras will have this. With your camera on a tripod, you can now frame your landscape shot using the grid to apply the classic ‘rule of thirds’: position a focal point – such as a lone building or tree – at an intersection

of the grid, and/or place the horizon on a grid line, for a balanced composition. Wonky landscape shots rarely work, so also use the digital spirit level that’s available on most cameras, and or the bubble levels on your tripod, to ensure that your camera is perfectly level. When composing your landscapes, look for leading lines (see below), and for any elements that can provide foreground interest to fill your frame. that said, don’t just assume that plonking a big rock or two in the bottom of your frame will work – foreground objects need to have a relationship with whatever else is in the frame.


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wheRe to position the hoRizon? ow you position the horizon affects the feel and balance of your landscape shots. Many beginners will simply put the horizon in the centre of the frame and snap a shot – but you’re left with just that, a snap (unless you’re shooting reflections, which we’ll get to later). to take a more interesting photo with a more dramatic composition, play with the horizon position. If the foreground/land is more interesting, put more of that in the frame; or if the sky is really moody or striking, put two-thirds of sky in your frame, and just a third of the land. By employing this tactic, you’re telling the viewer what’s most important in the scene.

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horizon in centre

sky in top third

land in Bottom third

cRop to impRove composition One of the benefits of shooting digital is that you can correct and enhance your images in Photoshop or other image-editing software very easily. to improve composition, you can straighten as well as crop your images. In later versions of Photoshop CS/ elements, you can use the rule of thirds grids to position your

horizons or focal points in the best place. You can also crop to remove elements that are distracting or lead the eye out of the frame, such as superfluous rocks, trees, roads and buildings. If you’re ever unsure about the best composition on location, zoom out and shoot a little wider, so that you have space for cropping later.

top tip which oRientation? the horizontal orientation is also known as ‘landscape’ so that’s the way you should always shoot landscapes, right? Wrong! Choose the format that works best for your chosen scene. In this example, the tall trees suit the vertical (aka ‘portrait’) format better than the horizontal (‘landscape’) format. Try both to see which works best for a subject.


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dull weather? Go Black and white! If there’s little colour in a scene, you won’t lose much by going mono t can seem like the weather is a landscape photographer’s worst enemy when another overcast day seemingly spoils a shot you had high hopes for. But grey or uninspiring weather doesn’t mean you can’t bag some great landscape shots – you just need to start seeing the world around you in black and white! With a combination of imagination and Photoshop you can transform an apparently boring scene into a dramatic

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man-made landscapes and architecture work well in mono, as there are lots of contrasting edges to emphasise shape in the absence of colour

monochrome masterpiece. Without the distraction of colour you’re left to appreciate the different tones and the scene as a whole. But you do need to capture suitable colour shots first, and that means well-exposed images that are ripe for black-and-white conversion. So, do you expose for the darker foreground or for the lighter sky? the answer is to expose for both – by capturing a balanced exposure you’ll have detail in both the sky and the

landscape, and this is ideal for a mono conversion. One option is to use a graduated neutral density (ND grad) filter on your lens to hold back the brighter light in the sky relative to the foreground for a balanced exposure. Alternatively, shoot two or more images to capture the full range of tones in the scene, from the brightest highlights to the darkest shadows, and then combine the images using HDR software, or in Photoshop using layers and masks.


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black and white conveRsion n Photoshop, use the Convert to Black and White (elements) or Black & White (CS) commands to do your conversions. Both enable you to use presets and adjust colour channels to brighten and darken different areas of your mono image. We prefer to do our mono conversions in Adobe Camera Raw, as you get so much direct control over the contrast, highlights and shadows – plus you’ll always have the raw file to return to if you want a colour image. Set Saturation to -100 and then tweak the other sliders to see what works for your image. ACR in Photoshop CS also enables you to add graduated filters to darken skies or lighten foregrounds independently.

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tuRn a blue sky black BeFore

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aFter

aytime and sunny, blue skies are also great for black and white landscapes, as blue skies turn striking deep grey when converted, while sunlight creates shadows and contrasted areas; these lit and shaded areas come to life in black and white. Look out for rocky mountainsides and cliff faces, as these can work especially well in mono.

top tip Revisit youR old images! If it’s raining cats and dogs,use of the time indoors and process the landscapes images you shot last year! We all have heaps of photos sitting on hard disks, and you may well find that shots you originally felt worked best in colour take on a new lease of life in mono.


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Just add water to BrinG a landscape to life! Including water in your scenic shots adds dynamism and interest

including moving water in your scenic shots can bring them to life – it’s up to you whether that water is frozen, blurred, or a bit of both!

s your landscape photography skills progress you’ll want to capture more interesting and creative images, and one sure-fire way to do this is to shoot scenes that include water; by capturing motion blur in water with a long exposure you can instantly bring a landscape shot to life. However, you can’t simply set a long

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exposure of 30 seconds and expect great results – do this on a sunny day and you’ll end up with overexposed images. And, even when shooting in low light at the start or end of the day, the resulting shutter speed may well not be slow enough to capture blurry water. What you need is a neutral density (ND) filter. Not to be confused with an

ND grad, which fades from clear to dark, an ND filter is solid grey and comes in varying densities, such as 1-stop or 3-stop. Better still are Big Stopper (10-stops) or variable ND filters (2 to 8-stops). All ND filters reduce the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor, slowing shutter speeds and turning water into a milky blur.


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lakeside Reflections

1/100 sec

1/2 sec

2.5 secs

brilliant way to double the amount of interest in lakeside landscapes is to capture reflections of the surrounding land and sky in the water. to maximise the reflection, compose your shot so the horizon is central, and shoot wide enough so that no peaks or trees are chopped off the top of the frame, or off the reflection at the bottom; what you’re looking for is a symmetrical shot. early morning or early evening, just before

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top tip sunset scenes Sunsets, artificial lights and water can make a heady combo and a great landscape shot. find a location with a river or lake, a coastal town with street lights or a pier, or a colourful sunset, and double the interest by capturing reflections in the water.

or just after sunset, are ideal times to shoot, as there’s likely to be some colour in the skies, plus lakes will often be calmest at these times, making them better for capturing reflections. We cooled down the above image, by setting the temperature slider in Adobe Camera Raw set to 4100K, to enhance the blues for a moodier result – you can do the opposite to warm an image up.

30 secs

wateR bluR ormally, exposures are measured in fractions of a second, such as 1/100 sec. However, to blur water movement effectively you’ll need an exposure of maybe 20-30 secs, or even longer.

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Improve your people sk Ill s and c ap t ure gre at-look Ing Images today!

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XPOSURE The week’s mosT inspiring reader phoTos

Where’s Wally?

Thomas Tassy “This was taken in Tokyo, from a balcony of the Tokyu Plaza Mall in the Omotesando harajuku quarter.” http://tiny.cc/nlh7hy

Ta P T O see G a l l ery


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The week’s mosT inspiring reader phoTos

sOMeThInG frOM nOThInG

sTephen Jackson “This photo was taken at Glencoyne Bay, on ullswater in the lake district. It’s called ‘something from nothing’ because it was taken on a dull overcast day when I thought I’d get nothing – but with the help of an nd filter I got this.” http://tiny.cc/srh7hy

a sea Of dunes

Juan alberTo silva hernández “I shot this in the dunes of Maspalomas nature reserve in the south of Gran Canaria. There are more than 400 hectares of dunes in which to enjoy the wonderful skies and sunsets that we have on the island.” http://tiny.cc/oth7hy


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The week’s mosT inspiring reader phoTos

My lITTle frIend

irina choboTova The dynamic composition and the subject’s cocked ear combine to give Irina’s pet portrait a lovely engaging feel. http://tiny.cc/nxh7hy

KOlKaTa

GeorGe kurzik “This is the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, India, photographed at sunset. I created a high dynamic range image from five exposures ranging from eight to 30 seconds.” http://tiny.cc/y2h7hy


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The week’s mosT inspiring reader phoTos

yOunG IndIan GIrl WITh flOWers

wayne may “The photo was taken at the Ghazipur Phool Mandi flower market in new delhi, India. flowers are brought here from all over India, as well as from distant countries such as Thailand, China and holland. sadly, much of the labor at the market is performed by children. This girl has worked with her family at the market for her entire life – it’s a seven day a week job that starts at 4am and ends at midday, or whenever her flowers are sold.” http://tiny.cc/zcj7hy

seljalandsfOss

laszlo naGy Jr “This is seljalandsfoss, one of the bestknown waterfalls in Iceland. I used a long exposure to blur the movement of the water, and converted the image to mono.” http://tiny.cc/bbj7hy


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The week’s mosT inspiring reader phoTos

My neW PeT…

saef ali This is a really striking macro shot. The diagonal elements create a strong composition, while the image is beautifully focused and packed with detail. http://tiny.cc/g0i7hy

PhOTOGraPhy WeeK WanTs yOur PhOTOs!

Taken a portrait you’re particularly proud of? shot a sensational sunset you’d like to show off? Then join the Photography Week facebook community and share your best photos today! you’ll get feedback from fellow readers and the Photography Week team, plus the chance to appear in Xposure, or even on our cover!


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open carry: the top clips

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8 lo-fi lenses go photoshop elements head-to-head 14: what’s new

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I T ’ S C O O L , T H AT The besT Thing we’ ve seen This week

did ansel adams make use of the golden ratio? Photographer applies compositional structures to landscape legend’s images ost of us are familiar with the importance of the rule of thirds in landscape and other genres of photography, but perhaps less well known are the golden ratio and golden spiral, mathematical structures whose proportions are thought to be inherently pleasing to our eyes and brains. However, both the golden ratio and golden spiral have long been used by artists and photographers to aid their compositions – and now photographer

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Elliot McGucken has superimposed the shapes on the photos of the man widely regarded as the greatest landscape photographer of them all, Ansel Adams. Not all the examples are convincing, but in several shots key features are clearly in harmony with the ‘golden rules’, although it’s not clear if Adams deliberately used them. “Whether Ansel used the golden harmonies consciously or unconsciously may remain a mystery forever,” McGucken tells PetaPixel (http://tiny.cc/6f78hy).

ta p t o see mor e pho t o s


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Take The nex T sTep There’s more than one way to shoot a spiral staircase, as Paul Grogan explains spiral staircases have long been a staple of architectural photography. The graphic mins shapes create a sense of harmony, and provide a feeling of depth that leads the eye into the frame. once you’ve nailed a traditional shot, however,

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why not give it a different spin? With most spiral staircases, the key is to get down low with a wide-angle lens, as this will maximise the number of spirals you’re able to include. If there’s enough light to shoot handheld, the easiest way to do this is to lie on

your back and shoot straight upwards. however, for our shoot at Beckford’s Tower, just outside Bath in southwest england, it was too dark to shoot handheld, so we had to set up a tripod for our traditional shot. once we had that in the bag, it was time to experiment…


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For our main shot we set up our tripod as low as possible (while still being able to peer through the viewfinder) and composed the image so that the banister swirled in from the corner. It was very dark, so we needed a shutter speed of 30 secs at f/16 and Iso100.

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The Zoom BursT

For this shot we were able to shoot handheld. using a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens on our Nikon D800, we focused on the edge of the stairs nearest the camera and zoomed in while the shutter was open. We experimented with different shutter speeds, and settled on 1/8 sec at f/4 and Iso800.

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The spinorama

For this shot our settings were identical, and we focused on the same spot, but instead of zooming in while the shutter was open we span the camera around. We took care to keep the spin as smooth as possible, and to ensure it was centred on the middle of the frame.


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Ge t perfec t cutouts fast Tidy up your selections with Elements’ Refine Edge command, to preserve delicate edge detail and help you create seamless composite images ome subjects consist of a variety of edge detail, from sharp, well-defined lines to softer, delicate details. take our studioshot model for example: some of her hairline is sharp, while her flyaway hairs are much finer and less distinct, and while we can select the backdrop easily

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using elements’ magic Wand tool, the tool will also select some stray hairs. the Refine edge command enables you to select tricky outlines like this one by modifying the width of the edge across which refinements such as feathering are applied – you can do this automatically be enabling the smart

Radius option, or manually with the Refine Radius tool. this helps you to select your subject without including unwanted background pixels, so that they’ll blend into a new background seamlessly to create a convincing composite. We’ll show you how to master Refine edge in this video tutorial.

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h e ad to h e ad ExpErt opinion on thE l atEst kit

C ANON rebel t6/1300D vs NIKON D3400 We pit Canon’s entry-level DSLR against its Nikon equivalent oth of these cameras are aimed at beginners or photographers on a tight budget, so you won’t find cutting-edge specifications here. But you do want a camera that delivers good performance across a wide range

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of everyday subjects, and which is also fairly future-proof, so you don’t outgrow it too soon as your skills evolve. Canon’s EOS Rebel T6/1300D and Nikon’s D3400 both have APS-C format sensors. The Canon’s is very slightly

smaller – only by a millimetre or so, but it explains why the Canon has a crop factor of 1.6x while the Nikon’s is 1.5x. You need to multiply a lens’s actual focal length by those numbers to get the effective focal length. So


CANON 1300D vS NIKON D3400 an 18-55mm kit lens on the Canon corresponds to a 29-88mm lens, whereas on the Nikon it’s equivalent to 27-83mm; in practice you’ll hardly notice the difference. Both cameras are backed up by a big range of lenses. The EOS 1300D uses an 18-megapixel sensor that’s served many of Canon’s SSLRs well, but is a step behind the 24MP sensors in its latest (and more expensive) EOS 750D and 760D. The Nikon D3400 has an up-to-date 24MP sensor, like those found in Nikon’s more advanced cameras. It’s not just about the megapixels, though: each

The D3400 is a liTTle better equIppeD fOr ACtION phOtOgrAphy, wIth A mAxImum CONtINuOus shOOtINg speeD Of fIve fps new generation of sensor tends to be a little better at noise control and dynamic range. The D3400 edges ahead for ISO range, too. It can shoot at sensitivities from ISO100 to 25,600, whereas the EOS 1300D only goes from ISO 100-6,400, although it can go up to ISO 12,800 in

‘expanded’ mode. The D3400 has a slight advantage when it comes to lowlight photography, then. It’s also a little better equipped for action photography, with a maximum continuous shooting speed of five frames per second, versus 3fps for the 1300D. Neither camera is really a sports specialist, but the Nikon

is just that little bit more versatile. There’s not too much to choose between these cameras in terms of autofocus. The Canon has a nine-point AF system, including a more accurate cross-type sensor in the centre, while the Nikon has an 11-point AF system, also with a single cross-type sensor. They’re basic by DSLR standards, but perfectly adequate for most people who are just starting out. Autofocus speed and responsiveness also depends on the lens you’re using. The Nikon D3400 usually comes with Nikon’s latest 18-55mm AF-P vR (vibration Reduction) lens, which is fast,

bOth AutOfOCus systems Are bAsIC by Dslr stANDArDs, but perfeCtly ADequAte fOr peOple whO Are just stArtINg Out quiet and very good. Some kits may come with a non-vR lens, but these are best avoided. The EOS 1300D is available in a variety of kit packages. The cheapest includes an 18-55mm DC III lens, which doesn’t have an image stabiliser. This certainly


CANON 1300D vS NIKON D3400 brings the price down, but we’d recommend looking for a better bundle, ideally with the 18-55mm IS II lens – it’s a little pricier, but it’s worth it for the image stabilisation. You get wireless connectivity with both these cameras. The D3400 has Nikon’s SnapBridge technology, which uses Bluetooth LE (low energy) to maintain a connection with your smartphone or tablet – so you can see web-sized versions of your photos on your smart device straight away, but you can’t transfer full-resolution pictures or use your smart device to control the camera remotely. The EOS 1300D has Wi-Fi and NFC built in, but not Bluetooth. It’s a little more fiddly to set up a Wi-Fi connection, but you can then transfer full-size photos to your smart device, and control the 1300D remotely.

The Nikon D3400’s power switch is around the shutter release, making it easy to switch the camera on and off one-handed – you’ll need to use both hands to power the Canon 1300D on and off

Build and handling When you put these two cameras side by side the Nikon D3400 is significantly smaller. Nikon’s 18-55mm AF-P lens collapses down to a shorter length

bOth CAmerAs hAve just ONe CONtrOl DIAl: the CANON’s Is ON the tOp Of the grIp At the frONt, whIle the NIKON’s Is ON the bACK

good use is made of the available space on the rear of the Canon 1300D – all the buttons are clustered over on the right-hand side, and there’s plenty of room for the four-way directional keys

via a button on the side, but Canon’s regular 18-55mm kit lens is no larger. From the top, the two cameras look pretty similar, with a mode dial on the right-hand side offering Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes, together with a selection of scene modes and a full Auto setting. The Canon’s power switch is around the base of the mode dial, while the Nikon’s is around the shutter release. It’s easy to switch the D3400 on and off one-handed, but with the Canon you need to hold the camera with your left hand and flick the switch with your right. Both cameras have just one control dial: the Canon’s is on the top of the grip at the front, while the Nikon’s is on the back. Both dials work perfectly well,


CANON 1300D vS NIKON D3400

although this time the tables are turned – you can work the Canon’s dial onehanded, but with the Nikon you really need both hands. Round the back, the EOS 1300D makes good use of the available space, clustering all the buttons over on the right-hand side and making more room for the four-way directional buttons, which also act as shortcuts for the drive mode, ISO setting, AF mode and white balance settings. The D3400 has just as many buttons, with four of them arranged vertically down the left. This pushes the screen to the right, leaving less space for the navigational controller, which is smaller and doesn’t offer access to key shooting settings in the way the Canon does. This is a key difference between these cameras – the Canon offers more direct control over camera settings while you’re shooting, whereas the Nikon relies heavily on its display, and

the CANON Offers mOre DIreCt CONtrOl Over settINgs whIle yOu’re shOOtINg, whereAs the NIKON relIes heAvIly ON Its DIsplAy seems to need more button clicks and screen navigation to achieve the same basic adjustments. For outright beginners the D3400 works perfectly well – especially its built-in Guide mode, which is almost like having a manual of photography inside the camera. It not only explains the settings for different kinds of photography, but applies them too. Once you’ve learned the basics, though, you might find the D3400’s approach too slow and novice-orientated, and long instead for the more direct control offered by the 1300D. Judged purely in terms of handling, control and feel, the EOS 1300D comes out on top. It feels the right size, and offers everyday adjustments in a much more direct way. The D3400 feels a little small, and while it offers just as many knobs and dials as the Canon, they’re not used to such good effect.

ImAge tes t CANON

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Detail The 1300D has only 18 million pixels compared to the Nikon’s 24 million, and you can see this in the fine detail rendition. The Canon is good, but the Nikon is better.

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low light At IsO6400 the D3400 is still 2ev (stops) below its maximum IsO25,600 setting, and still showing good contrast, colour and detail – it’s much better than the 1300D here.

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NIKON

Colour The Canon has captured the subtle warmth in this winter sunlight far better than the Nikon. it delivers rich, pleasing colours at its default settings.

CANON

NIKON

exposure the eOs 1300D’s evaluative metering works pretty well, although it is easily fooled into overexposure in dark areas. Nikon’s Matrix metering system does well in a variety of conditions.


CANON 1300D vS NIKON D3400

Performance The D3400’s images are generally sharper, with more contrast and clarity than the Canon’s. This is partly due to the exposure system, which handles a wide range of conditions very well – the 1300D seems to have a slight tendency towards overexposure. Outdoors, the D3400 produced crisp, well-exposed shots, but with a rather cold tone. The 1300D produced much

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more pleasing colours, which, for example, captured the subtle warmth of a low sun more effectively. You may get different results if you experiment with the white balance settings, picture styles and raw processing, but out of the box the Canon’s results were a little more appealing. At high ISO settings the D3400 pulled ahead very quickly. You would expect a sensor with more megapixels to be

worse at higher ISO settings, not better, but Nikon’s sensor is newer than the design in the EOS 1300D. The D3400 has a maximum ISO that’s 2Ev higher than the Canon’s; that’s a good guide to the difference in high-ISO image quality. At ISO6,400, the Canon’s maximum, the D3400 was well within its abilities and delivered much sharper pictures. Rod Lawton

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1 you can use full-frame ef lenses on the 1300D, but you can’t use Canon’s smaller-format ef-s lenses on full-frame eOs cameras.

3 It’s a budget camera, but the 1300D has a high-resolution 920k-dot lCD display. it’s fixed, though, and doesn’t tilt or flip out.

1 you can use full-frame fx lenses on the D3400, and its smaller Dx lenses can be used on full-frame Nikons in ‘crop mode’.

3 the rear screen is sharp and clear, but if you want one that flips out and rotates you’ll have to step up to the Nikon D5500 or D5600.

2 the 1300D and the D3400 both have a single control dial. The Canon’s is mounted on the top, and is easier to use one-handed.

4 the four-way navigation buttons also act as shortcuts to the isO, autofocus, white balance and drive mode settings.

2 the D3400’s mode dial has a guide setting to walk beginners through different types of photo, and effects for experimenting.

4 the D3400 has a smaller navigational controller than the 1300D, and it doesn’t offer any shooting setting shortcuts.


CANON 1300D vS NIKON D3400

verDIC t his head-to-head is designed to find out which model gives you more camera for less money. However, we just can’t split them in terms of overall rating – both deserve nothing more nor less than four stars – but we can tell you their

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strengths and weaknesses. For value and ease of use, the Canon EOS 1300D is the winner. It doesn’t produce the best image quality, and it can’t match the D3400’s continuous shooting speed. But it’s cheaper, its controls are better for

setting adjustments, and it handles well. The D3400 delivers better technical quality, and the 18-55mm AF-P kit lens is extremely good in a camera at this price. But it feels smaller and more fiddly to use, with greater dependence on its screen.

the CANON 7D mArK II’s AutOfOCus system Is very gOOD; the D500’s Is just A shADe NIppIer, thOugh

Canon 1300D £319/$449

Nikon D3400 £409/$497

www.canon.co.uk

www.nikon.co.uk

with 18-55mm Is II lens image sensor 18MP CMOs, 22.3 x 14.9MM max image size 5,184 x 3,456 pIxels image proCessor DIgIC 4+ stabilisation IN-leNs ViewfinDer PeNTaMirrOr, 0.80x, 95% lens mount CANON ef-s iso range (expanDeD) IsO 100-6,400 (expANDAble tO 12,800) autofoCus points 9-pOINt (1 CrOss-type) shutter speeDs 1/4,000 tO 30 seC, bulb x-synC 1/200 seC max burst rate 3fps buffer CapaCity 1,110 jpeg, 6 rAw ViDeo – max resolution 1080p (24/25/30fps) lCD sCreen 3-INCh, 920K memory sD/ hC/xC wireless ConneCtiVity wI-fI, NfC interfaCe usb/ vIDeO, hDmI mINI boDy materials CArbON fIbre, glAss fIbre, pOlyCArbONAte boDy (w x h x D) 129 x 101 x 78mm weight 485g battery life (Cipa) 500 shOts

(body only)

image sensor 24.2MP CMOs, 23.5 x 15.6MM max image size 6,000 x 4,000 pIxels image proCessor expeeD 4 stabilisation IN-leNs ViewfinDer PeNTaMirrOr, 0.85x, 95% lens mount NIKON f iso range (expanDeD) IsO 100-25,600 autofoCus points 11-pOINt (1 CrOss-type) shutter speeDs 1/4,000 tO 30 seC, bulb x-synC 1/200 seC max burst rate 5fps buffer CapaCity 100 jpeg, 17 rAw ViDeo – max resolution 1080p (24/25/30/ 50/60fps) lCD sCreen 3-INCh, 921K memory sD/hC/xC wireless ConneCtiVity bluetOOth le interfaCe usb, hDmI type C boDy materials CArbON fIbre, COmpOsIte boDy (w x h x D) 124 x 98 x 76mm weight 445g battery life (Cipa) 1,200 shOts


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