A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions

The post A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

amazing-bird-photography-compositions

Do you want to capture amazing photos of birds? If so, you have to master bird photography compositions.

Composition refers to the arrangement of elements within the photo. And it’s often the difference between a creative, compelling image, and an image that just falls flat.

In this article, I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about bird photography composition. I’m going to give you several tips that ensure you capture beautiful bird photography compositions, without fail.

Sound good?

Let’s dive right in.

amazing-bird-photography-compositions

The composition basics: Capturing a gorgeous bird photo

When you take a bird photo, everything in the frame matters.

The bird. The position of the bird. The position of the bird’s head. The background. Any elements behind the bird. Any elements in front of the bird.

It’s all important.

Because the key to a gorgeous bird photography compositions is keeping the shot focused on your main subject.

amazing-bird-photography-compositions

You want to make sure that the bird stands out in the frame. You want to make sure everything else in the photo emphasizes and enhances the bird.

So how do you do that?

A few simple ways, starting with:

Simplify the entire composition to make the bird stand out

If your composition is chaotic, then the viewer is going to get lost.

And that’s absolutely not what you want.

Instead, you should aim to simplify the composition as much as possible. The best compositions tend to include a bird and a background. That’s it.

A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions

While it’s possible to create beautiful shots by including additional birds or interesting features (e.g., shells, flowers), I recommend avoiding that as much as possible. These mess up compositions more often than they enhance them.

Also, in the interest of simplicity: If there’s anything in the frame that’s distracting, get rid of it. So make sure there are no branches behind the bird. Make sure there’s nothing in the background that dominates the frame or draws the eye.

That’s how you’ll keep your bird photography compositions beautiful.

And speaking of backgrounds:

Aim for a uniform, simple background that makes the bird pop

If you want a beautiful bird photography compositions, then you need a beautiful background.

What does this involve?

First, the best bird photography backgrounds are simple. They’re also uniform.

Like this:

A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions

Notice how the background is a nice uniform color.

It keeps the attention on the bird. It doesn’t distract.

To create a background like this, you want to start by ensuring a large separation between the bird and the background. One trick is to get down low, on the bird’s level; this will cause the ground behind the bird to fall away, creating a more distant background.

You should also make sure you use a decently wide aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/6.3 (the particulars depend on the size of your bird, because you don’t want to accidentally make parts of the bird soft!).

Finally, you should ensure that the background doesn’t include colorful elements that catch the eye. Before you take a shot, look behind your bird, and ask yourself: Will anything in the background dominate the frame? Will anything pull the viewer away from the bird?

If the answer is “Yes,” then you should consider moving slightly to the left or right so that you’re no longer stuck with a distracting background.

Use the rule of thirds to position the bird’s eye

Now that you know how to capture beautiful backgrounds, it’s time to look at your main subject and how to position it.

Generally speaking, you’ll have a single bird in your photos. And you need to position this bird carefully.

You don’t want to put it smack-dab in the middle of the frame. That’s a recipe for a boring, static composition.

Instead, I recommend you place the bird so that its eye falls along a rule of thirds power point.

What is the rule of thirds power points?

They’re simply points that are a third of the way into the frame, both vertically and horizontally.

The eye in this photo, for instance, falls along a power point:

A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions

It’s a third of the way down, and a third of the way from the left.

Now, the rule of thirds is misnamed; it’s a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule. But it is a great way to position your bird and will ensure that the shot feels a lot more interesting.

So use the rule of thirds whenever you can to position your bird within the frame.

Point the bird into the frame to add movement

I’ve talked about positioning your main subject using the rule of thirds, but there’s another aspect to positioning that you should always, always consider:

The direction the bird is pointing.

You see, most bird photos have some empty space in the frame.

And when they do…

…you want to point the bird into the empty space, rather than away from it.

amazing-bird-photography-compositions

You see, by making sure the bird is looking into the empty space, it adds a sense of completeness and a sense of motion to the frame. The viewer’s eye follows the birds line of sight, and everything feels satisfying.

Whereas if you point the bird out of the frame, the whole shot feels tense. The viewer wants to know what’s outside the frame, with no resolution in sight.

That’s why bird photographers love to point the bird into the frame. It’s far more satisfying, and can turn the shot into something powerful.

Capture the bird in a creative pose for increased interest

Now, when it comes to bird photography, you can capture birds in a normal standing pose.

And that’ll get you some nice photos.

But sometimes…

This isn’t enough.

If you want to create truly creative bird photography, you need to go beyond the simple standing pose. And capture the bird doing something interesting.

What counts as interesting?

For one, preening birds look really interesting. They appear wonderfully tranquil as they clean their feathers.

A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions

And birds that are sleeping also give off a sense of peace that I love.

You can also go for action shots: Birds feeding, for instance, can create a lot of interest. You can capture photos of birds that are about to catch food, are currently catching food, or have just caught food. Think of a bird with a huge fish in its mouth.

It’s guaranteed to add interest.

Cool, right?

You can also go for shots of birds fighting or, as is a common bird photography practice, shots of birds flying. Photographing birds in flight can be a challenge, but a really rewarding one.

So whenever you’re able, don’t just take a standard bird photo. Go beyond this.

Make something unique!

A quick guide to amazing bird photography compositions: Conclusion

You should now have a sense of the best ways to capture beautiful bird photography compositions.

And remember:

Getting amazing compositions isn’t hard. You just have to use the tips that I’ve given you, and you’ll be taking stunning photos in no time.

Have other tips for gorgeous bird photography compositions? Share them in the comments!

amazing-bird-photography-compositions

The post A Quick Guide to Amazing Bird Photography Compositions appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released

The post News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released

ACDSee has just released its latest post-processing software, Photo Studio Ultimate 2020. ACDSee’s software is meant to pose a challenge to some of the big-name programs out there, most notably Lightroom and Photoshop, though Ultimate 2020 is somewhat unique in that it aims to take on both programs at once.

While Adobe’s Lightroom plus Photoshop package has remained a favorite of photographers over the past few years, programs like ACDSee continue to give them a run for their money. Especially when you can do with a single program that Lightroom and Photoshop can only do in conjunction.

ACDSee Ultimate 2020 isn’t just a full-fledged photo editor (like Photoshop), nor does it confine itself to digital asset management with moderate processing capabilities (like Lightroom). Instead, it offers both file management and advanced, layer-based editing for those photographers who’d like to keep their workflow all in one place.

ACDSee Ultimate 2020 promises a host of new and upgraded features in order to improve both organization and editing workflows, including:

  • Enhanced face detection features, which allow you to easily find photos of specific people within the ACDSee database
  • An HDR function that allows you to combine several exposures to create one high-quality HDR image
  • Focus stacking capabilities, in order to produce a deep depth of field image out of several photos focused at different distances
  • And a Blended Clone tool, which allows you to quickly and efficiently remove distracting areas from your photos for a seamless result

ACDSee Ultimate 2020 also offers RAW support for a slew of additional cameras, including Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, and Canon bodies.

The most unfortunate thing about ACDSee Ultimate 2020 is that it’s only available for Windows. But if you’re already a PC user, there’s a lot to love about this program. You can download a copy of ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 for $150 USD, or for $69 per year as part of a subscription program.

Now I’d like to know your thoughts:

Are you planning on purchasing ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020? If not, what is your favorite photo editor, and why? Do you think that single programs like ACDSee will ever be able to take the reigns from Lightroom and Photoshop?

The post News: ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2020 Released appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera

The post Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon eos raCanon has announced its first astrophotography camera since the Canon 60Da, which is also its first-ever mirrorless astrophotography camera:

The Canon EOS Ra.

The EOS Ra isn’t a particularly flashy camera; it’s the Canon EOS R, along with a few special features designed for astrophotographers. But if you’re looking to take photos of the night sky, the Canon EOS Ra may be exactly what you need.

Canon eos ra

What makes this camera special?

First, Canon has added a special IR filter in front of the sensor, one that promises to increase transmission of the H-alpha wavelength by approximately four times the amount of the standard EOS R. Most cameras include an IR filter that reduces H-alpha wavelength transmission. But the H-alpha wavelength features heavily in celestial phenomena such as diffuse nebulae; the enhanced transmission should make for clearer, sharper images of these astronomical objects.

And second, Canon added enhanced EVF and LCD viewing. You can zoom in to 5x or 30x magnification using either the LCD or the electronic viewfinder, which allows you to focus on celestial objects with increased precision.

Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera

Note that the Canon EOS Ra offers all the other features of the EOS R, including a 30.3 MP sensor, the DIGIC 8 processor, continuous shooting at 8 frames per second, and Canon’s amazing Dual Pixel autofocus.

So who should get the Canon EOS Ra? And how does it perform when shooting subjects other than the night sky?

The Canon EOS Ra is designed for astrophotographers, and I recommend you keep it that way. While all the EOS R features are present, the altered IR filter may cause issues when photographing non-celestial subjects. Plus, the EOS Ra has a few hundred dollars added to its price tag, selling for $2499 USD compared to the $1799 USD Canon EOS R. For non-astrophotographers, purchasing the EOS Ra will be throwing away unnecessary dollars.

But for astrophotographers, the Canon EOS Ra is a fantastic option.

The camera is currently available for preorder and should debut in mid-December 2019.

What do you think about the Canon EOS Ra? And for all the astrophotographers out there: Will you be using it for astrophotography?

The post Canon Announces the EOS Ra, Its First Mirrorless Astrophotography Camera appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format?

The post HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

HEIF files

During a recent meeting about the recently announced Canon 1D X Mark III with Digital Camera World, Canon product intelligence specialist David Parry dropped a bombshell:

“We’ve moved on to HEIF files,” Parry said.

While Canon later walked back the statement, claiming that they “have no plans to abandon JPEGs,” but instead wish to “give users a new image option” in the Canon 1D X Mark III, the comment got plenty of people talking. And the reason is clear: If Canon is adopting HEIF files alongside its JPEGs, might we soon see the company scrap JPEGs entirely? And what about Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Olympus?

In other words, does Canon’s move to HEIF files signal the end of JPEGs?

For photographers who have been using JPEGs for decades, this might come as a shock. While HEIF files have been in the media for the past couple of years, ever since Apple added them to their iOS devices and Macs, no major camera manufacturer has adopted HEIF files – until now.

And while some users may dismiss HEIF files as another overhyped “JPEG killer” which will disappear in a few years, there is reason to believe that HEIF files are here to stay.

To understand why, let’s take a closer look at HEIF files and what they offer over JPEGs.

HEIF files vs JPEGs

The biggest difference between HEIF files and JPEGs is their respective file sizes:

JPEGs are small, but HEIF files are tiny.

In fact, HEIF files are often billed as half the size of JPEGs, but with the same (or better) quality. This means that you can store far more HEIF files on a device than you can JPEGs, without a loss in quality.

How is this possible?

Simply put, compression has improved. JPEG files debuted way back in the 1990s, whereas HEIF is a relatively new image file format. So when it comes to compression, what a JPEG can do, a HEIF file can do better.

And this results in smaller files with limited quality loss.

Compression isn’t the only area where HEIF files shine. HEIF files can also store more color information than JPEGs, which means that your HEIF photos will look better, and can avoid the unpleasant color-banding effects that sometimes come with JPEGs.

And what about compatibility? Surely JPEGs are far more established than HEIF files, given their universal popularity?

Back in 2017, when Apple adopted HEIF files, this was a real discussion. Some applications couldn’t deal with HEIF files, and that was a problem.

But now, two years later…

HEIF files can be used by pretty much any program you’d need. The compatibility issues are gone, and we’re left with a file format that just seems all-around superior to JPEGs.

So while JPEGs are the file format of the present and the past, HEIF files are likely the format of the future.

Now I’d like to know your thoughts:

Do you think HEIF files will replace JPEGs? And how do you feel about this change? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And respond to our poll regarding whether you’re happy about the shift to HEIF files: 

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

The post HEIF Files: Do They Mean the End of the JPEG Format? appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon Announces 24P Video in 90D, EOS RP Via Firmware Update

The post Canon Announces 24P Video in 90D, EOS RP Via Firmware Update appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

 

Canon Announces 24PWhen Canon debuted the EOS RP, photographers who also shoot video were intensely frustrated by one feature:

The lack of 24p video recording when shooting HD.

24p is especially important to videographers going for a cinematic look; 24p is a very common choice in movies, and the 24p look is now expected by moviegoers.

While the Canon EOS RP did offer 24p when shooting 4K, Canon customers were still disappointed. For anyone who wished to shoot in the HD arena at 24p, the Canon EOS RP was off-limits.

This trend continued with the Canon 90D, which also lacked 24p, though this time when shooting both 4K and full HD. And the Canon EOS M6 Mark II also missed the 24p feature.

Fortunately, Canon seems to listen to its consumers. On October 8th, the photography giant announced that it would be bringing 24p recording to a series of DSLR and mirrorless cameras. It promised to start with the EOS RP and the Canon 90D, followed by the PowerShot G7 X Mark III, the G5 X Mark II, and the Canon EOS M6 Mark II.

And just last week, Canon delivered. The company released its firmware version 1.4.0 for the Canon EOS RP and its firmware version 1.1.1 for the Canon 90D, allowing both cameras to shoot video at 24p. As the EOS RP already had 24p capabilities when doing 4K video, the firmware update simply expands this into the full HD territory. But the Canon 90D offered no 24p capabilities, and the firmware update has turned this around, giving the DSLR 24p shooting in both full HD recording and 4K recording.

You can download this new firmware from the Canon website (completely free!).

While the G7 X Mark III, G5 X Mark II, and EOS M6 Mark II haven’t yet received their firmware updates, you can be fairly confident that Canon will deliver. Canon has even offered a timeline, promising 24p for the G7 X Mark III and the G5 X Mark II before New Years, and the EOS M6 Mark II in 2020 (hopefully early on!).

Now I’d like to ask you:

What do you think of this firmware update? Does this make the Canon 90D or the Canon EOS RP more desirable? Share in the comments!

The post Canon Announces 24P Video in 90D, EOS RP Via Firmware Update appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

The Canon 1D X Mark III Will Debut With 20 FPS and Enhanced Autofocus

The post The Canon 1D X Mark III Will Debut With 20 FPS and Enhanced Autofocus appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

 

Canon-1D-X-Mark-III-debutJust last week, Canon announced the long-awaited 1D X Mark III, a flagship DSLR tailored to action and wildlife photographers. The new camera comes as a successor to the Canon 1D X Mark II, which set the tone for sports photographers everywhere.

But what can you expect from the Canon 1D X Mark III? Is it a camera worth purchasing?

First, the Canon 1D X Mark III is a professional action photographer’s camera. So while it will undoubtedly offer the latest and greatest technology, this will come at a price that most enthusiast photographers will be unwilling to pay. The Canon 1D X Mark II debuted at an MSRP of $5999, so you can expect something similar (if not more) for the Canon 1D X Mark III.

That said, for those who can afford it, the Canon 1D X Mark III is looking to be one of the best action cameras money can buy. Let’s check out its specifications:

Specifications

According to the Canon press release, the 1D X Mark III will offer incredible autofocus capabilities. This includes “exceptional precision, reliability, high-performance…and subject tracking.” For any photographer who shoots moving subjects, the Canon 1D X Mark III’s tracking is bound to be better than any previous Canon DSLR.

And these capabilities extend into Live View, where the 1D X Mark III’s Dual Pixel autofocus features 525 AF areas for lightning-fast focusing and accuracy.

Of course, no action camera is complete without a high continuous shooting rate. Here, the Canon 1D X Mark III won’t disappoint; using the optical viewfinder, you can expect up to 16 frames per second of continuous shooting. In Live View, you can shoot up to an incredible 20 frames per second.

Also, the 1D X Mark III promises “more than five times the RAW burst depth of its predecessor,” thanks to a new DIGIC processor and dual CFexpress card slots. Considering the deep buffer of the 1D X Mark II, you can expect extraordinary capabilities that will please any action photographer.

Unfortunately, Canon has not yet announced the sensor details on the Canon 1D X Mark III. We don’t know its resolution (though rumors indicate it may be around 28 megapixels). However, Canon has announced the addition of the HEIF file format, which should allow for better colors and enhanced dynamic range over JPEGs.

Finally, the Canon 1D X Mark III is designed for high-speed transfers and flexibility in the field. The camera features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE, as well as a built-in Ethernet connection and an optional wireless file transmitter. This is a nice set of features for pros who need to quickly transfer photos.

There is currently no set release date for the Canon 1D X Mark III. However, you can expect it sometime before mid-2020, and possibly as early as February (if it mirrors the path of the Canon 1D X Mark II, which debuted in February of 2016).

That should give you plenty of time to decide if the camera is right for you.

What do you think about the Canon 1D X Mark III? Does it meet your expectations? Will you be purchasing it? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post The Canon 1D X Mark III Will Debut With 20 FPS and Enhanced Autofocus appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Canon Reveals the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L and the RF 85mm f/1.2L DS Lenses

The post Canon Reveals the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L and the RF 85mm f/1.2L DS Lenses appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

 

Canon-reveals-RF-lensesCanon has announced two new lenses for its mirrorless lineup:

The RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS.

Let’s take a closer look:

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L Lens

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The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L offers a classic focal length that’s useful for pretty much everything.

You’ll find a 70-200mm in practically every landscape photographer’s bag for those tight shots that require a longer focal length. Portrait photographers like 70-200mm lenses for their headshot capabilities. Sports photographers love the focal length for powerful action shots. And event photographers appreciate the way a fast 70-200mm zoom lets them shoot without getting in the way.

Up until now, Canon hasn’t produced a lens in this focal length range, unless you count the RF 24-240mm, which is nowhere near as fast as the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L, nor does it have the ‘L’ lens designation. Therefore, many of Canon’s serious mirrorless shooters will jump at the chance to add such a powerful lens to their bags.

Note that the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L seems specially designed for low-light shooters: A combination of an ultra-wide f/2.8 aperture and Canon’s image stabilization technology makes this a formidable piece of kit for any low-light shooting scenario.

The Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L will debut in November 2019 for $2699 USD.

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS Lens

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Canon already offers an RF 85mm f/1.2L lens, so what makes this lens stand apart?

The new RF 85mm lens is designed with a brand new DS coating, known as Defocus Smoothing. The DS coating promises a smoother bokeh effect when shooting at wide apertures by darkening the edges of lens elements. While this serves to create a beautiful background quality, it also decreases light transmittance, so you do lose a bit of the light-gathering capabilities that you generally expect from an f/1.2 lens.

That said, the RF 85mm f/1.2L DS is bound to be appreciated by portrait photographers. With the DS coating, you’ll be able to capture some of the creamiest bokeh you’ve ever seen, while the f/1.2 aperture is perfect for creating a beautiful shallow depth-of-field look.

The Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS will debut in December 2019 for $2999 USD.

Do these lenses excite you? Will you add them to your line-up? Share with us in the comments below.

The post Canon Reveals the RF 70-200mm f/2.8L and the RF 85mm f/1.2L DS Lenses appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

New Loupedeck Creative Tool: Smoother Editing for Creative Professionals

The post New Loupedeck Creative Tool: Smoother Editing for Creative Professionals appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

Loupedeck-creative-tool-announcement

Do you ever feel like you want more control over your photo editing?

If so, you’re in luck.

Because Loupedeck has just launched one of the most innovative editing products out there: a console that’s designed to speed up your editing workflow and give you a smooth editing experience.

It’s called the Loupedeck Creative Tool, and it’s truly unique.

How exactly does it work?

The Creative Tool is a photo editing console. It hooks up to your photo editing program of choice, and allows you to use many buttons, touchscreens, and more to achieve the photo editing workflow that you desire.

Loupedeck-creative-tool-announcement

Note that the Creative Tool itself doesn’t work in place of a computer and monitor. Instead, it works alongside your computer to provide an efficient editing experience like the Loupedeck+, another Loupedeck product.

Currently, the Creative Tool is compatible with Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Ableton Live, Adobe Illustrator, and Final Cut Pro X. The company promises to integrate Autodesk Fusion 360 before the year is out, and you can certainly expect additional compatible programs as Loupedeck update the Creative Tool.

Here’s a video explaining how the product works with Lightroom Classic:

Who’s it for?

Now, while the Loupedeck Creative Tool seems like an intriguing option, who should actually consider the product?

First, I’d recommend beginner photographers stay away from the Loupedeck Creative Tool. It’s a lot to handle, and doesn’t offer much benefit to anyone who doesn’t have a consistent editing workflow and very specific needs.

On the other hand, for more serious photographers (including professionals), the Loupedeck is a great choice. You’ll use the Creative Tool to enhance your editing. And it’ll enable you to edit faster without compromising quality.

As explained by the Loupedeck CEO:

The rise in popularity of professional editing within the digital workspace has sparked a new generation of creative professionals who require absolute precision, versatility, portability and endless customization possibilities in the tools they use, which was considered in the design and development of the Loupedeck Creative Tool.

If you’re one of these serious creative professionals, then you should seriously consider the Loupedeck Creative Tool. It’s available for preorder on B&H Photo Video, and the company will begin shipping on November 11th.

New Loupedeck Creative Tool: Smoother Editing for Creative Professionals

Now I’d like to know your thoughts:

Would you be interested in a product like the Loupedeck Creative Tool? Are you looking for increased customization in your editing?

Let me know in the comments!

The post New Loupedeck Creative Tool: Smoother Editing for Creative Professionals appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019

The post The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

best-low-light-dslrs-you-can-buy-in-2019

The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019

Do you want a camera that will capture amazing shots in low light?

As camera technology advances, DSLRs get better and better at handling the low light demands of photographers. Ten years ago, you would feel uncomfortable pushing ISOs past triple digits; now, ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 are common settings. And low-light autofocus lets you do some much more compared to 2010.

Of course, if you want these low light capabilities, there is one caveat:

You have to have the right camera. Because while some cameras perform admirably in low light conditions, others are still less than impressive.

In this article, I break it all down. I’ll share with you the five best low light DSLRs you can buy.

You’ll come away knowing which DSLR you need to grab – if you want the best low light capabilities out there.

Let’s dive right in.

The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019

1. Overall winner: the Canon 5D Mark IV

best-low-light-dslrs-you-can-buy-in-2019

The Canon 5D Mark IV is an all-round great camera. And its low light performance is, well, amazing.

First, the Canon 5D Mark IV features strong low-light autofocus. The camera is rated down to -3 EV, and the autofocus does well when acquiring focus in the dark.

But where the Canon 5D Mark IV really shines is in its high ISO performance. The 5D Mark IV’s sensor easily outperforms the 5D Mark III, the 6D Mark II, and every Canon crop-sensor DSLR ever produced.

Images are great up through ISO 1600, and still usable at ISO 3200, 6400, and even 12800. This makes the Canon 5D Mark IV perfect for those who need to carry on shooting, even in ultra-dark conditions, such as wedding photographers and astrophotographers.

Plus, the Canon 5D Mark IV is just great across the board, packing a 30.4-megapixel sensor, dual card slots, 61 AF points with 41 cross-type points, and 7 frames-per-second continuous shooting.

Note that the Canon 1D X Mark II (Canon’s $5000+ flagship camera) does give better photos than the Canon 5D Mark IV, especially at ISO 6400 and 12800. But the unspeakably high price makes it a non-starter for pretty much every enthusiast and even semi-professional photographer, so I opted to leave both it and its Nikon equivalent, the D5, off the list.

2. Incredible alternative: the Nikon D850

best-low-light-dslrs-you-can-buy-in-2019

First things first:

The Nikon D850 is one of Nikon’s top DSLRs and an amazing low light shooter in its own right.

In fact, the Nikon D850 edges out the Canon 5D Mark IV when it comes to low-light focusing. The Nikon D850 can lock focus in almost complete darkness, and it’s rated by Nikon down to an AF sensitivity of EV -4. In other words, the D850 is a strong option for event photographers, as well as anyone else looking to shoot moving subjects in low light.

Where the Nikon D850 falls short is in terms of ISO performance – though “falling short” is a bit of a misnomer in this case, because the D850 features amazing high ISO capabilities.

(It’s a credit to the Canon 5D Mark IV’s outstanding low light performance that it comes in ahead of the Nikon.)

The D850 offers beautiful photos up to ISO 1600. Images are still usable at ISO 3200. After this, color casts begin to distort the D850’s photos, though noise performance is still impressive.

If you’re comparing the D850 versus the 5D Mark IV, it’s worth noting the higher resolution of the D850 (45.7 megapixels) with the same frame-per-second rate (7 fps). Add to that 4K video capabilities, and you’ve got yourself a tremendous competitor.

3. Good budget option: the Nikon D750

The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019

The Nikon D750 is a few years old now (it was released in 2014), but that doesn’t stop it from offering up impressive low light performance, five years later.

The biggest benefit the D750 offers in terms of low-light capabilities is its autofocus; while it can’t go down to the -4 EV AF sensitivity featured on the D850, it offers autofocusing at a respectable -3 EV and does extremely well (better than the D810) at acquiring focus in low light.

The D750 packs impressive high-ISO capabilities, as well. You should be able to shoot comfortably up through ISO 1600. At ISO 3200, some noise will be present, increasing at ISO 6400, but remaining usable.

Other features include a 6.5 fps continuous shooting speed, a full-frame, 24.3-megapixel sensor, and an adjustable LCD screen. Where the D750 shows its years is in terms of its accessories: there’s no touchscreen, and no 4K video.

But it’s easy to find used D750s on sale for under 1000 dollars. So if you’re looking for a stellar low-light camera on a budget, the D750 may be the way to go.

4. Canon 6D Mark II

The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019

The Canon 6D was considered an exciting full-frame option for enthusiasts. Unfortunately, its successor, the Canon 6D Mark II, debuted to less critical acclaim.

That said, the Canon 6D Mark II does have a few features worth noting, including its low light ISO performance, which is outranked only by the 5D Mark IV among Canon’s semiprofessional and APS-C DSLRs.

On the 6D Mark II, you can push your ISO to 1600 without worrying about intense noise. Even ISO 3200 gives useable, though somewhat noisy, images.

Low light focusing is good, with the 6D Mark II acquiring focus down to an EV of -3, and featuring a strong AF center point (as part of a 45 AF point spread).

All in all, the Canon 6D Mark II is a solid low light option, especially for those not willing to shell out the money for a Canon 5D Mark IV (or its Nikon competitors).

5. Best APS-C low light option: the Nikon D7500 (and the Canon 80D)

best-low-light-dslrs-you-can-buy-in-2019Full-frame cameras are better low light shooters, hands down. The larger pixel size gives better noise performance, and top brands channel their best features into semi-professional and professional full-frame bodies.

That said, there are some great low-light crop-sensor options out there.

In particular, the Nikon D7500 offers some impressive low-light capabilities at a very reasonable price (and is just an all-around solid option).

First, the ISO range is outstanding: ISO 100 to ISO 51,200, with an extension to the whopping ISO 1,638,400 (not that you should ever use it).

ISO 1600 shows noise, but nothing serious. Images at ISO 3200 are surprisingly good for an APS-C camera, and even ISO 6400 is usable with some noise reduction for smaller print sizes.

On the Canon side of things, the 80D doesn’t quite match the low-light performance of the Nikon D7500 but is still worth a look. Images become noisy around ISO 1600, increasing with ISO 3200 and beyond. I’d also recommend checking out the new Canon 90D; while the noise performance will no doubt be scrutinized over the coming months, initial tests indicate that the 90D is close to equivalent with the 80D at high ISOs.

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Here’s the bottom line:

For entry-level shooters looking to grab a strong low-light performer, the Nikon D7500 or the Canon 80D might be the way to go.

The 5 best low light DSLRs you can buy: conclusion

You should now have a good sense of the best low-light DSLRs out there – and the right one for your needs.

If you’re looking to do some serious shooting and you have the cash to spare, the Canon 5D Mark IV or the Nikon D850 is the way to go.

But the Canon 6D Mark II and the Nikon D750 are solid backups.

And for the entry-level photographer, the Nikon D7500 and the Canon 80D both feature good high-ISO performance, even if they are APS-C bodies.

Do you agree with these low light shooters? Are there any other low-light DSLRs you’d recommend? Share with us in the comments!

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The post The 5 Best Low Light DSLRs You Can Buy in 2019 appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020)

The post The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020)Professional DSLRs aren’t dead yet.

As was reported last week, Canon has plans to keep at least one of its DSLR lineups alive:

A photographer’s favorite, the Canon 5D line.

Rumors indicate that the Canon 5D Mark V will likely be announced sometime in 2020, probably at the end of the year.

The Canon 5D Mark IV is a popular choice among professional photographers; it’s particularly praised for its high-ISO capabilities, which blow most other cameras out of the water. But the Canon 5D Mark IV isn’t just a great option for low light shooters. It’s an all-around excellent piece of kit, offering good continuous shooting speeds (7 fps), impressive autofocus capabilities (including Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocusing), a rugged body, and dual card slots.

We can hopefully expect the Canon 5D Mark V to be more of the same, just with some key upgrades. Canon will undoubtedly retain the dual card slots and the rugged camera, though we’ll undoubtedly see expanded high-ISO capabilities and (probably) improved autofocus, not to mention resolution. If we’re lucky, we’ll get increased continuous shooting speeds, though 7 fps is very respectable, especially for a 30+ megapixel camera.

Given the overwhelming interest in mirrorless cameras, we can also expect some cross-pollination between mirrorless and DSLR lineups. While the Canon 1D X Mark III will likely be the first Canon DSLR to feature in-body image stabilization, the Canon 5D Mark V may be the second.

Note that the Canon EOS R II is also rumored to come out around the same time as the Canon 5D Mark V, and will probably have many of the same features. Hopefully, this will include dual card slots, a feature that was sorely missed by professional photographers who considered the Canon EOS R, as well as in-body image stabilization.

So I’d like to ask you:

Which camera would you be more interested in – the Canon 5D Mark V or the Canon EOS R II? And Canon 5D Mark IV users, might you consider switching to mirrorless?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

The post The Canon 5D Mark V to Be Produced After All (in 2020) appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Jaymes Dempsey.

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