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The Fix: Get the most out of your dSLR camera

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The Fix: Get the most out of your dSLR camera

9:07 /

In this week's episode of The Fix, we focus on dSLR camera tips and techniques. We show you how to select the right lens for food, landscape, and portraits. We capture our four-legged pals in action, creating some precious and memorable snapshots. Plus, a free app that lets you snap a picture when you clap your hands.

[MUSIC] Hey everyone welcome to Cnet the fix the show about DIY tech and how to. I'm Eric Franklin, I'm Donald Bell and this week we have some tips and tricks for all you budding photographers out there. Yeah we're gonna focus on DSLR's and we're gonna start out with some tips on choosing the right lens for your camera. If you're a DSLR owner, the lens that came with your camera is great for getting started. [MUSIC] But eventually, you will grow out of it. So, if you're ready to purchase a new lens, I have a few recommendations on exactly how to go about it. Hands down, my favorite lens is the 50 mm 1.8 fixed lens, it's great for portraits, food photos and still life. It is a prime lens or fixed lens, so it doesn't zoom, which means you have to get really close to your subject in order to frame up. But the trade off is huge, it's a fast lens with a wide aperture which means super sharp photos even in low light. The best part is that it's only $100, and that's not as cheap as it gets. [MUSIC]. When you're shopping for a portrait lens, what you want is a lens that won't distort your subject. You want the person to look like they do to the human eye. You also, want that really cool blurry background effect. [MUSIC] On a full size sensor camera like the Canon 5D, get a lens with a focal length of 80 millimeters to 100 millimeters. On a cross sensor camera like this one, that translates to about 50 millimeters. If you want to go any shorter than 50 millimeters, you subject will start to look a little too stretched out, so stick with this range. [MUSIC] For food photography you don't necessarily need a zoom lens instead go in the prime lens like the 35 millimeter 1.4. At this focal length the shots will be just light enough to get a crisp photo of an entire plate of food without the distorting it. So the fit you will have to move around to get closer or wider but really that's a part of the engine receipt of food photography. When you're travelling there's a good chance that you'll want a lens that'll take great landscape photos. Letting you capture wide sweeping shots of whatever exotic place you're in. If you have to choose one lens to take with you on a trip. The 18 to 35 millimeter 1.8 is the way to go. At its widest, you'll get great sweeping views of landscape, and it's still great for close-ups of food and portraits of people. All around, this is a great go-to lens. [MUSIC] I could seriously geek out on lenses all day long. You are seriously geeking out right now. I know. I have to save myself from it though. I pretty much just shoot with a 50 millimeter prime for all my stuff. No, it sounds like a good move. Alright, when we come back, we're going to show you how to photograph your favorite four legged friend during that split second where they're actually standing. Phil. . [MUSIC] Welcome back. Everybody loves cute photos of cute pets. Are you sure about this? Yeah. You sure it's not everyone loves cute photos of cute kids? Check the internet. Pets :Okay. Alright, fine. But it's not always that easy to take photos of pets, right? No. You gonna stay here for me? You gonna stick around? What do ya think? No? Maybe these guys. Yeah, so we've got some insider tips that will help you do just that. We're all about pets like they're our little furry children. But unlike a real kid, pets don't really want to sit down and stay put for a while while you take their picture. So how do you get a great pet photo with a DSLR. I'm going to show you some universal pics. First off, make sure you dial in all your camera settings before you take the shot. You're going to need to act quick to get some good photos, and dogs and cats aren't going to want to sit around while you fiddle with your ISO, much less have time to focus on your shots. And this is the frustration of pet photography right here. This is why it takes a lot of patience and time. How about you? Sit down, that's cold there. There you go. So here's some tips for settings you're gonna wanna make ahead of time. For example, let's say I wanna take a nice close up portrait of their face. I want their eyes to be in really sharp focus, and I'd like the background to be nice and soft. To do that, I'm gonna put my camera into aperture priority mode. Now I'm gonna open the aperture all the way up. In this case it's a f-stop of a 1.8. [MUSIC]. I also recommend turning off your flash, because not only is it going to possibly spook your pets, but it's also going to give them red eye. Another setting I recommend changing is your autofocus setting. You should keep autofocus on for the sake of speed. But instead of it being an intelligent focus or a multipoint focus that might zero in on their snout. You wanna have a single point focus. That can really point out their eyes. And get that tight focus on the eyes. [MUSIC] I'm looking at those eyes really trying to use the autofocus to get them on the eyes. [MUSIC] Finally, I recommend putting your camera into a first mode or a continuous shooting mode instead of a single shot. A brief head photo is like a needle in a haystack of a hundred photos you're going to take. So just go for quantity, take a bunch of shots. [MUSIC] Oh that's a good one, tongue just hanging out there. Sloppy tongue. I think I've got some great ones. Here. [MUSIC]. Yeah, yeah, that's a tasty ear. I shouldn't have put that peanut butter behind my ear this morning. Alright, the rest really just comes down to patience and experimentation. Try a few different environments, if they're looking sad, you can take them on a walk or try to engage them in something they like to do. Hopefully, with any luck, by the end of the day, have a few different shots worth framing. [MUSIC] Dude that was so adorable. You're having the time of your life out there. It was a really hot day. But the dogs were being super cute. Big thanks to our friends at Wags on Hope for letting us photograph their dogs. For something totally different we're gonna show you how to use a tablet or a smart phone to remotely control your DSLR. Yeah you don't even need to be behind the camera to trigger it. [INAUDIBLE] It's awesome. [MUSIC] If you have a DSLR camera, you know it can take some pretty amazing photos but if you're looking for even more options, with the ability to take remote snapshots, we've got a cool device. We think you should check out. [MUSIC] It's called Triggertrap. It's compatible with both Cannon and Nikon cameras. It costs $25 for this dongo. You connect one end to your iOS or Android device, and the other to your DSLR camera. Then you download the free Triggertrap app. Triggertrap lets you control many of the functions of your. Camera on your mobile device in a simplified, unique, and fun way. First, you need to make sure that your camera settings are appropriate for the shot you're trying to accomplish. Let's say you want to take some cool action shots. You can use the time lapse feature to accomplish that. It's not something your camera can't do on its own, but it's a lot easier here. [MUSIC] Open timelapse, select the amount of time between each shot, click okay, and press the big red button and it starts. [MUSIC]. Photos will be taken until you stop it. One of my favorite features is sound sensor which uses your mobile device as a microphone to initiate a shot from your camera. Basically you turn it on, and if there's a loud enough sound like this clap. [NOISE] You get the shot immediately. This is an excellent way to get yourself in pictures without having to worry about a timer. You can even customize it to delay the shot by a few seconds. Make sure you strike the perfect pose. [NOISE] [MUSIC] Even just a few of the options available on trigger trap. There's plenty more, have fun exploring it. It's a really great way to utilize the power of your smart phone to get more interesting shots with your camera. That's it for this week's show. Thank you guys so much for watching. We'd love to hear your thoughts about how were doing, what you'd like to see next. You can send us anything you want. Send us your dog photos. You can reach me at @donald on twitter. You can reach me @nidopal. We look forward to hearing from you. See you next time. Bye.
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