Are Bigger Pixels Better for Digital Photography?

In this EASYDSLR Photo Snack #3 I look at Are Bigger Pixels Better?

*if you were paying attention you may have noticed Photo Snack#2 was missing – I’ll post that later 🙂 *

Bigger Pixels on a digital camera sensor means more photons (light particles) per pixel.

The pixels are the single Photo sites that make up the sensor (the total count gives you the MegaPixel rating of your camera).

More photons per pixel means better sampling and less sampling errors between pixels – resulting in:

  • Less Luminance (light level) noise
  • Less Chroma noise (color variation from sampling errors)

Overall this gives better Image Quality (IQ) of your images.

A larger sensor camera (like a Full Frame PRO level DSLR) has larger pixels and resulting better Image Quality than smaller sensor cameras. It’s one of the reason you are paying a lot more for the Pro level cameras – or put another way – why it’s worth paying more.

So Pixel size DOES MATTER!

note: this is assuming you are dealing with similar sensor technology.




6 Step Cheat Sheet for More Creative Photos

6 Step Cheat Sheet to get off AUTO

6 Step Cheat Sheet to get off AUTO

A lot of DSLR Beginners know that to take Creative Control over their photos they need to get off AUTO.

This can be daunting. So I have created a 6 Step Cheat Sheet to walk you through getting off Auto. These are ‘baby’ steps that are easy to follow and will remove the overwhelm.

I recommend starting with Aperture Priority Mode (Av or A depending on Camera make). It’s a safe step because the camera will still help you get the correct Exposure BUT it will let you experiment with one of the key settings towards more Creative Photos.

The key setting is Aperture. Aperture affects Exposure but it also affects Depth of Field (DOF). Depth of Field is one of the most important concepts to understand and control for more creative photos. It’s the factor that can really separate amateur ‘snap shots’ from Professional Photos.

This cheat sheet shows you how you can control Depth of Field. The best Aperture for Portraits and the best Aperture for Landscape photos. It also looks at another key factor in controlling Depth of Field: Focusing Distance.

Basically: the closer you focus the narrower the Depth of Field. That means it is better for isolating your subject from the background. The background will be more blurred when you focus closer to your camera.

Experiment with these steps and see the effect on your photos.

The beauty of Digital cameras is that you can take hundreds of photos on your memory card AND you get instant feedback. Learning photography has now become much easier and quicker.

Click on the image on the left or Right Click on the link below and choose “Save as…” or Save Link as…” to download this Cheat Sheet.

6 Step Cheat Sheet to Creative Photos

I hope you find this helpful. Please Share and Like if you did 🙂

A little curious about learning more about DSLR photography?

… find out how you can get a great deal on my DSLR video training course for beginners here ->  EasyDSLR Digital Photography Course (includes all the details of what you can learn in 4 hours!)


Focus Shmocus

If you’re anything like me, you might often find yourself in a rut with your photography and just don’t know what to take photos of. So how do we get inspired? I have found one of the best ways to get inspired and stir up some excitement with my photos is to think outside the box. Do something different, something you’re not used to – that will require you to see things from a different perspective.

I joined a Flickr group a number of years ago called “Don’t Be Afraid of the Blur”. It opened up a whole world and hours of fun photo taking.

Basically… take blurry photographs! Switch your lens from auto focus to manual and explore the world of images outside the range of clear focus.  You can even aim your lens through glass bottles, the viewfinders of old medium format cameras, or off reflections in storefront windows!

Kailua Beach-2By manipulating focus you can create an atmosphere with your photographs that you may otherwise not be able to achieve. You may begin to think more about how the photograph makes you feel, as with these  shots I took on the beach one sunny day in Hawaii.

For these photographs, the blur gave me a nostalgic atmosphere. I makes me think of my childhood growing up on the beaches of the Jersey shore. They have a sense of the beachcarefree nature of childhood on the shores of a vast open future. In other words, it helped create a context that otherwise was might not have been there had the image been in focus.

Explore the different ways you can take your image into new and exciting places by manipulating focus as a tool and watch your focus change as you create new avenues to wander. This simple technique allowed me to loosen up, not worry so much about getting “the perfect shot”, and got me having fun taking photos.




Want a deeper blue in your sky?

Here’s a little tip for you those of you who would like to get a deep rich sky in your photos, without having to push the saturation slider.

First of all, if you have a DSLR camera and you don’t have decent editing software, do yourself a favor and get some. You have invested a handsome sum in camera equipment, so don’t short change yourself on software. Although iPhoto will do the trick, something like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or Apple’s Aperture will serve you much better. These days the cost is minimal.

My tip is a Lightroom tip, since that is the software I use. You can download a free 30-day trial from Adobe to see if you like it before you purchase. It’s an intuitive program with loads of tutorials available all over the web. A DVD or downloadable version of Lightroom is also on sale now for $108 ($9 cheaper) on Amazon as I write this post.

Gideon Before sky adjustment


Gideon After sky adjustment

Gideon AFTER

In the Develop module of Lightroom, click on the Color panel (on the same Tab as HSL and B&W), just below the Tone Curve panel. There you will find three sliders to choose from Hue, Saturation, and Luminance. If it’s the sky in your photo that’s looking a bit washed out, click the Blue swatch at the top then grab the luminance slider and start bringing it down until you see your sky darken and attain a richer tone. You will have to decide when enough is enough. I prefer to make minor adjustments in most cases. In the photo above my luminance slider was at zero in the first shot, and down to -61 in the second example.  All I wanted to do was make the blue sky cut through the haze a bit, without increasing the saturation or changing the hue. The same could be done with any color in your scene.

There are many ways to achieve effects once you begin to learn the editing program you’re using. This is one I have picked up along the way that many of my photo friends using Lightroom have found useful. Hope you do too.

(if you are looking for more editing tips and tricks Ken’s EasyDSLR Gold Course has an Image Editing Module covering free online editing software, Photoshop and Bonus Lightroom Tutorial – click here for the 40% Sale on EasyDSLR membership for this week )