confused newbie!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by chrisgrieve, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. chrisgrieve

    chrisgrieve TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I have had a digital camera (point and shoot) for a few years, mainly just for holiday snaps and for when i go out with friends. but lately i have been getting interested in taking it further andhaving it as a little hobby.

    My point and shoot camera has been on auto setting for the past few years until a couple days ago when i started to play about with manual mode. but still not sure what all the functions mean.
    i.e. F stop / ISO / Aperture

    could someone please explain to me in basic dummies terms what they mean. for instance ; what will a higher f-stop value give me.?

    thanks in advance.

    chrisgrieve
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I suggest you try a search for those terms or 'basic exposure'. There is plenty of good information avaliable on this forum and on the internet in general.

    In a nut shell, F stop or F numbers are what we use to represent the aperture. The aperture is the adjustable 'hole' in the lens, though which the light passes. A lower F number means a larger aperture and a higher F number means a smaller aperture. The F number is actually a ratio between the physical size of the aperture and the focal length of the lens.

    Changing the aperture will affect the Depth of Field (DOF). A larger aperture (smaller F number) will mean a shallower DOF. Conversely, a smaller aperture (high F number) will mean a deeper DOF. A shallow DOF is nice for portraits where you want the background to be out of focus. A deep DOF is good for landscapes where you want everything in focus.

    The aperture works together with the shutter speed and ISO to give you the exposure value. It's always a trade off when you want to change something. If you make the aperture smaller, the shutter speed has to be longer, in order to let in enough light. So if you use a small aperture, you may need a long shutter speed...which may require you to use a tripod...otherwise, the small movements of the camera in your hands would cause blurriness. If you want to stop action or movement, you need a fast shutter speed, which would mean that you should use a large aperture.

    ISO is the sensitivity of the sensor (or film). The higher the ISO, the less light you need to make the exposure. So if you want a faster shutter speed, you can just turn up the ISO. There is a trade off though, the higher the ISO...the more noise that will show up in the images.
     
  3. itoncool

    itoncool TPF Noob!

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  4. chrisgrieve

    chrisgrieve TPF Noob!

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    thanks, that explains things better. im wanting to learn more in-depth with my point and shoot, then hopefully buy myself an DSLR.

    thanks again
     

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