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4.3 Rating
Prime Lenses

What is a prime lens? Well, it's a lens that isn't a zoom. A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means…

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4.1 Rating
Tips for Photographing Birds

Birds make great subjects for photographs; tips for capturing them with your camera.

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
Underwater Photography

Tips for getting started shooting underwater with David Doubilet

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4.4 Rating
Summer Lyn: Photographing Babies, Toddlers & Kids

Careful planning or just being lucky—both can work in your favor.

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4.0 Rating
Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

Beginner

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5.0 Rating
Do a Test Run for Important Portrait Shoots

Dave Black discusses setting up shoots in advance

Beginner

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3.8 Rating
You’re the Guest: How to Capture Unique Photos at a Wedding

Abby Liga discusses getting great photos when you're a…

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4.4 Rating
Here and Now

The added attractions of the D5100.

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4.7 Rating
Using Auto FP High-Speed Sync to Illuminate Fast Sports Action

Dave Black on using high-speed flash sync for sports…

Advanced

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4.5 Rating
Capturing or Freezing Motion in Photos

Learn how to freeze the motion in an action scene or capture a blur to show…

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Shooting Family Interview Movies with a DSLR

Adding interviews to family movies and videos

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3.8 Rating
For Images with Impact, Consider the Positive Role of Negative Space

Randy Ziegler discusses negative space in…

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3D Focus Tracking

An invaluable feature for sports, action and wildlife photography, 3D focus tracking, available in select Nikon D-SLRs, automatically shifts the focus point to follow the movement of the subject. With the shutter release pressed halfway, you'll see in the viewfinder the lens continuously maintain focus as the subject moves.

However, maintaining focus doesn't guarantee a sharp image, as there is a short time lag between the release of the shutter and the capture of the picture. To solve this problem, the focus tracking system is a predictive system that uses special algorithms to forecast the position of the subject at the moment the image is captured. The prediction is based on a measurement of the subject's movement and speed.

Simple predictive tracking is very effective for pictures of a subject moving at constant speed toward the camera, but to provide maximum focusing performance for a subject that abruptly changes direction at high speed, or a subject with low contrast, moving randomly, the AF system must accumulate subject location data using multiple focus areas. The AF modules built into selected Nikon D-SLRs have as many as 51 focus areas that can detect vertical, horizontal and diagonal movement of the subject.

To realize high-precision AF for high-speed continuous shooting of a fast-moving subject, the processing speed of the AF cycle is vital. To provide that speed, a Nikon proprietary technology called overlap servo prepares for the focus detection of the next shot while the lens-driving operation for the current shot is in process.

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