Want Better Photos? Get to Know Your Camera Sensor

No, I'm not saying to take your camera sensor out for a nice dinner and talk about its hopes and dreams. Rather, getting to know the unique strengths, weaknesses, and quirks of your individual camera sensor can do a lot to help ensure you get the results you want in your photos.

Coming to you from Blake Rudis over at f64 Academy, this interesting video talks about the importance of knowing your camera sensor. In this case, Rudis takes the same shot over three exposure values (-2 EV, 0 EV, and +2 EV) on his Sony a7R II and discusses how things differ in post when editing the files to the same final look and in turn, how that affects how he shoots the image initially (and of course, preconceiving your photos is a huge step to knowing how to then shoot them). As he mentions, each camera model is different; I know that when I switched from Canon to Sony for a lot of my work, the way I shot evolved quite a bit as I was far less worried about shadow noise and I could shoot to protect highlights more, particularly since I personally hate bracketing images and prefer to get things in one exposure if I can. But even the differences between my individual Canon models affected how I shot. Make sure you know how your individual sensor behaves. 

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Two really important things; No matter your sensor, and no matter the exposure index used,…

①Your sensor can only absorb so much light to reach saturation. over-saturate your sensor and you are losing data.

② Boosting the “ISO” does not make your sensor anymore sensitive to light; it only amplifies the recorded signal.

When one understands what is actually happening on the sensor, one can better envision what can happen during processing.