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Usman Dawood
Batley, West Yorkshire, GB

Articles written by Usman Dawood

Neutral Density Filter Drop Test: Can Breakthrough Filters Survive?

On the surface, this may seem crazy, performing a drop test on a glass ND filter, but, hear me out. I've been speaking with Breakthrough Photography about their filters and one of the things that came up was the fact that their filters are made of tempered glass. They seemed really confident about how strong their filters were so I, of course, wanted to know how strong. After a few initial, probing questions, I asked them if I could do a drop test on their filters to demonstrate their durability. To my surprise, they not only agreed but, they sent me an extra filter specifically for the test.

Hasselblad X1D and the Zeiss 85mm Otus: The Ultimate Combination?

You may have read my review of the H6D 100c where I demonstrate how several of Hasselblads high-end lenses are being outperformed by regular full frame lenses. You may have also seen some reviews on YouTube where reviewers weren't too happy with the lens line-up or performance of said lenses for the Hasselblad X1D. I still maintain that there isn't a single lens from Hasselblad currently available, that can outperform the top full frame lenses. Well, what happens when you couple one of the best full frame lenses currently available on the market with the X1D?

Breakthrough Vs. NiSi: Best Neutral Density Filters In the World?

In the last few years, it seems a number of new filter manufacturers have popped up, significantly improving the competitiveness in this particular market. Neutral density filters have been known for being quite expensive and this one of the key reasons why many photographers still avoid using them. In recent years, however, companies like NiSi Filters and Breakthrough Photography have been delivering some incredible products with much more palatable prices to help photographers get the look they desire. In a previous comparison done by Fstoppers, Patrick Hall demonstrated how good the filters from Breakthrough are, and in fact, they won that particular comparison. Breakthrough claims their filters are the sharpest and most color neutral in the world, so I wanted to see how they perform against NiSi.

ACD Systems Releases Huge New Update for ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 2018

Buying a new camera can be a very exciting thing, and most of us probably can't wait to see how good images from the new camera are compared to the old. The problem is whether or not your current raw editing software supports your new camera. Fortunately, ACD systems have released a great new update to their photo managing and raw editing software, ACDSee Photo Studio. The new Ultimate 2018 software is a fantastic alternative to some of the other raw editing platforms, and provides some very intuitive and useful file managing features. The latest update to this software further improves it and makes it a very viable option for working professionals.

NiSi Neutral Density Filters Versus Mean Stacking: Which Is Better?

In 2016, David Strauss wrote an article on Fstoppers about how purchasing an ND filter holder set might be a better option. I, being the smartass that I am at times, left the following comment, "Or you can be really cheap and just mean stack exposures :P, plus it prevents long exposure noise." Without doing any actual comparisons between the two, I had made up my mind about filters and decided against them. Recently, however, a close friend of mine, Imran Mirza, asked me to keep an open mind and give neutral density filters a try. For that reason, I have been testing some filters from NiSi over the last few weeks. In my latest video, I compare using neutral density filters to using Photoshop techniques such as mean stacking.

iPhone X In-Depth Camera Review (Comparisons with Canon 80D and iPhone 7 Plus)

Over the last few years, the iPhone has become more and more a part of our culture and it now holds a strong position in the photography industry and community. The iPhone is no longer just a phone with a camera, it's something that many professionals actually use. You may have read an article on Fstoppers about how even Time Magazine shot 12 of their covers using the iPhone. Previous to that, a Sports Illustrated photographer used the iPhone to take pictures of an NFL game.

Is Peer-to-Peer Renting the Future of Photography?

Peer-to-peer services have become very common these days with companies like Uber, Airbnb, and even eBay demonstrating how popular and huge those respective markets are. Platforms such as these have become a major part of daily life for many of us and the trend for growth seems very positive. The photography and videography industry is another that has seen immense growth in recent years, due to the number of new individuals joining the profession.

Canon Versus Nikon: An Overview to Help You Decide Which to Buy

Trying to decide between Canon and Nikon may seem like a no-brainer for many professionals with years of experience. For the most part, when a professional picks a certain camera manufacturer it's for the long term and they rarely switch. Previously the cost and time required to make the transition from one to another was simply not worth it, especially considering the fact that the differences in real-world use were mostly minimal. Recently, however, it seems the gap between Canon and Nikon seems to be growing with Nikon cameras being noticeably better. Jared Polin gives his thoughts on the current line up between Canon and Nikon.

Best Gimbal for the GoPro HERO6?

The HERO6 is the latest action camera from GoPro. Although it boasts some pretty cool features and specs, it's missing some much needed optical stabilization. Currently, it only has digital stabilization available which crops the footage slightly, and even then this feature is only available when shooting at 4K 30fps. If you intend on shooting at 4K 60p, which to be fair is the main attraction of this camera, then, unfortunately, there is no internal stabilization available, meaning the footage from the camera can be very shaky and not pleasant to look at. This can be corrected in post with some potential adverse effects or, you can use a 3-axis gimbal.

Getting Paid From Doing Free Photo Work

Working for free can be a little controversial and I'm sure there are many creatives out there that completely disagree with it. There are plenty of reasons as to why someone shouldn't work for free but the debate continues. I, on the other hand, would consider working for free depending on a number of factors. Sometimes making money isn't the objective for me and working for free can be very fulfilling. For instance, offering free work for a charity is something I've done regularly and felt very good about. On other occasions, however, I have worked for free as part of a strategy. This is a more risky method because it doesn't always pay off, but, when it does, it can pay off really well.

Move Over Nikon: Hasselblad X1D Beats the D850 on DxOMark With a Score of 102

Another day and another DxOMark rating has been broken. This time, however, I don't think it comes as a massive surprise. The Nikon D850 has so far been highly commended, and most, if not all, reviewers probably consider it to be the best DSLR currently available on the market. DxOMark gave it a rating of a clean 100 making it the highest rated stills camera for a brief moment. Since then, Hasselblad has taken that crown with the X1D-50c.

Five Ways to Get the Cinematic Film Look Using Your DSLR

When it comes to filmmaking, a really popular look is the cinematic look. This is something that can be really difficult to perfect especially when you're first starting out in the industry. Fortunately, Armando Ferreira, a YouTuber and filmmaker has provided some techniques that are relatively easy to implement. The great thing about the techniques outlined in this video is that they're either completely free to do or may only cost a small amount, making them very viable. Personally, what I love about the techniques Ferreira discusses is that they're so simple to do and even a complete beginner shouldn't find them too difficult.

Three Hacks to Take Your Videos and Vlogs to the Next Level

As a YouTuber, I’m always looking at new ways and new techniques to improve my video quality. I’m very passionate about the content I create, and Peter McKinnon has been a huge influence on my channel. There are a number of reasons as to why he’s become such a massive presence on YouTube in a very short period of time, and a previous article on Fstoppers outlines it more effectively. The most obvious reasons are because of his entertainment value, but more importantly it’s the incredibly useful information he provides to his audience. In his latest video, McKinnon describes and demonstrates three subtle techniques that can give some much needed spice to your videos.

Critiquing Your Work Does Not Make Someone a Troll

Before it starts to seem like I'm galloping around on my high horse, I'd like to say that this article is more of a reminder to myself than anyone else. I have made the mistake of dismissing someone as a troll just because they disagree with me. In many cases, It's much easier to simply dismiss someone as a troll if they criticize your work instead of taking it on the chin. This could be due to a number of reasons but when we do, we are breaking one of the cardinal rules.

Should You Buy Your Next Smartphone Based On DxOMark Ratings?

DxOMark has essentially become mainstream when it comes to providing ratings for cameras and smartphones. Anytime a new smartphone is released now, there’s a good chance that the overall camera rating from DxOMark is provided to demonstrate how much better this latest camera is. A growing number of individuals consider DxOMark to be biased and unscientific in its methods. The question is, how reliable is the overall rating or is it reliable at all.

Why You Need to Print and What to Print Your Images On

The importance of printing your own images cannot be understated. There are a number of reasons, but I believe that it mostly comes down to perspective. Currently most entry-level cameras have at least 24-megapixel sensors, however, most screens are full HD which is only around 2 megapixels in resolution. Even a 4K screen is only around 8 megapixels. Seeing your images on any screen can never truly express the image as effectively as possible whether that is due to the colors or resolution. For this reason, printing your images can not only improve your perspective but also help with regards to improving your photography.

What You Need To Check Before You Hit Record

Preparation is quite possibly the most important part of any project. Before starting anything it's extremely important to prepare and this is one of those things that many people including myself tend to forget. We get caught up in the moment or the excitement and due to this mistakes can occur. It's generally the little things that tend to get missed, I hope I'm not the only one that's turned up to a shoot without a battery or SD card. I know I've had my fair share of occasions where I could have put in a little more work into the planning stages. One can, of course, become better at these sorts of things but then one must also put such things into practice.

$80,000 Arri Alexa Kit Vs. Canon 80D Shootout

Is it just me, or is the Canon 80D getting dragged into a lot of comparisons lately? This latest comparison, however, is definitely very interesting and really highlights the gap between the average DSLR and something that costs about the same as a Tesla Model X. Potato Jet, a filmmaker and YouTuber, demonstrates in his video how footage from the Canon 80D compares to the Arri Alexa. It's no secret that the Arri Alexa is the only choice for many filmmakers and there are so many good reasons as to why this is.