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Save 10% On Everything In The Regatta Online Store With Our Discount Code

Save 10% On Everything In The Regatta Online Store With Our Discount Code

Regatta is giving you the chance to save 15% off their entire range of clothing, shoes and more with our discount code.

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Offers

Regatta Jacket

 

We’ve teamed up with outdoor clothing specialist Regatta to give you the chance to save 15% when shopping on the Regatta website

The Regatta online store features a wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s outdoor clothing as well as walking boots, accessories and more. Perhaps you’re looking for a waterproof jacket for weekend walks or a pair of waterproof trousers to keep you dry when the rain starts falling on your staycation? Whatever outdoor clothing you need, we’re sure that Regatta will have something that suits your needs. 

To save 15%, use code: 15OFF at the checkout before the end of 27/09/21. 

Save 15% With Regatta

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10% Cashback On Vanguard Supreme Cases

10% Cashback On Vanguard Supreme Cases

Vanguard are giving you the chance to save 10% when purchasing one of their hard cases with room for cameras, lenses and more.

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Offers

SUPREME 46F ULTRA-TOUGH WATERPROOF CASE

Simply buy any Vanguard Supreme Case before the end of September 2021 from any Authorised UK Dealer and you can claim 10% Cashback.

Vanguard Supreme Cases are waterproof to 5m, ultra-tough (they can withstand up to 120kg of pressure), can be divided up how you like with removable foam dividers and come in 5 size options. To keep your equipment secure, the Supreme Cases have steel-reinforced lock holders and feature automatic pressure release valves for pressure and altitude changes.

To claim your 10% cashback on Vanguard Supreme Cases, visit the Vanguard website where you’ll find a cashback form to fill out. 

Ts&Cs apply. 

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10 Top Lighting Tutorials That Explore Light In All Its Forms

10 Top Lighting Tutorials That Explore Light In All Its Forms

Here are 10 top tutorials where ‘light’ is mentioned somewhere in the title so you have access to top tips on flash, natural light, low light, winter light and everything in between in one handy place.

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General Photography

Indoor Portrait

 

If you’re looking for lighting advice, be it for capturing portraits on a sunny day or shooting landscapes in summer, we probably have a tutorial to help you.

 

1. Five Top Tips On How To Control & Work With Natural Light

Natural light is often the only light available to us when we are out shooting. But far from being an untameable beast, there are several ways that you can control it to achieve your desired photo.

 

2. Photographing Low Light Portraits

Working with just one light, or indeed natural light at dusk, is a great way to create moody portraits that can be full of character. It’s a perfect technique for shooting subjects who are a little older as low light can really exaggerate lines and wrinkles but don’t let this put you off photographing low light portraits of younger members of your family.

 

3. Six Top Natural Light Portrait Tips For Beginners

Get back to basics and make the most of natural light by capturing portraits without flash or studio lights.

 

4. Five Top Tips On How To Use Window Light For Indoor Portraits

Daylight is free and it is wonderful for portrait work as not only is it flattering and photogenic but it’s really easy to work with so it’s a good place for beginners to start. You don’t need a fancy studio, either, as you can pick a location outdoors or simply set-up next to a window in your own home.  

 

5. Three Top Tips On Using Fill-In Flash For Portraits

Fill-in flash can give images that extra bit of ‘pop’ they need as we explain in this article.

 

Indoor Portrait

 

6. A Basic Introduction To Outdoor Photography: 4 Top Outdoor Lighting Tips

Light’s an important tool for photographers and knowing how to make it work to your advantage when capturing photographs outdoors is essential.

 

7. How To Use Built-In Camera Flash Successfully

Flash can give images that extra bit of ‘pop’ they need and many cameras feature several flash modes for you to pick from so we’re going to talk through the various modes available and how they work. 

 

8. Top Portrait Photography Tips That Use Just One Light

With just 1 studio light, the COOPH team demonstrate how you can create different/unique portraits by manipulating how the light falls to enhance portraits and, as a result, greatly improve your overall results. 

 

9. Three Top Tips On Controlling And Using Flare In Your Photos

If you’ve ever taken photographs with the sun in front of you, you’re likely to have experience flare, which probably spoilt your photograph. However, there are several things you can do to remove it or if you’re feeling creative, you can use it in your shots to add a little romanticism, mystery and warmth to your work.

 

10. Nine Portrait Photography Light Hacks In 90 Seconds

We’ve got 9 lighting hacks to share with you which you can use the next time you’re capturing portraits.

 

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition  

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10 Google Photos Alternates for Unlimited High-Res Storage

10 Google Photos Alternates for Unlimited High-Res Storage

– Partner Content –

Camera and laptop

 

 

Ever since Google Photos announced they are no longer offering unlimited high-resolution photo storage, photographers and consumers have been searching for alternatives that are equal in features and won’t break the bank.  

As a leading photography website with years of experience, we dug in and looked for the best Google Photos alternatives based on the following criteria:

  • Image compression when uploading and storing
  • Total cost for unlimited photo storage
  • Customer support
  • Photography industry-oriented vs. consumer and other industry
  • Years offering storage so you know it won’t disappear
  • Organization apps
  • Security
  • Apps to back up from cameras, computers and phones

 

Here are our top ten picks for the best Google photos alternatives:

 

Number 1: SmugMug

SmugMug

 

The number one choice for a google photos alternative is SmugMug*. Since 2002, SmugMug has been servicing the photography community and focusing all of its energies on photographers and hobbyists. Because they are photographer-centric, they never compress or reduce image quality with their unlimited photo storage.  

When you combine that with the apps for workflow to take you from camera to storage, to editing to portfolio or client delivery, they are by far the top choice for the best-unlimited photo storage solution and alternative to Google Photos.  You can choose from four options which each offer unlimited photo storage, secure sharing, a plethora of apps, and a portfolio website. 

SmugMug Pros

  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Tons of web customisation 
  • Great tools for professional photographers
  • Built-in e-commerce features
  • 14-day free trial 
  • Designed for both consumer and professional photographers
  • Possibility to get paid for your photos

SmugMug Cons

  • No free tier
  • RAW is not included in the regular photo storage

 

SmugMug Fun Fact:  SmugMug’s customer support team is called “Support Heroes” and everyone receives their own unique superhero (or any movie, comic book or pop culture character) themed face painting and portrait shoot.

 

Save 15% On A SmugMug Account*

 

Number 2: Flickr

Flickr

 

Flickr is an easy number 2 choice. Founded in 2004, Flickr is known as the community for photographers.  Outside of honing in on your skills by engaging in the groups, photographers and hobbyists enjoy storing their shots with Flickr in both the free and paid photo storage solutions.  

You can list usage rights for your images, keep them private, and the cost for storage is very hard to beat. The new versions of the Flickr apps for iOS and Android also feature the ability to automatically upload and mark as private every single image you take on your smartphone to Flickr, so you will never lose a shot. The paid version also includes the stats about which of your photos are trending.

If you want the brand photographers trust and a community to provide you with tips and tricks to hone in your skills, Flickr is the right choice for you.

Flickr Pros

  • Offers storage of 1,000 photos and videos for free
  • Social network for photographers
  • Strong community
  • Original files are not compressed

Flickr Cons

  • Must join Flickr Pro to get unlimited storage
  • Limits on file sizes for free version

 

Flickr Fun Fact: Back in 2008, Flickr user Jake Rome came up with the idea to get Flickr to give donuts away and even started the We Demand Donuts group.  Flickr took notice and gives away free doughnuts to anyone who wants one as part of Day of the Donut every year.

 

Number 3: 500PX

500px

 

Our third choice for the best Google photos alternative is 500px.  Founded in 2009, they too have been supporting the photography community and offer high-resolution photo storage. Much like Flickr, you can set licensing options and just like SmugMug they offer apps to help you go from shooting to storing easily.  

500px offers some unique features to help you as a photographer like being listed in a directory to get jobs and also a comparison to see how you stack up to other photographers in quests.  They are more photographer-centric than consumer and hobbyist, but that does not make them less of a contender and this is why they are our number 3 choice.

500PX Pros

  • Designed for photographers
  • Possibility to get paid for your photos
  • Possibility of licensing images
  • Great for creating a professional portfolio
  • Strong community

500PX Cons

  • Restricted uploads on free accounts
  • Advertising appears on free accounts
  • Very limited sharing options
  • Hacked with customer data stolen in 2018

 

500PX Fun Fact: 500PX has over 15 million users in over 195 countries who have uploaded over 100 million photos!

 

Number 4: Amazon Photos

Amazon

 

Number four on our list is Amazon’s photo storage solution.  The largest benefit to Amazon* is that it is a behemoth, so you know they are not going anywhere. But they are a consumer product vs. a photo storage solution for photographers.  

The website says it is full-resolution storage which is a big perk as a photographer, but they also offer printing. If you’re hosting here, your clients may be able to bypass and print cutting into your margins.  If you’re a consumer, this is a massive bonus, but if you cannot choose your own print shop you risk print quality when it comes to featuring your art in the real world. 

Because of the price points, ease of use and full-resolution photo storage, Amazon photos is our number four choice.

 

Amazon Photos Pros

  • Automatic photo uploads
  • Sharing for up to five people
  • Photo printing

Amazon Photos Cons

  • Requires Amazon Prime subscription 
  • Expensive to buy additional storage
  • Not suitable for commercial use

 

Amazon Photos Fun Fact: Amazon Photos works with Alexa.  Just say “Alexa, take a selfie” and the front camera of your Echo Show will take a picture of you and save it to Amazon Photos.  

 

Number 5: PhotoBucket

PhotoBucket

Our number five choice is PhotoBucket. Much like our top three choices they are photography-focused. PhotoBucket was founded in 2005, so they will likely be around for a long time, but our opinion is they lean more heavily to consumers than professional photographers.  

The price for unlimited photo storage is very reasonable but when searching the help section we could not find any information on if it is high-resolution or if they compress images upon upload, so we went to reviews.  Overall, everything is positive except for the issue of limited images and blurred-out images for the free accounts.

If you’re a consumer or social media star and need a solid solution for sharing to social media and making quick edits, PhotoBucket is a great choice!

 

PhotoBucket Pros

  • Auto-generates URLs for sharing and embedding your photos
  • Built-in editing tools
  • Facebook integration
  • Free 2GB plan with a 10GB bandwidth limit 
  • 8GB of free storage if you download and use the mobile apps for iOS and Android

 

PhotoBucket Cons

  • Must purchase expert plan for unlimited storage
  • The community is saturated with teenagers

PhotoBucket Fun Fact: Photobucket hosts more than 10 billion images from 100 million registered members.

 

Number 6: Shutterfly

Shutterfly

Although Shutterfly is more known for their consumer printing products, photographers love the ease of storing their work and being able to print on demand across tons of products.  The quality for fine art will never be equal to that of your favorite print shop that fine-tunes every detail, but if you’re looking for unlimited storage and an easy way to make some sales during the holidays, they are our go-to choice.

Photo storage is easy with Shutterfly and you can upload directly from your PC.  They also offer great photoprotection if you’re worried about your work being stolen. 

 

Shutterfly Pros

  • Completely free
  • Photo printing 
  • Photo products available

Shutterfly Cons

  • Lack of in-app photo editing
  • Limited download resolution
  • Can only store JPEG files

 

Shutterfly Fun Fact: Shutterfly was the exclusive philanthropic partner for The Ellen DeGeneres Show and together they have changed the lives of guests by giving away over $10 million. 

 

Number 7: iDrive

iDrive

 

iDrive is not a photo storage solution on its own, but it is a cloud storage solution that hosts photos in a secure way. With their “Auto Camera” option, you can automatically upload photos (and videos) from your device to your IDrive account, while retaining the image quality.  Their software can also backup all your Facebook photos and Instagram uploads.

The price point is amazing for what you get, you could use it for other files, and iDrive gets fantastic reviews across the board making them an easy choice for our number 7 alternative to Google photos. 

If security is your top concern, along with storage space then this is a great option. But unlike photography and photographer-focused services, you won’t get the printing options, secure sharing, and display tools like you would with SmugMug, Flickr and 500px.  

 

iDrive Pros

  • Free 5GB storage
  • Backup entire devices or specific files
  • Auto Camera feature
  • No compression
  • Highly secure

iDrive Cons

  • Exceeding storage limits is expensive
  • Must pay for 12 months upfront
  • Slow uploading and downloading speeds

 

iDrive Fun Fact: iDrive helps over 4 million customers back up over 200 Petabytes of data!

 

Number 8: pCloud

pCloud

 

pCloud is more of an all-around storage provider and is not just a dedicated photo cloud storage provider. Because of this, they offer a lifetime storage subscription option for multiple image file formats.  

Photographers love that they can see previews of most of their RAW files with both the web and mobile versions of pCloud. There is also a browser extension that allows photographers to save videos and images directly to their pCloud accounts and create a static HTML website with its own URL. pCloud also allows you to backup your files from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram every 3 days. 

While pCloud does offer some features for photographers, it doesn’t have them strictly in mind which is why they aren’t on the top of our list.

 

 pCloud Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Can store photos and videos 
  • Lifetime payment option
  • Social media backups are available
  • Highly secure

 pCloud Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited storage on the free version
  • Minimal photo editing features
  • No monthly payment plans
  • No photo recognition for search
  • Limited to 2TB of download traffic per month (uploading is unlimited)

 

pCloud Fun Fact: pCloud stores 5 separate copies of every file you upload onto their servers in 3 different locations at a secure data center facility in Dallas, Texas. They also track your file history for 30 days so if you make a mistake with the current version or accidentally delete your file, you can easily go back to a previous version.

 

Number 9: Dropbox

Dropbox

 

Dropbox is more of a jack-of-all-trades provider and syncs files of all types between your devices.  This includes automatic photo uploads from your phone and PC which allows you to organize them better. It doesn’t come with any editing tools but does integrate with many third-party services.  Their professional plan is geared more towards small businesses than photographers.  

While Dropbox is considered one of the first cloud providers, it’s more expensive than some of the other options and has had several data breaches in the past several years. 

 

Dropbox Pros

  • Extensive file and folder organization
  • Easy to use
  • 2GB of free storage 
  • No limit on file sizes

Dropbox Cons

  • Expensive after you use up your free storage
  • No editing tools
  • Doesn’t offer zero-knowledge encryption
  • Previous data breaches

 

Dropbox Fun Fact: Drew Houston, the founder of Dropbox, had a habit of forgetting to bring USB drives with him.  After a particularly bad data loss where one of his hard drives crashed without a backup, he created his own personal server and wrote a program that let him access the server and its data from any location he wanted.  He called it Dropbox and released it to his fellow MIT students before going public with $1.2 million in funding.

 

Number 10:  Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud

 

Apple iCloud comes pre-installed on all Apple devices, so there are no downloads or set-up that is required.  As long as you’re logged into your iCloud account, you have seamless cloud storage, syncing, and backups across all your Apple devices.  This is a great choice for Apple loyalists.  Apple also offers bundles with several of their other products like Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade. 

 

Apple iCloud Pros

  • Competitive pricing
  • 5GB for free when you sign up
  • Seamless syncing across all Apple devices
  • Can handle RAW images

Apple iCloud Cons

  • No support for non-iOS devices
  • Free storage space fills up fast
  • Tops out at 2TB storage

 

Apple iCloud Fun Fact: Most people don’t realize that you can share your iCloud photo albums with people not on Apple devices.  Here’s how to do it from your iPhone:  Launch the photos app – Tap on albums tab –  Select the shared album you want to share to your non-apple friends and family – Tap on the edit button on the top (it’s got a circle and a + on it) –  Turn on the switch next to Public Website –  Tap on Share Link and then select the how you want to share from the share sheet.  (It also lists the URL of where people can see that album too)

 

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Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021

Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021

A good mid-range smartphone offers you a number of premium features, but without the high price of the latest and greatest premium smartphones. Some of these were previously premium smartphones, but as the price has dropped over time, they have become more affordable. Some of these offer incredible value for money and some are even waterproof, giving them extra versatility.  

There are a number of things you’re more likely to find with a mid-range smartphone, that put them ahead of many of the budget smartphones for photography. The inclusion of these high-end features will improve your results, and you want to be looking for smartphones with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, a secondary lens (for depth effect, background blur, or telephoto zoom, or even a black and white secondary camera), a handheld night mode for better low-light shots. For the more advanced photographer, you might want to find a model with manual controls, raw support, and a MicroSD card slot for increased storage space.

 

1. Google Pixel 4a 5G

Google Pixel 4a 5G

 

We really like the Google Pixel 4a 5G so if you want a mid-range smartphone with 5G and some clever camera technology then the Pixel 4a 5G would be a good choice. Plus, if you’re going to buy a new Google Pixel smartphone this year, the Google Pixel 4a 5G should be it as it’s cheaper than the Pixel 5 but shares the same cameras, and other technology, while offering 5G connection. It also has a larger display than you find on the Pixel 5, it looks great and has a brilliant price point. We’re a fan of the Google Pixel 4a 5G and we think you will be too. 

Camera features at a glance: 12.2MP f/1.7, 27mm (wide) with dual pixel PDAF and OIS, 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide, 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide selfie camera, 4K video, Live HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Portrait Blur and Super Res Zoom

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy On Amazon UK  Buy On Amazon USA 

 

2. Google Pixel 3a / 3a XL

Google Pixel 3a XL

Being able to get one of the best smartphone cameras available, for almost half the price of the flagship version, the Google Pixel 3, is quite simply a “no-brainer” and some may even prefer the Pixel 3a for its headphone socket. 

The Google Pixel 3a (and 3) show that you don’t necessarily need a larger sensor to get better results, with Google’s computational photography, you’re able to get some incredible results. In fact, it would be nice if some of the more traditional camera manufacturers took a leaf out of Google’s book, and started introducing similar features into their cameras. In the meantime, you’ll simply have to experience the future of photography, on a smartphone, such as the Google Pixel 3a.

Whether you choose the Pixel 3a or the Pixel 3a XL will be down to whether you want a larger screen, and a larger battery, or want the smaller option. 

Camera features at a glance: 12.2mp f/1.8 standard camera, with OIS, PDAF, 1.4um pixels, 8mp f/2.0 selfie camera, 24mm equivalent, 6inch OLED 18:9 screen, 1080×2160, 4K 30fps video, AI photography, headphone jack, 3700mAh battery

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy On Amazon UK  Buy On Amazon USA 

 

 

3. Honor 20 Pro 

Huawei Honor 20 Pro

Inside and out, the Honor 20 Pro is an impressive bit of kit. It looks good, performs really well and has a price tag that will please most people. If you’re a bit picky, the screen quality and side-mounted fingerprint sensor might make the Honor 20 Pro lose a couple of points but in reality, you’re getting a smartphone with premium features for a price that, really, when compared with other brands, Honor shouldn’t be able to offer it to you at. 

Overall, the Honor 20 Pro certainly puts up a good fight in a very crowded market and is certainly worthy of featuring on our ‘best mid-range smartphone’ top list.

Camera features at a glance: 16mp ultra-wide-angle camera, f/2.2, 48mp main camera, f/1.4 with 4-axis OIS, 8mp 3x telephoto camera, f/2.4 with 4-axis OIS, 2mp macro camera, f/2.4, 4cm macro focus, 3x optical, 5x hybrid, 30x digital, 2mp f/2.4 depth assist, 4000mAh battery, night mode, 6.26-inch screen, bokeh effects

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy On Amazon UK  

 

 

4. Samsung Galaxy S8 

Samsung Galaxy S8 In Hand

The Samsung Galaxy S8 uses the same, already excellent, camera as the S7, with a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual pixel technology and a bright f/1.7 aperture, and improves the phone with an upgraded 8mp selfie camera with Auto Focus (AF). The screen is an impressive 5.8inch Quad HD+ screen that dominates the front of the phone, whilst maintaining the same compact size as the previous phone! The phone can capture 4K video as well as 9-megapixel stills when in video mode. It’s dustproof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 mins. With the ability to expand the memory with a microSD card and tough Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the screen and back on the phone, it’s ideal for those who love to get out and about and take lots of images, no matter the weather. It operates at a very impressive speed and you can use the volume control as a shutter button. ISO speeds from ISO50 to ISO800 are selectable in manual mode. 

Camera features at a glance: 12mp, f/1.7 lens, 26mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, Slow-motion video, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy On Amazon UK   Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

5. OnePlus 6

OnePlus 6 RED (1)

This one just squeezes into the mid-range smartphone section, with a price point of £439. It offers premium smartphone features, but at a price point that’s almost half that of many premium smartphones

The OnePlus 6 smartphone can be described as an affordable flagship that has premium features at a not so eye-watering price. Image quality is excellent, the camera app gets the ‘thumbs-up’ and the red version is particularly stylish. We think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy!

The OnePlus6 is a reasonably priced smartphone with specs that make it fit right at home alongside the likes of premium SamsungApple and Sony devices. Yes, it doesn’t have the kerb appeal an iPhone does but a sensible person can push this to one side and be impressed by what the OnePlus 6 has to offer them. 

The main camera performs really well and we really like the camera app which is really intuitive and easy to use. It’s a shame the second rear camera doesn’t give a longer focal length or something a bit different like a black and white camera (as Huawei do). The camera has been updated to include a multi-shot Night mode. 

The 6.28inch screen is excellent and viewing isn’t a problem, with a fairly small notch at the top. 

There’s no microSD slot which is surprising for an Android phone, there’s no official IP rating (so don’t get it too wet) and there’s a lack of stereo speakers but apart from that, we think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy. 

Camera features at a glance: Dual 16mp and 20mp f/1.7 lenses, 27.22mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) & Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), 4K video recording, High-speed / Slow-motion video up to 480fps.

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy On Amazon UK  Buy On Amazon USA

 

6. Honor 9 Dual Camera

Huawei Honor9 (2)

The Honor 9 from Huawei offers a dual camera smartphone, plenty of ram and storage, a stylish and good looking design with a 5.15inch screen, and offers all of this for a much lower price than you would expect. The dual camera offers a “Hybrid Zoom” giving a 2x zoom, with only a slight loss in image quality. The black and white camera takes impressively sharp and detailed 20mp images, and noise is well controlled whether shooting colour or black and white. 

Whilst the smartphone doesn’t feature a waterproof body, there are few smartphones at this price point that do. The camera also records 4K video, and results are good. The biggest shortcoming is the lack of optical image stabilisation (OIS) which not only affects photos, but also video, and at this price point, you should be able to find an alternative with OIS, although most likely without a dual-camera.

If you want to try true black and white photography, and don’t quite have the money for a Leica M Monochrom, then the Honor 9 smartphone with a black and white camera, would make an excellent choice. 

Camera features at a glance: 20mp mono camera, 12mp colour camera, f/2.2 max aperture, 27mm equivalent, 8mp selfie camera, 4K video.

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy On Amazon UK  Buy On Amazon USA

 

 

7. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Huawei Mate10 Pro With Leica (7)

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro was Huawei’s top of the range flagship smartphone, not only does it feature dual Leica f/1.6 cameras with colour and black and white sensors, but also features a top of the range processor, that includes a “Neural Processing Unit” designed to speed up “Artificial Intelligence” (AI), for both smartphone and camera features. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a large smartphone, thanks to a 6inch screen, and it’s set up with a 12mp f/1.6 colour camera, and a 20mp f/1.6 black and white camera, both lenses equivalent to 27mm in 35mm terms. The main 12mp colour camera features optical image stabilisation, and there is prominent Leica branding next to the cameras on the back, as well as a Dual LED flash. The camera can record 4K (UHD) video, as well as high-speed video at 120fps at FullHD resolution. 

If you’re looking for a large smartphone, with an emphasis on the camera(s) included, then the Mate 10 Pro certainly offers a complete package.

Camera features at a glance: Dual cameras 12mp colour, 20mp black and white, f/1.6 lenses, 27mm equivalent, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 4K video recording, MicroSD slot, raw.

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 1

Buy on Amazon UK   

 

8. OnePlus Nord 2 5G

OnePlus Nord 2 5G

 

For those who think the inexpensive smartphones that are currently available just don’t perform well but, on the other hand, premium smartphones are way too expensive, the Nord 2 5G will be a sensible middle ground as just like the original Nord did, the Nord 2 5G fills a gap between cheap and expensive with a price point that’s reasonable and features that are well worth having a look at. Does it give premium flagship smartphones a run for their money? Not quite but that shouldn’t stop you from looking at the Nord 2 5G as what it does offer (price, performance & features) make it a good mid-range smartphone option that we’re happy to ‘Recommend’. 

The Nord released in 2020 is also still available and worth a look at. 

Camera features at a glance: 

Rear Camera: 50MP Main Camera f/1.88 OIS, 8MP Ultra-Wide-Angle Camera f/2.25, EIS, Mono Lens f/2.5 (no macro lens as seen on the Nord), Front Camera: 32MP f/2.45 fixed focus with EIS (no ultra-wide-lens as seen on the Nord), Video: 1080p video at 30fps, 720p video at 30fps, super slow motion and time-lapse, Camera Features: Nightscape Ultra, AI Photo Enhancement, AI Video Enhancement, UltraShot HDR, Portrait Mode, Night Portrait Mode, Portrait distortion correction, Panorama, Pro Mode

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 8

Buy On Amazon UK

 

9. Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a

 

The Google Pixel 4a is an inexpensive smartphone with a camera that’s ideal for ‘point-and-click’ photographers who aren’t too fussed about multiple cameras and lots of options. However, if you’re going to be doing more than just sharing images on social media, you might want to see what else Google, or another brand, has to offer as detail does fall off quickly when you start adjusting the zoom (even just a little bit). The low light mode is pretty good, though, and colour accuracy is pretty much spot on. 

Away from the camera, the Google Pixel 4a has a small display but the compact size of the smartphone does mean it’s easy to operate and it will fit in your pocket so it could be ideal for someone who’s not into the ‘bigger is better’ motto some other phone manufactures tend to follow. However, when you compare the Pixel 4a with other smartphones in the, what is, a very competitive field, it just doesn’t have the same amount or quality of features. The battery isn’t quite as good as those seen on rival smartphones at this price point, too. 

That said, those looking for a basic, compact smartphone with a modern clean design which has a camera they can simply press the shutter button on to produce a decent photo for sharing on social media will find the Google Pixel 4a appealing. In conclusion, if you’re into affordable prices and no-frills, the Google Pixel 4a could be for you. 

Camera features at a glance: Rear Camera: 12.2MP, f/1.7, Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection, optical & electronic IS, 77-degree FOV, Front Camera: 8MP. f/2.0, fixed focus, 84-degree FOV, Camera Features: Live HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Portrait Blur and Super Res Zoom

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 8

Buy On Amazon UK  Buy On Amazon USA

 

10. Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

 

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro is set to be less than half the price of some premium smartphones yet if someone handed the smartphone to you without revealing what the brand is, you’d probably think it’s a lot more expensive than its price will be. It looks great, it’s easy to use and the images it produces are good. Colours are accurate, detail is sharp and all of the cameras perform well. Yes, zoom quality could be improved and so could low-light performance but overall, we were impressed with the camera and the price (we suspect it will be on release in April) could certainly make you consider purchasing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro.

Camera features at a glance: 108MP quad-camera: 108MP f/1.9 wide-angle camera, 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, 5MP f/2.4 telemacro camera with AF, 2MP f/2.4depth sensor, 16MP f/2.45 front camera,

Overall Score: Top 10 Best Mid-Range Smartphones For Photography 2021 8

Buy On Amazon UK 

 

For more options, have a look at some of our other guides: 

Cheap Smartphones <£200   Budget Smartphones <£300   Premium Smartphones 

 

Looking For More? 

Have a look at our complete guide to memory cards to find the right MicroSD card for your smartphone, or have a look at more camera phones reviews.

 

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10 Top Ways To Use Different Angles In Your Photography

10 Top Ways To Use Different Angles In Your Photography

1. Sit Down

Be it on the floor, or on a seat, sitting immediately gives you a lower perspective and therefore new photo opportunities. Trees and people, for example, can tower over you when sat down for that overbearing feel. Often photographing children look more natural from a seated position too, as you’re at their level rather than shooting down on them.

 

Dog portrait

 

2. Go Out To Sea

While on your travels, if you have a waterproof camera try turning round to face the beach. If you don’t fancy getting wet, just walk towards the water and stand at the edge, shooting up the beach rather than out to sea as most people do. You could also get on a boat of some sort and see what spectacular pictures of the coast you can get while out there. An organised boat trip will also give you a fantastic opportunity to capture some amazing wildlife photos while you’re at it, too. If you do head out to sea, taking a weather-resistant camera will mean it’s protected against sea spray but do remember to wipe your kit down once back home to remove any residue. Here are some more tutorials on photographing the sea.

 

3. Climb Up High

Head for the nearest tower or hill to get a stunning view of a town or landscape below you. Night vistas of cities work well as do misty mornings in the countryside where valleys are filled with fog and only the peaks above can be seen. To give your shot even more impact, capture a panorama, a topic discussed further down the page. If landscape photography takes your fancy, then here are 10 Quick Landscape Photograph Tips.

 

4. Take A Stepladder Out

It might sound silly but if you’re trying to take photos at a busy event where there’s a big crowd, you’ll be able to shoot above them. It will help you avoid getting people’s heads in shots and give you a great opportunity to get a general overview of the scene. A stepladder will also get you closer to items that are slightly too high for you to shoot from the ground and offer a slightly alternative angle to everyday objects that are shot straight-on most of the time.

 

5. Go Underwater

If you have the right equipment, shooting underwater is well worth a try. You don’t even have to go diving, you could simply buy an underwater camera and have a go in a pool or at the beach in shallower water. This is a fun one for kids to have a go at, too. 

 

Fish

 

6. Hold Your Camera Up High

The easiest way to change your view is by simply holding the camera up above you to give you a different perspective of the scene. Cameras with a tiltable screen let you see everything comfortably when you shoot – even from very high angles. 
 

7. Go Wide

Why settle for a standard 4 x 6 shot when you can shoot a panorama? With built-in panorama modes, it’s now easier than ever to take these wider shots. All you have to do is select the Panorama Mode and sweep your camera in the direction you want to create your panorama. The camera then stitches the images together so you have a sweeping shot of the scene you’re shooting.
 

Panoramic Image

 

8. Lie Down

Again, this can get you some funny looks but it’s worth it as you’ll get an ant’s eye view that can give surprisingly good photographic results. Use a small aperture to maximise depth of field and keep an eye on your exposure if you’re including the sky in your shot. This position is also great for macro and close-up shots of insects and plants, and any other small items on the ground.

 

9. Shoot From Under/Below Things

This involves positioning your camera so it’s low to the ground but facing up towards the sky. This can produce some great images of flowers, for example, as it makes it look like they’re leaning over your lens and provides a unique opportunity to get a lot of sky in the picture too.

 

10. Use Reflections

Reflections can be great tools for changing perspective. As well as the obvious choices such as landscapes reflected in mirror-like lakes, look for puddles you can reflect people with umbrellas in, new buildings made of glass which can reflect slightly older structures and more abstract shots when the winds blowing so the water’s surface isn’t still.

Reflection in London

 

 

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10 Top Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Trees

10 Top Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Trees

Landscape shot

 

Trees are something nearly all photographers use in their images at some point. They add interest to landscapes, are used as backgrounds for fashion shoots and nature photographers get up close to the bark and leaves which are various animals and insects call their home. If photographing a tree’s not something you’ve done before or you’re looking for a little inspiration on how you can shoot them differently take a look at our top ten list of effective/interesting ways to photograph trees.

 

1.Include The Foreground

Trees

 

Before you head for the centre of the forest take the time to walk around the edge of it to find a good spot where you can capture a few shots that have foreground interest. By adding detail in the foreground you add depth to the image and give the shot a sense of scale which gives the composition more impact.

If you’re working with just one tree try positioning it in the left or right third of the frame. As well as using a field as your foreground, which works particularly well in winter when there’s a fresh covering of snow, try and find a lake or large pool of water which can add another dimension to the image with the reflection of the forest in it.

 

2. Take A Look At The Roots

Trees

 

Look out for patterns created by roots, especially those from beech which are often unearthed from weather erosion of the soil. For a more unusual perspective, use a wide-angle lens as in the shot below to curve the background. You can get colour cast from the green canopy above your head as the image below right demonstrates. If you find a tree on its side try to fill the frame with the patterns created by the overlapping/twisting roots. You may also find insect activity you can photograph in among them.
 

3. Get In Among The Trees

Trees

 

Use a long lens in dense wood to create a dramatic perspective, making the tree stumps look as though they are stacked on top of each other. These areas will make interesting patterns just remember to use a telephoto lens to compress the trees. Overcast days when the light is soft are good for this but don’t overlook misty/foggy mornings later on in the year. This works particularly well when the wooded area’s particularly thick but as fog acts like a softbox and can lower the contrast of your surroundings, you can end up with rather long exposure times. Trees in mist can look great silhouetted too but do take care with your exposure. Try opening up by one stop to prevent a dark grey sky appearing and a complete silhouette forming.

 

4. Add People, Buildings Or Other Structures

Trees

 

Give your image scale by adding other objects or people into the scene and look for man-made objects such as benches or even statues as these will contrast well against the soft colours of nature. If you’re in a park try shooting a few candid portraits of the people walking through and under the trees. This will add an extra element of interest and get the viewer thinking about who they are, where they’re going etc.

 

5. Focus On The Bark

Trees

 

The patterns in the bark vary from tree to tree. The smooth grey of beech, to the peeling white of silver birch, the cracked patterns of the pine and the deeply rutted elm. Try framing very tightly so you don’t see the edges of the tree stump and use a small aperture to cope with the rounded shape and ensure it’s all in focus. Trunks made up of particularly thick bark that has deep lines make interesting patterns when you shoot with a tight frame. Bark also makes great textures which you can overlay with other shots. Finally, if you’re using a compact camera remember to switch to Macro mode to get closer to the bark.

 

6. Take A Look At The Leaves

Single Leaf

 

From the trunk, move up to the branches and focus on the leaves. Again you could move in really close and create patterns from the veins or step back slightly and record the whole shape. Maple like leaves of trees such as sycamore is the most interesting with their five tips, but great results can also be achieved from more ordinary oval and round leaves.

Try shooting with the sun behind the leaves which will make them glow. Position yourself so the sun is shielded from the camera by a branch to avoid flare or use your hand or lens hood to provide protection. Backlit leaves can look particularly amazing during the autumn months when the leaves take on their yellow and orange shades. Other close-ups that are gagging to be photographed are the fruit, berries and cones.

 

7. Look For A Single Tree

Trees

 

 

Trees can be used as points of interest in wide, sweeping landscape shots of fields. They break up long, flat horizons, adding interest and giving scale to the shot. Just remember to keep the space around the tree clean and empty. Vibrant greens or fields of bright flowers or golden crops will give the image more punch while a stormy sky sat behind the lone tree will further enhance the feeling of isolation in the shot.

 

8. Get Up High

Trees

 

Gain a high vantage point and shoot a woodland canopy, again depending on the time of year you could either create a lush green spread or a wildly varied collection of browns in autumn. Try shooting from a nearby hillside and use a small aperture to ensure everything from the foreground to the background is sharp.

 

9. Try A Different Angle

Trees

 

Some nature reserves with woodland areas have bridges which take you along the top of the trees. Take advantage of this, shooting through the branches and leaves. You can use them as a natural frame to guide the eye to another focus point or just fill the frame with the interesting patterns you find from the branches twisting and overlapping.

If it’s safe to do so and you’re brave enough, you could try climbing up a smaller tree but don’t put yourself in danger. Back on the ground look for trees decorated with dappled light or get low to the ground and shoot up into the canopy. If you have a blue sky, green leaves will contrast well against it and by using a wide-angle lens, the trunks of the trees will look like they’re almost falling out of the image due to the effect wide-angle lens have on verticals. Don’t think this is a bad thing as actually it can make a really interesting shot.

 

10. Timelapse / Seasonal Shots

Trees

 

Capturing the changes in the leaves as we move from season to season is an interesting project that just needs a bit of patience and a spot you can return to again and again to take your shots. It’s often easier to focus on just one leaf but you can record more if you so wish. Make sure you use a tripod and try and make a note of the exact point you took your first shot from or, if you’re in your own garden, you could always make a mark so you know where your tripod needs to be. It’ll also help if the spot you pick is sheltered so the project doesn’t come to an end too early if the wind blew the leaf off the tree prematurely.

Once you’re set up you can record the leaves changing from the rich green shades we see in summer to the golden shades of autumn before it falls off during the winter months. As spring arrives and the buds break, you could try recording a sequence of photographs showing the various stages of the bud appearing, breaking and the leaf unfolding. Taking things a stage further find a position where you can fill the frame with the whole tree and photograph it as a lush green canopy, then the vivid autumn browns and finally a snow-covered version in winter.

 

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Save 10% On Everything In The Regatta Online Store With Our Discount Code

Save 10% On Everything In The Regatta Online Store With Our Discount Code

Regatta is giving you the chance to save 10% off their entire range of clothing, shoes and more with our discount code.

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Regatta Jacket

 

We’ve teamed up with outdoor clothing specialist Regatta to give you the chance to save 10% when shopping on the Regatta website

The Regatta online store features a wide range of men’s, women’s and children’s outdoor clothing as well as walking boots, accessories and more. Perhaps you’re looking for a waterproof jacket for weekend walks or a pair of waterproof trousers to keep you dry when the rain starts falling on your staycation? Whatever outdoor clothing you need, we’re sure that Regatta will have something that suits your needs. 

To save 10%, use code: RG10 at the checkout before the end of 13/7/21. 

Save 10% With Regatta

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Save 10% On My-Picture Photo Poster Prints

Save 10% On My-Picture Photo Poster Prints

We have an exclusive code you can use to save 10% when purchasing photo poster prints from My-Picture.co.uk.

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New Formats In! Get Your Photo Poster Prints from My-Picture.co.uk - Save 10%

 

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One of the more recent entries in the My-Picture.co.uk product catalogue, the photo poster print has already become a customer favourite with its wallet-friendly prices that mean you can makeover your walls on a budget. 

Made from Fujifilm photo paper, the posters from My-Picture.co.uk are thick and durable without being weighty and feature a vintage matte finish. The posters are available in various size formats, can be printed in colour or black & white and are easy to hang. 

Prices range from £3.00 to £7.00 and currently, you can save an extra 10% by using the discount code EPOSTER10 at the checkout. 

Save 10% On Photo Poster Prints

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10 Safety Tips For Photographers When Traveling

10 Safety Tips For Photographers When Traveling

Here’s a quick list of 10 tips to help you keep your camera safe while on holiday so you can enjoy yourself and not worry about your photography kit.

| 
Landscape and Travel

 

Mexico

 

 

1. Make A Checklist

Before you leave for the airport make a list of all the equipment you’re taking with you, writing down the serial and model numbers, too. It’ll also help if you take photos of your equipment for your records.

 

2. Check Your Insurance

Make sure you have the right insurance just in case your equipment’s stolen or damaged. If you’re unsure if your equipment’s covered, read your policy or ring your insurer. 
 

3. Put Your Equipment In Your Hand-Luggage 

Camera gear is fragile so don’t pack it in the case you plan on checking in at the airport. If you do, you run the risk of equipment getting damaged. Do remember to check the size and weight restrictions on luggage with the company you’re travelling with as airlines tend to have different rules/restrictions when it comes to luggage you can carry-on. 
 

4. Don’t Take Trips On Your Own

If you’re planning a few day trips don’t go alone. That way, when you’re framing up your shot, your ‘buddy’ can watch your camera bag and any other equipment you have.

 

5. What’s Your Bag Look Like?

Don’t use a bag that screams: “Look! I have a very expensive camera in here.”

 

Rome

 

6. Don’t Put Your Bag Down

Even when you’re taking a photo don’t leave your bag on the floor and never leave it unattended. When you’re in busy locations such as markets, carry the bag on your front as if it’s on your back, there is the chance that someone could access it without you knowing. You may think you look a little silly but that’s better than finding all of your gear’s gone.

 

7. Carry Spare Memory Cards

Don’t just take one memory card with you as if it’s stolen or lost that’s it. Always carry a spare in your bag and keep one locked away in your hotel room too, just in case.

 

8. Try To Fit In

Having confidence and looking like you know where you’re going (even if you don’t) will mean you’re less likely to be bothered. Try to blend in rather than stand out as a tourist. 

 

9. Put Your Equipment In A Net

You can buy safety nets which you place your equipment in and then you fasten the net to a solid object that’s fastened down.

 

10. Use A Safe

Most rooms have safes that will fit memory cards, chargers, a smartphone or a small DSLR body in. If you have lots of kit or there’s no safe in your room, ask at reception to see if they have them available at the desk. Just make sure you make a note of everything you hand over and take images so you have proof if anything goes missing. 

If you have any tips for photographers heading off on holiday, add them to the comments. 

 

Mexico

 

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