Beginner photography tips: common problems with focus and sharpness

Beginner photography tips for getting sharp images: set a higher ISO

In our latest Shoot Like A Pro series we take an in-depth look at some of the most common problems that plague new photographers and explain some simple methods and jargon-free beginner photography tips for avoiding them. This week we turn our attention to focusing and maintaining sharp images.

Phase detection autofocus: how your DSLR’s AF system actually works

Phase detection autofocus: how your DSLR's AF system actually works

Have you ever wondered how your DSLR’s AF system works? Unlike other types of digital cameras, DSLRs use a phase detection autofocus system to get your subjects pin-sharp. Knowing how this works helps you learn how to focus more efficiently, and our latest photography cheat sheet illustrates exactly what your camera is doing when you half-press the shutter button.

Autofocus vs manual: how to take control of focus in problem foregrounds

How to take control of autofocus: step 2

Your camera is like a faithful and efficient assistant, but it’s not the brains of the outfit. Some scenes can fool your camera into thinking that something else is the more important subject. In these situations you might debate whether to use autofocus vs manual mode, but there’s no reason you can’t still use autofocus. Your camera’s AF system usually gets it right, but you need to know when it won’t… and what you can do about it.

11 common lens errors and how you can avoid them

11 common lens errors and how you can avoid them

The step up from a compact camera to one that allows you to changes lenses can be quite daunting, but it’s also a move towards taking better images. Our head of testing, Angela Nicholson, has compiled a list of the most common lens errors photographers make and some advice about how to avoid them.