Guides

Looking for the best products for photographers? PetaPixel's experts are constantly testing a wide range of cameras, lenses, accessories, computers, services, and more to let you know where your money is best spent. Our Guides are regularly updated, so check back for our most up-to-date recommendations.

Back Button Focus: Everything You Need to Know

In the world of photography, achieving precise focus is a requirement when capturing great images. Whether you're shooting a landscape, a candid portrait, or a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in a fast-paced event, sharp focus can make or break your image. 

A dynamic collage of various professional camera equipment, including lenses and stabilizers, set against a vibrant, cosmic background suggesting high-tech innovation and exploration.

The Best Tripod Heads for Photos and Videos in 2024

A tripod head is one of the most important pieces of equipment a photographer can own. Most photographers start with cheap, shoddily built tripods with integrated heads, sometimes bought as part of a kit. While they don’t know it, these tripods aren’t worth their weight in plastic, which is a fancy way of saying they’re worthless.

Best image upscalers

The Best Image Upscalers in 2024

It used to be that if your digital image was too small for a particular application, you had no real options. You were stuck at the original resolution, or at least something close to it. Upscaling technology has changed the game, but not all apps are made equal.

All stages of the total solar eclipse are lined up against a black background.

How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse

The upcoming solar eclipse on April 8 is a highly anticipated event, in large part because it will be the last to cross over North America for 20 years. It is a special event to witness and photograph, though it does require planning and preparation.

Hands hold a camera in front of a selection of other photography gear on a desk.

The Camera Gear Beginners Shouldn’t Cheap Out On

Camera equipment is expensive, making it hard for beginners to build kits and get started. Because of this, it can be tempting to opt for budget-friendly options for some pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, that's not always wise.

The Best Web Hosting for Photographers in 2024

One of the single most worthwhile investments you can make as a photographer is paying for a bespoke website. Whether you’re a commercial assignment photographer looking to showcase your best work, a batch shooter wanting to create a home for your purchase galleries, or anything in between, an online presence outside of social media is a crucial component of any creative’s toolkit.

A Complete Guide to Creating and Using Texture Layers in Photography

Texture layers are photos that are normally blended with other images as part of a composite rather than being used on their own. They can be color, monochrome, detailed, or blurred. The idea is simply to add an extra level of interest to a picture. In this guide, we will look at various ways of collecting and using texture layers for your photography projects.

A mix of photography equipment laid out on a black table.

The Camera Equipment Beginners Don’t Need

There's no denying that photography is a gear-focused endeavor. We are constantly pitched fancy new equipment with the idea that more gear will make us better photographers. For some photographers and their needs, that's absolutely true. But for those just starting, some equipment simply isn't necessary.

How to Print Photos at Home

Printing your photos at home can get complicated and confusing rather quickly. Between choosing a printer and paper and problem-solving why the colors don't look like what you see on your display, it can be overwhelming, especially if you are just getting started.

Two versions of the same image of a girl in a wheat field with drastically different colors.

What is Color Space and Why Does it Matter?

For most photographers, color is a crucial component of their images. As a result, it only makes sense to want the colors that you envision to come through in the same way when others view your photographs. That can be easier said than done, however.

A fog rolls over fall foliage in a mountainous river valley.

What is HDR Photography?

HDR photography may seem complex, but it is a surprisingly simple tool that can open new photographic doors. Most people have encountered HDR photography without thinking about it since smartphones automatically produce HDR images.

How to Get an FAA Part 107 License to Fly a Drone Commercially

Drones are awesome. Much more than just being fun novelties you might see buzzing around your neighbor’s backyard piloted by a young child, they are amazing creative tools that allow for camera shots that you simply cannot get in any other way, and are used in everything from music videos to live sports to the biggest blockbuster films.

Best Computers for Photo Editing in 2024

Ensuring you have chosen the right tools for the job can be a daunting task and selecting the right computer to handle your photo editing is no exception to this rule. You'll want to be sure the machine is as high performing as possible but also consider the price, ease of use, serviceability, and even connectivity to be sure you've selected the right computer for your photography workflow.

a9 III Sensor

Why the Global Shutter in the Sony a9 III is Such a Big Deal

It is difficult to overstate just how big of a deal the Sony a9 III is, at least on paper. As is always the case with press events, and especially ones where hands-on time is limited, pre-production firmware is installed, and shooting opportunities are cultivated, you should consume pre-release content with (many) grains of salt. Hypertension be damned.

Best Retro Cameras in 2024

Merriam-Webster defines “retro” as “fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned.” With the rise in popularity of shooting on film over the past few years and the extraordinary success of instant cameras among the general populace, I think it is fair to say that retro cameras are likewise lusted after by many.

Cameras That Changed Photography Forever

I write about a lot of things here at PetaPixel -- reviews, guides, technical articles, opinion pieces -- but one of my favorite topics to write about is the history of photography. As an avid user and collector of vintage cameras and lenses, I have passionately absorbed as much knowledge about their history as possible over many years. Like studying world history, there is much value in understanding where we came from and what got to us where we are now.

Guide to Fall Foliage Tracking and Maps

Best Fall Foliage Maps for Tracking Leaf Color Forecasts in 2024

Autumn has officially begun in the northern hemisphere, meaning foliage season is just around the corner. Much of New England, a popular region in the United States for fall photography, experiences peak foliage in early-to-mid October, but what about other places? Where can photographers find the best information to plan their leaf-peeping adventures?

Best Keyboards

The Best Keyboards in 2024

Having a solid keyboard is crucial for any desk setup, whether that’s in an office or at the dining room table. But not all keyboards are built equally, and not every model is best suited for each task. These are the best keyboard options across use cases.