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.
Photographer using Adobe Lightroom on an iPad Pro.

The Best Free Adobe Lightroom Presets and Where to Get Them

From importing, to organizing, to the editing process itself, few tools have the capacity to define a photographer’s workflow like Adobe’s Lightroom. Of the program’s many indispensable features, the ability to create user presets ranks quite high: it offers photographers the ability to lock in preferred looks, adjustments, and settings for rapid implementation across multiple images. Better still, these presets are readily shareable, allowing users easy access to the settings required for virtually any desired result without going through the hassle of creating them themselves.

Photo book on a desk

The Best Photo Book Services in 2021

Over the last fifteen years, physical photography has become a rarity, even a luxury, for the everyday citizen. Modern cell phones have provided average folks with all the camera power they could ever need. Social media has rendered the storage and sharing of visual memories a strictly online affair. As with most recent innovations, the price for increased accessibility has been paid for in tangibility. What was once common has become quaint, what was universal is now bespoke.

8 Perfect Gifts for Photographers for the 2021 Holiday Season

There’s a lot of technology and terminology involved in photography. So, it’s no wonder that it’s easy to get tripped up when buying presents for photographers. And not just that: There are literally thousands upon thousands of photography products out there. Tyranny of choice, much?

The Best Online Photo Printing Services in 2021

Thanks to the smartphone camera, we can capture any memory we choose, at any time, but they’re more vulnerable -- and temporary -- than ever, but they all feel more temporary than ever. This is the modern paradox.

How to Find and Photograph the Northern Lights

The northern lights, otherwise known as aurora borealis, are the winter-time spectacle that sees northern skies filled with incredible dancing lights. Caused by the interaction of photons exciting the gas molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, they can appear as green, pink, or blue. Photographing them is near the top of almost all photographers’ wish lists, but getting a good shot is decidedly difficult.

The Best Laptops for Photographers and Photo Editing in 2021

Seasoned photographers know that the search for the right laptop comes down to far more than a list of individually impressive specs. The perfect laptop for photo editing will not always be the one with the most bells and whistles, because perfection here is about so much more: usability, ease, intuition -- all the things that combine to create not just powerful imagery, but a powerful workflow as well.

The Best Mirrorless Cameras in 2021

Given all the choices when it comes to a new camera, it can be quite an ordeal to research and decide on just one. While it mostly depends on what you need as a photographer. If you've been leaning more towards picking up a mirrorless camera, then you're in the right place and we're here to help.

How Adobe’s Neural Filters Make Colorizing Photos Way Easier

A growing trend among retouchers and editors in the last few years has been to repair vintage photographs that have faded and been damaged over time. In addition to this restoration work, "colorizing" vintage photographs has been experiencing explosive growth. Adobe's "Colorize" Neural Filter now makes the job easier than ever.

The Best Smartphones for Photography in 2021

Almost everyone wields a camera these days because they already have one by default on their smartphones. But not just any phone will capture the best results, and that’s why some stand out for particular reasons.

The Most Expensive Camera Lenses You Can Buy Right Now

Whether you are a working professional or a weekend hobbyist, the thrill of using truly exquisite gear is unmatched. We all work with what we have while salivating over what we cannot, and no matter how old we get, fancy toys never lose their luster. Do we need them? Probably not. Will we ever purchase them? Not likely. Will we spend hours staring at them? You bet. Nothing is as intoxicating to a photographer as good, outrageously expensive glass.

Apple Silicon is Still a Pain to Use with Color Accurate Monitors

If you've been using an Apple Silicon Mac with an external display for photo and video editing, you may have noticed a few issues. Whether it's ultra-wide monitors not displaying correctly, calibration software not working right, or high-end monitors displaying in YCrCb mode instead of RGB, Apple Silicon still has a bunch of issues with color-accurate monitors.

Why Do Photographers Spend So Much on Monitors?

One of the most important tools in a photographer's toolkit is something many may be surprised by - a color-accurate monitor. But why are they so expensive, and why should a photographer spend so much on one?

The Best Lenses for APS-C Cameras in 2021

While full-frame has received the most attention from camera manufacturers in recent years, there are plenty of great reasons to purchase smaller format sensors like APS-C. These systems can be cheaper, smaller, lighter, and offer greater reach over their full-frame counterparts.

The Best Photo Printers in 2021

Photographers rarely need to carry a portfolio book of their work to show potential clients these days, but even with constant access to photos online, there will still be moments when every working photographer will need -- or want -- a printer.

What is the Difference Between a CCD and CMOS Camera Sensor?

A lot of words have been written and exchanged about the difference between -- and possible advantages or disadvantages of -- CCD (charged-couple device) and CMOS (metal oxide semiconductor + active-pixel sensor) camera sensors. What really is the difference between them?