Let’s suppose you are on the field with your camera, and you’re wondering what settings would work best for an amazing shot. You have a vague idea that the aperture needs to be wide open for landscape, and that the exposure time will take longer in low light. But, other than that, you are going to get frustrated with tens of shots before achieving the desired effect. Your perfect picture requires a lot of practice and knowledge. The practice part – that is all you. The knowledge, however, can be tricked.
Old-fashion photographers have a notebook in their pockets with best values of aperture – shutter speed combinations, but, if that didn’t cross your mind, then maybe this will help you: there are several great tools you can install on your phone or tablet. Moreover, with these tools, you won’t ever need to do the math yourself.
Every photographer can now easily use the DoF-calculator during landscape shooting that needs the maximum depth of field. It’s handy to know how many seconds of exposure will be needed during a night photo session, if the ISO setting is set to a minimal noise. And these are just some examples.
Google play now has in store both free and paid Android applications that will calculate your DOF, exposure and other parameters, based on your given values.
1. Photo Tools
Photo Tools is the Android application, which has the simple interface. It will be helpful for the beginner photographers using the DSLR-cameras.
The app includes three tools:
- The calculator of the depth of field.
- The calculator of the exposure pairs.
- The calculator of the sunsets time and the sunrises time.
2. Photo Tools PRO
Photo Tools Pro is a tool for professional photographers and advanced amateurs. Some background knowledge is required.
The most important tools available are:
- DOF & Hyperfocal Distance Calculator
- Field Of View Calculator
- Exposure Reciprocation Calculator
- Flash Exposure Calculator
- Multiple Exposure Compensation
- Minimal Shutterspeed Calculator
- Bellows Extension Calculator
- Time Lapse Calculator
- Light Meter (using Camera & EXIF)
- Blue & Golden Hour Calculator
- Moon Phase & Exposure Calculator
- Color Temperature Chart
- Image Histogram Viewer
- Image EXIF Reader
- Photo Enlargement Calculator
- Sharpening Radius Estimator
3. DOF Calculator
Depth of Field Calculator for Photographers calculates Hyperfocal Distance, Near Focus Limit, Far Focus limit, and Depth of Field(DOF).
- Quick Mode ( lets user select most common settings using drop down menus for easy, quick and convenient selection )
- Manual Mode ( lets user enter values manually for maximum flexibility and professional users )
- Reverse Mode ( takes Near Focus and Far Focus distance values and calculates all the possible combinations )
- Aperture Mode (lets user select Camera, Focal length, and Subject Distance, and calculates resultant depth of field against all aperture values )
Supports more than 200 SLRs, DSLRs and Compact Cameras from Canon, Nikon, FujiFilm, Kodak, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma, Sony, Four Third System, 35mm Film, Medium Formats, Large Formats, Blackmagic Cinema, Red, Super 16, Super 35, and many more.
4. TimeLapse! Calculator
TimeLapse! Calculator is a helper tool for everyone who would like to do timelapse photography. It helps one to decide the appropriate settings for any timelapse projects.
The application allows one to input parameters that they know, for example, the actual length for the event and they target output frame rate and length. Then it does all the remaining job to calculate the shooting interval required and the disk space required.
You can also calculate all other parameters such as frame rate, record duration, target output clip length, and total number of shots, etc.
- Calculate Shooting Interval
- Calculate Record Duration
- Calculate Target output Clip Length
- Calculate Frame Rate (FPS)
- Calculate Number of Shots
- Calculate Memory requirement
- Ad Supported.
- Reference Timelapse recording settings
5. Photographer FREE
Photographer FREE is like an expert photographer in your pocket. It suggests the optimal settings for your camera and equipment to be used to make great photos based on what you want to photograph.
- How tos to take nearly 60 different categories of photos: Portraits, rainbows, fireworks, the moon, etc..
- Photographic poses for couples, men and women, groups etc..
- Tutorial for advanced photography
- Special photo tools like Depth of Field Calculator (DOF calculator), Exposure Calculator (EXP calculator), print size calculator according to the size of the file or megapixels, Timelapse calculator
- Photography news reader
- Personal notes and personal settings
6. Astrophoto Calculator
Astrophoto Calculator is a small app for astro photographers for calculation of image filed sizes for certain combinations of camera and lens. You can also calculate the maximal exposure time for shots without guiding and calculate the length of star trails.
It has a custom editable camera list. After installation and first execution of this app the list is saved on your SD card under sdcard/.com.strickling/astrocameras.txt. It can be edited with any text editor.
Astrophotography becomes much easier with this tool.
7. PlanIt! for Photographers
PlanIt! for Photographers is a special call to landscape photographers, travel photographers, nature photographers or those who are especially interested in night photography, skyline, time-lapse, star-trail and milky way or astrophotography. This app will help you in your journey even before it starts, because it will give you ideas of what and how can be photographed.
PlanIt! is all-in-one solution that is designed to leverage the map and simulated viewfinder technologies (VR, AR etc.) to provide the necessary tools for photographers to pre-visualize the scene in combination with the Sun, Moon, Stars and Milky Way. Some questions that you might ask yourself before going out for a photographing trip are:
- Where is the Sun or the Moon at the time and the location and to see the animation of the Sun/Moon/Stars/Milky Way movements as in real?
- When and which azimuth is the Sunset or Sunrise today or on any date at any location around the world?
- Where should I go to get a nice view of the scene and possible compositions?
- Do I get a clear view of subject from a certain location where is no mountain blocking the view?
- What lens should I bring in order to capture the whole width or the height of the scene?
- If the scene is too wide, how many shots do I need to take to create a panorama and how many angle should each shot cover and how many angle should I rotate the camera between each shot?
- How do I compose the scene considering the subject’s elevation and the sun or moon location?
- Is tonight a good time for star trail photography? How long can I exposure without being affected the rising moon? Where should I aim at the sky to get the Polaris at the center?
- What are the dates and times to have Milky Way at certain position on the sky?
If you are interested in the answers of any questions above, the PlanIt! is the right app for you.
8. DSLR Remote
Before the smartphone era, every photographer thought about and purchased either a cord/cable remote or an IR or wireless triggered one. Now, however, this investment is no longer necessary.
Whether via infrared, by wire or via Bluetooth, DSLR Remote enables you to take timer controlled exposure series (e.g. for time lapse), long time exposures or exposure sequences in the context of High Dynamik Range photography.
The main functions (among others) are:
- Simple Remote control
- Delayed Shots
- Series of shots with fixed interval (e.g for time lapse)
- Bulb exposures
- Combinations from 2., 3. and 4.
- High-Dynamic-Range-Sequences (HDR)
- Time controlled HDR-Sequences (Combination of Timer and HDR)
- Triggering of shots or start of Timer or HDR sequences by the ambient light sensor on your smartphone (keyword: light barrier)
- Triggering of shots or start of Timer or HDR sequences by the internal or an external microphone
In the Google app store description you’ll find a list of all mobile devices that can communicate with your DSLR via IR, and therefore, you’ll find out if by installing this application you’ll get the desired results. If you are not using a device with a supported built-in IR sender all you need is a small, inexpensive and easy to build hardware, which is then connected to the ear phone jack of your smartphone (and a commercially available Bluetooth stereo headset if you want remote control via Bluetooth). You will find detailed instructions on how to build the required hardware on the authors website (http://bitshift.bplaced.net).
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