Reader's Questions 1
Presented by Glenn Springer, TIF, RHCC

Ask me no questions...
I'll tell you no lies!


Readers keep asking me about specific cameras, where’s the best place to shop, what kind of bag should I use, etc. I’ll answer some questions, but unless I’ve had personal dealings or experience with a product or a vendor, I hesitate to comment. I’ll stay away from specific brand recommendations, if you don’t mind.

That said, the kind of questions I will answer are ones about how to do something, or to solve specific problems. By the way, if there are any questions you’d like answered or specific topics you’d like me to address, please click the “Contact” button at the bottom of the page. I will answer you directly, as quickly as humanly possible!

This edited image of the abandoned gas station in Coboconk has absolutely nothing to do with this topic. But I thought you'd enjoy seeing the kind of results you can
achieve by post-processing a picture with Photoshop and a variety of plug-in effects. This would be a dynamite large format print on your wall. Contact me...

The other day, someone asked me why nothing seemed to be in focus when they looked through the viewfinder of the camera. Here’s my answer (in part):

Right beside the viewfinder in most DSLR cameras is a control, usually not too obvious because you’re only going to use it once: the diopter adjustment. Everyone’s eyes are different so most camera manufacturers put in a way to adjust how you see in your viewfinder. Find the control. Turn on the camera and press the shutter release halfway down to turn on the lighted numbers in the viewfinder. Now, while looking through it , turn the control until the numbers become crisp and in focus. Voilà, you’ve set your camera to your eyes! If you’re not sure where that is, read your manual!

This graphic shows where the Diopter control is on a Nikon D5200 (courtesy of the Nikon user manual).
I read another suggestion elsewhere that you take the lens off when doing this adjustment so that the internal electronic
focusing points and data are the only things visible, so it's easier to adjust. Be careful not to get dust in the camera.

I love the last sentence in the blue-highlighted text! Sign of the times, isn't it?I'll bet you some lawyer made them write that (apologies to the lawyers reading this!).


Again, this is from the D5100 user manual. The second screen is what you see when you make the first selection, one double check before you actually format the card.

Here’s another question: “do I need to format the memory card? How?” This person was uploading their pictures to the computer and laboriously erasing them, one at a time, from their memory card. The answer: formatting the memory card erases all the pictures from your card in one shot. But it also removes some messy information on the card that eventually can gum up the works! So yes, format the card. But don’t do it in the computer: do it in the camera. The camera knows the best way to do it. It’s in the menu in all digital cameras: if you can’t find it, read your manual!

By the way, unless you do a full low level format (which none of us ever do), the pictures are still on the card and can be recovered by that CSI lab! A normal format just erases the index to where the pictures are, and unless you record new pictures over them, they’re still there! Even you can recover them, Google the manufacturer of your memory card and search for “recovery software”. So if ‘oops!’ you erased your pictures before making sure they were on the computer, you have a way out!


The Nikon EN-EL15 battery for the D600/610, D800, D7000-series. It retails for a serious $100 in stores. I bought two off-brand copies for $10 each on eBay. Nikon doesn't want you to use those...

This picture was shot in my light tent. I don't have a macro lens so I used my 70-200mm! Want to learn how to take pictures like these? Contact me (below) for a workshop.

I had a question about how to discharge your battery completely before recharging it. This goes back to the days when we used to use NiCad batteries that had a ‘memory’ and if you didn’t completely discharge them, they would slowly be unable to be charged fully. While that’s still true to a certain extent, it’s really a non-issue with modern NiMH or Li-Ion batteries. After tens of thousands of photos, and many charges without fully discharging them, all of my batteries still perform like new. And if one starts misbehaving, well, buy a new one!

The manufacturers tell you not to use third party batteries. Years ago, when the battery for my D300 was $80 from Nikon, I bought two off-brand batteries on eBay for $10 each. They worked just like the Nikon one. That said, you could get a bad one that will overheat and damage your camera, so caveat emptor!





Write me an email if you have other questions, the easiest way is to click on the Contact button below. These are also the kinds of questions readily answered when you’re hanging out with other photographers at a camera club! The inaugural meeting for the Haliburton Highlands Camera Club is slated for December 11th in Minden. Go to for more information. See you there!

PS: my workshop schedule is wide open for the fall/winter. I do small groups, so you choose the date! An inexpensive way to learn how to make better pictures! Check out the workshops here.

Links to FACzen Photography:
We teach you how to become a better photographer. And we sell fine art images. Please check us out at the links below.


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