Considerations when Choosing A Camera
When Choosing a camera here is what to look for in a camera:
When you are thinking about purchasing a camera, the first thing to decide is your budget. Your budget will determine how many bells and whistles your camera will have.
- The next thing to decide is how big do you want your camera to be? Do you want an SLR camera (SLR = single lens reflex- they used to be known as a 35mm camera because that is the size of the film) with interchangeable lenses? Or do you want a tiny little camera that will fit into your pocket or purse? Or do you want something in between?
- When you have determined your budget and your preferred size, then you can start to shop. Stay with the brand name cameras– Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Fuji, etc. The film in your camera is called a CCD. The brand name cameras have the better quality ones and a quality CCD is more important than the number of megapixels in your camera. If you have a bunch of megapixels and a lousy CCD, you will end up with a poorer image than if you have a quality CCD and fewer megapixels.
- Unless you are making an image larger than an 8 x 10 on a regular basis, a 5 megapixel camera with a quality CCD will capture you anything you could want and more.
- If you choose to purchase a SLR, you must also budget for a lens. If you are photographing people, you will want at least a 50mm lens- 85 mm. If you are photographing landscapes, a 70-200 zoom will work, or a wide angle lens of less than 50 mm. A 70-300 will work well for sports. And if you are photographing tiny things, you will need a macro lens. It is best to stay with lenses made by the camera manufacturers because they are made with tighter tolerances than other brands, though there are a couple of manufacturers that make acceptable off brand lenses. Be sure and check the reviews on any lens that you are thinking about purchasing.
- There is nothing better than capturing the images you see through the eye piece. And finally, don’t forget to print your images. If something happens to the electronic file, you will still have a hard copy in your photo album or scrapbook.
- Photography equipment can get very expensive very quickly. So when you purchase equipment, it is best to begin simple and then add to your equipment as you outgrow it rather than buy the expensive and fancy equipment before you know how to use it. By the time you grow into a fancy and expensive camera, the camera will be outdated.
- Any professional photographer will tell you that it doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use, what matters is the talent, experience, and education of the user of the camera. If you are just learning photography, purchase a simple camera that allows you to change the modes in which you work. The camera should have a automatic mode (which does everything for you), an aperture preferred mode (which lets you set the f-stop and the camera sets the shutter speed), a shutter preferred mode (which lets you set the shutter speed and the camera sets the f-stop) and a full manual mode which will allow you to learn how to set the aperture and shutter speed for an appropriate exposure for yourself.
- Your next assignment is to learn the rules of photography. The time-tested rules are valuable to know and they will make you a better photographer. When you have learned about light, exposure, posing, depth of field, rule of thirds, etc. then you will be ready to learn to enhance your images digitally in one or many of the products available, such as PhotoShop Elements.
- A word of caution about “photo shopping” images to create images that are all razzle dazzle– only novices will be razzle-dazzled. To anyone that is savvy about digital art, trying to create on the computer what should have been created in the camera screams amateur. There isn’t a shortcut to creating great images. However, the payoff for learning and applying the rules of photography is the great images that will make you proud to share with anyone.
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