People often tell me they are going to take photography lessons and have decided to buy a new camera. After seeing a few Single Lens Reflex (SLR) models, they usually ask me which one I would recommend. Right after I answer, they thank me and tell me how other photographers were talking about different camera models and a bunch of technical terms that were doing nothing but making them dizzy. What I did was remind them of the photography basics, which are more relevant. Hopefully this will help you as well.
The typical question. I have decided to buy a new SLR. Which camera model to buy?
Most of the time, this question is what amateurs ask without an identified photography style or with no particular preference for portraiture, landscapes, social events, etc. It is also a common question from those who don’t eat, sleep, and breathe photography. For them it is just a hobby that they enjoy, yet they don’t mind spending money on it. Keep in mind: if you are really committed to buying a new camera, you shouldn’t think about how much you are going to spend, but think more about which camera will best fit your needs.
First of all, you need to know if you really do or don’t need an SLR. I have friends who got into the SLR world and now they don’t use their cameras because they prefer to shoot with their point-and-shoot, as they can carry it everywhere they go and snap any sort of event. If you are really motivated by photography, or going to participate in any photography course beyond advanced level, a SLR is your choice, regardless of how many point-and-shoot cameras are on the market with manual settings; an SLR offers better performance.
The camera market is a universe with models for everybody’s wallet, but mostly you just need a couple of things: To be able to see through the viewfinder and have availability of manual control of the camera. Speaking of brands, I think that’s very personal. I have my own preferences regarding a specific brand, and I’m aware there are no solid reasons to choose a brand over another, and of course I have nothing against the rest of the camera manufacturers. At the time of writing this article, the SLR photography community is still served by only a few manufacturers, and as far as I know all of them are good enough. I haven’t seen yet a generic DSLR camera like in other consumer markets. So if you expected to read about a specific brand recommendation, then I invite you to skip to the next article. Instead of thinking about which brand to buy, you should think about how easy and affordable it would be to upgrade equipment depending on the brand you choose.
What to look for in your new camera?
It should provide manual controls that let you set the exposure time and aperture, separately. Manufacturers will just overwhelm our brains with technical data like megapixels, frames per second and stuff like that.
In fact, there are elements more important than megapixels – like sensor size, for example – and sometimes you have to do a little research to find information about it. Every camera offers enough megapixels for standard prints. Although I don’t use often the continuous shooting mode, I consider this more important, especially if you are going to cover a sport event or any other situation that involves a lot of action and requires rapid exposures.
Equally as important, how comfortable will it be to handle your new camera?
Just like when you go shoe shopping, you start looking for the best shoes, aesthetically speaking. The next step is, will they fit or not? Just like trying on some nice shoes that aren’t comfortable on your feet, you’ll find a good looking camera that won’t feel good in your hands. There are bigger hands and there are smaller hands and cameras to suit each one. It’s essential that the camera fits your hands with comfort, if a model of camera is too small or large and you don’t feel comfortable holding it or accessing its buttons, and this will interfere with your shooting process. In that case, you should probably look for another model.
A good viewfinder
Newest SLR cameras offer a preview of the image you are about to take on the camera’s LCD screen. The thing is that DSLR cameras aren’t built the same way as their compact cousins, point-and-shoot cameras. Let’s face it, even with those new cameras with live preview, you wouldn’t look like a pro if you hold your camera at your arm’s length rather than up to your face. There is a the element of camera shake, the bane of any photographer and a reason to hold your SLR up to your face in order to avoid taking blurry photos. Because it is easier to support the camera and its weight, I find it’s better to look through the viewfinder rather than through the LCD screen, unless the camera is mounted on a tripod. The camera weight and the placement of the hands holding it, have direct influence on camera shake.
For those who ask what camera shake is, it refers to a photograph that doesn’t look sharp, caused by shaking while the camera was taking the image. of the difference of camera viewfinders is night and day, some have small and dark viewfinders and others have them bigger brighter viewfinders. What you see through the viewfinder is what will help you compose your image at the time of shooting, so the more and you can see clearly the better your final composition will be.
Internal cleaning systems and stabilization are common in newest models. Lately the ability to record movies with a SLR is getting popular thanks to the excellent video quality. The technology concerning movie making with a SLR camera is still growing, the newest sensors come with much less noise. But there is a limit to everything, and noise will appear at a higher ISOs. Depending on the type of photography you are planning to do, noise may be a crucial issue, if you are shooting in low light conditions.
The price range varies, from $300 for a very basic beginner’s DSLR body, good enough for social events, and up to $40,000 for a 60 megapixel monster if you want to work with big billboards and your potential clients are exceptionally demanding. Camera bodies evolve faster than lenses and other accessories. Every year or to a body built will be replaced by new developed camera body with updated components, primarily its sensor.
Therefore, a good lens has a longer lifetime as long as the body’s manufacturer doesn’t change the mount system leaving it incompatible. Buy a body that is sufficient for your needs but also make sure to but the best lenses you can afford. if you invest too much in the camera body you might will no be able to get good lenses, which is a more critical element of a good photograph.
Maybe it would be easier to get a more specific camera recommendation, but there is something more important to consider, the camera doesn’t make a good photographer… a good photographer makes the camera work. If you like photography and you practice it, I over time you can capture breathtaking images with virtually any camera.
A photographer was born inside Juan on April 17th, 2007, when he got his first DSLR. Nowadays he is hunting graffiti art with his camera. Occasionally he travels around the Caribbean shooting people (not presidents, models and families only). He enjoys the story behind every photo. http://gplus.to/jgp