Time for a NEW contest – to check all of our open contests – visit the OPEN CONTESTS page at Photofocus.com (PLEASE READ THIS PAGE CAREFULLY – IT ANSWERS ALL YOUR LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CONTEST!) Enter To Win Your Choice of  a New Nikon D800 or Canon 5D MK III *Body only This contest starts today […]

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Every year we select a camera that we think merits special mention. We’ve awarded the Camera of the Year to all types and brands. It’s always controversial. We always get told we’re wrong. Usually by someone who feels badly because they bought a different camera. That’s unfortunate because that implies the camera makes the art. […]

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Short and sweet. I use HDR more than I don’t. When I do use HDR I prefer the subtle approach believing less is more. I’m not attacking anyone else’s style. I’m just saying that’s the way I prefer it. I like it so subtle that I don’t use it in the conventional way. I primarily […]

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My pal Skip Cohen had a great quote the other day. “I’m a time traveler and Jules Vern has nothing to do with the trip.” Man that resonated with me. Here’s why. More than 40 years ago, a man named Jack Russell gave me a Nikkormat 35mm film camera. I distinctly remember asking him, “What’s […]

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I’ve finally had enough time to take a look at the latest crop of photo books to cross my desk, and I’d like to suggest a few that I think stand out and  that would be worth your time. These are all winners and would also make great stocking stuffers this upcoming holiday if there’s […]

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Tripod

I’ve heard it said, “The poor man pays twice,” and this is especially true applied to tripods. If you’re like me, you’re thinking of the three tripods you have in a corner of the garage right now, unused and dusty. Hopefully, you also have one that is scratched and all but worn out with use […]

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My Favorite Ring Light On The Market Have you heard of Rosco gels? If so then you’ve probably been around a while or you are a reader of David Hobby’s Strobist blog. Rosco is not just in the gel business. They make one of the best ring light systems I’ve ever seen. The LitePad Loop […]

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NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE: The Photofocus Podcast Feed HAS CHANGED! Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Download episode here…  or get it on iTunes PLEASE BE PATIENT – OUR SERVERS SEE LARGE LOADS ON PUBLISHING DAYS. THE DOWNLOADS MAY GO SLOWLY BUT THEY WILL FINISH. Host Rich Harrington and Scott Bourne catchup tackle new gear from a […]

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“Come to the edge” he said, “We can’t, we are afraid” they said… “Come to the edge” “We can’t, we will fall” “Come to the edge” and they came and he pushed them and they flew. Guillaume Appollinaire A friend of mine shared this with me recently. I know it’s not new to many of […]

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If you’re an old guy like me, you remember screw on filters and Tiffen used to distribute many of the filters I used. They still sell filters, but the company was smart enough to realize that business was moving to post-processing so they invented their DFX line of post-processing filters. The third version adds faster […]

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Post & Photo by Jerry Ghionis – Follow Jerry on Twitter The bride’s dress had a beautiful lace overlay and it gave me an idea to use in creating a unique bridal portrait.  I made sure to position the lace so that it framed her eye and so that one of the holes in the lace would fall […]

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Darby Harn’s advice to writers is easily co-opted for photographers. 1. Find your weaknesses. Have trouble shooting macro? Shoot more macro. Have trouble getting the nerve to ask a stranger to appear in a portrait? Go out and ask a stranger to appear in a portrait. Saying it’s hard to do something doesn’t get it […]

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    Guest Post & Photo by Stephan Bollinger – Circle Stephan on Google+ On our journey from being a guy (or girl) with a camera to become a photographer, we go through various steps and lessons, and with it thousands of photographs (and at least the same amount in hours in front of a computer screen). Most of these […]

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I hear the words “authenticity” and “integrity” and “legitimacy” thrown around by the cool kids in photography on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, they use these words without much context or experience. They are often nothing more than marketing jargon or “cool speak.” How do these words actually apply and do photographers think about that […]

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It’s been a long road and thanks to everyone who’s traveled it with us. The last print  book I will ever write is one year old today. The book (which I wrote with Skip Cohen) – Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer started shipping a year ago today. It’s been […]

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Suppose you rely heavily on Flickr, Facebook, Picasa etc. as a way to display your portfolio. Suppose one of these sites goes bankrupt or just decides to change its business model or decides it doesn’t like your content? Suppose this happens with no notice…here one day gone the next? What would you do? Suffer – […]

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Enter to win a brand new EPSON Stylus Photo R2000 Inkjet Printer* Sorry this contest is only open to residents of the USA. This contest starts today and ends on November 30, 2012. The winner gets a brand new EPSON Stylus Photo R2000 Inkjet Printer. Here’s how to enter. – Follow ScottBourne on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/scottbourne) – […]

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This post is an updated compilation of several shorter posts I wrote in the past trying to answer the question, “What camera should I buy?”

It’s still the most popular question I am asked. “What camera should I buy?” Lately there’s a new twist to the question…”Is this brand camera better than that brand camera?”

No matter how hard I try to tell people that there’s no perfect answer, they keep asking. So since I can’t convince anyone otherwise, at least know the answers to THESE questions before you ask me YOUR question.

1 ) What subject(s) will you photograph most often? Weddings, portraits, wildlife, sports, landscapes, still lifes, food, fashion, etc.
2 ) What gear (if any) do you now own?
3 ) If you had to choose between ease of use and power, which would you select?
4 ) Do you want a compact pocket-sized camera (point and shoot) or a DSLR?
5 ) On a scale of 1-10 (10 being a working pro and 1 being someone who usually shoots with a disposable camera) how would you rate your skill?
6 ) What is the MOST money you’d be willing to spend on a camera?
7 ) How long do you think you might keep the camera?
8 ) What do your friends use?
9 ) Do you have a local camera store that can offer you support?

If you have thought carefully about these questions and have the answers – you should then be closer to knowing what the perfect camera for you might be.

Hopefully, your interest in photography is strong enough that you’ll read this entire article. That will give you the best chance of making the right decision. If you’re just not that interested, scroll all the way to the bottom to see some of the popular cameras that I recommend.

For those who stuck with me:

I know that beginners especially want this question answered. They are more likely to think that it’s the camera that takes the picture, not the photographer. Unfortunately for them, that’s not the case. And there’s no secret, magic or special camera that will make you into Ansel Adams.

Let’s start with goals. What goals do you have with your photography? Photographing the kids is much easier and less expensive than photographing wildlife. Making studio portraits will require a different kind of camera than that used by sports photographers. Do you want to turn pro or just make pictures you’ll share with your immediate family? Understand this simple truth: There is no perfect camera. And not all cameras are designed for all types of photography. Many photographers have more than one camera, depending on how many photographic pursuits they are engaged in at one time.

You’ll need to take into account a wide variety of factors when selecting a camera, and the first is budget.

This post continues below….

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NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE: The Photofocus Podcast Feed HAS CHANGED! Here is the new feed: feed://feeds.feedburner.com/photofocuspodcast Download episode here…  or get it on iTunes PLEASE BE PATIENT – OUR SERVERS SEE LARGE LOADS ON PUBLISHING DAYS. THE DOWNLOADS MAY GO SLOWLY BUT THEY WILL FINISH. Host Rich Harrington and Scott Bourne catchup, then are joined by special […]

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As many of you know my hobby is driving and collecting race cars. I should preface this by saying, I am not built for driving race cars. I am built for playing football – which I did for 14 years. But in my heart, I have always been a race car driver. I have never […]

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Post & Photo by Jerry Ghionis – Follow Jerry on Twitter The bride and groom for this wedding deliberately got ready in neighbouring rooms in a hotel. They wanted to deliberately tease each other with the fact that they were so close to each other and yet still so far away and couldn’t actually see other. I […]

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