For most of us, we got into photography because it was fun. Sure the prospect of making a living off something we enjoyed was exciting; it was a dream job. But then reality set in… what was once fun increasingly became work. I liken the entire dynamic to that of a marriage. I started dating […]
Every year I write a series of several posts that note special contributions to the photo community. I name persons, products, etc. that I think were particularly valuable during the past year. This time I’m doing it all in one post. You may not agree with my choices, but you should at least be aware […]
Drobo is back with an all new product – the 5D is a game changer for those who need fast storage.
Listen to Guy Kawasaki share practical advice for those looking to get into digital publishing. Guy has had tremendous success as Apple former chief evangelist and as a best-selling author. He now talks about how digital content creators need to balance the three stages of a successful project — writing or creating, publishing the digital […]
If you have a photographer in your family, or if your significant other is a photographer then in many ways, you have it made when it comes to holiday gifts. There are so many cool products out there that photographers will love. Everything on this list is something I myself have used or owned at […]
I have a series of posts I’ve written answering these common questions. “What camera should I buy?” “What camera bag should I buy?” “What camera lens should I buy?” Today I am expanding that with a post on what tripod you should buy. Lately, fewer people use tripods than ever before. There are several […]
In the USA today we celebrate a holiday called Thanksgiving. I used to spend this day every year photographing Bosque del Apache. It’s odd not to be there. But that spot is played out for me. I have 59000 snow geese photos. I think I have that subject covered. I intend to do something I […]
There is no perfect camera bag. There I said it. It’s a license. Use it. Tell your spouse there’s a reason you need so many camera bags. Camera bags do different things for different people. I have had as many as 30 but now am proud of the fact that I have it down to […]
I saw a post on the Internet by an “expert” who said you shouldn’t make “unnecessary” black and white photos. I am pretty sure that I lost brain cells just by reading that sentence. It generated several questions for me: 1. What constitutes “unnecessary” black & white? 2. Who gets to decide what’s “unnecessary?” 3. […]
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 […]
I get email and tweets like this every day… “New #show filmed 100% #DSLR coming soon! PLZ RT” “New motion picture filmed entirely on an iPhone – please spread the word.” “Photographer uses old The Graflex Speed Graphic to shoot weddings.” Sigh… Folks if your press release or news is about the tool you use […]
You hear lots of things like the “rule of thirds” relating to photography. While they are not technically “rules,” they are generally-accepted best practices. It’s find to break these “rules” but in my opinion, only if you go through this exercise first. Ask yourself these questions… What is the rule I’m breaking? Why do I […]
I have used just about every slide show program on the market (except those that are Windows only since I don’t have a Windows machine.) My current favorite stand alone slide show product is FotoMagico from Boinx Software. It is a Mac-only product and costs a one-time fee of $139.99 – ($99 upgrade from 3.0.) […]
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 co-host Scott Bourne tackle a variety of […]
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….
Of course they don’t care what I want but here goes: 1. Stop the megapixel madness. In the old days your marketing departments were able to convince camera buyers that bigger was better. Then you wised up and saw that wasn’t working and you went to video. You added video to cameras and that was […]
With age comes clarity – well and all sorts of medical issues but that’s TMI. Back to the clarity I’ve gained from age… I’ve noticed that people have very different versions of what constitutes a “famous photographer.” This post isn’t designed to tell you who is and is not a famous photographer. It’s designed to […]
Guest Post & Photo by Stephan Bollinger – Circle Stephan on Google+ Two weeks ago, I was invited to speak at the “Positive Body Image” awards by the Australian government, and I met with quite a diverse group of people, activist groups focusing on youth development, the Australian minister of Education, and editors of some of the most […]
UPDATED July 2012 – there have been several cool new lenses released since I first published this list and those changes are reflected herein. I’ve also added a few more of the older lenses I’ve had time to test and fall in love with as well as another zoom. I’ve also added a section briefly […]
On June 2, 2012 I published a poll question asking which post-processing software you use. Lightroom was the big winner over Aperture which came in second. Now this question. . . which platform? Windows, Mac, Something else? _______ This Post Sponsored by: Viewbug - Fun Photo Contests Kelby Training – Use code KTSBA12 to save $20 […]