We all suffer from it. We always want the next best thing. Camera companies tempt us with amazing new specs, and made up words like EXPEED and DIGIC which sound cool, even if we have no idea what they mean. Megapixels are being added to cameras by the truck-load and the upgrade cycle gets shorter […]

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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 Get the show 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. Join Rich and Scott as they discuss the recent decision […]

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I’ve lived long enough to see more stupid than I care to remember. Proving that they are not only stupid, but inbred, idiotic, and every other expletive in the book, the league of morons who run the Chicago Sun Times have decided that they don’t need no stink in’ photographers. They can use reporters to […]

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Since the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, the United States seems to have lost its collective mind when it comes to security and photography. You’d think that people knocked the towers down by throwing camera phones at them. Despite the fact that there’s never been a shred of actual evidence linking […]

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_______ This Post Sponsored by: The Digital Photo Store

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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 Get the show 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. Join Rich and Scott as they discuss the “Reset Concept.” […]

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The recent Creative Cloud announcement has left some of you feeling hostage.  You worry that you won’t be able to upgrade cameras as they won’t be supported by the version of Adobe Camera Raw that you have. Here are four solutions you should know about if you don’t want to make the move to the […]

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Lost in the shuffle of the PR flub by Yahoo’s CEO about pro photographers, was a real discussion on the significant changes to Flickr’s pro accounts. The CEO’s comments about pro photographers skewed the conversation. But now that I’ve had time to dissect what really went on (of substance) there are things to ponder. One […]

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Back in December of last year I wrote a post praising Flickr mostly because they had a new mobile app that I really liked. Fast forward six months and WOW. What a screwed up mess. Two days ago Flickr made even more changes. Most of the photographers I polled on Twitter weren’t happy about them […]

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I wanted to share a few points on why I choose to shoot raw for 95% of my workflow.  I still encounter many users who are afraid to make the switch to raw, so I offer these considerations to help you decide what's right for you.

I wanted to share a few points on why I choose to shoot raw for 95% of my workflow. I still encounter many users who are afraid to make the switch to raw, so I offer these considerations to help you decide what’s right for you. The image on the left is how the camera […]

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Guest Post by Gerard Murphy – Follow Gerard on Twitter We live in the iTunes era for photography. We are moving into the mobile era. This is changing as quickly as music did after iTunes came into the market. Photography needs to take the same path as music took more than 10 years ago. Steve […]

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Adobe started moving everyone to the cloud months ago and we’ve covered it extensively on Photofocus. From the very beginning, there’s been weeping and gnashing of teeth that has bordered on hysteria. In fact, in some cases, it’s mostly faux outrage based on greed, silliness, stupidity, disinformation, mob mentality, entitlement issues and misinformation. Let’s set […]

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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 includes some new cameras in the recommendation section. But please note: The newest camera is NOT always the best camera.

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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In case you tend to ignore these things, the iPhone camera is the most used camera in the world.  The new commercial from Apple shows many ways that taking photos has become an everyday experience for most people. Sure that’s like saying that a Quarter Pounder with cheese is the best burger on the planet… […]

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Photo by Levi Sim

I know it’s a cheesy image for the title, but it’s an image with a story so bear with me. I made this picture a few months ago and it happened to be at a pivotal time for my family. We were visiting Oregon from Utah and were suddenly considering moving to Oregon, and life […]

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As I cruise down a Las Vegas street, I see a large billboard sponsored by Homeland Security that says “See something – say something.” I hear the same garbage on the radio and see it on TV. The implication is that terrorists abound. What is the illustration used by HLS for this billboard? You got […]

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We continue our look at editing video from a photographer’s point of view. Be sure to check out these earlier articles (Why edit in Photoshop and The editing process). If you have Adobe Creative Cloud, you have three different choices when it comes to editing video. Additionally, the many suite configurations often put many software packages into […]

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DSLR Camera

When Adobe unveiled the robust video editing capabilities with Photoshop CS6, the response from many was a simple “Why?”  In some regards this is a legitimate question as for most, Photoshop is closely linked with digital photography.  It’s the tool used to develop and process images captured by cameras into a more useful state. Of […]

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A collection of photos and video clips from Day One of my Eagle photo safari. My first time making images of these birds, but I wanted to share these magnificent creatures with you. Music: Sticky Bumps (featuring Debbizo) by spinningmerkaba Mentorship: Scott Bourne & Robert O’Toole _______ This Post Sponsored by: lynda.com Learn photography anytime, […]

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Guest Post by Lara Matthews – Friend Lara on Facebook A glance through any art history book will show the introduction of female photographers to the mainstream art world first happened mostly during the Photo-Secession movement of the twentieth century. Of course women were photographing before this but, most of our awareness of the female […]

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UPDATE: Nielsen bailed on WPPI as I predicted they would when they bought it two years ago. They sold it and all their tradeshows to an investment company. As I indicated earlier this year, I am going to start laying it all on the line, telling it like it is and that includes discussing things […]

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