Profoto is synonymous with professional, high-quality flash photography. Their products are built rock solid and designed for travel, mobile use, on the road use or in your studio. Their products are favorites of most rental houses because unlike the cheaper stuff, they rarely break. They’re workhorses. Lately I’ve been playing with ring flashes for a […]
Two days ago, I posted a review of the Samsung Galaxy S3 from a photographer’s point of view. I received more than 100 messages, tweets and emails from people calling me an idiot (or worse) saying I should be smart enough to know how to drag and drop files from the S3 to my desktop. […]
I own an iPhone 4s and have owned every iPhone since the very first one. I like the iPhone. But I have recently tired of Apple’s closed systems, PR policies which limit valuable and necessary information that consumers need to make informed decisions as well as other business practices. Accordingly, I have decided for the […]
I’ve use many of Nik Software’s products over the years. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with some of their competitor’s less expensive, but equally useful plug-ins. But HDR EFEX PRO 2 has brought me back to Nik. When HDR Efex Pro 1 came out I was impressed, but not enough to use it as my only […]
Pancake lenses are all the rage. In fact, some photographers were switching to mirror-less camera systems to get pancake lenses. So Canon engineered a way to keep them in the fold – enter the new Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens. Canon’s new lens is really more of a reaction to DSLR video shooters. It […]
People who follow me online know that I’m – how do I put this? – blunt? I get to the point and I don’t mince words. So let me just say this – I hate model releases. I’ve always thought they sucked, and have long categorized them as a burdensome, distracting and unwieldy part of […]
Nikon has replaced the entry-level D3100 with the new Nikon D3200 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR Lens. The new evolutionary (not revolutionary) camera is 24.2 megapixels making it the highest resolution DX body in Nikon’s line. It’s more expensive than its Canon counterpart but offers more features. Even though it’s […]
I’ve used super telephoto lenses for almost two decades and I’ve been lucky enough to own or have access to just about every single lens in the category. When Canon announced this new 500mm lens more than a year ago, I became excited. The old version is more than a decade old and was overdue […]
If you have photos you need a place to back them up. If you don’t have access to a remote location for your backup storage, you need something or some place that is disaster-proof to store them. Enter the ioSafe Solo G3 USB 3.0 1TB. At just under $450 it’s more expensive than other 1TB […]
(Image zoomed in via Aperture at 100% with no sharpening or other adjustments added.) I’ve now had some time with both the Nikon D800 and the D800E – I reviewed the D800 here – http://photofocus.com/2012/04/16/nikon-d800-mini-mini-review/ My review has widely been falsely characterized as me “hating” the D800. Nothing could be further from the truth. I […]
There are a ton of camera straps out there and most of them are identical. Black, soulless, cheap and a burn on your neck. A company called HoldFast, LLC is out to change that. I recently procured one of their RuckStraps and I have to say right out of the box it’s nothing like any […]
One of my main complaints against all photo bags is that they are too heavy. This tends to hold true with the high-quality bags in particular since the better made they are, the heavier they seem to get. Enter the Think Tank Photo Airport 4-Sight. It’s unique in that it is the first camera bag […]
Thanks to my pals at Borrowlenses.com – I got a chance to play witha a couple of the new Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash units for a week. I used them in real world situations – photographing hummingbirds. It’s the new flagship in the Canon line. At almost $600 it’s the most expensive flash Canon has ever […]
When I was at WPPI in February, I ran into one of the founders of ThinkTank. If you’re a regular reader of this site then you already know that I am a big fan of the ThinkTank products. They are designed by working professional photographers – not marketers who think they know how to sell […]
NAB is history. The show was well-attended and even though most of you are still photographers, there was plenty to look at for the average stills person. That said, video on DSLRs is here to stay and just as there were photographers who predicted film would beat digital, there are those with their heads still […]
This will be a very short review, because for me the D800 is a very confusing camera. I realize that my review will be very polarizing and controversial. If I don’t heap praise on this camera the Nikon fanboys will revolt. But I call em’ like I see em’ so here goes nothing. I’ve had […]
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.
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When I started packing for my trip to Alaska I remembered that I had no winter coat. After moving from Seattle to Vegas, I donated the old winter coat to the Salvation Army since it was a bit long in the tooth and I wasn’t sure I would ever need such a coat again. Then […]
NOTE: All images captured in RAW – Adobe RGB color space. Colors, clarity and apparent exposure may vary depending on your monitor – All images converted using Aperture with minimal adjustments such as cropping, basic edge sharpening, exposure correction. On average less than 30 seconds was spent on each image in post. If you’ve been […]
Sorry this is NOT an in-depth review. I spent more time working on it than I planned but I wanted to be sure of my first impressions. So it is what it is. Hopefully some of you will find enough information here to make your own decisions. Also note that all the images you see […]