MasonMarsh (1 of 1)-2

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography is like Taylor Swift’s music; a lot of people claim to hate it, but truth be told everyone likes it. Some people, like Trey Ratcliff, fully embrace the dreamy glow and punched-up shadows of HDR while others openly bash the technique but dabble in it secretly. There’s no question that […]

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You know that neck strap that came with your camera? Yes, the one that has the big Nikon/Canon/Sony/Fuji/Panasonic/Olympus logo on it. That thing should stay tightly locked in the box your camera came in. Neck straps, especially the stock ones, are much more trouble than they are worth. Lose the strap and not only will […]

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I don’t use neck straps, and I generally advise everyone against them. I think they’re a poor design and dangerous to your body–with as much shooting as I do, carrying a camera was damaging my neck. You may have read my review of the Joby wrist strap when I said it’s the only strap I’ll […]

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As photographers, we are always scoping out good camera straps and when you are around other photographers. It’s a topic that usually comes up especially if someone has a decent strap they are sporting. A good camera strap can make having your camera on your body a much more comfortable experience. Camera straps have come […]

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You might be wondering why I’m about to spend so many words on a review for a camera strap.  Some of you are perfectly content to use the small strap the manufacturer tosses in the box or pick up a slightly better one at your local camera store.  Well, let me bring up an old […]

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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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I’m always in search of the perfect camera strap. It’s an obsession. I guess this obsession is based on the simple premise that I’m not satisfied with any of my current straps.

When I first saw the BlackRapid R-Strap I was immediately interested. The notion of being able to carry a spare body and not have it get in the way of my primary camera has been the dream for most of my career.

I ordered the RS-2 for $56. It’s a ton of money for a camera strap. In fact, based on my research, it’s the most expensive camera strap in the world. Is it worth it?

I am sorry to say that for me, the answer is no. Continue reading