Trust me – this is photography-related. I went to a writer’s conference last month. I was there to support a friend. The conference featured several very famous authors who gave readings from their published works. They also taught workshops, discussing technique and craft. There were many similarities between the writer’s workshop and several photography workshops […]

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So you got a cool new DSLR as a holiday gift. For those of you who are upgrading from point and shoot to DSLR, here’s a list of accessories you need to finish your leap to the next level. 1. Tripod Okay, it doesn’t have to be a $1000 Gitzo carbon fibre tripod, but some […]

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I’ve conducted some polls on a variety of social media sites and here on I’ve taken into account all the answers and based this post on those results, plus my own experience and observation. So without further ado, here are my picks for Cameras of the Year – 2009. DSLR Less Than $2000 Canon […]

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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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Generally, if you have to choose between upgrading your camera body or your glass, upgrading your glass is the best choice. So when you go looking for that next lens, how do you decide? Which lens should you focus (pun intended) on first? Here are a few guidelines that might help you figure that out. […]

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I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had with Chase Jarvis. He constantly refers to himself as “gear agnostic” or “platform agnostic.” Whether it’s the highest of the high end video cameras or an iPhone, Chase focuses on the image making. He’s not hung up on which tool he uses. He uses whichever tool seems […]

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So far, here are the top three announcements in my mind… Canon has announced the 1D MK IV. This new camera has a brand new 45-point autofocus system, 10FPS and a 1.3 crop sensor that offers 16.1 megapixels. They’ve also added pro-level 1080p, 24 FPS video to the camera. What’s most interesting is that Canon […]

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So you want to buy a new camera? Here are some tips to help you make sure you get the right one. 1. Buy the best camera you can afford if you’re really serious about photography and buy the least expensive camera you need to get the job done if you’re just a casual hobbyist. […]

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Image and Post by Rick Sammon – Follow Rick Sammon on Twitter At a recent seminar, a woman asked my advice: “I am going on a trip and I am trying to decide on what photo gear to bring. What’s your advice?” I suggested that she bring all her gear: cameras, lenses, flash, laptop, card […]

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Image and Post by Rick Sammon – Follow Rick Sammon on Twitter Photographers certainly need the right camera to record their memories. They also need accessories to protect their gear – especially during the summer months, when quick rain and sun showers can show up in a flash. In this quickie blog post, I’ll share […]

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Face it, if you have lots of camera gear, you at least need to think about what would happen if someone stole it. What precautions can you take to help prevent this and what should you do in the event it happens? Let’s start at the beginning. Have insurance. I’ve written about this before so […]

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I get this question often. I always answer “Yes” with some words of warning. Know who’s selling that refurb. If a well-known, established company like B&H Photo sells a refurb, (that’s not a recommendation just an example) you can trust it. If a company you’ve never heard of, particularly one located in Brooklyn, NY offers […]

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When you buy a new camera, you might find an oddly-shaped piece of plastic that comes in a small plastic package. Sometimes it’s attached to your strap. What is it? Probably a camera eyepiece cover. Some topline pro cameras have this feature built into the camera itself. Others provide this piece of plastic to cover […]

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Whenever I buy a new camera, I go through the same series of steps to help make sure that I get continuity with my current cameras and that the new camera is brought to the stable ready to work, in its best possible condition. The list goes something like this… a. Carefully open the box […]

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Okay, Canon only introduces 10 – count em 10 new compact digital cameras this month. While not as silly as introducing 23,234 new cameras – it might as well be. They did introduce 10. That’s all I will say about the new compacts.

I will cover Canon’s introduction of two new wide-angle tilt-shift lenses: The New TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Lenses.

These two new L series lenses expand Canon’s line-up of TS-E lenses. Both the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II and the TS-E 17mm f/4L are specialty lenses designed for landscape and architectural photography and are compatible with all Canon EOS system single lens reflex cameras. The TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, a replacement for Canon’s TS-E 24mm f/3.5L introduced in 1991. Canon claims this new lens has significantly improved operability with low distortion when photographing buildings, consistent image quality throughout the image and reduced chromatic aberration when shooting at ultra-wide angles. Canon says the TS-E 17mm f/4L is the world’s shortest focal length Tilt-Shift lens with full-frame 35mm coverage. Continue reading

It’s still the most popular question I am asked. “What camera should I buy?” 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 […]

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According to the CAMERA & IMAGING PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION (CIPA) the total shipments of digital cameras in 2008 exceeded 2007 results by 19.3%. SLR camera sales increased 29.7% and compact camera sales rose 18.5 year-over-year. 2009 predictions are not so rosy. All camera sales are expected to fall in 2009 rather than increase. The prediction is […]

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I think I might have found the perfect fingerless glove. Etre Touchy gloves are made of 100% Acrylic material. They’re a stylish, fun and practical way to keep your hands warm while using your camera. They also work well with other electronic gadgets. Their missing thumb and index fingertips give you the freedom to touch, […]

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Article by Scott Bourne If you’re familiar with my work, you’ve heard me talk about the joke I make when someone sees my photos and exclaims, “You must have a nice camera.” And yes I do. But I’ve NEVER said a nice camera is required to get a nice shot. In fact, most of the […]

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I am a very lucky guy. I’ve been able to shoot with almost every cool digital camera ever made. And the quality of the average digital camera has risen to unbelievable heights. To add to the good news, the cameras have not only improved dramatically, they’ve improved at breakneck speed. In five short years we’ve gone from good to great to fantastic.

But still, like all photographers, I yearn for the perfect camera. And while I love my D3 bodies, I still don’t see perfection on the horizon. With that in mind, I decided that the New Year would be a great time to let the camera companies know what’s on my wish list.

NOTE! This is not about brands. I would buy the camera I am about to describe even if Exxon made it!

1. I have fallen in love with the full-frame sensor and expect that the perfect digital camera should assume that as a baseline.
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I was looking for a mid-range telephoto zoom to use as a flight lens or a medium landscape lens.

Nikon* offers the 80-400 VR, but that lens doesn’t focus quickly enough for me. They also offer the 300 F/2.8 – but it’s too heavy for handholding.

This led me to research other options. Several people suggested the Sigma 100-300. Since I enjoy the Sigma 300-800 f/5.6 so much, I figured it was worth a shot.

The first thing that attracted me to this lens was its internal focusing. That means the lens doesn’t get longer as it extends to 300 mm. I also liked the fact that it had a relatively fast (f/4) constant aperture throughout the zoom range. Lenses with variable apertures tend to be less sharp and contrasty than lenses which have a fixed aperture. Continue reading