I want to share a simple way to apply a “texture” to a plain or seamless background. A texture is an image of almost anything that can be appropriately ghosted back adding a “texture” to the background. I use images of side walks, freeway underpasses, brick walls, sheets of paper, rusted steel, graffiti, roads, cracked […]

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jennIMG_5406a

I spend a lot of time working with strobes.  As a commercial advertising photographer I find myself in many situations requiring some pretty complex lighting solutions.  Don’t get me wrong, strobes are super groovy and lighting challenges are always relished but there is something really magical about shedding the hardware. Every once in a while I enjoy shooting with […]

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LITU

I love the mindset that Ansel Adams lived by in his professional career.  He was a true pioneer of photography as art.  Being a forward thinking innovator, he endlessly explored the world of the unknown, seeking to predict and understand the outcome of his experimentation.  Then taking that information and creating a set of guidelines […]

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intruder

This is a short and sweet post about composition. It’s very basic and intended for those who are just starting out in photography, but could be a good reminder to old hands as well. Beware the intruder! What’s wrong with the photo above? Do you see it? Do you recognize the ugly intruder sneaking into […]

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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 […]

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Before Topaz Denoise After Topaz Denoise These are low-light, high-ISO image samples from the Fuji X100s. While the images from the Fuji X100s at ISO 3200 are great (considering the ISO) when you shoot with this or any other camera in a low-key situation, you will get the worst of it in the noise department. […]

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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.

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