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What kind of Camera do you think I should get?

by Robb Davidson

March 21, 2013

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Quite the common question to get as a photographer – and I totally get it. I would love to make this post as timeless as possible, but knowing how technology advances every 4 seconds, I may have to be a little more general and vague to make the point.  Another thing you gotta know, I really don’t keep up on the current point and shoots out there.  It’s kinda like asking a race car driver what kind of car you should buy.  Like buying car, there are many things to consider. I’ll try to break it down a little for ya. Here’s some questions to ask yourself.

 

What kind of stuff do I wanna shoot?

Picture yourself in different situations – vacation, random trip, work, day to day adventures, even how often you’re around people/interesting things. Would you want an actual camera to take pictures of this stuff besides your typical iPhone/Android?  {If you’re looking to advance into taking some serious portrait and event pics, basically skip this post. Get an SLR like the rest of us and accept it.}  Some cameras out there are geared for different situations, so you should really think about what are the typical lighting and space situations you are in when you want to start snappin away. For me, I know that this camera needed to control low light well, and keep me at a photo journalistic standpoint on wider shots – but not like a scenery kind of wide. People wide. …What??

 

How am I gonna lug this thing around?

Some people only want something to slip in their coat pocket, otherwise have a monster size purse that can hold a few SLR cameras.  Let this be something to factor in to your decision, as of course they come in all shapes and sizes. I knew that the camera I would get didn’t need to be the smallest…as I would rather have it be a tad bulky to keep the quality up a bit. It is still WAY more inconspicuous than an SLR.

 

Okay…how much?


Dudes and dudettes, everyone in the world is on some kind of budget. Totally understandable. If you’re asking a photographer for an opinion on cameras, you will get advice on good stuff. Quality. You know that whole saying “you pay for what you get”? It certainly applies here. With that being said, I care more about the moment I’m capturing forever and won’t get back – over saving a few bucks. I can’t help but think of pictures I have taken of recently deceased family members and I am SOOOO glad I used a decent camera to capture them so I could cherish that forever. I am biased in this area so I am more than okay going past the sony cybershot. (no offense to current cybershot owners) Try not to let this area limit you when you settle for a camera. Money comes and goes (hopefully comes more to you!), but shots you takes last. That’s it, end of story.

 

You know what, I’ll just head over to Best Buy.

 

No worries there. Just be careful when you are being “sold” on crap that is either useless or almost a lie. Know the basics:

Digital zoom: There is no TRUE zooming involved here, it is merely making the pixels of your current image bigger. Completely disregard this number no matter WHAT they tell you.

Optical Zoom: This is the zoom to care about, as this actually uses your lens to get closer without the pixels changing. 3-5X is typical. Like, near barebones now a days.

Megapixels or MP: This is how big you will be able to make your picture. It doesn’t make it “better” per say, but it sure doesn’t limit you at least. Some people say you only need a few…which is mostly true if you don’t ever plan on cropping your shot later. No one does that though, right facebookers?

 

The rest is noise and toys. You want to have a color selector feature? Go ahead and head back to 1990 when we all were amazed by it. Otherwise you’re paying for stuff that you use once and forget about. Trust me, I’m making fun of myself when I say this stuff.

 

What do you have?

Aside from the SLR cameras, I have a Panasonic Lumix GF1. It’s been out for a number of years, and I still love this thing. It’s perfect for me, as I can still take the lens off and put another on, and it handles low light pretty dang well. I have the 20mm 1.7 lens on it, so it can provide STELLAR looking shots in a small lil body. I also have had stuff posted on my About page that were taken by this camera! (aside from the portraits of myself) Cost of this sucker isn’t cheap like I’ve said, HOWEVER because it’s been released nearly 3 or 4 years ago, there are deals! Brand new it’s around $1500. Used it can be from $600-$750. Woooorrrrth it.

 

 

 

 

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