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Photo tip #1: Shopping for your Camera

I think the best way to go about this is to assume you would like to take photography seriously and want to use a dslr. The first step is deciding what camera is right for you! When it comes to name brands, Canon and Nikon are at the top. In all honesty, there is plenty of trade-offs in both of these brands that make them pretty equal. In the end, it comes down to what you are most comfortable with. There are many “levels” of camera. Do a little research and compare apples to apples. For example
don’t compare a $200 camera with a $900 camera. The more expensive one is going to have more features and will not be realistic in comparing brands. ( I picked a pretty obvious example I know) But take a look at the different features and figure out what is most important to you. Once you decide on a level of camera you want ( this will also have a lot to do with how much you would like to spend on your camera) compare the different brands that are equivalent. A good website that offers comparative information is http://www.dpreview.com. Excellent source. Once you’ve narrowed it down go to a photo store that carries the cameras you are researching and ask to look at the ones you picked out. Actually feel them in your hands. This will help you decide which is more comfortable for you. Some things to consider when shopping for a dslr:

Price- Again, how much do you have to spend and how serious are you about your photography?

How serious do you want to go with photography? Some features you may not need.

Pro or Ametuer? Do you want to be a professional, or is this just a hobby, or is this for really nice family photos?

Pixels (although you can go with so many before it doesn’t really matter for what you need. Will you be shooting for photos that will be placed on a bill board? Then the highest pixels will not matter much for just prints.I think my camera is only 12, but my photos come out fantastic in print)

ISO- I will be going over this more in exposure tips. This is basically the sensitivity to your sensor. Or in the film days, the film speed. This is important if shooting in low light is very important to you, then you would want a camera that can go very high in ISO, or have the capability to add an attachment that allows you to go higher than the camera does.

FPS- this is frames per second. Do you want to shoot fast action and get every shot? I love that my camera shoots a quick 7 frames per second!! I love this feature as I shoot moving children and dogs.

Weight- if you think this will be an issue for you, then you need to consider how long you want to carry around whatever weight the camera is your looking at.

Weatherization- this means your camera is protected from certain weather conditions.

Sensor Size- full or partial? Full sensor cameras are high end and very expensive and not really necessary. Basically the sensor is the same size as if you were using 35mm film. Old film guys (gals) like this. Personally I never was into the film stage so doesn’t affect me at all. Once you get your camera and you see the cropping it does, you get used to your camera. You can purchase a partial sensor camera that is high end.

When I did my shopping I looked at all of this stuff and then some. In the end it came down to two cameras. A Canon and a Nikon that were equivalent, both in features and price. I went down to Rowe Photo and compared them both in my hands. I fell in love with the Nikon. I was leaning towards Nikon with the features, and the fact that I don’t like Canon’s gray lenses…. but in the end I really liked the way the Nikon felt in my hands. This photo is the Nikon I fell in love with.

Hope this helps! Next week we will talk about exposure. See you then!

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