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Getting Into Photography: Choosing the Right Camera

Being a blogger, taking photos is a huge part of what I do. Of course there are plenty of sites out there with stock photos, but for my reviews I prefer to use my own photos if possible. And being a photographer that sometimes shoots portraits and events I have to have a great camera.

So, what do you do when you want to make the jump from snapping pictures with your mobile phone? How do you know which camera to get? There are a variety of different cameras to choose from. Without looking too much into specific details, this brief guide should help you pick out the right type of camera. While having a DSLR is the easiest and best solution for today’s fast, digital world, you may choose to learn traditional photography as well. Just a note, I’m leaving point-and-shoot camera off the list on purpose. 🙂

getting-into-photography

 

Retro (Film) Cameras

For those looking to escape the ease of digital and learn a new craft, buying a film camera is the way to go since film and digital are too very different arts. Classic models can cost a fair bit, as they are often treated as antiques. However, used ones however can be found online if you don’t mind a few scratches and no instructions (such resources such as repair manuals can be found for free online). Working with film also allows you to develop your own photographs. I never learned to develop film, but it may be something that I decide to do later on. It’s definitely a good skill to have.

 

DSLR

The DSLR is famed for being one of the most advanced camera types. If you are looking to shoot professionally or even semi-professionally, or you are a blogger who needs awesome images for your blog, then you definitely want to purchase a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. These cameras not only provide a wide range of shooting options and interchangeable lenses, but they also bring a degree of professionalism to your business. Arriving for your booked shoot with a compact camera just would not impress your clients. My current favorite is the Canon 70D. It’s what’s in my photo bag, and it is amazing!

Want to dabble in video recording? Your DSLR can likely do this. You would be surprised at some of the awesome video that can be captured from a DSLR with the right lens. However, DSLRs are not cheap! They should definitely be treated as an investment. An entry model like the Canon T5i will run you $599. But it is totally worth it! However, keep in mind that having a great camera does not instantly mean that you will be a photographer. It takes some getting to know your camera, developing your eye and style, and a bit of work and patience.

me-with-70d

Superzooms

The superzoom is usually  a small camera with a wide focal range made for long-range zooming. They are great for travel junkies and outdoor sports enthusiasts. Go to an airshow and you might see a cameraman wielding a superzoom. Many also have flip-out screens, which allow you to take photos from usually inaccessible positions such as around corners and from the ground.

 

Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

Interchangable lens cameras serve a Swiss-army-knife function allowing users to switch out lenses for different lights and focuses. You can get a lot of the same functions of a DSLR without carrying around a huge body. For those wanting to really experiment with photography – this might be your best bet. A great option is the Sony Alpha line. I have owned a similar version, the Sony NEX-3N for a couple of years and I love it. I take it out whenever I don’t feel like hauling my DSLR, or for personal events.

No matter what type of camera you choose to start with, be sure that you get to know it, and practice, practice, practice!

Kris McDonald is Chicago mom to 2 sets of twins, photography nut, gadget addict, travel addict, and tech blogger who has worked in IT for over 16 years. Kris figured out a while ago that she was destined to be really busy (hence the 2 sets of twins), and she has found peace with that. Read More