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Buying a First Single Lens Reflex Camera

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 130

Getting Comfortable with a New Camera

Moving from a simple point and shoot camera to one with interchangeable lenses can be intimidating.

1. Borrow a camera. Borrow different cameras before you buy. An inexpensive point and shoot (even under $100) will take some pretty good photos. It will not give you the variety of choices that a larger and more expensive Single Lens Reflex will give you, but in the right hands, it will still take a pretty good photo. Also, small point and shoot cameras are the cameras you can take anywhere.

Try borrowing a Canon or Nikon SLR (Single Lens Reflex). Chances are you will get some free lessons in how to use it. Your computer will be able to read anything you shoot, so all you need from your friend is the camera.

Look for the number of mega-pixels. There are many factors to consider, but this is a simple way to eliminate some camera choices. Three or four megapixels are too few. For most photos you will not need more than ten. You can easily pay too much for megapixels (you can get a definition anywhere) that you do not need. Only very large prints will show much difference.

When it is time to buy, there are very few bad cameras out there. My advice is Canon or Nikon. Other companies make cameras just as good, but the two largest companies offer more choices. Also, there are more used and refurbished parts out there and more competitors who make less expensive but often good lenses for your new camera. when buying a first SLR, a used camera from some of the bigger on-line websites is a reliable and less expensive option.

You can spend a lot of money on a first SLR, but I wouldn't. Spend no more than 500 dollars. The more expensive lines are better cameras. but the chief differences are that the camera bodies will take more abuse and the cameras will do things that, right now, you do not even know are possible (you may never need to know).

There is time enough to trade up when you decide that photography is a major part of your life. Incidentally, the lens that comes with a new SLR is nearly always a good lens. It makes sense that it would be. By making so many of them, the cost can be lower, and the manufacturer does not want you to have a bad experience with a new camera. After all, you might decide to take it back and change brands.

2. To take good pictures, take a lot of them, because cost is no longer a factor.

I don't mean simply taking a lot of photographs but taking a lot of pictures of the same subject. See what works. When you can, come back to the same subject at a different time of the day, in cloudy or sunny weather, or with a different lens.

3. Crop. Very few photographs are ready to be printed. Use your computer's photo program to save a copy of the image, then begin to look for what does not help the photo. You might have a portrait of a friend standing against a wall. In the lower left hand corner is a speck of red from a poster. There is no reason that a poster could not be in a portrait, but do you want this piece of one? Is the color distracting? Does it help? Deciding to keep it in or not is a part of the photographic process.

Say, you have taken 30 photos of the same rose in your garden. Look, not for the perfect view of the rose, where the rose looks its best, but where the photograph presents the most interesting image. Maybe there will be marks on the rose. Maybe that is just fine. But maybe there is a distracting white pebble in the background. Maybe there is an insect that you do or do not want the viewer to see. Look for shadows. The more you ask yourself: do I want this? the closer you will come to a pleasing image.

4. In addition to taking a lot of photographs, most photographers use several different lenses. Try going places with one lens. True, one size does not fit all, but there is a certain freedom in being able to think: no point bothering with that, I don't have the right lens with me. Just recognizing that you want different lenses for different shots, internalizing how you feel about a photographic subject, is useful information. Any lens can take a good picture, if you know how to use it.

Switching back and forth among lenses is something you don't want to do too often. Of course, on the job or for a family picnic, you will want to. But for your own recreation and practice, avoid changing lenses as much as possible. When you do change, try to do it when dust and rain won't invade the camera body.

5. Be bold with your photo program. Not everyone needs the best and most comprehensive program, Photoshop. Certainly very few photographers need it right away. Even the program that comes with the camera or the computer offers a lot of choices. Try printing in sepia or black and white. Try different tints. Play with the light controls in the program.

You can spend a lot of money printing test photos, so scale down in size. No sense in running off 8 x 10 images for every idea you have. And recycle your photo paper. After you print a 4 x 6 of one idea, turn the paper around and use the other half for another print.

Enjoy your new camera.

Source: EzineArticles
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