Professional Photography Equipment Tips: Your First SLR Camera
A simple fact all photographers basically understand, unaffected by personal preferences of make, model, or capture medium, is that if you are going to be a professional photographer you NEED an SLR camera. SLR camera are “Single Lens Reflex” cameras, and have been the industry standard for years. These cameras work by using a mirror to show the photographer exactly what will be captured, and then lowering the mirror to expose the capture medium, whether film or digital. These cameras are industry standard equipment, and if you are serious about photography you should already own one.
If you are starting to take an interest in photography, or are trying to decide on a first camera, than trying to determine what camera is the best for you can be one hell of a ride. So here are a few helpful ideas to keep in mind:
Point and Shoot Cameras are the Enemy
Yes, those little handheld, hide in your purse, “I got it for only $50″ cameras are the professional photographer’s mortal enemy. This is because these little cameras are virtually uncontrollable, use digital zoom instead of optical, boast a megapixel range that they don’t posses, and try to pretend to be “professional” grade quality. No self respecting photographer should ever consider these camera’s a good alternative, even to the worst of SLR cameras. If you cannot change the lens, the shutter speed, and aperture at the very least, the camera is not even near professional quality.
Do Not Buy The “Best” Equipment
How often do you here that? It is a very true statement, however. While typically the more/most expensive photography equipment is way better than the cheaper equipment, it is unnecessary starting out. Start with something ranging in the mid to (upper) low end DSLR’s. This will give you a good starter camera to learn with. You should always try to stay within your price and ability range. The most amazing camera I’ve ever seen for example, was a Leaf body, with a Nikon lens mount, and had a Fuji image sensor. It was amazing, with the price tag to show, but I have no need for such high grade equipment right now, and am completely content with my Nikons.
Understand the Various Specs
My first DSLR had a Nikon F bayonet mount, effective pixel size of 12.3 million and a total pixel size of 12.9 million, 30 – 1/4000 shutter with a flash sync of 1/200, viewfinder magnification of 0.78, and shot in either NEF or JPEG size priority. Don’t worry, virtually none of that made sense to me originally, and those are very basic specs for the camera. You need to understand what your getting when you buy a DSLR, don’t just look at the megapixels, look at everything. The settings above example are really easy to understand. A Nikon F bayonet mount is the standard mount for NIKKOR (Nikon) Lenses, the effective pixels is your total megapixels, the 30-1/4000 is the low-high shutter speed, the magnification is the difference between the viewfinder and the final image, and NEF and JPEG size priority are just file modes.
Even if you buy your camera in a kit that comes with a lens or two, it’s a good idea to buy at least one additional lens. This will allow you to have multiple lenses to switch between, and not restrict you with the standard lens. Personally, I recommend getting a telephoto lens as an additional lens, so you have a lens that allows you a long range of zoom. I also recommend avoiding the Fisheye lenses, especially right off the bat. Just remember that just like the camera, you need to understand the various specs about a lens, don’t just buy a lens based off a preliminary look at it.