Camera

5 Things To Know When Buying A Camera Online

happy shopping

Too Many Choices

photographers with their cameras

If you search the internet for cameras, you are likely to be overwhelmed by all the offerings. There are also many traps that you can easily fall into such as buying too much camera for your skill level and the type of photography that you will be doing. Our goal with this article is to give you the information that you must know when purchasing a camera. We hope that with this information that you will buy the best camera for you and that you get many years of enjoyment from it.

My Sensor Is Bigger Than Yours!

If you have been researching cameras, then there’s no doubt that you have been introduced to the sensor size war that is brewing in photography circles. I will say that views on this subject have evolved over the years. What is a sensor? A sensor on a camera is what actually takes in the image. Typically, the large the sensor the more light and information can be encoded within an image. This is a great thing, especially if you shoot in low light or if you want to editing your images.

This good thing has been taken a bit our of proportion, where even Joe and Jane average think that they need a full frame camera to take great images. The truth is that unless you are going to be doing any form of RAW editing or blowing up your printed pictures to a very large size, you do not need a big sensor.

Another thing that is interesting is that micro 4/3 and APS-C cameras shoot great images, professional work has been done on these sensor sizes, there are a ton of great companies making cameras with this sensor in a variety of form factors and they are not that expensive.

So, what is your takeaway when it comes to sensor size– It matters but application is more important than anything. If all you are going to do is take snapshots of your family, then a full frame sensor is going to be overkill. If you want to try something a bit more artistic, look into micro 4/3 and APS-C cameras. You can find them at all price points and sizes that will lend themselves to travel and even for professional shoots.

It Is Your Lens Dummy

camera lenses

While it is so easy to get carried away with sensor size and even the look of a camera, one of the most important things in photography is the quality of the lens that you are using. Some cameras have a fixed lens that can’t be removed so you simply have to buy the right camera but with cameras that have a removable lens, your options are wide. Depending on your goals, a fixed lens zoom with a quality sensor is all that you might need. Some will be happy with a fixed lens, single focal length camera that makes quality pictures. Others might want exchangeable lenses so that they can choose which lenses they use, what quality and the price point.

For a vacation camera, I would say choose either a high quality fixed lens camera or a fixed zoom. Even if your camera can use a variety of lenses, choose a zoom for your vacation lens because packing light and being able to carry around just one lens is ideal. A zoom will allow you to get the perfect length for both portraits and landscape shots. Using a single lens with a fixed focal length is also fine. Most will choose either a 35mm, 50mm or 85mm and or equivalent based on their camera’s sensor size– The lenses represent shooting wide, shooting natural and shooting long.

See also: The Best Travel Photography Tips

Determine how much you can spend on a camera and them use the information above to pick the best camera. A good photographer can do quality work on just about any camera if the light is right, if the subject is right and if they are willing to use the camera to its strengths. Photography is all about you, what you see and what you want to create. As much as you might start with finding the right camera, also learn more about photography, composing shots, using lights and controlling exposure. Such skills will allow you to get the most out of any camera that you should choose.

It is hard to buy a bad camera these days with all the online reviews and information about cameras. You should be able to use this information to find a quality camera that will perfectly fit the role that you will be using the camera in. Be it vacation, family events, snapshots, shooting your friends like mode, nature photography or landscapes. There are many cameras that will get the job done.

The Right Camera Accessories For Stealth Photography

Do Not Disturb The Decisive Moment

candid shot

One of the the greatest photographers who used the stealth style of photography was Cartier Bresson. He came up with an idea called the decisive moment, a moment when something special was happening, that shouldn’t be disturbed but that had to be recorded in photographic form. To do this he chose equipment that didn’t bring much attention to himself and more importantly that didn’t disrupt the moment he was trying to capture. If you want to shoot with this level of stealth, you will need the right equipment.

Choosing A Stealthy Camera

stealth camera

Not all cameras are great for stealthy shooting. Many of the professional and amateur DSLR cameras are not the best choice. They are not the best choice because on each shot a mirror is lifted and snapped back down into place, this causes a very loud sound that brings attention to the photographers and that disrupts the scene that they are shooting. When choosing a camera, you will need something that has a quiet shutter, that doesn’t have loud mirror slap and that is small and easy to handle.

Read more: Stealth Gear: My Favorite Cameras and Photo Accessories For Covert Photography

Snipers Need Silencers & Photographers Need…

In the last section we talked about how most SLR cameras do not make the best stealth shooting cameras, especially up close. Most of the greats use range finders because they do not have a loud mirror that will sound off every time you snap the shutter. They also choose smaller cameras that are easier to hide, that might not look like what ppl see professional photographers shooting, although these cameras are just as expensive. They typically use cameras that hide into the background, that allow them to look like a tourist, that do not bring much attention to the the photographer.

Choosing The Right Lens

It is always our believe that the best place to spend your money as a photographer is on lenses and not cameras. Camera bodies become outdated, they all basically do the same thing for their class, but the lenses that you buy are often the greatest factor on determining your end product. When it comes to shooting with stealth in mind, we can look at what some of the greats used. Some used mid range primes like a 50mm, most use 35mm to get up close and have a wide angle, and some use telephotos so that they can shoot at a large distance from their subjects. All of these make really good stealth shooting lenses and all depends on what type of results you want, how much depth of field, how much isolation or background do you want.

Cheating With Telephoto Lenses

There are many ways to be a stealthy photographer. You could depend on a quiet camera and sneak shots from up close or maybe you could use a telephoto and stay far away from your subject, capturing them in your camera like a sniper strikes down an enemy. This style can create some interesting images and your subject matter will likely never know that you have captured them. There are many telephotos on the market that are great for this purpose.

The Greats Get Close

candid shot of a kid playing bubbles

Some of the best photographers who utilize stealth are not afraid to get in close to capture a moment. They jump in with cat like ninja quickness and take an image before anyone notices. They use quiet cameras and wide angle lenses to make a good image. This type of photography takes bravery but it is a lot of fun. There is a renewed interest in this type of photography and you might be interested in this style.

Putting It All Together

There is a lot of history when it comes to the need of a photographer to be stealthy. It all started with the great street and photo journalistic photographers who didn’t want to disturb what happened but only wanted to record it. Cartier Bresson, the famous street photographer focused on what he called the decisive moment, that perfect moment when life happens and when you need to be ready with your camera unknown to your subject matter. To achieve this goal you will need the right equipment. You will need a camera with a quiet shutter, you will need to decide how much guts do you have: will you cheat and shoot far away from your subject with a telephoto like a sniper or will you get right up close and snap a photos like the greats with a wide angle or some other prime? Each can make great photographs.

The Most Important Photography Filters

lens and camera filter

Upgrading from a compact camera to a mirrorless or a DSLR one is a big step. You can’t realize all its implications right off the bat, so you can expect to learn and improve as you go. In addition, the more you go out there are take photos, the sooner you are going to discover what accessories you need to buy, in order to make the most out of your hobby. Filters are among the things you are going to discover, so you can expect to spend quite a good amount of money on several ones.

Three Must-Have Photography Filters

First of all, you need to know that not all filters are alike. They fulfill different functions, so buying one filter and installing it on your lens isn’t going to be enough. This is why it’s best to spend a little time studying what types of filters are available, what are their roles, and which ones you believe would serve you best.

1. UV Filter

UV filter

UV filter

The first and most important filter is the UV protection one. Fairly inexpensive, it only produces affects when shooting mountain and seaside landscapes. However, you should consider getting an UV filter even if you are mainly into portraits or macro photography. The reason is that this filter provides protection to your lenses. Such filters cost a few dollars, so even if you scratch them, you can easily replace them. On the contrary, if you scratch a lens that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars, you are going to have a hard time buying a new one. This filter is your insurance that your lenses are going to be fine, even if you are an outdoor lover and a hiker.

2. Polarizing Filter

Circular Polarizing Filter

Circular Polarizing Filter

The polarizing filter is also one of the must-have accessories of photography lovers. It consists of two layers that can rotate independently. They are useful for darkening skies, suppressing glare and attenuate reflections. If you shoot the water with such a filter, you are going to be able to capture excellent images of the bottom of the sea and of the living creatures you can’t even see with your naked eye. This is the only filter you can’t replicate using digital photo editing software. This is why you have to buy one.

3. Neutral Density Filter

neutral-density-filter

Nature taken with neutral density filter by Victor Calvis [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Neutral density filters are also interesting. They darken the landscape, thus enabling you to use very big exposure times even when shooting in full daylight. By using such filters, you can capture stunning effects on moving water. Shooting rivers and waterfalls with a neutral density filter will render the water smooth and silky. This is an effect you can’t obtain in post-processing, so if you want it, you have to purchase the physical filter. These filters are also used to remove humans in motion from photos. If you want to shoot a very popular touristic attraction, you won’t be able to find a moment when there are no people around it. However, by using a neutral density filter, elements in motion won’t appear in the images. It’s true that you have to use a tripod for this kind of photography, but the results are definitely worth carrying a lot of heavy stuff around.

RELATED: 5 essential photography filters (and why you can’t live without them!)

There are many other filters available. If you want, you can easily spend a small fortune on them. However, not all of them are truly essential. When it comes to digital photography, you can apply many filters later on, in the photo processing software, so you don’t have to bother with buying all of them. Before choosing the ones to add to your photographer’s kit, you should take some time and read everything you can about all types of filters and their functions. This is going to give you a better picture of what you should have and what not, so that you don’t invest money into accessories you won’t use a lot. When choosing your filters, it is also highly recommended to go for a known and reputable brand, with a good history and market presence. Cheap glass can easily spoil your photos, so you should aim for the highest possible quality. After all, since you’ve invested so much in your camera and lenses, why would you go cheap when it comes to filters? They are less expensive anyway, so choose the best ones.

Upgrade Your Lens Not Your Camera

camera lens

Do You Need A New Camera?

Photographers always want new equipment and they will make up just about any reason to purchase new gear. The excuses they make to buy new gear sound so logical to themselves but they are only just feeding and making excuses for their gear lust. When gear lust takes over a photographer or a would-be photographer there is little anyone can do to dissuade them. This article is about where you should actually spend your money on instead of a new camera body.

photographer

A Better Form of Gear Lust

Will a new camera body really help you take better images? I think that this is one of the most important questions that must be answered. There are some cases where buying a new camera body will improved the image quality that you get but this is only if you are upgrading to a larger sensor size. If you aren’t upgrading to a larger sensor size then you are unlikely receiving any noticeable image quality benefits from buying a new camera. The one area where you will see the greatest improvement in image quality is by buying higher quality lenses.

A Lens Into Reality

Experience photographers spend more money on accumulating quality lenses that they can transfer to camera to camera over a life time of image making because your lens is what really effect the quality of image you receive. To get the most out of the camera that you own or any new camera that you will purchase you need lenses that have a fast F stop, that are made from quality materials and that are free from imperfections. Once you accumulate high quality lenses you will likely never need to buy lenses again and high quality lenses will automatically improve your image quality. If you are going to engage in any form of gear lust direct it to buying quality lenses not wasting money on the latest and greatest camera body that is released.

Greater Expression

Quality lenses allow you greater expression. With fast glass you will have sharper images, you will have greater bokeh when you shoot wide open, you will have much better shallow depth of field performances. You will be able to blow out backgrounds get creamier back or foregrounds and isolate your subject matter to a much higher degree than you can with cheap lenses.

More Bang For Your Buck

You simply get more bang for your buck when you put your money towards high quality lenses. Your lenses will never go out of style, they will always perform well, they won’t be outdated by the next body upgrade. There are still people who are using the manual lenses they bought in 1985 because they are high quality so the only step they’ve needed to enter modernity was a quality camera. Do you know how much a quality set of lenses will save you down the line and how they will ensure that you have high image quality?

Conclusion

As you can see the best bang for your buck and the best place to invest your money is in buying quality lenses for your camera. We know how easy it is to get gear lust over new camera bodies but you should instead focus on the real thing that improves image quality and that is having high quality lenses. What is a high quality lens? One that is made for good material, that has a fast F stop and that is it. Purchase lenses that meet that criteria and you will be very happy.

Photography Basics: Long-Focus vs Wide-Angle Camera Lenses

camera lens

For those who are beginners in the field of photography, lens types can be a daunting topic to broach. With their rather opaque naming conventions and plethora of modifying adjective, it can be hard to get a grasp on even the building block basics of lens classification. Because of this, many newbies choose to put off learning about lenses until they’re a ways in. While this is certainly an option, knowing your way around lenses can help you achieve a pleasant diversity of shot styles, as well as making it possible to get your photographs to looks exactly how you want them to. With this in mind, here’s our beginner aimed guide to a basic distinction between lenses: the wide versus long debate.

Wide-Angle Lenses

Test_shot_of_the_best_ultra_wide_angle_lens

By Takashi Hososhima (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When distinguishing between wide-angle and long-focus lenses, the primary difference comes down to focal length. A wide-angle lens has a substantially shorter focal length than a normal lens. This means that the distance that the camera equipped with a wide-angle lens has to be from the object to be photographed is shorter than the distance a normal lens would have to be to produce a focused picture.

This kind of lens is perfect for shots of big objects that you can’t photograph from a long distance, as it will allow you to get a sharp image without putting much space between the camera and the object. It also produces an exaggerated distancing effect, where items close to the lens look disproportionately large while items far away look disproportionately small. This effect can be exploited to make the relative distance between objects seem larger than it really is.

Wide-angle lenses also capture a wider angle around the camera, which means that the image has “more” of the surrounding in it. This is evidenced by a fish eye effect, where the center of the image (what a normal lens would capture) is normal, while the edges are somewhat curved and distorted. Fish eye images have an interesting panoramic quality, and certain photographers express a great devotion to this whimsical style.

Long-focus Lenses

peacock shot by long-focus camera lens

By Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA (Peacock Suit….) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Long-focus Lenses have a longer focal length and a shorter depth of field than a normal lens. This means that they need a greater distance than usual to focus, and have a smaller range of distances at which objects will appear to be in focus at one time.

These lenses have the advantage of being able to focus over a very long distance, which makes them the lens of choice for shooting wildlife and other human-sensitive subjects. The short depth of field makes for an interesting, often cinematic effect, wherein the primary subject is in sharp focus while everything else is washed out and blurry.

Long-focus lenses also have the advantage of having relatively less distortion than regular or wide lenses. This means that they are good for taking pictures where the integrity of lines is important, like for technical photography or even portraiture. They are your go-to lens for documentation.

Benefits of Canon Compact Cameras

Canon has been renowned for producing good cameras that can get the job done right, but what about the Canon Compact cameras? Are they good enough or should you buy something else instead? So,let’s take a look at the three benefits of the Canon Compact cameras and what they can offer to its users.

 

Quality Finishing

There are lots of cameras with great specifications, but do they have quality finishing that you’re looking for? What is the point of buying a camera with a low-quality finishing? It is not worth it, but with the Canon Compact cameras, you’ll be confident that you’ll get a camera with outstanding finishing.

 

Durability

Another value that Canon Compact cameras can give is durability. This camera is made of tough materials and designed to endure impact. Canon is well-known for paying attention to their devices to ensure consumers get the quality that they have paid for.

Canon Compact cameras are durable cameras that won’t break easily, and they will last for a long time. This is a great option for that benefit.

 

Long Battery Life

Canon Compact cameras’ battery life is exceptional. It takes a long time for the battery to get drained even after hours of use. These cameras are ideal for peoplewho are tired of using lifelesscameras when they need them the most. It is, indeed, a fantastic option when it comes to battery life.

These are the benefits of the Canon Compact cameras and the value they can provide to users. They are truly empowering and can bring about the results that you have been hoping for. So, purchase yours now and reap its benefits.

Tips for Buying a Digital Camera

digital camera lens

Want to buy a digital camera, but not sure about what direction to go? A lot of people go through this hard situation and are unaware of what to do. So, if you are planning to purchase a digital camera soon, consider the following tips. These tips will help you choose the right digital camera for what you’ve paid for.

 

Focus on Durability

The durability of the camera plays an important role, and you should not ignore this factor when making your final decision as to what camera to buy. The durability of the camera will dictate how long it can last. It should be resistant to impact and everyday use. Of course, this does not mean you have to be careless, your camera requires extra care to last.

 

Quality of Images Matters

Another factor to consider is the quality of the images the camera produces. Before buying a camera, test it first and check if the images are what you are looking for. Read some reviews in the web too. It can be troubling to deal with a camera that won’t only put a dent in your budget but will take a toll on your image quality as well.

 

Place Emphasis on Connectivity

Make sure the camera can connect to a range of devices wirelessly; this is important especially if you’re impatient in transferring files the traditional way. Also, there are so many issues that can arise when using cables to connect. This is why you should check if the camera can connect to various devices without the use of cables.

These helpful tips will go a long way for those who aim to get a new digital camera and want to make sure they get it right the first time around. Observe these tips, and you’ll surely get a camera that you deserved.

Essential DSLR Camera Accessories

photographer holding two DSLR cameras

Investing in a DSLR camera is a great way to take your photography to the next level. These professional grade models offer a number of unique features that you can’t find in compact cameras. Perhaps most importantly, they allow you to use different lenses to shoot in a variety of different conditions.

Having the right accessories can help you get the most out of your camera. The following section takes a look at a few of the most essential DSLR accessories that you should consider purchasing:

A Good Camera Bag

DSLR cameras consist of not only the camera body, but also a number of different lenses. Trying to carry everything by hand can quickly become cumbersome. A far better option is to invest in a high quality camera bag that can hold all of your gear in one place. Most photographers opt for shoulder bags simply because they are comfortable to carry and most shoulder bags are large enough to hold all of their supplies.

A Sturdy Strap

Unlike compact cameras that are lightweight, small and easy to carry, DSLR cameras tend to be a bit more bulky. A sturdy strap can allow you to wear your camera around your neck for easy access while you are out shooting. That way you don’t have to fumble every time you want to take a photograph.

Spare Batteries

Having extra batteries on hand is essential if you plan to do a lot of shooting. The last thing you want is to be right in the middle of a great photo shoot only to find out that your battery is about to day and you don’t have a backup.

Keeping spare batteries in your camera bag will help ensure that you are always ready to shoot no matter what comes your way.

A Lens Cleaning Cloth

Properly caring for your camera lenses can help prolong their lives. Invest in a specially designed lens cleaning cloth that won’t scratch the surface of your lenses. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions anytime you use one of these cloths to avoid inadvertent damages.

These are just a few of the most essential DSLR camera accessories. By making sure you have a good camera bag, a sturdy neck strap, enough spare batteries and a lens cleaning cloth, you can get the most out of your camera. With the right gear and a high quality camera, you can take pictures like a pro.

Beginner’s Guide to Buying a DSLR Camera

Photography lovers typically want to upgrade their cameras for newer technologies. Know what to expect if you want to upgrade from a point-to-shoot one to a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. Its advantages are:

  • Takes higher definition and quality pictures, regardless of pixel capacity.
  • Lenses can be changed to powerful ones for lower noise and better quality.

Buying a DSLR camera for the first time can be challenging.  You need to consider various brands, camera capacities and other features. Below is a guide to help you decide on a digital SLR camera.

  1. Know Your Preferences and Needs for the Camera

 How you intend to use your camera should determine what type of a camera to choose.  One thing should be clear; an expensive camera doesn’t mean you’re a great photographer.  If you need a camera for professional purposes, then choose a quality camera.

  1. Get to Know Brands and Camera Capacities

Nikon and Canon may have dominated the DSLR camera industry, but there are other companies that produce great cameras, too. Find a company that provides excellent cameras you can afford with camera capacities as well. Some of its features should include among others:

  • Megapixels
  • ISO performance
  • Resolution
  • Frames per second lenses
  • Sensor size

Megapixels (MP) determine how good a photo will be, depending on printouts. Most DSLRs have a minimum of 10MP, which can be upgraded with more powerful lenses.

ISO performance is the camera’s capacity to shoot quality pictures or movies regardless of light intensity.  High ISO performance cameras can take great quality images in high and low light situations without a flash.

Frames per second (FPS) is the number of images a camera can take while in multi-mode. It helps one in choosing the best picture to use.

DSLR pictures require more memory for storage. For this reason, you should budget for a high capacity memory card to save more images and movie clips.

  1. Budget

This will also dictate which camera you can afford. High-end DSLRs may be more expensive, but it doesn’t mean basic DSLR cameras take low-quality images. An experienced photographer can take greater quality images with a 10MP DSLR camera, than an amateur with a high-end one.

Research and window shop on a great Digital SLR camera, before making an order. This way, you will be better equipped and know what you need, before you even buy it.

Zenit Camera – Why You Should Own One

There are many cameras on the market today that can produce reliable photographs, but very few are as capable as the Zenit camera. This camera is of Russian origin, produced originally back in the early 30s, and is associated with 35mm SLR cameras. When translated into English, the spelling sometimes comes out Zenith, and was originally based upon the design of a Zorki rangefinder. Although it originally came with a 39mm diameter screw mount, and a vastly different appearance from most other cameras at the time, the modern version is one of the best cameras you can buy today. Here’s a quick overview of the Zenit camera, and why you should consider using and purchasing this camera today.

Origins of Zenit

This camera was actually one of the early pioneers in the 35mm SLR models, using a pentaprism or waist level finder, it soon became obvious that this camera was out of reach for most people residing in the Soviet Union at the time, which caused the creators of this camera to advance toward a Pentax K mount and a FZL-84 shutter. In 2005, the Zenit-KM plus was created which was one of the final cameras created by this company.

Zenit SLR Cameras

Zenit SLR cameras utilise a movable mirror which was strategically located in between the film plane and the lens so that the image could be seen in your viewfinder. It literally presented exactly what you were going to take a picture of, creating a WYSIWYG effect. These cameras, may appear to be cheaply made, seeming to be made of plastic. However, there is a steel structure beneath the high impact plastic and the lens that is used will allow you to get beautiful images with extremely vibrant colours, something typically found with Russian-made cameras today. This camera also has a fisheye lens, providing you with 180 degrees, allowing you to create a very elegant wide-angle shot. There is also a fotosniper camera that comes with a shutter release trigger, making this camera very easy to use.

Zenit Cameras on the Web

There are several websites where you can find these cameras for sale, many of which offer exceptional deals. If you have been looking for this particular camera, you can actually purchase new and used models which are all reasonably priced. If you have heard about the image quality of Zenit cameras and would like to try one out, it will definitely be a worthwhile investment.

You just learned about the history and quality of the Zenit camera. Anyone interested in taking quality pictures, even fisheye landscape shots that are second to none, a Zenit camera is definitely what you want to own. Find out more about Zenit cameras on the web today. It’s definitely one of the most reliable cameras ever made that takes images with exceptional quality that you will absolutely love.