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Choosing a New Camera

"What type of photographer do you want to become?"

Time for a new camera? How to choose?

There's plenty of advice on the internet and the salesman in the local store will have his ideas on guiding you how to part with your money, but for what its worth here's my view as to the most important thing to consider - New Cameras

"Don't think camera, think lens"

I've owned dozens of cameras - most of them acquired during the digital age. Without any doubt, the best images I have produced were taken through the best lenses.

Digital camera bodies are constantly improving. Buy a new camera body today and it will be superseded in a month or two. Lenses are also improving but at a far slower rate. I bought my best standard lens three years ago and it still gives me top notch results which I can enlarge to barn door size if need be.

Which is the best? The most you can afford - lenses are like that - you get what you pay for. Which make? Obviously it depends on whether you already have experience with a particular manufacturer but it's worth checking to see whose are earning the industry awards - www.tipa.com

The other question that needs to be considered is what type of new camera should you buy? Generally speaking, cameras fall into three categories - Compact (including mobile phones}, Bridge and DSLR.

Compacts tend to be the cheapest, have a lens fixed to the camera which can usually be zoomed (telescoped) and offer some means of setting the camera automatically to suit the subject to be photographed.

As the name implies, most of them will fit into a pocket or small bag.

Not in the UK?
Here are some Similar Cameras at Amazon.com

Bridge cameras also have a lens fixed to the camera which can be zoomed but the quality of the lens is usually better.

They have far more flexibility when it comes to adjusting the settings to suit the subject and often have better video capability.

Not in the UK?
Here are some Similar Cameras at Amazon.com

The term bridge can be interpreted as a step towards the serious enthusiast or professional camera which is the -

DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) & Micro Four Thirds. So named because in the days of film, an SLR camera enabled the photographer to view the subject via a mirror and a set of prisms through the same lens used for taking the photograph and could therefore see exactly what was "in the frame".

This holds true for a DSLR camera although some of the most recent cameras do away with the mirror and prisms and present the subject in the viewfinder (or on the camera's screen) electronically.

DSLR cameras offer the most flexibility, tend to have considerably more functions, are more robust and yes - are the most expensive. To buy a DSLR is to buy into a system - of lenses and other accessories. It is a longer term investment.

Not in the UK?
Here are some Similar Cameras at Amazon.com

An important point to look for - although a DSLR may sound complex at first, many come with presets which make them just as easy to learn with as a compact, so there's no need to be put off.

What do I use? I look for quality of build and performance, leading edge technology with ease of use, value for money; and most of all - I like to travel light.

Final thought - "Don't be misled by the MegaPixel Race". All of today's digital cameras have enough pixels to produce superb photographs.

To recall the favourite saying in the TV comedy series "The Rag Trade" - for those of us who remember it - Never mind the Quality, feel the Width; or in this case -

"Never mind the pixels, feel the glass."

Which lenses are right for you? Here's a superb book that will provide the answers - Lenses for Digital SLRs: The Complete Guide

If you have unanswered questions about your next new camera - please ask them in the comment section below or contact me.

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