I’m frequently asked for advice and recommendations on purchasing digital cameras. I’ve learned to answer such questions with lots of questions of my own before offering suggestions or direction, questions such as what type of photography do you plan to do, are you going to make large prints with your images, will you eventually expand your digital camera system, etc. Of course the most obvious question is what’s your budget. From there I can provide some general guidelines and resource suggestions.
I’ve also learned to say right up front that I am most familiar with the camera make and models that I’ve been using since about 1980 or so – Canon, and more specifically the Canon EOS line of digital SLRs, lenses and accessories.
I definitely DO NOT get caught-up in the argument, so often overheard amongst local camera clubs, that one particular make of camera is better than the other, and that by simply having a certain camera and lens will make one a good photographer. It doesn’t. In fact I’ve observed that maintaing such a mindset often propels aspiring photographers in the other direction.
Increasingly I’ve noticed that it’s the “gear heads” who almost always end-up striving to imitate another photographer’s work versus exploring their own, original creative approach and exploration of subject representative of unique artistic vision.
It’s a little bit like sports. If the aspiring photographer is lacking in the fundamentals – i.e. original, artistic vision, basics of composition, knowledge of subject, approach, awareness of light, techniques for creative exposure – no amount of money spent on gear will be enough to overcome this vital shortcoming. This is why I stress the fundamentals so much in all of my workshops, no matter what the skill level of my workshop attendees or complexity of overall workshop subject.
With that said, the following article written by Bob Atkins and posted on Photo.net, is a good primer before rushing out to the local Best Buy or ordering online that digital SLR that you’ve had your eye on:http://photo.net/equipment/choosing-a-dslr-camera/
The article is good is because it doesn’t bog the reader down in overly technical descriptions while touching on nearly all of the points of consideration that should go into making a smart purchase of a digital camera system, considerations that are more numerous than was the case with traditional film cameras.
I am also working on my next “Photographic Moment” tutorial video where I will demonstrate the difference between a digital SLR that has a full-frame sensor and one with a smaller, APS-H size sensor. This topic was recently recommended by one of my YouTube channel subscribers.
But once again, FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS, FUNDAMENTALS.
The camera doesn’t walk out into the woods and capture the image. It’s the creative eye, unique interpretation of light and life and the artistic approach of the photographer that make the difference between the ordinary snapshot and the extraordinary photograph. Everything else – all of the tools of the trade – serve the artistic master. Not vice versa.