Friday, April 1, 2016

Photography Basics: Equipping yourself Part II

I really wished that there had been a blog like this when I started out. It could have saved me steps and money. I looked at point and shoots and saw that they were very automatic, and that appealed to me. What I did not understand was that the entry level DSLR's and mirror-less ASP-C and Micro Four Third cameras were also very automatic. They all have auto settings and various specific scene settings. Had I known that, I would have saved a bundle of money that I spent on P&S cameras, and would not have thousands of photos that were inferior simply because of the small size of the P&S sensors. With sensors, size is important, and there is no comparison between the size of your average P&S camera, and DSLR's and mirror-less cameras. There are some P&S cameras that have larger sensors but they are very expensive and you are limited with lens choice. So that simply means that your first camera should either be a DSLR or a mirror-less. If down the road, you want one of the larger sensor P&S cameras to take with you on trips and special occasions then, at that time, perhaps it can make sense.

At this point in time, I am advocating that you purchase a camera that is about two upgrades behind. Let me explain with this example. Nikon now has a D5500 that sells for about $899.00 U.S. You can still find deals where there are new D5200's, or factory refurbished, or used with a five star rating, that sell for $319.00 (camera only.) The D5500, D5300, and D5200 all have a 24.1 MP sensor that is similar if not exactly the same. In other-words, the D5200 camera will do all you want it too, at a much lower initial cost.

Or, you can do what I did finally. You can buy a Sony A3000, entry level with a 20.1MP sensor that takes great images. It looks like a DSLR but is mirror-less. It does have a Sony ASP-C sensor that takes really great images. It also has a lot of really nice features but the view-finder and LCD screen is lower resolution quality than most, but I actually do not mind that, or let me say that I have gotten used to it so that it does not bother me. The images are very, very good however. I think they compare favorably to the Nikon DSLR's or Sony's A6000 which is in the six to seven hundred dollar range. I paid $249.00 on Amazon for my first A3000 and that included an 18-55mm kit-lens. They are a little more than that now but still under $400 if you look for a sale. I got a second one, camera only for about $189 used. It only had about 9,000 actuation's which is nothing, and it looked new. Here is an example of the photo's it takes in this paragraph. You can enlarge it by clicking on the image.

What I am suggesting is that you put some thought into the situation before you invest. If you are headed to your local Best Buy or some other electronics or camera store, do not allow the sales people to sell you an expensive outfit at the onset. Make sure that you have the passion and you are learning the skills necessary to make great photos. I will cover a lot more in subsequent posts but I suggest that you read these articles from the beginning and keep up with them to gain further understanding.

You can see my work at Memphis Mid-South Sights and my Facebook photography page.