Cameras in General;
Many people today believe that their camera phone is good enough for most photography, and they have no need to buy a separate camera. And you know what? They’re not wrong. For most people out there, a dedicated camera may be too confusing and too time consuming to learn.
Camera phones are quicker and easier to use, not to mention their seamless integration with social media services. It only makes sense to get a dedicated camera if your phone isn’t good enough for the photos you want or if you’re specifically interested in photography as a hobby. Watch for an upcoming article on “How to Use Camera Phones”.
That advice may sound crazy coming from a professional photographer, but it’s true. If you have any camera at all, especially a cell phone camera, you have what you need in order to take great photos. And if you have or are looking for a more advanced camera, like a DSLR or mirrorless camera, read further for additional advice.
At This Point, What Other Camera Gear and Accessories Do You Need?
Camera. If you are looking to buy a dedicated camera, pick one with interchangeable lenses so that you can try out different types of photography more easily. I started out my career with a Cannon and years later switched to Nikon when they were the first to come out with a professional digital camera. Today, there are many awesome name brand cameras. Read reviews, but don’t obsess over them, because everything available today is pretty much equally good as its competition. Find a nice deal and move on.
Lenses. This is where it counts. For everyday photography, start with a standard zoom lens like a 24-70mm or 18-55mm. For portrait photography, pick a prime lens (one that doesn’t zoom) at 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm. For sports, go with a telephoto lens. One that zooms to at least to 300mm. Lenses matter more than any other piece of equipment because they determine what photos you can take in the first place.
Everything else is optional, but can be very helpful. I’ll elaborate in the next column.
Many readers have reached out to me about photography classes. I will have a fall photography class at my Mint Hill Studio, Photographic Elegance. If you are interested, your can reach me at 704-598-9099. Would love to hear from you.