WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING YOUR FIRST CAMERA

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Nowadays, cameras are everywhere. You have a camera on your phone, your computer, your tablet, even in some doorbells! People are taking more pictures today than ever in history and they're sharing them in so many different ways! The question is what do you want to use your camera for? Most people use some sort of camera with a bare minimum of knowledge, people point their phones to get an instagramable moment or just to take a selfie? Some people are ready to move beyond the pictures taken through a phone and want to buy a camera. In this case there are a lot of things to consider.

1. WHAT WILL YOU BE USING IT FOR

If you want to buy a camera just for the sake of having better images during for example vacations, you probably don't need a DSLR camera. You can do with only a compact. The difference is that a DSLR camera stands for "digital single-lens reflex camera" and it is a digital camera that combines the optics and mechanisms of a single-reflex camera and a digital image sensor. Easily put, it is one of those big black cameras you see people walking around with. Let's go through your options... There are compact cameras, or point-and-shoot cameras, that are much easier to operate. These cameras will have focus free lenses or autofocus for focusing, automatic setting for exposure options and a built in flash. This makes them much easier to use than DSLR cameras. Mainly due to the fact that the pictures will come out good, even if you don't know anything about camera settings and mechanisms. On the other hand DSLR cameras, even though they have "auto" settings, produce much better images, but only if you know how to use them. 

This being said, if you want to get a camera just for taking pictures, get a compact. If you want to learn about photography and the mechanisms based on which you can take amazing pictures - get a proper DSLR camera.

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2. NIKON VS. CANON

In our company, we use both. It's really a question of individual preference and what you are used to. Some people find Canon easier to use and others are better with Nikon. So if you already have a camera at home and you know how to use it, probably buy the same brand - it is easier to get to know the new body. If you have Nikon and you really do not like it, well try out a Canon and maybe you will find it more intuitive. 

3. CONSIDER THE WEIGHT

Trust us, after walking around with a camera on vacation for hours and hours having it in your bag or around your neck - you will realize that the weight is everything. Not to mention, that usually photographers carry around multiple lenses, which only adds to the overall weight. Both Nikon and Canon have different "classes" of cameras. Some are smaller and lighter and others- especially the higher class pro cameras are huge and insanely heavy. So again, if you are a beginner, go for the option, which is less heavy.

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4. FULL FRAME OR NOT?

There are two types of DSLR cameras. Ones that have a crop factor and ones that are full frame. Simply put it means that a camera, which has a crop factor will give a different field view than the full frame one. For example, a camera with a 1,5x crop factor with a 50mm lens will take the image as if it was a 75mm lens. In a sense it zooms into the picture more. But we will get to this in future photography lessons. The importance of full frame vs. crop factor is mainly the price. And the differences are not small. So in the beginning a camera with a crop factor is just fine, unless you want to spend an extra $1000. Normally photographers will argue that the body of the camera is not as important as the lenses you use. This means that if you have a camera with a crop factor, it won't necessarily take worse pictures than a full frame. It's mainly about the lenses. And once you feel you have grown out of the first camera you have and you start experiencing limits, then you can go and buy a better camera, perhaps a full frame!

5. LENSES

If you're a beginner to photography and do not have much info about lenses, you probably only have a set lens. A set lens is the one that comes with the camera - usually something like 18-55mm or 18-105mm/ f3,5-5,6. This lens is good enough for very basic pictures, but it will not give you the results you are looking for if you're opting for professional quality. Nonetheless, this lens is great for traveling because it allows you to take wide angle photos, as well as to zoom into objects. 

To understand the different lenses you need to know that the (xx)mm will define the field of view - the smaller the number the wider view of the frame. The f(xx) is the aperture of the lens and controls how much light goes into the photo and also it makes the nice effect of having a blurry background. The lower the aperture, the more light goes into the camera and the more blurry the background is.

If you want to buy extra lenses for your camera, they're significantly cheaper for cameras with crop factor. Just a thing to consider. You can use any type of lens for a crop camera, but for the full frame you will need a specific type of lens. Again, this will be something we discuss in a different post.

To conclude, it's important you consider a various number of factors before buying a camera. Contrary to what people believe, getting a fancy and expensive camera will not give you the results of a professional photographer unless you spend a good amount of time learning how to properly use it. From us at Atelier Ours Abeille, we would reccomend people to buy a more basic camera in the begining and properly learn how to use it, as it will save a lot of money in the case that photography is not your thing.

PHOTO TIPSOurs Abeille