Christmas is right around the corner and as DSLR cameras are becoming more and more affordable (for just a few extra hundred you can upgrade from a point and shoot and get a DSLR!), I’ve been asked too many times to count for advice on what camera to purchase and how good the photos will turn out.
Since the popularity and trendiness of owning a DSLRs are on the rise, I’m guessing there will be a new bloom of aspiring photographers, if even just in the home – so exciting!
A few additional tips for the first time DSLR owners:
Determine out what your budget is. Know what you want to spend and proceed to research the best camera within that budget or else you will get a bit overwhelmed with all the choices. I love looking at CNET for reviews on technical equipment and software downloads. I think a great entry level camera is the Canon Rebel – there are a few different models. I started on the XSi that does not have video and now the T1i has a video feature and higher ISO so you can decide if you will utilize its capabilities of shooting in low lighting or capturing high resolution video.
Be realistic with what you will achieve with it. Please don’t take offense to this when I say this, but having a Canon or Nikon or one of the other guys, does and will not make you a professional photographer. And, having the most expensive camera that the pros use will not make you one either, unfortunately. If only it were that easy! What a DSLR will do, is allow you to take some amazingly creative images because you have the tools to do so. In order to get better, that will take practice and knowledge.
Photoshop, is not necessary, unless you plan on going pro. Of course not wanting to be pro is more than OK! Some simply want to capture better images of their daily life for personal reasons, I get it. You don’t have to do any post production just as long as you have realistic expectations! As long as you are reasonable with that, you will be thrilled with your purchase. Photoshop exists not to correct bad photos, but to enhance. If you capture images correctly with exposure and you understand how to capture light and what good composition is, you won’t need Photoshop. And, if your images look pretty close to awesome straight out of the camera, well maybe then you should consider going pro!
Learn manual mode. You didn’t spend $600 to shoot on the green box, “P”, or the “running man” mode. Learn how how ISO, aperture and shutter speed work together – the basic fundamentals of photography! For those in the Phoenix area, SnapFactory is having workshops starting in the new year, check them out: http://classes.snapfactory.com/ If you think you will be getting one for the holidays and you want to learn how to use it, ask to be signed up for a photography course as well! You’ll have so much fun learning!
Diana Elizabeth has made a few wish lists for Christmas – two for gift exchanges with different groups of friends. She still needs to make one for her parents. She recalls one year when she was a child she went through the Sunday newspaper and clipped out all the toys and clothes she wanted, taped them on printer paper and her parents went out and bought every single thing she wanted on that list. Spoiled is right. Grateful is truth. Loved is evident.