|as summer fades|
Model: Iryna Popova of Q Managment, NY
Creative Director: Lara Jade
Photographer & Retoucher: Josefina
Copyright © Josefina Photography 2012-2013
I've been getting these questions a lot lately: "How do I know which camera to buy?" and "What do you think is the best camera for me?" So I decided that I would write out a general answer for everyone.
In this day, age, and time, it really comes down to what you can afford. Buying a SLR camera is not a cheap expense, therefore you want to make sure that whichever one you get is not only a good camera, but a good one for you & one that you plan on shooting with for a long time. Don't be afraid to test out cameras at a store. Ask the sales person if you can play with certain ones (Best Buy or a legit camera store are good places for that) and ask questions!
When I started photography back in 2009, I was shooting with a basic point-and-shoot camera that I bought for maybe $85 at Best Buy. Seriously. With that camera, I took photos for my school website, captured sports action shots & really focused on my practice of nature shots. Nearing the end of 2010, I got my first "real" camera. As I had several friends tell me then, and I'll tell you now: It's not about the camera that you chose, it's about how you use it. That's true. My first was a Canon Rebel T1i. I bought entire basic kit for $600. That gave me everything that I needed to learn, how I felt like I should be learning. I took that camera everywhere. Even on days when I wasn't "suppose" to be shooting, I was shooting something, anything, for fun and practice. And really, that's what it comes down too. Learn your equipment. Treat it like it is your best friend, a new partner, whatever it is that you need to do to learn all about it. How do certain settings work? Can I control my flash? What is ISO? Study it, watch tutorials, take classes, ask a friend, go to a local photography studio and spend even 5 minutes asking their main photographer questions. It all pays off in the end. Once you know the rules, you can break as many of them as you like. After all, that's what artists do!
When I switched my course of photography and took it somewhere new, we were talked into buying a Canon 5D Mark II. And while I love that camera, and it really is my baby - it wasn't a purchase I really needed to make at that time. Partly because it's a super expensive one. Some stores will sell the starter kit for $3,000USD, some will sell it for more, and some will sell it for less. We were lucky at the time to find a camera store seller on Amazon and buy it via their holiday special because I spent MUCH less than $3,000. And really that was the only way I could afford it. However, I still use the basic kit lens. I have one another lens that I bought two years ago, and that's the 50mm. I don't own a portrait lens (though I want one badly), I don't own a telephoto lens, or any fancy $4,000 lens. I have learned how to shoot with what I have. I'm not rich by any means and I'm a full time college student. I live on the college student budget, and can barely afford to feed myself and my pets half the time. Even though I know a portrait lens would help improve my work - you wouldn't have known that I don't shoot with one, if I hadn't told you. Because I have spent A LOT of time training myself how to shoot with what I have. And sometimes that's what it comes down too.
So, if you're just getting into photography and are looking for a camera, start by asking questions, going to a legit camera store & play around with the kit lens, or other lens, see what best fits you. I've heard great things about the Canon Rebel XS and I can speak for the T1i, I don't know much about the D90, or any of those, put go and play with them. Camera shopping shouldn't be a 20 minute (or less) purchase, it should be something that takes considerable amount of time. The camera will be with you for a LONG time, so you want to make sure it's one that you're willing to learn all about.
If you have been photographing for awhile and you're thinking about upgrading cameras, but you know that it will hurt you financially, take a step back and look at what you do have. You don't need the best damn camera that money can buy, you need the best damn camera that suits your talent. That might mean that you don't know your camera as well as you think you do. Watch some tutorials, go watch some free, rebroadcasts on creativeLIVE - never stop learning. Because when you give up on learning, and you think you know everything, you're actually limiting yourself as an artist. There are no more rules to break, once you set yourself in stone.
That's my opinion on cameras & how to shop for the one that would best suit you as an artist. It comes down to what your budget is, and what you are willing to learn about the "companion" that you just bought. I'm a Canon camera person, through and through, so I cannot speak for Nikon, but I'm not limiting you to just Canon's either. If you feel like a Nikon is better for you, go play with one of those - that's why I say it's best to go to real Camera Store. You've got literally hundreds of options once you're there and they would have a "specialist" in at least the top 6-10 main brand names in cameras. Go learn, go play, and chose what's best for you as an artist, and financially. Don't listen to all the media hype. Once you know what you're doing, you become unstoppable.
Peace & love.