Types of Cameras for Beginners

The Canon 600D is featured packed, well priced and a great choice for beginners

The Canon 600D is featured packed, well priced and a great choice for beginners

As a commercial photographer based in Perth, WA, one of the questions I’m asked the most whenever I run a photography course, either at university or at night school, is ”What’s the best camera to buy for a beginner?” It’s a good question and one that has strings attached as there are so many factors that go into buying your very first camera, be it a DSLR, mirrorless or a compact.

What will it be used for?

Really, this is the first question you should be asking yourself along with how frequently will I be using it. So, think about all the different applications you’re planning on using your camera for, whether it’s sport, portraiture, street photography, family photos or travel. The reason there’s so many cameras on the market is there’s usually one that’s perfect for a particular job.

Camera budget

It’s important to be realistic about how much money you want to spend on your camera. There are some really nice cameras on the market today but some of them carry a hefty price tag and probably have a whole bunch of features you may not actually need or ever use. Be realistic and set a sensible budget. Once you’ve settled on how much you want to spend you can then start to compare brands to see what features are offered in that particular price range.

Camera Features

It’s easy to get caught up in all the ‘bells and whistles’ that come with any particular digital camera but pay particular attention to what features you get for your money. Most cameras now come with the ability to shoot HD video as standard but does the camera you’re interested in come with an external mic input or audio monitoring? Can it be used for time lapse? How good is it when shooting in low light? Can I use it for macro photography? All good questions that should be addressed before you head to the checkout.

All good cameras should have the ability to shoot in either a fully automatic mode, fully manual – meaning independent control of aperture, shutter speed and ISO – as well as being able to select different file sizes and formats, preferably jpeg and RAW. Most good cameras also have the ability to be used in a semi-automatic mode where you select a parameter such as the aperture and the camera then does the rest.

Digital cameras for complete newbies

If you don’t want to spend a fortune and want to upgrade and add some extras later on then there are plenty of cameras that will do the job. I would always recommend that you go with a trusted brand such as Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and Panasonic. These brands have been established a long time and their products have be tried and tested.

I’ve seen some really fantastic pictures taken with budget DSLRs, so when you’re starting out doesn’t spend more than you need to. Start off with a cheaper camera and build your skills experience and knowledge then upgrade when you’re more experienced.

Try before you buy

It’s easy to trawl the internet for reviews and advice on digital cameras but you shouldn’t rely solely on that when making a decision on buying a camera. Go to a camera store and have a look at the camera you’re interested in. Ask lots of questions, make sure it has all the features you need and that it will serve its purpose.

©2015 Mark Sutton – imagepro.net.au

 

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