Question by tessainwonderland: beginner’s photography camera help?
i want to get into photography. i’ve researched some things as to what type of camera to get. i’m aiming to get a Canon, but can anyone give me a specific model name that would be good to use for beginners?
Answer by selina_555
At least 10 – 30 times a day someone on YA asks: “Which one is a good camera to buy?”
A quick search would have given you hundreds of instant replies (without having to wait for answers), but once again here is my 10 cents on the subject:
I don’t like to give recommendations for particular cameras because there are too many choices and too many variables in what people are looking for. I find it much more useful to help you think this over, then make up your own mind.
Point & Shoot cameras are wonderfully handy because of their small size.
When light conditions are ideal, they even take really nice photos – all of them do.
However, they all DO have limitations – they don’t do very well in low light situations (i.e. noisy photos, hard to avoid blur, etc). The little onboard flash is very harsh at close range, and doesn’t reach very far.
Many of them have no manual functions, so you are limited to only very basic photos, you can’t compensate for unusual situations, or do many fun “tricks” and special effects.
P&S’s also suffer from frustrating shutterlag and many of them chew through batteries rather quickly.
If you’re ok with all those limitations, then go ahead and pick one, most of them (the same type and same price range) are rather similar. Personally I would pick either a Canon or a Nikon, and would certainly stay away from Kodak.
A higher end P&S will give you more manual options and better quality. Many of those even give you the option of adding a proper flash (which makes a big difference to your flash photos).
Don’t worry too much about megapixels – all modern cameras have plenty enough, plus there is a limit to how many pixels you can squash into a tiny P&S sensor before you actually LOSE quality rather than gain it. 6 megapixels is about the upper limit for those little sensors.
Don’t worry about digital zoom, in fact, don’t EVER use it. It simply crops away pixels, i.e. destroys information. The only real zoom is optical.
Some people ask for a camera that “doesn’t take blurry photos”. Blur is the photographer’s problem, NOT the camera’s. Even the most expensive camera will take blurry photos if the person behind it doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Some words about special effect features such as color accent, or even just b/w or sepia:
About applying any sort of effect in camera: DON’T DO IT !
Imagine if you just happen to take the best photo you ever took – surely you would want to have it in all its glory, right?
Always set your camera to biggest size, best quality (and to color).
That way, you start with the best possible photo as your original.
Then you make a copy and edit it to your heart’s content.
You have much better control over any editing on your computer, even something as simple as b&w will look MUCH better when it was processed properly instead of in camera.
You can do all sorts of things to it PLUS you get to keep your original.
Decide which features are important to you, and look for cameras that have that feature.
Then go compare a few models on www.dpreview.com .
The very best thing you can do for your success is to borrow some books and learn about photography. A bit of knowledge will make a much bigger difference to your photos than your choice of P&S camera can.
For what it’s worth – if I was in the market for a P&S camera right now, my choice would be a Canon Powershot SX30 IS http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/digital_cameras/powershot_sx30_is
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