Dear CSI Detective Brigade,
I would like to upgrade my camera (translation: I am sick of using my cell phone camera). I know you are the people to ask for suggestions. I would like something simple (I am easily overwhelmed tech-wise), portable, and capable of excellent detail. I am at the 101 level of photography. What camera do you think is best for taking pix of people? places? indoor/outdoor?
Hopefully, this will be a useful discussion for other members as well. All suggestions are much appreciated - thank you!
I am not one of the detectives, but I would suggest you get one of the point and shoot digital cameras instead of an SLR. Cell phones, unless you have one of the nicer ones, don't have as high a resolution as cameras do, so that means you could have grainy photos when printed by 4x6, and probably will at larger sizes. (I also hate how dark my cell phone photos are if I take them inside.) You can put the point and shoot cameras on automatic and usually that will take a nice pic. There are different settings you can put them on that might enhance a photo of a person, or a nature scene, and there's a setting you want to put it on when taking night photos.
This is a great question Fran.... my perspective is that you can take great photo's with any camera. I've seen it done and seen others do it. The key is KNOWING your camera. So, pick a camera you're not intimidated with. If you have a favorite brand, then seek out the best camera they make within your budget and LEARN how to use the camera.
I currently use a Sony SLR and it's at the higher end of the spectrum. BUT I've also used my daughters simple point and shot Sony when my battery is dead or can't seem to find the memory card. The thinks I looked for in my camera are
The ability to macro shoot ~ intense close up shots, bugs flowers, close ups of your layouts...
The ability to turn the flash on and off ~ Helps if the subject is back lite, or turn it off to avoid photo glare with glossy pictures.
A viewing screen you're comfortable with..view finders or screens..I like a camera with both. If the screen cracks or breaks.. you always have the view finder... screens eat battery life..so you can extend the life of the battery by using the viewfinder.
Canon brand is best known for its success with outdoor shooting, motion (childrens sports, etc.) and clarity
Nikon has a reputation for indoor, portraits and lighting..
Sony is becoming decent competition for both and many of their cameras include the ability to take short videos.
Hope this helps!! And let us know what you ultimately decide on and how you like it!! You can take great pictures regardless of the equipment. Just master the equipment! :D
I too am not one of the CSI detectives but love to suggest camera options.
I agree with Shaunery - you can take great pics with any camera but depends what you are looking for in your photos.
Over the years I have used "point-n-shoot" type cameras such as kodaks, canons & sony. Some photos have come out brilliant (and others not so brilliant especially when you had the old film cameras!) but switched to SLR when I gained confindence taking the photos. Now with digital technology it is amazing what you can do with your photos and photoshop software.
My husband is an engineer and part of his job is to take LOTS of photos for his reports. He was using a canon SLR digital camera with 2 different size lens (macro and micro). He needed to take pics of specific items such as a crack in part of the machine or a machine that is as large as a house. He found carrying around a 'bulky' camera was getting in the way and decided to try the 'point-n-shoot' style as technology has come a long way since he bought his SLR.
As a result he bought a Canon 1000HS with 10X optical zoom and the photos have come out better than ever. The photos take close up shots without blurring, the flash is bright enough when he uses it inside the machine (he has to crawl underneath dark areas) and the landscape shots look great.
I personally still use my SLR digital camera with a Tamron & Sigma lens (different sizes) but the best way I have taken photos and 'mastered' it - is by using it - ALOT! This advice was given to me by a friend who is a photographer - he said to carry it everywhere with you and just practice taking photos - so I did! I also checked out a couple of photography magazines and tips on how to take a good photo. The beauty of digital photography is you can take as many pics as you want and not have to worry about developing them.
When we shop for cameras we generally go to a camera shop as they usually have people in there who are camera tech savvy from the point-n-shoot to the professional.
Hope this helps from one amateur to another - good luck!
Thanks everyone - lots of good pointers here and that will help me find the right camera at the store! Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise.
Hey Fran - how did you go with finding a camera? Did you end up getting a new one?
I have had a canon in the elph series for years....It is a small point and shoot that I can fit in my pocket and take with me anywhere. I have had really great success with taking pics on it.
I really want a DSLR but it just isn't in the budget right now. My wonderful fiance' just purchase me a Kodak (not such a huge fan...always have been a canon girl) with really awesome reviews. It is kind of in between a point and shoot and DSLR. It arrives tomorrow so we shall see. I am really excited to play with it and see what I can do!