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Posts tagged ‘compact camera’

Introductions – Mind, Peace through Photography

Another blog that I have been following for a very long time.  I don’t remember when  I started, but I know that I have always admired Beedie’s images and even more so when I found out what camera she used.  Beedie from Mind, Peace through Photography started with a compact camera, and her images just prove that as long you know about composition and how to frame an image, then you can use any camera.  Now, I’m not saying that compacts are the way to go, and I am not going to trade in my DSLR for one, but it is fantastic to see someone getting great images with one.  I think someone said that Scott, who I featured last week, also uses one.  Scott might need to confirm this.

red-tailed-hawk-talonsLooking back and thinking about her blog, birds are what I think of, though I knew Beedie did more than just birds.  As I was going through her blog for this post, I could see the many different types of images that she takes.

I did ask her why she took photos and she said this

I started taking photos a couple of years ago when I bought my first ‘advanced’ point and shoot – a Canon SX40HS. I captured my first close-up shot of a local raptor – a Red-shouldered Hawk and her chicks. When I saw them for the first time on my computer screen, vividly, I was stunned at their beauty, life and amazing energy. I felt truly connected to something that I had never paid any attention to in the past. I took for granted the birds and other wildlife in my area. I live on a Bird Preserve by the way. After spending and shooting many episodes of the Red Shouldered Hawk family, I knew I would be forever taking photos of birds and other wildlife and sharing those photos freely for others to enjoy and hoping that they too would see and feel what I do now. (the red-shouldered family that changed me)

icy-yosemite-highwayYou know how sometimes you follow a photography blog and there will be images that just stay with you, and it doesn’t matter how long ago you saw them, you just fixate on them.  I remember that Beedie and her partner went to Yosemite for a holiday, and it was winter, and so when I decided to do Mind, I knew I had to include a couple of those images.  (you know how much I love winter images like this)

The next question I asked was about inspiration.

My inspiration are the most wonderful birding and wildlife photographers that I’ve met in person locally. We have the most amazing talent right where I live. A local woman, Alice Cahill, won the National Audubon Society’s award and was featured on their main cover in addition to many other nice prizes. (Alice Cahill story on Audubon). After seeing work such as this how could one not be inspired?

frolicking-elephant-sealsI am glad she mentioned wildlife above, as you go through her many posts, you do see lots of birds, but there are also images of other wildlife, like the one above.  She must live in an amazing location.

A question about how she works.

I work randomly and spontaneously. I’m more active during migration seasons. But I walk every day in nature and the camera is always by my side. Keeping an open mind with no agenda and my finger on the trigger has been my favorite method.

purpleI love seeing the world through her camera, and all the different things she photographs.  There is still life, landscape, birds, wildlife and the odd portrait here and there.

Here is what she said about her camera.

I have since upgraded from my original Canon SX40 to a Canon SX50 and more recently and most often carry around my Sony NEX-7 with favorite lenses being my Carl Zeiss 12mm 2.8, Sony Zeiss 24mm 1.2, Sony 18-200mm 3.5-6.3 and for extreme birding and wildlife with a Sony NEX LA-EA2 adapter the Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM II.

I don’t know Sony very well, but sounds like she has upgraded a lot.  I have a whole lot more images to show you, so please take a look here and then go to her blog at, Mind, Peace through Photography, it is definitely worth the trip.

What you want in a Camera

Calla Lily in Black and WhiteFrom time to time I get asked what camera someone should buy.  It is a tough question.  Then I thought about the questions we used to ask customers when I worked in a bike shop, and thought about how you should be able to ask similar questions, so today I thought we could discuss those questions and what you should ask yourself if you want to get  a new camera.

How often will you use the camera?

What type of photography will you do?

What is your budget?

These are basic questions, but they are a good start.

How often will you use the camera?

This is important, if you are planning on taking thousands of photos, then you will need a better quality camera than someone who is only going to be taking a few shots on the weekend at family parties.  Cameras do wear out, though, I’m not totally sure about compact cameras and whatDegraves Street moving parts they have, if any, but DSLR’s do have parts that wear out.  Shutter mechanisms can break, I had it happen to me earlier this year.

If you are not going to be taking many photos, then lower end or entry level cameras will probably be fine for you.  If you are planning on taking a few hundred a week, then you will need a better quality camera.

What type of photography will you do?

This is also important, the person who just wants to take photos at the family BBQ on the weekend will want a very different camera to someone who wants to go and take photos of waterfalls, or large landscapes.  It matters, and the camera you need for these will be different.

Other things to consider are how much control do you want over your image.  Do you want to be able to change lenses?  Do you want a compact camera but still have some control over settings?  Will you be using a tripod?  Do you want to carry a lot of gear around with you?

Cameras come in a variety of forms and you can find a camera to suit every need, from the very basic photographer to the professional.  This post isn’t for the latter, they know what they need and what they want.

You really need to know what sort of photography you want to do and then you have to match your camera to that.

I knew when I bought my first digital camera that I didn’t want anything flash, I just wanted something that was small enough to fit into my bag that I could take with me every where, but it had to take fairly good images as well.  I was looking at taking record shots just for me, and not shots that would be considered great photographic works.  It also had to be good enough to take 20120728-0592snaps of the family.  You get the idea.  I ended up with a Canon Ixus 60 which was perfect for what I wanted.

When it came time to buy my first DSLR I need more specific things.  As I knew that the main subject for my photographs would be cycling and netball, I wanted a camera that would be good for those, so frames per second were important.  I wanted to get the best I could afford.  The other things I wanted was to be able to use my old lenses from my days of film, which meant, for me, the camera had to be a Nikon.   I also knew that I had to get a certain level or the lenses wouldn’t work on it.  The camera I choose was the Nikon D300s, it took around 7 frames a second, was in budget and had great reviews.

What would I buy today? That is a good question, since buying my first D300s what I want in a camera has changed, and I do want a new one.  I thought it was the D800, but I have been doing some research and I am not so sure anymore.  I have discovered the spot metering isn’t going to be that different to what I have now.  Then I was reading a blog post over at  Nature and Travel Photography by Justin Reznick, and Justin has me thinking.  I don’t know what I want now.

What is your budget?

What your budget is is very important.  There is no point wanting a professional camera if you only have a few hundred dollars.  My husband always said you should get the best you can for the money you have.  Kangaroos Running Away

Think about not just what you want right now, but also try and think about the future.  If you want to play right now, to see if you like it, but seriously think it is going to turn into a hobby then get a camera that can become a hobby camera as well.  Don’t buy a compact camera that has no control over anything, but you think you might want some control, to try out things.  Compact cameras are usually point and click and not much else.  I got frustrated with mine in the end, because I had no control.

Seriously, most DSLR have the same basic features.  The entry level ones come with a lot of program modes that can be good to use.  The higher end ones don’t, and expect that you know what you are doing and what settings you need for photos.  If all you can afford is a entry level DSLR, and you are just starting out, you aren’t going to be disappointed.  Don’t forget with any DSLR you will need lenses and you will need to work out what you are going to photograph as to what lenses you will need, but that is whole other post.  Though, lenses need to be considered in your budget.


Have I just made it more confusing?  Maybe.  Really, you just need to know exactly what you want the camera for, and the more you know the easier it becomes to choose one.  It really only A Canon View Under the Jettybecomes hard when you can’t answer the questions.  The clearer you are, the more likely you are to find a camera to suit what you are wanting to do.

If I were looking for a camera today the things I know are, I want to do landscape and architectural photography.  I want the option of being able to print my images large.  I don’t mind carrying gear with me.  I want good quality lenses.  A full frame camera would be good.  I want to be able to mount it on a tripod and the camera needs to be able to bracketed shots.  My budget, $0, at the moment, so I won’t be getting anything right now, but you get the idea of what I am saying.

Know what you want to do and find the camera that will do that for you.

I know many of you have ideas about this as well, so please, share your experiences and what advice you would give others.


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