Cameras 101

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One of the best hobbies you can ever pick up is photography. You can have almost limitless fun with a camera, and preserve some of the happiest moments in your life at the same time. While everyone has a camera in their smartphone, you can take much better photos and have a lot more enjoyment with a DSLR with interchangeable lenses.

When choosing your first DSLR you need to look beyond the brand name. Features and lens compatibility are the key factors in any DSLR purchase decision. The best thing about a DSLR is your not limited to taking photos with the stock lenses that comes with the camera. You can quickly and easily switch lenses to allow you to take the perfect shot of your subject, whether it’s a raindrop in a flower or a celebrity half a mile away.

But your lens choice will be limited by which camera you choose. Each DSLR has a different lens mount and a different frame size. Generally each brand will have their own lens mount and you’ll have to buy compatible lens. Most third party lens manufacturers such as Sigma make every lens with a version that is compatible with Nikon and Canon mounts, but often fail to make lens for smaller DSLR manufacturers. So if you’re thinking about doing a specific type of photography you need to ensure that the lenses you might need will be compatible with the DSLR you’re going to buy. Generally if you stick to a Nikon such as the Nikon d3100 or Nikon d5200 you’ll be fine.

Features of the camera are also a key consideration. All the most popular DSLRs take great photos, but some make it easier for beginners than others. If you’re new to DSLR photography you’ll want a great automatic option enabling you to simply point and shoot so you don’t miss a shot, but you’ll also want a camera that is easy to learn how to take more advanced photos with. Read reviews of the cameras from other beginners to discover how good they are for you.

One factor in DSLR popularity has been the ability to take amazing high definition video without investing in a dedicated and expensive camcorder. Even professional videographers have switched to using DSLRs because of the ranges of lenses available. If you’re planning on taking video with your camera then you need to be extra careful when selecting a camera. While most DSLRs now take video, they have very different abilities. You’ll want a camera that can take at least 1080p Full HD video such as the Nikon D3100. You’ll also want to ensure that there’s no time limit on how long the video can last. Some DSLRs can’t keep the shutter open indefinitely and will eventually stop your recording after a few minutes, if you need to take lengthy videos you need to make sure you avoid purchasing this type of DSLR.

Other features found on DSLRs are more practical. Some have flip out screens that make taking photos from odd angles, or even taking selfie shots possible. Some have great software features that make taking specific shots a breeze. If you need to get your photos fast some offer connectivity to your phone or laptop, while others will require you to manually take out your MicroSD card and insert it into your computer. Make sure you know what features you want before comparing cameras.


Sarah Pinkerton

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