Lucy Baum Photography | What Wikipedia can't tell you about what kind of camera to buy

What Wikipedia can't tell you about what kind of camera to buy

lucybaumphotographer.comlucybaumphotographer.comWhat camera should you buy?


One of my upcoming workshops on Feb 22nd is Camera Basics. Since advertising it out there on the great inter-web, I've had several ladies emailing me and asking me if they can take the class if they have so-and-so model of camera, or if I cover their particular model in the class. 

Most cameras nowadays, save for perhaps some really basic models, all come with similar features. Photographic concepts are universal regardless of an actual make or model, although certain models may have added features that others don't, to give them a competitive edge, or to give more options. So basically, if your camera has options other than just "auto", you'd be able to learn and apply the basics of photography with my workshop.

I often get asked about what camera to buy - there are literally hundreds of models out there and it's impossible for me know everything that's out there in order to make a recommendation on a specific camera. But, here are 6 tips to help you with your decision:

1) Know thyself

Buying a camera that's out of sync with who you are will infinitely increase the chances of that camera getting no use and collecting dust. Are you a grab and go girl? If so, don't get a huge camera that can't fit into your purse. Are you a serious hobbyist? Maybe you do need something bigger that has its own bag that you can bring along. 

2) Level of Experience

Sometimes it's tempting to get top of the line equipment because you want to have the opportunity for the best shots. But it can also be intimidating if you lack the know-how to make best use of all the features, and that can also lead to that camera becoming a paperweight that's left at home. If you're a beginner, consider a camera that has easy to use features. If you're serious about photography, look for something that's slightly more of a challenge than your current level, so that you can 'grow' into it.

3) Forget the Trend

Always assess your lifestyle and your needs above all else, rather than going with what's hot. There is an ongoing joke that as soon as you invest in something, the next generation thing is already on the horizon. Trendy doesn't necessarily mean it's right for you. You may see the latest and flashiest cameras when you're out and about that may make your plain, last-years-model look a bit like a relic, but if it works for you, forget the trend and go with what's comfortable. After all, it's about the best photos you can take.

4) Stop the Mega-Pixel Madness

Are more mega-pixels better than less? After a certain point, the answer is no. For a technical explanation you can go here, but in simple terms, mega-pixels matter most if you are printing billboard-sized photos, not your albums of 4x6's or 8x10's from Shutterfly. Case in point: for the first 4 years of my shooting career, I still shot with an entry-level dslr with less mega-pixels than most camera phones. And I could still make a beautiful album or wall art for my clients. 

5) What's the subject?

Are you the self-proclaimed queen of selfies at the drive-thru of Starbucks? Are you a mom of three that's following those munchkins around with a camera for an eventual photo book or 20? Think about what you'll use the camera for mostly, and find a model that suits. Selfies only? Maybe your phone is even enough!

6) Understand that the camera is only the tool

Another ongoing joke is when a photographer is told at a dinner party: "Your photos are beautiful, you must have a great camera" to where the photog replies "This meal was delicious, you must have a great stove". The camera is a tool. Yes, certain features are important in creating great images, but the most important part is YOU - the person behind the camera. Your vision, your intent. Some of the most beautiful imagery on this planet was taken years ago with cameras that had none of the bells and whistles that cameras today have, and some of the worst imagery on the planet was taken with the best equipment available. Photographers like Lee Morris also dispel this myth - in 2010 he did an entire fashion shoot with his Iphone. And famously, superstar photographer Chase Jarvis coined the acronym "tbcitotwy" or "the best camera is the one that's with you".

If you're ready to take on the challenge of learning more about photography, book a class with me today! Classes are small, intimate, and you don't need any prior experience or a 'fancy' camera. You can even take a workshop if you have future plans on upgrading a camera - that way you'll already be armed with the knowledge of how to use it when you get it! Don't forget, I also pull a name to win a free mini session with me. What's not to love about that?

Sounds like fun! Take me to the class page to book online!


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