I am frequently asked this type of question: What camera do you use? Which one is the best for me? Which one should I buy?
There are many, many options on the market in the area of photography – which makes it that much harder for beginners to find the right equipment. And these questions are not easy to answer. They are comparable with: “Which car should I buy?”
Question 1: Why do I want to start to take photos?
For social networks like Instagram, Facebook & Co etc., a good smart phone is usually enough, because the resolution of the published photos is also kept very low.
Most smart phones offer a standard camera resolution of at least 10MP, which would be more than adequate.
Here are some photos I took with a smart phone. There are a few features you could look out for when you are buying one:
Automatic mode /landscape mode
I took a series of pictures for this one and chose the best picture:
Waterproof smart phone: There are many models which can also be used under water:
As you can see, modern smart phones offer a myriad of functions that are necessary for taking a good photo.
Question 2: What would I like to photograph?
This is really the decisive issue as far as buying a camera for long-term use is concerned. This is because it is often the lenses that make the difference when it comes to particular subjects.
For pictures with lots of details or portraits with unobtrusive backgrounds, a model with exchangeable lenses is recommended. Certain lenses also play a big role for landscape photography or city snaps.
For example, here I took a photo with a 50mm, 1.8F (aperture). The background here is blurry so that only the plant in the foreground has the necessary sharpness:
And here, too, it was important to me that only the monkeys in the foreground are sharp. Nevertheless, you have to keep in mind that the lens requires a certain distance to capture the whole subject.
At night the lights morph into so-called “Bouquet” lights. This effect comes about when there are enough lights in the background.
Wide angle lenses are especially suitable for landscape shots, because they allow for capturing a much broader view of the subject. They are also useful for rooms because you can include a lot more from a shorter distance.
The consideration then becomes one of personal budget and preference for a particular design.
Regular cameras without single-lens reflex have manual settings – just like SLR cameras – which allow you to determine the aspect and appearance. This facilitates, for example, long exposures or HDR shots.
Question 3: When will I use the camera?
I travel a lot and it is therefore important to me not to have to carry with me 30kg worth of equipment.
Before you decide on a camera you should definitely hold it, because every camera has a different weight and also a different feel to it.
I always recommend a smaller camera to start with which will allow me to also swap lenses. This will enable you to stay flexible in your choice of subject and keep experimenting.
Then, when you have gained technical expertise, you can upgrade to an expensive SLR camera. Don’t forget – the lenses for this type of camera are often not exactly cheap either.