Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Which Camera Is Right for Me? Continued

Last week we began getting into the specifics of DSLR cameras, dependent upon photography needs. Today we will continue with more expectations for professionals. In general, pro photographers spend around $2,500 or more. Both the Canon EOS 7D and EOS 5D Mark III are great examples of more affordable cameras that still provide features to meet your expectations. Many photographers end up spending more on lenses than the body. Balance your budget between both and remember you do not need to spend $8,000 on a camera.
  • Documentary/travel/wildlife: All three have their pictures printed in high quality, either in magazines, books, or printed for large displays in exhibits, etc. Resolution should be 12 megapixels or more, preferably with a full-frame sensor. The frame rate should be at least 5fps and a 20-shot burst depth. Video is not as important but a 30fps for video can come in handy—if you think you will use it. Wildlife photographers will want a lightweight body as they trek across terrain.
  • Studio/landscape/fine art: Portraits, fashion, products, ads, abstract—you need a camera that can handle it all. 12 megapixels is the minimum but 14 or more is preferred. The frame rate need only be 3fps or more with a burst depth of 6 or more. Again, video not entirely important. Instead look for great raw-conversion software, flash-control features, and a range of color modes.
  • Wedding/events: A camera with at least 12 megapixels and a full-frame sensor is good place to start. 3fps or more for the frame rate is ideal with a 6-shot burst depth. If you plan on taking video, 30fps with manual controls for shutter and aperture is ideal, but not the only option. Also look for excellent flash control features, white-balance controls, and a solid battery.
Do not feel confined by these recommendations. Even without an expensive camera full of feature after feature, photographers can still take amazing shots. Equipment is important, but skill reigns supreme.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Which Camera Is Right for Me?

A few weeks ago we delved into the different types of DSLR cameras available on the market. You feel a bit more confident, but you are still not sure which features to look for or how much to spend on a camera. It all depends on your purpose. Are you an amateur or a student? Are you interested in sports or news photography? Let's go over the features each type of photographer needs.
  • Hobbyists: Not ready to make an expensive plunge? Do not spend more than $600 for the body and starter lens. Resolution can be anywhere from 6-15 megapixels with a frame rate of 2fps to 5fps and a burst depth of 5 to 6 shots. Also look for a compact body and a lightweight zoom lens.
  • Students: Students who are seriously considering photography as a career should spend less than $1,000 on a body and starter lens. 12-18 megapixels offers great resolution. The frame rate should be 5fps to 8fps or faster with a burst depth of 10 shots or more. AF speed and tracking should be the best you can afford and video should be 24 or 30fps. The DSLR should have a comprehensive viewfinder, good raw-conversion software, and comprehensive flash-control features.
  • News/sports/action: Whether your pictures are printed in magazines, newspaper, or on the Internet, a DSLR for you is a serious investment. Expect to pay $1,000 and up for the body. Resolution needs to be 10 megapixels or more while the body all metal and weather-resistant. The frame rate should be 8fps to 10fps and a burst depth of 40 shots or more. Video should also be 30fps or faster. Purchase an extensive telephoto lens and look for simultaneous raw-plus-JPEG capture, flexible white-balance, and good battery life.
Check back next week when we dive into other types of photography and the best features to have.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Look at the Sigma DP2 Merrill Digital Camera

Photographers in the market for a high-end point-and-shoot with all the latest advancements, need look no farther than the Sigma DP2 Merrill digital camera. Foveon devotees will flock to this camera which boasts 46 megapixels thanks to a Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor. For those who are unaware, the Foveon X3 Sensor features three layers of pixels, each made up of slightly more than 15 megapixels and each layer sensitive to a different color --hence why Sigma can say it is a 46-megapixel camera. The result is vibrant and detailed photographs.

Readers might recognize the technology from the SD1, a DSLR. However, this digital camera features a high-performance fixed lens, a 32mm F2.8 lens to be more precise. Unlike a DSLR, this camera is lightweight and compact, making it easy to tote around on your photography adventures. It also has the ability to shoot in both RAW and JPEG, simultaneously too, giving photographers greater flexibility. Manual focus is available for use and there is even a focus ring just like on an SLR –a feature you do not often find on a compact camera. Also like a DSLR, the DP2 has a 3.0'' TFT LCD to quickly change menu options.

The DP2 Merrill is ideal not just for serious hobbyists and amateurs, but professionals who may not be able to tote a large camera and equipment.