Choosing a Camera

Choosing a Family Camera

Some folks rely on their smart phones to take pictures and that's OK.  But there is nothing like a real camera to record events through your lens.  Much is made of the number or pixels your camera captures.  It is important if you plan to make enlargements; however, 10 megapixels is more than enough to make 5 x 7 enlargements.  What is more important are the features on your camera and the quality of your lens.  Here are some considerations to factor into your purchase:

  • • For most of us, two cameras are better than one.   Why?  Because sometimes you just want a pocket camera to take snapshots.  At other times, you may want to make higher quality pictures.  Fully featured cameras are larger and heavier than simple point-and-shoot cameras.

  • • Flash is another consideration.  External flash units allow for longer distance lighting, but you cannot use an external flash unless your camera has a flash shoe.  Also, an external flash can be used for bounce lighting.  This means the flash is aimed at the ceiling and facial shadows are less of a problem.  An automatic built-in flash is handy, but can you manually activate it outdoors?  With a fill-in flash, it will soften the harsh shadows caused by the sun.
  • • Through the glass shots.  If you are taking pictures through glass, you don't want the automatic flash.   Your picture will be ruined by the reflection.  Most quality cameras are capable of using natural lighting by opening up the lens aperture and using a slower shutter speed.
  • • Specialized pictures require special features.  As an example, extreme close-ups such as jewelry or stamps require a macro lens.  Sports photography and night pictures also need special features to compensate for the extremes.  Sports require a very fast shutter and night pictures need a lens with a large aperture.
  • • Lens quality is critical for quality enlargements.  Cheap lenses distort the pictures around the edges.  Always discuss your needs with an informed camera shop person so you will make the correct decision before you actually make your purchase. Personally, I prefer either Canon or Nikon equipment.
  • • Most cameras have zoom lenses; however, there are differences in zoom and wide angle capacity.  Wide angle enables you to take pictures from further back when there is no room to back up further.
  • • Lastly, a camera with a viewfinder helps you to see your subject matter better than on which has only a screen.

Make sure you get training on how to use your new camera before the wedding or vacation.


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