A New Year, and now you want to become a great photographer, do you?  What to do first:


soul 4
Photo compliments of Soul Alchemy


So you have decided that you have seen some great photos, OR, you took a great photo yourself with your smart phone camera.  Maybe you think you have the talents for becoming a great photographer.  Perhaps you do.  Let’s take a look at what to do if you have now developed an interest in starting photography as a hobby, or, maybe even a career.

1- Let’s go shopping for a camera.  There are several ways to do this.  First of all, let me tell you that you cannot become a good photographer by using your cell phone alone.  It may brag about having 16 or 24 megapixels, but, it is still in such a small sensor, it does not compare to the 16 megapixel camera in a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera.  If you are going to get serious about photography, you will want to look at one of the DSLR cameras that are on the market today.  And you will not become a serious photographer by always taking the advice from your friend, who just happens to have a camera.  Why, let me explain that one:

Here is a list of all the camera manufactures today:


A camera is an individual thing.  There are so many good ones today, that it is hard to say one is better than another.  As I look at all the great photos that are being taken today, it is amazing that they are all being taken by different cameras.  Why would that be?  That is why I am an advocate of each person and finding out for themselves which camera has the features, has the best feel, and the best needs for them.  When I worked in a camera store, In my career I owned almost every brand at least once, because I was impressed with each one in their own way and with their own features at one point.  Could one camera provide all the features I need or want in one camera today?  Probably.  And then I would want to handle it and feel it, and see if I like the way it handles for me.  For me, and not my neighbor.

2-  Go into a reliable camera store and find someone who is not biased about cameras, and try several on for size.  No, we are not really wearing these cameras, but, you need to try all the different cameras and see which features you like with the budget you have,


and see what camera you really like.  Beware of the camera salesman who seems to be pushing one camera on you during their presentation, because that just means that they make more money on commissions with this one.  I have found out that most of the camera stores today, if they want to sell their cameras, have to even be priced as good as the mail order giants like Amazon, and so forth.  I found it refreshing to see that they have a camera package in our local camera store the same price as Amazon.  The camera manufactures do want the camera stores to succeed as well.  And if you don’t know much about photography, it is nice to talk to someone who does, while you are trying to buy something that could ultimately change your future.

3-  In choosing a camera, there are, what I call, 3 categories:  The basic automatic camera that does not have interchangeable lenses,  The DSLR intermediate camera with interchangeable lenses, and the professional grade, or cameras made for the professional photographers.   What should you choose first?   Well, the basic automatic camera, I think is for the person who wants to take good snapshots, and throws the camera in the glove compartment and doesn’t want to worry about settings.  Such as the Canon Powershot series of cameras

PowerShot ELPH 360 HS Purple

Or the Nikon series of Coolpix cameras:

Photo of COOLPIX W300

These cameras take amazing photos.  But, the cameras are limited to what it can do.  But, I am impressed with the quality of these cameras and the way the automatic features of these cameras.  If you don’t want to take the bigger camera with you, then this is what you might think of.

BUT, the serious photographer will be thinking of the DSLR camera.  That will mean they will have the automatic, the same as the above small cameras, just more variables to the automation, which will make it even more interesting.  But, you will be able to control things like shutter speeds, apertures, ISO settings, etc.  And that is all in another lesson.

Today, I just wanted to guide you to what camera you should buy.

Now whether to buy the professional camera or just the entry level or medium level DSLR?   Here is a few samples (as of this writing) of some popular DSLR cameras:







So, the above cameras are just a few of the most popular right now.  I know I have missed some important brands, like Pentax, Leica, etc. and all those make great cameras too, and deserve their picture here as well.  But, do take a look at all the different brands you can.

At one time, the only reason to buy a professional camera was durability.  Today, that is still true, but, the professional camera does have much more features that professionals alone might find more valuable.  But, the novice photographer, or the “serious” but not professional photographer should be happy with the entry level or advanced amateur cameras.  Ranging in price from $350 to $850 approximately US dollars.   I would like to say, allow a few extra dollars in the near future for some accessories.  You will find that you will want some soon, after you learn your camera.


So for now, get ready to learn about photography.  Enjoy the journey.  The practice part of taking photos is the best part.  And of course, stay reading to this blog site for more great tips of how to use your camera, and how to become the greatest photographer ever.






Article written by: Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo


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