Good cameras can take BAD Photos, and Bad cameras can take GOOD photos !
This is one of my favorite subjects. Because I hear all the time: “I just need a better camera”, or “If only I had a better camera”. So many times we blame a lot of the bad photos we get on the camera, when in reality it is not the camera at all, it is the photographer. But, there are situations, where the camera was to blame for the bad photo, let me be truthful with that, but, the photographer didn’t understand the limitations that the camera had. So, let’s get into what you need to do to make a good photo no matter what you have.
A “bad camera” was designed to do a certain job.
How do we define a “bad” camera? One that is so cheap it isn’t supposed to take good photos? A child’s camera? A cell phone camera? An old camera? A point and shoot camera? There are so many definitions I have heard that categorize “bad” cameras. But, in reality all of the above cameras could take a good photo. Let’s look at a few of them.
- A cheap camera: Usually a cheap camera has a real basic plastic lens, maybe even a plastic camera that has been made very inexpensive. No settings to make, and may or may not have a flash. A true point and shoot camera. To be honest with you, the manufacture had designed this camera to work outside in sunlight, or inside with a flash from a distance of about 10 feet. Now, you know it’s limitations, you can take great photos. The problem arises when you go outside of those boundaries. So, then people try to take selfies with it (yuk), or outside when the sun has gone down, or a group photo with flash, or whatever, outside the parameters of the camera, and then they realize that this camera is lousy. Well, the camera manufacture thinks that for about 85 percent of your photos that you take, you will be taking either scenery photos or people photos with flash at 10 feet, and they are probably right, 85 percent of the time. And you will get good photos. And you throw it in your purse and move on. And then you grab it out of your purse and take some more and go through the same routine time after time, and now they start getting fuzzy all the time. Now you are thinking this camera is lousy. What’s wrong? No one told you you have to keep the lens clean. You keep grabbing it out of your purse to take photos, and your thumb grabs the lens each time, leaving a nice big fingerprint on the lens. That’s why your photos start to become blurry.
How can anyone claim to get a good photo, even with a good camera if you have fingerprints all over your lens.
- A cell phone camera: I can’t get too far explaining the problem with a cell phone camera than mentioning the number one problem with this type of camera is the fingerprint issue. The cell phone is always in your hand, and you always grab it out of your pocket, or purse, or wherever to take a photo. It seems like nearly always that cell phone is plagued with fingerprints. I take my fair share of photos with my cell phone, but, before I take any photo, I clean the lens with a lens cleaning cloth. So, this is the biggest limitation to a cell phone camera. The next thing about a cell phone camera, depending on the camera is that they are limited to a small lens and resolution. Meaning, you really can’t blow your photos up to very big because they only appear to be sharp on your phone but, are not sharp if you want a big 16X24. I know it says it has a resolution of 16megapixel, but, that is on a sensor about 1/3 the size of a DSLR. So, as long as you know your cell phone’s limitations, you should be good as well.
- That’s the same with all the cameras listed above. You have to realize that all the old cameras, cheap cameras, cell phone cameras, etc, have about the same limitations. There are probably some that have some automation to it, so rad their manual. That is the the first key to getting anything out of the “bad” camera you have.
Now to take advantage of a bad camera:
If you can now learn the basic steps of composition, and lighting, then even you can take good photos with a bad camera. With no experience required, you could go outside and take gorgeous photos of the landscape.
Remember these steps always:
- Always check to make sure your lens is clean.
- Know the rule of thirds in your composition
- Diagonal lines in composition makes for great interest in composition
- Watch for odd lighting that may affect your photos, like backlight (shooting into the light from a window or door during daylight)
- Watch out for poor light that may make your camera shake
- And take enough photos to practice with to find out what your camera’s limitations are.
So good luck, and happy shooting.