Buying a camera today is tough! How do you choose which brand, and then once you got that figured out you find out that there are several models from each brand!!! How are you supposed to choose which camera you should buy?


There are many good camera companies right now. And the competition between them all is good for the consumer. Just seeing what the features are between each camera brand is mind boggling, however, the features from the cheapest camera carry on to the most expensive, just that they are more intense with the more expensive. Let’s go over each major brand and see what we can learn:


So many different choices in cameras now!


  • Can I get perfect photos with the cheapest model, as good as the expensive model?


Every camera made today will let you choose your own shutter speed, F-stop number, and ISO setting. That is the basics to taking great photos. If you understand how to use all those, then you will be fine.

So, why should I spend anymore for a camera?

Let’s look at one brand of camera and see what you get by going with more money:


Nikon has 16 DSLR cameras on their website. They range from: $499.00 (US dollars) to $6499.00 (US dollars).

Also, they have: 8 camera models that are listed as: Mirrorless cameras. They range from: $859.95 (US dollars) to $5499.95 (US dollars).

So that means they have 24 different models to choose from. The first thing you need to know is what the difference is between DSLR cameras and Mirrorless cameras. Then half your job is done. To learn about that go to: CLICK HERE

Then the next job is to decide how much money you have to spend on a camera. You have the price ranges here now. Realize also that the prices quoted here are Nikon’s suggested Retail price. The price you pay could be considerably less, depending on where you shop.

Learn how to do the different settings in your camera. The one nice thing is that you can set the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO in any of these cameras. As you go more money in a more expensive camera, you will get faster shutter speeds, higher ISO range, and the aperture won’t change because that’s a function of the lens. The other thing that would change is the ability to do video better and offers more features for the videographer. In some cases you may get more durability with the camera, as they can handle more rugged wear, and waterproofing. With the faster shutter speed, you also get improvements in the light meter, the motor drive, the autofocus will be better because they use a new higher technology in their focus now. In order to learn more about the different features, go to the NIKON website here: https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/cameras.page


If you take a look at the other manufactures, they will have impressive and differences between their different models.

To study each manufacture, go to their websites, listed here:







LEICA CAMERAS: https://leica-camera.com/en-US

There are a few other, not so well known brands. If you have interest in studying their information, contact me here: Email: editor@123photogo.com


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I have been doing this special almost every week for 5 years, finding the best photographs on the internet, had photographers present their own photos, and even did a photos of the week myself, and showcased my own photos.

When you go to the main search page of your internet carrier, and type in the search bar: “Photos of the Week”, you will get photos, mostly, from news agencies. Photos that have made the news, whether good or bad. Now I have always wanted to have a good reputation with my followers, and provide them with “artistic” type photos. And that is what I intend to keep doing. I clicked on CNN, Huffington Post, The Guardian, BBC news, etc. and all I get are the news stories. For some reason, that does not inspire me. I do, however, admire the photographers who are crazy enough to get photos when even their life may be in danger. The news photographers have guts, that’s for sure.

So, today, I am presenting a collection of photos from: UNSPLASH – Photos for everyone. This is a place where good photographers can go and display their photos, and then people can use them freely, or the photographers are hoping that their name will get out there. I have used the website: PEXELS before, and found their photos to be a place where amateur photographers can display their photos, as well as a few advanced, or professional photographers can show their photos. I am looking over the photos from Unsplash, and think they are a very good source for good quality images. So, enjoy some of these photos and think of the reason why I would pick these photos. Hopefully, you will be reminded of what makes a good photograph.

Photo by v2osk on Unsplash
selective focus photography of blue kingfisher
Vincent van Zalinge with Unsplash
Photo by Sabeer Darr on Unsplash
Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash
Photo by Amanda Phung on Unsplash
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash
Photo by Waranont (Joe) on Unsplash
Photo by Aneta Foubíková on Unsplash
Photo by Martin Bisof on Unsplash
Photo by Petr Vyšohlíd on Unsplash
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash
It’s a beautiful world we live in. It takes good photographers to capture this beauty. A learned photographer is one who captures feeling.

Lanny Cottrell – Creator of 123Photogo

Photo by Manuel Meurisse on Unsplash
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing on Unsplash
“We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
Ralph Hattersley
Photo by v2osk on Unsplash
Photo by rolf gelpke on Unsplash
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
Don McCullin
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash – Iceland
Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash – Iceland
Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash – Iceland
Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash – Japan
Photo by JuniperPhoton on Unsplash – Bamboo forest in Japan
Photo by Eea Ikeda on Unsplash – Japan
“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
Dorothea Lange
Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash – Kyoto Japan
Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash – Japan

Understanding the MM in your lenses, and what you might need:

When you first own your new dslr camera, most people buy it in a kit form, where it comes with one lens, strap, bag, camera, etc. And at first, most people don’t really understand all the numbers on their lenses. Today, I wanted to talk about 1 of the numbers on your lens, so that you understand it, what it can do, and what you might need next.

person holding film strip
35 mm film….. Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Back when we had 35mm film, the standard lens was then: 50mm. What defines the standard lens, or what I liked to call it, the “normal” lens? When I worked at a camera store, the one thing we used to tell people was, “your 50 mm lens, is about the same as what your eye sees. We would take the camera with the 50mm lens, hold it up so the customer could look through the lens, then bring it down, and look with your eye at the same subject, and then back with the 50mm lens on the camera, and you found that the lens was the same as your eye, as far as magnification. There was none with the 50 mm lens.

Today we have the digital camera. And the 50mm lenses you had for your 35mm film cameras are just not the same. Every time you change the format of a camera, you change the “standard lens” or normal lens. So, the normal lens for a dslr camera is: approximately 28mm. Why would I say approximately? Because it depends on the format of your new digital camera’s sensor. Ha, you thought they were all the same, but, they are not. There is an APS-H sensor, An APS -C sensor, a FoveonX3 sensor, and a Four-thirds sensor. You would have to look at the specs of your camera to find out which one it was. But, the normal lens for a APS-H sensor, for example is roughly 30- 38 mm, where a normal lens for an APS-C sensor is: 25-32, and so on.

For sake of making things easy, let’s say all cameras’ normal lenses are 28mm. So, when you look through this 28mm lens, it looks about the same as what your eye sees: no magnification, just the same thing. Now, let’s play with this number:

Anything greater than this 28 mm, will be a telephoto lens. Everything smaller than the 28mm lens, will be a wide angle. Now, look at this:

A 56 mm lens (or closest to that number) is double the magnification of your normal lens (28mm). Or in other words, the 56mm lens will pull something that you would normally see, twice as close to you now.
Architectural Photography on M4/3 - 9-18mm vs OM 28mm with shift adapter:  Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
If 28mm lens is the new normal lens, then at 50mm (56mm is close enough), you also will lose the area that you would see, but, it would enlarge that area by double. And at 18 mm, or even 14mm, you would see twice the area as your normal lens.

Now, let’s look at other lenses. I have a lens that is 75-300mm. If we go by that magnification scale, it would be a lens that brings things closer by 3X to 9X magnification. At 300mm, that lens is now hard to handhold and get a sharp picture, unless I increase the shutter speed significantly. But, I have got used to putting my camera on a tripod when using this big lens.

Just for giggles: Olympus just announced a lens that will go from 300mm to 1000mm using the teleconverter it comes with.

The Olympus 300 – 1000mm lens is not for the faint of heart. The new super lens for sports and wildlife.
Focal Length and Angle of View — The Photo Video Guy

Notice in the diagram above, that by going from 28mm to 14mm you get twice the area in your image as the normal lens, even though the degrees of what you can see is going from 75 degrees to 114 degrees. Have you ever heard of a “Fish-eye” lens? Now, that is a super wide lens, and you get about a full 180 degree view. But, the lens may look like this:

Fisheye-Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 mounted on a Nikon F2 in the Nikon Museum.

You know what would make me nervous about using this lens, is you cannot protect the front element of your lens with a UV filter or Skylight filter. There is no way that it will fit.

The Squirrels 0048.jpg
And this is what your picture would look like with a fish-eye lens. A full 180 degrees. You can see the same sidewalk on both sides of the image.

Most camera manufactures today, make something called: A full-frame fish-eye lens:

Sigma 10 mm F2,8 EX DC HSM Fisheye.jpg
This is a “full Frame” fish-eye lens.
Image shot with a 16 mm full-frame fisheye lens before and after remapping to rectilinear perspective.

A 28mm, is your normal lens, anything larger in number is a telephoto. A telephoto pulls things closer to you, much like binoculars do, only this is a single lens, pulling the image closer to you. A 280mm lens is 10X magnification.

Anything of a smaller number than 28mm is a wide angle, meaning it gives you “more angle” in your lens, and by so doing, pushes it back further. So, a 14 mm, would, theoretically give you twice the angle as your normal lens, but pushes your main subject back twice as far in order to get that angle.

Tomorrow: we will talk a bit about those other numbers on lenses, and why some are very desirable to have.
A wide angle lens is usually the best for scenery or landscape photos.

Can photos from my cell phone compete against DSLR cameras?

I get this question thrown at me a lot. In fact, people will ask me how this photo they took with their cell phone, is it as good as mine? And I can take a look at their photos and say: Oh, you took this with your cell phone, right? And they say, yes. But, I will be honest, there are photos you have seen on my blogs that I have taken with my cell phone. And why do my cell phone photos look better than their photos? Well, here is what I know will work:

Some cell phones, are made to be good cameras:

Photo taken at night, with my Samsung Note 20 Plus

I often will go on a trip with my work, and ask this question to myself: Should I bring my dslr camera or not. And I have 2 thoughts to this: 1- If I do see a photo opportunity, I can just get it with my cell phone. And 2- My cell phone was designed to be a good camera, so, why not? But, if I am going somewhere really scenic, and a chance to capture photos of wildlife, then I bring my dslr.

So, what then, is the difference between a good cell phone camera and a dslr?

Tulips in the spring, shot with my dslr

I want to explain this carefully, so I hope you will understand this: 1- If you had a cell phone camera that bragged about it having a 24megapixel sensor, vs. a dslr camera that also had 24 megapixel sensor, which one would produce a sharper image, especially in enlargements? Answer: The dslr camera! Why, because the sensor in a dslr is much, much bigger than the sensor in your best cell phone. I like to look at this example:

Size difference between 110 film and 35mm film

A cell phone sensor is small. Look at the size of your cell phone vs a dslr. Now, this is in comparison to the old film days: Eastman Kodak made Kodacolor film in all sizes, with the most popular being the 110 film cartridge (on the left), and 35mm film (on the right). The film is exactly the same. It has the same sharpness. But, if you made an 8X10 from a 110 negative, it really didn’t look very good. But, 35mm film to an 8X10 was magnificent. It’s just that you are enlarging from a much bigger piece of film. It doesn’t have to enlarge as far as the 110 cartridge.

It seems like technology could equal it up.

Another photo taken with 35mm film changed to digital

Technology is amazing today. The question then is: will my cell phone camera be able to compete in sharpness with the dslr? I think that technology will continue to make your photos sharper, year by year. But, also realize that as your cell phone’s sensor gets better, so does the sensor in the dslr. There will always be that gap. And I think the camera manufactures will make sure of it. I am seeing a 30 X 40 print enlargement from a dslr photo that looks amazing. I would never attempt to do that with a photo from a cell phone (unless the viewer won’t ever look at it close).


You want to get the best pictures possible, you still need to use a good dslr. If you want to ever make money with your hobby, then you need to look at a dslr. If you want good photos from your cell phone, get a cell phone where they made a good camera and lens for the phone. Hope that helps.

The fence anchor, shot on a dslr
Frost on a berry bush, shot on a dslr
Photo taken with a dslr, sunset photo with a dslr
Photo of snow on pine needles. Taken with a dslr

All photos provide by Lanny Cottrell except the photo of 110 film and 35mm (and that was provided by Google Photos) and are copyrighted.

Article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo

Taking photos of Fog and mist:

If you have followed this blog site for a while, you will know that I love taking photos in the fog. The mood that it creates is unique, and besides, other people seem to like these photos too. Some parts of the country, during the cold winter air, there is fog almost every day. But, keep in mind that fog is damp, and you do have to take extra care of your camera. And also remember, that generally, this time of year if you have fog or mist, it is usually cold outside. Also remember that batteries don’t last as long in the cold, so, bring some spare batteries.

I also found a photographer that has written a great article about the important tips of shooting in the fog. Photographer Max Therry wrote a great article about shooting in the fog and mist. Check this out:

Taking beautiful images of mist and fog can be challenging, but it’s a skill worth learning. Fog and mist usually form during the night and are seen at their best in the early morning as the sun rises. Be prepared to get up early to catch the best shots!

Use Manual Focus

Manual Focus

Your autofocus will probably struggle in mist and fog. The reason being that autofocus needs to find differences in contrast to focus, and fog and mist don’t have a lot of contrast. You may struggle to focus on something even in manual—it can help to pre-focus to a set distance, or widen your depth of field by stopping your lens down.

Use a Tripod For Steady Shots

Use a Tripod

If you want to be certain of sharp images, use a tripod instead of hand-holding your camera. This will also help if you need to use slow shutter speeds, as it will reduce camera shake. You’ll need to be ready to shoot when the sun comes up, so it’s wise to get all your gear set up in plenty of time, and this includes your tripod.

Shoot in RAW Format

Shooting in RAW format is best, not only because you have a far higher resolution image than JPEG, which you can post-process without fear of degrading image quality, but because you can fine-tune your white balance in post-processing. Fog and mist can sometimes mess with your white balance settings, but if you don’t want to shoot in RAW, put your camera’s WB on overcast or cloudy.

Exposure Issues

Camera metering systems are often confused by mist and fog, as they are with snow, because fog, mist, and snow are reflective. This fools your camera into thinking that there’s more light than there actually is. The resulting images can often be underexposed, with the white of the fog becoming dark and not at all how you saw it! If you are using an auto-exposure mode, try using some exposure compensation; try it around a full stop more to start with, but experiment.

Find a Focal Point

Find a Focal Point

Because fog and mist lower the contrast and warp perspective, you sometimes need something to add a sense of distance or depth in the shot. Try adding leading lines into the image, such as a fence, hedge, wall or road that leads the eye into the photograph. You can also try framing the fog and mist by using natural features such as tree branches in the foreground of your image.

If you focus on objects that are close to you, the resulting shots will create a sense of distance in the image, as the object in the foreground will have more color and contrast. This saturation and contrast will gradually fall off the further away from the camera the objects in the image are.



You can get some great silhouette shots in mist and fog, by working out where the sun is coming up and putting your subject between you and the sun. If you shoot into the rising sun, your subject will be beautifully backlit against the fog.

Light Rays

Light Rays

Light rays in a shot of a foggy day can really make an image magical, by shining down on an object or part of a path or road. These light rays coming through the fog can be from the sun, or from any artificial light source, as long as it’s at an angle to your camera. You must be quick, though, before the sun burns the fog away.

Final Thoughts

Fog and Mist Photography

Mist and fog photos are wonderfully atmospheric. They can be either sinister and brooding, or light and beautiful, depending on what you are trying to convey. I hope that this article has at least inspired you to set your alarm, get up early, and go take some mist and fog shots!

About the Author
Max Therry‘s passion for photography developed during his time in art school, where he would borrow his friends’ cameras and take photos of everything unusual around him. When this passion gained almost obsession-like traits, he bought his own Sony system and vowed to take as many photos as he could. After about a decade of filling up multiple hard drives, he says it’s time to share his experiences with whoever’s interested.

Here’s a few of my own Fog or mist photos:


For those of you who have a DSLR camera or Mirrorless cameras, this one is especially for you. I used to work in a camera store, and one of the things our customers would ask me is: What can I do to make my pictures better? Well, I explained to them how many times people get something called “lens flare” and then described how it shows up on their photos. And “Bang”, they bought it every time.

You want better photos, don’t you? Then read this article by Brian Leng from Picture/Correct:

“What’s that weird thing on the front of your lens?” This is something I hear every time I teach a photo workshop. Well, you canʼt blame the students. They’re usually beginners, and since we were all beginners once, I try to cut them some slack.

lens hood
Various lens hoods

Lens hoods or lens shades are a vital piece of camera equipment that you must have on all lenses. Why? Because its main purpose is to prevent lens flare, which happens when you point your lens toward the sun at just the right angle. It looks like a series of translucent rings. Sometimes you’re able to see them through your eye piece and are able to change your angle, but most of the time they appear unexpectedly—and they arenʼt easy to Photoshop out.

A lens hood keeps the light from entering the lens from the sides and degrading the quality of your image. It helps improve the saturation, color, contrast, and density of the photograph.

Why do I have so many students come to class with “naked lenses”? The reason is simple—they arenʼt told that a lens hood is an essential piece of camera hardware for the production of quality images.

Lens hoods are also good protection for the front of the lens, keeping it safe from damage and fingerprints. The tulip shaped lens hoods are used on zoom lenses to accommodate the many focal lengths of the lens. Lens shades for fixed focal length lenses are not tulip shaped.

camera lens hoods
An example of lens flare

There are many different lens hoods produced by third party manufactures, which are less expensive than brand name equipment. They can be made out of plastic, metal, or rubber. Rubber lens hoods are ideal, because theyʼre best for shooting through glass; the rubber may adhere directly to the glass without slipping and thus reduce reflections. As an added bonus, rubber lens hoods can collapse to take up less room in a camera bag.

The most important thing to remember when buying a lens shade is to find one to correspond to your lens’ focal length. An incorrectly matched shade will produce “cut off” on the corners of your image, which is just as bad as lens flare, if not worse. The rim of the shade contains the necessary information for matching it to the lens. The shade will list the circumference of the corresponding lens in millimeters, and it will also show the focal length of the lens which the shade was designed to be used on.

Why some manufactures donʼt include a lens shade with the purchase of a new lens is beyond me, but what I find even more startling is that camera stores that donʼt recommend lens shades to their customers. Itʼs no wonder so many people fail to realize the necessity of this equipment. I personally have lens hoods or shades for all of my lenses and use them whether Iʼm photographing indoors or outdoors.

how a lens hood works
How light slips through the sides of the lens without a lens hood.

If youʼd like to improve the quality of your images, I highly recommend that you buy a shade for all of your lenses.

About the Author:
Brian Leng (calphotoworkshops) is a photography educator at Santa Monica College, Pasadena City College, and Glendale Community College. He leads photography workshops around the downtown Los Angeles area and hosts overnight workshops in many locations in the Southwest. He is a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography and has worked as a freelance photographer in Los Angeles for over 30 years.

Here are some examples of lens flair on photos:

lens flare as paranormal angel photos explained - NEW ZEALAND STRANGE  OCCURRENCES SOCIETY
Was this something paranormal, or lens flare. When the photo was first viewed, the author thought he caught a picture of an alien space ship, but in reality, it was just a lens flare (light, striking the front element of the lens)
This is hard to do, but, this photographer was purposely trying to get the light in the background, to create a special effect. And then when the photo came back, they noticed the lens flare on the right of the photo. AAAHHH
Shooting directly into the sun or some other light, you are playing with fire. It may seem really a good idea, but, you will almost always have lens flare, that could destroy your photo.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Winning Photos from new Photographers !

You know we usually put on the Photos of the week, images of flowers, mountains, etc. But there is a new wave of photographers out there that are taking some incredible photos as well. Definitely worthy to be photos of the week. But, there ideas and thoughts that go in to their photography seems exciting and different. And this is the place to show the great stuff they are doing. Let’s go!

Photo by Lanny Cottrell, this is a night photo, and the only light in this picture is from the street lights, or foliage lighting
Photo by Lanny Cottrell, photo taken at night time, in a parking lot. The spotlight was accentuated by the misty night air.

cottage in forest among trees in daytime
Photo by Marta Wave on Pexels.com
happy woman with flying hair on river coast
Photo by Tatiana Twinslol on Pexels.com
silhouette of person holding glass mason jar
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com
crop woman with translucent veil
Photo by Francesca Zama on Pexels.com
adventure beautiful boardwalk bridge
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
cold dark eerie environment
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
light landscape sky sunset
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
mirror fragments on gray surface with the reflection of a person s arm
Photo by Thiago Matos on Pexels.com