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familEs who take pictures...
If you are anything like me, than you love to take pictures. Pictures of your dogs, pictures of your kids, and even the rare pictures of your family. Pictures grow to be a big marker and memory holder for any and all important events in life. Things like your child's first steps or first words. Or maybe even your first family vacation to anywhere really. We are always looking for ways to capture these moments in as much clarity as possible.
What we tend to run into though is in the heat of the moment we are left with taking pictures with our phones. And while phone cameras are getting better every day, they still do not match the quality and precision of having an actual camera. Not just digital cam areas either. The quality that people tend to seek more and more nowadays is a professional grade product. But no one has the time to actually sit down and sort through all the cameras and lengthy reviews or comparisons on the web. We end up from all of it confused and with an expensive camera we can not use.
We get talked into on all these big sites that you should get the best cameras you can afford. This may sound like sound advice, but it ends up leaving many upset and frustrated. What we need are cameras that fit our needs and our budgets. Ones that don't leave us scratching our heads or spending hours buried in tutorials.
So that is what I aim to do today; to provide you with the information you need to make a well informed decision that won't leave you missing moments or taking bad pictures that leave you upset.
I do though recommend if you are more looking into a brief "Get to know" guide on getting into photography, that you check out my article about my hobby of photography.
Entry Level Cameras
When we think about entry level, we tend to think about the simplest product or job you could do. Something that requires little effort to learn and perfect. But many times, even entry level products are advanced with features we don't quite understand. Things like Optical Zoom or Digital Zoom, or even things like 2.8/f. Throwing out ambiguous terms to the novice is like telling a 16 year old who just got their license that they are driving in the Indy 500. While granted, some people learn fast enough or have enough intuition to pull off such a feat.
Most of us are not at that skill level right away. We need time to understand features and what we are getting so we can function properly and avoid frustration. And having a clear grasp on concepts before we make a purchase will help us understand what we should look for in terms of the activities we will be using our products for. In this case we will explain some of the features you might encounter when buying a new camera.
A few key terms we want to know when we compare cameras are the following:
Point and Shoot is typically a term used to describe a camera that you would be able to use right out of the box. Cameras like the FujiFilm FinePix S4200 or even the Sony DSCH300/B digital camera are great point and shoot cameras right out of the box.
Point and shoot cameras typically offer some level of Optical zoom, or the physical zoom capability of the lens on the rig. Optical zoom is better manipulated on SLR cameras though.
Other cameras might offer you additional digital zoom which allows you to zoom in further than the physical zoom of the lens though you lose some quality the further you zoom in on an object.
SLR or Single Lens Reflex cameras are typically cameras that allow you to remove and replace your optics or lenses with different variations which changes the way images turn out. The most common SLR cameras are DSLR cameras.
What should you buy?
The type of camera you end up buying should be based on a simple question which is how much time do you intend to spend using this camera? The answer you have to this question will determine if you should save your money and get a simple point and shoot like the two cameras listed above, or if you should get a camera like the Canon Rebel T6 or the Nikon D3200 both of which are DSLR cameras.
DSLR cameras are great for enthusiasts who are looking to grow with their camera. People who have time and a desire to learn. There is always a learning curve to DSLR cameras so if you decide to go this route, be sure to have the patience to watch a few tutorials and not be frustrated when images don't exactly turn out the first time around. These cameras require maintenance as well. So getting the knowledge of when to service your cameras is crucial.
For those of you looking to just take better pictures but don't have much time to devote, just go with a point and shoot for now. They are inexpensive and easy to maintain than DSLR cameras. And due to their inexpensive pricing, having a few for the family especially on vacations makes it all the more worthwhile. Point and shoot cameras are also great if you have a young photographer in the family. Giving them a device that is inexpensive and easy to maintain allows them to focus more on content and quality of their work which further inspires their creativity.
All in all, you have the make the choices that are right for your budget and level on interest and time commitment to the rig. But no matter the direction you go with your camera purchase, have fun with it and continue to enjoy those moments. And for those of you who may not be ready to make the leap to a digital camera, there are plenty of tutorials around the web (and coming soon here) on how to take better pictures with your phone and editing on your device as well.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
-The Undercover Dad
A collection of experiences fathers from all walks of life. From the good and the bad. All complimented by products that support the writers and content creators.