Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Which is the Best Digital Camera For You?

What I learned from my Digital Photography Class, Part 1:

Question: Which is the best camera for you?
Answer: The camera you have!

Our instructor's point was that most of us are not using all the features on our current camera and we can use the camera we own to learn a great deal about digital photography. My single lens reflex camera is a Canon EOS Rebel XT, shown below. I chose it because I could use either automatic or manual mode, and because I could change from the lens that came with it to either a telephoto or wide angle lens. It can store a LOT of photos, depending on the quality image I choose. It will keep me busy learning about photography for years to come.

It's a wonderful camera and I really love it, especially as I learn more and more about what I can do with it. The only drawback? It's a bit heavy to carry, especially when I am out bird watching and also carrying a pair of binoculars, or when I am riding my bike. And it was expensive to start with.

Our instructor suggested that for occasions when portability is an issue, I might consider getting a digital point and shoot camera like the one my sister has, shown below. It is small and lightweight, and easy to slip into a pocket wherever I might be heading. The lenses in these cameras are getting better and better, there is built-in optical image stabilization (vibration reduction), and the small cameras are becoming more affordable all the time.

I realize that this is just a very superficial description of these two types of cameras. For more information, see this Consumer Reports guide to digital cameras.


T Fab P said...

I have the Digital Rebel also. The reason I chose it was because i had been shooting film in a Nikon SLR for years and when I bought my first digital, had trouble dealing with it because it was light and small and I liked the heft, made me feel like I was holding something. Always loved the Rebel. Maqz also shoots with a rebel, have you seen some of the pix he has posted on his blog? Birds, houses and scenic are his thing...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Excellent! Your instructor is very wise...and correct. I know that I get lazy and don't use my manual settings on my Canon PowerShot like I should.
But gee golly! It sure takes suchawesome photos in automatic, that I don't feel it's necessary to read up on the manual. lol!

I really should, though. Like you said, I could learn so much more about photography by expanding my experimentation with the manual settings.

I love Canon! But the only thing I wish was better in my Canon PowerShot was the video capabilities. I wish they were clearer......but I suppose that's just nitpicking and not why we really have cameras anyway. :)

Great post.


Linda said...

Interesting. We have a 'big' Pentax which I can't really use, and a small Canon Ixus which I keep in my pocket all the time and with which I take most of my blog photos. But I long to get more reality of colour into my shots, which is where the Pentax will win out I suppose. Tho I am finding out more and more about the Ixus by trial and error.