New book

Photo Nuts and Post is the third installation in the Photo Nuts series and it just launched!
Written by professional photographer, Neil Creek, it gives you the tools you need to make processing work for you. Even if you have experience in editing, you can always learn new tricks.
To celebrate, they are offering 33% off if you buy today -Click here to read more!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What if you don't want to go pro?

Several readers have been asking me what type of camera I would recommend for the person that doesn't want to be a photographer, but just maybe good photos for their blog or to take on vacation, etc.

I know how investing in camera equipment can add up fast. I really never sat down and added up how much that I've spent on glass, bodies, accessories, etc., I would probably faint. But, I also know that all that investment MAKES me too, so it's a good investment.

But what about the amateur photographer or a mom that wants a camera a bit nicer, but more affordable?

Now, what defines "affordable" may mean something very different for me then it does someone else. This may fall true with what type of camera as well. With that, I will tell you that to have a decent camera, I think a camera that allows you to change lens is a must. You can still fall into the affordable zone (which to me would be under $700). Do I still have your interest? Good!

Before I actually talk about what camera(s) I would recommend, I would like to break down what you should think about in terms of what you need. When I first started looking for a camera, I did a lot of research on the different brands of cameras, what I wanted out of the camera and where I could go with it.

My dad (who got me into photography) was a photographer briefly. He studied under a well known photographer and learned a lot of photography wisdom from this man. One thing that he passed on to me stuck with me when I was shopping for the right camera. He told me that his teacher told him that while you need a decent body (camera body, that is ;)), the lens is where your bigger investment should be.

When looking for a camera, don't get so hung up on the mega pixels on a more expensive body.

So, that brings us to lenses. My opinion is if you can handle it, invest a bit more in your glass. Don't start cringing! I know we are talking affordability-I still am. For someone just looking to shoot nicer photos for their blog, of their children, or even to take on vacation, you can really get away with just two lenses- a 50mm, and a 70-200mm zoom lens.

I know their are other great lenses out there, I'm just throwing out two that I think would take care of most needs for someone on a budget without having to miss out.

I think I have about 15 different lenses at this point (some are a backup), but these two mainly stay on my cameras most of the time. I love the boketh each give me in my photos and they serve a lot of my purposes.

Like I mentioned earlier, invest a bit more for your lens-and don't buy the kit lens that companies offer with the body. Use that difference for the other two. Kit lens can work if you really have to get it, don't get me wrong. I just wished that someone would have told me this when I purchased my camera for the first time.

So, have I helped you any? A little? I hope so! Now, on to my recommendations. I don't represent any of these brands.


Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i $548

You can't beat the price! It has a wide range ISO setting 100-3200 and compatible with 60 lenses.


Nikon D3100 $548

I've been seeing these go on sale lately-would be worth looking. Nikon lenses are reasonable as well.


Pentax Kx $449

I love Pentax. Pentax cameras stand up to Canon and Nikon with reasonable prices. The Pentax kx comes in cool colors too. I love the red one!

Ok, if you just want a simple point and shoot that can stand up to the big boys, I would have to say you might like to get the Canon PowerShot S95. It runs around $395 and gets good reviews for being travel friendly.

Hope this helps you in deciding and if you have any suggestions, feel free to share with us!