cartoon courtesy : What the Duck
Q. “I love your photos, what kind of camera do you use?“
A. See cartoon above and nicely rephrase the question. We photographers can be a sensitive bunch.
Q. “I want to buy a good camera what should I get?” .
A. Unfortunately this particular question has too many variables (budget, your level of expertise, for what purpose you will use the camera) for me to answer accurately. I always refer people to tech websites like CNET.com because they review the latest and greatest. Me, I have had the same camera and lenses for years but if I am being honest, my Nexus 5 cell phone camera is the one I use the most.
Q. “Canon or Nikon??“.
A. This is like asking me ‘Mac or PC?’. My answer will always be Mac. And Nikon. That does not mean PCs are terrible (okay a little) or Canons suck (never used one).. but its just my opinion.
Q. “Should I get an SLR?”.
A. My question back to you is:
a. Will you commit to learning how to use it or are you going to stick it in AUTO mode, use the kit lens, and let the pop-up flash come up when there is plenty of ambient light? Be truthful with yourself. It takes time and commitment to learn to use your camera and all the features that you paid $$ to get with a DSLR.
b. Will you take it with you everywhere? DSLRs are bigger than point and shoots. They are not as easy to throw in the diaper bag or purse so sometimes its easier to just leave the buggers at home. Believe me, I use my cell phone camera a lot when out and about and it takes pretty decent photos!
Think about it. If you are going to spend that much money on a SLR, make sure you use it and use it well!
Q. “ I have decided to get an SLR, what lens should I get?“.
A. First up, just buy the body. Don’t buy the kit lens. Do NOT buy the kit lens because you have committed to learn to use the camera (see question above). Instead, spend a $100 and buy the 50mm 1.8. It is a fixed lens which means you cannot zoom. But you have feet, so you can go further away or closer by walking. Brilliant! I use the 50mm 1.4 for 90% of my photographs, even today (august 2013). Why the nifty fifty? Because it will force you to learn the ins and outs of your camera.
Q. “What settings are you using?”
A. This tells me that you don’t yet know what you are doing. That is OKAY. Get the book Understanding Exposure and well, understand exposure! You MUST understand the relationship between ISO, Shutter speed and Aperture. Yes you can use the camera in Aperture mode… but you still need to understand what is going on.
Q. “How do you memorize all the camera settings?“.
A. I don’t. With experience I have come close to knowing what my readings will be given a particular light but I always use my in-camera meter and the histogram to check my exposure and when I am shooting with film, I use a lightmeter.
Q. “What is in your camera bag?” .
A. My old faithful, the the Nikon D700 . The lenses I have are 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 35mm 2.0 and 24-70mm 2.8.
Q. “What software do you use?“.
A. I shoot in RAW and use Adobe Lightroom 3.0. It is brilliant for organizing and editing photographs. Adobe Photoshop Version_(whatever is the latest) for tweaks.
Q. “Can you give me a couple of tips to get good photos of my kids?“.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your photography! Good luck!
Hope this information was useful!