Monday, April 16, 2012

Why Do You Need A Better Camera?

"I wish I could take better photos. I really just need to buy a better camera."

I hear that comment all the time.  I've even said it myself.  And I just happen to have a little story that goes along with it...

Back in 2010 when I was spending hours and hours trying to decide which camera to upgrade to, my hubby asked me a question that I thought was pretty funny.  It went something like this...

"Why do you need a better camera if all you do is mess up your pictures anyway?"

I've had to convince myself that question was asked in pure love:)
But I'm pretty sure he was talking about my photos like this one...

His question made me laugh but I also had to think of a pretty good answer of exactly why I needed a better camera.

It's been said a million times that "better equipment does not make you a better photographer", but a good photographer can absolutely do wonderful things when given better equipment.  

The camera and lenses I was using at the time were actually pretty decent considering they were non-pro models.  But I knew there was better and I was getting so frustrated with the slow focus on my lenses.  I felt that I was missing so many great expressions because my lens just wasn't fast enough to capture the exact moment.  And the color quality just wasn't as smooth as I was wanting.  I'm not trying to bash my pentax camera, just stating that even though I was using all my buttons and options to their fullest extent, I still wasn't getting the quality that I was wanting in my images.  

But why did I need better quality in my images if all I do is mess them up?  Because I wanted to start with the absolute best image so that my options are open to do whatever I want with it.  There's just no substitute for starting with the best image possible.  

So I needed wider apertures to get better bokeh and more creative control...I needed higher ISO options to get better exposure in low light...I needed faster focusing on my lenses so I wasn't wasting time.  

Here's an example of a 2 similar photos: the one on the left was a "behind the scenes" shot taken by my assistant using my old pentax.  The one on the right was taken by me within a few minutes using the camera I upgraded to, a Nikon d300s.  

These are both SOOC, no editing.  I set both the cameras before the shoot at as close to the same settings as I could.  The widest aperture on the lens for the left photo though was 3.5.  I was able to use an aperture of 2.8 for the photo on the right.  Can you tell the difference in detail, clarity and overall appeal of the 2 photos?  I used a 50mm 1.4 lens on the Nikon.  And when you're working with kiddos this young, a lens that can focus superfast is worth every penny!

So what's my answer to the age-old question of "Should I buy a better camera?"  

Yes and No.

My answer is NO if right now you're not using all the buttons, settings and options on your current camera.  If you haven't learned how to operate the one you have chances are you won't learn how to operate a new one with more intimidating options.  Plus if you do some more research about what you currently own, you may realize you just need to change some settings.  Maybe you just need to take a workshop and learn how to use it better? (I just happen to know where you can find a great one)  Or you may just need to buy a different lens?  Lenses have as much, or sometimes more, to do with your image quality than your camera.  And if you don't know why lenses are so important then I suggest you research and find out if you're using lenses that aren't a good match with your style of photography.  You could save money by upgrading your lenses rather than your camera body and then you'll thank me!

I would definitely answer YES to that question though if you've outgrown your current camera.  That means if you know what you're missing on your current camera, if you know what it can't do, then you're probably ready for an upgrade.  When you're shooting in manual and adjusting your lenses accordingly but you still aren't getting the quality you're wanting then you're probably ready to have some fun and go camera shopping! 

Keep in mind that there is a downside to improving your equipment...I can no longer blame bad photos on my camera!  


Blog Designed by Rita of CoffeeShop