Camera Equipment Blog
I get so many questions from people asking me what camera equipment and lenses are best and what should they be using. Well in all honesty that will largely amount to what you are shooting and to what level you are. There is no set type of lens or equipment.
For example a beginners kit will be less than a professionals. Someone who specialises in Portraits and weddings being different for someone shooting landscapes.
At the very least, you will need a camera and lens, but there are also important considerations like software and other accessories.
During this blog I will endeavour to explain a few things and what I use. Perhaps the most important thing is the camera. In terms of makes and models this is a personal choice. Personally I use Nikon.
A good camera should be effortless to handle, making it as easy as possible to capture the photo you have in mind. So, what camera should you get? There are basically two types, A DSLR and a mirrorless camera. The difference in these two types of camera is that the DSLR will have an internal mirror, which reflects light directly from the lens into an optical viewfinder, so that you can see exactly what the lens sees. While the mirrorless cameras won’t have this feature, which allows them to be smaller and lighter. Do some research and see what’s best for you. Of course there’s nothing wrong with using the camera you already have, even if it’s a smartphone camera or a point-and-shoot. All will capture excellent photos as long as you know its limits.
Along with a camera, the single most crucial piece of equipment for photography is a lens. In some ways, lenses are even more important than the camera itself, because the lens is what actually focuses the light to reach your camera sensor. Most cameras around today are what’s known as “interchangeable lens cameras.” You can swap a portrait lens for a huge, expensive sports lens, using the same camera. This is a major benefit, making your system far more flexible for different types of photography. So here is the question. What lens should you get? Some photographers use kit lenses which come bundled with many cameras. Other photographers buy their cameras and lenses separately. This is perhaps more true as you come more experienced. You just add to the lenses you have as you have a camera that you are happy with. There are 3 main types:
A small/medium zoom such as a 14-42mm, 16-50mm, 18-50mm, 18-55mm, or 18-105mm lens. These are inexpensive lenses that offer a lot of versatility.
A prime lens that doesn’t zoom, such as a 25mm f/1.8, a 35mm f/1.8, or a 50mm f/1.8 lens, which are especially good for portraits and people photos with a “shallow focus” effect (blurry background
A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 55-200mm, 70 – 300mm, 150 – 600mm. This type of lens lets you photograph distant objects like wildlife or sports,
Every lens has a millimetre number, such as 50mm. This is called your focal length. It simply refers to how far “zoomed-in” a lens is — how narrow of an angle it captures. Lenses with a higher number (anything 85 or more) are considered telephoto lenses, which are like telescopes, magnifying things in the distance. Lenses with a lower number (anything 28 or less) are considered wide-angle lenses
All photographers have different lens needs and requirements. Remember there is no one-size-fits-all option.3) Camera Bag
Choosing a camera bag is a lot easier than choosing which lens best does the job. If it fits all your equipment in and is comfortable then go for it.
If you are going to do Landscape then ideally a backpack style so it keeps arms free. And is comfortable for long walks. If you are looking at street photography or just holidays then I would recommend a shoulder bag, something with quick access to your camera. Wedding photographers however differ immensely most, and I include myself in this one, will have a rolling type case due to the equipment we carry and a shoulder bag for quick ness with a couple of lenses, batteries and a spare camera in for moving around while taking photos. If you are studio based then you will hardly ever use one as you will literally carry your equipment from the car to the studio and stay there till you finish
4) Memory Card
Memory cards store photos and let you transfer them from your camera to your computer. They’re an essential piece of equipment for any photographer. There are many different types and different cameras take different cards
The main reason for getting a memory card is storage. Ideally you want one that will hold plenty of photos — ideally well over 1000 photos, if not more. Ideally a card that of at least 16 gigabytes, but also consider 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB or even a 256 GB. As a wedding photographer I use 64 and 128 GB cards
Another important consideration is speed. Fast memory cards come with several benefits, and one of the biggest is that they minimize the time your camera spends “buffering” This saves time in having to wait to take photos while the camera sends them to the card enabling you to take longer bursts very important in sports photographers, and for video usage. Memory cards are cheap compared to almost all other camera equipment. Just remember that one is never enough. I have about 20 of them but you don’t need that many. Just remember to have a few, nothing worse when out shooting and you find something to capture and bam there is no room on the card and the shutter wont depress.
Tripods are incredibly valuable for many photographers, although their importance depends upon the subjects you photograph. Personally as a wedding and Portrait photographer I don’t use it very often. But if you are planning on doing wildlife or landscapes then they can become invaluable.
Tripods vary dramatically in price. Anything from £40 to £500. My advice is ask yourself these questions…???
What can I afford… What will I use it for… It is suitable for my needs
They are made of different metals and some are carbon fibre so ideally look for one that’s lightweight as you may be carrying it for long periods but remember it needs to be sturdy enough to hold your camera and lens
In my opinion the most important filter is a Polarizing Filter It has a huge effect on your photos that is impossible to duplicate in post-processing. However, you may also want other filters, depending upon your work. However there are many many filters on the market. Clear filters, polarizing filters, Neutral density filters and graduated filters plus filters that put special effects on your images.
For many types of photography, a flash is an essential piece of equipment. It’s needed if you want to take pictures of people in dark environments, It’s also a good way to brighten dark shadows, even during the day. Many cameras have pop-up flashes already, but aren’t always strong enough for the job in hand. In most cases I would recommend an additional flash. they are a lot stronger but obviously entail an additional cost.
8) Extra Batteries
When purchasing a new camera you will always receive a battery and a charger with it. However speaking from experience (and I have a lot of that) one battery is never going be enough. You may be out on a wildlife shoot or even a wedding and just at the vital point as you go to take a shot the shutter will not deploy, yes your battery has died. Personally, I have six batteries and three chargers. Other photographer friends I know have even more It’s never worth it to lose a good photo because your battery is dead, no matter the reason. So, get at least one backup battery — and more if you find that two isn’t enough.
Picking the right camera for you isn’t just as simple as buying a good or expensive camera. You also need to consider tripods, filters, post-processing software, batteries, memory cards, accessories, and more. You don’t need to get into debt over it. I would suggest a simple DSLR with one or two lenses, expanding as you go and when you can afford.