Equipment Purchase

Photographic Equipment Selecting and Purchasing Equipment


The equipment I use is not unlike that used by most photographers. The manufacturer is not important, nor is the cost. Ask yourself, How much can I afford to spend? If you spend all your money on a camera body, and have no money left for lenses or a sturdy tripod, then you are not going to get very far. My advice is to get yourself started with the basics, then build your equipment list as you progress. Let's start with the camera body. There are many makes and models from which to choose. Go to a good photography store and check them all out. Hold them in your hand, see how they feel. Pay attention to where the controls are positioned. Your goal should be to find a camera body which is user friendly, and can be manipulated effortlessly. Some features on a camera model may be more important to you than others. If your eyesight is corrected, you may want a camera that has a diopter-adjustment in the viewfinder. A mirror lock - up is important at times. One of the features I find most important is a depth-of- field preview . Auto focus is also great. However, I'd recommend a camera on which the auto focus feature can be activated only when you choose to use it. Remember that with few exceptions, once you have purchased the camera body and a few lenses you are more or less trapped with that manufacturer's line of products. So consider the first purchases wisely. The same advice should be heeded for selecting a tripod and head. A tripod does not have to be heavy to be sturdy. But it is essential that it be easy to carry, and easy to manipulate the adjustment features. In both cases, camera and tripod, my advice is not to look at what another photographer is using. But rather find out what feels good to you, and what works best for you. I'd also recommend you start by purchasing The Nature Photographer's Complete Guide To Professional Field Techniques by John Shaw. It is an Amphoto publication. He covers equipment, film and techniques. It's the best research vehicle that I have seen, and will be well worth the investment if it prevents you from spending a lot of money on equipment that will not work for you. I personally consider this book to be the best photo help purchase I've made.

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