Do you really need a new camera? Opinion

Yes, maybe, no, probably not.

Well, there is not a fixed answer to this, it is more of a budget choice, age of current camera gear, etc. but if you are in doubt, or like the majority of people, your budget just doesn’t give you enough leeway at the moment, then probably not.

So instead how about trying out new things with your current camera gear to spice up life a little. Maybe set yourself a monthly challenge. I am currently doing a macro month and will soon do a black and white challenge, this also will help me with my Photoshop and Lightroom skills. If you have any other ideas for themed months, please leave a comment. 

I would imagine that the majority of us really don’t need a new camera, but we are bombarded on a daily basis with new updates from the major camera makers, Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc with their new cameras, more expensive and faster lenses,  what they do and how much better they are than the models we already have. 

GAS – Gear acquisition syndrome

Even I am constantly viewing videos on you tube and blogs and Facebook posts by camera users and I am in awe at the amount of gear some photographers have, how much it must have cost them and what they they are going to buy next. Are all these people pro photographers or just do they have so much money that they have to spend it?

Sure, I would love a better camera, and some faster lenses, specially gear with faster auto focus but it is just not happening at the moment, maybe in the future after I have finished paying off the current gear I have.  

But lets just say you do go out and buy some new upgraded gear, does this make you a better photographer, probably not and as you will more than likely be out of money  and there won’t be many trips in the near future.

So the moral of the story or at least the moral of my opinion, make the most of what you have, learn to use it, what are it’s pro’s and con’s and this way you can become a better photographer, as well as learning to use an editing software. 

You can also check out my opinion on Do you need an expensive camera?

Lets Talk About Lenses

There are soooo many of them they can get a little confusing, from native lenses for your camera and third party lenses, also your budget needs to be taken in to account, etc.  the choices are a little overwhelming. gear-lenses.159d91fc463dcc02c1d452b6090633f6

I am far from an expert on lenses, after all my budget is next to nothing and the lenses for my full frame Sony camera are incredibly expensive. You might have already read other bloggers saying that if you have invested in a full frame camera you need to invest in really good lenses,  you will also see so many blog posts, vlogs, facebook posts, etc that there are lenses you just have to buy,  16-35 for wideangle landscapes, 24-70 zoom lens, 70-200 zoom lens, 100-400 super zoom, prime lenses….. these are what most bloggers say you need. But do you really?

Well, if I had the money, I might just consider some of them, but as I don’t, I have a rather heavy SEL24240. weight 27.6 oz (780 g). What does that mean? The zoom goes from 24mm to 240mm. i find this lens to be great, not excellent, but great. But why did I go for this lens. First of all living in Ecuador I am limited to what I buy, it is difficult to buy lenses, and more difficult to buy third party lenses which can be cheaper. So how did I make this choice?

lenses

I thought about my purchase alot. After all there is a lot of money involved. But from what I think is important is what you are going to take with the lens you want to buy. So ask your self a few questions like: What do I enjoy photographing? Wildlife, landscapes, macro, travel photography, or a bit of everything, like me.

As I take a little bit of everything I found the mega zoom from 24-240 an ideal choice. Wide angle for landscapes, enough zoom for those elusive owls we have living in the tree and plenty of choice in between.

This of course is my opinion. Others will have theirs and they probably won’t agree with me, but for me, this is the perfect lens. And of course, no changing lenses to expose the sensor and fill it up with nasty dust. Win-Win.

But as most photographers say, the best camera you have is the one with you and with whatever lens you can afford. So go and shoot.

https://www.instagram.com/jo_reason/ 

From My Garden – Day 7 – Bud

This is the first in a series so we can follow the budding flower.

Out of nowhere suddenly this bud grew, ok, well we did plant this a few months ago but we thought it has died, so imagine our surprise when this popped up, we thought it is a Nardo (name in spanish) when we planted it, but we checked online and we decided it isn´t. so this is where we would like some help, Can anyone identify this bud, it is from a bulb, is is growing is sandy earth at high altitudes, 3000 masl.

Nikon D7100, nikkor 50mm lens,  1/8000,  f/2.8, ISO 500

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Long / Slow Shutter Speed

Slow / long shutter speed.
First of all what is shutter speed. Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open. Slow shutter speed is considered anything from 1/60th sec and lower, (lower means a smaller number), when using a slow shutter speed you should consider using a tripod to help reduce camera shake. But why would you want to use a slow shutter speed? Well there are several reasons, one of which is to create motion blur for example. I am sure you have seen those amazing photos of waterfalls where the water is all blurry and soft. To create this a slow shutter speed has been used.

One of the difficulties is achieving the correct amount of blur. For a given shutter speed, three subject traits determine how blurred they will appear:
-Speed. Subjects which are moving faster will appear more blurred. This one is perhaps the most obvious of the three, but just as important.
-Direction of Motion. Subjects which are moving towards or away from the camera usually won’t become as blurred as those moving side to side — even if both subjects are moving at the same speed.
-Magnification. A given subject will appear more blurred if they occupy a greater fraction of your image frame. This is perhaps the least obvious, but is also the one which is most under your control, since subject magnification is the combined effect of focal length and subject distance. Longer focal lengths (more zoom) result in more magnification for a given subject distance, but this also increases the likelihood of blur due to camera shake.
But even with these three subjects it can be difficult to get it right first time, so practice is the way to go.

In the above photo the round-a-bout is clearly in movement but the people watching on the right are standing still, as you can see from the two above photos one is after dark and the other during day light hours meaning you don´t have to wait until after dark to use a slow shutter speed. If you are shooting long shutter speed during the day you will need a filter on the lens, use a small aperture or both.
Below is a long shutter speed photo. Here we have Dave with a floating hat and bow tie. Taken for more than 30secs, I moved Dave to paint the bow tie with light, (using a flashlight) then put him back and did the hat; unfortunately the hat is a little higher than it should be or is it that Dave has shrunk, and then lit up Dave with the torch so the camera would also pick him up.

Below is another example of long shutter speed, this was taken at midday, with loads of light, but I used a small aperture, and a longish shutter speed and while the shutter was open I used the zoom. 1/3s, f32, ISO 100.

Technical tips:
Use a tripod, or something stable. When you are using a tripod or similar and you have Image stabilization on your camera or lens then TURN IT OFF. Why? The image stabilizer will attempt to find movement that is not there and take a blurry photo.
Use a remote control or if you don´t have one use the self-timer. Why? This is to avoid touching the camera as even if the camera is on a tripod the moment you touch it, it will create some small movement that will make a blurry photo, so if you use a remote your fingers doesn’t touch the camera and if you use the self-timer you allow the camera to settle before taking the photo.
ISO: when using a tripod or something stable you can use a low ISO, this will help with noise and also allow you to use longer shutter speeds.

To download this as a pdf for printing or sharing CLICK HERE