In a world of social media and smartphones, it’s easy to feel inspired by all the amazing photos we see every day on Instagram, and you might be considering taking up photography yourself.
But when you make the leap from taking photos on a smartphone to using a purpose-built camera, it can be really daunting; you want a decent camera, but you don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money, and it can be hard working out what you need, never mind working out all the terminology.
This is where we come in; we’ve put together a few tips for looking at cameras for beginners to help get you started.
Once you start looking at cameras you’ll be inundated with different brands, models and features so anything you can do to narrow down the search will really help, and the narrower the better.
You can get a good mid-range camera for between £500 and £1,000, but you can also spend less; £350 – £500 will get you a decent budget camera that might not have as many features, but it will be perfectly capable of taking great pictures.
Anything more than £1,000 might not be needed for a beginner, although it could save you from having to upgrade your equipment later.
Before you start looking at cameras you need to be clear about the kind of photography you’re interested in; for example, do you want to be able to upload your photos straight to Facebook, or do you want to learn how to edit them?
Are you taking action photos, or maybe starting up a food blog, or you might want to shoot videos for a vlog? Once you’ve decided, you can start thinking about the different types of cameras out there:
- Point-and-shoot – these cameras are great for beginners; they’re compact and easy to use, with automatic modes so you don’t have to change lenses etc. They’re simple to use but not as useful if you want to learn the technicalities of photography.
- Bridge – a bridge camera has a few more features than a point-and-shoot, including a more powerful zoom. As with a point-and-shoot though, it’s not as good for learning the technical side of photography.
- DSLR/Mirrorless – these are another good choice for a beginner. They have interchangeable lenses and manual settings, so a great way to learn. You can find out more about which camera is right for you, but to sum it up, DSLR (digital single-lens, reflex) cameras have a mirror that reflects the light coming from the lens, which reflects the image onto the viewfinder. When the shutter is pressed the mirror flips up and the image is captured on the sensor. As the name suggests, mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror, which makes them smaller. The electronic viewfinder is a digital representation of the image, so there can be a slight delay. Both are great, but DSLRs make that satisfying ‘clunk’ when you take your shot!
- Photos or video? – maybe you’re a vlogger, or just want to capture some great memories, but the main thing to think about when looking at vlogging cameras for beginners is the specs. A good thing to aim for is something that films in 4K and shoots at 60fps (frames per second).
How much kit do you want to carry around with you? When you buy a camera you’re not just getting the actual camera; you also should consider a tripod, camera bag, lenses etc.
The size of the camera itself is mainly determined by the size of the light sensor; bigger sensors tend to produce more detail and are better in reduced light so again it depends on the kind of photography you’re interested in, for example, are you planning on producing big prints? If not, a smaller sensor is fine.
New Or Used
It might be worth looking at a second-hand camera that has better specs when choosing your first one, you’ll soon get a feel for the kind of equipment you might want in the future, without spending money on equipment you might not need.
There’s something a bit more mindful about shooting on film; we’re all so used to pointing our phones and pressing a button but going analogue makes you think about the images you want to capture.
You could get a basic, lightweight film camera that you just point and shoot with, or you could buy a second-hand one; often imperfections are all part of the charm of film photography and some people prefer the effects of expired film.
But gone are the days of dropping your film off at your local high-street pharmacy, so unless you have access to your own dark room, you’ll need to search for a camera shop or photo lab where you can have your film developed.
While planning and buying a new camera can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming, after all, there are only so many tabs you can have open at any one time before your computer decides that enough is enough!
One thing that doesn’t have to be overwhelming is camera insurance. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pro, or a part-time snapper, camera equipment doesn’t come cheap so you’ll be looking for a policy that will suit both your needs and your budget.
Give us a call today and find out how you can tweak our policies to get the picture-perfect cover you need.
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