Photography: You Asked, I’m Answering {Part 1}

Thanks for all of your questions! Now, I am by no means a professional photographer. I’ve never taken a photography class. I’m a self-taught amateur. I’ll tell you what I use and how I use it, but I’m sure there are others out there that disagree with my opinions and methods. You’ve been warned.

Question #1
What kind of camera(s) do you have?
Canon Rebel XT 8 MP DSLR
Canon PowerShot SD30 6 MP (point and shoot) 

I use my DSLR most of the time for blog photos. I purchased it in December, 2005. I was going to Alaska the following summer, and I wanted to upgrade from my Pentax film SLR. The Rebel XT was one of the best cameras out at the time, so I gathered up all of my Christmas money (and then some) and bought it. The camera plus an EF 75-300mm lens cost me around $850.

Sometimes I’ll use my Canon 6MP PowerShot point and shoot. I used it for the photos in this post.
I always carry it in my purse.

Question #2 
What kind of camera do you recommend? Why?
It depends on your budget and what you plan to do with your camera. If you aren’t that interested in photography but want nice photos, you can get a decent 12.1 MP point and shoot for around $250. But if you’re more serious, you can get a 12.2 MP DSLR for around $550. Keep in mind that if you take care of your camera, it can last you a long time (mine is going on 6 years). Clearly a DSLR is larger in size than a point and shoot, so that may also influence your decision. But, if you can swing a DSLR, I think it’s 100% worth the investment.

If you’re talking brands, I really don’t have an opinion, but I guess I’m a Canon person because both of my cameras are Canons. You’ll hear that there are Canon people and there are Nikon people. This is a pretty good article on Canon vs. Nikon.

Left: Canon T2i   Right: Nikon D40

Question #3
What qualities/features do you think are important in a camera?
This is kind of hard to answer because it depends on the type of camera you’re looking for, how you plan to use it, and your level of photography skills. Plus, what I want in a camera, may not be what you want in a camera. Ya know? To make up for my lack of an answer to this question, here’s a good DSLR camera buying guide.

Before you make a purchase, be sure to read online reviews. If you plan on buying your camera online, go to a store and try it out first. Hold it in your hand to see that it feels good. Also, I recommend buying from only trusted retailers– if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Question #4

What are the first steps you took to learn how to use your camera?
I read my camera manual and used my camera. I’m still learning things that I can do with it. In fact, I didn’t start shooting manually until last year. I learned how to use it manually by reading photography posts on blogs (here, here, here), reading my manual, again, and playing around with my camera, again. If you’re on Pinterest, start a photography board to bookmark any photography tutorials you come across.

Question #5
What’s a good place to start learning photography– Online? Links?
Visit the links I mentioned in the above answer. But so you don’t have to scroll up here they are: hereherehere. Visit my photography board on Pinterest for more helpful tutorials. I’d love to take a photography class one day to learn more. Check into your local colleges and art centers if you’re interested. If you don’t know where to start, call a local camera store and ask if they can recommend a photography course.

Photography: You Asked, I’m Answering {Part 2} will be up on Monday!
If you have any additional questions feel free to ask away!

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  1. You read my mind! I’ve been research a DSLR for the last few weeks. Thanks for all the tips. Really glad I found your blog! (Been following you since I found CGM on TK)! Hope I don’t seem like a rando stalker, haha 🙂

  2. I’m so excited to see that you have a Canon Rebel. I just bought one three days ago online and can’t wait to get it! I’m glad you can do great things with it, I was a little nervous. Thanks for the tips! I will be delving more into it when my camera comes in. 🙂

  3. Great post! I came up with a question for you. I’ve noticed that my photos sometimes come out with a sort of hazy/foggy look (it’s not hazy or foggy outside, though) and I’m not really sure what I’m doing (or not doing) to cause that . . . any ideas? I can send you an example if that would help 🙂

  4. Great Post Chelsea! One tiny correction though… Nikon lens have been the same since 1959. Some have problems with the autofocus with different DSLR bodies but in manual mode they work. Canon actually changes there lens mounting fairly often so upgrading your camera after buying a bunch of lens may be more difficult.

    I have a pinterest board for camera help too! Great tip.. there is def tons of help out there!

  5. Great tips. I haven’t had a real camera since high school or so. Hubbie thinks that iPhone cameras are enough. I disagree.

  6. I’m like a small child with our DSLR. I’m like “husband, please put this on the right setting for me to take a picture of this….or just do it for me”. He is supposedly going to teach me soon. I could read the manual but I always fall asleep. I’m not sure if there is hope for me.

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