How do you find a great camera to shoot? There are varied notions surrounding the concept of what makes a great camera viz. — great features, design, speed in frames-per-second. But arguably the greatest camera is the one that aids in your creative adventure and helps you achieve your creative vision. As such the pivotal role of a camera is to get out of your way and help you create great masterpieces. The beauty of any gadget, electronic device and not to forget, the photo-gear, lies in the simplicity of using it. But that is just one aspect of it. There are several other factors also which contribute in making the camera great. Some of the most important ones are enlisted here.
Ease Of Accessing Features
In photography, timing matters the most. The instances do not repeat themselves and so, releasing the shutter with appropriate settings at the right time is of utmost importance. Accordingly, one thing which makes a camera great is the ease with which its features can be accessed to make instant settings and be ready to capture the perfect scene. I prefer my Nikon D80 over my compact Sony DSC-W110. Even though it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but you got the point. Its dials and controls enable me to access the features I use, instantly; the exposure compensation buttons, bracketing button and options for controlling aperture and shutter speed for various scenes and subjects. All these things are easily accessible through dials and controls on the camera itself, without any need to juggle for the settings in hidden menus (the problem I face when I use my compact camera).
According to me the camera which offers all the critical adjustments — auto-focus, aperture mode, shutter speed mode, program auto and the manual mode is worth an investment. It enables you to take the control of equipment and make it the perfect photo-gear for all kinds of photography. One camera alone (of course with various accessories) opens up an entire world of imagination for you. The camera with the above mentioned modes enables you to capture motion effects / freeze the motion, create beautiful bokehs, experiment with splash photography… and thus makes it fit for all the occasions; be it weddings, friend groups, photographing kids or family events.
Support And Warranty
What makes the Nikon and the Canon rule the photo-gear market? Apart from good quality and feature rich photo-gears, these two names have created a brand name and brand value for themselves in the market. The customers simply love Nikon / Canon products because of the support and warranty they offer. Ranging from the point & shoots to high-end DSLRs, these brands provide options and services even for the obsolete (out of market) products, thus increasing the lifetime of the photo-gear. This is what matters in making a great camera; greater lifetime = an equipment worth investment = good camera.
Specifications Of The Camera
There are so many options in the camera market, the customers are often misled by the specifications and the features offered by the cameras. Nikon D5000 offers tilt and swivel LCD, Samsung TL225 and TL220 offers the self portrait mode, Nikon D7000 offer full HD support video mode and so on. These features create a hap in the market, but do not essentially contribute in making a great photo-gear. Some of the things which really do matter are:
- Sensor Size: The bigger the size of the digital sensor of the camera, better is the output and better photographs is equivalent to good camera.
- Speed: One of the parameters for ranking a photo-gear is its speed of processing the raw data and writing the data onto the memory. The cameras which take a way too long to get ready for the other shot, are great at missing the opportunities. Speed in terms of frames-per-second makes a difference when you are shooting sports.
- Booting Time: We all hate to wait for the computer to start up. The start-up time of your camera can miss you a perfect shot. So it’s preferable to have a camera which is quick to turn on and ready to shoot within a fraction of a second.
All the DSLRs and a few high-end prosumers offer the flexibility of accessorizing the camera with lenses, external flashes, filters, etc. The photography enthusiasts and hobbyists collect various accessories to extend the capabilities of the camera and shoot a wide variety of scenes and subjects with a professional touch. For example, a single camera body and two lenses, say one zoom lens and the other one be a telephoto lens, enable you to shoot portraits, landscapes, architectures, etc with efficacy.
On the other hand, going for a camera which lets you use various filters enables you to introduce some special effects in your images. For example, a GND filter helps you in bringing down the dynamic range of the scene and a polarizing filter enables you to enhance color, saturation and contrast in the scene. Such extensible cameras, give way to great photographs and ultimately score over other photo-gears available in the market.
Ability To Shoot In RAW
A good camera is the one which enables you to make great photographs. But having a good command over the camera comes with experience. It is very difficult to control all the settings and generate great results in-camera. According to an APN poll, 80% of the photographers re-touch and fine-tune the photographs. If you belong to this category and favor post-processing adjustments, the option of shooting in RAW is a must when considering the qualities of a good camera. Shooting in RAW enables you to change everything except for light & perspective; you can even change the camera auto-modes with the RAW editor.
Buying an extensible camera is not the only thing that contributes to making a great camera, but its compatibility with various accessories should also be considered. The compatibility feature is applicable especially when upgrading the camera. If the accessories you already have are not compatible with the new camera you are planning to buy, its better to look for a photo-gear which can efficiently use the accessories with the help of certain extension rings or so.
The definition of good, great, efficient… changes from person to person. For example, some people like to shoot with high end photo-gear in the market (with all features and bells & whistles), while others prefer using handy compacts or point & shoots. Your liking for the things rests on your preferences, usage and requirements. If you are a casual photographer and love to take snaps of your friends & family, there is no match for a handy compact camera; and if you are a pro and love to photograph a variety of scenes and subjects, any DSLR which offers all the critical adjustments becomes a great camera for you.
The Camera Which Gives You The Desired Results
Photography is an art of capturing the imaginations; which may vary a lot from what exists in the real life. Always getting well saturated, vivid yet accurate colors in the photographs is also an art. Apart from shooting in golden or magic hour, it is your camera also which contributes in getting great colors. It requires you to fine-tune the camera and set it to the desired metering mode, white-balance mode, set the required exposure level (through exposure compensation controls) and saturation settings to get the expected colors and effect in your photographs. The most important thing to note here is that not all cameras make this possible and the one that help you get great colors is ultimately a good camera.
What You Make Out Of The Camera
If you have the photographer’s quest and power of imagination, photo-gear is not a limitation for you. Any camera is great, if you know how to make the most from it. After all, in photography your camera doesn’t matter, but the things that make the difference are your imagination, vision, creativity and the skills for using the camera.