Hello readers, in my previous post (first ever) I told you that I’ve had several camera bodies and lenses. To my bank account detriment I’m a compulsive buyer as some of you may be as well. I will try and help you through this post to not make the same mistakes I did when searching for gear.
My first ever camera was a Nikon D5300. The main factor I went with a crop sensor body was because it’s always been a general perception that when starting in photography you should go this route. I now know that this is just a marketing strategy from camera companies to get you to buy at least two camera bodies, one for when starting and one for when you feel your knowledgeable enough to make the transition to the “big boys/girls” cameras. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Who’s to say what gear you should start with? Only you. Don’t be like me and do your research and consider what, when and how you are going to shoot and of course your budget. Every single detail counts to determine what gear is suitable for you. When I bought my camera and lenses it didn’t serve the purpose I bought it for because I didn’t do my research. Think in what you want to shoot, if it’s portraits maybe more megapixels and 85mm 1.8 or a 50mm 1.8. If it’s landscapes a wide angle lens. If it’s street photography a 35mm lens and so on. If you have the budget to buy a full frame body and that’s your hearts desire by all means buy it. I guarantee it will save you some money in the long run. You will always wonder how will your pictures would look like on a full frame sensor. But let me suggest you spend more on lenses than on a body as camera bodies are always changing and lenses don’t change as often plus they retain their value through time.
There are other things to consider apart from just camera and lenses, you will need a computer if you don’t have one and software to edit your photos. Computers are in every household these days but you will have to verify if it has the system requirements for the software. Something you can do is to edit your pictures on your phone with apps like Snapseed or lightroom mobile this may work for starting as you may just be sharing your photos on social media.
In terms of brands to each their own. I’ve use Nikon, Canon, Fuji and Panasonic and I’m currently using a full frame mirrorless Canon EOS rp. I suggest to look at the color rendition of each brand as they are very different from each other and they will be part of your signature.
The main idea you should get out of this post is to do your research. I didn’t when starting out and ended up costing me.
That’s it for now. I'm honored to have you as a reader and really hope you continue to read my posts and leave any comments or questions you might have. I’m still learning and if I don’t know the answer to your questions I’ll do my best and do my research and get you a responsible answer. I will be writing one post per week for now. I’ll be writing about my personal experiences with photography and those of the friends I’ve made along the way.
Thank you and keep shooting;
Through the lens of an amateur
Written By: Ricardo J. Martínez
Let me start by the beginning. Hi, my name Is Ricardo Martinez. I studied for 5 ½ years in college to earn a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science but not a single day I spend working with Computers or anything related to the CS field. I worked close to 16 years in logistics for a private company and while I did reach some goals I had set for my life (get married, have kids, buy a house, etc…) I felt something missing. I have a loving wife and two beautiful daughters. While I’m retired for physical reasons, my wife (Jannette) is a Kindergarten teacher, my oldest daughter (Valeria) is studying psychology and my youngest (Gabriela) is a junior in high school.
I never thought about doing anything else after I was incapacitated to work to be honest, but one day Gabriela told her mom that she wanted to take modeling classes. I have always encouraged my daughters to do activities other than using their phones and we decided to take her to a beginner’s class and she loved it. About two weeks after taking her first class she was invited to participate in her first show. My wife and I where like “she’s not ready for this” but she was so excited about the opportunity that we allowed her to do it and to our surprise she was incredible. And it was there where I took my first ever meaningful pictures and I took them with my cell phone. So, then it started.
She continued to be invited to shows and I knew that my cell phone was not going to cut it for the different scenarios I was going to be presented with. How I knew my cell phone was not going to be enough? I really didn’t know why at the moment I just knew. I mean don't get me wrong I'm all for 'use what you have and take the picture' and phone camera are great these days but a 0.25" x 0.25" sensor will only get you so far. At the begging it was like, what should I buy? Brands, bodies, full frame vs crop sensor, megapixels, primes vs zooms, and so forth. It was a mess and as maybe many of you I ended up spending more money than I had to. I bought a Nikon D5300 with the kit lens and 50mm f/1.8 and 55-200mm f/4-5.6 zoom. It was overpriced (I wish I knew this back then) and it really didn’t serve the purpose as most of Gabriela’s shows where at night with bad lighting and I was too far from the runway. The 50mm was to short and the 55-200mm was to slow.
So I finally got to doing my research and ended up buying the 85mm 1.8 which made it a 128mm 1.8 on my D5300 because of the 1.5 crop factor. Enough to get close pictures and fast enough to work with lower iso settings. Since then I’ve had several bodies and lenses of different brands and price range. But that’s something I’ll get to in another blog.
As I see it photography chose me.
That’s it for now. I'm honored to have you as a reader and really hope you continue to read my posts and leave any comments or questions you might have. I only have 7 years of experience and I’m still learning and if I don’t know the answer to your questions I’ll do my best and do my research and get you a responsible answer. I will be writing one post per week for now. I’ll be writing about my personal experiences with photography and those of the friends I’ve made along the way.
Thank you and keep shooting;
Through the lens of an amateur.
Written by: Ricardo J Martínez