Camera Camera Everywhere but which one to get?

English: Cameras from Large to Small, Film to ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I walk into any electronic store and see a plethora of cameras, no matter where I go. Sales persons try their best to convince, but buying a camera, is not always on my mind. After one of my shopping sprees, a thought occurred to me. With the market and stores flooded with new models of cameras for every camera brand, how would anyone decide on which one to buy?

The decision of choosing a camera these days is difficult, especially with the starters. My uncle bought a DSLR a year ago just for fun but now it has found a long-forgotten stature. I asked him one day about his best buy of the decade, to which he simply shrugged and said, handling that camera is something he will never be able to do! I was stunned. To spend so much, only to leave it in state of negligence was very unfair, especially when there are millions of people around the globe craving for a DSLR but cannot afford it.

Out of my personal interest, I studied a few more people to check out the camera buying trend. It was amazing to see that some people bought one only to flaunt whereas certain others got it to compete with their friends. A few of them, of course, were genuinely interested in capturing some good shots, but directly jumped for the big fish and thought it would be really easy. Unfortunately, these people moved on and the poor pretty cameras were left behind, dumped.

Camera specifications are usually difficult to understand and differentiating between products based on these is tougher. From my observation, I could derive a few very basic rules to  ponder over before picking up the next camera and what to do after.

Rule No. 1: Think of your requirement over and over. Do you really need to buy one? Will your dad’s or brother’s or sister’s or mother’s camera not suffice?

Rule No 2: What is your purpose behind getting a camera? Do you want to click just one or two pictures when you are out with your family and friends? Or do you want to click droplets when it rains? For the first purpose, a simple low-priced very basic camera would be enough. But for the second, a professional camera – D-SLR with close-up lens or high-end compact with good zoom, will be needed. The second category is heavier on the pocket, so you will need to check your budget.

This image shows a "Nikon Nikkor AF 50mm/...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rule No 3: Just don’t run for any brand or any product of any brand simply because that camera looks great. Ask the people around you, who have been using cameras, for their valued opinions. Later, ask the sales person in details about the features of the two or three cameras you have short-listed. Sales persons are quite clever and know their targets well. They will usually be full of praises for a specific brand they have been asked to represent. So, be wise while judging!

Rule No 4: Read – and this is very important – read the User Manual thoroughly before heading out to your first photographic venture with that particular camera. Many times, you have numerous features in the camera that you may not be aware of unless you read about them. Perhaps, all that you end up doing if you are not thorough with the theory, is shooting in AUTO (the easiest) mode, oblivious of the magical things your camera can do.

Rule No 5: Attend photography schools on weekends, if you are pressed for time, to learn the art better. Join forums and communities related to photography and learn new things about your camera and other cameras. This will build your interest further. This can even help you understand your requirements. As you explore further, you will know if you need a better one or more accessories.

Rule No 6: Before ending up making a hole in your pocket trying to purchase a high-end camera from the shops and camera zones, try to find out if any of your relatives, friends or acquaintances, are associated with a camera brand. You never know – you may have the best buy on an employee offer!!

My house is now home to many different types of cameras – from basic compact to high-end compact and DSLR. But after numerous trials and errors, I have now zeroed-in on my favorite camera as per my requirement!

 

 

Stop thinking! Start Clicking!

Last year when I gave my mother-in-law a compact camera on her birthday, she got very worried and said almost immediately, “O My! What will I do with this? I do not know any thing about Photography!” But we just smiled and reassured her that she should stop thinking and just start clicking!

 

A surprise awaited us when we went back to visit her this year and found that she had managed to take quite a few good photographs of things she liked, some dishes she had cooked, some events she visited and some every day items. We were overjoyed and so was she. Proudly she said, “I did not know it was this easy!”


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I am no professional in the field of photography and perhaps worse than an experienced amateur. But I am just someone who loves to capture moments that may not be there for me the next time I blink. I do not know much about aperture or shutter speed but I do know a few simple things that allow me and many others to simply click. In this world of smart phones and tabs and all the other gadgets, taking a picture is perhaps no great deal. Even with all those gadgets around, for me, nothing can beat the feel of a camera hanging around the neck, the different buttons that let you do so many different things and the very sight of it inside my travel bag. Somehow, the presence of a camera gives a sense of completion to my travel plans.

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Many around me, including myself, have wondered what can be done to make a picture – perfect. But often trying to think and putting that thought into the moment of shooting kill its beauty and magic. A baby monkey might be sitting right there posing for you, but when you try to think too much about the angle and the background and everything else except that main object, the pigeon will be gone long before you know it! Not everyone is a professional model! No matter where you are, or where you go, remember to keep your shooting (photo) machine handy – as you never know what is coming.

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Starting to click, overcoming all the fears, is important and everything else follows. Until you start, you never know if you really love photography or have a passion for it. Until you start you will not learn more because your experiments will open up new challenges and questions and then you start asking. No one can teach you how to frame a picture through the lens of the camera. It is your heart and the image created by your mind’s eye along with the know-how of basic usage of the camera that will guide to at every step. And yes, if you have bought a new one, never forget the user manual at home. A steady hand, an open mind and eyes for details are all you need to start. Don’t wait for 60 years like my mother-in-law, to let your heart see more than what is on the surface. Start now – the world awaits you!

 

Travel and Camera linked forever

 

When I was little, I loved posing for my uncle to click a few nice pictures and when I traveled with my parents, I saw them carrying cameras although they were not photography enthusiasts. I asked myself, “Why a camera?” Much later when I had one for my own, I gradually realized that camera is is much about documentation – at least for all the lesser mortals. I started clicking every time I traveled and sometimes, even when I didn’t – to document what I saw. But somehow I felt something was missing.

Then, I met a friend – my husband – a photographer, who not only made me fall in love with him, but also with the way he saw the world. That is when, I saw through my heart – all things that were not meant to be seen through the ordinary eyes, the patterns in things that were not otherwise pleasing, the symmetry in things otherwise asymmetrical, unseen beauty in things otherwise too plain to be noticed. The wild flowers, a tiny insect, the droplets in rain showers, the love birds’ secret, the sun setting in the eye, the stars moving slowly in the sky, a stray dog I loved and perhaps will never find again, the harvest and the pretty grains, the moss that gathers on walls, the bird sits in a little tree hole and calls , the hopeful smile of a hungry child, the squirrel with its fresh new find.

Now in all my travels, my camera is linked forever as I wait patiently for that one moment that will make me smile suddenly, that one moment that will let me discover a whole new world where I least expect it, that one moment where I will feel blessed to be part of a world that has so much to give and so much to see. Travel is incomplete with a friend and there is no better than a camera. Yes, you can appreciate everything around with your eyes but the human memory isn’t strong enough to keep all the memories and moments safe inside. When the moment is long gone and forgotten, when age has taken its toll, you will come across the pictures and suddenly all that you forgot will come back rushing in and you will travel back in time, re-living all those moments yet once again.