One question I get a lot is what kind of camera does Terry use for the great photos she’s always taking for the blog and the Gypsy Journal while we were publishing it.
She uses a Canon SX40 digital for most of our photo needs. We’ve also got a couple of small Olympus Stylus digital cameras that we use when we’re on our kayaks or doing something where the bigger, heavier Canon would not be convenient. And as a last resort, we also use the cameras on our smartphones.
When it comes to digital cameras, there’s something new on the market every day and the choices are endless. You can spend as little as under $90 for this Sony 20 megapixel point-and-shoot, and it will do a good job for you. After we switched from film to digital, many of the photos in the earlier days of the Gypsy Journal were shot with cameras like this, with even less megapixels available.
If you want to be a little more creative, and the budget will allow it, this Canon Rebel kit, is a good deal at $450. It includes a couple of lenses, a flash, data cards, a tripod, filters, and a carrying case. If I were looking for an interchangeable lens DSLR, this would probably be my choice.
Or, if money is no object and you want the best of everything, you could order a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV full frame digital SLR camera body, which will set you back $3500, lens not included.
But here’s the thing. Cameras are like guns. Many, many years ago I owned a gun shop and a fellow came in at the start of hunting season and looked at a Winchester 30-30 lever action carbine. He asked me if I would guarantee he could kill a deer with it. If I could, he’d buy it. As much as I wanted to make the sale, I told him that there was no way I could guarantee that. I added that I would guarantee that I could kill a deer with it, but I had no idea what kind of hunter or what kind of marksman he was.
It’s the same way with cameras. In the hands of someone with a bit of patience and a good eye, even a cheap no-frills camera like the Sony mentioned above can turn out very nice vacation pictures. On the other hand, you could spend $10,000 on camera equipment and still wind up with photos that are out of focus, people with their heads cut off, or a dog taking a dump in the background of your best picture of that beautiful lighthouse on the Oregon coast.
Granted, a more expensive camera with a better lens and more features has the ability to turn out some amazing pictures when in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing with it. But the reality is, most people just put their camera on automatic, point it at their subject, and take a picture. You don’t have to spend your kids’ inheritance to do that.
If you’re going to do nighttime photography, say for a fireworks display, something like the Panasonic Lumix is a good choice.
It is also very good for sunset pictures.
If you like taking pictures of wildlife, a long zoom lens comes in handy so you can get up close and personal with the critters without disturbing them.
Trust me, there are some critters you don’t want to disturb!
But you don’t even have to venture outside to have fun with photography. We recently bought my son Travis a Panasonic Lumix and he has had a lot of fun experimenting with colors, close-up photography, and slow-motion work. Some of it seems to have almost a surreal effect.
The best advice I can give anybody looking for a camera, no matter what the price range you are shopping in, is to look at a lot of them, hold them, and see how they fit you. Spend some time online reading product reviews. And then, when you decide on the right camera for you, use it. Unlike the days of film cameras, when we had to buy the film and had to pay to get it processed, with digital cameras you can shoot all day long and it won’t cost you a penny.
So do it. Go out and take pictures. But don’t just stand there and take a photo, get down on your knees or your belly, or stand up on a boulder or tree stump to get a different perspective. You’ll be amazed at what you see.
And one final piece of advice. Think of your camera as your MasterCard. Don’t leave home without it. I can’t tell you how many photo ops we have missed because we didn’t have a camera with us. Which explains why we are now camera poor, with digital cameras in each vehicle so we always have something to capture that special moment. Assuming the batteries aren’t dead. Yeah, it happens. When you buy your camera, buy an extra battery at the same time.
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing and we’ve got a great prize this week. Jim O’Briant has donated a one year subscription to www.OvernightRVParking.com. This is a great resource for RVers, listing well over 13,000 free places where you can park overnight. It’s a $24.95 value and it could be yours free if you’re our lucky winner. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – I’m not weird, I’m a limited edition.