Question for Photographers

Vikki

I have been enjoying the daily Show Me Yours/I'll Show Mine thread. There are many talented people and nice pictures there. I didn't want to hijack that thread but it makes me want to get a camera and learn to take pictures. My question for the regular posters and anyone else is what type of camera do you use?

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Elmer J Fudd

The camera function on most smartphones is more than adequate for casual photos.

If you want to do something more or if you don't have a smartphone, there are cameras in the "point and shoot" category that work well. Look at the +/- $100 price point on Amazon or other sellers, you'll find something small and suitable.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

To see someone who uses his phone camera to great effect, and explains his techniques, check out Om Malik's IG feed. He explains how he makes each image. He also uses high end Leicas, but that is unimportant- skip those- Leicas are crazy expensive.

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DawnInCal

I use a Canon Powershot SX720. It's small enough to fit in my purse and I take it everywhere I go.

It's an easy to use little workhorse with a powerful 40x optical zoom feature that allows me to get clear shots of far away objects. It's my second Powershot and it won't be my last. The price range is in the $250 - 300 area. I think I paid $260 for mine. It's also red which makes me happy.

Love my little camera!

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Annie Deighnaugh

I too use a Canon Powershot with 40x optical zoom and am very pleased with it...though the pics I post do come from either the camera or the phone. For me, it's the zoom that really makes the difference for composing pics and for honing in on wildlife and such.

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susanwv

I use my IPhone, I have 2 cameras gathering dust !

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jim_1 (Zone 9A)

I do not own a phone that can be carried around. Land line only due to its ability to amplify sounds properly for me (severe hearing deficit).

I used to use a Canon Power Shot, but the zoom portion left me wanting more. I purchased a DSLR Nikon at a warehouse store that came with two lens. That got to be cumbersome, I purchased a separate lens that zooms from 16 to 300. That will generally take care of things.

The Power Shot is good for most things in your neighborhood and some things if you travel. Since we travel about 90 days each year, I have decided to continue with my DSLR.

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Elmer J Fudd

I bought my first Canon Powershot what seems like 20 years ago. We're on #3. Image quality is very adequate and the small form factor encourages bringing it along.

Back in the days of living in caves and cooking over an open fire, I was VERY into photography, including developing film and printing black and white images. (It was a lot of fun)

I had (what at the time was) an expensive Nikon set with 3 lenses, a bag always full of different filters and film, and the camera body. And often a tripod on a second shoulder strap. Weight, it seemed to be maybe 15 pounds. Going sightseeing meant carrying a load akin to what you'd be porting when moving into a new house. I tried skinnying down the load and that worked to a point. Then I dropped photography and found other hobbies.

That's why a decade or more later, a small point and shoot digital camera was a welcome addition.

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caflowerluver

I use a Nikon Coolpix S8200 that I bought in 2011 and is still working great. It has 14X optical zoom and 16.1 MP CMOS. I don't have a smartphone because we don't have cell service where I live. We use ancient flip phone when out and about.

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OutsidePlaying

I am another Canon Powershot user, especially on vacation and for the long range shots, but I also use my iPhone.

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maddielee

Slight hijack, sorry. Jim wrote: “Land line only due to its ability to amplify sounds properly for me”

Hope you know that hearing aides can now be blue tooth connected to cell phones... game changer for my husband.


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Lars

I also use Canon PowerShot, but mine is SX520 HS. I bought it five years ago for $230, and I thought it was the best value for what was available then. Mine has 42x zoom, which I find very helpful.

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Vikki

You have given me something to think about. When pictures were taken with film cameras you either had a good picture or not. These days it is easy to delete or edit. Does everyone these days use photoshop or whatever to enhance their photos?

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Lars

I do use Photoshop to edit and/or enhance photos. Mainly I like to resize and crop them, but in some cases, I need to do a color balance, although my camera does most of that for me. When editing old photos, especially ones that I have scanned, I have to adjust color levels. Sometimes I do an automatic adjustment and sometimes I adjust each hue individually and manually.

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nicole___

I needed an Arabian Knights themed photo. I blurred this photo of myself with a scarf wrapped around my head and a necklace on my forehead, using Lightroom, then Photoshopped a frame around my head. Etched lines in the background for a filler. I'm old! The blurr disguises the wrinkles. :0) There are "many" reasons I use "software". It's like buying anything tho. Only buy for what YOU need or will use.

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stacey_mb

I sometimes use editing for photos as well. For example, I cropped the rooster photo that I posted to the daily photo thread in order to take out extraneous items and make the rooster more prominent. I lightened the photo of Hopewell Rocks to make details more visible.

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Debby

It's not the camera, rather it's the user of the camera that makes the difference. You can use your telephone to take wonderful photos, or you can use a camera like mine (Canon 5DM4) and take horrid shots.

It's like the saying, "your food is delicous! What kind of stove do you have?" It's not the stove, it's the cook. ;) So go ahead and buy an inexpensive point and shoot. Nowadays, most even have a wifi function so you can upload the photos to your computer easily, or to your phone to share right away. Talk to sales people at Best Buy. They're not commisioned sales people so they won't try to talk you into an expensive camera with functions you'll never use.

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Lars

I have several cameras, and some of them take better photos than others. My phone takes pretty bad photos, but I do not want to upgrade my phone. I avoided buying any camera that has WiFi because that is a function I will never use. To get my photos to my computer, I remove the memory card from the camera and insert it into my computer, and they are uploaded instantly.

My favorite feature on my camera is the zoom, but image stabilization is extremely important as well, and that varies from camera to camera. It's especially important when doing very close zooms of something far away.

My camera only cost $230 and I have found it adequate for what I want. My brother's is more expensive, and he has separate zoom and wide angle lenses which take a lot of time to change.

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DawnInCal

I totally agree with Debby. Once you have a camera in hand, practice, practice and practice. Take photos of an item from far away and close-up. Get inches away from the item or as far as you can and use the zoom feature. Try different angles - get down on the ground, from overhead, from the side and from underneath if you can. Take photos at different times of the day to see how the items you photography look as the light changes. You'd be amazed at how cool an old piece of rusty metal can look if it's photographed creatively.

As far as editing goes, I use befunky.

It's a free site, but can be upgraded to include more features for a fee. I find that the free version fits my needs (crop, resize, adjust exposure/color if needed), but if they ever decide to go to a pay only version, I like it well enough that I'd pay for a subscription.



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Vikki

Lars photoshop seems very complicated to me. I know there are classes teaching it, but I think it is over my head.

Dawn I had some old family photos scanned and saved to Picaso which had editing capabilities that I found very user friendly.

Preferably I would like a camera that takes sharp clear photos so that editing would be minimal such as crop, straighten, contrast and such. I don't know if that is realistic with cameras these days.


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jupidupi

My cousin was a professional photographer who also taught photography. I remember someone asking him for advice on what was the best camera. "The best camera," he replied "is the camera you have with you when you want to take the shot."

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DawnInCal

Good to know, Vikki. If I'm ever looking for another editing program, I'll check out Picaso. :-)

Let us know which camera you decide on and please join us at the daily photo thread once you have some photos to share.

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Vikki

"The best camera," he replied "is the camera you have with you when you want to take the shot." Yes, I have heard that before.

Dawn I think Picaso or was it Picasa doesn't exist any longer.

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jtc

Bumping up for fun2bhere.

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Fun2BHere

@jtc, thank you soooooooo much! I couldn't find this thread anywhere, but I knew it was out there.

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dee_can1

I'm a little better than a beginner, and my first camera I bought was a Canon Powershot xs720 a couple of years ago. I do really like it, and I love the zoom; but the quality of the shots don't quite compare with the quality that I get with my DSLR, that I bought after I got the powershot. I got a Canon 6D, and with some practice and buying some lenses, I've taken some pretty decent shots and I feel like I'm getting better all the time.

I take my powershot with me when I take photos because I don't own a huge (heavy!) zoom lens for my DSLR because admittedly I wouldn't be able to carry it around for long. The powershot has taken some pretty awesome zoom shots for me, though. I may post a few photos tomorrow when I'm on my other computer. Adding on: About photoshop - it's much easier to make a photo look good, if you take a good photo to begin with, just my opinion.

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petalique

Vikki,

I don’t take as many photos as I used to, but if you’re new to taking photos, you can learn a lot by just practicing and asking others for feedback. There are simple books that are elementary, you don’t need to get complicated. I’ve had friends give me their used cameras and there’s always inexpensive point and shoot digital cameras for sale on places like Craigslist. Maybe a photography knowledgable friend will go with you. But, for now, look for an inexpensive point and shoot if you do that e a mobile phone with a camera. You can practice taking photos in available indoor light, close ups, landscape, candids of people in your family.

Before getting into editing, practice “framing” a shot. Think about a way to keep track of the photos you take, and think also about your “backup” system to guard against losing them. At yard sales or stores, keep your eyes open for an appropriate camera case — one where you can neatly keep some lense paper, a lens brush, extra memory card, maybe a small scale tripod. Think about what sort of photos you might want to take, gravitate towards, or experiment with.

Lots of community places offer classes, and some senior centers have arrangement with high school students who will help seniors learn technology.

Have fun!

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