Years ago when I started my photography endeavors I had a logbook where I put in my data concerning my shots.
This journal helped to improve my photography. The purpose had been to recall the lighting conditions, equipment, and settings used for a particular image. This information is invaluable when recreating a certain image at a later date or when reproducing an effect long after the original shot was taken.
Today you can find everything in your exif data.
I decided to write a different kind of logbook now. A logbook I wished I had when I started my way into the jungle of photography. It will not be consistent and it will be my purely subjective approach to different things concerning photography and its many aspects.
Lately I have been asked a lot about the following:
What camera would you suggest?
A tough question, there are thousands of answers and even more websites, magazines and information everywhere. There is certainly no easy answer. Some will tell you to go with gear that your friends have – there are opportunities to ask, to swap and exchange gear and alike. But if you are starting and don’t have so many compadres with the same interest you are already stuck.
I did have a bunch of different cameras from point and shot versions to high-end equipment. If I would give me a tip today I would suggest: It doesn’t matter. Take anyone just looks for one, which fits in your hand easily. Lately I read a comment that a camera can be compared to a knife. Some use it to peel apples and cut vegetable some are creating statues for museums with it.
Each day and year the decision is getting tougher. Bridge cameras, Evil camera, DSLR etc., etc. If you have the chance to have some friends with cameras ask them to go out with them and test different models. Go with the one that fits you the best. The one you are comfortable holding in your hand.
The only things I like to suggest don’t necessarily go with a so-called “kit”. Kit lenses are not the best ones. In my opinion it is the best to start with a nifty fifty 50 mm f 1.8 lens where you have the “normal” view of a human eye and good low light possibilities.
I reach out shake your H A N D and hope you go out and have some fun!
But that gibber doesn't help a lot in your decision making - does it?
As said the decision will be hard . Last year the 13 major camera companies have created about 1,800 digital camera models between them, with over 100 brand-new ones alone in 2011. How to choose?
You have to ask yourself the question... what do you want to shoot most? There are a lot of cheap cameras that are good at people and landscape photography, but th price will increase to find one that does both well.
Here some ideas you might wish to consider:
1. easily to carry around and affordabel
2. short reaction time from pushing the shutter to taking the image
3. Good low-light capabilities if you shoot a lot of indoors at family gatherings. This depends as well to the lens which should have an aperture under 4.5 even better are lenses with an aperture of 2.8 or lower. Optical Image stabilisation helps as well.
4. If shooting people a zoom up to 200mm is a good choice as you can blur everything out behind your subjects.
Before buying a camera, I'd strongly recommend that you try out a few models in the shop.
You can have a look at different Web sites. I find that the following is quite good dpreview.com and has as well an encyclopedic database featuring a lot of cameras as well recommendations from experienced reviewers. If you have difficulties to understand the jargon of camera manufacturers you'll find here as well a ton of explanations.
All in all most of the gear in the price range from 500 to 700 USD are quite well and each has its own little ad- or disadvantage. Remember that the camera body is just one thing a good lens is much more important and last longer as well for the next camera body if you grade up in some years.