Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We interupt this program for "What the heck Camera should I buy?!"

Hey Hey!  Sorry about interuppting I'm Thankful week but I've seen camera questions flying around on facebook so I thought we could help a bit!

Are you getting ready for Black Friday?  For me, there is nothing on this earth worth going out for before noon on Friday.  Its crazy.  And don't even get me started on this whole shopping on Thanksgiving thing.    Thats just me though.

If you are thinking about braving the crowds to get a new camera, I know it is an awesome time to get one.  But uh, what the heck do you even look for?   I thought I would ask my personal photographer and camera expert to help you guys out with some choices and kind of give you an idea of what to look for.  I also asked my personal photography teacher to give something away.  So read what the man has to say cuz he really knows his stuff.  Then I'll check back in at the end with the giveaway details.  Cool.  And if you have any questions feel free to ask away in the comments.

Hi, Darin here.  Jenn's hubby.  She's invited me to share some insight to a question that gets asked quite often. 

What the heck camera should I buy?

I usually answer with a few questions of my own to try and help qualify the end use.  How do you see yourself using this camera?  Kids in soccer?  Shooting lots of indoor recitals or plays?  Looking to get the next lolcat cover shot?  Do you want to shoot video with it?  Do you want to haul around a big DSLR and multiple lenses?

With so many great products out there it can be intimidating to decipher the lingo and figure out which camera will best suite your needs.Here's a few tips on what to look for when perusing the camera section of your local shop in the next few weeks.

Megapixels are great, but not all their cracked up to be.  Camera manufactures love to tout how many each model has, but 6mp will give you a great 8x10 print.  So don't let that be the deciding factor when looking for a new camera.  In fact, having too many can actually make your images look worse.  Cramming too many on a sensor can introduce noise (grain) and rob clarity from your pictures.

For low light and indoor photography you want a fast lens.  Whether that is a fixed lens or an interchangeable, the larger the aperture the better chance of sharp photos.  The lens on most cameras will have focal length and aperture in white letters.  Look for the smallest number (which equals the largest aperture).  For instance if one camera has a lens that is a 2.8 and another has a lens that is a 2.0, grab the 2.0.

Sports shooters will want to look for something with a large optical zoom and image stabilization or vibration reduction.  Digital zoom=fuzzy pics, so you can ignore those stats as it is a pretty useless feature. Having a larger screen on the back of the camera can be a bonus for reviewing images in bright sun.

Tired of reading already?   Ok here are my recommendations based off of years and years of research, scientific study and my personal affinity for Nikon.  (not really, but here you go!)

Best camera under $150

Canon Powershot A330
Comes in fancy colors!

Best camera to take on an adventure

Olympus Stylus Tough 800
Water, sand and life proof.

Best superzoom

Fujifilm HS10
30x optical zoom,10mp and 3 inch tilting screen

Best entry level DSLR

Canon Rebel T3i/600D

Nikon D5100

Best advanced DSLR under $1500

Nikon D7000

So whats in my camera bag?

Nikon D300
Nikon D7000
Nikon 70-200mm 2.8
Nikon 16-85mm 3.5
Nikon 35mm 1.8 
Nikon 50mm 1.4
Nikon 85mm 1.8
Nikon 105 2.8
3 flashes
Radio remotes

In the end, the best camera is the one  you have with it an Iphone, a DSLR or a pinhole. Happy holidays and have fun shooting with your new camera!


Thanks D.  Ok.  So did that help at all?  I hope so.  Now here's the deal.  Once you get your camera you are going to look at it and say UH......WTF STOP.  {haha thats some camera humor I though Darin might like!}  Anyways, your fancy new camera won't do you any good unless you know how to use it.  So I bribed Darin in to giving away a slot in his upcoming Intro To Photography class.  This class will teach you what all those crazy things like ISO and aperture even mean.  You will learn how to shoot in {ACK! JUST BREATHE!} manual mode by the time its done.

Sound like just what you need?  You have three ways to enter

1.  Leave a comment, whether its a question or just to say hi I want to win!
2.  Like Darin Warnick Photography on Facebook, leave another comment saying you did or already do.
3.  Like Level Up! Photography Workshops on Facebook, then come tell me you did that.

{Don't want to risk it?  You can sign up for the class on the Level Up page. }

We will be back to I'm Thankful week later!



  1. Hi! Thank you for putting this together! One comment: for the "Best entry level DSLR" Canon I think you meant T3i, not T3 (The T3 exists too, so it's confusing...). The older T2i is equally amazing, just doesn't have the articulating screen.

  2. Hi - great info, which I'm printing out to pass along to my husband, hint hint. Would love to win a spot in his class!

  3. I would also add to this list:
    - the Canon PowerShot S-95 (
    - the Fujifilm FinePix X100 ( [this one is a perfect hybrid of a point-and-shoot and a DSLR, cost in a downside though]

    Great Post!

  4. I would love to be in Darin's class! Of course, I need the camera first but I think Santa's on top of it...

    Like both on Facebook as well!

  5. Wow, you guys are so generous! Thank you. I would love that class and I would drive over to take that! :)

  6. I like Level UP! Photography workshops on FB!

  7. [hey don't count this is the draw, k?]
    just thought i'd send my kudos your way for being so smart; this post was a seriously great idea jenn! you're a clever girl. as if the thankful posts weren't inspiring enough, this post proves that you absolutely think of just about everything. (p.s. i hear ya on the thanksgiving day shopping, oy!) happy thanksgiving to all three of you! ::hugs::

  8. winning would be great :)liked both pages.


I la la love hearing from you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails