A Guide to Taking Majestic Wide-Angle Tree Photos

Trees are one of the most majestic living things on our planet; capable of growing centuries old, these silent sentinels stand in one spot and watch the ages go by, capturing their grandeur is something that every nature photographer should know how to do. There are several things that one must keep in mind when capturing a tree’s photo, in order to capture them in all their glory, you need to have a wide-angle lens and you need to know how you are going to use it.

Envisioning Your Shot

The first step to taking the perfect photograph is to know what you want to capture in the photo. When it comes to taking majestic pictures of trees, there are a lot of examples that one can look at in order to figure out what they want their shot to look like. The Lord of The Rings trilogy is one of the best movies to go to when looking for tree shot ideas, the movie is abundant with forest areas and valley brimming with trees. Since the movie itself is set in a fantasy land, the trees visible in every scene are captured in a manner that makes them look incredibly grand and timeless.

Apart from the movie, you can also find great examples and ideas for tree shots in video game artwork and more, one thing that you might notice when going through photographs of trees is that in order to get that infinitely timeless and majestic feel, almost every shot is taken from a low angle.

Finding The Right Place

Once you have figured out what you want to do to make your tree shots as majestic as possible, the next step is to find a spot where you can feel the atmosphere that you want to catch, unfortunately not all of us live near to or in the middle of old forests and jungles. You should keep in mind the lighting, the shape of the tree’s branches and the background as well, the denser the tree canopy and the number of trees in the area, the more you will be able to make your photos better.

Beech trees are a great subject for practicing your tree shots on, their natural shape brings about a creepy and ominous look in them, old and towering oak trees and silver birches also look great, however you should not just restrict yourself to these trees, any tree that has an old look to it should work fine.

Search The Web For Spectacular Trees

Thanks to modern development and excessive deforestation, it is becoming harder and harder to find trees that have that centuries-old look to them, if you are having a hard time finding huge trees then it is not your fault. Fortunately, we can pretty much find anything on the internet, this includes pictures and locations of trees that are picture worthy. You can find an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of some of the best-looking trees in the world at Monumental Trees; a website that is dedicated to recognizing the everlasting beauty of nature. You can also find details about every tree that is listed on this website.

Lighting

Lighting is what makes or breaks the atmosphere in any shot. When it comes to capturing tree shots you are going to want to make the most out of the lighting in the area so that your picture becomes atmospherically rich. The best time to take tree photos is early in the morning, right when the sun begins to rise; at this time, the sun’s rays penetrate the foliage at just the right angle and reflect all the moisture in the area, creating a misty effect and (if you are lucky enough) god rays, also known as crepuscular rays.

A combination of mist in the air and god rays brings an incredibly ethereal touch to your photos, instantly transforming and augmenting the atmosphere of the shot that you are capturing.

Getting The Right Angle

To make the most out of the lighting and to signify the size of the tree that you are going to capture, you need to really get in close to the tree and get as low as possible, think of it as taking a picture from a mouse’s perspective. You need to keep in mind two things when getting your angle ready; the foreground of your picture should peak the viewer’s interest and the background should be brighter.

A helpful tip for better angling would be to get so close to the tree that you will have a hard time focusing on the ground foliage, this will make the ground plants look slightly blurry, allowing them to add to the picture’s atmosphere without taking attention away from the tree.

Setting Up Your Camera

It goes without saying that you are going to have your camera set to manual mode to get the shot that you want, you should start by setting your camera’s focus to be as sharp as possible, this can be done by setting your aperture to f/22 and point your wide-angle lens in a way that the subject comes in a third of your frame. Keep in mind that with your aperture set to f/22, you are going to have to deal with diffraction which will reduce the sharpness of your image, the best way to deal with this problem is to make use of focus stacking as well.

If you are going to use aperture priority mode then you are going to want to set your aperture to f/6.3 and then manually set your focus ring to the minimum focusing distance, now take a look at your exposure amount, keeping in mind that it should not be too bright. A darker image will mean more atmosphere, if you are trying to take a picture on a windy day then you can set your ISO to a higher number in order to capture swaying leaves better.

Also, remember that these settings are not going to be easy to set, take your time and twiddle with your camera till you find the perfect combination, every time you set your exposure you are going to want to rotate your focus ring a bit further and then repeat everything again. The number of times you are going to have to do this will depend on the focal length of your camera.

Reviewing Your Shots

Unless you have a camera with a tilting screen, you are going to find reviewing your photos to be quite painstaking, the best you can do is take multiple shots and then review them at once, the more you will practice the better you will become at getting better photos based on estimates and guesswork.

Overview

Overall, in order to master tree photography that captures trees in a majestic and ethereal manner, you need to have a wide-angle lens, other lenses can work as well but a wide-angle lens produces better results.

You will also need to get in as close as possible to get the right feeling, however, the closer you get to a subject the harder it becomes to get the right amount of focus and exposure. Through practice, you will be able to develop a “feel” for capturing photos at odd angles such as these.

Also, timing is key if you want to have the lighting on your side, trees look their best right when the sun rises.

Having a camera with a tilting screen will help, and if you are having a hard time finding the right place to capture your photos, go online for help, you are bound to find a good looking tree or two with the help of websites such as Monumental Trees.

Best Mirrorless Cameras in 2017/2018 – The Ultimate Buyers Guide

Panasonic Lumix GX800

To most of us, the DSLR is the best way to take good pictures but there is another kind of camera that’s growing in popularity because it offers photographers with a few things that their DSLRs can’t. The Mirrorless camera is smaller than the DSLR, which makes it easier to carry on you but that’s not all it’s good for; it offers you a means to maximise the potential of your style of photography. In this roundup review, we’ll walk you through some of the best mirrorless cameras available on the market today, but first, let’s talk a little more about what makes these so great in the first place.

Traditional DLSR cameras have a mirror on the inside that reflects the image captured by the lens towards the ceiling of the camera before it can be seen through your optical viewfinder. There’s a phase-detection module in the ceiling that Auto Focuses the image before you see it and once you have the right focus and you click the button, the mirror shifts upwards to expose the sensor beneath it so that the image you see is captured (this is why your viewfinder goes dark for a split second while the image is being captured).

Mirrorless cameras don’t have this mirror mechanism that first presents the image to you and then to the sensor; the light passes through the lens and straight to the sensor. Since they didn’t have a phase detector, the mirrorless cameras had to rely on really good contrast detection technology to get a good focus. This technology was a bit slower than the phase detector in DSLR cameras and in the beginning, this was a problem with mirrorless cameras but these days mirrorless cameras come with sensors that have phase detection AF and they work in combination with the old-fashioned contrast detection AF. As a result of these two autofocus technologies working side by side and with the absence of the mirror mechanism, mirrorless cameras now have way faster AF and shooting speeds than their DSLR counterparts.

Understanding The EVF And The Sensor

Early mirrorless cameras had an issue that put a lot of photographers off; they didn’t come with an inbuilt optical viewfinder (since there was no mirror) and that meant that you had to install an EVF or Electronic View Finder in its place. These were big and clunky and at the same time, they also offered a very pixelated view that didn’t really offer a good idea about the focus of the image. The good news is that the EVFs that come with today’s mirrorless cameras have a much higher resolution and they can show you almost the same kind of results as an optical viewfinder on a DSLR.

Another thing that’s improved with mirrorless cameras is how they were initially fitted with micro four third sensors which were smaller but these days you get many different sizes of sensors to choose from, including FF and APS-C. You have more options now but what you choose from those options depends on your photography requirements and your budget.

We understand that there’s a lot of weird photography jargon that we’re tossing round in this roundup and since we’ll be doing that quite some while reviewing the cameras, we’ve included a segment that’ll make understanding this jargon easier for you.

The Mirrorless Camera Mumbo Jumbo Explained

Hybrid AF Systems:

This mode of autofocus is being used in more and more models of Mirrorless cameras. It combines the on-sensor phase detection we talked about earlier with the contrast detection focus that was once a weakness of the mirrorless camera into very fast Hybrid AF system. With Hybrid AF and the faster processors that these cameras have for focus, the mirrorless camera has outrivaled the DSLR in terms of Auto Focus speeds.

Rear Display:

More and more mirrorless cameras now feature a touch compatible rear screen that allows you to operate your camera faster and more effectively since you can view your images as well. Some screens are fitted into the camera, while others can be pulled out and tilted to get a better angle.

Video:

In the start, capturing videos wasn’t really within the domain of mirrorless cameras but over time, that’s changed. A lot of mirrorless cameras on the market today are offering 4K video capture with broadcast quality; the Panasonic Lumix GH5 stands out in this regard and offers 10-bit 10:2:2 4k video capture. If you’re looking for a model that excels at video capture, be sure to look for dedicated microphones for sound input.

Media Slot:

As a standard, all mirrorless camera models come with at least one slot for a micro SD card; however, higher end sports models are starting to feature two slots as well. You can configure multiple card slots in a number of ways; you can use one card to store all your raw shots and the other for your videos and stills. Right now only the highest end models support the faster UHS-II SD cards but we’re hoping to see more of these sometime soon.

Design:

In a broad sense, mirrorless cameras are designed in two ways; they’re either modeled and styled after classic rangefinder cameras while others seem like attempts to look more like slimmer DSLR cameras with similar handling. Ultimately, when you’re choosing a camera, what design you go for depends on your preferences but do keep build quality in mind while making your purchase.

Panasonic Lumix GX800 – The Best Entry Level Mirrorless Camera

Notable Features:

  • 16 megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 4k Video recording
  • Continuous shooting of 5 frames per second
  • 3’’ flip-up LCD
  • No EVF
  • ISO 200-25,600 (expandable to ISO 100 as well)

Panasonic Lumix GX800Panasonic has a great variety of Mirrorless cameras available on the market right now and they cover pretty much every price point and skill level of the photographer. The GX800 was released at the start of 2017 and is classed as an entry-level model. It’s aimed at casual photographers who are looking for a camera with interchangeable lenses, that’s easy to use and offers them better images than what their smartphone’s camera is capable of.

Like the GX80, the GX800 features the same 16 megapixels Live MOS sensor, which means that you can expect the same high-quality images. The low-pass filter, however, has been removed in the GX800 for a finer detail, which is definitely a plus point. Panasonic’s Venus Engine handles the image processing pretty well and can shoot at a continuous speed of 5 frames per second with a sensitivity range of IS0 200 – 25,600 with an option of extending the range further to ISO 100 as well.

On top of that, the GX800 can also record 4K video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. There’s also a 4K photo mode that lets you capture 8 megapixel still images from the 4K footage you’re shooting; you won’t miss a single photo op this way.

Moreover, the GX800 is the smallest and lightest model that we’ve seen in the Lumix line up right now. Additionally, it boasts that retro rangefinder aesthetic that gives it quite the character. The camera does lack an EVF and there’s no option to attach an aftermarket one either and there are very few buttons that you can use to interact with your camera but there’s a touchscreen that flips out at 180 degrees so that you have a good view while capturing images and it also offers you an intuitive means of controlling your camera, for the lack of buttons.

Sony A6000

Notable Features:

  • 1080p video recording
  • 11 frames per second continuous shooting speed
  • APS-C CMOS sensor 24.3 megapixel
  • 3 inch tiltable LCD screen
  • 44m-dot EVF
  • ISO 100-12,800 sensitivity (expandable to ISO 25,600)

best mirrorless cameraThe A6000 came out in 2014 but it still holds its place in Sony’s current line-up of mirrorless cameras; it’s cheaper than its succeeding models, the A6300 and A6500. It’s a great camera still but there are some areas in which you can kind of tell that it’s an old timer but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still very relevant and offers an amazing value for money.

The A6000 boasts some very impressive specs that tell us that it’s not ready to go off of the shelves anytime soon; it’s using a 2.4 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor, coupled with Sony’s iconic BIONZ X processor. The A6000 offers a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 – 25,600 and the setting can be extended up to ISO 51,000 as well. On top of that, the continuous shooting speed of 11 frames per second is also on par with many recent models.

An area where the A6000 falls short as an old camera is the fact that its video recording capabilities haven’t yet evolved to the 4K mark. However, it can still record 1080p video at 60 frames per second, which is great news for most of us. Another neat thing that this camera is packing is the fact that it supports NFC and WiFi connectivity and you get a whole slew of neat shooting features and additional functionality from Sony’s PlayMemories apps for their cameras.

When the A600 was first launched, one of its most immediate eye-catching features was the fact that it had a Hybrid AF system that combines 179 phase detection point AF and 25 points in contrast detect AF. This meant that it had the fastest focusing speeds and covered amazing ground with its viewfinder. These days, we find Hybrid AF systems in many of the best mirrorless cameras but the one in A6000 still stands out.

The 3 inch LCD screen tilts out to give you a better and adjustable view but unlike the A6500 that succeeded it, the A6000 doesn’t feature a touchscreen but it could have since 2014 was still not outside the touchscreen era. The 1.44m-dot EVF doesn’t have a resolution as high as the succeeding mirrorless cameras from Sony that have 2.36m-dot EVF, but it still offers a view that’s perfectly workable.

We’re also pleased with the build quality of the A6000; the magnesium alloy and polycarbonate shell of the camera is definitely robust but it’s not weather sealed so that’s something to keep in mind.

Fujifilm X-T20

Notable Features:

  • Can capture 4K video
  • Electronic shutter 14 frames per second continuous shooting speed
  • 3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor
  • ISO 200-12,800 with an extendable range of ISO 100-51,200
  • 04m-dot/3” tiltable LCD touchscreen
  • High resolution 2.36m-dot EVF with 100{5a6225552c8d664a9f43d813aeeaecd3f03bdf639eec698785f645283e5c750e} coverage at 0.62x

In the start of 2017, the X-T20 succeeded its predecessor, the Fujifilm X-T10 from 2015. There are quite a few notable upgrades that step the newer model up from the older one and a lot of these are influenced by the X-T2, which is Fujifilm’s flagship mirrorless camera model. Here are some of the major updates that we saw in the X-T20; the outgoing model had a 16-megapixel resolution which got improved upon by the 24.3-megapixel resolution in the X-T20’s X-Trans CMOS II sensor.

The X-T20 also has a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200 after expansion, thanks to Fujifilm’s X Processor Pro. The mechanical shutter of the X-T20 enables it to shoot continuously at the speed of 8 frames per second which isn’t all that impressive but if you switch to the electronic shutter, you can achieve speeds of up to 14 frames per second.

Another area where the X-T20 improves upon its predecessor is its improved Hybrid AF system; it incorporates 91 AF points as compared to the 49 points that the X-T10 covered, the newer module in the central portion of the viewfinder also includes 49 points of phase detection AF. The LCD screen at the back also enjoys a higher resolution of 1.04m-dots over the 922k-dots in the older model and on top of that, it also features touchscreen controls which make it more intuitive to use. The 4K video recording is an improvement over the 1080p full HD capture that we saw in the X-T10.

A lot has changed but some of the good things still remain unchanged; both cameras still have the same 2.36m-dot EVF which provides full coverage even when zoomed up to 0.62x. Both cameras boast the rangefinder-like aesthetic, in terms of design and the build quality is pretty great thanks to the magnesium alloy construction but there’s a lack of weather sealing on the X-T20 which is something that the X-T2 features. We also like the aluminum dials on the top of the camera; they add to the retro look and feel and are pretty nice and tactile to use too.

OM-D E-M10 Mark III By Olympus

Notable Features:

  • Micro Four Thirds sensor (16 megapixels)
  • ISO 200-25,600 (expandable to ISO 100)
  • Continuous shooting speed of 8.6 frames per second
  • 3’’ tilting LCD touchscreen 1.04m-dot resolution
  • 36m-dot Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording

Two years back, we had the OM-D E-M10 Mark II from Olympus, the Mark III is basically the newer, updated version of that. There’s a lot of similarities in features and even specs between the two cameras but there are quite a few new additions as well, which we’re going to go over. The most notable upgrade is how they’ve overhauled the entire UI of the camera, making it more intuitive and therefore easier to use.

The Newer Mark III has the same resolution as the outgoing model but the 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor makes all the difference; the low light performance is stellar. This has a lot to do with Olympus’s new TruePic III image processor as well; this is the same processor that they are using in their flagship camera, OM-G E-M1 MK. II. This also means another thing for the E-m10 Mark III and that’s superior video recording; it can record 4K video at 30 frames per second and slow-motion video at 120 frames per second but capped at 720p resolution, which is still fair. However, we do wish that there was an option to attach an aftermarket microphone to the camera for better sound recording with the video, but we can’t and there’s no option of attaching headphones either so that’s a bit of a let-down.

Coming back to improvements, the AF module has greatly been upgraded; it incorporates a remarkable 121 – point contrast detect system, which far outshines the older model’s 81 – point AF. This system isn’t as fast as a lot of Hybrid AF systems that we’ve seen in mirrorless cameras out there but it’s still pretty quick; however, it’s plenitude of AF points means that it has a wider coverage than most models as well. Another reason why we feel like this camera is great for enthusiasts is because of its image stabilization even without the use of a separate stabilized lens; it uses a 5 – axis image stabilization technology which allows shutter compensation of four points.

Moving on to design, the Mark III doesn’t have weather sealing, which a lot of high-end Olympus models have but despite that, we’re pleased with how the camera feels and sits in the hand; the grip is very nice and ergonomic and the camera itself feels very durable. If you’ve used an older model from Olympus in the past, then you’ll be really pleased to know that the button configuration is the same and you won’t have to get used to something new; however, there have been massive improvements on top of that to make the user interface more intuitive and more effective to use; it’s much simpler to navigate the menu now. Overall, this is a great camera that both newcomers to mirrorless cameras as well as enthusiasts can enjoy using.

X-T2 From Fujifilm

Notable Features:

  • 3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III
  • ISO 200-12,800 (can be expanded to ISO 51,200)
  • 8 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 3’’/1.04m-dot vari-angle LCD
  • 36-million-dot EVF
  • 4K video capture

Right now, there are two available flagship mirrorless camera models from Fujifilm; the X-Pro 2, which is a camera that’s seemingly built for those of us who enjoy still photography with small prime lenses and then there’s the X-T2, which is a more versatile camera with great video capture and better optimization for larger lenses.

The X-T2 has a number of advantages over its little brother, the X-Pro 2; 4K video recording, a better EVF and an articulated LCD screen, to name a few. However, there are also a certain number of things where it falls short, in comparison to the X-Pro 2; the XT-2 isn’t blessed with the hybrid viewfinder of the X-Pro 2 which combines EVF with an actual optical viewfinder. Yes, an optical viewfinder on a mirrorless camera! Remember how we talked about the two basic kinds of mirrorless camera designs? The X-Pro 2 follows the retro aesthetic of the rangefinder design while the X-T2 follows the same DSLR like look with a sculpted rubber grip and a raised viewfinder on the top, like the 2014 X-T1 before it. Both the current flagship cameras have a very durable magnesium alloy build and the good news is that they’re both weather sealed as well.

Now that we’ve gone over the design of the camera, let’s talk about what’s inside it. The X-T2 contains a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor that’s powered by Fujifilm’s powerful image processor, the X-Processor Pro. The shutter speed of the camera using the mechanical shutter lands at about 1/8000sec with a continuous shooting speed of 8 frames per second, but if you use the electronic shutter instead, you can amp this speed up to even 1/32,000sec and shoot continuously at 14 frames per second provided that you attach the VPB-TX2 power booster grip (this is sold separately).

Moving on to focus; the Hybrid AF system on board the X-T2 makes use of a whopping 325 AF points with 169 points of phase detection; basically what this means is that the focus speeds are absolutely spectacular on this camera, provided that the lighting is good, but the viewfinder coverage doesn’t stretch to a full. The X-T2 also allows you to track moving objects with a multitude of options in its AF-C customisation modes, making it an excellent choice for sports photographers and anyone who wants to shoot things in action.

And finally, the X-T2 was also the first model in its domain to support 4K video recording and what makes the video recording experience even better is the fact that you also have the option of attaching an external microphone for better sound recording. The X-T2 is truly a camera that’s fit for high-end photography; it’s a looker and an all-around performer at the same time.

OM-D E-M1 II By Olympus

Notable Features:

  • 4 megapixel Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 (can be extended to ISO 64)
  • Continuous shooting speed of 18 frames per second
  • 3’’ vari-angle touchscreen LCD with 1.03m-dots resolution
  • 36m-dot Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording

Not too long ago, the image processors used in digital cameras weren’t capable of processing the larger amounts of data that high-resolution images produce. As a result, these older processors were much slower when it came to capturing bigger images and would hold photographers back from being able to shoot bursts of photos at faster speeds. Fortunately, the industry for cameras has started paying more attention to the kind of processors they use and are now using ultra-fast image processors that can handle high-resolution pictures as if they were nothing.

This new trend in processors is especially good news for sports photographers and those of us who want to shoot things in action – this includes wildlife photography as well. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 II takes advantage of these speed and performance upgrades and presents itself as a high-end camera that’s perfect for speed photography (this means fast moving objects and faster capture speeds in general).

The original iteration of the OM-D E-M1 model used a 16 MP sensor, which the 2016 OM-D E-M1 II improves on with its 20.4-megapixel sensor coupled with Olympus’s TruePic VIII processor; this processor packs a dual quad-core chipset. One of the chipsets handles the camera’s image processing while its counterpart takes care of the camera’s Auto Focus system. This genius layout is what enables this camera to shoot at an incredible speed of 18 frames per second and that’s just with the mechanical shutter. By now you probably know what’s coming next; yes, with the electronic shutter you can get even high speeds – we’re talking 60 frames per second of continuous shooting. This speed is incredible, to say the least, but all the frames will have the same focus of the first frame.

The autofocus of the OM-D E-M1 II is another area that proves that it’s the best mirrorless camera out there in there as far as speed is concerned. The OM-D E-M1 II uses a remarkable 121 focus points and cross-type phase detection AF points; altogether, it can cover pretty much 80{5a6225552c8d664a9f43d813aeeaecd3f03bdf639eec698785f645283e5c750e} of the frame. This Auto Focus system excels at capturing moving objects in focus pretty well with no blur; the 5 axis image stabilization technology plays a hand here as well with about 6.5 compensation stops.

Asides from all that, you get built-in WiFi, twin SD card slots for better-managed storage and you can record 4K video at 30 frames per second. The magnesium alloy construction promises durability and there’s weather sealing as well, which means that you can shoot in all kinds of conditions without having to worry about your camera getting ruined. This is the best camera out there for those who want to shoot at speed.

Lumix GH5 By Panasonic

Notable Features:

  • 3-megapixel sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600 native sensitivity (can be expanded to ISO 100)
  • 12 frames per second of continuous shooting speed
  • 2’’ vari-angle touchscreen 1.62 million-dots resolution
  • 68 million dot resolution Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording at 10-bit

Video enthusiasts have been turning to the GH series by Panasonic for a long time and the new GH5 takes the success of the GH series up a notch with 4K video recording support at 60 frames per second. Oh, and that’s not nearly all, you can record broadcast level 10-bit video at an aspect ratio of 10:2:2 and 30 frames per second. This means that the GH5 is capable of recording about 64 times more data than the previous 8-bit standard; this makes it an absolute treat for videographers who are looking for more flexibility in their production work. The GH5 is also capable of recording at 1080p and 720p qualities a well and just so you can make the audio recording even better, you have the option of including a microphone and you can also attach headphones. There’s also an HDMI port so you can view your video on larger screens.

Overall, the video recording capabilities of this mirrorless camera are definitely as good as it gets but the image capturing ability of this camera is no joke either. The Live MOS series sensor of 20.3-megapixel resolution coupled with the Venus Engine 10 processor makes this a fast focusing shooter as well. The AF module incorporates 225-points of focus and the defocus contrast detection technology working alongside this means that it can focus on times as fast as 0.05secs. You also get 5 points lof shutter speed compensation thanks to the GH5’s Dual IS two 5 axis image stabilization; no need to use a stabilization lens here but you can for even crazier stability.

There’s also a 6K photo capture mode which allows you to capture still images at 30 frames per second and if you want to capture even faster stills, then you have the option of switching to 4K photo capture mode to capture 8-megapixel images at 60 frames per second as well. Moving on, the camera has a very premium looking design but it’s not small or lightweight at all. The sturdy magnesium alloy construction and the weather sealing make it a camera that you can take around without having it break easily. The GH5 is the ultimate mirrorless camera for stills and videos at the same time – if that’s what you’re after then don’t pass on this camera.

The A7 II By Sony

Notable Features:

  • 3 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25,600 native sensitivity (can be expanded to ISO 50)
  • 5 frames per second of continuous shooting speed
  • 3’’/1.22m-dot resolution LCD
  • 4m-dot resolution Electronic View Finder
  • 1080p high definition video recording

Right now, Sony’s FF A7 camera range consists of three models, each with their own specialties. First, the 12.2 megapixels A7S II, the photojournalist camera that offers extended ISO sensitivity ranges and wide dynamic ranges. Second, we have the 42.4 megapixel A7R II that offers bigger images over other things due to its high resolutions, making it perfect for commercial photography for large signs and boards. Last but certainly not the least in any way, we have the 23.3 megapixel A7 II, which brings you a balance between the abilities of its other two siblings, making it a jack of all trades. The A7 II is all about flexibility and customization with high-resolution capabilities.

The A7 II was introduced in 2015 and it improves over the 2014 A7 model thanks to its FF sensor, which proved to be a breakthrough for mirrorless cameras since no other mirrorless camera used an FF sensor at the time. However, despite the good press it got, there were some handling issues with the A7 that are worth mentioning; these were improved in the newer A7 II while keeping all the goodies from the older model. Other improvements include how the hande is reshaped to provide a better and more secure hold on the camera and the buttons layout has also been revised a bit to make interactions with the camera easier.

Both the new and old A7 models share the same BIONZ X powered 24 megapixel FF sensor with native sensitivity ranges between ISO 100-25,000 with the option to go down to ISO 50 as well. Both of them also feature continuous shooting speeds of 5 frames per second. The A7 II does, however, boast a hybrid 124-point AF system with 99 points in phase detection AF and 25 points in contrast detect AF; altogether it’s a very speedy focus. Neither of the two models offer 4K video recording but there’s a plenitude of recording options at 1080p and 720p resolutions.

One area that improved the handling issues of the older model was how the A7 II offers a better image stabilization technology; the 5 axis Sony SteadyShot provides 4.5 compensation stops that make it great to use with slow shutter speeds. The A7 II is also very durable thanks to its magnesium alloy construction that’s further secured by weather sealing.

The A7R II By Sony

Notable Features:

  • 4 megapixel FF BSI CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100-25,600 native sensitivity (can be expanded to ISO 50-1-2,400)
  • 5 frames per second of continuous shooting speeds
  • 3’’/1.23m-dot tiltable LCD
  • 46m-dot OLED Electronic View Finder
  • 4K video recording

The A7 II that we talked about just prior to this was poised at providing a balance between the other two A7 models from Sony but its other two siblings are made to be perfect in what they do; the A7S II is perfect when it comes to low light photography and the A7R II, which we’re concerned with, is all about high resolution and the ultimate image quality. The A7R II seems to improve on the original A7 in pretty much every way we can think of; the resolution has been amped up from 36.2 megapixels to a staggering 42.4 megapixel but without any compromises in performance, which we saw in the older model. The shooting speed is the same as the A7 II that we talked about earlier but the resolution is almost twice as high with more native sensitivity and two exposure value stops higher.

The A7R II is the only one of the three cameras in Sony’s current A7 line up that lacks a low pass optical filter but it does have a more refined Hybrid AF system than its siblings that can use 399 phase detection and 25 contrast detection points; the viewfinder coverage is also much larger and the focus is instantaneous. The A7R II and the A7S II both offer 4K video recording at 30 frames per second, which the A7 II doesn’t. The flat result of the 4K capture is great material to work for while grading, which is good news for videographers.

The 42.4-megapixel resolution of the A7R II would seem to be its biggest selling point and it definitely is its biggest strength but that’s not all it can do for you. You have various APS-C cropping mode options that let you create spectacular images at lower resolutions. Aside from that, you’ll see all kinds of goodies you’d expect from a high-end mirrorless camera; this includes magnesium alloy build which is weather sealed, a high-resolution OLED EVF that’s easier on the eyes and a tiltable screen for better viewing angles. You also have a lot of controls that let you customise your camera to your desired settings.

The A9 By Sony

Notable Features:

  • 24 megapixel FF Exmor RS sensor
  • ISO 100-51,200 native sensitivity (expandable to ISO 50-204,800)
  • 20 frames per second of continuous shooting speed
  • 3’’/1.44m-dot touchscreen LCD
  • 68m-dot OLED EVF
  • 4K video

The A9 by was released by Sony in Mid 2017 and is designed to hold its own against DLSR cameras by Nikon and Canon’s high-grade cameras with its high-speed FF features. The A9 is pretty much ideal for wildlife and sport photography thanks to its incredible tracking abilities and high burst shooting speeds. The extended range of its native sensitivity draws event photographers to it as well.

The A9 is only capable of this kind of versatile performance thanks to the Sony 24 megapixel FF Exmor RS sensor which it’s built around. The BIONZ X image processor is able to handle the images about 20 times faster than ordinary chips because of the camera’s stacked design; the sensor is mounted underneath the photo-diodes and the DRAM chip for faster data transference to the processor. Putting this configuration to real life use, this means that the A9 can shoot at a continuous speed of 20 frames per second while using AF-C and the electronic shutter without any kind of shutter related distortion. The max shutter speed with the electronic option is 1/32,000 sec while the mechanical option operates at 1/8000sec with a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second.

Another area in which the A9 is a winner is its stellar AF system that incorporates a whopping 693 phase detection points that pretty much cover the entire frame. The tracking abilities are crazy and the camera can refocus as much as 60 times in a single second, meaning that it’s actually hard to lose focus. Sony’s SteadyShot is also present as a 5 axis image stabilizing system, making sure that images are sharp all the time and even when the shutter speed is slow.

The A9 is a flagship camera in every little aspect and the build quality is up to that high mark, where we wanted it to be. The camera is completely dust and moisture proof and there are a lot of physical controls that you can tinker with to place your AF points where you need them. The A9 uses a 3.68m-dot resolution EVF which is the sharpest available in the market right now. Like all the flagship cameras out there, the 3 inch LCD features touchscreen functionality and there’s support for 4k video recording as well at 30 frames per second. The result of the video capture is pretty clean but not flat enough for videographers to use for grading, however.

How to Unpixelate a Picture

how to unpixelate a picture

Removing Unwanted Pixels From Your Pictures

Your computer’s screen is made up of these tiny things called pixels. What these pixels do is that they light up in certain color combinations in the background to form the images you see on your screen at any time. A lot of notable video games have pixelated graphics that give them their charm; we’re sure that Nintendo’s classic Super Mario Bros rings a bell to most of you. These pixelated graphic effects might look all cool and colorful in games, but if you’re dealing with digital images, the last thing you’d ever want to see are heavily pixelated areas.

Fortunately, some very handy tools come with Adobe Photoshop specifically to counter pixilation on images. You can use these tools to tweak the image till it’s all smooth to look at and this article will walk you through how to unpixelate a picture.

The first thing that you need to do is to launch the Photoshop program from your desktop; once that’s done, head on over to the ‘file’ tab on the top left-hand side of the screen and hit the option that says ‘Open.’ You can now find the file that you want to import into Photoshop and work with. Next, you need to turn the image into a layer, which can be done by double-clicking on the option that says image background, it will be under the ‘layers’ tab.

Now you need to blur the image by selecting the ‘blur’ tool from the left-hand side toolbar; this tool will look like a water dropper once selected. Now move to the top and adjust the size and shape of your brush according to your picture, from the panel right under the Menu bar.

Next, you’ll want to return to your trusty toolbar and find this option that looks like two overlapping box shapes; open the dialogue window for ‘foreground’ by double-clicking on the first box and then apply the blur to the color of the picture that you need to change, using the dropper tool. Once you’ve selected the color that you’re working with, you can hit ‘ok’ and head over to the next step.

Use your blur dropper tool to soften every pixelated edge you can find on your image and then head on over to the ‘filter’ option under ‘blur’ and choose the option that reads ‘Gaussian Blur’; this will immediately soften out that pixelated mess. And voila, that’s it – you did it!

How To Blur Out Someone’s Face in a Photo?

You’ve learned how you can use the blur option to smooth out harsh pixelated areas in images but that’s not all blur is good for. It’s safe to say that we all know someone who ends up being in a nice photo but doesn’t want their face to appear to strange audience on Facebook. It’s understandable which is why it’s a good idea to respect their privacy and just blur out their face from the image altogether. At other times, you might want to create that cool macro focus effect where one person’s face is the focal point on the image and the rest are blurred and out of focus in the backdrop.

The good news is that the Adobe Photoshop program lets you get creative with all kinds of effects and has many tools that can help you achieve both of these blur effects in such a way that it’s hard to tell if the image is photoshopped or just skilfully shot. Here’s what you have to do.

Open your Photoshop program and go over to file and choose your photo from the ‘open’ option again.

Navigate to the toolbar on the left-hand side of your window and select the tool that reads ‘Rectangle Marquee Too’; you can also auto-select this tool by hitting ‘M’ on your keyboard. Drag the tool over the target’s face in the photo to create a box that goes down halfway to the scruff of their neck.

Next, you want to head to ‘filter’ and then choose the option that says ‘pixelate.’ Now click on the ‘mosaic’ option to open a window that allows you to adjust the ‘cell size’; this will blur that person’s face, and you can adjust it till you find the right kind of blur. Once that’s done, and you’re happy with the results, you can click ‘ok’ and return to your picture. That’s pretty much it – oh and be sure to save the new image with a newer title, so you don’t accidentally overwrite the original image.

The Best Bridge Cameras in 2018

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

We have all heard of Expensive DSLR cameras that are capable of capturing stunning images, but since they are quite complicated, not many people can use them to their full extent. At the other end of the spectrum we have point and shoot cameras that offer decent performance, but can be very limited in use. Bridge cameras are a third type of cameras, as their name suggests; these cameras “bridge” the gap between complicated professional shooting devices and simplistic cameras for amateurs. Bridge cameras sacrifice certain features that are common in DSLR cameras, such as swappable lenses, powerful sensors, processors and more, this makes them sacrifice a bit of performance as well, but they still manage to be vastly superior to lower level cameras.

The best thing about bridge cameras is the fact that not only are they more compact and easier to use, but they also cost less, making them an excellent option for people who are mid-level or beginner photographers.

We have taken some of the best bridge cameras and after making them go through rigorous tests, we have come to the conclusion that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is the best compact bridge camera out there, not only does it have a sensor as large as the kind found on DSLRs, it can also record 4K video and is quite easy to carry around. For people who want a camera that can capture images up close, the Canon PowerShot SX60 HS is a superb choice with its incredible 65x optical zoom.

Bridge cameras mostly sit in the backseat when compared to DSLRs, but there are always exceptions such as the Soy Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 Mark 2; a bridge camera that packs enough power to actually beat most SLRs that are equipped with their kit-lenses. This camera provides one with the ability to shoot great pictures and videos without any complicated controls, but it also costs a crazy amount, an amount in which one can easily buy a decent DSLR or mirrorless camera.

There are several bridge camera options out there that are bound to appeal to budget buyers, one such option being Nikon’s Coolpix L340, a camera that comes with a 20.2 MP image sensor, a wide-angle capturing capability, 28x optical zoom and a 3 inch LCD display.

Now let’s take a better look at some of the most desirable bridge cameras that one can buy this year.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100The DMC-LX100 has a really retro feel to it thanks to the shape and design of its compact body, the camera is quite compact and has a number of knobs on it that make it look like a relic of the past, but do not let its looks deceive you. This bridge camera is packed with advanced features that make it a great bargain at its price, it has a 16.8 MP sensor and a shooting speed of up to 11 frames per second. The camera has a pretty decent camera zoom as well, making it a good option for taking depth of field shots, but what makes the DMC-LX100 the best camera at its price range is the fact that it offers 4K video shooting with a responsive autofocus. For people who want a good overall camera and want to avoid complicated features, this camera is a pretty great choice. Buy it now.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

best bridge cameraCanon is a pretty big brand in the DSLR world, with cameras that are highly praised for their video capturing capabilities, the company’s SX60 HS is a decently priced bridge camera with a number of superb features. Its 65x optical zoom lens allows one to take incredibly up close pictures, coupled with a swivelling LCD that makes taking shots at odd angles much easier. Its video recording is smooth and satisfactory, the camera also has an external mic jack and is capable of shooting in RAW; a feature that is not common in ultra-zoom cameras. The SX60 HS’s great features, ergonomic design and great price make it one of the best ultra-zoom options out there. Buy it now.

Canon PowerShot G7 X

If you are looking for a quality camera that you can carry around with you without much trouble then the PowerShot G7 X is a good option, its compact body holds enough features to make it appeal to advanced photographers and even professionals who like travelling light. This camera’s 20.1 MP sensor enables it to capture colour rich photos with a vast amount of detail. There is also a newer version of this camera; the PowerShot G7 X Mark 2 which has been updated with a handful of new features such as swivelling LCD, a 4.2x optical zoom and RAW shooting capability. Buy it now.

Nikon Coolpix L340

If budget constraints are an issue for you then the Coolpix L340 is a great camera to go for, it offers features that are comparable to entry-level DSLRs and does not require you to burn a hole in your pocket. Nikon has equipped this camera with a 20 MP sensor, a decent 28x optical zoom lens, a tilting 3 inch LCD and built-in Wi-Fi. The camera also has a digital zoom feature that can let you zoom up to 56x but at the cost of lowering your resolution. Buy it now.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 Mark 2

The DSC-RX10 Mark 2 is by far the most expensive bridge camera that you can go for, but it is definitely worth the price, the camera’s body is loaded with a number of great features that make it a pretty versatile device. It has a large 8.3x optical zoom lens, a powerful back-lit 20.2 MP sensor and a great depth of field capturing capability. It is capable of capturing 4K footage, a feature that has yet to come to entry to mid-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras, the camera also offers a High Frame Rate movie recording mode and 40x slow motion video recording. It is a pricey device, but 4K recording capability at this price range makes the DSC-RX10 Mark 2 definitely worth considering if you are into videography. But it now.

The Two Kinds of Bridge Cameras

Bridge cameras can be categorised into two groups, the first consisting of advance model bridge cameras that offer large image sensors, powerful image processors, high-end lenses and other features that make using them quite enjoyable. These cameras also tend to be more pocket-friendly, and some of the more advanced models such as the DSC-RX10 Mark 2 by Sony are equipped with really high-end features. Bridge cameras like these cost around $450 to more than $1000 and are suited for people who want good performance and versatile devices.

The second type of bridge cameras are ultra-zoom cameras, these come equipped with fixed long-zoom lenses that can easily outperform DSLR lenses in terms of zooming. Ultra-zoom cameras are bulkier than advanced bridge cameras but are still light enough to be carried around easily. These usually cost around $300 to $600, making them viable options for photographers on a budget.

Things to Look For When Buying a Bridge Camera

Since cameras do not come cheap, it is important to make sure that you make a purchase that you can be happy with, there are a number of things that you need to focus on when buying a bridge camera, the very first being to look for a large image sensor, make sure that the camera that you go for has an image sensor of 1 inch or bigger, the larger the sensor, the better the camera will be at capturing in low light and at capturing fine details.

Another important thing to look for is the lens’ aperture, an aperture around 1.8/f or a minimum of 2.2/f is recommended, keep in mind that smaller numbers mean larger apertures. Having a “faster” lens would mean that your camera will perform better in low light since its aperture will allow more light to enter the lens.

Features such as metallic bodies, tilting touchscreens and electronic viewfinders might seem excessive, but they do make your camera more practical, a metal body makes your camera more robust, something that you should consider if you plan on carrying your camera around a lot. Touch screens make interacting with your camera easier, and a movable screen means that you can capture shots from difficult angles without much trouble. A decent electronic viewfinder will allow you to capture images with better accuracy and get your framing right as well.

Any bridge camera out there is significantly smaller than even the most compact DSLR, making these cameras really portable and a lot lighter as well, the biggest disadvantages that these cameras have is that their lens are not swappable, making them unsuitable for people who are looking for upgradability in their device. Remember, if you plan on sticking to your camera for a while, then make sure that you do not settle for less, buy a camera that you know you will be happy with.

Bridge cameras are primarily designed to be used in well-lit areas, their performance in medium to low light ranges from acceptable to decent depending on the size of the image sensor on a camera and its aperture. While most of these cameras are point and shoot based, you can tweak their settings a bit to get better results, meaning that they offer enough manual controls for one to learn the basics of photography and then maybe move on to a DSLR in the future.

2017-2018’s Best Cameras For Beginners on a Budget

best cameras for beginners

Photography is an activity with a high skill ceiling, but once you get the hang of it you are in for a world of satisfaction, if you are planning on trying your hand at photography then the best way to start out is by finding the best camera for beginners. There are a number of reasons behind getting a beginner camera rather than splurging on a high-end device at the very start; the two most major being that beginner cameras are easy to handle and give one the breathing space needed to learn the basics. You also should not spend all your money on an expensive camera as this can limit your budget for future upgrades.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most promising entry-level cameras that are currently popular in the market.

DSLRs

DSLRs are by far some of the best choices for high-quality photography, these cameras are perfect for videography as well and allow users a lot of flexibility due to their manual mode, and their automatic modes help people hone their photography skills. Their sensors are capable of capturing a lot of light, resulting in color rich and highly detailed images. Another great thing about DSLRs is future proofing, you can buy a DSLR body and then upgrade its lens after a while, one can even carry multiple lenses at a time so that their image capturing capabilities increase. Basically, with a DSLR, one cannot go wrong, which is why these cameras are perfect for a beginner photographer looking to grow as they use their camera.

Canon 1300D

best cameras for beginnersCanon is one of the most popular brands in the camera industry, they have a broad range of beginner cameras, but the Canon 1300D is by far the best option you have if you are on a budget. This camera has a superb build quality, comes equipped with an 18 MP sensor and even has built-in Wi-Fi for easy data transfer, its button layout is pretty easy to get the hang of and the camera provides one with a variety of shooting modes to choose from. A great combination of features and affordability makes the 1300D an attractive choice.

Nikon D3300

Nikon’s cameras are praised for their color rich photography and their beefy image sensors, the D3300 is an entry-level camera that provides users with a good taste of both of these elements. Its lightweight body boasts a 24.2 MP sensor and a processor that Nikon uses in some of its higher-end cameras as well, the camera comes with a guide mode to help users explore the capabilities of their camera. Its UI is quite easy to maneuverer through as well and to top it all off; this camera comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pentax K-S2

Nikon and Canon are the big names in the camera industry, and most people feel safer when buying a product made by them, but that does not mean that there are not any other options out there to choose from. Pentax is a pretty decent company that often provides features in their beginner level cameras that other companies reserve for more expensive devices, the K-S2 has a flip-out screen, allowing for a greater range of shooting angles, and features a 20.2 MP sensor.

The best thing about this camera is the fact that its ergonomic body is weatherproof, this feature is quite rare in cheaper cameras. The only downside to buying from Pentax is that you will have a very limited collection of lenses to choose from in the future.

CSC/Mirrorless Cameras

DSLRs are not the only choice that one has if they want to buy a quality camera, mirrorless cameras are slowly gaining popularity as they provide more or less the same amount of manual control and upgradability as DSLRs, but by eliminating the internal mirror design, they become a lot slimmer and more portable. Let’s take a look at some great mirrorless cameras that one can buy without breaking their bank.

Canon EOS M10

Canon EOS M10One of the smallest and least costly mirrorless cameras out there, the EOS M10 packs an 18 MP sensor and comes with a tilting touchscreen which makes interacting with the camera feel incredibly natural. The camera also comes with Wi-Fi capabilities and has all the elements that a beginner photographer could want in their first camera.

Panasonic Lumix GF7

This mirrorless camera has a slightly less powerful image sensor of 16 MP, but it makes up for its lack of pixels by providing users with features such as filter effects, panorama shooting and a 180-degree tilting screen which makes the camera a decent selfie device too. The GF7 can also record videos in 1080p with stereo sound.

Ultra-Zoom/Bridge Cameras

If the idea of having to swap lenses seems like too much of a bother for you then you can consider going for Bridge camera instead; these devices provide a great deal of manual control and come with some decent sensors, the only difference is that they have fixed lenses. Bridge cameras are often considered as a great transitional choice for people moving from point and shoot cameras to manual cameras.

Panasonic Lumix FZ72

This camera boasts a massive optical zoom of up to 60x, the zoom can be extended even further up to 102x but only digitally; digital zoom enlarges pixels, meaning that the greater the digital zoom, the lesser resolution you get. The FZ72 has an acceptable 16.1 MP sensor and also comes with optical image stabilization which makes it easy to get jitter-free shots on the move. The camera’s large battery coupled with its great features makes it a great entry-level bridge camera to keep with you throughout the day.

Nikon Coolpix P90C

With image capturing capabilities that one would expect from any Nikon camera, the Coolpix P90C offers a number of features that make it a superb camera to have, it comes with an 83x optical zoom and is capable of capturing pictures of subjects that are less than 1 cm away from the lens, meaning that it is a pretty decent camera to practice your macro skills with. The P90C can also capture videos in 1080p and even has an automatic HDR mode, all of this coupled with Wi-Fi compatibility makes the Coolpix P90C a fantastic Bridge camera.

Canon Powershot SX510 HS

Bridge cameras are perfect for taking macro shots, the Powershot SX510 HS is another great option for beginner photographers, and unlike what Nikon has to offer, this camera is incredibly compact. Its wide lens and small body make it highly practical, and just because it is small does not mean that it does not pack a punch, Canon offers a 30x optical zoom lens, a tilting screen along with full manual controls. The SX510 HS is capable of capturing great pictures, but its most lucrative factor is its size, making it a versatile camera.

Compact Cameras

If all of the above cameras seem too big for you or appear to offer more features than you want then you can try going for a compact camera, these pocket-sized cameras are perfect for hobbyists and for people who simply want better image capturing capabilities than what a smartphone has to offer. The best part about compact cameras is that they are incredibly affordable and offer the most inexpensive way of figuring out whether photography is your thing or not.

Canon Powershot SX610 HS

This point and shoot camera has an 18x optical zoom and comes with built-in Wi-Fi, it also has an NFC chip and an image sensor of 20 MP, you can get this camera for around a hundred pounds, making it a superbly affordable option.

Keep in mind that compact cameras have no manual options, they only offer a set number of automatic modes to choose from. Therefore they are not the best choice for people who want to explore and expand their photography skills.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX220

A sleek and stylish camera, the Cyber-shot DSC-WX220 has a zoom of up to 10x and an 18.2 MP sensor, it also offers HDR functionality and has a sweep panorama mode which goes great with its image stabilization. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this camera is the fact that it can capture 10 frames per second in its continuous shooting mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10

A compact camera that can be used to get some superb selfies thanks to its tilting screen, the DMC-SZ10 is easy to hold and easy to use, making it an ideal camera for people who are new to photography. The camera has a 12x optical zoom, a 16 MP image sensor and optical image stabilization features, overall, a great camera for the casual photographer.

Best DSLR Camera For Beginners in 2017-2018

Nikon D3400

If you are planning on venturing into the world of professional photography then having a DSLR is a must, these cameras are applauded for their ability to capture stunning pictures and high-quality videos. When it comes to the best DSLR camera for beginners, the number of options one has are countless. Going for an expensive, high-end DSLR at the very start of your photography career might not be a sensible thing to do, instead one should start off with a beginner level camera, a lot of big camera companies have a variety of entry-level cameras to offer, each of which offer great value, features and functionality at a modest price.

Most entry-level DSLRs come with an 18-55mm lens kit that can be more than enough for beginners, but one can simply upgrade their camera’s capabilities by buying more powerful lenses in the future. We are going to take a look at the number of options that beginner photographers have and discuss what each camera has to offer, it should be noted that the cameras being mentioned here are not exclusively for aspiring photographers, they can also provide satisfaction to anyone looking for a better image capturing device than their smartphone’s camera.

Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400Nikon’s upgraded version of the D3300, the D3400 is their latest flagship in their entry-level lineup, the camera costs around $500 and provides one with superb features including a 24.2 MP APS-C image sensor, a decent autofocus system and the ability to capture 1080p footage at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second. A plethora of auto shooting modes and a well-thought-out button layout makes this camera incredibly easy to get the hang of once you start using it.

In many ways, the D3400 takes whatever the D3300 was not capable of providing and smooths out the small yet notable kinks left in the DSLR, Nikon has introduced a much more reliable autofocus, better battery life and Bluetooth LE connectivity which has made image transferring a breeze. This camera is also compatible with Nikon’s SnapBridge technology which lets you sync videos and pictures onto your phone in real time. The D3400 is definitely worth considering if you plan on getting a well-rounded entry-level DSLR with a friendly learning curve.

Canon EOS Rebel T7i

best dslr camera for beginnersCanon has a pretty superb entry-level lineup as well, and at the very top of it, sits the EOS Rebel T7i, the latest DSLR in Canon’s Rebel series, this camera is loaded with the latest features, comes equipped with superior sensors and a processor that is bound to make this camera a joy to use. It sports a 24.2 MP image sensor, the same kind that can be found in Canon’s enthusiast grade 80D, a far more superior image processor than what the Rebel T6i has to offer and an autofocus that feels great to use. Along with better image capturing capabilities, the T7i also comes with more battery life, a much faster burst rate and a bunch of other features that make this camera an excellent option as an all-in-one beginner camera that can help one learn the basics and get a firm grasp on photography.

The only problem with this otherwise excellent DSLR camera is its price, considering that it is an entry-level camera, the T7i’s $849 price tag is a bit too much, and especially for people who plan on upgrading to a more powerful camera in the future. However, if you intend on sticking to one camera for a while, then the Rebel T7i is a choice that will definitely keep you happy and help you build your photography skills.

Nikon D5300

If the D3000 series does not cut it for you, then you might want to take a look at Nikon’s D5000 series which is a step above and offers more functionality for a slightly higher price. The Nikon D5300 is not exactly a new camera, it is two generations old already, but that is not a big deal since Nikon has not really added much to the more recent entries in their D5000 lineup. The D5300 shares a lot with its successors; 24.2 MP image sensor, decent autofocus and satisfactory image processing, apart from not having touch screen functionality and leaving a bit to be desired when it comes to low light performance and battery, it is a great camera to buy.

The biggest problem that you might have to deal with when purchasing the D5300 is finding it since the camera is old, it can be a bit harder to find in certain regions, so you might have to dig around if you want one.

Canon EOS Rebel T6

Canon’s T7i and T6i are great DSLR cameras, but both of them are a bit costly, luckily Canon has been kind enough to provide us with a more affordable option in their Rebel Lineup; the EOS Rebel T6. Along with taking the ‘i’ out of the camera’s name, Canon has also carried out a lot of stripping with this camera, resulting in a camera that does not really look that good on paper but is still a viable option for capturing great stills.

One of the primary reasons why the Rebel ‘i’s have a higher price is that they come with features that make the cameras good video capturing devices, by taking out tilting screens, lowering ISO sensitivity, simplifying the autofocus, adding a lower level lens-kit and reducing the number of megapixels, Canon has made the Rebel T6 much more affordable at around $448. The Rebel T6 is an excellent option to have on the table if you are more into stills, but a major downside to this DSLR is the fact that it has the same price as the Nikon D3400, which offers more at the same price level.

Pentax K-S2

Nikon and Canon are not the only DSLR manufacturers on our list, Pentax’s K-S2 is a pretty nice looking entry-level camera that provides one with similar if not the same degree of image and video quality, and a reliable autofocus. This camera also offers something that you will not be able to find in other entry-level cameras, this camera is designed to be weatherproof, making it an excellent option for people who are into nature photography. Weather resistance is a feature that is commonly reserved for high-end cameras, which makes the K-S2 unique amongst its competition, but the weather resistance comes at a price; this camera is pretty heavy, weighing 21.8 ounces, which could make it uncomfortable in long shooting sessions.

Another downside to the K-S2 is that its manufacturer does not have a lens collection as vast and diverse as what Canon or Nikon has to offer, which can limit your camera’s upgradability factor.

Nikon D3300

The Nikon D3300 and the D3400 are described by many as the exact same camera with a handful of differences, both share the same 24.2MP image sensor and the same image processor, which you can get for a slightly lower price if you opt for the D3300. However, there are certain changes that Nikon made in an attempt to improve some of the mistakes they made with the D3300; the most notable being the D3300’s noisy lens-kit motor, unreliable autofocus and its lack of Bluetooth LE.

When it comes to choosing between the D3400 and the D3300, the bottom line is decided by what kind of photography do you plan on doing, the D3400 is ideal for using in well-lit to averagely lit areas, but its weaker flash puts it at a disadvantage in low-lit areas. Overall, they are both great cameras, the D3300 being a slightly cheaper and slightly outdated option between the two.

Nikon D5500

A cut above the D3000 and the second latest in the D5000 series, the Nikon D5500 offers features and functionality that make it comparable to the Rebel T7i, its price also falls in the upper tier which makes this camera an entry level plus choice. It uses the same image sensor and image processor as the D3400 but has a much more reliable and advanced autofocus, something that cannot be said for the D3400. The D5500 also has a swivel LCD, touch screen functionality and even comes with Wi-Fi and NFC for easy transfer, its superior autofocus and swiveling LCD makes the D5500 a good video shooting choice as well.

Nikon’s D5300, 5500 and the 5600 are remarkably similar to each other, so much that one can say that that the 5600 is the same camera as the 5500 but at a higher price, in fact, the D5500 weighs less than its successor, making it a better choice.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

If compact and lightweight are important factors for you then the EOS Rebel SL2 might catch your attention, this camera weighs a mere 14.3 ounces and yet packs enough features to be called a trimmed down version of the Rebel T7i. Compared to the older SL1, Canon has made a number of improvements to this DSLR, adding more megapixels (24.2), improved battery life and more reliable low-light performance, the camera’s burst rate has been upped as well.

However, the SL2 has a pretty wonky autofocus, and because of this it faces competition from some mirrorless cameras out in the market that can provide more at the same price, but that does not mean that the SL2 should not be bought, the camera offers lens interchangeability and is great at capturing stills.

Pentax K-70

The K-70 comes loaded with features that allow it to stand right next to options like the D5500 or the Rebel T7i, it offers superior lowlight image capturing, a kit lens with a reach of 18-135mm (most kit-lenses stop at 50mm) and built-in image stabilization, all of which comes packed in a weather sealed body weighing a mere 14.3 ounces. The camera’s 24.2MP allow it to capture superb quality images. However, it still suffers from the problem of limiting the number of lenses you can choose from, putting it at a disadvantage in terms of upgradability.

The camera also costs around the same as the Rebel T7i, making it a bit ‘high-end’ choice for entry level, but just like the T7i, the Pentax K-70 delivers features and functionality that justify the price, with the added plus of weather sealing that one cannot expect to find at this price range normally.

Canon EOS Rebel T6i

The recently outshined Rebel T6i is an entry-level DSLR that exudes quality, the camera’s features make it ideal for video capturing as well as for still capturing and it comes with an STM kit-lens that is known for silent and smooth focusing. The reason why this great DSLR is so far down on the list is the fact that even though it has been replaced by the newer T7i, it still costs a lot, in fact, the price gap between the two cameras is only a mere $100. When you compare the two cameras’ you will notice that just for an additional $100, you get a far more superior autofocus and a number of other significant improvements as well.

If you can afford the T6i than you should consider saving up a bit more and simply going for the T7i instead, but going for the T6i is fine too, the camera offers a lot and is bound to be a joy to use.

Nikon D5600

The currently latest DSLR in Nikon’s much-loved D5000 series, the D5600 does offer a lot, including SnapBridge connectivity, a more user-friendly Auto ISO, and a time-lapse feature as well. However, these seem to be the only changes that Nikon decided to make in the D5600, other than this, the D5600 is exactly the same as the D5500, with the same processor and sensor, the same autofocus system and the same battery life. Nikon’s consistency at providing marginal upgrades can be a bit frustrating, but it also reduces the prices of older models, one can simply go for the D5500, get the same primary features and save plenty of money as well.

4K functionality is something that many people are waiting for in the entry-level lineup, something that Nikon should definitely consider when releasing the successor of the D5600 until unless the company decides on making any significant changes to their D5000 series, one should simply go for a D5500.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Canon is well-known for producing user-friendly cameras that perform great in capturing images and making videos, which is why most of their cameras are a viable option for beginner level DSLRs. The EOS Rebel T5i provides a wholesome, yet slightly old, package that stays true to what Canon DSLRs offer and is significantly cheaper than the Rebel T6i, the T5i shares the same kit-lens as the T6i, an important factor to note. However, the T5i is two generations old, it packs a lower resolution of 18MP, and its autofocus system is significantly less advanced, the T5i also lacks Wi-Fi.

What makes it a decent option for an entry-level camera is its ease of use, great lens-kit, and its decent capture quality, all of which one can get at a much more affordable price.

Canon EOS 70D

The Canon EOS 70D came out about 4 years ago and is by default, more of a mid-range camera that provides features one would not usually find in an entry level DSLR, some of these features being a wider variety of manual controls, faster shutter speeds, and a beefier battery. Since this model is quite old, its price has fallen low enough to make it an acceptable choice as an entry-level camera, the EOS 70D comes with a price tag of $899, which might be eye-popping for some, but you have to keep in mind the fact that this DSLR offers much more functionality as well.

That said, its price comes really close to the Rebel T7i, a DSLR that comes loaded with much more advanced technology, the 70D’s autofocus is inferior when compared to the T7i’s 45 cross type focus, and it also has lesser megapixels to offer(20.2). At this price point, when deciding between the 70D and the T7i, the factors that will determine which camera to go for would be; whether you want the 70D’s better manual controls or do you want the T7i’s better technology, the fact that the 70D is weather sealed will also matter a lot to people who plan on taking their cameras outdoors a lot.

Sony Alpha a68

Sony is not known for its DSLRs, the company does far better with mirrorless cameras. However, the Sony Alpha a68 is a great beginner level DSLR that packs enough power to be able to compete with models such as the T7i or the D5500. This camera comes with a 24.2MP image APS-C sensor, built-in image stabilization and incredibly advanced autofocus system which makes it an excellent choice for action photography, but this camera also comes with a couple of problems. The first one being that it weighs a lot, the Alpha a68 is the heaviest camera on this list, weighing 24.6 ounces, which is especially heavy when you consider the fact that its body is entirely made of plastic.

Another problem that the Alpha a68 faces is the fact that, just like with Pentax, the number of lens one has the option to upgrade to is pretty low, this can be a problem for people who plan on investing in lenses, however, if you intend on keeping your photography casual then this will not be that big of a problem.

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

The EOS Rebel SL1 was considered to be a superb camera when it first came out, but now it has been replaced by options that offer more features at better prices, it is a pretty lightweight camera, and for a slightly lower price, one can get a significantly more feature rich D5300. The SL1 offers a modest 18MP sensor and has a pretty outdated autofocus system, but it also has a few plus points; you get touchscreen functionality, a high-resolution LCD, excellent performance in low light areas and an STM kit-lens.

The SL1 is a decent choice to go for, but one has a number of better options that are available for the same price.

Canon EOS Rebel T5

The EOS Rebel T5 is currently the cheapest entry level DSLR that Canon has to offer, its barebones body does not have any fancy features to offer, and it has a pretty slow burst rate and autofocus, but what makes it a good option is its price. The T5 costs a mere $400 and can act as a decent point and shoot camera.

Things To Consider Before Buying an Entry Level DSLR in 2017-2018

The term ‘entry level’ means that these cameras should not have a high learning ceiling, they should be easy to get the hang of and primarily act as gateways that allow one to delve into photography without feeling overwhelmed. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that determine whether a DSLR is a good entry level choice or not.

User Interface

Photography can get confusing really quickly, there are a lot of settings that one must tweak and fine tune to get the desired results, entry-level cameras should have a UI that enables one to start using a camera without having to spend time figuring out what goes where. Nikon and Canon are popular amongst beginner photographers because both of these manufacturers pay attention to their camera’s button layout and UI, their cameras come with easy to view LCDs, and the menus are all quite easy to navigate through. The addition of touchscreen controls makes interacting with the camera simpler and faster as well.

Automatic Shooting Modes

One of the hardest parts of photography can be to get all the settings just right, this is where automatic shooting modes come in, these modes are basically fixed pre-sets of commands that one can choose simply through the flick of a dial, essentially turning a DSLR into a point and shoot camera. Nikon and Canon both provide a number of modes to choose from, all of which shield the user from more technical handling of the device until they are ready enough, most entry-level DSLRs come with auto modes as well as with a manual mode which provides one with greater control over how their camera works.

Price

Price is a major factor in deciding whether you want to buy a certain camera or not, there are two major things to consider when it comes to price; whether you plan on upgrading to a better camera in the near future and what your budget is. Entry level DSLRs usually cost from $400 to as much as $850, since all of them come with kit-lenses you do not have to worry about investing in lenses unless you specifically want to purchase extra lenses. If you plan on moving onto a better camera in the future then buying an expensive entry level DSLR such as the Rebel T7i or the D5600 might not be a good idea, instead, go for a cheaper option and buy an extra lens with the money you saved.

Sensor Size

One of the biggest reasons why DSLRs are so good at outperforming other kinds of cameras is the fact that they have larger sensors, image sensors collect light for digital photos, the more surface area they have, the better they perform. Thanks to advancements in technology, almost every modern entry-level DSLR comes with a decent sensor that enables it to beat any mirrorless camera by a large margin.

The Number of Mega Pixels

More megapixels equal to images with more details, Nikon is slightly ahead of Canon when it comes to their image sensors, their cameras started offering 24.2MP image sensors first, and then Canon caught up with them. Currently, both manufacturers offer entry-level cameras that provide a decent amount of megapixels, allowing users to take an image with intricate details with more clarity. Since pixels play a significant role in deciding overall image quality, one should definitely focus on this factor.

Video Shooting

A good DSLR can shoot stunning videos, there are a number of factors that go into determining a camera’s video quality, autofocus, the type of lens and resolution play a fundamental role in affecting a camera’s overall video shooting capabilities. If you plan on using a DSLR for videography then Canon cameras are going to be a lot more appealing than Nikon cameras, Canon is known for its superb video capturing and beats Nikon by a margin. Their trump card being their STM lenses, which have a much smoother and much more silent focus, contributing to better video capturing.

While 4K recording still has not been introduced on the entry-level DSLRs, most of them are capable of capturing 1080p footage at 24-60 frames per second.

LCD Screen And Autofocus

Screen resolution and brightness matter a lot, they help you interact with your camera more easily and preview your shots as well, and touchscreen LCDs provide the added bonus of making interacting with your camera easier. Otherwise one has to rely on button controls which can feel awkward at times. Swivel touchscreens are usually included with more expensive cameras such as the D5500 or the Rebel T6i, they are primarily helpful in videography, but more control over your screen’s angle can also help you capture images from awkward positions.

Almost every entry level DSLR comes with a mediocre to just acceptable autofocus, but there are exceptions such as Canon’s Rebel T7i that boasts a staggering 45 cross-type focus system. Learning how to make the most out a DSLR’s focus system can take a while, but once you get the hang of it, you can significantly improve the quality of your images and your videos.

Other Features

While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are not must have for an entry-level camera, they do make the user’s life a whole lot easier since image transfer becomes simplified, Nikon’s SnapBridge is an excellent example of the image transferring and viewing system becoming more simplified thanks to wireless connectivity. However, one should still always keep a cord close by since Wi-Fi transfers can be intensive for a camera’s processor and can reduce your camera’s lifespan.

Weather sealing is considered to be a premium feature that mostly comes with pro-level gear, but there were a couple of entries on this article that provide one with DSLRs that are more durable. Weather sealing should only be considered if you plan on taking your cameras outdoors a lot. Otherwise, it is a feature that you can live without.

Getting Acquainted With Your DSLR

Entry level DSLRs do not require any setting up, all you need to do is take them out of the box, charge the battery and start using them, going through the manual is a great way of understanding all the basics about your camera, but if you do not like to read then you can simply get online and watch videos that can tell you more about your camera. Most beginners spend their first few weeks of shooting on auto mode, but one should not forget to experiment with manual mode now and then, remember, manually operated DSLR is capable of a lot more than one set to an automatic mode.

What Comes After Entry Level DSLRs?

Entry level DSLRs are pretty limited in features and functionality when compared to full frame and enthusiast level options, while even the most high-end cameras make use of the same sensors and processors, the difference comes in the quality of features provided. Professional level equipment almost always has vastly superior autofocus, much larger sensors and have much more intricate manual controls. Another thing that they have in common with entry-level DSLRs is that they come with auto modes as well meaning that if someone is really set on becoming a photographer, then they can simply invest in a high-end DSLR and start their journey from there.

Why Not Go For Mirrorless Cameras?

Mirrorless cameras are a lot more compact than DSLRs since they do not make use of the internal mirror system found in DSLRs, a lot of people say that mirrorless cameras offer the same amount of image capturing quality as entry-level DSLRs. However, the truth is that DSLRs have significantly larger image sensors, allowing them to capture more detail, more colors and more light, resulting in more realistic pictures of better quality. There are mirrorless cameras out there that are capable of capturing good images, but at an entry-level price range, one cannot expect to buy them.

Nikon D3400 Review

nikon d3400 review

While smartphone cameras have become quite capable at taking amazing photos and recording excellent videos, they still cannot beat even the most modest DSLR camera by a long shot, DSLRs come in a variety of models and can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to as much as several thousands of dollars. Today we will be taking a look at Nikon’s D3400; a humble 24MP entry-level camera that sits slightly above their D3300 model, both of these cameras are considered to be the go-to model for people who are looking for better image quality than what their phones or any other digital camera can provide.

Designed with first-time ILC shooters kept in mind, the D3400 is pretty much a slightly modified version of the D3300, it comes with the same EXPEED 4 image processor and 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor that can be found in its predecessor. This camera is capable of capturing videos in full HD and comes with an 11 point autofocus system that lets one capture a lot of great pictures once they get the hang of it.

Some notable changes in the D3400 include a significantly longer battery life than the D3300, the D3300 has a battery life of 700 shots while the D3400 can manage up to 1200 shots, but the downside is that the D3400 has a weaker built-in flash. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, something that was missing in the D3300, and one of the best things about this camera is the fact that it provides one with a plethora of features at a decent price tag of around $600.

Comparing Specs With The Competition

Before starting to compare the D3400 with the handful of cameras that fall in its category, let’s go through some of its most notable features; apart from having the same processor and sensor as the D3300, it is capable of recording 1080p at 60 frames per second, it comes with a 3” fixed 920k-dot LCD screen and has a burst/continuous shooting mode that can capture 5 frames per second, and having a Bluetooth LE makes transferring images a whole lot easier.

The D3400 does not have a lot of competition to put up with other than from Canon’s EOS 750D, and from the D3300 itself, both these cameras offer pretty similar features and have a very slight variation in their pricing. For most people, choosing between these three DSLRs comes down to preference, especially if they are first-time buyers who are not way too serious about photography, the only thing that the D3400 lacks amongst these cameras is a built-in external mic port.

For people who are looking for a good camera and do not necessarily want it to be a DSLR, there exist digital cameras such as the Fujifilm X-A3 or the Sony a5100; cameras that provide a similar level of image capturing capability at more or less the same price.

What To Expect From The D3400’s Build Quality

Being an entry-level camera with a modest price tag, this DSLR’s body is made entirely of composite plastic, but that is not a bad thing, the plastic feels good to touch and adds to the camera’s decent build quality. It also helps keep the camera extremely light, weighing mere 395 grams, one can easily carry out long photoshoots with the D3400 without feeling any fatigue. Its screen, controls and everything else is designed to be as simple to use as possible, which is another reason why the D3400 is an excellent choice for a beginner photographer.

Switching between different modes with its dial is simple and fast, the 3” display of the camera provides you with all the information that you need about your camera’s settings and makes interacting with the device fairly easy, but it does not have the best brightness levels, making it hard to use the camera in well-lit areas.

Auto Focus Performance

The camera’s performance is pretty much the same as the D3300, its 11 point autofocus works relatively fast as long as you do not switch to live view, it is also pretty easy to understand, and you can quickly select between the four different AF modes provided. One major problem with the AF is that, when using the viewfinder, one can have a hard time spotting the AF “dots” that are meant to act as guides for the user.

While its live view has a slightly slower autofocus, it has been worked on, and the new lens-kit that comes with the D3400 provides a much smoother and faster focus than what the D3300 has to offer. Complete focus failures are quite rare, only occurring in extremely tricky conditions, overall, the D3400 provides an acceptable AF, although a bit lacking when one considers that there exist cameras out there that fall in the same level as this camera and provide more enhanced focusing abilities.

Image Capturing Capability

The best way to describe the D3400’s image quality would be; punchy images that manage to please the eyes, the camera shares the same image processor along with Active D-Lighting, a feature that preserves shadows and highlight details, both of which can be easily lost in situations where strong lighting creates a lot of contrast between dark and light areas. This feature makes shooting JPEG files incredibly easy, allowing beginners to get great exposure and balance in an image in almost any kind of situation.

The D3400’s image capturing is perfect for beginners since it manages to produce pretty great quality without the user having to do too much, the camera also captures great raw images, which makes it an excellent choice for people who plan on further editing their pictures after capturing them.

Bluetooth And SnapBridge

Perhaps one of the most welcome changes made to the D3400 is the addition of Bluetooth LE, making it possible to connect the camera with Nikon’s SnapBridge app and make image transfer and browsing a whole lot easier. The SnapBridge app lets you browse through all the pictures that are on your camera’s memory, it also allows one to either have photos transferred to their phone as they are taken (remote photography) or opt to download selected pictures onto their phone.

The app is simple to use and causes a lot less trouble than having to manually transfer images from your camera’s SD card to your computer. However, it does run into a few hiccups every now and then. There are times when the app tends to cause trouble while transferring and the pairing process can be a bit tedious, but other than this, the addition of Bluetooth and SnapBridge compatibility is definitely something to be happy about.

Video Recording

There have been significant improvements in the D3400’s video recording, mostly due to the improvements made in the camera’s lens-kit that result in more responsive autofocus, the D3300’s recording would often have trouble with focusing on objects, leading to blurry and ruined footage. While this problem is a lot rarer in the D3400, the camera still tends to randomly focus on something in the distance and ruin your shot, making it a risky choice for recording something important. Other than the trouble caused by the DSLR’s AF, it records high definition at a smooth and crisp 60 frames per second, capturing color and contrasts nicely and providing satisfactory audio recording.

Since the new lens kit has a better motor installed in it, its zooming in and zooming out have become much less jittery and produce lesser noise, further adding to the smoothness of the camera’s recording and also reducing background noise that can be quite noticeable in the D3300.

When compared with contenders such as the EOS 750D, the D3400 seems to come out on top in a number of ways. Its image processor and 24mp sensor enable the camera to capture well-saturated colors in JPEG files. The D3400 lags a bit when it comes to image sharpening, but not in a bad way since the E0S 750D tends to not be able to render fine details with accuracy, the D3400 also performs better at reducing noise at higher ISOs. Some people hold the opinion that the D3400’s better color capture and more accurate rendering of finer details makes it better suited for nature photography, but this is not necessarily true. However, the D3400 is definitely more promising on paper than Canon’s EOS 750D.

The D3400 also does a decent job at producing raw images with low noise and aliasing that is not noticeable unless a picture with excessively fine details is captured. The D3400 is more than capable of rendering images that provide great color, fine detail, and relatively low noise, allowing it to perform better by a margin when compared to its competition.

Conclusion

Overall, the D3400 is a pretty decent camera when one considers what it has to offer at its price level, the camera manages to capture great quality JPEG and raw images, has a decent sensor and image processor that not only provides excellent rendering capability but also makes capturing well-balanced images easy for beginners and amateurs. One can say that the D3400 is one of the best choices out there for a well-priced, beginner DSLR, but that does not mean that it is the only one you should go for; the D3400 is far from perfect and packs a number of flaws. Even though Nikon has made a number of improvements to the camera’s autofocus, it still leaves a lot to be desired when compared to the competition.

The biggest disappointment that the D3400 comes with is the fact that even though it is supposed to be a new and improved version of the D3300, there is not a lot that Nikon did to change the camera. They did add a new lens-kit, introduced Bluetooth LE and made a few other minor tweaks, but other than that it is pretty much a modified version of the same camera, this could be a negative factor for people who were thinking of upgrading to the D3400 from a similar kind of DSLR, but for people who were planning on going for the D3300, this could prove to be an attractive option.

To sum it all up, the D3400 is, when compared to other entry-level cameras, a great device that leaves a bit to be desired, its image capturing is bound to be more than satisfactory for people who have been relying on their smartphone cameras. While its video recording is not entirely dependable, it does manage to get the job done by capturing fluid footage at 1080p.

The camera’s build quality and design meet expectations, and its lightweight body makes it a joy to use, and its SnapBridge compatibility acts as icing on top of a great value cake, making file transfer management a lot simpler. The bottom line is that if you want to capture decent photos and do not really plan to grow as a photographer, then the Nikon D3400 is a pretty good choice.

Best DSLR Cameras of 2017-2018

If you have a passion for photography, the very best tool that you can invest in is a DSLR camera. The reason for this is that the best DSLR cameras of 2017 are the cutting edge devices in the world of photography because they have sensors bigger than any other camera, a wide variety of lenses for you to choose from as well as the highest megapixel count you will have ever seen. There are three subcategories of DSLRs that you can choose from, each of which corresponds to your skill level which is what you should base your choice on all in all. These three sub categories are professional, also referred to as full frame, semi professional as well as the entry level products that are perfect for the beginners. If you have the money for a full frame camera, you can get some pretty unbelievable images, but semi pro and entry level DSLRs are also adequate if you can’t afford full frame. Here is a list of the top DSLRs in the market covering a wide variety of price ranges.

  1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV ($3,299)

best DSLR 2017Based on the price you can probably tell that this is a full frame camera and the specs support it. This camera has a whopping 30.4 megapixels which can allow you to take some astounding images, and the up to date technology can easily allow you to use features that are quite necessary for the modern photographer. The sensor is an impressive eight hundred and sixty four square millimeters which helps capture some stunningly true to life colors, and it comes with ten Great Canon EF Lenses which are obviously designed for a full frame setup.

This camera is also capable of recording some top quality 4K video which is just one of the many amazing features it has, but this does not mean that this product is completely devoid of flaws. It is quite expensive, and while it is true that this is a full frame camera, it is also important to bear in mind that there are some cameras on the market that are just as good and even slightly better than this model in spite of being a fair bit cheaper to boot. A good example is Nikon which produces excellent cameras at a more affordable price, although it must be noted that at times the difference is marginal.

  1. Nikon D810 ($2,797)

Offered at a price point that is a couple of hundred dollars lower than the previous entry on this list, one would assume that this product is not quite as good, but in fact, the opposite is true. This is a full frame camera that offers an incredible 36.3 megapixels, almost six more than what the previous entry on this list had to offer. This is by far Nikon’s best camera, and there is a good reason why this is the case, but it is also true that the product is three years old and Nikon has failed to release something that would be able to measure up to it.

This three-year gap is pretty astronomical when viewed within the context of technological advancements, so a lot of the cutting edge features that Canon has to offer are absent here. However, when you get down to the nitty gritty of the camera quality and picture result, you would be hard pressed to find a product that is this good. It performs remarkably in low light and creates a lot of opportunities for unique photo shoots that may not have been possible otherwise. The special effects lenses you can get also add a unique dimension to this camera’s performance, and overall helps you to get some truly amazing pictures. Until Nikon releases something new, this camera will do.

  1. Canon EOS 5DS R ($3,699)

It’s not always necessary that the more expensive your camera is, the better it is going to be, but this camera by Canon is truly astounding when you look at the specs. It is pricey for sure, but the specs have been upgraded accordingly. This is the first entry on this list that can be considered to be truly meant for landscape photography. If you tend to take part in landscape photography, you would be absolutely astounded by how this camera manages to capture the beauty of nature as if it were right before your very eyes. This is to be expected when you see that this product has 20 megapixels more than the previous Canon entry on this list! With 50.6 megapixels, this camera is ideal for those that prefer image quality above all else.

One problem you might face is the fact that this camera has been designed for still photography and not filming so video makers might feel disappointed.

  1. Canon EOS 6D ($1,399)

We are heading into relatively more affordable territory now with this camera. It is a great deal cheaper than any previous entry on this list, but the specs are actually quite incredible. Indeed, the fact that you are getting a full frame camera at a price range like this beggars belief, but Canon has truly outdone itself by providing the best camera that the market could possibly have to offer at a price range like this. For under 1,500 dollars you get a full frame camera with a 20.2-megapixel lens which is less than you would get with other full frame cameras but considering the price range one can consider this more than adequate.

The shutter speed does leave something to be desired, however. A camera of this stature should have good shutter speed because one of the reasons why people buy DSLRs in the first place is that they don’t want to have to deal with slow image taking time. Although this might be a problem for many people, it is important to note that you are already getting far more than you could have ever possibly imagined at a pretty fair price point overall!

  1. Nikon D750 ($1,897)

This is another more affordable option and one that has finally managed to succeed after Nikon’s initial stumbles while offering cameras in this price range. When you use cameras like this you end up wanting certain features and a level of reliability, and unfortunately, Nikon was able to provide neither, but thankfully with this entry into the market, the camera manufacturer has caught up with Canon in this particular range. Although you are sacrificing a few megapixels by option for this model instead of a more expensive one, you are getting a top notch image processor that is the same as in the more expensive models, and high definition video is just built into the whole package. You have intriguing filters that you can use as well all of which provide new avenues for you to explore in the world of photography.

This camera is also relatively old, another sign that Nikon really needs to up its game if it wants people to start taking it as seriously as possible. The price is not bad, but Canon offers something very competitive indeed when you are looking at the whole package and not just the megapixels. This product is quite adequate if you are specifically a Nikon fan who wants to stick with the same company but wants a more affordable option. If you are not a diehard Nikon fan, it might be better to opt for Canon in this price range.

  1. Nikon D500 ($1,897)

While Nikon certainly has far better cameras on the market, it is important to note that they are not meant for regular consumers. Rather, they are meant for people that are looking for something affordable that would give some similar features, and the Nikon D500 is a good example of that. This camera can shoot at ten frames per second which is perfect for capturing fast moving subjects such as animals and cars, and can allow for some truly unique pictures to be taken.

The price is a slight negative because you can get top notch products made by other companies such as Canon, but at the end of the day, the only thing that actually matters is having an action shooting worthy camera even if it does have a slightly smaller than average sensor. The small sensor is a cross you are going to have to bear, but it comes with a bunch of other features that other products on the market don’t have such as the insanely fast shutter speed. One can argue that this is a give and take and that what you take makes up in a big way for what you give.

  1. Pentax K-1 ($1,794)

This is the first time we are moving beyond Nikon and Canon on this list, so you can probably tell that the product we are looking into is going to be truly incredible to warrant an inclusion on something so prestigious. This is a full frame camera offered at a similar price range to the previous Nikon entry on this list, but it offers so much more in terms of value and overall picture quality!  Perhaps one of the most impressive qualities about this camera is the weather sealing which makes it far more durable in landscape photography situations. You also get a very balanced color result, all of which helps make this a dream come true for a landscape photographer that does not have enough money to buy any of the more expensive lenses that the market would have to offer.

However, the affordability is not free of charge, so to speak. You are going to have to deal with a much smaller choice of lenses because you are not going for any of the big companies. The video quality is not up to the mark as well, so you should bear in mind that while this camera is certainly affordable, you are losing a bit of functionality in the pursuit of this affordability.

  1. Canon EOS 80D ($1,099)

We are now heading into the territory of pro camera which is why it is so important to admire this camera and all that it has to offer. With this camera you are going to be able to do things that would absolutely amaze you, things that would amaze all of your friends all within a price range that is only slightly over a thousand dollars. Let’s face it, we are all going to be ready to spend this much money if we are enthusiasts, and with this product, you are going to get the chance to do just that. At a price range like this, you are getting a lot of megapixels, superior sensors and swift shutter reaction time all of which would suit your hobbyist needs very well indeed.

This is a pretty portable camera as well, offering a light design that is still quite durable. The LCD screen is quite a nice touch as well, allowing you to easily access the simple user interface that commands all of the various functions and features that this camera has to offer.

  1. Nikon D7200 ($997)

This is the latest version in a long line of Nikon cameras, and it comes with quite a few updates that you are really going to enjoy. For one, you are going to love how fast this camera buffers, offering you incredible speeds the likes of which many other companies would struggle to match. You also get WiFi connectivity which is a first for a model in this line of cameras, and this inclusion is going to allow you to more easily post your pictures to your blog or social media accounts. The LCD screen is also much improved, looking a lot clearer and also providing you with an easier to use user interface which a lot of people that are new to the world of photography are probably going to appreciate quite a bit. The great thing about this camera is that it comes at a couple dollars below a thousand and you are getting something semi professional within this price range rather than an entry level camera.

  1. Canon EOS 7D Mark II ($1,499)

If you are looking for a camera with the most features possible, you should check out this model by Canon for sure. The only reason that it is lower on this list than you would expect it to be is because it is not suitable for people that are not extremely interested in action photography and treat it like the most important style of photography that they partake in on a day to day basis. For the extra money that you are getting you get faster shutter speed, but those that are not into action photography are just not going to be into the shutter speed, so the extra expense simply does not make sense. The camera is quite heavy too which is another disadvantage, but it is important to note that for the niche it is intended for this camera really does pack a wallop. If you are within this niche, the extra expense makes sense, and after all, it is not that much of a price bump anyway. All in all, this camera is best suited to pros, and in that context, it really is quite cheap.

  1. Pentax K-70 ($871 with 18-135mm lens)

This is another entry from Pentax on this list, a list otherwise dominated by Nikon and Canon. Hence, you can be sure that Pentax is a company that you can really rely on because it measures up to these juggernauts! This product possesses Pentax’s trademark weather sealing which in itself helps you save a lot of money because with any other company this is a value added service that you would have to opt for which means that you would end up saving quite a bit of money in the long run even if you opt for some of the more expensive Pentax products.

This product offers some great image quality at a price that is a bargain when you factor in the weather sealing, but it is important to note that there are certain downsides to this camera as well. The weather sealing may reduce the portability of this product by adding a fair amount of weight. This product also does not come with a touchscreen, whereas you can get products that include this feature for just a little more money. However, as far as midrange cameras are considered, this product and the company that manufactures it both manage to stay on par with their far better-established competitors.

  1. Nikon D5500 ($697 with 18-55mm lens)

We have now passed from the world of Semi Pro cameras to the entry level variants that those new to the world of photography should be looking into. At just under seven hundred dollars this is without a doubt the cheapest camera on this list so far, but it is slightly more expensive than other entry level variants and for a good reason. You get some truly incredible features with this product for the price range, all of which have come together to make critics call this the most advanced beginner’s camera that the market currently has to offer. When you compare it to other entry level cameras, some features stand out. The tilting touchscreen is a nice touch to start off with because of its ergonomic nature.

The built in wifi is quite useful, as is the autofocus which would help taking pictures quickly and efficiently a much easier task to accomplish. A rather unique benefit that is associated with the use of this product is the absence of SnapBridge. This technology is quite new and has been included in the latest variants of Nikon cameras, but it has gotten poor reviews which is why its absence here is a blessing in disguise.

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T7i ($849 with 18-55mm lens)

If you want a top notch DSLR that is meant for entry level photographers, the Rebel series offered by Canon is a great place to start. This camera comes with a pretty impressive 24.2 megapixels, and it has improved upon its predecessors in a lot of ways. The autofocus has been updated, and you have high frame rate shooting that can be completed at a much faster rate. The battery life is also something you are going to appreciate because it lasts far longer than the previous iteration of this series, and low light performance, which was a frequent complaint that some people tended to have, is far better than it used to be.

If you are buying a DSLR for the first time, this model is an excellent way to get yourself going in the world of photography with a piece of equipment that is not expensive but is quite respectable in terms of the features and image quality that it offers, such as the Bluetooth feature which makes transferring your pictures from one device to the other very easy indeed. However, while it is not expensive when compared to high-end cameras, viewed within the context of entry level cameras this product is actually a lot more expensive than you would expect it to be.

  1. Sony Alpha a68 ($698 with 18-55mm lens)

This is Sony’s first and only entry on this list because this company is not usually known for its DSLRs, but this camera right here is actually pretty decent, decent enough to warrant it a low spot on this list. When you compare the Alpha a68 to other entry level products made by other companies, the comparison is actually quite favorable for Sony overall.

This camera is actually pretty effective within action photography contexts. It has an image stabilizer that is quite easy to use, and to top it all off, you would have the option of using the excellent autofocus to capture those moments that can pass you by before you know it. One generally does not think of Sony as a competitor to the likes of Canon and Nikon, but in this case, they have managed to silence all of their detractors. The fact that they did this in an entry level context is quite smart because winning out in this segment of the market is a lot easier. There are a couple of problems you are going to face such as durability. This product is made out of plastic, and to top it all off you won’t have much variation when it comes to lenses mostly because Sony has not been making DSLRs for very long.

  1. Nikon D3400 ($497 with 18-55mm lens)

The D3000 series that Nikon has to offer is an excellent example of how cameras can transcend the limitations of their entry level price ranges and offer something that is truly worthwhile. The image quality is top notch, and videos are incredibly detailed as well when you record them with this particular entry in the D3000 series. Another benefit of using this camera is the fact that you would be able to use it without having to worry too much about how simple the interface is. While you are certainly going to want to level up to a better and more expensive camera later on, for the time being, this camera is good enough to serve you well at the starting of your hobby or career.

Travelling around with this camera is going to be a dream come true thanks to the fact that this camera offers so much battery life, but the flash you are given here is not quite up to the mark when compared to older models such as the D3300. Essentially, the choice between the D3400 and the D3300 is all about whether you prefer battery life or a good flash respectively because all of the other specifications are pretty much the same

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T5 ($346 with 18-55mm lens)

This is the cheapest camera on this list, but it is still quite useful in a variety of different contexts. While pricier cameras are certainly going to offer a lot more features, but for a price like this, you really could not ask for anything more. Indeed, the image quality alone is worth more than this. This product is so affordable because Canon has gone for image quality and ease of use over other features. There is no touch screen nor can you set it as you please and the frames per second rate is quite low when compared to other products. Problems with autofocus are also rife, but all in all this camera is so affordable that you would be satisfied no matter what. If you just want a camera that costs very little and can help you get used to the work process of photography, this camera is perfect for you.

Best Digital SLR Comparison Table

DSLRPriceCategoryMPSensorWeightBurst4KWeather
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV$3,299Full frame30.4864 sq. mm28.2 oz.7 fpsYesYes
Nikon D810$2,797Full frame36.3861 sq. mm31.1 oz.5 fpsNoYes
Canon EOS 5DS R$3,699Full frame50.6864 sq. mm29.7 oz.5 fpsNoYes
Canon EOS 6D$1,399Full frame20.2855 sq. mm26.8 oz.4.5 fpsNoYes
Nikon D750$,1897Full frame24.3861 sq. mm26.5 oz.6 fpsNoYes
Nikon D500$1,897Enthusiast20.9369 sq. mm30.3 oz.10 fpsYesYes
Pentax K-1$1,794Full frame36.4864 sq. mm32.6 oz.4.5 fpsNoYes
Canon EOS 80D$1,099Enthusiast24.6337 sq. mm25.8 oz.7 fpsNoYes
Nikon D7200$997Enthusiast24.2366 sq. mm23.8 oz.6 fpsNoYes
Canon EOS 7D Mark II$1,499Enthusiast20.2336 sq. mm32.1 oz.10 fpsNoYes
Pentax K-70$871Entry level +24.24366 sq. mm24.3 oz.6 fpsNoYes
Nikon D5500$697Entry level +24.2366 sq. mm14.2 oz.5 fpsNoNo
Canon EOS Rebel T7i$849Entry level +24.2332 sq. mm18.8 oz.6 fpsNoNo
Sony Alpha a68$698Entry level +24.2366 sq. mm24.6 oz.8 fpsYesNo
Nikon D3400$497Entry level24.2357 sq. mm15.1 oz.5 fpsNoNo
Canon EOS Rebel T5$346Entry level18332 sq. mm15.3 oz.3 fpsNoNo

Buying Guide

DSLR Categories

The first thing you are going to have to consider when buying a DSLR is what category you want to purchase. There are a lot of categories available in the market, you can choose from beginner models to the professional variants based on your preferences.

Full-frame (Professional) DSLRs

If you want to take up photography as a profession, a full frame DSLR is what you will need. These DSLRs are more expensive than the market average and tend to have a great deal more heft to them, but they also have the biggest sensors which allow for amazing image quality. The great thing is that even if you are more or less new to the world of photography, you would still be able to use these cameras without all that much difficulty. This is because there are automatic settings which you can deactivate as you gain more experience. You should be thinking of spending well over a grand if you want to get a full frame DSLR that is worth your while. Anything cheaper than this is not going to be good at all.

Enthusiast (Semi-Pro) DSLRs

This is the mid-range DSLR that the market has to offer and is a popular choice for people that love photography but don’t like the idea of spending ridiculous amounts of money on what is essentially a hobby. These cameras are not quite as fancy as full frame variants, but their image sensors are still quite impressive. The field of view is somewhat less spectacular, but when you are paying so much less for a product, you are obviously going to expect a few features to be lacking here and there. These cameras can be bought for less than a thousand, with some more expensive variants going up to a thousand and a half. Some of the more expensive options can go up to a couple grand as well.

Entry Level DSLRs

These are the most popular DSLRs mostly because they are so much more affordable than anything else that the market has to offer while still providing some pretty significant image capturing capabilities. The great thing about these cameras is that the image sensors are not all that different from those found in semi pro variants, and the megapixels are comparable as well. The only thing you are sacrificing on are the advanced features which you are probably not going to need anyway if you are just starting out. Recent advancements have allowed DSLRs to be more affordable now than they were previously. You can get a good quality entry level DSLR for about five hundred dollars, with the slightly more high-end models going for close to a thousand.

Sensor Size

People tend to glorify megapixels a bit too much. At the end of the day, sensor size matters so much more than megapixels because after a certain point megapixels just become irrelevant. You can either get full frame sensors which are just under nine hundred square millimeters or you can get a crop sensor which is used in semi pro and entry level variants and measures in at just under four hundred square millimeters.

While full frame sensors are a great deal better at capturing high-quality images, it is also true that they are costly. This is why crop sensors are so much more popular in the market and always have been. They are quite a bit more affordable, and the image result is actually quite satisfying which is why so many people end up going for them in the first place. If you are a professional that is on a tight budget all you have to do is buy a crop sensor, and you would easily be able to take photographs that look more or less professional and would leave pretty much all of your clients very satisfied indeed. While dedicated professionals might disagree, many of their contemporaries as well as pretty much all amateurs feel like crop sensors are a great option to invest in.

Megapixels

If you were to go by the marketing gimmicks that nearly every company in the world uses these days, you would think that megapixels are all that matter when it comes to choosing a top notch camera. While it is true that the amount of megapixels your camera has to offer is indeed quite important, it is not the only thing in the world that you should be thinking about. You can get megapixels in the mid-twenties range if you are going for entry level and semi professional DSLR variants, with the full frame options ranging anywhere from thirty all the way to sixty megapixels.

When it comes to megapixels, the way you should approach them is that you should realize that they are important but at the same time they are not the only thing that matters. Quite on the contrary, sensors matter a great deal as well, but it is also important to note that slight differences in megapixel count and sensor size are not going to make or break a camera at all. Quite on the contrary, you would be surprised at just how little they matter, which is why you should always go for features instead. Most entry level and semi pro cameras are not going to have much variation when it comes to megapixels anyway.

The true battle for who is megapixel king starts when you get to full frame DSLRs. Megapixels are basically useful when you are thinking of enlarging pictures. The higher the megapixel count of the camera that took the photo, the more you are going to be able to enlarge said photo before it starts to get blurred. The Canon 5DS R which was released last year offers you over fifty megapixels which is very impressive indeed.

Autofocus

Because so many people focus almost exclusively on things like mega pixels and how big the sensor of the DSLR is, camera companies tend to concentrate on them and skimp out on an aspect of the DSLR that is equally important: autofocus. If you want to take good pictures, particularly within the context of things such as action photography, you are going to have to get a camera that has top notch autofocus that would help you get a grip on what you are looking at as quickly as possible. A good quality camera is going to have multiple cross type focus points, so this is what you should be looking for above all else.

The only problem with autofocus is that you can’t really tell what is good autofocus and what is not before you buy a camera. Each autofocus works differently and has varying levels of success based on the context you are using it in. While you should definitely strive for a DSLR that offers you multiple focus points, there are some other things that you are going to have to look into as well. One important aspect of your auto focus is contract detection, as is phase detection. Suffice it to say that you are going to have to do a fair amount of reading if you want to be able to understand the various nuances regarding autofocus.

Video

People aren’t buying DSLRs just so that they can take pictures anymore. In this brave new world, we have started to look into things like videography using a DSLR setup as well. As far as video making is concerned, a standard DSLR is going to provide you with high definition, 1080p recording no matter what, but if you want ultra HD, which is to say 4K recording, you are going to be mostly disappointed because there are not all that many options on the market right now. However, the new Nikon D500 is innovating by offering 4K recording as a standard. If you go for entry level DSLRs, one thing you are going to be forfeiting is the ability to record amazing video because these cheaper cameras are not that good at moving picture recording.

If we talk brands, the brand that has consistently proven itself to be the best of the best when it comes to video recording is Canon. While Nikon has made innovations including their D500’s 4K capabilities, overall video quality across the board remains superior when you are looking at Canon rather than Nikon. This is because even Canon’s entry level DSLRs such as the Revel series offer some pretty decent video quality in spite of the fact that most entry level DSLRs really don’t provide very good picture quality at all. If you go for high-end variants, there is a bit more competition. The Canon 7D Mark II is absolutely incredible, but the Nikon D500 is its equal and arguably even better thanks to the superior 4K recording capacity.

There are a lot of high end, full frame DSLRs that are actually not that good at video recording. This is because these cameras were made with image capturing in mind, videos were never really a priority as far as they are concerned. For example, the Canon 5DS R has an astonishing 50.6 megapixels but there are no user features that would make video recording easier or more efficient. This is why if you are a professional with the budget designed for high-end investment in your equipment, you should seriously consider getting two separate pieces of equipment. One for video and one for image capturing is a very good idea.

Rear LCD Screen

A standard feature that tends to get updated every time a newer model of a DSLR comes out is the LCD display. This screen is of immense importance to the overall efficiency of your photo taking experience. If you want your DSLR to be as efficient as possible, you are going to need a top notch screen, and there are a few things you should be looking for when you are looking for a top notch screen. The first thing is that you should be getting a high definition screen. Additionally, touch screen capabilities are quite useful and are a must have if you are making a significant investment. The way your LCD screen tilts is also a factor because it would make it easier or harder to get a look at the picture you are about to take based on how you are using your camera.

Wi-Fi

If you want to be mobile while using your DSLR, you are going to need WiFi connectivity. WiFi would allow you to upload pictures to social media accounts and handles with just a few taps and clicks rather than having to go through the hassle of uploading the media to a computer or other device. If you want to be able to use WiFi on your DSLR, you are going to have to opt for a slightly more expensive model and you would also have to note that you would not be able to use this WiFi all that often simply because most DSLRs don’t have the type of processing power that would enable them to transfer large chunks of data all at once. Basically, use your WiFi as much as you want, but you should also try to use traditional methods of data transfer when possible.

Weather Sealing

One thing you need to keep in mind is that you are probably going to take your DSLR to some pretty rough places. The weather in these areas is often not going to be very convenient for using cutting edge technology in, which is why you should try your best to buy a product that has been weather sealed. This basically means that rubber has been used to close up all of the cracks that water might get into. It also prevents dust from entering these cracks which can also be a huge factor in the life expectancy of a DSLR. Weather sealing can be expensive, but it can save you from having to buy a whole new camera just because your old one ended up getting damaged in the rain. You would also be surprised at just how much more life you can get out of your tech if you prepare for bad weather beforehand!

Lens Types

The thing about DSLR cameras is that they are not an exclusive, intrinsic ecosystem. When you buy a camera for a certain brand, you are also buying the lenses that said brand has to offer. This is part of the reason why newer companies have such a tough time competing with better-established brands.

Nikon tends to beat out Canon in the lens department, but in most cases, the lenses that each of these big brands have to offer are actually worth the price you are paying quite a bit.

Ease of Use

When you think of a DSLR, you probably think of something that is dreadfully complicated to use. This is a fair enough assessment. After all, DSLRs tend to be complicated overall if you are not careful about the one you buy. However, most DSLRs, as long as they are from top notch companies, have automatic settings designed to help you make the most of your new camera.

The only thing you need to do when you buy a DSLR is read the manual. Once you do this, you are going to be able to figure out how to get the result you want with the camera you are using. The manual can also help you to ascertain what the features included in your camera actually mean.

Why The Monopoly Exists

When it comes to DSLRs, the two big brands namely Nikon and Canon have a monopoly and for a good reason. They just make better cameras, and they also make phenomenal lenses that you can use in a variety of different scenarios. However, this does not mean that the cameras you are using from other brands are not worth your money. Sony has recently started to create some pretty top notch DSLRs that you should definitely look into.

Can The Dominance of DSLRs Be Coming to an End?

DSLRs used to be the absolute cutting edge of photographing technology, but now we have something new that might knock the DSLR out of the top spot. Cameras that have mirror less interchangeable lenses are able to create some truly stunning pictures, and the only thing that is holding them back is the fact that there are not all that many lenses of this variety available right now. Once companies like Sony which are trying to topple Canon and Nikon’s dominance start producing a wider range of lenses, it would be interesting to see how the market reacts. Sony has made a lot of developments in this field with their cameras like the Alpha a6500.

One benefit of the mirror less interchangeable lens camera is the fact that it is so much more portable than the DSLR. The weight of a DSLR can be a real drag, especially for people that are traveling. The prices are probably going to be comparable, but there are probably going to be parties on both sides that claim their camera is better than the other.

How to Get The Best Price From Clients

When you are approached by somebody that wants to hire you as a photographer, there are a number of different things that you need to take into account. Setting an ideal price that you would like your client to pay is quite important, but how exactly are you supposed to go about the process of setting a price in the first place?

Well, there are a few questions that you would do well to ask. These questions are all highly professional. You might feel slightly unnerved by the prospect of being this blunt with a potential client, but you need to realize that at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is finding a customer that would take you seriously.

If the client you end up working with responds to your questions as positively as possible, you can rest assured that they would be a good fit for you in the long run. After all, there is nothing worse than working for a bad client. The questions that have been provided below are a good way for you to weed out those customers who are going to be a hassle to deal with later on. Basically, if the clients that are approaching you refuse to answer these questions or give answers that you are not comfortable with, you would have a good reason to not work with them and still maintain your professional reputation.

What Are The Specific Image Requirements?

  • Shoot Style

Shoots are not all going to be easy. There are certain styles that are more complicated than others. What does your client want? Do they want a black and white photo shoot? There are a lot of different things that you have to look into for each shoot style, so make sure they answer this question.

  • Number of Photos Needed

Each photo you take is going to require some level of effort on your part. This is why you should try your best to find out in advance how many photos are necessary. You can offer discounts for multiple easy photos since they would not require as much prep time.

  • Client’s Intended Usage

This is highly vital. If your customer is taking headshots for a big company, your prices should obviously go up because your name will be attached to the pictures. Remember, once a price has been set you will have to stick with it for a long time, so setting a higher price early on will be quite beneficial for you.

  • Charge Extra For Retouching

A lot of clients are going to ask you to retouch photos after they have been taken. Ask them if this would be the case and inform them that extra charges are going to apply for such additional services.

  • Deadline

If you are going to be working on a tight deadline, you should try your best to get a better price for it. Emergency work can be quite stressful. It is up to you to make sure that you get adequate compensation for your efforts.

Other Participants in The Shoot

  • Work Ethic of Models

Nothing is worse than having to deal with the temper tantrums of unprofessional models. You as the photographer are going to be responsible for dealing with these tantrums, and they can really slow down your work process, preventing you from getting things done on time. Research the models your client has to see if they would be difficult and charge more if this is the case.

  • Other Creative Participants

Working with other creative people can be a real hassle because you would have to work around their artistic preferences as well as your own. You should be wary of things like this because clients tend to offer lower payment for projects where multiple creatives are involved.

Shoot Location

If you have to shoot photographs at a difficult location where there is a lot of wind or where you would have to deal with unpleasant climates, your price should naturally go up as well.

General Questions

  • Will Equipment Be Provided?

If the client is providing you with high-quality equipment that you can use, you can lower your price. Keep your price the same if you have to deal with lugging your own gear along.

  • Payment Timing

Be wary of clients that don’t offer to pay a slight advance. If your client says that you are going to have to wait for payment, reject them if they are not trustworthy but if they are trustworthy tell them that this would make the price go up. After all, you are going to need some kind of incentive to do a job where payment would be late.

The Art of Constructing a Plan B

One of the most important aspects of being a photographer is creating a backup plan that would ensure that one’s artistic vision has a higher chance of coming to fruition. This is because you don’t really know what could happen in the process of you taking your photographs. That being said, backup plans are often not as thorough as they need to be. Your backup plans require a great deal of forward thinking, so it is important that you have a backup plan for them to boot. This would ensure that you do not end up missing out on any opportunities while you are out making your artistic vision a reality. Basically, you need to develop the sort of personality that can think on its toes.

One great book that you can read to understand the art of making a plan B a little bit better is the 1940 text published by the philosopher Jean Paul-Sartre. This book is called “Being and Nothingness ” and it is basically a discussion of a broad range of philosophical ideas that center around the concept of “bad faith”. What this entails is the acknowledgment that what you believe is the result of societal stimuli rather than free will. In order to understand this in this context, certain ideas need to be pulled from this text. The fundamental idea that this book offers in this regard is the idea that we don’t have the ability to recover from bad situations.

As an artist, you have probably been in situations where your initial plan failed, and your plan B ended up failing as well, leaving you in a precarious position where you would have to think on your toes and develop a plan on the spot. If you are not good at improvising, this can cause you to freeze up and not quite know how to react to the situation at hand.

The Philosophy of Backup Plans

There is a way for you to develop a work process that would take into account as many different points of view and possibilities as possible. In order to understand this ideal work process, we must once again delve into the world of philosophy. It offers a multitude of ideas that apply to all areas of life, which means that your photography can benefit from it a great deal as well.

The philosopher that we are going to be discussing at this juncture is the stoic named Seneca. Seneca once wrote a letter in which he described the dangers of relying on our expectations. He explained how we define our reality in false ways, relying on perceptions that have been molded by outside influences rather than our own desires to pursue our hopes and dreams.

Basically, the ideal way for you to ensure that your plan works out for you, in the long run, is to calm down, take a breath and see how you can change the situation to bring it to your advantage. Things go wrong all the time, you need to rely on yourself rather than what society tells you that you can count on. After all, you are a capable and professional photographer, one that has the ability to do some pretty amazing things. Don’t make excuses and focus on your art at all times and things will always work out in the end.