Monday, January 2, 2012

Some Advice on Choosing a Camera

I don’t usually write equipment reviews but after seeing some of the very inappropriate and foolish comments on-line in regard to the new Canon 6D plus the fact that I often get asked for suggestions on equipment I thought I’d write this post. 

The best advice I can give unfortunately is to get the most expensive equipment you can afford, you get what you pay for and quality costs. Also the glass, the lens, is very important. A good lens on a cheaper body will out perform a kit lens on a more expensive body, at least in terms of image quality. 

Speaking of the Canon 6D, like the new Nikon 600D both are “full frame” bodies. “Full frame” means the sensor is the size of the older 35mm film negative, ie 24mm x 36mm. If you can afford full frame these cameras are considered entry level and very capable. Both cameras, body only, are presently priced at around $2,100 CDN.


There are various models of cropped sensor cameras available (cameras with sensors smaller than full frame). Not as expensive as the full frame but very capable are, among others, the Nikon D7000, Canon 7D and Canon 6D. One of the benefits of a cropped sensor camera is that if you put a full frame lens on it, say a 70-200mm you will effectively have a 112-320mm on a Canon for example. Also because the files are a little smaller the frame rates are usually faster. So if you’re interested primarily in wildlife photography these machines are a great choice.

And lets not forget more basic DSLR’s like the Nikon D3200 or Canon T4i, these are very capable cameras and provide photographers great opportunity. I only focus here on Nikon and Canon because those are the brands I am most familiar with. However Sony, Fuji, Pentax and others make great cameras also. There are lots of choices these days and comparably priced models often very similar specs and features.

Mirrorless cameras are something you might want to consider. Cameras like the expected Sony RX1, a full frame mirrorless camera may be a game changer and mirrorless may be where the technology is heading.


If you want to do some comapritive shopping is a great website for Canadians. You might want to consider buying local even if the price is a little higher, that way you’ll have personal access to support and can have your questions answered or get help should you need it.

Regardless of what you buy always remember it’s the person using the camera that’s most important. Good technique and some patience are the best tools you can have.

Take Care and thanks for stopping by!

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