Chapter 1

Choosing the Right Camera


Finding the best camera for your photography style

Figuring out how many pixels you need

Reviewing your lens options

Deciding what camera features you really need

Considering convenient extras

You've probably heard the saying “It's a poor carpenter who blames his tools.” Well, the same is true for photography: A knowledgeable photographer can produce a masterful image from even the most basic camera. That said, certain camera features make photographing some subjects easier: A fast autofocusing system improves your odds of snapping a sharp shot of a polo player, for example, and a lens that can capture subjects from a great distance enables you to photograph wildlife without the risk of becoming dinner.

This chapter helps you figure out whether your current camera offers the features you need for the type of photography you want to do, and, if not, guides you toward more suitable gear. At the end of the chapter, I provide some tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck if you go camera shopping.

Thinking About Your Artistic Goals (Or Lack Thereof)

When people come to me for camera recommendations, the first question I ask — and the one I suggest that you consider now — is “How much creative control do you want to have?” The answer determines whether you need a bare-bones, point-and-shoot camera, a high-end model with expert-level features, or something in between.

If you're new to photography, you may not understand ...

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