Sunday, 15 March 2009

Who do you think you are? David Bailey?

How do you choose which brand and what kind of camera to buy? It is a little bit like buying a car. Technically all are very good and they get you from A to B. Some are better than others and neither cars nor cameras tend to break down. Prior to the digital age there was a huge difference between SLRs and compact cameras. With an SLR you got the photo you saw. With a system of mirrors that moved aside, there was no difference at all between what you saw and what you photographed. With compact cameras the viewfinder gives a similar view but it's not exactly the same. SLRs are generally more sophisticated, they give you more options, and they are technologically better than their compact counterparts. In this digital age what you see through the viewfinder is what you get with most cameras, but SLRs generally produce better photographs.

Perhaps you want a compact camera so that it fits easily in your pocket. It may be convenient but if you are serious about your photography don't let your camera be too discrete. I think the biggest influence on your choice is advertising. Do you remember the Olympus Trip adverts from many years ago, in which David Bailey would work around a professional who had a lot of expensive equipment. His simple point and shoot camera may capture a moment but technically the professional would have a better picture. Paul Simon sang about having a Nikon camera. Recently Avril Lavigne endorsed Canon SLR cameras. If you like the look or the feel of a camera then you are going to use it more. If you feel like a celebrity then that might help you use it more too.

Happy snapping

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