Buying the right camera


eos.jpgIn a completely unrelated post, I received a rather lengthy comment today. I suspect the main purpose of the post was to get a link to his site, but of course, Photocritic uses REL=NOFOLLOW (read why) on all the user-contributed links, so the spamming activity went without any particular merit.

What was insteresting, however, was that this person actually raised an interesting issue and an fascinating question. He says that 75% of people buy the wrong camera for his photography courses… 

I am a photography teacher.

I find that 75% of people buy the wrong camera. So just how do they end up in one of my classes with the wrong camera. The short answer is that they bought the most fashionable looking camera without really knowing what to look for in a digital camera.

The questions you should ask the sales person is: how long does the camera take to turn on? How long does the camera take to focus on the subject? And how long does it take to actually take the photo? Turning on the camera can take between 1-5 seconds, focus can take from 0-2 seconds and shutter lag can take up to 1 second.

Why is this important, well try taking a photo of a child blowing out the candles with a camera that takes 2 seconds to focus and 1 second to take the photo and all you will be left with is a child looking away and smouldering candles. This is where the new D70s rise above all the other cameras in its class with instant turn on focus and shutter release.

We highly recommend the D70 to someone who wants a camera to last him or her for many years without the frustration of a slow camera. We are so happy with our D70s we bought four more we highly recommend them to anyone who loves photography and does not want to have to upgrade when they learn more about photography!


Why 75%? Surely, everybody who buys an D-SLR has a camera good enough? Why are you talking about shutter lag and camera turn-on-lag? It’s a long time ago that this was a big issue for digital compact cameras. Sure, there are still crummy cameras out there, but the vast majority of digital compact cameras are not struggling with the problems mentioned here. Granted, most of them aren’t good for a photography course because you don’t have aperture and shutter speed settings, but still…

And finally – Why recommend the Nikon D70 specifically? Do you work for Nikon? I would argue that any digital SLR (even the ages-old Canon EOS 30D, if you can pick it up for cheap off eBay) is more than good enough to use for learning photography. Hell, according to Froogle, you can pick up a digital SLR for about $650 (£350, approx). Furthermore, there isn’t that much difference between the D-SLRs anymore. Of course, the better cameras have more features and are more sturdy, but image quality wise, a 8mpx camera is as good as most other 8mpx cameras – especially in the DSLR world, where you supply your own glass anyway.

So folks, ignore all previous advice, and buy any DSLR (preferably Canon or Nikon, I don’t quite trust the others yet) you want.

… And just because this guy with his spamming managed to raise an interesting issue, I’m going to thank him by linking to his website anyway. Although, strictly speaking, I probably wouldn’t bother with going to any of the courses. If his Photocritic commenting skillz are anything to go by…

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