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Ron Toel - Nature Photographer

Nature Photography: What to Look for In Buying a Camera

by Ron Toel

 

Bird PhotographyIn today’s age of Digital cameras….there are many really good cameras to choose from.  Each has its own special features and task capability.  However, if one is serious about photography and wants to reach at least the advanced amateur status here are some tips for making your purchase easier. 

 

  1. Buy a SYSTEM.  This means buy a brand that has camera and lenses that interchange.  That way one can grow as experience grows.  It also means that there are all the other accessories (flash, tubes, etc.) available that work with and enhance your camera.
  2. The Camera Body  One does not need to buy the most expensive item in the line that comes with all the bells and whistles.  Chances are one will never use most of these items.  There are some features that are a must:

       

    • Through the lens viewing
    • Interchangeable lenses
    • Depth of field button
    • Built-in light meter
    • Built-in flash with TTL (through the lens) reading
    • Manual capabilities as well as automatic. The Lens  This is the place to spend your money.  Get the smallest f-stop (this means that it allows more light into the camera and thus allows one to take an image at a faster speed and stops the actions being preformed.)  For bird photography, the largest lens one can afford is the one to get.  Especially for small birds, one has to get close to fill the image frame,….one can always back up easier than get close.  A minimum would be a 500mm f4 lens for bird photography.  These are expensive.
    • A tripod Always shoot with a tripod as it helps to steady the camera and lens.  Especially with large lenses whereby just a tiny vibration can be intensified into a fuzzy image.

 

This is a minimum needed for a good photography system.  There are lots of other add-ons that can help but are not necessary. Below are some more samples of the photos I have taken.

 

Nature Photography