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How to choose a camera

So you’ve decided its time to venture into photography, capturing all those moments into timeless frames. Photography is an exciting hobby and definitely one of the most challenging yet fulfilling careers to pursue. To start, you’ll have to buy a camera.

Buying a camera is an emotional decision. You look at which camera creates a connection and makes you feel comfortable and at home. Each genre of photography comes with its own demands and necessities. There are plenty of blogs out there that focus on this and keep readers up to date with the newest releases. Personally I find dpreview.com to be one of the most popular and reliable sources, providing detailed accounts of each brand.

But finding the right camera isn’t always about the megapixels and the sensor size. It’s also about which camera will help you capture the moment the way you want to portray it. Each moment requires its own tools, or the lack of tools in some cases. Below is my personal advice on how you should plan your next purchase.

  • You want to become a landscape photographer:

Landscape photography is one of the most captivating kinds of photography for me personally. A DSLR is your best choice, with wide or ultra wide-angle lenses. And a solid tripod is definitely a necessity if you want to obtain a crisp, sharp image (though handheld landscapes are possible as well). You’ll also need to invest into some other accessories like a shutter release, ND filter and polarizing filter.

  • You want to become a fashion photographer:

A decent DSLR or a mirror lens is a good starting point, but it is better that you invest your money in buying decent strobes and light modifiers that will really add to the quality of your image.

This type of photography will require you to spend a lot of time in front of the computer to post process your image to your liking, so your computer has to be equipped with the hardware and software you’ll need, like Adobe lightroom, Photoshop and more.

  • You want to shoot street photography

Street photography has been making a comeback in recent years, as the socio-political scene is becoming a lot more diverse and photographers see potential images around every corner. Projects like Humans of New York and Cairo Captions literally help you see all the untold stories out there just waiting to be captured by your camera. Something like Fuji XE-2 or even the X100s is an excellent choice that combines the small size and supreme quality of images. Street photography is never about what camera you have, it’s about capturing the right moment with whatever tool you have.

In the end, a good photographer can take a superb image regardless of the type of camera he’s using. I’ve seen some captivating photographs that were taken by average cameras, and some of the world’s most memorable photos were captured by ordinary cameras that just happened to be in the hands of a good photographer at just the right time. The best way to get good at photography is to just keep shooting. Once you’ve mastered the skill, everything else becomes secondary. And remember, every rule is bendable if you have what it takes to create that perfect image.

Now tell me, what kind of photographer are you? And which camera do you plan to use to start your journey into photography?

-Fayiz Melibary