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Whatever you do in life there are people who try to learn all kinds of new things, and naturally, ask questions about it. This too is something that happens in photography – it's not a bad thing, in fact, it's a great thing. As long as people are curious, ask questions and look for answers, they will learn.
However, there are several questions being asked by almost every beginner photographer – ever. The aim of this article is to answer those in the best manner possible. So let's begin.
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Should I get Camera X or Camera Y?
This question has been asked way too many times. Really. The thing is, there is no right answer that you can get from another photographer. The only right answer you can get is from yourself. The advice, however, would be this: to know which camera is better for you, you should consider every factor.
It is not all about the specifications of the camera itself, but also about:
- The Ergonomics,
- Price range,
- And whether you will make the most out of it and so forth.
First of all, you should be absolutely certain whether you actually need any of those cameras, then decide whether those cameras fulfill every aspect of your needs, and only then compare both cameras on a specification level.
If one of the cameras is more expensive and has features you'll never use, you are simply wasting money. Keep in mind that if you are currently using one system and you switch to another, that will cost you even more than the camera itself.
Which Lens Is Best For Situation X Or Situation Y?
A question that you’ll see sneaking through every photography forum thread all day long. People asking which is the best portrait lens, or best landscape lens, and so forth is something seen on a daily basis. The answer however is nowhere near simple. This is due to the fact that you can’t claim that certain lens is best for this or bad for that.
It all depends on the photographer, idea, situation, resources, and environment. Doing portraiture with 16mm wide angle lens? Why not. You can also shoot landscape with 600mm telephoto lenses.
The best lens for the situation is the one that you feel that will do the job perfectly. It is all about you, you decide which is the best lens for the job, and ultimately it all boils down to skill and creativity.
Is Lens X better than Lens Y?
If we presume that it is the same focal length or the same zoom range (or at least really close), this question can be answered thoroughly. Not all lenses are created equal.
A 35mm f/1.4 lens from one manufacturer can outperform the same lens made by a different manufacturer. The first generation of the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L lens is inferior when compared to the new Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art lens, in almost any aspect, whether price or optical quality etc. However, the second generation of the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L II is slightly optically better, but the price is more than double.
When comparing lenses, you should take note of:
- the focus motor and accuracy,
- optical quality (sharpness, vignetting, chromatic aberration and distortion),
- build quality,
- common issues,
- And of course, price.
You can basically answer this question yourself. There are plenty of online resources which compare lenses on every aspect possible, giving you a precise notion of which lens is a better performer or better value for money. Just don’t rush, and do your research.
What Technique Should I Be Learning First?
Most of the photographers will answer that you need to master holding your camera first. Henri Cartier-Bresson said that “Your first 10000 photographs are your worst”, and by that he meant that it takes a lot of practice to learn how to hold the camera properly, let alone learn other techniques.
Proper camera handling simply equates to:
- Sharper pictures,
- Less strain,
- And ultimately better shots.
While you are practicing that, you will also be practicing rules of composition, learning exposure, learning your camera, and so forth.
In photography, you can rarely learn one technique at a time since in a single photograph you are utilizing at least three. Therefore, you are learning more than you are actually realizing by practicing photography or by practicing one technique in itself.
To begin with I would advise that you’ll need to prioritize camera handling, exposure management, and basic rules of composition. These should be your top choices.
Mastering those will teach you many other things along the way.
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