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  • Writer's picturepcburns

Pros and Cons of Beginner Cameras

When I first started photography, my dad bought me a Nikon Coolpix point and shoot camera in highschool . It had limited capabilities such as setting the aperture,shutter speed, size file, etc. I used it solely as a means to document my daily life as a highschooler.

A few years later in college, I was introduced to surreal photography in a Digital Art class from my favorite art teacher, Lee Black. I made my first surreal photographs with a cellphone camera, specifically an iPhone 5. Like most phones, it only shot JPEGs. With my current knowledge, I wouldn't advise using JPEGs usually in digital photography. I say that because JPEGs begin to lose resolution when you need to enlarge the image in Photoshop. However, there have been plenty of contemporary photographers who started out with camera phones before they could afford an expensive DSLR. Black taught me as though this setback wasn't that major of a problem. In the end, she was right. My photographs "Female Foliage" and "Dark Side of the Moon" were both done using only a camera phone. Even today, I use pictures in JPEG format when its hard to find the pictures and materials I need (but I'll discuss that another time). Today,

Two to Three years later, I bought my NIKON D3000 with a standard lens . I went to the local camera shop called Southerland's Photo Inc. and asked the owners for beginner cameras. It's best for me to get a beginner camera because I didn't want to be overwhelmed by the advanced functions. Even though it is an old model, it does the basics.I prefer to get a used camera at a specialized camera shop because I knew it would be cheaper and the sales associates would recommend a camera that is best for my skill level. The camera cost me $200 along with the standard lens in comparison to a new camera of the same model that would cost as high as $250 +tax and S&H or more depending on the seller. The major con is that because the camera is an older model, it lacks some features in new camera models. For instance, my camera lacks an inbody autofocus motor. This is important because this renders the autofocus in most lenses useless. It's a waste to buy expensive lenses with advanced features just for most the features not to work because of the camera body.

When looking for lenses I go on Amazon because in the description it tells you which camera bodies are most compatible or incompatible with the camera body. I learned that because it lacked an inbody autofocus, I will eventually need to replace my camera with a more updated camera body. Only through a quick Google search did I find only two telephoto lenses that were compatible with my camera.

In conclusion, even though there are considerable cons with each camera type, the only major limitation of creative photography is the lack of imagination. I do prefer my DSLR but when I'm driving in my car and I see a beautiful scene that I think would be perfect for a project, I quickly whip out my camera phone and snap a picture. I use it because it has a quick shutter speed and you rarely have to worry about exposure. Just because I have upgraded to a DSLR, it doesn't mean that I have abandoned my previous means of photographing. "The Storm Within" is a recent work of art that used both camera phone and DSLR.

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