Starting your photographic journey is really exciting and oh so overwhelming. You’ll read all kinds of tips, hear all sorts of opinions, and it’s difficult to weed out the useless things. Well, Omar Gonzalez is here to help you with it. In his video, he suggests six things new photographers should ignore when they’re just starting out.
1. Fancy gear
If you’re just starting out, there’s no use to buy flashy, expensive kits. You can start by buying used gear. It will save you tons of money and give you the opportunity to practice your craft. Later on, you can upgrade or switch brands as your skills and needs grow.
Omar also suggests that you don’t overlook DSLRs. Mirrorless cameras are more popular nowadays, but DSLRs are still worth considering, and you can find cheap, yet great used ones.
2. Fanboys and brand loyalty
When buying your first camera, it’s hard to choose everything about it, starting from the brand. I still remember the struggle I had! You’ll see all kinds of comments online, and your friends will all probably have different suggestions. Omar notes that the least useful advice comes from people who have been loyal to only one brand without a particular reason.
So, when asking for advice about buying your first camera, don’t ask people who hate all other brands for no reason. Stick with objective comments and reviews online and talk to other photographers who have used or at least tried out two or more different brands.
Common misconception newbies have is that more megapixels mean a better camera. In fact, this is how manufacturers often market it, especially for point-and-shoot and phone cameras. Don’t fall for it. Ignore the megapixel (to some extent, don’t buy a 2mp camera either). Omar suggests that the “sweet spot” for cheaper and mid-range cameras is somewhere between 16 and 24 MP, and trust me, you’ll get a perfect camera for you within that megapixel range.
4. Full-frame vs. APSC
You’ll often see people arguing about full-frame or APS-C (crop) sensors and which one is better. They both have their perks, but if you’re just starting out, an APS-C body will do just fine. As a hobbyist, I still use a crop body after 13 years and it still works perfectly fine for me. They are usually smaller and significantly cheaper, so it will do you just fine for a start.
5. Zoom vs. prime lens
Should you get a zoom or a prime lens? Well, most of us buy a camera with a kit lens, and it’s usually a pretty good deal. I’d personally suggest that you start with it since it will give you a better idea of what and how you want to shoot. Perhaps an even better idea is to buy a third-party zoom lens with a constant aperture so that it doesn’t change throughout the zoom range. You can also pick up a cheap prime lens, or just limit yourself to only shoot at a single focal length of your zoom lens from time to time.
Anyway, when you start exploring photography and pay attention to your own images, you’ll learn what lenses are the best for what you like to shoot. You can then buy a few zooms, a few primes, one of each… Whatever works for you. As long as the lens is on the camera body, you’re good to go! :)
6. Camera color science
Another thing people often argue about is camera color science. Which camera has the best color? I have no idea, and it’s totally a matter of personal preference and what you want to shoot. All cameras are good, and after all – you can always fix colors in post. Omar suggests downloading RAW sample images from different cameras and seeing which ones you like best.
Bonus tip – manual mode
Finally, you’ll often hear that you’re not a “real photographer” unless you use manual mode. That’s not true and don’t let it discourage you. Sure, you should learn how everything works so you can control how the photos turn out instead of letting your camera do it. But you don’t need to go full manual immediately.
Start with the Program mode, then try Aperture priority or Shutter priority modes… Learn things one by one and then you can switch to Manual with knowledge and hence without frustration.
Newbies, have you been getting these tips, and have you accepted or ignored them? And for more experienced photographers – what are some tips you’d give to newbies?