Buying a DSLR ? Join me for a Free Training on how to Choose the Best one!
Cyber Monday is in full swing online with some amazing deals to be had since Friday. I did a little shopping myself this weekend all from the comfort of my laptop! Gotta LOVE the internet If you’ve been on the hunt for a new camera for yourself or for someone else the array of choice out there can be mind boggling. I get emails every single day asking:
“Which camera should I buy?
Should I go with Canon or Nikon?
What’s this mirrorless all about?
What Lens should I buy?
How Many pixels is enough?
Do I really need a DSLR?”
All of theses questions and a lot more besides will be answered live by me on Thursday 12th December at 8pm Eastern. If you want me to send you the link of where it will be happening sign up here and I’ll let you know! (I’m toying with the idea of doing a google hangout so we’ll see how that goes!)
It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get any questions answered that you might have about new camera purchases or just to say Merry Christmas! And if your already having buyers remorse with something that you’ve purchased over the last few days let me know and I’ll give you my opinion on the 12th – still inside your return window!
Here’s the link to register your interest again: http://camerashycourses.com/best-camera-webinar/
Look forward to seeing you on the 12th
Ingrid’s Favorite Things: A Resource Guide for Beginner Photographers
Well it’s that time of year again where we try to be ever so nice so that San can see how good we’ve all been and bring us a nice treat in our stocking on Christmas Day. If you’d rather not take your chances and purchase a wee treat for yourself this year have I got a treat for YOU! In order to simplify your shopping experience for that new lens/camera/bag you NEED so badly I’ve put together a little resource guide listing my absolute favorite things! Hint: you can always forward it to Santa or whoever and let them know what you REALLY want this year
Let me know if you have any questions about anything in there – I’d love to help you shop!
Atlanta Photography Workshops
Don’t ya just LOVE FALL! I do – It’s hands-down my favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s because October is my birthday month, or maybe it’s because thankfully the weather is much cooler here in Georgia. Thoughts turn to apples and pumpkins and trips to the mountains. The photo opportunities are ENDLESS! So will you be ready to capture all those memories with your camera? If you are in the Atlanta area I invite you to join me for a wonderful morning workshop where you will discover how to get awesome photos from your DSLR camera.
When – Saturday November 2nd 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Smyrna Community Centre
How much: $99 per person attending
What you’ll learn:
How to get super sharp photos
When to use which lens
Taking photos in tricky light conditions
What all those modes and buttons do.
If you’ve always been meaning to read that camera manual, then don’t! Come to my workshop and all will become clear – I promise
5 Things to look for when Buying Second Hand Camera Gear Online
Photography is an expensive hobby. A student once said to me, yes Ingrid, there are three variables which will determine your photography – Light, Time and Money. Well, although I admit you can travel down the rabbit hole of ever improving camera gear, it is still possible to nab some camera gear bargains online if you are well informed and buy second hand. So here’s my top 5 tips on buying second hand camera gear.*Photo credit
Buying Second Hand Camera Gear
1. Purchase from a reputable source.
The big players in the second hand camera gear industry are well established and usually even stand over their resale items with a 6 month warranty. This can go a long way in calming the nerves of a newbie photographer. I’ve bought many lenses in this way from KEH who are a huge online supplier of second hand equipment – everything from camera bags to lenses to lighting equipment. You might pay a little bit more buying a lens in this way but in my opinion that warranty is worth that peace of mind. Funny story – I know about them when I lived in Ireland and when I moved to the US I realized their warehouse is right down the street from where I live here in Smyrna!
2. Still lots of bargains to be had…
if you regularly stalk Craigslist and other online auction and sales sites such as Quicksales where private individuals are selling their stuff . If you are on Facebook (I know, who isn’t?), then you can join some of the specific groups for people buying and selling their second hand gear. Just do a search on Facebook and then request to join the groups that interest you. You can always leave the group when your are finished buying or sell some of your own stuff to buy the next piece of gear!
There are several benefits of buying from an individual. For a start, you can sometimes find some REALLY awesome deals. People start photography and then realize they are no longer interested, or they upgrade their cameras or they just need the cash for something new. When you buy like, this you can usually get a bundle deal of lenses, bodies, filters and bags for a great price. Just beware of add-ons that are unnecessary inflating the price your your gear. Most people will never use color filter sets and just because the piece of plastic ring thing looks fancy – you probably don’t need it.
Secondly, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions to see photos taken with the gear and actual photos of the gear. You can usually tell if a person is being honest or not in these sites and of course you can always look at their account feedback. Sites like Craigslist can be a little more sketchy these days, so as always – use your judgement and don’t put yourself in any questionable scenarios when meeting the seller.
3. Do your research.
When you buy second hand its up to you to do your research. You need to know exactly what it is you are looking for and be prepared to ask lots of questions so that you can be sure that the piece is in as good as shape as possible. I personally, honestly would stay away from buying a camera body 2nd hand unless you are very sure of where it was coming from and its history.
This is especially true for entry level DSLR camera bodies. These aren’t usually built to withstand a lot of wear and tear and one drop could knock something vital way off in how the camera operates. when trying to decipher how much use a camera has gotten look for signs of wear and tear on the strap, where the paint has rubbed off on the grip and on the flash hotshoe.
4. PayPal or CreditCard only
Only deal with sellers who will accept PayPal or Credit Cards. All reputable and honest sellers will do this. If you are been asked to send money orders or wire funds directly to someone’s bank account in some far flung place, then this screams SCAM! Always, always buyer beware
5. If it looks to good to be true, then it probably is.
Use your judgement when you are buying 2nd hand gear online. If you see brand new camera models at knockdown prices then red flags should go up. Also check for fake brand names. If I had a dollar for every Cannon or Nickon lens I saw back in my days of retail…. not to mention the countless variations of plastic imitation lenses. Remember, just because a lens looks awesome – it could be a piece of junk.
So I hope this little guide will help you out! If you have had any experience in buying used equipment online I’d love to hear your thoughts – let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure: Beginners Photography worked together with Quicksales on this article.
Slow Shutter Speed – When should you use one?
In my last video I talked about using Shutter Priority Mode on your DSLR or Bridge camera and stepping further out of the automatic settings. In this video I talk about some of the scenarios when you might want to consider using shutter priority mode and slow shutter speeds.
Let me know in the comments below if you have tried playing with slow shutter speeds on your camera – it’s a LOT of fun!
P.S. If you would like to learn more about your DSLR I’ve opened up my “DeMystify your DSLR” – Beginners Photography course. Your camera is waiting on you to make the most of it! Click here for more information.
Better Pictures with your Bridge Camera and Compact Camera
If you’ve been a reader here on the blog for a while you might know that I teach photography here online and in person in Atlanta. I’ve been doing this for quite sometime – 13 years in fact – right since the inception of digital photography. Back when I started teaching in 2000 I taught groups of “early adopters” all about their new fangled digital cameras. Looking back at my notes from those classes we talked about 4 MEGA byte cards and AA batteries and 2mega pixels sensors. People had no idea about these things which is hard to believe since we are now so used to taking photos with our phones and deal with GIGA bytes every day! I clearly remember trying to explain to several people that there was no door to open to put the film in – there was no film!
Anyways, as the years have progressed I’ve focused more and more on DSLR camera users as those cameras have become more popular, less expensive and have a steep learning curve. But I consistently get asked to do something for people with compact, superzoom and bridge cameras. These cameras have come a LONG way in the past 13 years but there is still a lot of confusion out there with people who want to know about all the functions their cameras offer and how they can improve their photography without having a lot of fancy equipment. Truth be told on some of the advanced compacts there are almost as many options as on the entry level DSLR cameras.
So, next Wednesday evening, at 8pm EST I’m holding a free mini-class on How to take Better Photos with your Compact or Bridge camera. This is going to be a fun interactive webinar where I’ll share the 3 most important things in photography and how, by learning about them, you can dramatically improve your photos.
If you are at all interested in improving your photography without the need for a bulky DSLR, I’d love for you to join me .
Here’s the link to the sign up form and don’t forget to register right away as space is very limited!
See you on the webinar
P.S. Even if you can’t make it on Wednesday evening, be sure to go ahead and register and I will send you the replay. Here’s the link again: http://camerashy.enterthemeeting.com/m/YHKM86TH
Shutter Priority Mode – What is it?
Ever wondered why you would use Shutter Priority Mode on your DSLR , advanced compact or bridge camera? In this video I’ll explain a little about why you would use it and where you’ll find it!
Do you use Shutter Priority Mode?
Tell me why in the comments below!
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about Shutter Priority Mode and all the other Modes that wonderful camera of yours has to offer, check out my Master your DSLR online course, now open for new registrants.
Canon Powershot S95 Review
Recently I spent some time in Florida with my family from Ireland and I had the pleasure of using my Dad’s Canon Powershot S95 compact camera. Although this is now an “older” Point and shoot camera I was so impressed with it I thought I’d do a little review on it. afterall, is it really necessary to buy the absolute latest model of camera since the manufacturers change them every six months or so. Watch the video below and let me know your thoughts on this.
Hey there! This week I’m in sunny…or maybe not so sunny Florida, and I thought I’d take the chance to give you a little hands on review of a camera that my Dad actually brought with him. It’s called the Canon S95, it is a Powershot point and shoot camera.
This camera has been around for a couple of years, so it has actually now been replaced by the S110 but I just thought I would give you a quick overview on this camera because I’m really excited to use it. It’s really nice and then we can do a comparison with the new camera and see what the differences are.
So, the Powershot S95 is a very high spec compact camera. As you can see it’s really small – it fits pretty much on the palm of my hand. I’s a really good little camera for anybody who likes to take photos that are just a little bit more than what they can get with their phone. It is also really good for people who are used to using a digital SLR – if you like to use the manual exposure mode such as Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and even Manual Exposure or even if you are just trying to experiment with your photography a little bit and you want to move a little bit outside of just point and shoot, this would be a great camera for you.
The first thing that you notice on your camera is that it has a really big 3 inch LCD screen. This means that there is no viewfinder on the camera which can be a little bit off putting to some people. But because it so big and it so clear I find that it isn’t a problem to use. You have the mode dial up here just like the digital SLR and you have all the same sort of modes – the P, TV, AV and M and then of course you have a whole bunch of custom modes that you can set for specific types of photography and you can have good fun playing around with those.
The lens is a really bright 2.0 lens. IThat means you can shoot in really low light and you don’t need to use your flash because the aperture can really open up wide and can let in a lot of light at f/2.0 The lens has also a wide angle lens which is great for taking landscapes or group shots and means that you don’t have to zoom way back or move way back. You can just use the wide angle lens
It also has a x3.8 optical zoom lens which is a little on the small side and I think that this is something that they really improved in the newer version of this camera – I think they have got up to 5X optical zoom now which is better. But considering that it has such a compact little body, it is pretty impressive to have the wide angle plus a bit of a zoom there too.
So the one thing that I really love about this little S95 camera is that it really feels nice to use it in your hand. It has a little nice coating at the back that gives a little bit of a grip and it has this little ring that can be fully customized to whatever you want it to be. For example now I have to set to control the ISO because I have been shooting a lot in low light here and we have been using this camera with no flash, so I wanted to push the ISO up and play around with it rather than have to go in and play around the menu. You could also set this dial to control exposure compensation,the one that we talked about in my last video. You can have it set to focus, white balance and if you like that feeling of zooming your digital SLR, this is quite similar to that by using this custom ring function here right at the top. S95 also has a really good movie mode, and it will capture 720p movie in high definition and it is really more than you need if you are just going to watch it on your computer or making your little imovies so it is really – a nice feature to have in a camera. It’s all in one so you don’t have to worry about taking another device with you.
One of the awesome features with this camera if you are used to using a digital SLR is this camera can actually shoot in raw and not just in Jpeg which means that you have full control over all of your exposure settings and your white balance. And if your are used to using your digital SLR shooting in raw then this is a nice compliment to that.
I didn’t want to take by big camera down to the beach with me because you know sand gets everywhere so we just pop this little camera into a ziplock bag and you can take it out and play with it on the beach – and I still have the full editing capability use with this little compact camera.
The main difference between this particular camera and newer models seems to be that they have increased the zoom to 5x optical zoom which is nice and they have changed this LCD screen at the back to a touch screen. Now, I have to be honest I’m not a huge fan of the touchscreen LCD screen because you tend to get finger prints all over it. But you know now with iphones and ipads we are kind of already used to using a touch screen. So it is just a matter of wiping off. They have also included a wireless technology so you can transfer your photos directly from your camera to your printer-if you have a wireless printer.
It also has the new Canon HDS technology which means that is very good for shooting in low light which I already found that this is great for shooting in low light. So, I can only imagine the S110 is even better for that. So all in all I would have to say is that I really love this camera and I’m kind of envious that my dad has it. I might consider getting one the S110′s for just everyday shooting and when I don’t like to carry the DSLR around with me all the time, this would be something that I think would really compliment my kit, and you know there are always times when you just don’t want to bring your DSLR. I will also recommend this for somebody who is interested in getting into photography but just don’t want the full expense of a digital SLR. These cameras are the high end of the compact camera range and think it is around $379 which definitely isn’t cheap but it something that it would be worthwhile as an investment – just to see if you get a feel for manual photography and to be able to control your exposure and play around with some of the settings.
If you have the Canon Powershot S95 or any of the later versions, I would love to hearwhat you have to say about it in the comments below!
Exposure Compensation Explained
This week I continue my series on figuring out some of those buttons on your camera. Ever wondered what that little +/- button on your camera is for? All cameras have this Exposure Compensation Button – point and shoots and DSLRs and understanding it can really make improvements to your pictures. Watch the video below to find out how!
Prefer to read? I’ve outlined the transcription of the video below!
Hey there! It’s Ingrid here once again from Camerashy. This week we are going to talk about another underutilized button in your camera and it is called Exposure Compensation. If you have a Canon, the exposure compensation button is this little + – minus button right here on the back. On some other Canons it is up here at the top, and on some Nikons it is up here at the top as well. What you are going to look out for is that little + button. So what does this do? Well, the exposure compensation button is your way of controlling the exposure of your shot – i.e. how bright or how dark it is and over-ride the camera settings. This can only happen if you are in the program auto mode, the aperture priority mode or shutter priority mode. If you are in auto mode, this won’t work. This is a really good way in getting a feel for exposure without actually knowing what you are doing.
So why would you use exposure compensation? Sometimes you take a photograph and the camera just doesn’t get it right. It might be a little bit too dark or a little bit too bright. Just not exactly what you see through your eye. This sometimes happens when the photograph contains extremes of light. Say for example if you are photographing in snow, the camera sees all of that bright snow and the camera seems to darken your image down or likewise when you are shooting into the sun you need to overexpose the photograph a little bit.
So, how do you do this? Well you just use your exposure compensation by pressing and holding down that +- button and rotating the command dial towards the + if you want to make your image brighter or towards the negative if you want to make your image darker. So what you are really saying is, hey! Camera I see what you’ve given me but could you please make it a little bit brighter or a little bit darker? Thanks ever so much… Be sure to say it a nice way because this is one of the only times that you know a little bit more on what’s going on the camera does and we don’t want to offend =).
So, remember, you are not really controlling how the camera makes it brighter or darker. You can only do this by slowing down the shutter speed or opening up the aperture and this will ultimately affect how your image looks but it really does help to just give you a little bit more insight to what is going on with the exposure and so you are one stop closer again to using these modes in a more manual way. So, venture out of auto mode into your program auto, your shutter priority and your aperture priority mode and play with your exposure compensation to see how it affects your photos.
So, I hope you find this useful, be sure to give it a thumbs up if you liked it and share it with your friends.
Make sure to subscribe so you will never miss the next one and if you are looking for more video tips and tutorials like this, be sure to subscribe below to get the next video right in your inbox.
Until next time…
Blurry Photos – How to avoid them
Blurry photos with blurry subjects are usually never a good look.
Find out how you can avoid blurry images in the following quick video I recorded on the subject. Share in the comments section below if you have any tips for avoiding blurry images.