Get Creatively unStuck
There comes a time for every photographer when you know the basics, you’re familiar with your camera and you are ready to move to the next step. When this happens you can sometimes get stuck. Stuck not knowing where to go next with your photography.
Have you reached this point where you need another approach to pursue your visual creative process?
Have you thought about what your usual creative process is? – Is it intentional or intuitive?
Do you know where your photography aspirations are leading you?
Have you though which path would you like to take -Portrait or Food Photography, Landscape or Photojournalism?
Or do you just need to get unstuck?
PHOTOGRAPH is a digital quarterly magazine for Creative Photographers from the folks over at Craft and Vision and it will allow you to experience different paths in the magical world of photography. In this issue (number 3), you will be given access to the portfolios of renowned photographers; the likes of Henki Coentjoro and his black and white photography , Dave Delnea’s works from Tunisia and the stunning food photography of commercial photographer Kevin Clark. Also featured in the issue are articles from David Duchemin, John Paul Caponigro, Martin Bailey, Chris Orwig, Younes Bounhar, Jay Goodrich, Piet Van Den Eynde, Nicole S. Young and Al Smith. This introduction to these amazing artists is sure to inspire even the most stuck and creatively challenged photographer.
When you flip through the beautiful pages filled with amazing images you will also learn each photographer’s visual sense, style and their influences unfolded in the question and answer section. You will see that they didn’t start out amazingly creating the images that you see now. Each have their own story to tell but they all have one thing in common- to always bring the camera with them wherever they go.
PHOTOGRAPH will help you reflect on your own visual creative process experience. The featured photographers’ beautiful works will let you see the world from a different perspective. It will inspire and will motivate you to go out and shoot on your own terms and hopefully bring you closer to creating your own style of photography.
Go out and shoot! See the world in different colors and angles! Capture priceless moments. And most importantly DON’T forget to grab a copy of this issue for only $8. Remember that even though you may have your own creative vision we all need inspiration from others and a subscription to the ad free PHOTOGRAPH will take care of this for you every 3 months.
Right now you can get a one year subscription to PHOTOGRAPH for only $24, saving you $8 and guaranteeing inspiration for the year ahead.
Studying these expert photographers is truly a wonderful way to bring your photography to the next level. don’t miss out!
Time-lapse photography made easy
Have you ever had a moment where you are surrounded by the beauty of nature or the bright city
So you take a snapshot of that glorious view because your camera is always with you right? But somehow the photo did not translate what you saw right in that very moment. It’s just kind of, well, blegh…You thought you captured all the elements involved in making a beautiful photograph, but it just wasn’t right. So where did you go wrong?
Most likely you didn’t really do anything wrong. It’s just difficult to represent breathtaking events that transcend time such as the movements of the clouds, sunny to cloudy day, beautiful sunrise or sunset, lovely gray city fog to luminous sparkling city lights, accurately in a single image.
TIMELAPSE an introduction to still photographs in motion by Dave Delnea is an ebook created with all the information, tips and techniques to capture and shoot a Time-Lapse sequence. Time-lapse photography is simply a record of time unfolding in a well-composed, still frame. If you want to learn how to do it, this book will guide you in learning both Still and Time-Lapse Photography that can be great ways for communicating tales of travel and adventures to the world. This ebook will also let you take a peek of Delnea’s beautifully crafted photos over years of travels in which he learned and experimented with time-lapse photographs.
The author breaks down the Time-lapse photography process into 4 very easy steps. He clearly outlines the essential equipment that you will need for time lapse photography, most of which are things that you probably already have in your own kit. He also lists the essential extras needed to capture your very own beautiful time-lapse, but again these are things that you will probably come across everyday. He also adds the not-so-essential extras like the apps that he used in assisting to capture the images .
Framing, Focus and Exposure considerations tips, Exposure & Mechanical Flicker, Post- Production Workflow using Adobe Lightroom and Hosting the image sequence in a video file are also outlined in a manner that is easy to understand even for a beginner photographer. If you purchase you’ll even get a link to Dave’s Lightroom Time-Lapse Preset which is pretty slick.The screenshots of the menu settings that he used are also shown which will help you walk through the settings suited for each situation to capture a time lapse.
The Advance Techniques Bonus at the end of this ebook provides a little teaser of what’s in store after you have learned the basics.This is a fun ebook demonstrating how we can use our existing technology for a type of photography that we might have thought was beyond our reach. The possibilities available to the aspiring photographer today, even on a tight budget, are infinite. As Dave Delnea himself says ”This is a remarkable period in history to be creative.”
The author’s style is light hearted and free spirited with a dust of occasional humour which makes this ebook not only a fun read, but an educational resource to be kept and referred back to again in the future.
You can purchase TimeLapse by Dave Delnea here from Craft and Vision and use the coupon code TIME4 to get it for only $4 until March 22nd at 11.59pm PST Or if you decide to purchase at least 4 other Craft and Vision ebooks in addition to Timelapse , use the code TIME 20 you’ll get 20% off your entire order.
Top 5 DSLR Bags for Women
Owning a DSLR is a bit like having a baby. Well not having a baby exactly but being responsible for it. Like a baby your DSLR usually goes everywhere with you – to the park, the zoo, family functions, Christmas parties etc. etc. It also is of considerable weight and comes with a variety of accessories lenses, filters, memory cards as opposed to diapers, toys and snacks. And like a baby you have to be very careful with it. It must be protected against knocks and falls and all accidental bumps and boo boos.
So if you are a mommy and are already toting around a 1 year old and hate to miss any of those special moments, you also need to take the big DSLR around with you too. As you might know I have two little girls and I love to take pictures so I do a fair amount of lugging! So when I recently got a new DSLR even bigger than the last I set out on a mission to find the perfect bag to accomodate my camera and make it easier to take along on more outings.
What I wanted was different to my other camera bags. I already have the massive camera bag that can hold 2 bodies and 2 lenses, the laptop etc. This time I was searching for an every day bag which main job is to keep the camera safe and protected but it also needed to look cute and not necessarily like a “camera bag”. I did a lot of investigating and got a lot of feedback from you guys and here is a round up of some of the bags that I really liked and my top 5 DSLR bags for women.
Shoot sac – Tote and Shoot
The Tote and Shoot was a very strong contender for my bag of choice. I love the clean design of these bags and they seem practical without being boring. They also have a very unique pocket that lets you access your camera without having to go into the main compartment which I really like. These bags really seem to be in high demand as they have just recently become available again and now come with a messenger strap which I think I would definitely need. The have pretty colors too that are spunky enough to add a little spice to your wardrobe without being over the top. You can find out more here on their website.
When I asked the crowd on Facebook which was their favorite camera bags the Ephanie range seemed to be the favorite. These bags are totally unlike a traditional camera bag and have been designed with the modern lady in mind looking like a high end designer purse. They have such a fab range of colors and styles there is bound to be one to suit you. In fact you might find yourself needing several, depending on what outfit you are wearing! Epiphanie bags are available through Amazon or on the Epiphanie website
The Kelly Moore bags have also been designed to look like fashionable purses but with lots of padding inside. Kelly is a photographer and was frustrated with the lack of choice out there for woman photographers. Her camera bags rrange from huge full kit travel bags such as the Libby to the more compact 2 Sues which I personally LOVE. Kelly Moore are also available on Amazon or check out Kelly’s website for lots of videos demonstrating her products.
These bags have been around for a while and although they are differnt to the traditional camera bags ie black canvas with a lot of velcro, they are more traditional in design than some of the bright colors of the Ephanie and Kelly Moore Bags. They are also very reasonably priced which would make them an affordable gift. Free shipping available from Amazon
These bags are the winners as far as I’m concerned. I LOVE the 3Annnies range of bags which are stylish purses in their own right AND they are made from real leather. The colors are absolutely stunning and the designs are to die for. World renowned photographer Sue Bryce is a big fan of these bags and since they are currently a little out of budget for me I’ve asked Santa for one. You can buy them from the 3Annies Facebook page here
So Santa – I promise I’ve been nice and you know a girl can never have enough shoes or handbags!
What kind of bag do you use? Are you happy with it? Let me know in the comments below!
Would a photo canvas brighten up your world?
What do you do with all those photos you take? Do you carefully edit them and file them away on your hard drive? Perhaps you go to the local drugstore or use an online service and print out bazillions of 6″ x 4″s which then ultimately sit in several (perhaps well organized) shoeboxes. Are you a Facebook Fanatic and share everything with everyone?
The bigger the better
Me? I’m a print girl. Actually I’m not just a print girl. I’m a blow it up big and frame it type of girl. If it’s worth looking at, then you might as well make it big – right? I guess this comes from my background as a print lab owner. For years when I lived in Ireland I had the luxury of cheaper prints and discounted framing at my disposal. At home my walls were always adorned with beautiful 16″ x 20″ fully matted and framed images of my latest trip. These days, as you know, my subjects are just as beautiful but a little more challenging – my 1 and 3 year old. I take so many photos of these little ones but I rarely get around to enlarging, never mind framing these prints. Custom framing is not cheap and neither is making high quality prints – and I have got to be the world’s pickiest printer.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was approached by Canvas on Demand who offered me a complementary photo canvas in order to do an honest review of their site. Firstly, putting your photos onto canvas is like killing two birds with one stone – a beautiful enlarged photo print that doesn’t even need framing. Secondly, I absolutely love Canvas prints because they truly make your photos into pieces of artwork. I love the gallery wrapped look – the way the canvas is wrapped around the frame. It is really polished and helps to bring life to an otherwise two-dimensional piece. So I agreed to do this review only if it would be fair and honest (have I mentioned that I am picky?) so you can be assured that I put it to the test.
The procedure – How to get your Photos onto Canvas
Fist up I had to choose an image that I would like printed. I have an album of “for framing pics” so it was easy to choose the one I was going to print right away. I choose this shot of my 2 girls and my nephew that I shot this summer.
Full frame images work really well for canvas printing, so crop your picture to eliminate any unnecessary background.
Once I’ve cropped my image to get it the way I’d like it to look, I do any other necessary editing such as blemish removal and exposure adjustments in Photoshop Elements and then save it to my desktop so that I know where it is when I need to upload it.
Then it’s over to the Canvas on Demand website.
The site is clearly laid out and really easy to use. You can see from my video below how you will have your order placed in a matter of minutes.
And here is the finished Print:
I decided to get a 16″ x 20″ Canvas with a 1 1/2″ wrap and a black edge and I am super thrilled with the results.
You can see from the close up detail that it is expertly finished and the reproduction of the colors is spot on. This was my one big concern because like I said before – I am picky about my colors, but they were exactly as they were supposed to be.
The canvas shipped to me in about 3 working days after I placed my order and it arrived expertly packed via FedEx. A simple nail in the wall and voila I can now smile up up my 3 favorite little peeps all day long – definitely brightening up my world
So, if you think you’d like to give Canvas on Demand a whirl, tell ‘em I sent ya and get 20% off your first order by using this link.
Let me know how you get on – I’d love to hear your experiences.
Disclosure: I did receive a 16″x20″ Canvas Print so that I could adequately review this website’s product quality and service. If it hadn’t have been up to scratch you can be sure I would let you guys know.
Nikon Coolpix P510 – A Superzoom Bridge camera
When I was back home in Ireland last month I was lucky enough to get my hands on the new Nikon Coolpix P510. This is a Bridge Camera (not quite a DSLR but bigger than a point and shoot) with a powerful zoom lens.
Click on the video below to here my thoughts on this camera and check out the photos below to give you an idea of the strength of the Optical Zoom lens.
Thanks to my Auntie Jean and Uncle Pete for providing the beautiful garden for my test .
Nikon Coolpix P510
Sample shots of the Nikon P510 Super Zoom
PS You can check out more reviews of the P510 on Amazon.
3 Top Travel Cameras for Amateur Photographers
The following is a guest post from Simon from ViewBug – A very useful article for those of you looking for a good travel camera. Enjoy!
With the arrival of summer, so comes sunny days, outdoor adventures and vacations. Plenty of you are faced with the challenge of picking out a new camera to capture it all. With the amateur photographer in mind, I’ve picked out a three top cameras, each in its own category, all perfect for travel.
This camera is the very latest in Panasonic’s line of “travel zoom” cameras. If you haven’t heard that term, it was coined by Panasonic with its first Lumix DMC in 2006, as describes a compact point-and-shoot with a more powerful lens and zoom. This new category caters to the travel photographer, who needs the portability of a point-and-shoot, but wants the flexibility of a stronger zoom to capture their shots. The main attraction is it packs in a 24mm ultra-wide angle 20x zoom lens into its only 1 inch thick body. This means that you can have an impressive zoom that’s portable enough to stuff in your pocket, making it a very accommodating travel companion. The lens is equipped with Panasonic’s Power O.I.S. optical image stabilization, which is a big help when taking photos at a high zoom level without a tripod. It can take photos up to 14MP and can even record video up to full 1080p HD. On top of these strong main elements, it comes with a wide range of high-tech features, controlled with its 3-inch touch screen. It includes automatic, manual, semi-manual shooting modes, with a whopping 17 scene modes. Highlights include a panorama shot mode, multi-exposure HDR mode and night shot mode. To top it off, the high-speed of this camera also allows for 3D photos to view on any 3D-enabled device. While retailing for $350, it can be found online for around $260.
For any amateur photographer more serious about their travel photography, but not wanting to step all the way up to the costs of a full DSLR, the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS is a fantastic alternative. Not only priced more for the beginner, it is also designed for one, thanks to a great image stabilization and range of automatic shooting modes. It is also smaller than a full DSLR, making it easier for a newbie to adjust to. The fitted lens has a ultra-wide and long 35x zoom lens and 12MP capability, with an upgraded CMOS image sensor and Digic 5 processor from the previous model. And it has you covered for HD video, with 1080p at 24fps. Along with the standard shooting modes, this PowerShot spices things up with creative modes like fish-eye, miniature effect, monochrome, toy camera and super vivid. The 2.7 inch viewfinder can also pop out and rotate for your convenience. And not only is it already cheaper than buying a DLSR and lens, it’s come down from its original price of $530 last October, to around $379 today.
This camera marks Nikon’s first attempt at a rugged point-and-shoot, also making them the last among its major competitors. While late to the category, their first attempt with the Coolpix AW100 was a strong one. The solid design allows this camera to handle 5 foot drops, sink to 33 feet underwater and survive freezing 14F temperatures. It doesn’t slouch in the imaging department, with a 16MP CMOS sensor and full 1080p video capability. While zoom is limited due to its rugged design, it still fits in a 5x optical zoom with Nikkor Ed glass lens. Two cool travel-centric features included is GPS for geo-tagging and an e-compass. And it also comes in a few fun colors, from basic black to blue, orange and green camo. While the blue and camo look cool, they might be a bit easier to lose underwater or out in nature, so I’d personally go with the orange. This camera was first released with a $379 price tag last summer, but can now be picked up online for around $299.
Simon is an amateur photographer and blogger for social photography website Viewbug.com that also specializes in photo contests.
Do you need a Nifty Fifty Lens?
A what you say? Where have you been hiding out!
What is a Nifty Fifty Lens?
The Nifty 50 refers to a 50mm prime lens which is considered a portrait lens on most entry level DLSRs such as the Canon rebel series or the Nikon D3100 or Sony Alpha range.
If you are a beginner photographer and your main subject is your kids you will undoubtedly compare your pictures to those of the pro photographers that you have paid in the past to come and photograph your kiddos.
You want to be able to recreate those same types of photographs with your own DSLR. You can get junior to smile and pose and look super cute but what you you REALLY want to know is how to get that BLURRY background like the pro did. The lovely creamy background where it doesn’t matter whereabouts you shoot, your subject stands out, pin sharp against a soft out-of-focus creamy, dreamy background.
Well over half of my students come to me with this woe – “How to I get a blurry background?”
All about the f stops
As they learn a little bit about shooting out of auto mode they discover the concept of Aperture and learn that by controlling the Aperture, they control the depth of field, hence they have the ability to create a blurry background!
Hurrah! They’ve cracked it. They’ve discovered they key…that is, until they try to shoot at a wide aperture with their camera’s kit lens – i.e. the lens that comes with the camera. No matter how wide the open the aperture – usually f/4, the cannot achieve the blurry backgrounds they dream of. Their photos still look flat compared with those shot by the pro. Sound familiar?
So what gives?
Well, the main big difference between your shots and the Pro’s shots is most likely choice of lens. And that’s where the so-called nifty 50 comes in to play. The nifty 50 is a 50mm Prime lens i.e. it it has a fixed focal length of 50mm and therefore doesn’t zoom. If you want to get closer you gotta move your feet! This focal length of 50 mm is a nice distance for portraiture photography on entry level DSLRS and you’ll often hear it referred to as a portrait lens. But this is not where the secret lies. The best thing about the nifty 50 is that is has an extremely wide open maximum aperture which means it will give you a much blurrier (is that even a word?) background than your standard kit lens.
Consider my fancy slide below:
Most kit lenses can only open the aperture to somewhere between f/3.5 and f/5.6, depending on the focal length in use. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a wide open aperture at all.
Our friendly nifty 50 however comes in 3 versions with a f 1.8, f 1.4 and f 1.2 maximum apertures for most camera brands. These are considerably more open that the kit lens, allowing you to photograph inside in natural light with out the aid of flash, and more importantly for this discussion, rendering a beautiful creamy blurry background.
That’s the key! Use the best lens for the job and you’ll get the results that you are after. The camera is only half the story…
I need to get one!
And the other awesome thing about the nifty 50? It’s probably the cheapest bit of photography gear you’re likely to purchase. Most pros shoot with either the f1.4 or the f1.2 but you can nab a f1.8 (like me!) for about $100. (Be sure to check out your own camera’s compatibility with any lens before you buy)
And trust me, you will blow yourself away with the results. Pin sharp, works in low light with beautify blurry backgrounds. So what are you waiting for? Go grab one today!
P.S. The nifty 50 is such good value that it is one of the only lenses I recommend buying new – your can check it out on Amazon for the best deals.
A new way to carry your camera
This morning has been transformational! Yes – my photography experience has been changed forever. Why you ask? Well of course, I love my camera. I love taking pictures of my kids on the go – at the park, running around, playing outside, but I HATE my itchy, scratchy, not-fun-to-wear camera strap. My DSLR is heavy and having it swinging from my neck is just one more thing that makes me feel more like a mule than a mom ( diaper bag, camera bag, purse, toddler, oh yeah and infant in the Ergo.)
Well today I finally opened up a package sent to me by the innovative team at Custom SLR. These guys make AWESOME stuff to pimp out your camera. They had sent me a C-loop and a Glide Strap to do try out and review. Now I know you can get really nice cushy camera straps and camera strap covers that help with the itchy scratchy stuff but the Glide Strap from does so much more than just look cool. It’s ergonomically designed so that the weight of the camera is evenly distributed over your shoulders and the camera feels like a feather. It also has a super innovate design so that your camera simply slides up and down the strap – hence the “Glide.” It sounds strange but trust me – it’s genius. As I was assembling the strap out of the box I was thinking – em… I don’t see how this is going to work but when I put it on it was a total ah ha moment! Why didn’t I think of that!
But wait – there’s more! The best thing about the kit that I received was the C-loop. This is totally innocent looking little piece of equipment is the key to the ease of use of the strap and what’s revolutionized my photography experience! If you’ve ever traveled with your camera you are faced with a big dilemma. For example, when myself and my hubby went to Florence we were really nervous about having the camera on full view around our necks. It’s so cumbersome and obvious that we’re tourists and I was already trying to watch my pockets and my backpack. If I put the camera in the camera bag, trying to access it at a moments notice on a busy hot street was not easy. I ended up carrying it bandeau style which was good but still difficult to access in order to quickly to snap a shot. Another problem I had was that the lens kept bumping into people as I walked.
Now the C-Loop changes all of that. As you can see from the pictures below it simple attaches your camera strap to your camera by screwing into the tripod thread at the bottom of your camera body. This allows the camera to freely rotate and hangs directly down so no bumping off walls or tourists! Like I said – such a simple idea which works brilliantly.
So I am transformed. Some days it’s easy to take pictures and somedays it’s hard. Make it easier on yourself by getting your gear on and check out the difference that a new way of carrying your camera might make to your photography over at Custom SLR. I’m off out to get some more shots of these kiddos running around on this glorious Fall day. Then I might chat to the hubby about a repeat trip to Italy to get all those shots we missed before
P.S. Check out other reviews of the Creative SLRs’ Glide Strap and C-loop on Amazon
Do you need a DSLR? – Digital Camera Buying Guide
Over the last few weeks I’ve been promoting my new online photography course – “Master your DSLR,” and it was brought to my attention several times that many of you might not be sure what exactly a DSLR is. For many beginners in photography this is where you take the leap from just taking snapshots to being a little more creative with your photos. As part of my Digital Camera Buying Guide series let’s look at the “Big Daddy” which is the DSLR.
What exactly is a DSLR?
A DSLR camera (Digital Single Lens Reflex camera) consists of two parts - a camera body and an interchangeable lens. The body houses the camera sensor (where the image is made), all the electronics and a mirror system that allows the photographer to see exactly the image that the camera is recording. This camera body also has the ability to add on additional flash through a hot-shoe on the top of the camera but on most entry level DSLRs there is also a pop up built-in flash unit.
The interchangeable lens is what really makes the difference between an DSLR and and compact camera. Usually a DSLR will come with a standard “kit” lens which will allow you to take a variety of shots at various focal lengths, from wide angle to telephoto. If you require additional lenses for a specific purpose, these are purchased separately and they usually don’t come cheap!
There is also a plethora of other accessories that can be used with your DSLR to enhance your photography such as tripods, lens hoods, filters, lighting systems to name a few.
Why choose a DSLR?
If your someone who feels stifled by their Point and Shoot’s lack of creative control or someone who wants to really understand photography then a DSLR is really the only way you are going to learn and will ultimately be what will take your photography to the next level. The size of the lens alone should be an indication to you of how much better your pictures can potentially be. The beauty of today’s entry level DSLRS is that you can use them in full auto mode where the camera still does all of the thinking for you, through semi-manual shooting modes where you begin to have creative control, right through to full manual setting where you can control every aspect of the photograph.
One of my pet peeves is to see people wielding these big DSLR cameras only to switch them into Auto mode and use it like a big hefty point and shoot camera. Why bother? They are using about 10% of the camera’s functionality and paid a nice price for the privilege. If this is you I suggest you get out of your comfort zone and start experimenting! Sure your gonna end up with a few dodgy pics in there along the way, but it’s only with this experimenting that your gonna LEARN anything about photography and eventually you will improve.
Buying a Digital SLR
Buying a DSLR is a considerable investment so it’s important to do your research and find the one that’s going to be best for you. The two top brands that are always competing head to head are Canon and Nikon. Personally I’m a Canon girl – always have been always will be I think!) but that’s only because that’s what I started out with. Nikon are equally as good and in some models boast superior features.
Some things to consider which might help you make your decision:
1. Has anyone in the family/ friends got either a Canon or Nikon.
This is important to consider as you might be able to swap and borrow lenses from them and they might be able to help you out with technical problems
2. What feels good in your hands?
Some say Canons are for girls and Nikons are for boys. While this is not true, some of the entry level Canon cameras may feel small in a guys hands and where the buttons are etc. will have an effect of the cameras ease of use for you. So although I’m a great advocate of shopping online, I also feel that its a good idea to get your hands on a few cameras before you buy. Ask a friend or go to a specialty store to get a feel for the different models. You might be surprised at their weight or by how light they are. Some people like a lightweight and others want to feel they are getting their money’s worth by the pound!
3. Special deals or twin lens kits.
In some stores you will see cameras bundled as twin lens kits with the standard lens bundled together with an additional zoom lens and sometimes a kit bag, a book, a card etc. These can be really great deals but this depends on whether or not you really think you’ll need that particular zoom lens. For example, landscapes might be your thing so in that case it might be more prudent for you to invest in a super wide angle lens at some point. Be aware that just because a lens has a huge focal length – i.e can zoom in really far away, it doesn’t mean its a great lens. There are lots of factors to consider so only buy what you need for now and buy the best you can afford – it should last you quite a while.
4. Finally, think about factoring in the cost of some education to learn how to work the thing.
There is no point in spending a lot of money on a fancy DSLR only to stick it in Green Auto and to try and learn about photography from the user manual. You will drive yourself batty! Buy a book, read a blog, take a course for some direction but put some effort into learning about your camera and you’ll be rewarded with unique photos for the rest of your life!
PS If you feel like your someone who could benefit with a little guidance on using your DSL R to it’s potential, check out www.CameraShyClasses.com for my online courses which will help you do just that!
Thinking of a Bridge Camera? – Nikon P100 Review
What’s a Bridge Camera?
I’m lucky enough to teach a wide variety of students in person and get my hands on so many different cameras. Lot’s of my students are DSLR users and some people just have a compact camera that they want to get the most from. But a trend I’ve been beginning to notice is the popularity of the bridge camera.
A bridge camera is not a DSLR – it doesn’t use the mirror system that a digital SLR uses, you can’t change the lenses and the sensor size is much smaller - but it’s not quite a compact either.
Bridge cameras usually have lots more features and mainly lots more controls than you get with the average point and shoot. The biggest bonus is usually the inclusion of a super dooper telephoto zoom lens. In the following article I’ve taken one of the very popular bridge cameras by Nikon – the P100, and reviewed it for you so you an get an ideas of what I mean by a bridge camera and if you’re thinking of buying a new camera, perhaps this is the next step for you.
A closer look at the Nikon P100
As you can see from the picture below, on first look, the Nikon P100 is a really compact little machine.
It weighs in at a mere 3lbs which means it’s perfect if your going to be traveling or out walking or even dare I say it fit, to into your diaper bag! It’s packed with really useful features, most of which you’ll find on most bridge cameras but some are unique to the P100. One of these is the 3 inch vari-angle LCD screen with you can pull out and adjust to suit your shooting position.
The camera comes with a brilliant Lithium ion battery and charger which, by all accounts, really holds it’s charge for a long time. I’m not really an advocate of buying a spare battery as they can be quite expensive. Instead I suggest that if you are going on a trip, just take your battery charger with you and charge up every night. Of course if your climbing in the Himalayas this might not apply…
Lots of Options
This means it’s the perfect camera for giving you an introduction to shooting in manual modes and enables you to really get creative with your shots. For those times when you don’t want to think too much about what your shooting, flip it to one of the 17 scene modes and you’ll be assured of a great result.
26X Optical Zoom Lens
Of course the best thing about the P100 as far as I’m concerned the lens. Not only do you get a 26mm wide-angle lens which will give you a much wide angle of view than most compact cameras, you also get a whopping 26 x optical zoom lens. If you wanted this type of magnification on your DSLR you’d have to pay a LOT of money, not to mention tote a massive bag around! And to have a 26mm wide angle in there as well means that scenery, big group shots or anything where you need to get more of the picture in, is a breeze.
Something which I’m usually not that into as I’m definitely a stills kinda gal is the High Definition 1080i video capabilities of this little camera. It is awesome! You even get stereo sound. This really would cut down on the amount of gear you’d need for a big trip.
Who is this camera best suited to?
I would say that this is a great camera for anyone who wants to challenge themselves a little more than what they can do with a simple point and shoot camera. It is definitely more bulky than a compact but what you get squeezed in there is that massive, high quality zoom lens. If wildlife, or travel is you thing – then this camera is definitely for you. Not ready to commit to a DSLR? Try out this bridge camera for lots of the manual control without the added bulk. If however you don’t think you’ll ever use the big zoom then maybe this isn’t the camera for you, although truthfully once you get used to a zoom this size it is difficult to adjust to not having one. I also think this in some ways this camera is ideally suited to females. The small size and grip might make it a little awkward in a guys hands – perhaps a little too small for them.
So just to give you an idea of what it is exactly I’m talking about when I say BIG zoom we took some pictures to show you what you can achieve without having to move your feet! Watch for the monument way far in the distance in the first shot.
As you can see that’s pretty powerful! The P100 also has the added bonus of an VR or Vibration Reduction – which means that every shot should be steady as a rock – really important when you have a big zoom like this.
Is it all good?
The one negative I see with the this camera is the electronic viewfinder as opposed to an optical viewfinder. Being a traditionalist I still like to use this type of camera by peeking throughout the viewfinder and the digital display just doesn’t do it for me. I guess it’s probably because I’m used to a DSLR. This probably wont make a difference to most of you though because most people are totally comfortable using the LCD screen to frame their shot.
So all in all I would give this camera very definite thumbs up, for the right person. As I have said many times there’s no camera where one size fits all and it’s important to choose the best camera to suit your own specific needs.
But if you like to travel, nature, birds or just the all round flexibility of having the convenience of a large telephoto zoom in a small package then the Nikon P100 is for you! Get Free Shipping from ordering here through Amazon.
P.S. Still not convinced? Check out what other consumers have to say about the P100 here.