Welcome

Photography is an amazing interest/hobby that can inspire, surprise and at times challenge our perceptions of our surroundings and the dynamic environment/world we all live in. It is also one of the best ways to record the ordinary and extraordinary events of our lives and the people that we care for. No other medium can instantly convey the impact, the beauty, the atmosphere of an event or time and the people involved as a photographic or video image. The more time you spend taking photographs the greater your interest and desire to take an even better photograph will increase. You will also probably start to develop a preference for a particular type of photography e.g. portrait, landscape, sports, night time etc and this in turn will impact on the type of additional lenses and equipment you will need.

This site is targeted at people who want to develop their interest and passion in photography and to give an overview of the wide range of camera equipment that is available. Also to give you direct links to some of the best deals available.


Photography Terms

Regardless of the type of camera you have (from basic compact camera to high-end professional digital SLR) the basic photography theory and terms are the same. When you are starting off in photography you do not need an in-depth knowledge of these terms but as you progress the more you will want and need to understand how a picture or image is formed. Also what the potential impact will be if you change the exposure through changing the aperture, shutter speed or ISO speed settings etc. The ability to change and understand these settings will give you wonderful creative control and fun on how your picture will look.

Here are a couple of basic terms

    Exposure: Basically, exposure is the term for the amount of light that the sensor receives and to take a good picture you need to have the right exposure which will result in a good clear pin sharp picture. However, there are times where you may want to change the exposure for creative effect by changing the aperture and or shutter speed to create an atmospheric picture e.g. a silhouette. The aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity are the basic elements of the exposure.

    Shutter Speed: The Shutter speed will determine how long the sensor will receive the light through the lens and hopefully give you the correct exposure. You can also use the shutter speed to crate amazing photographic effects like stopping or blurring movement. However, if the shutter speed is too slow it may cause camera shake resulting in a totally blurred image or you would need to use a tripod particularly in low light or night shots.

    Aperture: The size of the Aperture in the camera lens controls the intensity of light that will reach the camera sensor. The bigger the aperture the brighter the image. The aperture is measured as f-stops or f-values (e.g. f/1.8, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/22). The smaller the f-stop value (e.g. f/1.8, f/2) the larger the aperture opening will be. Conversely the larger the f-stop value (e.g. f/11, f/22) the smaller the aperture opening will be.

    Depth of Field: The depth of field is the area in the picture that is in front of and behind the subject that you want to photograph that will be in focus. The size of the lens aperture (f-stop)controls the depth of field. Selecting a wide aperture (e.g. f/1.4, f/1.8, f/2)will narrow the depth of field whilst selecting a smaller aperture (e.g. f/8, f/11, f/22) will increase the depth of field. Also note that the impact of an aperture value on the depth of field is different when using a camera with a full frame sensor verses a cropped APS-C sensor

    ISO Sensitivity: ISO identifies how sensitive your camera sensor will be to incoming light. ISO was originally linked back to the sensitivity of conventional film. A general rule of thumb is that the higher the ISO value the less light is required and the lower the ISO values the more light will be required for the image. However in general you should try to use the lowest ISO values that you can as that will result in less noise or graininess in the image. Another consideration here is that the larger sensors in DSLR cameras will result in far less noise regardless of the ISO speed in comparison to smaller sensor cameras and that you can also control the ISO speed in a DSLR camera to compensate for low light or for creative effect.

Which camera is right for you

There is no straight forward answer to this question as it will depend on your interest and knowledge of photography and for what and how you want to use the camera. There are a broad range of camera types available including DSLR cameras, Bridge (Mirrorless) cameras, Compact cameras, Action cameras and each type contains a large range of camera brands(Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Lumix, Olympus, Leica) and models.

Frequently but not always when people are just beginning their interest in photography they will start with a less expensive camera type, perhaps a compact or bridge camera and then work up to the DSLR cameras. The digital SLR cameras will give you the greatest scope to develop your photographic skill and talent and there are a wide range of entry level DSLR cameras to start you off on your photographic journey.

If you look at the following pages - Cameras, Lenses, DSLR Video, Bags they will give you more information along with great offers in each area to help you make that choice.


CAMERAS

This site is targeted at people who want to develop their interest and passion in photography and on the Cameras page you will see there's a wide variety of great cameras available at reasonable prices for all levels of photography with new models coming online all the time.

So whether you are just beginning your photographic adventure or are an advanced enthusiast there's a great selection of high quality cameras waiting for you below.

I've also included some specific information on the different camera formats (DSLR Cameras, Bridge Cameras, Compact Cameras, Action Cameras) and things to consider particularly when buying a DSLR camera which hopefully you'll find useful.

So when buying a camera once you decided on the camera format (DSLR, Compact etc.) that will suit your needs and allow you to develop and express yourself through your photography then I would suggest to decide on your budget and buy a camera with the best set of features you can within that limit.

I have also included a list of camera accessories that I regard as either 'Highly Recommended' or 'Good to Have'. See the Camera Accessories section for more information.

Another area of photography and cameras that is really growing are Action cameras. Action cameras are basically are small, strong camcorders designed for hands free shooting and video capture by the person in the action. Action cameras are great in high tempo dynamic sports and extreme pursuits but are also suitable for just about any action pursuit.

Action cameras are also being used by sports people and athletes to record themselves in action to help improve their technique. See the Action Camera page for more information.


LENSES

If you are into the more creative and interesting side of photography then you will probably have bought or looking to buy a camera that gives you the option of interchangeable lenses (either a DSLR camera or one of the newer breed of compacts) where there are a large range of lens options available.

The ability to change your lens will open up a whole new perspective on any subject, from powerful zooms to capture close-up action shots to high speed prime lenses for those low light atmospheric images and everything in between.



The range of lenses available for your camera is an important consideration when selecting your camera as basically you are committing yourself to that lens mount for the future unless you change all of your camera kit e.g. Canon lens mount will not fit a Nikon lens mount or vice versa.

On the Lenses page I have included some of the terms used in regard to lenses (Focal Length, Aperture, Image Stabilization, Format, Camera mount) and also tips on choosing a lens. You will also find information on each of the camera manufactures in regard to their sensor format (APS-C or full frame) and camera mounts that must be used. Plus the naming conventions used by each camera manufacturer for the same terms e.g. Image Stabilization, Autofocus etc.

See the huge range of lenses available under the camera manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc) plus the 3rd party lens companies with compatible mounts.


DSLR VIDEO

HD Video capability adds another really interesting dimension to the investment you have made when buying your DSLR camera or high-end Bridge camera with HD video capabilities. It provides a totally different set of challenges to taking a photographic still image and you will need to rethink some of the techniques that you learned for still photography and how they apply in a HD video. It will take practice to get familiar with the required techniques and equipment but you will be rewarded with some wonderful creative results and it may also improve you movie making abilities.

A very important tool for HD video is a good tripod as you may be able to hold your camera steady even without a Image Stabilization feature but for HD video even with the steadiest of hands you will not be able to shoot a handheld HD video without it looking shaky and unprofessional.

If your DSLR camera or Bridge camera has HD video capabilities then I would highly recommend trying the HD video feature to see if it interests you. Apart from a creative challenge from a photographic perspective it is an area that more and more professional photographers are now being asked by clients if they can do video for them for corporate presentations etc.

Take a look at the DSLR VIDEO page to see some further information on HD video and some of the great deals on equipment that is used when shooting HD video on a DSLR camera.


BAGS

A camera bag or camera case is an essential accessory for any type of camera but particularly for DSLR cameras or any of the compacts that have interchangeable lenses where your camera kit is likely to grow in size as it will protect and safely store your camera equipment.

A good camera bag will also allow you to transport your camera kit safely with a minimum amount of fuss.

There's a number of standard types of camera bags available (Camera Backpacks, Camera Shoulder Bags, Camera Slings, Compact Camera Cases, Small SLR Cases, Camera Hard Cases, Camera Lens Cases) each with a large range of sizes and style options.

Each type of camera bag has pros and cons but these will really depend on the type of photography you are into and/or which type of camera bag you just find the easiest to carry.

The main questions you need to ask in relation to a camera bag are, What is the best type of camera bag for me? Does it fit all of my camera kit? Does it provide all weather protection?

On the Bags page I have outlined the main types of camera bags available ((Camera Backpacks, Camera Shoulder Bags, Camera Slings, Compact Camera Cases, Small SLR Cases, Camera Hard Cases, Camera Lens Cases) with a description of each.

So take a look at the different camera bag styles to see which one would be best suited to you and your camera kit.




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