Cameras

DSLR Cameras

There are a wide range of DSLR cameras available across all of the main brands (Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Lumix etc.) each with a wide range of camera models that will cover the full user spectrum from beginners, intermediate/advanced enthusiasts to the high-end professional user.

Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras have a greater range of features and the ability to change lenses will open a lot more creative shooting options. DSLR cameras are more powerful than most of the other types of cameras with larger sensors particularly compared to point and shoot compact cameras and phone cameras.

If you are an enthusiastic amateur photographer and want to explore all the possibilities in photography then I would recommend that you buy a DSLR camera. With DSLR cameras you will obviously have the option of shooting in full automatic mode but also the really interesting and exciting options of shooting with full or partial control of the exposure settings using modes like Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority or full manual control of all exposure settings etc.

Also in just about all of the current DSLR camera models they are capable of shooting HD video as well as images which brings a whole other aspect to DSLR cameras. See more information on the DSLR Video page.

Things to consider when buying a DSLR Camera

    Camera Kit: All DSLR camera brands generally offer camera kits that include the DSLR camera body and either one or two lenses. The lens will usually be an 18–55mm zoom and if your lucky may also include 55-200mm zoom. With any of the main brand names these lenses will be good general purpose lenses which are great when your starting out. After that you can buy additional lenses depending on your requirements.

    If you already have suitable DSLR camera lenses or wish to buy specific lenses then you can just buy the camera body. However, do ensure that any existing lenses that you have are compatible with the new camera model and sensor format.

    Image Sensor: The image sensor is one of the most important and costly features in any camera and with DSLR cameras all manufacturers produce two ranges one with a full frame sensor and the other with a APS-C sensor. The full frame sensor is ultimately the best option and will produce the highest quality image but DSLR cameras with these full frame sensor can be very costly. The APS-C sensor (crop sensor)are less costly but are still able to capture an image of exceptional quality and will be far superior to smaller frame cameras.

    Exposure: One of the big advantages of a DSLR camera is that you will have control over all of the basic elements that control the exposure i.e. aperture, shutter speed and ISO speed.

    Aperture: When buying a lens one of the things you need to take into consideration is the speed of the lens i.e. what is the largest aperture (f-stop). If you plan to shoot in low light then a very fast lens with an aperture range from f/1.8 or f/2 would be a big advantage.

    Shutter Speed: The shutter speed controls the length of time that the light will hit the sensor. With a DSLR camera the Shutter speed is easy to control and adjust to create the effect that you want on your image. A fast shutter speed will capture fast moving objects and freeze action and a slow shutter speed will allow more light to enter the camera and can create motion blur behind a moving subject.

    ISO Sensitivity: ISO sensitivity identifies how sensitive your DSLR camera sensor (full frame or APS-C sensor) will be to incoming light. Because DSLR cameras have a very wide ISO range this allows you to shoot pictures in a wider range of lighting conditions and sometimes reducing the need for a flash in low light.



Bridge Cameras

Bridge cameras(Superzoom) were originally designed to fill the gap between the SLR (single lens reflex) camera and the point and shoot compact cameras. They generally look like small DSLR’s and are also known as superzooms. They can also have a similar level of dials and buttons for manual control.

However, there are a couple of major differences between a bridge camera and a DSLR camera. Firstly, you generally cannot change the lens on a bridge camera and secondly there is no reflex mirror (mirrorless) so the viewfinder information is electronic and consequently the focusing system is different and slower. Also the image quality would not be as good as a DSLR due to the sensor size but would be comparable to a compact camera.

The major advantage that the Bridge cameras have which is possible due to the sensor size is that the range of its zoom lens is greater in than anything you can buy for a DSLR camera.

Section for all of the Bridge camera offers



Compact Cameras

If you are starting out in photography or just want to have a small compact camera to carry with you. It can be a difficult choice to select the camera due to the huge model and price range of cameras available in this compact camera category. The cameras range from simple point and shoot type cameras to the Compact System Cameras (hybrid/mirrorless). All of the camera manufacturers are looking to bring additional higher end features to these cameras so there are a lot of new/updated models coming online.

Section for all of the Compact camera offers



Action Cameras

Action cameras are small, strong camcorders designed for hands free shooting and video capture by the person in the action. Action cameras have come a long way from the first original GoPro camera and can capture the action from just about any angle and at really fast frame rates. The resulting images and video capture will not only allow yourself to relive the moment again and again but will also really draw in an audience allowing them to get a real sense of the trill of the action.

Action cameras are great in high tempo dynamic sports and extreme pursuits but are also suitable for just about any action pursuit. More and more sports people and athletes are using action cameras to record themselves in action to help improve their technique.

If you are thinking of buying an action camera or have already jumped into using an action camera, then here are a couple of points to take into consideration or if the quality of the results of your footage are not quite as expected.

    Camera Mount: Action cameras whilst very robust and designed for action shooting and video capture but they are still cameras and are subject to same basic principles of photography one of which is camera shake. There are a huge range of mounts available along with Gimbals, steadicams, selfie poles that will really help to smooth out the action.

    Different Mount Angles: Try filming with the camera mounted in different positions with a mount designed for your sport or action pursuit e.g. top or side of helmet mount, chest or handle bar bike mount, stick mount etc. The different angles will also give a more complete view of the action.

    Frame Rate: Check out what frame rate and resolutions for playback are available on your action camera and try out different settings to see the effect.

    WiFi: If you are looking to share your footage instantly then WiFi connectivity on the action camera would be important.

    Footage: Always try to record more footage then you require as it will allow you to edit it down after the event to ensure you get the best possible footage of the action.

As with all camera types there are a wide range of action camera types and models available. Decide which type is best suited to action pursuit, what mounts you need and what you budget will be. Then I would suggest that you buy the best action camera available within your budget and as you progress you will almost certainly upgrade your action camera in time.

See some of the great deals available in action cameras below.



Camera Accessories

Regardless of the type of camera you purchased there are a couple of camera accessories that would be recommended like a camera case and fast memory card.

If you bought a DSLR camera there are more accessories to take into account some of which I would consider almost essential so I'm calling these 'Highly Recommended' and other camera accessories which would be 'Good to Have'.

Highly recommended

    UV (Skylight) Filter: The UV filter screws onto the front of the lens and not only filters the ultra violet light which can reduce detail and sharpness in your image but more importantly will help protect your lens from damage including scratches and smudges. If your UV filter gets damaged it’s very cheap to replace it compared to the cost of a new lens.

    Lens Cleaning Cloth: Always clean your lenses with an appropriate cleaning cloth or alternatively there are also lens cleaning fluid and lens tissues available. The best is to use a microfiber cleaning cloth. Rubbing the lens or UV filter gently will remove dust and oils safely. However, before cleaning your lens always ensure there are no large pieces on grit that could potentially scratch the lens. Remove any grit with a lens air blower or brush before wiping the lens.

    Camera Bag: A camera bag should protect and safely store your camera and equipment. It can be a difficult task to choose one as there are a wide variety of styles available (backpacks, camera slings, shoulder bags, compact cases, small SLR cases, Hard cases etc). In reality as time goes on and your camera kit extends you will probably find that you may need more than one bag depending on what you require e.g. do you want to store all equipment, is it for traveling or just heading out for the day on a photo session. Either way there are a couple on things to take into consideration when buying a camera bag – the material it’s made from, the protection it provides your camera equipment, the capacity and the comfort it provides to you. Take a look at the large selection of camera bags and styles on the Bags page here on this site.

    Memory Card: Depending on what memory card came with your camera it is highly likely that you will need to get an additional memory card. I would recommend that you get a high speed memory card with a high capacity (e.g. 32GB+) particularly if you have a DSLR camera and are shooting with RAW images and HD video. Also always ensure to carry a spare memory card as the last thing you want to happen is to run out of space when you see a great photo opportunity.

    The more recent your camera is the faster the processor will probably be and whilst older slower cards will work it can take a relatively long time to write the image to the card and potentially you could miss out on other shots.

Section for all of the Highly Recommended camera accessories offers



Good to Have

    Extra Camera Battery: Depending on how you use your camera an extra battery could be very important and perhaps should be in the Highly Recommended category. It will be very disappointing and a waste of your time if you have headed out for a photography session and your battery fails as there will be nothing that can be done unless you have a spare battery that's fully charged. Also if you are shooting outdoors in cold weather it will reduce the life span of the battery. So always remember to check your battery the day before you are going to head out on a photoshoot particularly until you have a spare battery for your camera.

    Tripod: As your interest in photography grows I would suggest that a good tripod will become a very important piece of your camera equipment. A tripod will open up great photo opportunities in low light, long exposure settings and night time photography. If you are looking to take large landscape shots a tripod will allow you to slow the shutter speed and close down the aperture to get the image as sharpe as possible. If you want to use the video function on your camera then again a tripod would be vital to capture smooth movement that will result in a more professional look and feel to your HD video.

    External Flash: If you find that you are taking a lot of photographs indoors either of people or places then an external flash gun will allow you to have a much greater control of the amount and angle of the light falling on your subject. The built-in flash on most DSLR's is small with a restricted range and can produce a harsh direct light on a subject. Look for an external flash where you can tilt the flash head allowing the light to be bounced off ceilings and walls for a more natural looking effect.

    Polarizing Filter: If you are shooting in bright sunny conditions then a Polarizing Filter will give you more intense vibrant colours like bluer skies and greener more natural looking landscapes. It will reduce reflections and haze similar to when you wear a good pair of sunglasses. Whilst some of these effects can be done in post editing software it can be a lot easier to get these benefits when actually taking the picture.

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53" Maximum Height 153 Aluminium Portable Tripod for Camera Video



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OV 32GB SD Card SDHC SDXC Memory Card Class 10 for Digital Camera Camcorder Recorder



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