There are so many battles over what is the best camera, DSLR vs point and shoot and megapixels. This is all and well but what do you really need to take great photographs?
Sure an $8000 to $20,000 dollar DSLR camera will do excellant photos. It better for that price range. But what do you get for your money? Speed , accuracy and low noise. The more you spend, the faster your camera will be at focusing, lower digital noise in your photo and setting up the cameras automatic settings at a fraction of the time a lower priced camera does. Faster storing of an image to memory, a larger CCD sensor (the cameras “eye”) and a host of other features. but does this make for a better photo? Yes, it can but if you are not a pro photographer making a few thousand bucks an hour, you still have hope.
You can create a great photo with or without spending thousands of dollars on a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) but it takes a bit more work. I own DSLR cameras now and even still, they don’t take a perfect photo every time. You have to set it up for every condition you run into.
I used to own an old sony digital point and shoot camera that stored the photos it took onto mini cd disks. I don’t remember the model but this little camera (it was actually big) took the best photos I had ever seen in my life. Really vivid colors, sharp detail that almost looked 3d and made great photos in almost any lighting condition… all automatically. Not even any of my DSLRs can do that.
So this just shows that even point and shoot cameras can take great photos. You don’t have to have really expensive equipment.
How do you get great photos with what camera you have now? The secret is digital editing. If you have never done it before, you should start learning because it could be the difference between an alright photo and one that stands out and “pops”.
When I’m photograping a subject or object, I don’t worry too much about the color. I try to get it close but it’s not a big deal. I want to get the shot framed correctly, have the right amount of light if possible (lower noise) and want it to be in sharp focus. That’s what I concentrate on most when I take a photo. Brightness, contrast, vividness, color levels and special effects can all be added post production by digital editing. Also, if your camera has another picture type other than jpg, use that to get the best photo to work with.
My DSLRs have raw format which allows me to correct the photo before converting it to a jpg. Another good format would be tiff. These formats use a lot of your memory card up but are worth it when doing post processing.
When I take a photograph of a subject, 50% of my attention is devoted to getting the correct image, the other 50% is post processing or digital editing. After I get the photo, I made sure I have focus sharp, a basic framing of the subject and the best light I can get. Once I have that, I fix everything else in digital editing. I’m not proud. Digital editing is like the duct tape of the photography world.
You also don’t have to buy expsensive digital editing applications like photoshop if you don’t have $700 bucks to plop down on software. I use Paintshop Photo Pro X3 Ultimate which does just about everything you can do in Photoshop… plus some cool extras. No need to spend hundreds of dollars. I’m serious here.
Of course there are tons of other cool photo editing packages out there professional and non professional but I mainly use one package and that’s it. Unless you are a photo studio charging thousands of dollars for you time, you don’t need anything else except maybe some backdrop apps or something small like that.
To wrap it up, no matter what camera you are using, make sure you get your shot in focus with good lighting. You can fix the rest in post processing with digital photo editing software. The pros do it and so can you.