Contrary to popular belief, I don’t lug a lot of camera equipment around. Not that I don’t want to, but casual camera work does not always require a DSLR and a bag or two of “must carry” equipment, like lights, backdrops, extra lenses, etc. etc.
My first pocket camera was a Nikon, and it was small (a big plus) but lacked resolution and zoom features. It served me well until I gave it to my grandson, and he got a lot of use out of it.
Even though I have a great camera in my Google Pixel XL smartphone, I find the lenses and sensors on a small camera make for great pictures. especially if you want to blow them up, or make extensive editing/cropping.
After the Nikon, I got a Canon SX600. compact, fits in a shirt pocket, and decent battery life. It did have wifi, but no bluetooth. 18x zoom, 3″ LCD screen, and 16MP resolution. While it still is one of my favorites, I felt it was time for Bluetooth and more zoom. (I love more Zoom)!
So I got myself a new SX730HS, like this:
The 40x optical zoom is awesome, especially for a camera of it’s size. With image stabilization (tip: use a tripod or rest it on a railing for steadying it at maximum zoom) it gets in really close. With a 20.3 mega pixel image, Bluetooth, and wifi, you have a lot of bases covered. It also has a feature called “image assist”, to keep your subject in focus as you zoom. (Did I mention I like to zoom)?
The camera is a little bit larger than what I would have liked, it’s big for my pocket and I keep it in a LowePro Tahoe case from Amazon. I also use a carabiner to clip it to my belt loop. It fits nicely in a suit jacket pocket or a coat. I like to keep it handy, but don’t like it to be exposed to the elements or potential crooks. The LowePro case has a pocket for spare batteries and an SD card or two. This comes in real handy when your battery dies and you are taking some really promising shots.
I also strongly suggest you get a set of spare batteries and an extra charger so that you always have a fresh battery on hand, especially if you shoot movies.
The Canon SX730 HS is a comfortable and efficient camera for all around snapshots, with the capability to wirelessly transmit your pictures to your smartphone, which will send them to the cloud.
I would feel very comfortable taking this camera on vacation, because of it’s size and features. You can shoot on full automatic or use the shutter/aperture, and scene settings to your best advantage. Not to mention movies.
Here is hoping you enjoy all the pictures you take!
This is an amazing Camera :
It’s a Nikon – Ultra High quality Nikkor Lens; exceptional clarity in almost all light conditions
Smaller than a DSLR – One Lens does it all (You never need to change lenses, or carry them around everywhere)
ZOOM – 60x Optical, + Digital equivalent to a 1440MM telescopic Lens!
Wide angle and close up modes, I shot a coin collection with great detail
Lots of shooting modes – from night scenes to Beach; I almost always used it on Auto
Built in adjustable diopter (for eyepiece, no need to put on eyeglasses)
Eyepiece allows you to focus in Bright lights and glare, like at the beach
More than a snapshot camera, without hassle of DSLR.
Wifi lets you commit photos to your smartphone, and upload to the cloud – available immediately!
Camera comes already setup, you just have to tweak it for your needs (just start shooting) in Automatic mode.
This camera is best for
Someone who travels, and wants all the features in a compact package
Student who wants better than a “snapshot” camera for hundreds less than a basic DSLR
Anyone who wants to have a camera with features comparable to expensive DSLR’s in an easy-to-handle format.
Parent who goes to sporting events, and can zoom in on their active children (80x Zoom)
The pictures below were taken at wide angle and then full Zoom ACROSS A FOOTBALL FIELD at Virginia Tech, THE LONG WAY! I was able to pick out my GF and her son in the stands. It was tricky to keep the camera steady, and the lighting was not optimal, but it worked great! I had to steady the camera against a seat back, even with the anti-vibration mode on.
It doesn’t matter whether you shoot with a smartphone or a fancy DSLR camera – there is one tip that will help you get better shots.
Are you ready? Take more shots.
Everyone is smiling around the birthday cake? take 4 or 5. or more. Someone may blink, or move so much the picture is blurry, so you need a way to compensate!
you may not get a second chance for a “once in a lifetime” picture, so don’t be stingy with your pictures, take extra shots. SD cards are cheap. So is cloud storage. You already have the basis for a good picture, even if it is a snapshot!
Many cameras (like my Nikon) have the ability to take pictures in “burst mode”, where one click of the shutter takes multiple shots. This is great for many situations where you want multiples and will get them without effort or coaching your subjects. I find this is great when shooting pictures of puppies, children, cars in motion, and other fast-moving objects!
No matter what, always think of your composition before clicking the shutter – multiples of a bad shot are just terrible, but multiples of a good shot are inspirational.
Burst mode, also called continuous shooting mode, or continuous high speed mode, is a shooting mode in almost all still cameras.
In burst mode, several photographs are captured in quick succession by either pressing the shutter button or holding it down. This is used mainly when the subject is in successive motion, such as sports photography. The photographer can then select the best image of the group or arrange them in a sequence to study the transitions in detail. (this description is from Wikipedia).
With all the options you have with a modern camera, or even settings on a smartphone camera, you may want to carry a “cheat sheet” with you, so you have a fast reference to the shooting modes that you would use in any situation. Because they are like the “Cliff Notes” of your camera’s manual, cheat sheets are usually a small laminated card, or cards, that have quick reference to the available shooting modes and tips for your camera. There are also general tip sheets relating to Depth of field, exposures, etc.
Even if you shoot a lot of pictures, these guides will give you a refresher on composition, exposure, shooting modes, etc. It is a good item to keep in your bag, and review when you take your camera on a trip or review prior to taking some shots on vacation.
Tell your subjects to hold the pose, and click the shutter one more time!
Firstly – Do you need a stand-alone camera?
For most of us, all we require is in a smartphone. Selfies, snapshots, etc., don’t require high resolution, or need to be strikingly clear. Adequate will do – in those situations. However, if you want more than just a snapshot, and like pictures that are clear, composed well, and give you control over the final product, than it may be time for you to consider getting a camera to add to your capabilities. Let’s consider some options:
Smartphone lens kits
These kits turn your Apple or Android phone into a multi-lens digital camera! You can get tripods, zoom lenses, macro, close up, and special effects lense that just clip on to the phone. No fancy technical twist on gimmicks, just a way to use your phone’s camera like an expensive DSLR. Usually in the $15 to $75 price range, these adapters can up your game if you are traveling or want more from your phone’s camera, without the added bulk of a big camera.
These small cameras usually come loaded with features (Zoom, Close up, wide angle, Macro, etc.) and fit in purse or pocket, even with a small carry bag. Three of my favorites are above. Personally, I carry a Canon SX 600 as my pocket shooter. The good part is it’s not always out, like when you are swimming at the beach, so it can be tucked away for when photo opps appear! (If you are at the beach, consider waterproof cameras, like these from EBay. Don’t forget a floating strap). My daughter still has the waterproof Nikon I bought her 4 years ago. with the big yellow floating strap, it’s hard to misplace, and easy to find -especially when snorkelling!
Now you have some options for upping your photo game. You don’t have to carry all the fancy photo equipment like I have, but you can take shots that will look like they were taken on an expensive camera! Make sure your lenses are clean (especially on the smartphone – they have small lenses), and take multiple shots – extra never hurts!
Have fun and take pictures!
Congrats on the new camera!
Plan on taking time to get to know your camera, and the camera settings, so that you have a “feel” for what your camera can do, but let me add more:
Get a “nose bag” or “sling bag” and either a sling or a hand strap. this keeps your camera near and ready to shoot. You don’t want to fumble for it, and you can keep a hand on it while walking around – so you can just pull it out of the bag, focus, shoot, and put it back. quick and easy, less fumbling, etc. Less strain than typical neck strap, in my opinion.
Bring extra SD SD cards, and change them daily, so you have a fresh card every day and (if your camera gets lost or stolen), you don’t lose a vacation worth of shots. Upload them to the cloud daily (if you have wifi).
Also get an extra battery or two, you don’t want to run out of power. (and an adapter/charger for european or local power). You can get Spare Camera Batteries on EBay.
Also put a UV filter on the lens (if you have a screw mount), it will protect it from accidental scratching and any impact. UV Filters on Amazon.
Take two or three exposures for your shots. It’s not like your “wasting film”, and you can always choose the “best of three”. Also shoot at 6MP or more (preferably more); you want to catch as much detail as possible for your awesome shots.
Keep your lens clean and have your camera ready to go. also consider a small tripod, to steady the camera for zoom shots and occasional filming, to keep the camera steady. Lens Cleaning kits on Amazon.
Don’t be afraid to shoot on automatic, or use the scene settings (like night scene or beach scene). TAKE THE SHOT, check your settings, then take MORE SHOTS. keep a small note pad handy, and record the settings your used, time, and thoughts. also pay attention to light, so if the sun is behind the subject, you can adjust the exposure (or use the flash) to brighten the subject in the foreground.
Take lots of shots. share them. show them off. This is your story, own it, enjoy it, and let your pictures help you tell it!
Best of luck!
Cameras were once the domain of serious professionals with expensive lenses, exotic film and developing chemicals, and limited opportunities due to the cost and limitations of film photography.
Today the camera built into our cell phones liberates us from the old days of film cameras and brings us into the new film and video age. But cameras are not obsolete; we all like to have a pictorial record of our lives and travels. We also enjoy when the images are clear, sharp, and capable of being blown up to poster size or printable on a mug or Tshirt.
For me, carrying several cameras is fun and lets me take some amazing shots.
Here is the camera stock I carry:
Phone – Google Pixel XL with 12.3MP main camera and 8MP selfie camera. I always have it on me, so I almost never miss a shot.
Pocket Shooter – Canon Powershot SX600 HS with 18x zoom, one button movie mode, wifi, and fits in a pocket (even with the small case).
Bridge camera – Nikon CoolPix B700 Long Zoom camera with 60x zoom, wifi, Bluetooth, eyepiece and swing out LCD screen. Usually set on full Automatic, in a case logic nosebag with a hand strap. You never have to change the lens – it goes from Close-in Wide angle to the equivalent of a 1440mm DSLR lens. Great when you have limited carry space (international trip, picnic, beach) where you only are carrying a small bag but want the features of a bigger camera.
DSLR – Nikon D5600, with 18-55mm and 70-300mm zoom lenses with Autofocus and Vibration reduction. Kept in a Nosebag or a Tamrac sling bag, with a leather palm grip. I also carry spare batteries, charger, sd cards, and filters (gradient, CPL, UV) in the Tamrac bag. (My tripod is in the car). when I want the benefit of the larger lens, more exposure control, and a kick ass DSLR, this is what I carry.
Regardless of what camera you carry, I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from it and wonderful memories.
Please read my blog for camera tips, personal experiences, and ideas on how you can use your camera(s) to enhance and enrich your life.