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What is More Important? - Camera Body, Or Lens?


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What are important things to know when deciding which photography equipment to get?

When I got interested in photography, I had absolutely no idea about which equipment to get. It was because there were so many different kinds of cameras to choose from, and not to mention all different kinds of lenses. Many of the people who are starting out on photography really do not know what kinds of equipment to get. It is because the world of photography is changing so fast that it is evolving as you read this article.

Compared to 10 years ago, the world of photography took a new form on how to capture the moments. The new introduction of digital sensors made the film to be obsolete, and made a film division of a global company like Agfa to discontinue its film line not too long ago. Some of the major producers of film camera even discontinued their lines of film cameras.

I started photography long before the digital cameras started to surface on the consumer market. So, I had to buy film cameras. I still do enjoy using film cameras and will continue to do so as long as the films are available in the market. It is because there is this true enjoyment of developing your own film in the darkroom that many people who started on photography with digital do not know about.

Although many people are already used to the digital cameras, but they do not really know what it is that they need to get when it comes to getting the equipments for serious photography. Most of the people just talk about how many mega-pixels the cameras have, and have no idea on what kind of camera they got. So, I will explain them to you so that you can make right decisions on getting the right camera equipments for you.

This is what most of the people do. They just see the picture on the display, and they are very happy with the image that they see on the screen. But, if you are serious about photography, then you should know that what you see on the screen is never the same with the pictures you are going to get. It is because of the quality of the camera equipments determines how the pictures are going to look like. Of course, there are many other factors that determines how to pictures are going to look. But, camera equipments are what you can control to create beautiful pictures.

There are basically three different types of cameras. They are point and shoot cameras, rangefinder cameras, and SLR (Single Lens Reflect) cameras. If you want to be serious with photography, then I personally recommend SLR cameras, and here is why.

The point and shoot cameras are what you see most of the times with other people. These cameras are basically computed image capturing devices. Some of them actually have built-in zoom lens and do more things then typical point and shoot cameras. Personally, I would not even call these as cameras, because they use digital sensors not like the old point and shoot film cameras where the images are being embedded onto the film which sometimes you can still get very high quality pictures. Most of the times, the point and shoot digital cameras have low quality digital imaging processors that the end result is not even worth the time for making a print. On this kind of camera, you basically have no control or very little control on how the pictures are being taken. You should stay away from this kind of cameras because you have basically no control on how you want your pictures to look like.

Next is rangefinder cameras, and I do not like them because it is a hybrid between point and shoot and SLR together. You have the control on focal lengths which basically is the ability to shoot different distances by changing lenses, but have approximate view on what you are really taking pictures of. It is because you are not seeing what the camera is taking pictures of. You are seeing through this open slot on the corner to take the pictures of. I can not compose my picture correctly with this type of cameras, so I do not own one of these cameras.

The one that I recommend is SLR cameras, and it is because you have the full control of what you can really control. The more you are able to control how the pictures are being taken, the more you will have better pictures. If you like film and know how to use film, then go on the internet and you will plenty of great used professional film camera equipments for very low price. On film cameras, you don't have to get the best of the best because the images are being captured on the film. So, just get mid level to professional level according to your budget. I do recommend Nikon because their lenses are good compare to their prices, and you can use the old Nikon lenses to any new Nikon bodies. This is very important because you will save lots of money when you decide to get more serious. Old canon lenses are not compatible to new Canon bodies, so I would stay away.

For those who chose to go digital, then you have to get the best and spend some serious dollars. With Nikon, you have to get at least D200 or better. It is because when you are taking pictures, the sensor is recording the images. If you get a cheaper digital camera, then you will be spending lots of money upgrading cameras as you become more and more serious. On digital cameras, it is not all about mega-pixels. It is about quality of the pixels and how the camera is recording the data from the sensor. Cheaper digital cameras, quality of the image is so dramatically different then the high end ones that you will be able to notice the differences when you compare the pictures side by side. That is the reason why I bought Nikon D3 when I had Nikon D2X which I upgraded from D1X.

I got these cameras because I am a professional, and I had to get these cameras to deliver highest quality. But if you are starting your path as a serious photographer, then go buy a used high end digital camera. It is because digital is keep getting updated and when you decide to upgrade, you would not lose too much money selling the old one to get a newer one.

Also, it is very crucial to get the faster lenses. I recommend spending more money on lenses then camera bodies. It is because camera lenses are what brings the images to your film or sensor. Don't be frugal on lenses! Get the best lenses possible. For a starter, I would recommend lenses with minimum F3.5 to F4. If you are really serious, then get F2.8. You will see that bodies will change, but the lenses will be there for you as long as you do photography. I would recommend 28-70mm F2.8 if you have digital camera with 1.5 crop factor or DX format, and 70-200mm F2.8 if you have full frame digital camera or FX format. Just having one of these lenses according to the camera body you got, you will be in pretty good shape just starting out.

Many people are saying “You must have 35mm or 50mm if you are using 35mm camera!", but I find that to be just a waste of money getting those lenses which you most likely would not use unless you always want to capture everything wide.

I will post more helpful stuff later. . .

I hope this helped you guys.


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