(Last updated: 06 March 2019) 

Buy the right Camera when starting out

Just starting out with photography? Then don’t waste your hard earned cash by buying the wrong equipment, or ending up spending your lollies on unnecessary photographic stuff. Here are a few tips that will save you money! 

 

Tip no 1. Buy a DSLR or equivalent Mirrorless Camera, rather than a Compact, or Bridge camera

Advantages of DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras over small compact cameras

  1. Interchangeable lenses: You will be able to use specialised lenses such as ultra-wide angle lenses, extreme telephoto, fisheye etc. The potential to take better quality images is vastly increased as you are using a lens designed for the specific job at hand. It will also allow you to use wider lens apertures.
  2. Faster focus: This is even more apparent in low-light conditions.
  3. Manual zoom: Speed and precision of zoom is a factor when using manual zoom against the motorised version of a compact camera.
  4. Faster frame rates: This is the number of frames per second your camera is able to take. Some compacts have a pretty impressive “burst” mode, but they cannot compare to SLR cameras that have the ability to keep on re-focusing as the object moves.
  5. Quicker start-up speed: This is the time it takes the camera to switch on. For many of the modern SLR’s this action is almost instantaneous, so a must have if you want to capture the moment and not miss it.
  6. Larger sensors: This means better low-light capabilities, greater Dynamic Range, and shallower depth of field.
  7. Shutter lag: This is the time between the moment pressing the shutter button and the camera actually recording the image. Compact cameras suffer from shutter lag substantially while non-existent on SLR cameras.
  8. Superior video capture mode: Many independent film studios now use Digital SLR’s to create their movies because of the exceptional quality and wide array of lenses that lends that “movie feel” to video and also the depth of field advantages.
  9. Greater flexibility: Access to a much broader range of accessories, including powerful external flashes, alternate power sources, wireless transmitters, and remote triggering devices.
  10. Better and more intuitive handling: Some designs are better than others, but digital SLR’s tend to have an easily accessible thumb and forefinger wheels for exposure settings, discrete buttons for other critical features (exposure compensation, white balance), vertical position shutter releases, and just less menu surfing overall.

 

Tip no 2. Start small and build your system up

The bare minimum you should be looking at is…

  1. Digital SLR of your choice
  2. A good all-rounder zoom lens, 18-135mm/15-85mm etc. More about lenses later on!
  3. A sturdy and good quality carry case or bag for your camera. One that allows enough room for you to leave your lens on the camera frame.
  4. Good quality memory card, at least 8GB where possible

Remember. Buy the best kit you can afford at the time. If you have to wait a month to get the better lens, then that would be the better thing to do.

 

Tip no 3. Watch out for “Value for Money” kits/bundles

  1. Do not let cheap accessories included in a bundle fool you into a purchase!
  2. The tripods, memory cards, printers, flashes and all the rest is put together by the supplier and is included for “free” as they are inferior products and used to entice you into buying a certain product for whatever reason.
  3. See these additional “free” items as just that, your main consideration should be the camera and kit lens it comes with.
  4. There are a few fantastic kit lenses out there. The most important factors to look for here is a good zoom range, as well as acceptable aperture range.
  5. Image stabilisation is very important!
  6. The optimal option would, of course, be to buy the body only and then spend the money you save towards a professional lens of your choice.

 

Tip no 4. Do a Photography Course

If you are planning to do a photography course, wait until after the course before spending thousands on a specialised kit. You will learn a lot about yourself and the type of photography genre that suits you during the course. What you perceive to be your style and passion, can be worlds apart from when you finish. When I started my course at DPC almost 5-years ago, I felt that I wanted to do Macro photography and was not really interested in other photography genres. I wanted to go out and buy the best and most expensive macro lens out there, but Danie advised me to wait it out. By the end of the course, I was hooked on people and portrait photography. I have not looked back ever since! Buying that super-duper Macro lens would have been a mistake and a waste. Instead, I was advised to buy an affordable, professional lens that has truly helped me grow in the field I now know is my passion and future.

 

Which Digital Camera to buy?

The advice is to stick to the most popular and trusted brands like Canon or Nikon. Sony also made some serious inroads over the past few years, but perhaps not quite there when it comes to the availability of lenses, and accessories in South Africa. If you decide to go the mirrorless route, then we can recommend Fujifilm Cameras.

  • The major advantage of APS-C cameras is that lenses provide an increased reach over full frame cameras.

Ideal for Action, Wildlife and Sports with super-fast frame rates, weather sealing and superior focus tracking

Here’s a breakdown in terms of current models available. Please note that the prices are relative and it is best to shop around before taking our word for it:

 

Entry Level

  Nikon D3500 Canon 200D Canon 4000D
Megapixels 24 24 18
Low Light Performance Good Average Average
Body Weight 365g 453g 436g
LCD Screen 3″ 3″ 2.7″
Top LCD Screen
Frames per Second 5 5 3
Focus Points 11 9 9
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes Yes
ISO Range 100-25600  100-25600
(expands to 51200)

100-6400
(expands to 12800)

Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 1/4000 1/4000
Memory Card(s) SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 Shots 3 Shots
Pop-up Flash Yes Yes Yes
High-Speed Flash Sync  Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes Yes
Built-in Bluetooth Yes Yes
Built-in GPS
Video  1080p @ 60FPS 1080p @ 60FPS 1080p @ 30FPS
DPReview Score 78% Silver Award
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  63
Retail Price (Body + Lens) R 8,795.00 R 7 395 R4,195

 

 

Advanced Entry Level

  Nikon D5300 Nikon D5600 Canon 750D Canon 760D Canon 800D
Megapixels 24 24 24 24 24 
Low Light Performance Good Good Average Average Average
Body Weight 480g 465g 555g 565g 532g 
LCD Screen 3.2″ Fully Articulated 3.2″ Fully Articulated 3.0″ Fully Articulated 3.0″ Fully Articulated 3.0″ Fully Articulated 
Top LCD Screen Yes  –
Frames per Second 5 5 5 5
Focus Points 39 with 9 Cross-Type 39 19 Cross-Type 19 Cross-Type 45
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 
ISO Range 100-12800
(expands to 25600)
100-25600 100-12800
(expands to 25600)
100-12800
(expands to 25600)
 100-25600
(expands to 51200)
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 1/4000 1/4000 1/4000  1/4000
Memory Card(s) SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot  SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 Shots 3 Shots 3 Shots 3 Shots  3 Shots
Pop-up Flash Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 
High-Speed Flash Sync  Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in GPS Yes – 
Video  1080p @ 60FPS 1080p @ 60FPS 1080p @ 30FPS 1080p @ 30FPS  1080p @ 60FPS
DPReview Score 79% Silver Award 79% Silver Award 75% 77% Silver Award  80% Gold Award
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  83 84 71 70  –
Retail Price (Body + Lens) R 7 495 R 11 895 R 9 795 R 8 395 (Body Only) R 10 295 

 

 

 

Advanced APS-C and Mirrorless

  Nikon D7100 Nikon D7200 Nikon D7500 Canon 70D Canon 77D Canon 80D Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm X-T30
Megapixels 24 24  21 20 24 24 24 24
Low Light Performance Good Excellent Good Average Average Good Good Good
Body Weight 765g 675g 720g  755g 499g 730g 383g 383g
Weather Sealing Yes Yes Yes  Yes No Yes No No
LCD Screen 3.2″ 3.2″  3.2″ 3″ Articulated 3″ Articulated 3″ Articulated 3″ 3″
Top LCD Screen Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Frames per Second 6 6 7 6 7 8 8
Focus Points 51 51 (15 of them Cross-Type)  51 19 Cross-Type 45 Cross-Type 45 Cross-Type N/A N/A
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ISO Range 100-6400
(expands to 25600)
100-25600
(expands to 102400)
100-51200
(expands to 1640000) 
100-12800 (expands to 25600) 100-25600 (expands to 51200) 100-16000 (expands to 25600) 200-12800 (expands to 100-51200) 160-12800
(expands to 80-51200)
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 1/8000  1/8000 1/8000 1/4000 1/8000 1/4000 1/4000
Memory Card(s) 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots  SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot SDHC/SDXC Slot
Auto Exposure Bracketing 5 Shots 9 Shots  5 Shots 7 Shots 3 Shots 7 Shots 3 Shots 5 Shots
Pop-up Flash Yes Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
High Speed Flash Sync  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in GPS – 
Video  1080p @ 30FPS 1080p @ 60FPS 4K @ 30 FPS  1080p @ 30FPS 1080p @60FPS 1080p @ 60FPS 4K @ 30 FPS 4K @ 30 FPS
DPReview Score 85% Gold Award 84% Silver Award  86% Silver Award 83% Gold Award 84% Silver Award 82% Silver Award
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  83 87  86 68 79
Retail Price (Body + Lens) R 11 970
(Body Only)
R 14 895
(Body Only)
R 22 695  R 13 995 R 10 995 R 17 495 R 18 995 TBA

 

Pro APS-C and Mirrorless

  Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-H1 Nikon D500 Canon 7D MK II
Megapixels 24 24 26.1 24 20 20
Low Light Performance Average Excellent Excellent Excellent Good Average
Body Weight 445g 457g 539g 673g 860g 910g
Weather Sealing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
LCD Screen 3″ 3″ Tilt 3″ Tilt 3″ 3.2″ Tilt 3″
Top LCD Screen Yes Yes Yes
Frames per Second 8 8, 11 with battery grip 20 (AF)
11 (MS)
8, 11 with battery grip 10 10
Focus Points N/A N/A N/A 91 153 65
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ISO Range 200-12800
(expands to 51200)
200-12800
(expands to 51200)

160-12800
(expands to 80-51200)

200-12800
(expands to 51200)
100-51200
(expands to 1640000)
100-16000
(expands to 51200)
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 1/8000 1/8000 1/8000 1/8000 1/8000
Memory Card(s) 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC/
UHS-I/UHS-II Slots
2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
1x XQD Slot
1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
1x Compact Flash Slot
Auto Exposure Bracketing 3 Shots 3 Shots 5 Shots 3 Shots 9 Shots 7 Shots
Pop-up Flash Yes
High-Speed Flash Sync  Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in GPS  – Yes
Video  1080p @ 60FPS 4K @ 30FPS 4K @ 60FPS 4K @ 30 FPS 4K @ 30FPS 1080p @ 60FPS
DPReview Score 83% Silver Award 88% Gold Award 86% Silver Award 91% Gold Award  84% Silver Award 
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  –   –
Retail Price (Body + Lens) R 26 495 (Body Only) R 28 495 R27 895 R 27 295 (Body Only) R 35 895   R 26 995

 

Entry Level Full Frame DSLR and Mirrorless 

  Canon 6D Canon 6D Mark II Nikon D750 Canon EOS RP
Megapixels 20 26 24 26
Low Light Performance Average Average Excellent  
Body Weight 770g 765g 750g 483g
Weather Sealing Yes Yes Yes No
LCD Screen 3″ 3″ 3.2″ Tilting 3″ Fully Articulated
Top LCD Screen Yes Yes Yes No
Frames per Second 4.5 6.5 6.5 5
Focus Points 11 45 51 N/A
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes Yes Yes
ISO Range 100-25600
(expands to 102400)

100-40000
(expands to 50 – 102400)

100-12800
(expands to 51200)

100-40000
(expands to 50-102400)

Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 1/4000 1/4000 1/4000
Memory Card(s) 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slots SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
Auto Exposure Bracketing 7 Shots 7 Shots 7 Shots 3 Shots
Pop-up Flash Yes
High-Speed Flash Sync  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Built-in GPS Yes Yes No No
Built-in Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes
Video  1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 60fps 1080p @ 60fps 4K @ 24fps
DPReview Score 83% Silver Reward 80% 90% Gold Reward
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  82 93
Retail Price (Body + Lens) R 29 595 R32 995 R35 895 R33 995

 

Advanced Full Frame 

  Nikon D810 Nikon D850 Canon 5D Mark IV Canon 5DS
Megapixels 36  46 30 51
Low Light Performance Excellent  Outstanding Great Good
Body Weight 880g  1005g 890g 845g
Weather Sealing Yes  Yes Yes Yes
LCD Screen 3.2″  3.2″ Tilting Touchscreen 3.2″ Touchscreen 3.2″
Top LCD Screen Yes Yes  Yes Yes
Frames per Second 5 9 7 5
Focus Points 51 151 61 61
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes  Yes Yes
ISO Range 64-12800
(expands to 51200)
 64-25600
(expands to 32-102400)

100-32000
(expands to 102400)

100-6400
(expands to 12800)
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 1/8000  1/8000 1/8000
Memory Card(s) 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
1x CompactFlash Slot
 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
1x XQD Slot
1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
1x CompactFlash Slot
1x SD/SDHC/SDXC Slot
1x CompactFlash Slot
Auto Exposure Bracketing 7 Shots 7 Shots  7 Shots 7 Shots
Pop-up Flash Yes
High Speed Flash Sync  Yes  Yes Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi  Yes Yes
Built-in GPS Yes
Video  1080p @ 60FPS  4K @ 30FPS 4K @ 30FPS 1080p @ 30FPS
DPReview Score 86% Gold Award  89% Gold Award 87% Gold Award 83% Silver Award
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  97 100  91 87
Retail Price (Body + Lens) R 39 795 (Body Only)  R 49 895 (Body Only) R 55 995 R 53 695 (Body Only)

 

 

Pro Full Frame

  Nikon D5 Canon 1DX Mark II
Megapixels 21 20
Low Light Performance Excellent Excellent
Body Weight 1405g 1340g
Weather Sealing Yes Yes
LCD Screen 3.2″ 3.2″
Top LCD Screen Yes Yes
Frames per Second 14 16
Focus Points 153 with 91 Cross Type 61 with 41 Cross Type
Alternative Back Focus Button Yes Yes
ISO Range 100-102400
(expands to 3280000)
100-51200
(expands to 409600)
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 1/8000
Memory Card(s) 2x XQD or
2x CompactFlash Slots
1x Compact Flash
1x CompactFast Slots
Auto Exposure Bracketing 9 Shots 3 Shots
Pop-up Flash
High Speed Flash Sync  Yes Yes
Built-in Wi-Fi
Built-in GPS Yes
Video  4K @ 30fps 4K @ 60fps
DPReview Score 89% Gold Reward
DXO Sensor Score (Image Quality)  88 88
Retail Price (Body Only) R 104 995 R 91 395

 

Explaining Camera Jargon

What is the difference between Full Frame and APS-C Size cameras?

This is simple. Full frame cameras have larger sensors than APS-C cameras. Here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages of both:

 

Advantages of Full Frame sensor size camera:

  1. Full Frame cameras have superior image quality, noise handling, and colour differentiation because they have larger pixels which gather more light and information.
  2. Better large-format printing capabilities.
  3. Full frame cameras excel in landscape, portrait, and macro photography and provide more detail, allowing for impressive large-format prints.

 

Advantages of APS-C sensor size camera:

  1. Less expensive than full frame
  2. Greater zoom. With a crop factor of approximately 1.6 x it means that a 300mm lens on a full frame will render a 450mm field of view on a full frame camera. So, in other words, you get more zoom out of it. This is especially handy if you are a wildlife or sports photographer and don’t want to spend a fortune on super telephotos.
  3. Does not obtain the same shallow depth of field than full-frame cameras
    • Nikon APS-C Cameras: D3300, D3200, D5500, D5300, D5200, D7200, D7100
    • Canon APS-C Cameras: 100D, 1300D, 700D, 750D, 70D, 80D, 7D Mark II

 

Which Lenses to buy?

It is better to start with a single general use lens and then later add on extra lenses. So if buying a camera that includes a kit lens, make sure it is of a good quality. It should have a large zoom range, something in the region of 18-105mm, 15-85, 24-70 and have a large aperture. Go for the more expensive kit lens bundle rather than the “2, or 3-lens bundles” as they normally include inferior lenses. Also, look for image stabilization on the kit lens which will help you a great deal in the early days. If buying a body only camera and you need to decide between the myriad of lenses out there, have a look at the suggestions below.

The type of lenses and the difference between them: 

The General Zoom Lens

These are the lenses with variable focal lengths, i.e. an 18-105mm can be used at either end of the focal range and everything in between.
They also have variable apertures meaning that if you’re zoomed out at the wide angle, the maximum aperture is f/3.5.
If you’re zoomed into the telephoto side of the zoom, the maximum available aperture is f/5.6. They are good walk around lenses, for everyday general use.

Pro’s

  • Cheaper
  • Lighter, smaller and more user-friendly

Con’s

  • Smaller apertures when zoomed in causes slow shutter speeds. In low light, you have to pack up or use a tripod.
  • Slower focus
  • Dimmer viewfinders

 

The Prime Lens

Prime lenses have no zoom but normally comes with wide apertures which means shallow depth of field and better low light capabilities.
Since prime lenses have no zoom it means they have fewer lens elements and “normally” offers better image quality, sharpness and colour than zooms.
These lenses are generally used for high-quality portrait and studio work.

Pro’s

  • Offers great quality and good “corner-to-corner” sharpness
  • Normally offers wide apertures which mean fast focus and bright viewfinders
  • Some offerings are really affordable

Con’s

  • Has no zoom which means a fixed angle of view and a fixed set of achievable photographic properties possible with this lens.
  • Some offerings like the 200mm F.2, the 85mm F1.4, and 50mm F1.2 are very expensive.

 

The Constant/Fixed Aperture Zoom Lens

These lenses are generally used to take photographs from a distance.
Has large “fixed” aperture i.e. 70-200mm F2.8 which means that whether you are zoomed out at the widest focal range (70mm) or at the longest zoom (200mm) the maximum available aperture remains F2.8

Pro’s

  • Also called fast/money lenses for its capability to work in low light
  • Larger apertures allow you to keep on working in low light (ensures faster shutter speeds)
  • Faster focus
  • Brighter viewfinders

Con’s

  • More expensive
  • Larger and heavier

 

Specialist Lenses

The Wide Angle and Ultra-Wide angle Lens

This allows you to take shots with a very wide perspective.
These lenses are mainly used for landscape and architectural photography.
The Fisheye lens also falls into this category and can be used very creatively.

Pro’s

  • The lens is great for panorama style shots
  • These lenses can fit wider images into the same focal length
  • You can get nice and close to your subject and still fit the whole scene in
  • A lot of these lenses also come with zoom capability

Con’s

  • There is a possibility for image distortion around the sides of the image
  • They are generally more expensive than prime lenses
  • Because of their construction, they are quite heavy for their size
  • Not a versatile everyday use lens, and not ideal for shooting portraits and people

 

The Macro Lens

The lens is designed to do close-up photography like flower, insects etc.
Many lenses come with a “macro” setting but true Macro lenses produce images that are life size and that enable you to get in very close to the subject you are shooting.

Pro’s

  • Magnification ratio of 1:1
  • Greater depth of field to throw subject behind the object out of focus
  • Generally, bright and fast lenses which mean they can be used in low light conditions

Con’s

  • Lens is designed to photograph subjects at extremely close range
  • They are not very versatile lenses
  • Some of these lenses are quite expensive.
  • They are normally quite big lenses so are bulky and not always easy to handle

 

About third party lenses

There is a lot of opinions and urban legend when it comes to third party lenses. Some third party lenses are better than “real deal” offerings and most of the time, third party lenses are more affordable. Most professional photographers are of the opinion that if money is no object, buy the real deal and do not go for third party lenses. However, there are many professional photographers who swear by professional third party lenses.

Pro’s

  • They are generally much cheaper than the camera manufacturer lenses like Nikon or Canon, especially when it comes to the professional series lenses. Many of these lenses are known for their excellent image quality compared to the price you pay, in some cases even outdoing the manufacturer lenses. Sometimes you can buy a generic brand lens that isn’t available in the manufacturer models like the Sigma 70mm Macro for Nikon.

Con’s

  • Third party lenses are optimized for the price so optical quality is normally not as good as Nikon or Canon.
  • Third party lenses do not hold their price as well for Nikon or Canon lenses for resale.
  • Some of the options like Canon’s USM for fast focusing are not found on these lenses.

Some advice:

Use the right lens for the job, which is why you bought an SLR for its ability to change lenses. I know that we cannot all have an array of lenses for every situation but know the limits as well as the aesthetics, or compositional options that each of your lenses offers.

 

Additional equipment that all photographers should think of:

Which Tripod to buy?

Use the heaviest tripod you can afford, financially and physically. A good tripod will ensure sharp and consistent images on long exposures and when bracketing. A good and sturdy tripod will also be worth its weight in gold when you find yourself in a difficult location where the ground is uneven and the wind is blowing for instance. DPC offer some excellent discounted prices on Tripods, Wait for your course

 

A word of advice about Tripods

Do not be like the typical golfer who spends thousands of Rand on the best driver out there, but when it comes to his putter he buys the cheapest one out there, even though he uses it 5 times more than any other club in his bag. You are possibly going to be putting tens of thousands or rands of equipment on your tripod, make sure you buy the best where possible. Do not let that R20 000 camera and R15 000 lens sit on something that you picked up from your local retailer on special for R899. Furthermore, a sturdy and good tripod will open the door of long exposures and HDR’s for you, it is as much an investment as your lens.

 

What to do with Reflectors?

Reflectors are an excellent and cheap way to achieve a professional lighting effect without professional equipment. It can be used as a fill light reflecting any available light onto your subject. Some reflectors also include a diffuser which you can use on a very sunny day to diffuse the light on your subject.

 

Choosing the right Memory Card

Always check your manufacturer documentation for approved and tested memory cards and try to stick to these. About memory cards…

  • Compact Flash (CF): This is the standard for high-end DSLR cameras. Because of DSLR’s faster-shooting capability (burst mode), you should look for high-speed CF cards to ensure top performance.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC): This format is used in many of today’s newer DSLRs. To achieve maximum performance from your DSLR, use a high-speed SDHC card.
  • Eye-Fi Memory Cards: Eye-Fi Wireless Secure Digital Media Cards allow you to wirelessly upload photos to your computer. This means you can back up your photographs as you walk into your office without having to remove the card and connect it physically to a computer. This is especially handy when doing a Studio shoot and shooting tethered via Lightroom. They are compatible with most digital cameras with a Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot, and they are both PC- and Mac-compatible.

 

A word of advice about Memory Cards

“As with the tripod, buy the fastest memory card you can afford. You have spent all that money on a camera that can take 8fps, now you skimped on the memory card and cannot even use that super fast function to its fullest extent”

 

 

Which Camera Bags and Cases?

  1. The main things to focus on when deciding on a bag/rucksack is firstly how much protection it provides your equipment and secondly how comfortable it is to carry for hours on end.
  2. When you start going on jobs you will soon start to curse that uncomfortable bag you bought because it looks good. It needs to absolutely be practical. Easy and quick to access and easy to carry.
  3. If you are an outdoor photographer and are likely to spend long hours walking with your camera, a backpack style bag is the answer. If you are a wedding photographer where you need access to your lenses often and quickly then look at a shoulder or sling bag.

 

A word of advice about Camera Bags

“It is very important to find the right bag that works for you and the type of photography you do. If you are a wedding photographer or someone that has to quickly change lenses all the time, do not even look at a backpack. If you will be spending a lot of time walking around with the one lens then get a backpack, a shoulder bag will slowly and mercilessly kill you”

 

Recommended brands…

  • Vanguard 
  • Lowepro
  • Tamrac
  • Think Tank

 

A last word of advice when buying a camera

Our advice would be that, if you are planning to make photography anything more than a hobby, do not go for anything less than a Midrange model. However, if you are cash strapped, then buy an advanced entry-level, since image quality is pretty much on par with most mid-range models. 

“As a final word of advice, Do NOT listen to the salesperson at the retailer shop, unless you have done your own research. A good place to read more about camera equipment, that will also provide you with well researched, in-depth reviews are DPREVIEW.COM. As a final step, after you’ve done your research, go to your local camera shop, or if a friend has the same you’re interested in, then try “on” the camera / equipment you’re after. Hold it in your own hands. See if you really like the look, feel and ergonomics before you commit your fortune. If you’re intending to do a photography course with us, feel free to contact the DPC office for advice.