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  • Writer's pictureAna Lyz

Picking the Right Camera

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

Choosing the right camera as a new photographer/videographer can be hard. Let's talk a bit about different types of gear and learn more about this.

As someone who is still trying to define their niche, it has been very tricky to decide what my ideal camera would be. I cannot settle for a camera that is excellent for photography but will have low resolution for video. I also would like to have something that I can travel with easily and can charge quickly. I figured that I'm not the only who's looking to purchase a camera, so I decided to write about this to inform you of some handy facts about camera gear. I am not an expert on camera gear and much less on the fancy terminology on shutter speed, aperture and other important camera settings. I'm just another creator who's learning as she goes through the process of producing digital content creatively.

DSLR vs Mirrorless

First, we have to distinguish what each of these terms means. DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex, which basically means that there is a mirror inside the camera for the light to pass by. So, the light will come through the lens, hit the mirror and then hit the sensor. Mirrorless just means that there is no mirror for the light to hit; it will go directly to the sensor.

What do these changes look like in a more practical sense? Because the DSLR contains a mirror, the camera will be heavier and bulkier. Weight and size have their own advantages depending on the type of work you'll be doing. If you're someone who is always on the go and needs to travel lightly, a mirrorless camera is a no brainer. However, if you're someone who will work with big lenses, for example a 1200mm telephoto lens to zoom in on far subjects like the Moon, then a heavier camera can help balance the weight of both objects. Pricing is another factor in between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, but this is something I'll talk about a bit later.

If you want to learn more about their characteristics and differences, here's the link to the page I used:

Type of work

The kind of camera you buy will also depend on the type of work you do. For me, lately I've worked on portrait photography and sports videography. When I started to get into photography, I focused on landscapes and nature photography (I mostly like to do closeups with shallow depth of field). As for video, because of my classes, I did work on a couple of short films. These are all very different types of work, and the camera gear can affect the results significantly. Thankfully, technology has advanced so much that there are various cameras that offer great results in both video and photo. Since I like having a wide range of projects, I'm leaning more towards hybrid cameras that will do the job just right.

Brands and Prices

Like any other product, finding the "perfect" brand can be subjective. I know that because I'm already used to Sony cameras, and I like the design, I'm already a biased user who will lean more towards Sony products. You could be more inclined to use Canon for the same reasons. Regardless of where you heart leans more towards, or what your current gear looks like, it is always good to keep an open mind.

If you're someone who's like me and likes to double dip in between photography and videography, the following cameras are known to have high quality results:

  • Sony a7iii - Mirrorless Full-frame Image sensor, Hybrid 24.2MP up to 10FPS, 6k oversampled for 4K 30p, 5-axis stabilization, $1,999.99 (body only).

  • Canon EOS R5 - Mirrorless Full-frame CMOS sensor, 45MP, 8K RAW, 4K and Full-HD up to 120FPS, in-body image stabilizer, flip screen, $3,899 (body only).

  • Nikon Z50 - Mirrorless Full-frame CMOS sensor, 24MP, up to 4K UHD at 30FPS, 5-axis IS system, flip down LCD screen, $859 (body only).

Now, we can already tell that there are a lot of factors that one has to take into account when choosing in between cameras. I chose to put 3 different mirrorless cameras that are relatively similar in terms of quality and special features just to show you that you can get the results you want with basically any brand. One thing that is certainly noticeable between these cameras is the pricing. Sony and Canon have been the dominant brands in this field for quite some time, which means that there are more lenses compatible with their cameras and there's a higher demand for them. So naturally their prices will be higher. I honestly didn't know that Nikon's Z50 would be this affordable and after glancing at their features, this is definitely a great deal for what their camera has to offer. I did read that their 4K video gets cropped, which can be a deal breaker for some videographers who want a full image. But, nonetheless getting a camera is like buying a car, there will be some pros and cons no matter what.

If you're purchasing your first camera and are a beginner, sometimes the safe bet is to go for an affordable camera. If you're a professional in the field, then you clearly have the knowledge, experience and monetary means to afford a higher-end camera. I don't want to go in too deep in the economic aspect about this because I understand that this is unique to each person's circumstances. For me, I am learning that spending money on equipment is an investment and sometimes spending a little bit more than anticipated can be a good thing in the long run. I'm not saying to go all out and buy the most expensive thing because it's the best. I'm saying to not hold back on something that can be lucrative and sustainable. Learning to honor your budget while not limiting your options is essential when making any important expenses. They key to it all is balance.

What now?

After all this information on camera gear, how do we choose our ideal camera? The first step is to do your research. You wouldn't just move into an apartment because you saw it in a commercial, or because it trended on Twitter or lots of people posted and commented about it. You would want to learn more about the location, amenities, maybe even get to meet your potential neighbors. Same thing applies for cameras. This is how we get our job done; without our equipment we'd have no careers. The wise thing to do would be to do research on the matter to make sure that we are making the right decision. After learning about the products, reevaluate your purpose for them: what type of content will you be making? Are you focused on photography, videography, making Youtube videos, Reels, vlogging or staying off camera? Then you can narrow down your options to see what best fits your needs. Double check your bank account, your current income and expenses. Can you afford the camera you're looking into? Will it pay off in 3 months or 3 years? I think we all go through this decision-making process already, so what are some tips you have to offer? What camera features do you prioritize? Any websites or Youtube videos you recommend?

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