1. Start off by purchasing a digital SLR with a “cropped” sensor|
Entry level and prosumer level digital SLRs typically have a smaller sensor than “full frame” cameras. These allow the cameras to be smaller, lighter, and more affordable.
The tradeoff is usually quality and low light performance and it will affect focal length of lenses you choose for specific photographs. It is relatively difficult to tell the difference in quality, so when it comes to the price savings, a smaller sensor is a great choice for folks just starting out.
2. Use a prime lens for better creativity
A prime, or fixed lens does a few things to help your photos. Not having zoom will force you to get up and move around, increasing the likelihood that you’ll find a new or creative perspective.
Using a prime lens also makes you consider your framing more since you’ll be forced into situations where there will be obvious things you want to include or remove from the frame. Finally, fixed lenses are usually faster and aren’t confined to aperture limitations at various focal lengths.
3. Don’t try to clean the inside of your camera
This includes not blowing inside the camera too. Unless you absolutely know what you’re doing, both the sensor and the mirror can be very difficult to clean and it’s more likely you will make it worse than fix whatever is wrong.
Leave it alone and take your camera to a local Borrowlenses for cleaning.
4. Push your gear to its limits before buying more
As a new photographer, you simply won’t need a lot of gear since you’ll have lots of learning to do before your skills surpass the capabilities of the kit lens.
It’s easy to get sucked into buying fancy new gadgets, but take time to push your current gear to the limit so you’ll be better informed of needs later, and prevent frivolous spending at the same time. You’ll discover that having gear restrictions can improve creativity in various areas too.
5. Memory cards: size matters
It may be tempting to choose one of the largest memory cards you can afford, but consider getting multiple smaller memory cards instead.
Although digital storage is relatively stable, there is still a chance your data could corrupt. If you have a very large memory card and plan to keep using it until you run out of space, your chances of losing all of your photographs are much higher than if you switched out with smaller cards in between sessions.
6. Don’t fall into the megapixel trap
More megapixels listed on a digital camera is not a clear sign of better quality, and manufacturers are beginning to drop out of this megapixel race to put the focus back on quality.
Do megapixels matter though? They matter up to a point if you’re looking to make large prints, banners, or posters, but investigate picture quality before buying, instead of relying heavily on the pixel count.
As an extreme example, it’s highly unlikely a 8-megapixel camera phone could produce results as good as a 8-megapixel digital SLR produced in the same year, simply because the phone’s camera will be limited in quality due to its size.
7. Get a filter to protect each lens from scratches
Even if you keep your lens cap on during storage, it’s not practical to keep removing and replacing the cap during shoots. Putting a clear or UV camera lens filter on each lens you have is a great way to help avoid lens damage and is worth the investment compared to repairing or replacing scratched lenses.
Sometimes these filters can cause flares on your images though, so pay attention. You may have to remove the filter for some photographs.