Are you looking to switch from a point and shoot camera to a full scale DSLR one? And, by point and shoot I mean a small camera just like the one on your phone that does not have any interchangeable lenses. One that you just point at your subject and click a button?
I have not used a point and shoot camera in over 35 years and rarely use the one on my phone. Recently, I was at the Best of the Fox Celebration and was asked to take one of the winner's photo with her phone. I laughed. I had to figure out how to do it! Yes, I know, it is super easy-just point it and click the button. But, it was not an iphone and I don't usually use a phone to take images!
But, if you are one of the many weekend warriors or just want to upgrade from your phone to a nicer camera that can take better pictures, here are two from the Nikon family that are perfect for that.
The Nikon d3400 is a perfect entry level camera for a beginner.
It is small and lightweight, which makes it easier to carry and it is comfortable
It has a 24.2 Mexapixel sensor! Which, you really do not need on an entry level camera since you probably are not printing billboard sized prints. But, it makes it that more appealing.
It has 5fps continuous shooting- fps means frames per second. So, you can shoot 5 frames per second- think of your child running on a soccer field. You could capture 5 "frames" or images of him or her as he or she runs with the ball. This is not the best camera if you want to primarily shoot sports, but it is a good feature.
The Guide Mode will help you get started and understand basic principles-such as how to produce shallow depth of field in a very helpful step by step manner.
Ten different Special Effects are available in camera to creatively refine the look of your images
Good dynamic range due to the processor and 24.2 MP camera-Dynamic range refers to the measure of range of the light intensities from the shadows to the highlights. So, if you have a larger dynamic range, you will have a lot more information in your image in regards to the shadows and highlights, which in turn, will produce a better image.
Next up is the Nikon d7200. I have the Nikon D7000, purchased about 8 years ago, and I absolutely LOVE that camera. The color of the images is vibrant and sharp, and the images are clear and crisp. Keep in mind, that both these cameras are not full framed, which means, that the sensor size is cropped-smaller than on a full frame camera. Which means you can still use full framed lenses on a crop sensor camera, but the area you see will be smaller. This camera has been around for a few years and Nikon has upgraded it since, but you can still find this camera at places like B and H and Adorama.
Why this camera is a good beginner camera-
24.2MP CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter
6 fps continuous shooting (7 fps in 1.3x crop mode) with increased buffer depth
1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed
1080/60p video (1.3x crop only) with clean output over HDMI and Flat Picture Control
Dual SD card slots
Magnesium alloy weather-sealed body
The 24.2 mexapixels is great if you are shooting for a billboard print. Not really necessary for basic portraits, but it will give you more dynamic range!
The 6 frames per second is great for photographing moving objects or photographing your children in sports.
Having dual card slots is a real treat. No more changing out your card often because now you have twice the space for the images.
Most cameras have weather sealed bodies, which is great if it starts raining. They are mostly protected from the elements. Still, I always use a camera cover that is water repellent as I do not want my cameras to get damaged from the rain.
Still, having a new or used DSLR camera is not going to help you take any better images unless you know how to use the settings on your camera in manual mode, understand composition and lighting, and understand how to pose your subject. There is so much that goes into photographing a person. So much more than just snapping the shutter.
Having a DSLR is the next step on a photographic journey. Get off manual by taking classes and learning about the art of photography. Learn what goes into creating a portrait so you can be better at photographing your family and loved ones. And, in the meantime, when you are ready for a professional portrait session, give us a call!