What’s the best camera? It’s a simple answer, really…

As you can imagine because we are photographers, we are asked about “…what’s the best camera…” all the time. Of course, there are many answers to that question because you have to factor in the budget and level of technical functions required and, and…. that’s usually when you get brain freeze!

Chicago/ Marsha

Marsha in “Chicago – The Musical”

So, maybe this anecdote will help with the answer to this question. Recently, our daughter was in her school musical and of course lots of people took photos of the event itself and backstage. It was one of those times when the camera phone just wasn’t enough either for the parents or the students to capture the magic on the stage and the camaraderie that built up backstage.

But what do you do when your ‘good camera’ has no power or, worse still, no space left on your card just as you are ready to use it? It’s hugely frustrating and then photographs that you really want of a very special event end up being snapped on a phone. And that really won’t cut the mustard for life’s big occasions like weddings, communions or school plays & musicals – trust me on this one.

So, you know that way you have a ‘process’ around your mobile phone? You always know where the charger is, you back it up regularly, and if you’re like me, you charge it up in the same place every night. We create processes around the things that are important to us at home or at work.

It helps to take the time to create a process around your camera too. Download, file and date your images soon after they’ve been taken (and back them up if they are very important). It’s worth learning how to do this properly, and it really is easy to do. It helps to quickly check that the images have all been saved properly and, if they have, then you can safely clear or format*  the card in your camera so it’s empty for the next time. Take out the battery & place it in the charger somewhere that won’t be a nuisance (like, not in your kettle plug).

Then, the next time you grab your camera as you walk out the door,  it will be fully charged with a clean card and ready to go.

By the way the very best camera is the one you have with you – fully charged with a clean card and ready to go. And I know that you knew that.

*Format is the technical term for clearing your card and making it ready to accept files in a camera. You can find out all about your own camera on the manufacturer’s website and on numerous photography websites.

3 Comments

Filed under Cameras, Family Life, Humour, Life, Photography, School Musical

3 responses to “What’s the best camera? It’s a simple answer, really…

  1. But what camera DID you use to take that fab shot? I always find at school plays, especially, photos come out too dark. Would an external flash be worth the investment?
    Ancedotely, at my university grad last Spring my husband snapped many gorgeous photos on our Canon Rebel t4i only to discover when we were leaving the photo card was nowhere to be found! (The perils of getting family ready for big event…he forgot to check) Luckily two extra shots snapped on iphones saved our day.

    • Well, that fab shot was taken on a fairly high-end Nikon. BUT, there was no flash used at all. The success of this and any shot taken in theatre or concert conditions is to use the stage lighting not your flash. On-camera flash only lights the couple of meters in front of you. That’s why most concert shots have well lit backs of heads of the people in the row in front of you and the subject you really wanted is a dark dot in the background 😦 Flash also overpowers the natural direction of the stage lighting – so the final image doesn’t look as good as your saw it.
      A long lens and a high ISO rating are all you need. You set the ISO on your camera settings to about 800 ISO in these conditions. And a long lens will get you ‘closer’ to the action. Keeping the camera as still as possible is also important – if you can, lean against a wall or something steady (like your husband) for best results.
      So I would spend my money on a good long lens rather than a flash, if your camera takes external lenses. Or always sit in the front row at the school play and you’ll be close to the action.

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