Wednesday May 28 2014

Are you ready to make the jump to a pro camera?

A pro camera costs more than a point and shoot, is inconviniencing to carry around, but takes great photos.

A pro camera costs more than a point and shoot, is inconviniencing to carry around, but takes great photos. Photo By Rachel Mabala 

By Mustafa Ziraba

For many people who love photography, getting a professional camera, aka, DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) and becoming a pro at using it is the ultimate goal. Thing is, how ready can one be to make the jump. For simplicity we shall just refer to it as a pro camera.

On paper, pro cameras are great.They are workhorses. Getting a pro camera over a point-and-shoot is like getting an AMG Mercedes over a Corolla but there are caveats that you probably have to leave with:

Portability. One of the biggest advantages of using a point and shoot is its portability. Try dragging a pro camera around with you, and if you carry more than one lens, good luck. Plus if you’re in a party, breaking out the pro camera is inconvenient. That’s a big camera, and are you willing to drag around a near 1kg camera to a party with you and your friends? These cameras are not pocket size. It’s hard to get candid shots with your friends. Chances are when you point a one at people, they tend to react differently than a normal camera.

Price. It’s easier to grieve over the loss of a Shs300,000 camera than the Shs2m plus pro camera. They are so costly and valuable that grieving is not enough to deal with the loss.While they are coming down in price (especially at the lower end) pro cameras are generally more expensive than point and shoot digital cameras.

Also consider that you might want to upgrade your lens (as kit lenses are generally not of a super high quality) or you may wish to add more lenses later and that this adds to the cost.

There’s a learning curve. Using a point and shoot is as easy as it is called, you point and shoot. Everything is automated. With aPro camera, it takes years to master as most functions are made manual on purpose to allow that special human judgement when taking a picture.

How it works. For people who really want to take great, fast, beautiful images, or otherwise take their photography to the next level, a pro camera is really worth a look. Manipulating depth of field or motion blur in an image can really take a picture and elevate it into something special. It can take your usual pictures from “this is what we did” to “oh my God, I have to go there it’s so beautiful”

Digital SLR cameras offer a lot of extra features that simply aren’t available on a standard digital point and shoot camera. When you purchase a pro camera, you gain more control over the lens, a faster picture taking rate, better automatic and manual focus modes, and a bunch of smaller features that you don’t realise are important until you start relying on them every day. Having said this, many people own a camera that’s too powerful for their needs.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to know why you’re upgrading your camera before you decide to spend your cash as I have seen people who look at pro camera pictures and go out an acquire one only to start gathering dust on the shelf at home after a month of use.

Again you have to remember and make sure that the problem lies with the camera so need an upgrade, and not with the photographer, before you put your money down on a sweet pro camera.In the DSLR there are two camps and you have to fall in one, the Canon camp or the Nikon Camp. Alongside this war there are other players such as Sony, Panasonic and Lecia.

All from Japan except Lecia that’s from Germany. It’s choice you have make right from the start as you’re purchasing more than just a camera, you’re buying into a camera system. Playing the numbers, most buyers will opt for one of the big two (Nikon or Canon), and doing so gives you access to the widest variety of lenses and accessories.