Finding the right camera for you

Trying to figure out the right camera to buy can be challenging. The endless research can be overwhelming. So I offer you my love story with my cameras.

The first question I’d ask you is why do you want a camera? Once you share your passion and excitement then’ll I’ll crush it by asking how much money do you have to buy it?

The point is to get the soul purpose of your desire. You might be selling yourself short if you answer about your budget first. I saved up for my DSLR for 6 months and paid for it cash. I had learn having debt for equipment can be dangerous, you can get too excited and waste money on gear you don’t need. 

Why do you want a camera? I wanna have fun taking photos – Any camera can do.

Find any camera and play with its effects. Look at thrift stores or eBay. I recommend an old film camera, you’ll fall in love with photography!

I think the most fun I had with a camera was my Diana 35mm film camera I got at Urban Outfitters. It was first stressful learning how it worked because its suppose to be “easy”, which made things complicated. Once I figured out how to use the camera, I had fun trying out different effects it offered. 

I wanna start learning photography. – Film cameras

You won’t like this answer – I know you wanna run out and buy an expensive camera. I recommend buying a 35mm camera with a detachable lens to teach you the fundamentals. Test the shutter to see if it works before you buy. You will bond with this camera and people will call you strange. Little kids will ask to look behind the camera wondering where their photo is. But you will learn how to frame up, expose, and capture a moment. Every exposer will cost you – $2 for each shot (development and film.) You will feel the mistakes in your wallet but you’ll also learn how to use the camera without a computer thinking for you. The photos you take will surprise you, and show you what kind of photographer you wanna be. Because those will be the picture you take most.

I want a camera to take with me while I travel. -a digital point in shoot

We all have this romantic image in our head of walking down the streets of Italy pointing and shooting our camera capturing people in the market place, beautiful architecture and of course our self in front of landmarks. But the reality is, you will leave your heavy camera in the hotel and settle for your camera phone – this my friend, you will regret. Sure you got 50 likes on FB but the day will come when you want to print the photo and there you will see the truth of how bad camera phone pictures are- they suck. The good news, because of iPhone technology advancing, they are getting better but until then, I recommend a point and shoot that cost more than $200, anything cheaper will have low pixels. I found the Nikon CoolPic 300 produces great photos! I bought it for the manual settings. Although I hardly use it because it takes too much time to set, instead I use the auto settings.

When traveling you are going place to place so fast, you only have time to frame up. Plus this camera is easy for other people to use when you ask a stranger to snap a photo of you. Its very rich in color, wide in frame and great at night.

I want to start filming/shooting professionally. – Canon or Panasonic with audio inputs

If you are starting a photography and video production business or if you are hired to film, the poplar DSLRs is what you are looking for. The quality is great without having to spend so much on a camera. The audio is bad which you’ll need a secondary recorder for that. But if you are getting B-roll type footage or plan on creating wedding montages that don’t need audio, then this camera is best to use. You will have to invest stabilizers but they aren’t too much. You do have the choice of buying a cheaper DSLR for $700 which is great for filming because they have the flip screens or go pro $2000 which would be ideal for photography. Look up tech details to see what best fits for you. I would recommend if you are starting out to start with the cheaper camera until business kicks in. The last thing you want to do is put all your money into something that you later find out you don’t really enjoy or find that the area you live in doesn’t have a market for it. Keep in mind its the LENS that really affects the quality, that is where you will need to invites your money in.

When it comes to filming you’ll want to record audio. Make sure there is an input to plug a mic in.

As you can see, you don’t just have to pick one camera. If you love photography, you’ll love cameras, and each one is different. I go thought many different phase just using one type of camera. When I get bored of my work, I search for a new camera that can spark up some fresh creativity inside me. You don’t have to spend thousand of dollars either, sometimes the right camera ends up finding you.

Give It Some Grace Space

A few weeks ago, when I was directing I said a phase that made me stop in my tracks. As I was teaching a new volunteer how to use the follow camera I told him, “the tighter you are in, the harder it is to follow. Why don’t you give yourself some grace space and zoom out a little.”

When I heard the phase grace space come out of my mouth, I began to think about what that meant. I started to think about past experiences since being an adult. I remember being 18 having to make some big decisions. I wasn’t sure what I was suppose to do or where I was suppose to go. I had no money, only a high school diploma, and no experience.

The only thing I had was grace.

I remember praying and asking God for direction. He helped me see who I was and why I was. From there, I realized I was creative and could make something of this. Now that I am close to being 30, looking back, I see my path was perfectly planed. Some of the biggest obstacles that I faced helped me figure out where to go next.

Though you may not have it all figured out, that’s okay. Give it some grace space, zoom out a little. 🙂

 

 

Video: Sony Footage

Here is a promo video I made for work. It shows off footage I captured with our new camera, Sony XDCAM EX. There are a few clips in the video that were shot with our older Panasonic DVCPRO HD camera. The Panasonic footage looks like I scaled it up but in fact its just not as clear as the Sony.

I found that it did great in low light without adding a lot of grain. The room I filmed in is always very dark. (Thanks lighting guys.) Also the footage was great to color grade in After Effects. Its a great camera to use when you have to make a video fast. I shot and created this in four hours.

Even though I own the Canon 7D HDSLR, I don’t use it sometimes because of deadline purposes. The Canon HDSLR series are still the best cameras to shoot video with (in my opinion). But its not the pick up and shoot kinda camera.

The evolution of the video camera is getting better and better. Can’t wait to pick one up that looks as good as a HDSLR.

Basic Editing : Equipment & DSL Cameras VS DV Tapes Video

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I’ve been having a lot of friends ask me to teach them how to edit. Editing is diffidently a learning process and it involves  many elements . In this video I give a crash course to a few guys from church.

This short video is about some basic video editing equipment as well as discussing the pros and cons of using a digital SLR camera.

More basic editing videos to come.

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Video Camera Shopping – High End

Nick Khoo recommend a few cameras for me. I found some examples on Vimeo and some internet prices.

– Panasonic HVX200


Apparently you can put Nikon lens on it or Letus Extreme adds depth to field which is 2,000USD. The camera alone is $3700USD


– Panasonic AG-HPX170


$4400USD

The Panasonic shoots in a slightly higher compression (shooting in 4:2:2) which is really good for green screen.


– Sony EX 3 which uses cheaper media (the SSX cards) but they don’t record as good quality picture (the compression is slightly higher)


$ 8400USD



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