Let’s talk gear. I get so many questions from creators, and fellow bloggers about cameras that I think it is time to write an article to get into some details that will help clarify some information as it is not only about cameras.

It Depends

Every thought leadership answer seems to start with “it depends”, and when it has to do with the overly complex world of photography it is the right way to start. As it really depends on what kind of photography you will be mostly doing. Is it landscape? Product? Food? Portrait?

You can spend a boat load on camera gear, so getting the gear that will yield the fastest ROI monetary or satisfactory wise is what you should focus on. Review your work or if you are new into blogging plan ahead to what you think you will use a camera for the most. A niche is also a good way to focus from a business point of view as well.

Pixels & Sensor size

Pixels have been the confusing art of selling cameras for a very long time. This parameter is what most consumers think they understand cameras by – as it is simple; the bigger the better, right? Not so fast. This is why pixels, and sensors are together as not all pixels are created equally. A 24 megapixels from a crop sensor won’t be as good of a photo as from a 20 megapixel full frame camera.

A bigger sensor will capture more light thus it will have more information in every pixel meaning the quality will be better. It will have less noise, better colours, and offer more editing results. You don’t really need to understand to much technical details beyond that your camera will capture less of everything the smaller you sensor is. Naturally.

travel blogger, calgary, cameras, photography.

Crop sensor (APS-C, etc) isn’t necessary a bad choice if you are working with closer subjects such as food, product or portrait, and you don’t need to do alot of cropping. Full frame cameras like Sony a7 series (on the right) is a direction you would want to go with for landscape or if you intend to print.

I took this photo with a Canon T5i which you can now get with some kit lenses for about $400, and it turned out pretty good I would say:

Lenses

Notice how I said I get questions about cameras but not lenses? Lenses is something most people don’t understand as a functionality until they are getting much more into photography. They play an important role but you just need to have your basics covered; wide lens, and a zoom lens. You can get away with a 24mm-240mm for example which Sony makes, and will have you covered in all scenarios. Prime lenses (have a fixed focal length) are sharper, and better for portrait focused creators.

I might get some angry emails on for this: I don’t think lenses matter that much if you are good at editing. Most people shouldn’t worry about spending any money on them outside the basics. There also adapters you can get for your camera to accept many other lenses. Don’t be afraid to try older aka classic lenses either – this is something I am just loving right now to experiment with!

Cellphone

We can’t talk about photography, and blogging without mentioning your cellphone – the digital camera killer. The quality of photos you can generate with your phone is just getting better, and better. However, they are an unreliable performer but sometimes they do take amazing photos.

Know in what situations your phone is good at. For example I use the Samsung S20 Ultra which takes superb photos during the day with blue skies, and sunsets. The sunset photos are so good that I don’t even bother taking out any other camera. Food photos on this phone just suck to the point I would never post one anywhere. I don’t know why manufacturers think zoom is more important than macro capabilities on a phone.

Your phone pictures will be pretty much useless if you intent to print anything with good quality, and bigger than a piece of paper. One of my favourite photos I took is with an action camera (similar technical photo quality as a cellphone), and it would have looked awesome in a large print but unfortunately the quality on anything bigger than a paper would just not be good :(. Planning ahead is key for the gear.

Editing

I included editing in this article because with good editing you can get away without needing as good of a camera for basics. Everyone edits so don’t be shy about it. The only thing I would say is keep things simple, and don’t over do it. Also you want whatever you are trying to present via your photos to be real so don’t Photoshop things into the picture to make things look “cool”.

Something very little talked about photography is your computer. First you should always shoot in RAW so your pictures will store the most amount of memory possible for edits. RAW files can be huge! For example Pictures from my Sony a7Rii are over 80MB each. That is massive, and you need the computing power to work them. Minimum 16gb of ram. You don’t want to get a camera who’s product you can’t fully enjoy.

Other things to consider

Weather sealing is something I wish I thought about much earlier. Not all cameras, and lenses are good in all environments. Do your research in advance if you are going to be taking your camera gear into the outdoors into all environments. Think about batteries as well as they will not last as long in colder temperatures.

Memory card quality matters if you doing videos, many burst shots for wildlife or action. The camera buffer rate, and continuous shooting rate is a must for you to know.

Don’t buy new! Even though I am starting to work with some brands I still say don’t buy new. You can get perfectly shaped gear for cheaper than brand new.

A collapsible tripod, and a remote for your camera I think is one of the best investments you can make. This way you don’t have to worry about blur from shake, and a must for long exposure shots.

My Gear

I use the Samsung 20 Ultra, Sony a7Rii (which I love), Canon T5i, DJI drones, and a GoPro (less & less). I have to mention Sony’s a6000 series – I absolutely love using them.

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