The Best of Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book Series: Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me
- #1: Buying a More Expensive Camera Doesn't Necessarily Mean Better Photos
- #2: You Need to Sharpen After the Fact
- #3: The Pros Take Lots of Bad Photos
- #4: Learn Exposure Compensation
- #5: Don't Worry About Manual Mode
#1: Buying a More Expensive Camera Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better Photos
If you bought a new DSLR camera in the past year or two, even an entry-level model, it already takes better quality photos right out of the box than the high-end pro models did just a few years ago. The quality of the sensors in today’s entry-level digital cameras is truly amazing and, whether it’s a Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, etc., they all make great quality photos. For example, if you went out at dawn to a beautiful landscape location, set up a tripod, and took 10 shots with an entry-level camera, like the Canon Rebel SL1 (I found a body online for $549), then took the same shots, in the same location, with the high-end Canon 5DS (around $3,900), printed all 20 images, and mixed them up, you wouldn’t be able to tell which camera took which images. They’d be that close in quality. So, if they both take such great shots, why would anyone ever need a high-end pro camera? Well, it’s not because they take better photos; it’s because they have more features. It’s kinda like buying a car. You can buy a Toyota Camry from around $23,000 up to around $33,000. They’re all Camrys (great cars), but you buy the $33K model because it has more features—heated seats, a back-up camera, a bigger engine, a security system, more speakers, and so on. But, when you’re on the highway going 60 mph, the results are the same. So, how can you get better photos out of the camera you already have? Learn your camera inside and out—all the features, all the menus, and what all the buttons do. That way, using your camera becomes automatic and you can stop worrying about all the buttons and dials and start focusing on making great pictures, which is really about two things: what you aim your camera at and how you aim it.