Do I need to NEED to buy an expensive camera?

July 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

What is the best camera to use?

This is one of those questions that bugs me! Truly, the best answer is the camera you have with you! Let me explain...

I use a professional level Nikon Digital SLR camera for all of my professional work, I use this in tandem with high end lenses. I use these items because that it what I feel works best for a high use setting. I choose kit that will stand the test of time, that will stay out taking photos in rain and shine, heat and cold.

But lets just rewind... When I first started out I used the cheapest DSLR I could get my hands on (and I still have it!) coupled with a mid-range zoom lens. Did it mean that the photos I was taking were of poor quality because I hadn't spend £1000's on the kit? NO! Of course it didn't. What matters the most was that I knew how to use the camera.

Here are a couple of pictures I took all the way back in 2010 at my first UKA show as the official photographer.

UKA Nationals 2010UKA Nationals 2010UKA Nationals 2010 UKA Nationals 2010UKA Nationals 2010UKA Nationals 2010

This was all done on kit that cost a fraction of what my current kit does! But at this point I had already got a few year of experience under my belt. I was comfortable using the camera and lens and knew enough about agility to put myself in a good spot to be ready.


So what is important then?

  • Being Ready - It's all about making sure that you're set up and ready to take the shot. What's the point in boasting that you take all your images on manual when by the time you've got the camera out and set it up you've missed the shot? You would have been better off just enjoying the moment and seeing it through your own eyes than faffing in some camera bag!
  • Knowing your kit - If you have your own camera, no matter what type it is, just get to know it. Know how to change the settings, where all the buttons are. Are there pre-sets? Brilliant, get them set up to your favourite settings. I have my camera set up so that it focuses with a different button to the shutter button, this works for me but I can't say that it would be good for you! It's all about setting it up just for you. You can even get a different strap that you find sits better, whatever you like!
  • Getting the most out of your subject - Do you know your subject well? If it's all new to you then make sure you have the time to get acquainted. With agility I would suggest watching a few runs to get a feel of which direction people are going in. If it was a portrait photo then talk to the person, get to know them, it lets you both relax!
  • Lighting - Have you got good lighting? Could it be better if you just moved to face another direction? Will the sun be setting soon? Ask these questions and get ready to use the natural surroundings to your best advantage. And always remember that an over-cast day is actually one of the best lighting situations for most photographers, it's like having a giant light diffuser in the sky - perfect!
  • Composition - Have you got what you need in the frame? Are you following the rule of thirds? Is your photo telling a story? The composition of a photograph will normally be determined by what you're photographing. But it can be useful to follow some of the rules of photography.

So, what is the best camera? The best camera is the one you have with you, the one you know how to use!

If you feel like you need a helping hand with getting to grips with your camera or photography in general, please head over to my training page, we have a newsletter sign up there which contains useful hints and tips sent straight to your inbox!


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