Camera FAQ

On almost a weekly basis, I get asked some form of this question:

"Hey Jenna! I'm looking to buy a new camera. I need it for indoor/outdoor, pictures of my kids playing ball, our vacations, etc. I don't know anything about pixels or ISO, so can you recommend a camera and lens that is user and budget friendly? Thanks!"

As much as I want to help, this is almost an impossible question for me to answer. There are hundreds and hundreds of different types of cameras & lenses out there, each with different advantages and disadvantages, and each with a totally different price tag. There is no way for me to know which camera make and model is going to fit your needs best. For example, are you wanting a point and shoot or an SLR? If its an SLR, are you planning on learning to meter and expose it manually, or will it be only on automatic settings? Just how much are you willing to spend?

My honest answer to finding the right camera: Google. A little bit of Google will get you a long way. For example, just this very moment, I searched 'camera recommendations' and the first link I found was for BestInClass.com, and it could probably help anyone find a great camera match based on their needs and budget. That took me an entire 30 seconds to find, and right away it could probably give you more information about cameras than I ever could.

Of course, I understand it's hard to pick out a camera online, and not know exactly what to expect, which is why I almost always send folks to Best Buy. They have an extensive digital camera counter, and anyone is free to play around with the cameras. They also have employees on hand who are knowledgeable and willing to answer questions. This is the best way to find a camera that feels good in your hands that you are comfortable with using.

Having said this, I am more than happy to share what I've got in my camera bag:

Cameras
Canon 5D Mark II (digital)
Canon 5D (digital)
Canon EOS3 (film)
Canon Rebel (film)

Lenses
Canon 24 mm 1.4L
Canon 50 mm 1.4
Canon 85 mm 1.2L
Canon 50mm Macro
Canon 24-105 mm 4.0L
Canon 75-300mm 3.5-5.6

All of these items can be purchased online at B&H Photo, Amazon.com, or Ebay. For my "toy camera" that I carry in my purse and use for personal photos and vacations, I use a Panasonic DMC-LX3. I love my Toy camera, and I would recommend it to someone who is looking for a point and shoot that can also be set manually.

Here are some examples of my camera/lens combos.

Canon 5D, 24mm 1.4L
AAS068b


Canon 5D, 85mm 1.2L
JB66Eb


Canon Rebel, 50mm 1.4
Northwest_Film027b


Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm 1.4L
JLD218b


Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm
LS089Mb


Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm Macro
BLT287b


Canon EOS3, 50mm 1.4, Fuji 400H Pro
80960034


Panasonic DMC-LX3
Northwest_Digital137b

I hope this is somewhat helpful, as it is the best I can answer the question I get asked so often. Of course, buying a new fancy camera isn't going to make anyone a photographer overnight. Cameras don't make good picture, the photographer does. I'm always open to sharing any information I have, so if anyone out there has other questions, drop me a line and say hello!

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