New Camera

I’ve had an entry-level DSLR camera for nigh upon four years now. During those years, I have learned that there are three things that influence the quality of a person’s pictures, and they are, in order, the eye of the person behind the camera, the lens in front of the camera, and the camera itself. In those four years, I have worked on upgrading my eye both through lessons (mostly video lectures) and practice — getting out in the field and shooting frames, and focusing on composition, lighting, and storytelling. I have a collection of quality lenses. No, they are not super professional-grade, and I am not a pixel-counter — I don’t worry about things like chromatic aberration or whatnot — but they are not bargain-basement lenses either.

Finally, after three years, nine months, two weeks, and six days (give or take a few hours), I finally decided it was time to upgrade the camera body itself this past weekend. No, this wasn’t spur-of-the-moment; I’ve been planning this since April. There were some creative options that my entry-level DSLR just could not do, and there are some technical niceties that the new camera has that make it easier to work with (better low-light sensor, more mega-pixels). Having a better camera does not mean that your photographs will automatically be better; it means that, if you can already take good photos, then you can take good photos in a wider variety of conditions. The people at the camera store were saying that it was a big step up from my old camera to the new one. I don’t feel like it’s a big step up, and that probably is a good thing — it means that I am ready for the new camera.

The past few days haven’t really been good for testing out the capabilities on the new camera. There’s been nothing really interesting going on, and I haven’t had the time or inclination to go out in the field, stand around in the cold or the rain (or the cold rain), and make a photograph. But I’ve had the camera for three days now and hadn’t taken a photo with it, so I set up a still life this evening just to play around. I should do still lifes more — I can use the practice on playing around with the lighting and composition. It’s a bit different from my normal fare of photographs, but it did let me try out some newer features of the camera.

Jim Richardson, a photographer for National Geographic, said, “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” I will be continuing to go out and stand in front of more interesting stuff, and with the new camera, I should be able to stand in front of more interesting stuff in a wider variety of conditions and still come away with decent shots.