Many times on assignment, someone will come up to me and say, “Wow, nice camera. I only have this (insert brand), but if I had that one, it could take really great pictures.” I know the other Omaha World-Herald photographers have this happen to them.
My answer is always that people can make good pictures with whatever camera they have in their hands. Granted, if you want to take action photos that look like The World-Herald’s Nebraska football coverage, big lenses with “fast glass” and a fast motor drive help. But, for most of the photos a person takes, any camera can do the job.
A person just needs to use what’s behind the camera. Meaning, a person needs to learn how to take good photos before they pick up a camera.
My personal camera is an old Panasonic Lumix that has the equivalent of a 28mm wide-angle lens. I bought it just because of the wider lens. I like this field of view because it gets me close to my subjects and still includes a lot of the scene surrounding them.
And, I know what my camera can and can’t do.
So take some time to learn your camera’s functions and limitations, and use it to the best of its abilities. And, when you see a photo you really like, examine the details such as the framing, lighting or depth of field to get an idea how the it was made.
One of my favorite photo “how-to” books is an old 1988 “National Geographic Photographer’s Field Guide” by Albert Moldvay (ISBN 0-87044-754-8.) It still can be found online. It fits in your back pocket and contains great tips for shooting, candids, landscape, nature scenes and many other kinds of photos. And, for the old timers, there’s even information on loading a film camera in case you’ve forgotten.