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Photography Equipment Guide For Noobs!

You don't need mountains of high-end photography equipment to take great photos. There's no need to be weighed down by dozens lenses, beefy pro DSLR's and stacks of filters!

So what do you need? Well, I think you just need to have an idea of the kinds of pictures you want to be able to take, and what you want to achieve with your camera. Once you know that, finding the right camera, lenses and accessories is easy...

...at least until all the jargon rears its head! So I'm going to clear things up for you in short, sharp explanations, starting from the beginning. We'll see how specifications relate to your personal needs and help you find the right photography kit!

First, here's an overview of some essential gear, which will introduce you to some key facts as you go about your search for the right equipment:

Basics of digital photography: an overview of essential gear

 

Cameras

Cameras are where the hunt for photography equipment begins! They're the main building block around which to build your little armoury of lenses and accessories.

But how to find the best camera, be it DSLR or compact, for your needs? Let's get some basic camera facts cleared up, and then look at some suggestions...

 

  • CAMERA FACTS
  • BUYING GUIDES
  • CAMERA REVIEWS

Understanding digital cameras (DSLR v compact)

Before you start choosing between all the different models, here's a whirl through some basic digital camera facts you should get nailed.

Understanding compact cameras

A translation of 10 key compact camera specifications into plain English! Decide which ones are most important for you.

Understanding bridge/superzoom cameras

Compact or DSLR...? Why not something that bridges the gap!? A beginner's guide to bridge cameras, including reviews of my faves.

What is a megapixel?

What actually are those MP's that salespeople have so much to say about, and how important are they for your camera!?

Choosing a DSLR camera

Honest advice from a professional photographer on what to consider before making a purchase.

Choosing a compact camera

The market is heaving with different models, but these are my absolute favourites! Read short, sharp reviews.

Canon guide (+ short reviews)

Canon make some of the best photography equipment in the world. Here's an overview of who they are, plus reviews of my favourite Canon cameras.

Nikon guide (+ short reviews)

Nikon are also a hugely popular manufacturer of photography equipment. Here's a look at some of their best DSLR cameras.

Best buy suggestions

Struggling with all the options! Here's a collection of some of the absolute best buy cameras on the market (in my view!).

How to choose suitable cameras for your kids

My top 5 picks of digital cameras for children! Criteria: Durability, simplicity, design, cool extras and image quality.

Nikon D200 Review - My Thoughts After 5 Years Of Use!

The camera I've been using for 5 years! Here's my extended review, split into 12 sections over 3 pages (part 1, part 2, part 3).

Olympus E3: User Review

A clear overview of the main pros and cons of this camera by experienced Olympus E3 user, Simon Davies.

The iPhone 4S Camera: 12 Reasons Why I've Fallen In Love With It!

I thought that getting my first iPhone would make life easier; I never expected it would transform my photography too!

Digital SLR lenses

Your camera body isn't much use without a lens! In fact, an SLR lens can cost as much or more than the body iteslf! For good reason too: so much of the image quality and potential variety of photos is dependent on the lens. So let's quickly get you clued up on the main facts.

Finding the best digital camera lenses for your photography

What are the main specifications of digital SLR lenses and how do they relate to the kinds of photos you want to take?

 

Accessories

So apart from the camera and the lenses, what other important bits of photography equipment do you need?

Well, somewhere to put it all for a start! Then there are tripods if you want to take razor sharp photos or capture motion blur. Basically, the following section covers kit that doesn't dent your wallet so much, but is nonetheless very important!

 

DSLR camera bags

Different designs suit different equipment and locations. Here's my guide to finding the best DSLR camera bag for your photography.

My Lowepro camera bag review - the perfect solution for keen amateur photographers who travel

I took my time deciding on the Fastpack 250 - and it paid off! Here's a summary of Lowepro backpacks and why I chose mine. Pics + review.

Tripods for digital cameras

Everyone needs a tripod sooner or later! They're such an important piece of photography equipment for all sorts of reasons. Here's a guide to when to use them and how to choose one.

The best camera filters for digital photography

Despite Photoshop, I think your photography can still benefit tremendously from the use of a few filters. Here they are.

 

The best online photo printing companies

Places I like and trust when it comes to printing my images online.

 

Little Extras and Printers

Every bit of photography equipment, right down to the little details, has an important role to play. You can save yourself a lot of time and bother by picking up a few key facts about things like batteries and memory cards.

So here are some quick tips to help you complete your digital camera system.

 

Using rechargeable camera batteries

I know it's dull, but well worth getting right! Let's quickly look at the battery options for different types of cameras.

Memory cards for digital cameras

Slightly befuddled by the mass of abbreviations!? Time to briefly make sense of memory cards for digital cameras once and for all.

Find the best digital photo printers

Home photo printers are superb these days. But make sure you understand a few simple facts before your next upgrade.

 

Quotable Quote:

Only a fraction of the camera's possibilities interests me - the marvellous mixture of emotion and geometry, together in a single instant.

- Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

Where Next?

Online Photography Course Review

Finding the Best Digital Photo Printers

Photoshop Tutorials

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