[Note: This article is meant for two people: those who use their iphone as their primary camera, and for all those who have asked me for advice on which camera to buy. For the rest of you, just skip it.]
As all of you know, I am kind of obsessed with photography and cameras in general. To me it is the best hobby you can have. It gives you instant gratification and the pictures you take last forever (well, maybe). You don't even have to know what you're doing to appreciate that.
I have recently been working on a project to scan and digitize all of my old family photos. A long and tedious project, but also a rewarding one. Looking back at your life through photos floods your senses with old memories, sights, sounds, smells.....you recognize clothes and toys and books that you used to love. The point of all this is: your photos are priceless. Cliche I know, but very true.
So the question is: why the hell don' t you own a nice camera? Seriously, you only get one shot at life (and being young) so why waste time taking crappy pictures?
I have had many people ask me "what kind of camera they should buy?" I tell them all the same thing. A camera should be looked at as an investment, not an expense. EVERYONE SHOULD OWN A GOOD CAMERA. And in today's world, you can look like a pro and still not know what the hell you are doing.
So, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind when buying a camera:
1. Megapixels = marketing. The biggest myth in digital photography: More megapixels means better image quality. This is so far from the truth its really not funny. Take a look below at my Running of the Bulls pics. Those we're all taken with my Canon 30D. An old camera (relatively speaking) with only 8 megapixels. Seriously, eight. My phone has more. Case in point: megapixels has absolutely nothing to do with image quality.
2. Spend a little more than you want to. Remember, this is an investment. You are going to take pictures you will have with you for the rest of your life. Sure, you can get a nice point and shoot for $120, but why not step it up to a semi-pro quality point & shoot for $450? You most likely will never need to buy another camera again, and your pictures will be incredible. To me it's a no brainer.
3. Learn how to post process. Your camera will take great pictures most of the time. But sometimes one of your favorite shots will be too dark, too bright, or maybe you just want to make it black and white. There are many great FREE photo editing programs on the internet. Look into it. I use Lightroom, a bit pricey for the average amateur, but look at what it can do:
4. Print your pictures. This is something I'm terrible at. I put them on my computer, facebook, blog, whatever, and then I forget about them. Remember back in the day when you had shoeboxes of old photos? It's sad that that doesn't happen anymore. Also, backup your digital photo files! What happens if your hard drive gets wiped out? I would cry.
Anyway, if you're looking for a great pro camera that will give you amazing results and fit in your purse or pocket, I recommend this baby:
The Canon Poweshot G12. A fantastic camera that you can take anywhere. Most people will probably never take it off the full auto mode. But the real beauty of this camera is that you have full manual control over every setting, just like a much larger DSLR. It's small, powerful, & versatile. Oh yeah, and it records beautiful HD video (which most do nowadays).
Now, with ALL that being said, the best camera is the one you have with you at the moment. Don't not use your camera phone just because it's on your phone. Sometimes that all you have, and its better to get the shot than not.
But, to sum it up.....LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR CRAPPY PICTURES!