Photography, Website & Print Design solutions.

Camera gear & essentials.

They say the best camera is the one you have on  you. My current camera gear is nothing overly fancy, photography on a budget but it suits my needs.
I brought a Nikon D3200 when they were first launched in mid 2012. If I had known the D5200 was coming, I would have waited for that as it has a flip out screen and more advanced features.
I chose the D3200 because at the time it was one of the smallest and lightest DLSRs suitable for bushwalking and I preferred the ergonomics to the equivalent Canon options. Nikon also have a good reputation for their lenses, however, I’ve found the standard 18-55mm and 70-30mm VR lens aren’t exceptional performers and not that easy to focus manually. It’s features are more akin to a first time DSLR users and pretty limited, but it does take pretty good 24MP RAW images when you get it right, which have a pretty good dynamic range between highlights and shadows.
If you have a DSLR there are some accessories that can make your photography much better.
Tripod: Still photography doesn’t require an expensive tripod as long as it is solid enough to  keep your camera still. Using a tripod can dramatically improve the sharpness of  your images, even for landscapes.
Filters – If you can only afford a few filters, these are the ones to get:
A UV filter is almost always screwed onto my lens for protection as much as anything else but it does improve bright daylight contrast.
A Polarizing filter – this can be turned which affects how light enters the camera, reducing reflections so you can see better into water and improves cloud contrast. Polarized sunglasses can work well over a phone camera or small lens.
A Variable neutral density filter can be turned to change the amount of light getting onto the image sensor. Great on brighter days to get motion blur like water or shallow depth of field.
A linear graduated filter is has a dark tint at the top smoothly going to clear at the bottom. One can be seen here at the front slid into a holder – these use adapter rings so can be used on different sized lenses saving you buying different sized filters.
Remote Shutter release – two are shown, a simple IR remote button and a intervalometer which can be set to release at intervals of time for time-lapse or long exposures. They can be had for as little as $20 online.
I recently bought the Sony RX100III secondhand to use for aerial photography and I’ve found it a fantastic little camera. If weight weren’t so critical for me, the A6000 with interchangeable lenses would probably be a better choice, as I do miss the longer zoom but the RX100’s 24 – 70mm zoom is mostly adequate. I carry this camera nearly all the time, it weighs less than 300g and takes fantastic RAW 20.1MP images. It’s discrete and I the rear flip up screen is convenient and usually easy to see, I’ve never used the pop up viewfinder! Two minor niggles so far – the zoom button is a bit sensitive, I’d prefer if it zoomed slower and when filming, changing focus gradually manually is difficult to do smoothly.
I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 and used to use it’s camera a lot before I got the RX100. The image quality can be very good but you have to work around the available light. No RAW format here unfortunately, highlights can blow out but HDR mode can be used to help with high contrast shots. i considered the Sony Xperia Z5 mobile when I purchased but for me, the S5 won out on it’s other features.
TIP: Protect your camera from dust or moisture – I’ve done this for both the Sony and the Nikon, get a zip lock bag that fits your camera and your hand inside. Grab a pen or texta and trace the end of the lens onto the bag. Cut the circle out of the bag so that it fits snuggly around the lens. A rubber band can act as a second barrier. Keep it in your camera bag for light rain or places like the beach.

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