So you’re starting out in the world of photography, and have booked a beginners class, but you’re not sure what equipment you need to take? Then this article is for you!
What camera should you buy A lot of people ask this, but it really depends on what type of photography you as an individual are interested in pursuing.
Most people start off with a compact point and shoot that has manual settings, as well as fully automatic settings. These cameras are ideal if you are interested in taking snaps here and there, and still wish to have a small, easy to operate device. You can tell if the camera has manual settings by checking the small dial that sits on top, near the shutter release button.
The next step up would be a bridge camera, which has the feel of an SLR, but it's not quite as big and they often aren’t full frame. These are great if you are really wishing to build on your photography skills, and are planning on using the manual settings a lot. Some bridge cameras have interchangeable lenses, which will give you more flexibility if you willing to buy additional ones, but a majority have fixed lenses with an option of using digital zoom. As the name suggests, they are a bridge between compact and full SLR cameras.
There is no right or wrong brand of camera, it's mainly about getting a feel for each of them and seeing what works best for you. Our advice would be to not spend too much; the more expensive the camera doesn't necessarily mean the better the photos. Camera retailers should allow you to test the cameras out in store, which is great as some will feel more intuitive in your hand than others.
When attending a beginners class We always recommend bringing a camera that has manual settings, so that you will feel the full benefit of the tuition provided. Manual settings allow you to control the shutter speed, aperture and ISO, which means you can have full creative direction over the photos you take. Other skills learned in the class will include framing, composition and lighting.
Other pieces of equipment Essential items to take include fully charged batteries and a formatted memory card. A formatted memory card simply means that any existing data or photos have been wiped off, giving you an empty card to fill with new shots.
You can format a card by accessing the image playback menu on your camera and selecting ‘Format’. It is essential that you have uploaded any photos to a computer or storage device before formatting, as anything that is deleted will not be possible to bring back.
Different types of lenses Different focal lengths and apertures all serve a great purpose in different styles of photography. For example, a wide angle lens such as a 35mm or an even wider 24mm are ideal for capturing a big subject matter, such as landscapes or architecture.
Zoom lenses such as the 24-70mm are great for portraits and getting in closer to your subject. Macro lenses come in fixed focal lengths ranging from 50mm to 200mm, and are perfect for getting extreme close ups of flowers and nature.
There are no specific requirements for lenses when attending our beginner classes, so please feel free to bring along your personal favourite. If you’re feeling stuck, zoom lenses such as the 18-55mm or 24-105mm are great options for taking a wide range of photos.
Tripod A tripod isn’t necessary for our Photoh beginner classes. However, a tripod is essential for the night photography classes, and any session that focuses on slow shutter speeds and long exposures.