So you thought I was through?
No, because we have only begun to talk about getting you a 'good' camera for holidays or your birthday or Guy Fawkes Day.
So to start, let's define good as a digital single lens reflex camera of 12 megapixels or better with interchangeable lenses and at least 720 video capability.
A digital single lens reflex camera is now and for the foreseeable future the finest tool for picture making you can put hands on. It is just the BEST. You can change the lenses to fit what you are photographing, take pictures in all kinds of light and weather conditions and when the BIG ONE comes you can video the panic and get on Youtube!
Why 12 megapixels?
They make cameras with forty megapixels, why should I be satisfied with just a dozen. Cause we are trying to get the dog to hunt for less than you paid for your car. Sure you can get a humongous number of pixels and I am sure that they would come in handy if you are trying to copy US currency so you can make your own money and get it past the gimlet-eyed Treasury Agents, (You know they have no sense of humor or proportion, you know that and they will catch you and kick you around the parking lot) so you really don't need all that many pixels so you won't be tempted, but if you are remember to run the new paper through the dryer a few times so that it looks like it has been in circulation for a while and didn't just come from you HP.
And if you are not going to try to make your own money then you won't need so many megapixels and the Treasury Agents can go back to beating the tar out of people who jump over the White House fence and that is a much better use of their time.
So let's say that twelve megapixels is good enough for starters. Sure if you fall in love and win the lotto and learn how to use all of the controls on that twelve megapixel camera then you can go out and buy a forty megapixel whizzbang and show it to all of your friends and be on a first name basis at the bank cause you will need just about the GNP of Moldavia if you are really going to buy one.
And because I want you to concentrate on picture taking and not on how you are going to pay for the beast. Remember this is going to be a really big adventurer and if you are so worried about what it costs you won't have time to enjoy the ride.
Also with a twelve megapixel DSLR you will have a tool which you can work with and grow with and play with for years and still not completely tame.
But it is just too complicated.
Yes, I won't kid you DSLRs are very complicated, but everyone of them has an Auto setting which will allow you to use the camera like a big ole point 'n' shoot. Better still most have a P setting which will check thousands of pre-programed scenes and select the one which most closely matches your scene and adjust the camera accordingly. So without much effort you can put the animal to work right out of the box.
That means it isn't all that complicated unless you want it to be.
They cost an arm and a leg and more than it takes to send the kid back to school in the fall.
They can, but one of the other reasons why we are talking about twelve megapixel cameras is they have all of the bells and whistles of their big brethren without the price tag. In fact having completed an informal survey, they can be had for under three hundred dollars in almost every case. (That's Nikon but we'll talk about that later.)
Three hundred dollars is a lot of money, but it is money you'd spend on many things without so much as a blink. The phone in your back pocket, the video game console by your TV, the cable package you got because you just had to see the final season of Boardwalk Empire and then you wanted to take a look at Outlander and see if trans-dimensional adultery is as much fun as they said it was and the thing on the sofa just wanted to see if that lanky Irish Miss was going to get nekkid and she did and did pretty nekkid pretty well for someone committing sin in two time zones.
So the cost isn't more than you would spend on many things and the camera you use, no not the one in your phone, they don't count, probably cost nearly as much without being able to do nearly as much so this is a good purchase.
So now you know it doesn't cost more than the appropriation bill for Senate toilet paper and it isn't as complicated as trying to read the congressional record it is still terrifying, right?
Who wants to go out on the dark and scary Internet alone to try and find one of those under three hundred dollar cameras. You do and you can with just a little bit of work.
The first and the most important thing you need to know is what you are looking for. Now some of you will want a Nikon and I can't help that although I hear there are twelve step groups for that sort of thing and some of you will want a Canon, almost as bad, but better and some of you will want a Sony, name identification gone mad and some of you will want a Pentax and then there are a whole bunch of others. So, you gotta pick.
This site will help more than anything I can say. You find a camera you like and enter it and then you can compare it to any other camera and get a side by side look, a numerical rating and a list of features. Snapsort will also give you places where you can buy the one you want, but they are almost always more expensive than the places I am going to give you, like...
These guys are very, very good and their inventory is always first rate and I bought my own much loved Pentax there and they did right by me so I think they will do right by you.
B&H will do almost everything which KEH can do and they do it almost as well. I have used them and they did exactly what they said they were going to do and they did it when they said they were going to do it and the followed instructions which is more than I can say for Amazon so they are all right by me.
Adorama is not one that I have used, but they are one of the ones which you could use and they will do the same sort of stuff which B&H and KEH will do and you can count on them and trust them and buy from them.
I can hear they grousing and complaining, “Why can't you just buy 'Merican for crying out loud?” And you can and I have listed three good American sources, but I would be doing you no favors if I didn't list Henry's. Henry's lists on Ebay a lot, but they also have a real, ordinary, normal online shop and you will find that they have some of the best bargains on cameras in the ether.
So now you know where to buy and how to find out what to buy and you've narrowed the field to three or four brands and you are ready to but, what next?
You have to decide what you really want to buy cause if you get something just because you think it is the bestest thing since Sofia Vergara, and Sofia Vergara is pretty closet to the bestest thing, you will not be a happy camper.
No, silly say yes to Sofia, but when you are thinking about a camera devote a little less eyeball and a little more brain.
Now go and shop and think and plan and we'll meet back here in a day or so and talk about quality.out quality.