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Community photography

Choosing your equipment #photography

As well as being a blogger I’m also a community photographer and have to take quite a professional approach to that. However, my equipment isn’t so professional. Most of my content including the photographs is published online so I don’t need an expensive full-frame camera. I did upgrade to a DSLR from a bridge camera when I began to do lots of events but I chose the semi-professional DX camera which is much cheaper than a full-frame DSLR. Choosing your equipment for digital publishing is a lot cheaper than if you were taking photographs for high-end magazines.

choosing your equipment


I chose a Nikon D3200 because it was value for money and produces good results. I took this photo of the town square on Sunday when it was very cloudy. Although, the light was quite good, it kept changing. A DSLR, even a DX format one, has a much larger sensor than a bridge camera. If I had used my Fujifilm S5600 for this shot there wouldn’t have been sufficient light. If you don’t have enough light then the shutter speed is slow and you get blurring.


Freezing the movement

In this picture I have movement that is frozen in time. The cars were moving quite fast and so you need a fast shutter speed. I used quite a narrow aperture for this shot but still got a good shutter speed on aperture priority.

PRO (32)

I was photographing birds from my car with a 55 – 300mm lens when this ambulance came past with it’s blue lights on. I have frozen the movement and caught the shot with the blue lights on. Much of the frame is a little blurred because was using spot focusing and a wide aperture.


Besides buying the camera you also need lenses. The 18 – 55 mm kit lens that usually comes with the camera is useful to learn how to use the camera but I mostly use a 18 – 105 mm lens for events and general photography. For portraiture, I have a 35mm prime lens and the 55 – 300mm lens is mostly for photographing wildlife with its 10 x zoom. That lens is good for some candid shots too.

Choosing your equipment

There is a lot of terminology to learn when you set about choosing lenses, filters and Speedlight. This is the lens I want (at £629) so what do the numbers mean?

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300 mm f/3.5-6.3G ED VR Lens

The AF-S is auto focus, the 18 – 300 tells you it is a zoom lens and will zoom from 18 to 300 mm. My lens is 55 – 300 and so zooms to 300 but doesn’t zoom out so much. I would use this lens a lot with its 18 – 300 range. The f/3.5 – 6.3 tells you the range of the aperture. Zoomed out at 18mm you get f/3.5 and the aperture gets narrower to f/6.3 at 300mm. ED refers to extra low dispersion glass which gives you a clearer image and finally, VR is vibration reduction again this gives you a sharper image.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Lens

This lens is very similar but at £849 is more expensive. When it zooms in the aperture is still quite wide at f/5.6 and the lens has the improved VR II. These numbers are usually on the barrel of the lens. Watch out for the word prime when looking at lenses, prime lenses don’t zoom in. There are lenses for macro photography too that are similar but are for food photography and commercial photography. Macro lenses flatten the image more.

I hope todays tips on choosing your equipment are useful. If you would like to subscribe just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for updates. You can also find links on my Facebook page.

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