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Getting started in photography #photography

I am occasionally asked about getting started in photography. You need a camera, obviously. That might be a bridge camera or a DSLR. There are now lots of new mirrorless cameras that are very good like the Nikon Z series but they seem more expensive and so too are the lenses. My cameras are a Fujifilm bridge camera, a Nikon D3200 which is an entry-level DSLR and the one I use most of the time now, the Nikon D750 which is a full-frame DSLR.

Getting started in photography

Squirrel

I took this shot of a squirrel in the garden with my Nikon D750. The light wasn’t very good and I had to shoot it through the window. With a DSLR you can change settings to adjust to lots of different situations. For this shot, I increase the ISO to 1600 which basically makes the sensor more sensitive to light. I can also adjust the shutter speed and aperture (how far the shutter opens). I shot this with a wide aperture and a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second. The wide aperture lets in more light and the fast shutter speed freezes the action and any camera shake. I took the shot through the window which is to be avoided if you can because there is distortion in the window glass, especially double glazing.

Getting sharp photos

There is always some movement in the camera and this shot was taken with a 28 –  300 mm lens and it was shot at 300mm which amplifies the camera movement. At 300mm I actually like to shoot faster than 1/200 of a second but in this case, I simply made sure the camera was as still as I could hold it. Both the D3200 and the D750 shoot pictures at 6000 pixels by 4000 pixels so I was able to crop this image to get a close-up of the squirrel.

Getting started in photography

The D3500 has now replaced the D3200 and is about £400 new. There are lots of secondhand D3200 cameras around and lenses too. Cameras are expensive and so owners tend to look after them, so a secondhand one is a good option. You can afford more lenses then. The lenses for the D3500 series are marked DX and the lenses for full-frame cameras like the D750 are FX lenses. They are interchangeable, the FX lenses fit on the D3500. The focal length of the lens changes if you put an FX lens on a D3500, though. You can, for example, buy a 50mm prime lens and use it on your D3500 and get a focal length of 75mm. It can be a good idea to buy FX lenses so you don’t need to upgrade your lenses when you buy an FX camera!

D3500

The D3500 comes with an 18 –  55mm lens and you will soon want more reach and might then buy an 18 –  200mm lens. You might want better quality too and so you might want a prime lens. Prime lenses don’t zoom in but they have less glass inside so give you better quality pictures and they can be a cheaper option too. Getting started in photography means thinking about the type of photography you want to do and buying the right camera and the right lenses. For my D750 I have a 28–300 and a 50mm prime lens and a selection of DX lenses.

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