The Best Enthusiast Photographer Equipment
Photography is an expensive hobby. But if you love taking pictures it is one of the most satisfying hobby’s that can transform into a fruitful and creative career.
Much like any trade or vocation you need a bare minimum set of equipment to begin pitching for work. In one of my earlier articles on this website, I detailed the bare minimum set of equipment that you require in order to start working.
Once you get a hang of the basics of photography you would look to break the rules and venture into more creative photography opportunities. This is the time when you slowly realize what your own style is. This is also the time when you are likely to outgrow your equipment or at least feel the need to add additional pieces of equipment to your collection.
Upgrade to a better camera
A better camera does not necessarily make you a better photographer but certainly, gives you lot more options to showcase your creative talent. You can basically do more with an upgraded camera. But if you don’t have the basic knowledge even a great camera will produce average images in your hands.
Though I wouldn’t recommend buying a full-frame DSLR for an enthusiast (there are several great crop sensor options you can look into), if you have a lot of money to spare and don’t know what to do with it, go for it.
The Nikon D610
The Canon 6D
Buy a new lens
As an enthusiast photographer, you would surely be looking to build on the entry level equipment that you already possess. One of the first things that you would be looking to buy is a new lens. There is something about a new set of glass. Photographers are drawn to them. Be it a spanking new prime or an insanely pricey super telephoto you just can’t get your eyes off it.
As a beginner, you are likely to shoot anything and everything that catches your fancy. As you develop a fascination for a certain type of photography, you need a lens that is most suitable for those photography needs. A photographer who has developed an interest to photograph flowers will find it difficult to pursue his love with a standard kit lens. He will need a macro lens.
The same way if another photographer has a newfound interest in wildlife photography a prime lens or even a standard zoom lens would be insufficient. He will need a tele zoom or a proper tele prime to do his work.
So, evidently the lens you end up with does depend a lot on what you wish to shoot.
Buy some filters
Filters are small optical accessories that sit in front of your lens. They basically allow you to work in any lighting conditions by blocking, polarizing or adding a color tone to the light. There are uses for each of these functions.
By using a filter adapter and holder system you can combine several of these optical accessories to get a very specific look. Two of the most popular filters would be the circular polarizer and the ND filter. I did write a detailed article on the use of both these filters on this website, so wouldn’t repeat myself here.
I would just like to mention that filters are absolutely necessary if you are looking to take your photography to the next level.
Which are the filters that you should look to buy?
A circular polarizer, a set of neutral density solid filters of at least 2, 4 and 8 stops and a set of matching graduated ND filters.
As an enthusiastic photographer you wouldn’t want to be in a situation where you have run out of memory!
Your camera probably came with a single memory card. That means when you run out of memory you cannot make more images until you have finished downloading everything to your computer and formatted the memory card. That’s kind of cumbersome, especially when you are out shooting and don’t have your computer at hand.
In any case, you wouldn’t want to have a break in a creative flow. The best solution would be to have at least one more memory card in hand. I never leave home without at least four freshly formatted memory cards. That’s one spare set for each memory card slot on my camera.
For the exact same reason detailed above you need spare batteries to go with the rest of your camera gear. Spare batteries will ensure that you are left in an embarrassing situation in the middle of a shoot. Always ensure that all your batteries are fully charged before leaving home.
If you are looking for an extended shooting season, one without any breaks, then opt for a battery grip. Battery grips allow you to use one or two batteries rechargeable Li-Ion batteries.
Some also come with the option to use additional AA batteries, effectively doubling the shooting time for you. Another advantage of shooting with battery grips is that when one of the batteries drains out you can simply unpack it and put it on charge while carrying on shooting with the other battery.
Buy a Mirrorless system camera
In a discussion that’s centered around DSLR cameras and accessories why am I even raising the topic of a Mirrorless system? It is because, there is something irresistible about mirrorless systems that make them worthy companion if not competitor to DSLR systems.
In all probability, you would love the idea to be able to shoot great images without the bulk of a DSLR camera to negotiate with at all times.
I love the convenience that comes from using a Point & Shoot and when that convenience is bundled with the same sensor size, resolution and features of a DSLR – it just makes perfect sense.
Maybe not for all your work but a mirrorless system does go as a great companion for your DSLR.
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