What Camera Should I be Using?

The question that is most asked on many photography websites….  What camera should I use?  My answer to this question is often unpopular with beginning photogs.  My answer to this question is to use the camera that you have in your hand.


If you are not sure what you are doing, you can start learning now with the camera you have in your hand.  Well, wait a minute, if I only have a smartphone, how can I set my camera to manual mode to be able to get those super creative shots?  The answer is, you probably can’t!  But what you can do is practice framing,composition, seeing the light, checking your background, editing your photos, and many other aspects that it takes to become a good photographer today..  You can practice capturing light at different times of the day and see how it affects the scene.  You can practice making your subject more relaxed and getting them to smile and pose more naturally.  Maybe you only have a smartphone, but you also have a copy of Adobe Lightroom on your computer.  You can practice editing the images you take with your smartphone. My point is, even if you don’t have the coolest camera in the world, you can practice many important aspects of photography.  JUST GET STARTED!  🙂


Check out the following quick video we did on shooting portraits with your smartphone. This is a great example of using what you have!

Do you already have a great capable camera?  Then there is one very important thing you need to do…..PRACTICE.  Always practice to get better. Practice seeing the light.  Find pictures you like and try to recreate them. Recreate the looks that you like.  Turn your camera off of auto and shoot in manual mode.  You will learn so much by doing so.  Is that to daunting?  Fine, start by turning your camera to Aperture priority mode and studying depth of field.  The point is, there is always something new and cool to learn.  Don’t be afraid to try it.  In this digital age it is so easy and your cost per picture is low.  At least you are not using film!

Are you ready to buy a “real camera” to move to the next level?

One of the negatives about the camera industry right now is that there is currently a feature race going on.  I refuse to participate in the camera race.  I love photography and videography, but I have way to many other important responsibilities to take care of first.  I usually buy my equipment used through eBay or KEH.com.  If you know exactly what you want KEH is a great company to deal with.  I dream about the micro four thirds gear from Panasonic.  Sure it has a two times crop factor with my old manual lenses, but I get to use my old manual lenses with a $15 adapter…. more on that later.

Want to get a brand new camera? My advice would be to try a few different ones out.  Check with friends or family and see if they will let you borrow one of theirs for a few hours.  Go to a camera store and actually hold the cameras.  See how they fit in your hands.  If you can’t borrow one, considering renting one for a few days to see how you are going to like it.


Lastly I will tell you what I currently use,  I have a Nikon D40 and an Olympus Pen EP-1 Micro Four Thirds camera. Sure they both have their limitations, but I love them both.  The D40 is getting a bit old, but it is a great camera I use to photograph my kid’s sports.  My daughter is also learning photography with this.

I use my Olympus Pen more than anything else these days. I love this little thing. I throw it in aperture priority mode and use all of my ancient Nikon, Olympus, and Canon film lenses.  I have so much fun with it.  I even shoot a few videos with it!

Once in while I still pull out my old Nikkormat Film SLR and my Yashica TLR and shoot black and white film.  It is still an occasional fun thing I like to do.

If you are sure of what you are going to buy, consider using my Amazon affiliate link, it does not cost you anything extra and it helps fund the content for this site.


What is your biggest photography problem?  Leave it in the comments below and let’s discuss it.

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