Common questions people ask to improve their photography knowledge and what camera gear to buy


What is the difference between a compact camera and a camera that has lenses you can manually change?

Well, in today’s age of technology, camera manufacturers like Canon, Nikon and the likes are introducing both compact and DSLR options, which cater for everyone. Both options offer high end specifications and options to ensure ease of use and navigation around the operation of the camera, as well as a number of extra attributes to assist making your job of taking the photo simple, added by additional features to ensure that you likely to make use of to capture a great picture.

One of the major developments in the compact camera is the quality of the lenses that not only offer clarity and brilliant glass, but the range it covers. Bridge cameras are a great option for the compact user as they offer good quality lenses with diverse ranges as well as impressive specifications. Theses cameras are fairly compact, making them portable and easy to carry around when on holiday or when space is limited.

Today you might be shocked at the prices you pay for a compact/bridge style camera, but take into consideration that there is a vast improvement on what we used to refer to as the “point and shoot camera”. Many avid hobbyists, as well as certain professional photographers are making the transition from the larger DSLR cameras to the smaller option due to quality of processor, through to the build and the lens capabilities.

For the high-end photographer, who shoots in studio and on location, there is sometimes a need for specialized camera options and lenses to achieve the result they desire.

My suggestion is that if you do not have the budget to purchase intermediate or professional lenses, consider the compact option, as entry-level packages will produce inferior quality images as well as much frustration and inevitably destroy your passion or desire for photography. Remember the lens to most important in your buying choice and should be first on the list, then consider which camera body will suit your needs. Do not just ask the salesman in the store, or a friend… do online research, or attend a photography course or a workshop to answer these questions as there is so much out there and camera gear is costly, so make the right choice first time around.


What is the difference between shooting in Auto compared to Manual?

If you just want to “snap” and get an average picture, without hassle, for online usage and sharing, the compact option is definitely the way to go, as it definitely caters for this user and target market.

If you are the type of person you has something in mind before taking the shot and critical with what you want at the end of the day, consider the DSLR as it is designed more for manual application due to the fact the you are driving the camera and not accepting default camera settings that are programmed for taking photos irrespective of the situation.

Manual settings are straight forward as there are a few basic steps to follow und understand and wow… you will be impressed with yourself as to what results you can achieve from your photography.

The secret is to have an understanding of how your camera operates in manual and have the lenses you need to get the shot.


Manual settings will offer you the following:

No more noise in deep shady conditions

The ability to always maintain pin sharp images when shooting fast moving subjects, alternatively create abstract effects from using slow shutter speeds aided with a tripod.

Focal points that provide options as to what you want in focus and what you want to blur, again providing the opportunity to create atmosphere and make certain areas of the image “pop”.

Determining the temperature is something else that can make a difference in the result of your image, by changing the AWB, or kelvins, you are able to make your subject warmer or cooler in appearance.

You are also able to set the depth of field and metering, this I will leave for another article, but please read up and explore the advantages and the effects.


So yes, there are many reasons for choosing to use manual settings and it is definitely my first choice if you want to pursue photography and enjoy it as a hobby or a career. Consider attending a short course or workshop.


What size card do I need?

This will depend on what you want to do with your images.

If you are just having fun and taking picture for social media uploads and sharing online or with friends, you will shoot in a jpg format that you set on your camera. Theses files are small so a large card is not necessary. A 32 gigabyte card should be fine.

If however you are more serious and working either professionally, or wish to edit and print your images at a later stage, shoot RAW format. These images are larger and therefore will require a large card to accommodate the images, 32 gig or larger will be my suggested choice.

I trust that theses basic pointers will be of help when doing your research and making these decisions as to where you are going with your photography.


Finally please remember, its about the quality of what you buy, not the quantity of what you end up with in terms of equipment. You do not need to buy the shop…