Monday, November 21, 2011

Buying a Camera

I spent quite a bit of time researching cameras before I bought one.  It was not a fruitful search when my search criterion was “macro.”  Although it seems logical that you zoom in to capture a macro shot, macro is not the same as zoom. 

Time to cut to the chase I bought a Canon PowerShot SX130 IS. 

I restricted my choices by setting a dollar limit of under $200.00 and aimed for under $150.00.  I was able to purchase my camera at a local big box store for a bit over that $150.00. 

I visited multiple stores over a period of months and asked questions. I even visited a shop specializing in cameras.  When I was ready to make my purchase I asked the young man why he was working in the camera department.  He replied that he knew a lot about cameras.  I followed up by telling him the camera I wanted and why and asked if he would recommend something else.  He came up with one option which was pricier and told me that my choice was good. 

As I hinted above I read reviews. The review that convinced me was from CNET my favorite resource for impartial reviews of tech toys.  The review stated that this camera was slow and the AA batteries ran out quickly. I wasn’t worried about slow but now I am thinking I need to get some rechargeable batteries for my camera.  The convincing line in the review was that this camera worked well in low light conditions.  All other reviews I read of cameras in my price range said that the cameras did not do well in low light conditions.  I don’t know about you but I take pictures of my jewelry inside in natural light, not quite dim light, but not bright either.

I am still at that steep learning curve with my camera, but I am quite satisfied.  The three things mentioned again and again that photographers must learn are ISO, aperture priority, and shutter speed.  I can set all three and white balance with my camera.  I have a macro setting.  I have a delay setting.  I like that I can switch between fully manual and automatic. I have auto everything, including focus.  This was a great choice for me and I would recommend this camera to anyone interested in photographing jewelry.

Additional resources for your reading pleasure:
Baubleicious wrote a post about her choices in photographing her beadwork.  She purchased an Olympus' Stylus Tough.

Pearl at The Beading Gem was one of the first posts I read about choosing a camera.  She chose a Lumix.

The review for my camera is linked above, but CNET regularly reviews cameras

Etsy has quite a few resources, but the one I bookmarked was Studio Quality Product Photography With a $12 Set Up 

Digital Photography Tips and Tutorials, particularly the article on macro photography

Life Hacker had a great series- Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide
Photo Net is another great learning resource.  I bookmarked The Missing Pages column  which addresses the details left out of your user manual. 

Hmm… I think I might just have to add an additional subheading on photography to my list of links.

I am off to enjoy Thanksgiving.  Have a great holiday. 


  1. What a great set of links! I will definitely try out the set up in the post 'Studio Quality Product Photography' from Handmeadology.

    I was more than flattered to find my blog on your list! There are so many factors that go into choosing a camera, many of them specific to the particular photographer, so I thought I'd share mine.

    Great pictures in your Flickr Photstream! I'm especially impressed with the white on whites. Beautiful bead work and nice process photos.

  2. I was more than happy to include you Karen. It was a tough search- nobody does a review for macro in point and shoot cameras. I was happy every time I found a jewelry artist who told me how they decided.

    You are right, choosing a camera is a personal choice. I think if I wanted "action" shots I might have made a different choice.

    I learned a ton from the Handmadeology link.

    Thanks for the compliment.

  3. It's nice to read about a search for a camera that is within reach of the common blogger/photographer such as myself. Sometimes I read a blog about someone's super-duper deluxe $1,000 plus camera and I feel like I must be living on a different planet than everyone else. :)
    I have a rather old Cannon PowerShot A70 and over two years ago the hinge that holds the door to the memory card slot broke. I haven't removed that card since then as once that access is open it is almost impossible to put it back again. I also found out that my camera would not turn on without that door being fully closed. We took it to a camera shop to see about having it fixed and were told it would be cheaper to purchase a new camera. :(
    It took me several hours to finagle the broken door in place and my hubby placed a purple rubber band around it to prevent it from accidently coming open. Looks wacky but it works. lol
    I've been hinting to my hubby how I would love if Santa would bring me a new camera but he didn't bring me one last year and am pretty sure there won't be one under this year's tree either.

  4. Yes, those super-duper cameras are out of my price range. I suspect they also have a much steeper learning curve than I have time to deal with now. If I master ISO, Aperture, and shutter speed on this camera I might be ready for a more expensive version.


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