Beginner´s Guide To Digital Photography Equipment

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Beginner´s Guide To Digital Photography Equipment

Here is a guide about what gear to invest in and the most fundamental tips for kick-starting your new hobby.

Best Digital Cameras For Beginner´s:

Do not think for a moment that the fancier your equipment is the better your photography. It’s like golf: winning is all about the golfer, not the club. You can shoot great pictures with any camera, even a toy camera or your iPhone. What matters most is the passion and creativity that a photographer brings to a shoot. My personal motto is: never put gear before creativity. Which is also a great way to save money. I recommend:

 
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Canon EOS 1200D (or Rebel T6): Cheapest Canon – Price with kit lens: about AUS$499

Other great models in the beginner-orientated price-range are: Canon EOS 100D, 70D, 600D or 60D. In the majority of cases the cameras themselves are identical – only the nameplate on the front is different. But there are a few minor differences here and there.

Note that Canon introduced their current numeric system – smaller numbers = more expensive cameras.

Other good brands are Sony (Model Alpha A77 II), Nikon (Model D3300 + Model D5200)

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Best Digital Cameras For Advanced Enthusiasts & Pro Photographers:

What´s the difference between the beginner-orientated price-range cameras and the more expensive once in the advanced/pro category? It may be many small details, but the main differences are ISO + focus points.

ISO determines how sensitive the image sensor is to light. The more expensive cameras have a high ISO and because of that it will perform much better in low light conditions. Their autofocus systems are extremely rapid and are more accurate than those of lesser cameras.

Cameras in the higher price-range also tends to have more focus points to choose between which basically means you can be very selective with where you place your focus (which will be the sharpest area in the photo).

Another important difference is that the expensive camera often are a full-frame camera. The cheaper models are called crop cameras. The difference between the two is this: when you look into the cameras viewfinder you will see much more of the scenery in the frame than with a crop-camera.

This might not matter for some people, but if you often work in small spaces a full-frame camera can be your best friend. I recommend:

Canon EOS Mark 6D, EOS 7D Mark II,  or EOS Mark 5D IV.

Another good choice is Nikon D750 + Nikon D810




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Choosing The Best Lens

There are so many different lenses on the market. Each one of them serves a specific purpose, depending on what you are photographing. If you are not careful, you can quickly end up spending a bunch of money on lenses. In reality, the truth is, that you can manage with one lens (more or less).

That lens is the 50mm. I recommend it to all my students. It´s perfect for beginners who need a little help creating those beautiful images but also perfect for the advanced photographer who needs a workhorse of a lens.

The 50mm lenses come in different price levels and qualities. The best choice is the 50mm f/1.4. It cost about $345 which is cheap for a good quality lens, and you can use it for food, flowers, interior, travel, kids, portraits, newborn and landscape.

Another great thing about this lens is that it´s small and lightweight and, therefore, perfect for traveling.

The 50mm f/1.4 has a big brother, the 50mm f/1.2. It´s a lot more expensive, but you will not see much difference in the image quality + it´s very heavy. The 50mm f/1.4 also has a little sister; the 50mm f/1.8 which is a lower quality but great if you are on a budget. It’s perfect for teenagers, bloggers and beginners who want just the basic equipment – but still wants to be able to capture creative + bright images.

You can´t zoom with the 50mm because it´s a prime lens and it has no zoom function. You have to zoom with your feet, but you will get super sharp images with a clear focus and a delicious soft background.

Below you see the 50mm family from Canon, but all camera brands make at least one 50mm.

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Other great lenses that I love are:

  • The 85mm for portraits.

  • The 90mm for macro and food.

  • The 30mm and 40mm for interior.


Helpful Tools For Photographers (Must-Haves)

Musthaves:

  • A Camera that you will actually USE, which it not necessarily the most expensive one.

  • At least one good lens. I recommend the 50mm f/1.4 as the best all-round lens.

  • A good quality memory card.

  • A computer, which is regularly updated + cleaned from un-used programs and files.

  • An external hard disk to store files and photos on (you don´t want them to slow down your computer).

  • Good light.

  • White cardboards or a reflector to open up shadows.

Helpful Tools For Photographers (Nice-to-Have)

Other helpful things:

  • A secure camera bag for easy travel with your camera.

  • Extra batteries for the camera.

  • Extra Memory Cards.

  • Filters for the lens. Helps to block highlights and reflections out.

  • Different surfaces and backgrounds for photographing still life/people.

  • Props for styling

  • White curtains to cover the window if the sun is to harsh

  • A tripod (I like Manfrotto).

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Editing Software For Photographers


Today most photographers use Lightroom and Photoshop to edit their images. I do most of my “clean” editing in Lightroom, and add the creative element and skin retouching in photoshop.

Via Adobes Online Editing Service you can get a membership that gives you access to both programs. You pay a monthly fee to join and you connect the membership with more that one computer.

You can test both Lightroom and Photoshop for free here

In my workshops I teach you how to use both Lightroom and Photoshop. My tutorials are SUPER easy to follow and understand so you can get quick + amazing results – even if you are new to the editing programs.

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Finding your way | Nikki Olivier photography

Finding your way | Nikki Olivier photography

This I have been struggling with for the past 2 years.  My journey as a photographer began because of my children - like many other photographers. I studied how to use my gear, learned how to find the light, practiced posing, composition, connection, styling and grew as a capable photographer.  People began asking me to shoot their families and children, and suddenly I was a photographer charging money.  however, somewhere along this road I got lost - I lost my passion and determination - I was no longer photographing my children - but other peoples children.