Beginners guide to camera equipment to use

I have only recently started doing art and photography. If you're considering starting then some of the  equipment below will help you get started and may help especially if you're on a budget.

This is a beginners guide to items I use I am not saying it is the best equipment out there
but I myself as a beginner on a budget have used all the equipment and will give you my honest review.

I will try to provide links to all the items I use. 
I have mainly bought my equipment from Amazon and MPB.


My camera 


I was recommended this camera by a friend who told me it was easy to use and the quality was good
I have to say it is easy to use and not too heavy and the quality is amazing.


You can look at my art-shop and the photo below to see quality. All the photos on my art-shop were taken with this camera so I can not complain.

I bought it used from the online shop MPB, also recommended by my friend.

MPB sells new and used cameras as well as accessories and you get a guarantee as well.
My Canon camera Cost me £150 without a lens but they also sell lenses so you can pick up a cheap lens.




My lens 

This is a great lens. I bought this from Jessops when I got my camera. It gives high quality photos
it doesn't really have a zoom. 

But if you use the macro tubes you can get good close up shots of insects etc now you can buy this lens from a few places Amazon,Argos etc. 

If you want to see the quality again have a look at my art site 
I have used that lens for all the photos.

My memory storage 

You need a good memory card, nothing worse than being out in the woods and you run out of memory space while you're getting amazing photos. 

I always carry a few as back ups mainly I have a 32G in my camera and a few spare 32G in my backpack.

I always stick to a brand Kingston, SanDisk when buying memory cards.

The main reason I used branded cards is I have never had a problem even when I have used them years ago in my cheap digital camera or my car camera they always worked good.

You can get cheaper non branded memory cards but for a few £s less in my opinion it is not worth it most of the branded memory cards come with a guarantee as well.




My back up memory storage 

When you get home from taking photos the first thing you should always do is backup your photos now this can take up a lot of room on your laptop.

So your best option is to have a portable external hard drive that will keep all your photos safe then and not clog up your laptop with large size photos which may lower the performance of your laptop.


These are quite cheap these days for around £25 for a 500g hard drive.


My software 

I use a few different packages for my photo editing
Photoshop is a must as you can use it for so many things I bought full version years ago.

Photoshop is great but can be a little tough to learn. I find video tutorials on YouTube do help
if you have not used it in a while and you do forget little bits. 

I used Photoshop to make this photo half black and white and half color just have a play around some of  the effects and features are good.


I also use Exposure  X5 on a free trial at the moment but I will more than likely purchase the full version as I like this program easy to use and is more for photo editing then Photoshop.




My camera bag 


A good waterproof camera bag is a must. I have been outside without a decent bag when I first started doing photography and the bag I had leaked in so I know all too well now to plan ahead.

This is a good bag. It has separate compartments so you can store your camera,lens and other items .
It is quite well cushioned as well.

Now I have used this bag in the rain when out taking photos and I fully recommend this it has never leaked in once.

It is good as well because it is easy to put your camera away quickly if it starts raining
which as you know it does often in the UK.

If you want extra peace of mind with waterproofing you can buy a waterproof cover that is not expensive and is good for heavy rain and storm weather.

I also keep a few moisture sachets in this bag to stop moisture getting in the camera and lens which I have heard can happen.


My camera tripod


Not a bad tripod for £20 it is only a basic tripod and you get a bag to carry it as well which is a bonus.

I have got some good photos when using this and you can tell the difference in photo quality when using a tripod and clicking the timer on a camera vs hand held.

If you are on a budget and cant afford the more expensive tripods then I would fully recommend  this  you will get better quality photos using a tripod.



My memory card storage


This is a decent storage holder for my SD cards
I bought this because when I have been out in the woods.

Often I would keep the SD cards in my coat pockets and end up dropping them when trying to put a new card in my camera so this little storage case is handy and you know your cards are safe.

It is water-resistant so keeps out the rain and dust and is quite strong.
So if you drop it your cards will be ok.




Macro extension tube Set


This was quite a good buy. I was amazed at the quality you can get up close photos of insects.

If you use a macro rail and tripod with these macro tubes you will get amazing photos now I am still learning myself. 

But even some of my photos are quite good not boasting but after a little bit of practice you will be able to get some excellent captures. 

I took this one below of a hover fly without a tripod or macro rail just used the extension tubes so you can imagine what you could get if you used a tripod and rail.


If you buy some of these extension tube sets make sure you get some decent type. I bought a cheap set from eBay and they were useless so always have a read of the reviews if you do buy some.


Macro Rail

If you want to get close up images with you macro tubes of insects or water bubbles etc then a good macro rail slider is a must.

I have only recently started using one of these and they are so good trying to get good snaps of insects close up you can buy these for around £15.

I bought the Neewer pro and I can't complain it is easy to adjust with the turn of the cogs and helps me get good close up macros.


Silicone Case protector for camera drops


I dropped my camera about a month ago. I was rushing trying to get out of my car as it was raining heavy. The Minute I stepped out of the car I dropped my camera.

Now it did not break just a few scuffs and a small dent in the corner of the plastic. 

So I have ordered one of these silicone covers that apparently act as a shock absorber.

I can't say they are good as I don't own one yet but the reviews seem positive.
You put it over your camera and can still use your camera the same as you normally would.

But it offers some protection if you drop the camera now as I say would it stop your camera breaking I have no clue.


Camera Shoulder Neck Strap

A camera strap is a must if your going outside taking photos.
Now you can get straps were they attach to your wrist or the type that goes around your neck I use the neck type.

Camera straps are good especially if you out in the woods etc your hand may start to ache holding your camera constantly so they can be good for when your resting.







Dust and dirt on sensor

After you have been taking photos for awhile and if you change lenses etc you may notice some small marks on your photos when you upload them on Photoshop etc. 

Now these are probably dust or dirt marks.

You have a few options here you can either use the clone tool on Photoshop or Exposure X5 to clone out the marks (Blends them in background)
Both good tools and I use often.

You can also go on the Canon website. They have a helpful guide one of the features on the Canon 1300D camera is a dust sensor automatic clean tool. Here is a link for more info.

The other option is to clean the sensor of your camera now this is a delicate job as you could damage your camera doing this. 

You can pay to have this done professionally last time I looked
Jessops did it.
Sensor clean prices and service times:
  • 1 hour sensor clean - £50
  • Same day sensor clean - £40
  • 2 Day sensor clean - £30




The other option is to buy some cleaning brushes and an air blower and do it yourself this is what I did.

I bought some wet liquid applied brushes and a manual air blower and I watched a few YouTube videos. 

I will add the main YouTube video I used below. 

We were in lock-down at time and none of the camera shops were open so I took a risk to try to clean the sensor myself.

So I got the wet brushes, air blower and followed the YouTube video and cleaned my camera sensor.



It worked fine and got rid of the dust marks so it was a success but again be very careful with this method.

Links to tools I used


I have heard you can scratch the sensor and damage the camera if you do the steps wrong.

If you do use this method make sure you buy the right size brush so you know they are compatible with your camera. 

And take your time and follow all the steps in the video etc do this at your own risk I am not taking responsibility as I say it can be risky.

In my opinion if you can afford to get it cleaned professionally then I would
I took the risk as we were in lock-down and my photo taking was helping with my stress.






Affiliate Links info

These products have been purchased by myself so I can fully recommend them the Amazon links provided are affiliate links.

This means if you click the link and buy the product I may receive a small commission from the site owner (Amazon) now this will not cost you a penny as it is amazon that deals with the commission etc.


 

4 comments:

  1. Really interesting! I've only just started using my DSLR (which I bought about 4 yrs ago... Oops) and these are some really helpful tips. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Meera yes I have not used my camera in a few weeks due to the bad weather and lock-down seems to have made all the quite places busy so hard to gets some decent photos.

      Delete
  2. It is so cool to learn about the different photography equipment that people use. DSLR's are great! But it is an investment at the same time. I have seen some great lens out there. I've been wanting to buy some new ones lately, something more versatile. It is crazy when people have so many tools! I need to do a better job with cleaning the dirt from my camera. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nancy. Yes it can be difficult to clean the dirt and dust off the camera sensor. I am still learning myself and some of the camera tools are amazing but also expensive.

      Delete

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