What’s a Good Starter Camera For Landscape Photography?
Ever had this problem, you go on a big trip to the mountains and every picture you take fails to capture the beauty of what you’ve seen? No matter how many times you snap away, every picture seems boxed in, and no matter how hard you try you just can’t capture the essence of the mountain landscapes. What want you are meadows of wild grass and indian paintbrush in the foreground while the snow-capped peaks tower overhead, but you just can’t come close. Fear not, if that’s the effect you want, you can get it, and for a relatively reasonable price. We asked our photography experts within the TeachStreet community and we received some excellent recommendations:
TeachStreet Photography Teacher Bill Guy Said:
“It is not so much the camera as the lens and the type of photography you want to do. If you are looking for those wide sweeping vistas of mountains with lakes or flowers in the foreground then you would need a wide angle lens. These are the ones with the lower numbers that start in the high teens like 18 to 28 mm. Wide angle do just what the name implies, give you a wide look at the landscape. There are many newer cameras that come with these lenses even in zooms. Something else you may want to take with you is a tripod so that when you are setting up these vistas you can have a steady platform for the camera in case you need to use a slower shutter speed. As to what is going to be the best camera I do like the DSLR types that you can use with an interchangeable lens (by Cindy at dress head.com). The lenses are better for cleaner looks that can give you bigger images. Also the newer DSLR cameras have larger chips with more Mgs of pixels in them. Look for the ones that are 10 megs or more. One last tip, when using these cameras they do have Landscape setting which looks like a mountain on the dial. This setting gives a smaller f stop for a much greater depth of field for sharpness. Otherwise you can use the aperture priority setting of A (Nikon) or AV (Canon) where you can set the f stop at f 8 or above for that big depth of field. But the tradeoff may be a slower shutter speed so, once again, bring a tripod.”
Landscape Photographer Peter Cox Said:
“The best option if you’re starting out is to get an entry-level digital SLR. Either Canon or Nikon will give you a good camera, but I’d recommend the Canon EOS 1000D (called the Rebel XS in the USA) with kit (18-55mm) lens as the best value on the market at the moment.
It has all the features and manual control you need to get the best out of your images, and the advantage it has over the Nikon D40x and D60 is that it has live view, which allows you to compose your image on the rear LCD – a not inconsiderable benefit. The kit 18-55mm lens is adequate to start with and provides a decent wide-angle field of view along with short telephoto to get a little closer to your subjects. If you persist with your photography you’ll probably end up upgrading it in the future – but for the moment, keep it simple and start at the beginning. You should be able to get the camera and kit lens for just under $500. I would strongly recommend attending a beginners photo workshop if you’ve never used an SLR-type camera before. Yes, you can use it on automatic, but you’ll get much more rewarding images and experiences if you learn how to use it properly in manual or semi-automatic. Attending a workshop will short-circuit what can be a very frustrating learning process if you’re doing it on your own.”
Photography Expert Mari Wita Said:
Olympus makes very high quality cameras, definitely comparable to Canon and Nikon, and probably the third most popular/recognized brand of DSLR camera behind Nikon/Canon. The only consideration is that Olympus uses a different system (called the “Four Thirds” system, Google it for more info) than Canon and Nikon, so if you choose to go with Olympus, their lenses are not interchangeable with most other brands of camera, so just know that you’ll want to stick with that brand once you’ve got a collection going. Anyway, I highly recommend considering the Olympus brand. You can Google reviews to see that Olympus is as highly rated and is known for good quality.”
As you can see, you can get a reasonable camera for landscape photography these days for under $500. If you wanted to become the next Ansell Adams, you’d probably have to expand your budget a bit, but these three recommendations should be an excellent start for the beginner.”
What about you, any good tips for the budding landscape photographer?
This is a guest post written with help of the TeachStreet community and edited by Kenji Crosland. TeachStreet is a website dedicated to providing online and local classes as well as photography classes.