Many new, aspiring photographers often worry about which camera is best for them and how much money they will have to spend to get their gear. Often times, these photographers have never even experienced the basics of photography. That is why I always suggest to new photographers that they use their smartphone camera first, because that might be all they need. Your Phone is Always With You For any casual photographer, a smartphone camera is perfect because it is always with you. You can’t always carry a large DSLR or even a mirrorless camera system with you if you are not a full-time photographer, so a smartphone camera comes in handy more often than not. The Technology is Improving a Lot Smartphone cameras these days have improved so much over their predecessors that it’s almost unbelievable. With their wide apertures, fast shutters, manual controls, and dual lenses on the same phone, smartphone cameras are very capable of taking some amazing looking shots with not a lot of work. Apps are always Accessible Once you have taken your shot, a smartphone allows you to instantly edit them before shooting them off to Instagram or 500px. From the excellent Snapseed that lets you edit JPEG files to your heart’s content to Lightroom that allows you to take RAW images from your phone and make masterpieces out of them, easily accessible image editors are one of the biggest reasons why you might be happy shooting just with your phone rather than investing in an expensive system.
If you are new to photography or have just taken the plunge and gotten a camera with manual controls, you may be a little overwhelmed by the various options you can control. One of the biggest issues new photographers deal with is to nail the exposure in their photos. A major reason for this issue is the confusion they have to face when choosing between aperture values, ISO values, and shutter speeds, as all three have a direct effect on the exposure. Understanding Aperture and Shutter Speed The aperture number of your camera dictates how wide the aperture of your lens is open. The wider it is open, the more light the camera gets. But a wider aperture also causes your depth of field to be shallower, so it may not be ideal for landscape shots. The shutter speed of your camera defines how long the shutter of your camera stays open while capturing a photo. The longer it is open, the more light enters the sensor and the brighter your image is. But a longer shutter speed also causes moving objects to get blurred, so it may not be ideal for shooting action. Rely Lesser on the ISO The reason you should rely more on altering these options to get your perfect exposure as opposed to cranking up the ISO is because a higher ISO, while making your image considerably brighter, causes a lot of noise to creep into your photos. These days, cameras have much better processors than before and noise levels are kept in control till very high ISO numbers, but noise will still find a way into your photos the higher you take the ISO. So depending on the kind of shot you want, keeping in mind what kind of depth of field you’re looking for, try to rely more on the aperture value and shutter speed to get your shot, and keep your ISO to a level where you’re sure your camera can handle the noise.