ResourcesHere are some resources I’ve used that may help you get started with your photography. I’ll add to it as we go along, but I thought a discussion on a few basic items might be helpful.
What kind of camera you buy depends primarily on what you want to use your camera for. Because I wanted a camera with a large telephoto capacity for my wildlife photography and one that was also light in weight, I chose the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70. It is a fixed-lens digital camera with 16.1mp, a 60X optical zoom lens, and a focal length of 20-1200mm. This is a lot of camera yet only weighs about two pounds, so it is very easy to carry around. All of the wildlife and event photography in the portfolio on my website were taken with this camera. It has a lot of features to experiment with, and you can’t beat the telephoto range for getting up close with your subjects. You may not need this much camera for your purposes, but it’s always good to shop around and see what’s out there.
There are many camera bags on the market to choose from, but I am currently using a LOWEPRO lightweight shoulder bag. Since my camera is a fixed-lens with a large focal length, I don’t have to carry other lenses around with me, and this relatively small bag fits everything I need, plus it has a weather cover built in. My camera fits snugly in the bag so there is no sliding around or bumping up and down. It has several pockets to carry accessories like the USB cable, battery charger and extra battery, memory cards and more. If you have a camera with additional lenses, you’ll need a bigger bag than the one I use with extra compartments for the lenses and any other equipment you may have. LOWEPRO has a wide variety of different sizes and options.
Make sure you have an extra battery fully charged and ready to go. Nothing is more frustrating than being on a photo shoot and having your battery go dead. Extra batteries can be purchased through your camera’s company (though they are usually the most expensive), on the internet, or through a store that specializes in batteries. I ordered an extra one through my local Interstate All Battery Center and saved a lot of money.
Although my camera can store its own photos, I choose to use a memory card for backup in case something happens to either my camera or my computer where I have also stored my photos. There are many types to choose from, and they have a long life if not damaged in any way. SDHC memory cards are Secure Digital High Capacity cards. SanDisk, Lexar, PNY, and Samsung are just a few of the brands, and they come in various capacities, usually from 2GB to 32GB. If you shoot a lot, you’ll probably want a higher capacity card, but if you are just an occasional photographer, the smaller capacity cards should last you a while. If you have an older camera that was made before the SDHC cards were invented, you’ll want to stick to the SD card, as an older camera may not be able to recognize the SDHC card.