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Photography as a Hobby: Choosing a Digital Camera

Happy Valentine Day…to everyone…..Since today is Valentine day I have decided to blog on something other than computers…I have 2 options to choose from Nature and Photography, oops I should say 3, I have left out my desire for Cars and Driving. I have chosen to blog on Photography. That’s something which I am trying to work on these days.  

I have started Photography with a Kodak film camera later upgraded to a Yashika Camera, then was pulled into Digital Photography, I have used the first digital cameras from Sony which were 2-3 Mega-Pixels with 16-32 MB Compact Flash cards, later upgraded to a 5 Mega-Pixel Canon with a 512 MB Card. I was never a serious photographer until I bought an Olympus 710 a year ago, the photos I shot using the camera had tempted me to take photography as a hobby. Unfortunately I lost my Olympus 710 in my trip to Singapore and I have replaced with a Olympus 280, which is an 8 Mega-pixel one. I am looking for a DSLR and it’s in my wish list.  

If you are someone like me using a Digital Camera for 1-2 years now, then your next step would be to buy a Digital SLR camera. But, Which One? Would be very hard to answer. There are so many products out there offering a variety of Technologies. In this blog I will try to explain the knowledge I have gained in the last 6 months trying to find out the Digital SLR which fits my budget and passion. 

First question would be what should be the Mega-Pixel rating of my Digital SLR? Few people would say 8 or 10. And most if them would say the latest available in the market. I need your answer to another question to answer the above question. What are you going to do with the photos taken by the Digital SLR? If you want to take photos of ur friends, trips, function and post those photos on the web, e-mail them to friends or order small prints and put them in album, then a 2 mega-pixel cam would be more than enough for your needs. Entry level Digital SLR cameras start at 6 mega-pixels. Therefore if that’s all you want to do with your photos, the mega-pixels rating of your Digital SLR does not need to be a major concern. But, if you want to print large posters, you need a higher mega-pixel rating on your Digital SLR. All entry level SLR’s produce very good quality photos up to a certain size, more pixels gives you more freedom to enlarge even more.  

Which brand should you go with Canon or Nikon? Are you surprised that I have used only 2 names? Are these the only 2 brands that produce Digital SLR’s?  

The answer is pretty simple, these are the most popular brands and have most of the market share, but not all cameras from Nikon and Canon are great. Both the companies have produced some excellent and some ordinary brands. When buying a DSLR you should look for build quality. Observe the number of metal parts and the no of plastic parts in the camera body. Metal parts can be replaced, while plastic parts are not replaceable. So if the plastic part gets damaged you cannot get a replacement, you need to get yourself a new DSLR 2-3 years down the line. Next this is to check the feel of the Camera in your hand. You can feel the quality of build by holding it in your hand. Quality between brands is almost the same for the low end DSLR’s. However if you decide you don’t need a higher end camera, you can check other brands like Sony, Olympus etc. 

What features should I go for?  

Features can vary between the basic things like 6, 8, 10, 12 mega-pixels and Auto Dust Cleaning to advanced features like Live-View etc. To make things even worse each manufacturer gives a different name for the same technology. You need to do some research on the internet before taking the final decision.

I am tempted to give the url of http://www.cameralabs.com which is one of the best site I have found for camera review.  

Check this site when you are buying, also remember that when you buy a DSLR you need to buy a good lens or two to complement your DLSR.

For more blogs of Technology check my current blog at www.sunilsaripalli.com


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Sony VAIO VGN-SZ18GP

You can call this the King of Laptops, the only think it doesnt have is the Size of a King ;). I have purchased the Sony VAIO VGN-SZ18GP 2 weeks after Sony’s official launch in India. The Specs on paper Core Duo/512MB/80GB/13.3 Inch/128Mb Nvida Graphics all these and more in 1.69 Kg’s i didnt had a second tought in buying it. Added 1 Gb Transend Memory and all set to Rock. I have used it for 2 years now and never had a problem with it, it worked like a charm….i would definitely recommend it to all the guys out there who have the money to buy the Sony VAIO SZ Series…i think it hasent changed much it got More RAM and a Bigger Hard Disk now a days….But remember to remove all the Applications which are bundled from Sony which you dont plan to use…they kill lot of Processing power….

  http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/notebooks/0,39050488,39251641p-0,00.htm