Which Pro Camera do you Really Need to Shoot Like a Pro?

Eye on Riga: A bridge in the Latvian capital glows neon indigo as boaters row back to the docks at night. Photo ©Mike Randolph

Let’s start with a little quiz. What one thing makes a pro camera a pro camera? Build quality? Weather sealing? Fast autofocus? Fast motor drive? Dual SD card slots?

Don’t think too long over the answer because it’s none of the above. Continue Reading →

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The One Camera and the One Lens You Need for Travel Photography

Budapest

A man walks down the steps of Buda Castle at night, Budapest, Hungary. Shot with a Sony Nex7 and a Zeiss Biogon M 28mm lens. (42mm equivalent.) Photo ©Mike Randolph

A reader of my recent post, How Much Gear Should You Take on Your Next Trip? left a comment, and asked a doozy of a question: “So assuming you want serious pics and are happy to carry one body and one lens which lens would you pack knowing you want a good mix of landscapes, wildlife and travel portraits?” (Thanks for the question, Ian.)

First, the camera. I would take a mirrorless camera to save space and weight. I use a Sony Nex7. The autofocus is terrible but I never use it anyway. I use mostly manual focus lenses and set the peaking to red on the ‘medium’ setting, and I also use the focus magnify feature. I’ve gotten very used to this setup and Continue Reading →

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How Much Gear Should You Take on Your Next Trip?

st.peters

The alter of St. Peter’s in Vatican City sits just below the Basilica’s spectacular dome. Photo ©Mike Randolph

A good friend of mine is a commercial photographer. Usually, he shoots in his studio, but every now and then he shoots on location. I asked him how he decides what gear to take on the road and he answered without missing a beat, “Easy. I take everything.”

When you’ve got a few assistants with dollies and a rented cube van, well yeah, that makes a lot of sense. On a commercial location shoot, with clients and art directors and talent and make-up crew all depending on you, it would be just a wee bit embarrassing if the whole production came to a halt because you hadn’t realized you’d need that third roll of gaffers tape or whatever. The few times I’ve done that kind of shoot, I followed my friend’s advice and took every last thing I owned. Every lens, every camera, every tripod. An extra set of Allen keys. Everything.

But that doesn’t work with travel photography. Continue Reading →

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Did You Know You’ve Got a Lot More Megapixels Than You Need?

Sunflowers

You can be forgiven for thinking that the number of megapixels your camera has actually matters. Because we’ve all been brainwashed into believing that megapixels are important, but the truth is, it stopped mattering quite a few years ago.

There was a time, for a while there, that the megapixel race appeared to be over. Sure, in the early years of digital photography, DSLRs had to prove themselves against the quality of reproduction offered by film SLRs. For a long time, photographers were resistant to the idea that digital cameras could rival the analogue status quo. Naysayers were legion. Eventually, however, Continue Reading →

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