Beginner tips and tricks: Choosing your first camera and understanding exposure


posted Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:00 PM EDT


If you are just starting out with photography, Imaging Resource is the place to be. We have very detailed laboratory tests and real-world evaluations of many of the most popular cameras at every price level. What is the best way to digest all this information and select the right first camera for you?

Photographer Attilio Ruffo has five practical tips for you to help you choose your first (or next) camera. There are a few decisions you must make early on in the purchasing process. Do you want to be able to change lenses or do you want an all-in-one camera? You will also want to determine what size sensor you want your new camera to have. There is no universally correct answer to these questions because the right answer for one photographer may be very different from the best choice of another photographer. Your budget, what you want to photograph and how much gear you want to carry will all be important factors.

Once you've selected a camera, the logical next step is learning more about how to use it. In the video below, Ruffo teaches us how to understand exposure. When you hear a term such as "making a good exposure," what this means is that you had your camera set up in such a way that the amount of light which hit your sensor was appropriate given the scene and conditions. For example, the sky in your image is about the same brightness as it appeared to your eyes or snow in a scene appears white rather than gray. There are ways to creatively underexpose (less light hitting your sensor) or overexpose (additional light hitting your sensor) an image as well, but generally, the idea is to capture an accurate exposure. To do this, you must correctly set the aperture of your lens, determine the appropriate shutter speed for your camera and choose the right sensitivity of the image sensor (ISO).

To see more videos from Ruffo as he publishes them, subscribe to his YouTube channel. To view more of his work, you can head to his website.

(Via Attilio Ruffo