If you have ever been thinking of getting into digital photography, there is no better time than now to embark on your new hobby or career. Chances are, if you own a smartphone, you have already been taking more photos than ever before.
The potential market for budding photographers has grown and it’s now up to camera manufacturers to capitalize and migrate smartphone photographers into the mainstream camera market.
Admittedly digital camera sales have been on a downward trend in recent years because of the rise of smartphones. In March 2012 worldwide shipping numbers of digital cameras peaked at 11 million. By March 2014 this figure had dropped to just over 3 million.
The reality is that there must now be a huge market ready to be convinced of the limitations of their smartphone cameras, and the result may see a renaissance in photography. The argument for digital cameras is obvious. For starters smart phone cameras only get up to about 8 megapixels, compared to 20 megapixels for a simple entry-level digital camera. Then there’s the fact that in camera mode, most smartphones are awkward and not exactly user-friendly. After all, their primary function is mobile communication, not creating award-winning photography.
So here’s the pitch – if you want to get serious about photography then it’s time to progress from a smartphone to a digital camera.
In this article I will start with some useful tips. I will then look at a few relatively inexpensive digital cameras in the Nikon Coolpix range, which are good entry level cameras.
Let’s start with some beginners tips.
- The best way for a novice to step up to digital photography is to start with an entry level camera. Having the most expensive camera is not going to make you a good photographer, especially if you don’t know how to use it.
- Any camera is capable of producing a stunning picture. Ultimately the success of a photo comes down to its composition – what you choose to include in (and leave out of) the picture, and how you arrange it in the frame.
- Experiment with your digital camera’s scene modes. Learn about aperture priority, shutter priority and automatic mode. Don’t feel you have to use the camera manually. Many of the automatic settings give perfectly good results.
- Wait for the right light. This is what photography is all about, really: thinking about the light in terms of its quality, quantity, direction and how it suits the subject.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. All photographers start by fumbling with dials and buttons and even the best photographers never stop learning.
- Last but not least, join a photography club to learn and share with others. The Photographic Association of PNG has regular meetings and an annual photo competition. You can find them on Facebook.
With that in mind here a few entry level digital cameras from the Nikon Coolpix range that will help you make the progression to digital photography.
NIKON COOLPIX L31
Shooting high-quality images is easy with the L31 with its 16.1 megapixels and 5x optical zoom. With the Motion Detect blur reduction function, you can shoot wide-angle group shots to faraway subjects without worrying about blurred images.
All you have to do is aim, preview your shot with the 2.7-inch LCD monitor, and the L31’s Easy Auto Mode will do the rest. You can then add your own creative spin to your photos with the L31’s Special Effect and Quick Effect functions. The Smart Portrait System and Skin Softening effect comes with improved face detection and enhanced skin tone exposure control so your subjects will look flawless. These built-in fun effects let you get more imaginative with your photographic expressions.
With the Easy Auto Mode, the L31 allows you to capture that perfect shot, without having to worry about any complicated settings. The Motion Detect blur reduction function automatically compensates for camera shakes, so you’ll always have sharp images. Another useful feature of the L31 is that it is one of only a few cameras that still runs on AA-size batteries.
NIKON COOLPIX S2800
The S2800 has a 5x optical zoom and automatic scene detection technology. This compact camera lets you shoot in a range of styles without the need to play with the settings. You can even liven up your shots with the built-in special effects.
The zoom lens also fully retracts into the camera when not in use. Inside its 20mm-thin body lies an advanced 20.1-megapixel image sensor and intelligent autofocus system. The camera automatically selects the right settings so you can simply point and shoot. Recording HD videos at up to 720p is equally effortless, thanks to its one-touch recording function.
A number of functions and effects help you capture images with amazing clarity and colour. These effects include D-Lighting Mode for shooting backlit scenes, motion blur and red-eye reduction. You can even get creative with an array of Quick Effects, Special Effects and Glamour Retouch functions.
NIKON COOLPIX S3600
The stylish 20.1-megapixel S3600 makes everyday photography fun and easy. Use its 8x optical zoom for a range of shooting styles and get even closer with its 16x Dynamic Fine Zoom. Its intelligent Auto Mode takes the guesswork out of camera settings.
For times when you want to get creative, enhance your shots with its built-in special effects. A fully retractable NIKKOR lens with 8x optical zoom opens up a world of possibilities – from spectacular landscapes to close-ups. You can even shoot macros 2cm away.
Shooting with the S3600 is only half the fun. Once you’ve captured your shot, use your imagination to turn it into a work of art. Built-in Quick Effects include Photo Illustration, Soft Portrait and Glare Reduction with a number of other special effects for further personalization.