Choosing the first camera - no ads, brands, pictures and almost no technical details

Published on March 24, 2016

Choosing the first camera - no ads, brands, pictures and almost no technical details



    Traditionally, the final conclusion was made at the end of the article, but, apart from the context, it will not provide useful information, it may even be confusing. So, if the result is important, then I do not advise you to go straight to the results.

    Passion for photographic equipment is called a rather offensive word, so we call such hobbies “photo-magicians.” A photogallery may or may not be a photographer - these are different hobbies, but sometimes intersecting. Photo gigs often know more about cameras than photographers - their niche in the world of photography is comparable to that of overclockers from the world of IT. Fotogykov - darkness, they pile up on the resources devoted to photographic equipment, and on the same resources beginners usually ask questions about the choice of cameras.

    For photographers, there are a lot of courses and schools, but for photogists nothing like this. It would be strange to teach people how to assemble one lens out of three or compare matrix parameters, therefore all self-taught photogogues are engaged in self-education using forums and social networks. The development scenarios are ordinary: the neophyte asks the question “which camera is better?”, Voices him on the forum-vkontaktika, listens to those whom he considers to be luminaries, then starts giving advice to other neophytes, then it seems to him that he already knows everything (hello, holivary and articles in blozhiki), later he realizes that not everything is so simple, and the last three phases are repeated cyclically. The extreme exit point of the cycle is that he can no longer learn anything new in the communities, and his advice cannot be understood by the majority of other participants. because they contain answers from a higher level of understanding. And in the community it becomes less by one experienced fotogik.
    As a result, the chances of seeing the answer from the guru to the question “which camera is better?” Are extremely few; you will receive answers from those who still do not know how much he does not know. This category is the most active, inspiring and capable of producing tons of similar materials on the subject. I will not poke a finger, but one of such articles prompted me to make my own opus on choosing a camera, and even more about choosing a photo system for an absolute beginner in the subject of photo equipment.

    (To avoid misunderstanding: the guru, I did not become - my self-study, which threatened to drag on for years, suddenly ended after two-hour conversation with two real experts on photography and photographic technique Much of that conversation, I use in this article.).

    To date, cheap soap dish full They are killed by mobile phones, and if someone says that he wants to buy a camera, then most often this means that he is not satisfied with the quality of the smartphone’s camera. Requirements are voiced like these:
    • I want bright colors
    • Not enough sharpness
    • Need to shoot in the dark
    • The face against the sun is black
    • Etc.

    All this is precisely about quality, as about reason number 1.
    Requirement number 2, is less common and is expressed by the request " I want everything to be blurry from the back / front ." There are other needs, but with very very small shares, because they omit.

    Avoiding the holivar, we accept the assumption: smartphones are able to “sharply, colorful, in poor lighting conditions and with blur,” but you need a camera that will make it even better.

    The requirements are clear. To the point.
    The good news is that it is very easy to choose a neophyte camera, it is just that it is constantly confused by marketers and sofa analysts. In retaliation, we will immediately limit the selection to units of suitable models with just one parameter.
    Meet - the physical size of the matrix. Or "Crop Factor". In the Crop Factor wiki, everything is perfectly chewed, but if in a nutshell, the camera sensor is about the size of a classic 35mm film frame - it is a crop factor = 1, the sensor is two times smaller - a crop factor = 2, etc. On the iPhone 6, for example, the cropping factor is 7.21. The smaller the number, the cooler the camera.
    (I specifically write the full name of the parameter “Crop Factor” everywhere, since there are other “Cropy” in the jargon of photogists.) The

    magic of the parameter is explained simply: at the same stage of technology development, a larger sensor will always be ahead in terms of image quality less. And once again - on the same technology.. And since the technologies of the main manufacturers are really about the same, then just count how much money you have at most, determine which cameras with the largest matrix size you can afford, and cut off models older than three years.

    An important bonus of orientation to a large matrix is ​​the closure of requirement No. 2, which is about "everything is blurry from behind." The larger the size of the matrix - the greater the blur. Therefore, we cease to take into account the second requirement in the future - it is performed automatically.

    By the words “maximum money” I mean not complicated calculations taking into account tripods, lenses, bags and what else can be thought out, namely, how much maximum you can spend at once on your future photo hobby. You think that you are not ready to invest everything at once in an incomprehensible experiment - keep the amount, you want to start right away with the top equipment - your choice. But with all this money you need to buy one camera, and not a photobag. Of course, we need some kind of simple “whale” lens, but their prices are insignificant enough to take into account when choosing.

    Additional information for beginners on crop factor:
    Sellers rarely indicate a cropping factor, but the matrix size in millimeters is easy to find, and then the wiki. In total there are 4 main formats for which smartphones are changed for cameras:

    • 35мм — (полный кадр, он же — Full Frame или FF) — в старые добрые цифровая камера на полном кадре считалась признаком профессионализма или зажиточности, но на сегодня уже стали доступны «народные ФФ» по относительно гуманным ценам.
    • 24мм — (в обиходе в контексте о камерах просто «кроп», «полуторный кроп») — когда вы слышите что-то типа «любительская зеркалка/беззеркалка» — то это о нем.
    • FT, MFT — (Four Thirds, Micro Four Thirds, на жаргоне «дважды-кроп») — ни то ни се, зато весят мало.
    • «дюйм» — это уже почти «мыльницы».

    Если вы собираетесь брать что-то мельче, то, возможно, стоит оставить смартфон.


    We understand the "megapixel": the parameter has always caused controversy, but to consider it in the context of the camera choice is simple - you need to take the one in which there are more pixels. This is a clear sign of more recent technologies (exceptions happen, but specific ones, by an inadequate price tag, you will immediately guess). The number of megapixels affects the choice after taking into account the size of the matrix. For example, you can afford to spend a sum of money, and in it fit a camera on 10 megapixels or a camera with a full frame on 5 megapixels - you need to take a full frame. But if this amount is not enough for the cheapest full-frame camera, then take a crop with a large number of megapixels. As a result, you already understood that megapixel does not affect the first rule, but it falls into the selection criteria.

    When studying the range of supermarkets, it is easy to see that some cameras with a smaller matrix are more expensive than cameras with a larger one. Injustice may be to blame for the large difference in the age of the models, but most likely - marketing. The game is based on the fact that, in addition to the concept of "quality", the cameras are characterized by a mass of additional buns, for example:
    • Video
    • Wi-Fi
    • Burst speed
    • Panorama
    • Auto Shooting Modes
    • Instagram / Vkontaktik
    • Effects
    • Touch screen
    • Etc.

    This is a good time to remind you of the important thing: we are talking about the quality of photos, which, as you remember, was the reason for changing the smartphone to the camera. From this point of view, all of the above had no value until you saw it in the specifications, and did not begin to write in the pluses for some vending model. Do not do this. Almost by any of these parameters, your smartphone will do a professional medium format camera for a million.

    Like that:

    Video - the presence of a fancy video in the camera turns it into a combine. It will take more to pay, and the money will go not in favor of the photo, but in favor of the video. In any case, this is a different direction, while videographers have their own parties and troubles. One thing is good - no matter what camera with video function on a large matrix you bought, it will shut up any smartphone with all recorders, action and webcams together for video quality.

    Wi-Fi is like going online to upload photos to Instagram / Vkontaktika is so-so - there is an interface from terrible dreams of usableists. Yes, and no one takes away your smartphone. To transfer files to a computer, the Wi-Fi option may be convenient if there are three photos on the card, but if you are taking gigabytes from a vacation, you will have to wait a very long time. And in general, finding a camera without wi-fi is difficult now, so it’s not a criterion.

    Burst speed. The question is: when you take a picture, is it enough for you to have three more such photos, or basically a dozen? Believe me, between 3 frames per second and 10 for a neophyte there will be no difference for a long time. I think that when speed becomes a real problem, he can write such articles himself.

    Panorama. The result is very strong in-chamber processing. If we are talking about quality, then we need to do a few frames and process it on a computer. Software for this lesson has been written for every taste, so it will not take much more time, and the result will be better by an order of magnitude, maybe two orders of magnitude.

    Automatic Shooting Modes - we can say that without them there are no cameras, and their number is not a cause for concern - if you go towards quality, you will have to understand the exposure settings, these are just three parameters - it’s impossible to get confused.

    Effects for processing images - they are now free for any platform, and there is no point in tormenting the small screen of the camera.

    Touch-screen - at this stage of development looks like a dubious achievement. The closest analogy is typing on a mechanical keyboard and on a mobile phone screen. After getting used to the buttons of your camera, you can control it without looking up from the viewfinder, and with a touch screen this is not very possible. It is difficult to come up with an operation that is faster and more reliably performed through the touch screen than through buttons, except that the choice of the autofocus point, but this is a secondary function.

    All of the above and many more of the specifications for the most part are checkers, which do not affect the speed, but help to sell. The list of really necessary options (ASM modes, autofocus, metering, continuous shooting, etc.) does not differ from the film cameras of the end of the last century - the full set of adjustments will be present necessarily.

    In the subject of the opus I can not ignore shooting in RAW format. This is not a selection criterion - all smart cameras are shot in RAW. But understanding that the quality of photos and RAW are inseparable can help a beginner take the right direction right after buying a camera, which will reduce the chances for trouble like: “I bought a carcass at the price of a cast-iron bridge, and pictures like from a phone”

    Additional Starter Info for RAW:
    RAW — это файл-слепок данных с ячеек матрицы. Попало на первый сенсель 5 фотонов — так и будет записано: «первый сенсель — 5 штук». При этом неясно даже какого цвета эти фотоны (спецы, простите за дикую трактовку). Следом на компьютере запускается программа для проявки RAW-файлов, которая знает устройство вашей матрицы и составит изображение как по карте, но с особенностью — вы сможете очень сильно влиять на цвет и яркость групп пикселей, вплоть до отдельных пикселей (читай — участков снимка). Что-то типа, «делаем так, словно в эту область не 5 фотонов попало, а 50, и не синих, а красных».

    Внутри фотоаппарата так же имеется компьютер, который выполняет проявку, но если ваш *.jpg рисуется в фотоаппарате, то это означает, что RAW-файл был проявлен абстрактным программистом из команды разработки фотоаппарата, который, естественно, не имел представления о сцене, которую вы только что сфотографировали, и потому мог сделать только что-то очень усредненное. Отсюда и происходят снимки, которые выглядят «как с мобилки», хотя сняты на килобаксовые камеры.

    Из жизни:
    Моя знакомая домохозяйка фотографирует свой маникюр. У нее есть зеркалка, даже с какой-то макронасадкой, что бы ногти можно было снимать во весь кадр, но она все равно делала снимки смартфоном, «потому что с зеркалки цвета какие угодно, но только не такие, как на самом деле». Мы сделали снимок ее синих ногтей (на фото получились фиолетовыми), после этого я открыл RAW файл на ноутбуке, поставил рядом флакончик с лаком, и одним ползунком вывел цвет в совпадающий. Вау-эффект во всей красе, теперь подруга снимает только в raw, кожу делает загорелой, блики на маникюре ярче, цвет лака понасыщеннее, в общем, все пошло как надо, подписчики ценят.
    Первая мораль сей истории: снимать надо в RAW. Вторая: пока к снимку не будет приложена авторская обработка — ничего приличного не выйдет


    Бонусы съемки в RAW:
    • Становится неважной точность определения Баланса Белого. Это когда непонятно, платье синее или белое, а кожа на портретах отдает зеленью. Вы можете легко корректировать цвета, или указывать свои.
    • Вы можете немного промахнуться с экспозицией на съемке. Если кадр ценный, но темный/светлый, то у вас будет хороший шанс все исправить.
    • Света и тени — опять-таки на примере портрета на фоне заходящего солнца — вы сможете превратить черное пятно в человека с лицом.
    • Вы сможете использовать режимы шумоподавления настолько, насколько это требуется, а не увидеть кашу вместо мелких деталей.
    • Вы сможете работать в редакторе с точечными форматами изображений.


    Для всего вышеперечисленного существуют специальные термины, типа динамический диапазон, соотношение сигнал-шум и т.п. Не буду перегружать ликбез — материалов в сети терабайты. Цель вышесказанного — обозначить простую мысль: покупать камеру ради качества и не снимать в RAW — плохо. Но RAW умеют все камеры, которые про качество, так что — не критерий.


    An important and troubling moment when choosing, which can not be ignored - optics. Interchangeable lenses are the joy of using, the agony of choice, and the slimming wallet. It is believed that you can not choose a camera in isolation from the optics, because all of this is the Photosystem, so it is always necessary with a capital letter, such as: “You need to choose a PhotoSystem, not a camera”. Yes, this is correct, but this is correct for those who are engaged in photography for a long time and, I would add, with a certain specialization. Some products are better suited for landscapes, something better for underwater shooting, some for aerial photos, some better in sports, etc. But for the first camera neophyte it does not matter - 99% of the plots can be called without thinking:
    • photos from walks / trips
    • photo from pyanok
    • photos of family, friends and other animals
    • I almost forgot - photo of home utensils and cameras Zenit

    So, there is a popular wisdom called “the rule of three lenses”, the essence is that it is enough to be able to shoot at three focal lengths - widely, normally, and in the distance. Believe me, the rule works better than it seems. So a normal person will need three lenses-fix maximum, and at the apogee - in general only one zoom from and to. Of course, no one bothers to collect a collection of a couple of hundred glasses, but two or three of them will go for important shooting when there is no time for experiments. And the main thing in our case - any popular manufacturer has all the lenses for the main focal lengths, and the arithmetic average for price, quality and convenience will be about the same. Bottom line: optics does not affect the choice of the first camera.

    Often they suggest thinking about the future, such as “you will start to develop, choose a system for growth”. If the beginner knew in which direction he would develop, this would help. But, in reality, it is difficult to find a photogy that did not change the system. There are a couple of options for the development of a beginner, the first - he will buy a camera, he will understand that the photo is not for him, and the camera will retire. The second is that he will like it, and over the next few years he will somehow try other available options. There are photographers (photographers, not photogogic, these can change the whole photo set twice a week), which passed between the systems after several years of career. Many hold multiple systems. But this is a conscious choice of an experienced person. And getting a novice to understand that he will need a year later is a deaf number. So rely on simple logic - you need to shoot here and now, the details will come out later. That is why I recommended a little higher not to calculate the amount taking into account the optics - for some short period of mastering the camera settings, it is enough to have the cheapest system lens, and then there will be an understanding and the next salary will come. The result of the paragraph is another selection criterion - the optics must be interchangeable, otherwise the search possibilities for further development become severely limited.

    Since all the leading and not only manufacturers produce models directly competing among themselves, we are forced to further reduce the search range. Using the above-mentioned criteria, the neophyte will find for himself about 3 options among the more expensive, and 6-7 among the cheaper. There are three or four price ranges on the market that are of interest to us in terms of choice, and within these ranges, the differences in the cameras are difficult for even experienced photo logic to identify. A frequent case now is the use of the same matrix by different manufacturers of cameras. As a result, all cameras for about the same price will differ in performance on the size of the measurement error or so. Accordingly - and the quality of the pictures, too.

    At this stage, the selection of objective criteria is not, and the most subjective will help: the sensations from the camera - the person who buys it should like it personally. Otherwise - it will be an unnecessary thing, do not hesitate. After the circle of choice has narrowed to three or four models, you must go to the store and touch all the options with your hands.

    And do not get fooled by the external design in brochures and reviews - it is precisely tactility that is important. One of my disappointments turned out to be a model that was greatly praised by the owners, which, well, just all such magnesium with inlay and the “shydevr” button. In the photographs of the goods, this is exactly how it looks, but in the store it turned out that the feeling of it in her hands is like a brick. I personally did not like it, but after all, a crowd of admirers adore this camera, including for brick.

    So the carcass selection algorithm for a novice photographer (well, or for a beginner, photogogic, how it goes): a camera (and the cheapest autofocus lens) is purchased for all the money allocated for purchase, which meets the following criteria, in order of priority:
    1. Largest matrix
    2. Interchangeable optics option
    3. Most megapixels
    4. Liked more than others when viewed in the hands

    Epilogue: photography is a good hobby, perhaps it has the highest ratio of simplicity / pleasure, which is indirectly indicated by its popularity, and the glands are far from the most important, so consider it easier to choose a camera, especially the first one.