Turn moments into masterpieces with the right camera

Remember cameras? As recent as a decade ago, it was still common to see people casually taking pictures using a standalone camera. But with the advent of smartphones, cameras have since taken the backseat.

Although smartphones’ built-in cameras get better in every new model that comes out, there still are reasons to record our special moments, to freeze them in a rectangle, using a device meant to do just that and nothing more.

For one, cameras give you more control on the quality of your pictures. No smartphone in the market today could yet hold a candle to a digital single lens reflex camera when it comes to the range of adjustments on the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, the elements that make a good picture besides composition (Sadly, even the most sophisticated DSLR today doesn’t have yet an auto-compose button). In a smartphone, your picture is only as good as the presets would allow.

So, if you’re someone who values a well-shot picture or plans of contributing your vacation photos to a travel magazine, take them with a camera. You should also invest on one if you own a small business, like an online shop that relies heavily on product shots. Professional-looking images build customer trust and hopefully, bring you more revenue.

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Here we walk you through the main types of cameras available in the market today. See which one fits your fancy:

The Life of the Party

Fujifilm-Instax Square SQ10 Fujifilm | Instax Square SQ10 – $247.99
International shipping weight – 1.50 kg
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Most people take pictures just for the fun of it, and when we think of having fun with cameras, the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 is the first thing that comes to mind.

The Instax is basically a camera with a built-in printer, so your pictures get printed right after you take them, as 2.4 in.-by-2.4-in. square contact prints. It obviously copies the analog Polaroid cameras of yesteryears, but unlike it, the Instax is also a digital camera that allows you to view your photos on a screen and store them in a memory card.

Right now, the Fujifilm Instax Instant Film is the only film that works with the Instax Square. Have an Instax Square at hand during a party, and let the guests take pictures with it themselves then bring home the square contact prints as keepsakes.

Instax SQ10 and Instax Square film.

Photo by Shelly Sometimes via Flickr. Shot with Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10

The Travel Buddy

Sony-Cybershot DSC-RX100

Sony | Cybershot DSC-RX100 – $449.99
International shipping weight – 1 kg
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At the end of the day, the Instax Square is more like a toy than a tool. If you demand from your camera more than pretty square pictures you can paste on your scrapbook, then you would need something more complex.

For instance, if you travel a lot, you would probably need a camera that takes beautiful photos in different lighting situations, be it indoors or outdoors, morning or night. A compact camera like the Sony Cybershot DSC- RX100 would be a good choice. It has built-in flash and lens so no need to bring a separate flash bulb and lens along. It’s also small enough to fit in your shirt pocket.

Fans say that although a compact, the Sony Cybershot can stand at par with a DSLR in terms of picture quality. This is largely because of its sensor, the 1” Exos CMOS sensor – sensors are the equivalent of films in digital cameras – allowing for sharp 20 megapixel pictures even with very little light around.

Lauenensee

Photo by B.Bavelier via Flickr. Shot with Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

The Well-Traveled Travel Buddy

leica-tl2-mirrorless-camera.png

Leica | TL2 Mirrorless Camera – $1950
International shipping weight – 2.50 kg
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If the compact camera is a travel buddy, then the mirrorless camera is a well-traveled travel buddy, someone who will take you beyond the tourist centers and to the quaint shops and hidden beaches.

The Sony Cybershot is a serviceable camera, but with a built-in lens, it offers a very limited set of choices as far as focus is concerned. A mirrorless camera, on the other hand, offers greater flexibility with its interchangeable lenses. For instance, if you want to capture the majesty of a mountain, you could attach a wide-angle lens to your mirrorless camera.

The best thing about a mirrorless camera is that it doesn’t have an optical viewfinder, so no need to peer into the narrow hole to see your subject. You instead view it from the screen at the back. The mirror being referred to in its name is the one in a usual DSLR that reflects your subject’s image so it can be viewed through the viewfinder. The lack of it in a mirrorless makes for a smaller and lighter device.

Among mirrorless cameras today, the Leica TL2 is one of the best when it comes to image quality. It has a 24 megapixel APSC sensor, ensuring your pictures are as vibrantly colored as possible. Also, aside from Standard, you can choose from four other color profiles: Vivid, Natural, Black and White Natural, and Black and White High Contrast.

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Photo by Periklen via Flickr. Shot with Leica TL2.

The Master

Canon-EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera

Canon | EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera – $699.99
International shipping weight – 2 kg
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After some time, you would feel that you’re ready. You’ve mastered the basics, you want more created freedom, and you’ve saved enough money. It’s time to graduate to a full-fledged DSLR.

A DSLR has everything you want in a camera. You can adjust the exposure settings (shutter speed, ISO, and aperture) however way you want. You can outfit it with any kind of lens, from macro to wide-angle.

Over time, professional photographers develop a particular style, and with it, a preference for a specific DSLR model that meets their needs. A fashion photographer may like one model for its color profile while a sports photographer may pick another for its shooting speed.

But for a beginning professional photographer, the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DLSR could be a good place to start. With a 24 megapixel sensor, it delivers an image quality that is at par with most DSLRs today. Sharing photos is also easy with its Bluetooth and Wifi functions. It measures 4.8 in by 3.7 in by 2 in and weighs 1 pound, one of the smallest and lightest DSLRs today.

Moon - 2017/07/29

Photo by Ethan Chappel via Flickr. Shot with Canon EOS Rebel SL2

The Entourage: Photography accessories

1. Display your pictures as soon as you take them. Send them to your Pix Star Wifi Frame’s email address and they automatically appear in this digital photo frame.

Pix-Star-Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

Pix-Star | Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame – $199
International shipping weight – 3 kg
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2. Print your pictures on the go. Edit your pictures from the Polaroid ZIP Mobile app then print 2 in-by-3 in contact prints with the Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer.

Polaroid-ZIP Mobile Printer

Polaroid |  ZIP Mobile Printer – $106.99
International shipping weight – 0.50 kg
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3. Take professional-looking products shots when you have the Limo Studio TableTop Lighting Kit. The 8-piece kit includes a softbox and two sets of LED lights.

LimoStudio-Table Top Photography Studio Lighting Kit

LimoStudio | Table Top Photography Studio Lighting Kit – $35.7
International shipping weight – 4.50 kg
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4. No need to climb there yourself when you need to shoot from a high place or other odd setting. Control your lens remotely with the DEC Wireless Focus and Lens Adapter.

Aputure-DEC Wireless Focus & Lens Adapter

Aputure | DEC Wireless Focus & Lens Adapter – $279
International shipping weight – 2.50 kg
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5. Shoot in a range of angles with the GorillaPod SLR Zoom. With its flexible legs, you can even wrap it around a pole and take your picture from that angle.

Joby-GorillaPod SLR-Zoom

Joby | GorillaPod SLR-Zoom – $49.95
International shipping weight – 0.50 kg
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6. Photography can be an expensive hobby, so secure your camera and other equipment in a waterproof camera bag such as the Caden Professional Camera Bag. The bottom part opens like  drawer for easy access.

Caden-Professional Fashion Multifunction Camera Bag

Caden | Professional Fashion Multifunction Camera Bag – $54.99
International shipping weight – 4.50 kg
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Still haven’t got a U.S. Address? Get one now for free at comGateway.com and start shopping!