Equipment Check

Man in boat & wedding.jpg
mbfitzmahan. 2016. Central Park, NY

I’ve received a few questions on what camera I use.  When I need a new camera, I like to go and talk to someone I trust for advice on cameras and lenses.  So, I’ll tell you what I use.

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mbfitzmahan. 2017. Pittsburg, CA

BTW: I don’t make any money off of my recommendations.  In fact, I am pretty sure these companies don’t even know about my photography and my writings.

  1. A few months ago I got a new camera.  My old Nikon D7000 stopped focusing correctly.  I have had Nikons all my photographing life, and I have some good Nikon lenses that I have collected over the last 25 years.  But, I decided, after much much research, to move to a mirrorless camera, a Fujifilm X-T1.  I use one prime lens, a 35mm f/1.4 Fuji lens (equivalent to a 50 mm lens).   
  2. I like this new camera very much.  It is light and small, compared to my Nikon.  I can carry it in my purse or in a large pocket.  I can see the controls on the top, when I use manual for shutter speed, aperture openings, and ISO speed.  I think this Fujifilm X-T1 takes beautiful photos.
  3. The Fujifilm X-T1 was not cheap.  The body can be found for $999. You need to wait for sales, but they come out quite regularly.  The lens cost $600.  Totaling about $1600
  4. The newer update for the Fujifilm is the Fujifilm XT-2.  It costs about $400 more.  Total: $2000.
mbfitzmahan. 2016. Berkeley, CA

In the alternative:

  • I highly recommend Nikon products.  The highly rated beginner’s Nikon D3400 w/ a 18-55mm lens at B&H sells for $496.  For a $100 dollars more you can also get a 70-300 mm lens.  Total: $500- $600.
  • However, if you think you love taking photos, and want to become a better photographer, I would save your money until you can afford the next level in Nikon cameras and get a prime lens, not a zoom. I would get a Nikon D7200 with a 35mm lens. (This is an advanced amateur’s lens. A camera that you can grow into.)  $789 (camera)+ $200 (lens).  Total: $1000.  

The Nikon D7200 should last you much longer than the beginning level DSLR (Digital Single-lens Reflex camera.  If you want a zoom lens, you can get that later, if you find you need it.  But, the 35 mm fixed lens will give you sharper images all the time.

I buy my cameras online at B&H Photo.  Or, at Amazon. com.  I have occasionally bought cameras on eBay.  However, I like B&H and Amazon, because they make it easy to return the cameras if their are problems or you change your mind after trying out the equipment.

mbfitzmahan. 2016. Pittsburg, CA

The best advice I can give you is – keep it simple, light, and available.  Use your camera often.  Clean out your photos every time you take them.  Immediately edit your photos and then Kondoize – keep photos that brings you great joy.  That does not to mean to keep multiple copies of the same thing.  Share and discuss your photos with your favorite critic. Your partner, your daughter, your best friend, or me.  

I will be happy to help you.


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