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Want a DSLR but don’t? 5 Alternatives for under 50KD!

If you’re like me. You really want a DSLR camera. A good one for that matter. Though, you hate the fact that:

a) you have to lug around this big camera
b) it costs an arm and a leg for someone who is a beginner
c) you worry of damaging your precious investment
d) you’re not quite sure where or how to start

That’s okay. Because in this post, I’m going to provide a list of Cameras (all of them will be point and shoot cameras) that can hold it’s own against a DSLR if you know how to work photoshop and manually adjust their settings. Now you’re thinking:

“HEY! If I’m a beginner how am I supposed to know how to do that?”

Well the reason for this post is so you don’t have to put down a huge investment, yet you may find a good quality point and shoot that is affordable. Then in turn, you can learn all the photography techniques and dabble on photoshop until you feel happy enough to invest in a DSLR (or if carrying space is an issue a compact DSLR).

So without further adieu, here are the top 5 Digital Cameras for you to dabble with for under 50KD (all found at X-Cite, Al-Ghanim). NOTE: Please click on the image of the camera to be taken to the x-cite website page to see the specs and pricing.

1) Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH5GC – 49.900KD

2) Nikon Coolpix S1000PJ – 49.000KD (Currently on sale, original price is 93.625KD)

3) Olympus VR-310 – 46.900KD

4) Canon PowerShot A2200 – 40.00KD

5) Fujifilm Finepix T200 – 39.000KD (Currently on sale, original price is 61.250KD).

It is important to note that some of these cameras are currently on sale, these prices may change at any time. The models on sale have been mentioned next to their make and model name as well as their pricing as per the X-Cite website. I have had experience with these models before whether in their current states or previous states. I have not owned them all but do believe they are great starter cameras for those who want to learn the basics of photography prior to investing in an expensive DSLR.

Now that I have a camera, how do I learn?

The most important thing you can do is just to go out and shoot as many pictures as you can. Remember, in Kuwait you may want to ask if it’s okay to photograph in certain places as per my understanding public photography in certain areas may be prohibited. Always keep a look out for a sign or notice that may state that photography is prohibited. Also try to remain respectful but not trying to photograph random strangers without their permission.

A great way to learn about photography is to photograph things you love. I did a lot of animal, gardening and car photography. Those until today remain my favorite things to photograph. I use a less spec’ed out point and shoot camera than any of the above that I mentioned and in now was believe that I am a superb photography. However, I do like the way my pictures turn out because I practice, practice, practice. I must have 10 billion pictures of cars (mainly mine) that I have on an external hardrive. I take several shots of the same angles, I try to play with light as much as I can (sometimes you may want reflectors if you’re photographing people or anything that may be very sensitive to light reflection on camera such as metal or skin). You can see some photographs that I took and did some simple photoshop corrections at the bottom of this post.

Ask your friends what they think of your photography, this will also help you see things from another person’s perspective. A thing most photographers hate to do is ask for advice. The problem is, if you’re photographing you need to realize that there is more than one perspective. In an image you took where your main focal point may be a child in a playground may differ in the eyes of a friend. A friend’s main focal point or “interest point” of the image may be a slide in the background. There is no right way to photograph, only different perspectives of images. Just remember, try not to just shoot randomly all the time. It’s good to have random shots so you can look through your images and find some interesting photos that you didn’t really see at the time of taking. But, also try to find a storyline in the images before you shoot them. Try to think of what makes this scene beautiful, and shoot it.

Post-shot editing such as photoshop is where you enhance the image. Cropping out the image to create a finer story-line to your image can help. If you don’t know anything about curves, look up tutorials on youtube or google that will teach you about curves settings in photography. Learn about contrast and brightness. Learn about how light can affect an image. All of these technical things will help you understand how to shoot a photo, but most importantly how to edit it to achieve what you wanted after you have taken the photograph.

Most importantly, have fun with it. Go out and experience new things in life. If you haven’t been to the entertainment city before then I recommend you go there and take your newly bought camera with you. Snap lots of photos. I do believe tripods are excellent when shooting but you’ll not always be able to carry a tripod. When you do, realize that you’ll look stupid with a point and shoot screwed onto a tripod. This will be a given. But, the sooner you get introduced to a tripod the more you will learn about how to use them effectively and efficiently. They will help stabilize your images. Provide clearer and crisper shots. Do not underestimate the power of the tripod, your images will look 10 billion times sharper. Even that little jitten when clicking the capture button will effect your photos.

Finally, read your owners manual before you do anything. You will learn about the settings. You’ll learn what ISO settings are, and what aperature is, what each “mode” on your camera is for, their shutter speeds etc. If there’s anything in the manual you don’t understand, then ask a photographer friend or hop on google.

I leave you with a few shots that I really enjoy from my point and shoot camera.

Unfortunately for size issues I have downsized these images. Not so much has been done to these images apart from some cropping, shrinkage in size, and some curves. My camera is a small Casio 10MP camera that I got as a gift roughly 4-5 years ago. Outdated, but I still think they’re great shots for what I’m working with.

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