Best Cameras To Buy For Amateur Photographers

I am often asked, “What is the best camera?” Or, “Which is a good camera to buy?” Typically, the person asking is anxious and excited, someone planning to pursue photography as a hobby or a potential career. The answer needn’t be as complicated as it is often made out to be.  Let’s begin by addressing some of the reasons why buying your first camera feels like such a complicated decision. 

  • You don’t know what all the tech jargon means
  • You don’t really know what you intend to shoot and what you don’t care to shoot
  • Cameras are expensive
  • There is a massive industry whose only job is to sell you the latest, greatest camera that will apparently turn you into an amazing photographer.

Let me start by tackling these issues in reverse. The words megapixel, autofocus, low light and image stabilization enter the lexicon of many amateurs and hobbyists long before they even begin to marvel at form, shadows, light and texture. While understanding camera technology is important, the current levels of tech obsession are grossly overdone even for most working professionals, let alone hobbyists.

Ask yourself a simple question – how many of your photos are going to be printed and how many will never ever go beyond being shared on Instagram or Facebook. I am not belittling social media but it’s important to understand that even if your camera has 1000 megapixels, Instagram and Facebook just about accept an image that is 1080 pixels wide. If I translate that sentence to English, it means that even a budget smartphone today produces an image that is overkill for Instagram and Facebook in terms of megapixels. 

Similarly, autofocus speeds and low light performance are great tools but mean absolutely nothing unless your primary photographic subjects are Olympic athletes or the secret life of fruit bats. I assure you that the autofocus on your smart phone paired with the powerful presence of a biscuit will slow your pet dog down to the point where you can nail the perfect shot sans a one lakh rupee DSLR. 

So, to begin with, disregard all the hoopla around camera specs. Perhaps the only camera specs to really think about are size and weight. I feel compelled to explain my standpoint at this juncture. As you delve into the wonderful world of photography, the one thing your camera needs to be really good at is becoming a seamless part of your life. It is this ability to have an unobtrusive camera as companion that will allow you to test and explore the subjects that really make you tick. 

In the interests of full disclosure, my approach to exploring photography is everyday rather than simply on holidays or on the odd day that you decide to lug your DSLR around to a few monuments. And so my top recommendation for a beginner camera is a really good cellphone. Hey, don’t fall off your chair! 

It’s no secret that cellphone cameras have come a long way but what most people don’t realize is that cellphones have a neat trick up their sleeve that no DSLR can accomplish. Cellphone cameras don’t make people uncomfortable! Imagine yourself aiming a DSLR roughly the size of your head at your parents as they break into a laugh or aiming one at your siblings when they act corny. In all probability if the size of the camera doesn’t catch their attention, the gun shot slap of the shutter will. Professional photographers spend considerable time refining their technique to use DSLRs without setting off their subjects. Cellphone cameras offer amateurs and hobbyists a massive head start to explore varied subjects without having to learn how to manipulate a DSLR.

My top picks for good cellphone cameras are: 

  1. Google Pixel 3A/3 (Whichever doesn’t send your bank account into a tailspin)
  2. iPhone XR/XS (For those who are still paying Apple tax, myself included)
  3. One Plus 7/7 PRO (Arguably the best value for money)
  4. Redmi Note 7 pro (For those on a tight budget)

All the above cellphones share one single thing in common. Their cameras start up fast and often don’t need you to unlock your phone. All of them have reasonably good lenses and sensors. So pick one that fits your budget. You really can’t go wrong!

For those of you who think that cellphone cameras don’t give you enough control over photos, come join the MYNT Cellphone Photography Capsule. I will give you a money back guarantee if I can’t change your mind about cellphone cameras. 

I can sense the frown on your forehead as you wonder how a cellphone camera can shoot in dim lighting and how it can capture the details of flowers and the beautifully random movement of birds. While we at MYNT can teach you how to shoot any and all of these subjects with your cellphone, a dedicated camera can offer you some advantages. However, the answer to your woes is still not a DSLR. Most of us find ourselves in dimly lit conditions at parties, that is of course, when we aren’t marveling at birds and flowers. A DSLR at a party is like an SUV at an F1 race. It’s plain clumsy and overkill. The same holds true for beautiful vistas we encounter when we travel. A small pocketable camera with a good viewfinder will let you shoot some stunning and candid images in almost any light condition. 

My Top Picks:

  1. Sony RX100 VII or Sony RX 100 VA (Get whichever is carrying a heavier discount)
  2.  Panasonic Lumix TZ 200 or Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II (The latter offers more control but doesn’t fit in a jeans pocket and the former fits in a jeans pocket and has an impressive auto mode)
  3. Fujifilm X100f (Hands down the best camera if you are really committed to honing your photographic craft. NOTE: Doesn’t have a zoom lens! Many pros don’t use zoom lenses either )
  4. Ricoh GR (A similar approach as the Fuji X100f but can fit in a shirt pocket)

Some of you may wonder why I am recommending tiny point-and-shoot cameras that cost as much or more than DSLRS. The reason is simple. These cameras pack a massive punch in a small package. In many light conditions you can’t tell their images apart from a DSLR and they help you overcome many of the complications in understanding camera technology with an easy learning curve. These cameras can be found in the hands of many working pros for the simple no fuss approach to photography they offer. 

For those of you who are still unconvinced, only and only if you see yourself making a living from photography, consider a DSLR or an interchangeable lens camera (ILC). These cameras by virtue of allowing you to mount varied lenses are more flexible and can grow with your interests and skill. These cameras demand that you spend time understanding the technology built into them and spend time learning to use the technology to render your imagination into images. 

My top picks:

  1. Fujifilm XE 3 with 18-55 kit lens (Perhaps the only thing this camera won’t excel at is shooting wildlife. In every other way it’s near perfect. The analog controls can be a great learning tool for beginners and pros) 
  2. Canon 200D Mark II with EF-S 18-55 kit lens (Optional get the twin kit lens pack that includes an EF-S 55-250 lens if you intend to shoot live performances and birds)
  3. Nikon 3500D with Nikkor 18-55 kit lens (Optional get the twin-kit lens pack that includes a Nikkor 70-300 lens if you intend to shoot live performances and birds)

Here is hoping that I have spared you hours of internet research and agonizing over budgets. Get a camera that catches your fancy and come join us at MYNT to get your photographic journey started.

 

 

P.S: In case you think I am being paid by these companies to push their phones or cameras, I swear by all my photographic gods that is not the case. 

 

5 ways to Change your Passion into a Successful Career

“Discover your Passion.” “Follow your Heart.” “Make your Passion your Paycheck”

We all must have heard these bits of advice every now and then from super-successful people in various talks and speeches. And although it sounds very easy, it isn’t. Finding your passion seems like a mystery and we all search for the key to solve this mystery. It is said that your passion can take you places. We at Mynt believe that it takes to place where you should really be. As India’s First Experiential Learning Platform, we believe that you can do everything as long as you have the passion, determination, motivation, support, guidance and right direction.

The problem with finding a passion especially at a younger age, when you have limitless choices for what to do, which vocations to choose that could become your passion etc. can sometimes put you in a fix! You may ask yourself the right questions. You may think about what you love more. But still won’t be sure what your true passion is. Well, the solution is here  – we help you in deciphering the right road map for your career.

Now that you have successfully graduated from your school or college, it’s a high time to move on and to make wise choices with regard to what you really want for your lives. In order to fast-track your careers, you need to be ‘First time Right’ as you make decisions and choose your options. To help you make the right decision and find your ‘Next Thing’, we bring you first-hand experience of the ‘next-generation’ careers that will take over the world tomorrow. Our aim is to empower students with experiential learning and all the essential knowledge they require before selecting one of these ‘next-generation’ careers. Take a look at a few of them:  

Entrepreneurship

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen” and only those who dare to follow their passion make them happen. There are thousands of people who dream about starting their business but there are only a few who actually become entrepreneurs. So, if you desire to be your own boss and have better control, have the enthusiasm to take risks in the changing global environment, aim to develop and implement a plan right from the ground level, then this course is definitely for you!

Our entrepreneurship capsule is designed with the aim to provide you an insight into the ecosystem of start-ups, to develop the entrepreneurial spirit of solving real-world problems and make better-informed key decisions. Come and explore more!

 

Photography

Well, maybe you’re just inquisitive about photography or perhaps you do it as a hobby but aren’t sure whether you should really dive into it. Photography may be a passion for many but there are only a few who actually make it their career. Just like many other students, you must be in a dilemma whether to make photography as your ‘next thing’ or not? But, we assure you that after joining our capsule course you will keep your doubts aside and will get convinced that photography is an amazing skill to develop.

So, if you are passionate about freezing moments that will be cherished for generations or want to make your photographs popular on Instagram, then this course is for you!

Photography

Filmmaking

Lights, Camera, Action!

If you’re an artistic soul who dreams of making their own silver-screen sensation, then probably you don’t need many reasons as to why you should turn your passion into a career. The global film industry has enlarged with the increasing popularity of Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. This has led to an increase in the demand of aspiring directors, cinematographers, and other filmmaking professionals. At Mynt, we introduce you to the vast world of filmmaking and cinema, enabling you to think like a filmmaker and make better-informed key decisions regarding further exploration in the field. So, join us to let your ideas come to life.

Filmmaking

Electronic Music Production

Are you passionate about music and want to make people groove on your tracks but not sure whether music production is your calling in life? Don’t worry, take our Electronic Music Production Capsule and gain a clear idea about your future as a musician.

Set yourself apart from the crowd, by discovering and bringing out your creativity and artistic vision and understand the art of music production from India’s favourite music ensembles.

Internet of Things

Technology is here to stay! We all utilize it in our day to day life whether it is banking, shopping, or offices – have you ever calculate how many times a day do you use google? The Internet has today become an essential part of our life and from smart home devices to self-driven cars, IoT has created a giant network connecting all devices together. So, if you are a cybernaut who is in love with technology and want to discover its possibilities and abilities, then this course is for you! Explore the opportunities and gain insights into the vast world of “Internet of Things” from industry experts and make that right decision in your life.

If you’re having a tough time deciding what to choose as a career option, how to pursue your passion or how to change a passion into a successful career, then we are here to help you!

Come and be a part of India’s first experiential learning platform and give your future the right direction. Identify your calling and make it your career by getting the right supervision from experts.

If you have missed our last session, here’s another chance for you! Enroll for our June’19 session and explore some unconventional career paths with our immersive capsules. For more info, visit our website: www.projectmynt.com

Interesting Career Opportunities in Photography

With the improvement in the technology of phone cameras and the “share-it” mindset that apps such as Instagram have brought along, photography as a career has really boomed in the recent past. Presently, opportunities are plenty for photographers but as with everything else, they come with an equal amount of competition to be the best in the industry. As with any creative profession, one has to constantly keep upping your game to stay relevant and be future ready.

We live in a world full of instant photography, one where every smartphone has a camera which can freeze unlimited moments at the click of a button. This wasn’t possible as recently as two decades ago when owning a camera or getting a picture clicked was a luxury which only a privileged few could have. But the world today has evolved, all thanks to the smartphones’ superlative cameras which can click tones of videos and pictures. Freezing memories daily has become an irreplaceable part of our lives.

Considering how the fashion, media and advertising industry is flourishing, photography has been emerging as a very lucrative career opportunity worldwide. Photography is now perceived as a full-time career than just a hobby and there are so many diverse sub-sectors in this field that most aspiring photographers just don’t know where to start.

Also read: Is Alternative Education your Next Thing? 

Today, we are going to cover all these diverse sub-sectors of photography (other than starting your very own studio) so you can be better informed about which direction you want to head in when it comes to pursuing photography.

Photography course

1) Fashion Photography: Possible the most glamorous side of the industry, this will let you express a more artistic, surreal style of photography. The job includes taking pictures of models wearing high-end fashion, commercial fashion in a studio or swimsuits on a beach. Fashion photographers create fantasy images of the ‘ideal look’ which encourage consumers to buy certain clothes, makeup, jewellery and accessories.

2) Portrait Photography: 
Taking pictures of people, either individually or in groups is the job of a portrait photographer. It essentially involves capturing precious family moments which includes both portrait shots as well as candid shots that capture the intimacy of a relationship or a child’s milestone birthday. To become a professional portrait photographer, the most important thing is to excellent interpersonal skills apart from an eye to identify and capture the right moment.

3) Forensic Photography: 
This particular stint requires much more than just photography skills! A forensic photographer must possess a great deal of knowledge regarding human anatomy and forensic procedures since their images are used to support evidence in legal cases in the court of law. It largely involves depicting crime scenes from various angles and distances and the eligibility requirement varies from department to department but experience in police work, forensics, crime scene investigation and photography will make an application more competitive.   

4) Nature, Wildlife and Travel Photography: 
Taking pictures of all aspects of nature which includes scenery and animals both is what includes the job of nature and wildlife photographer. This includes photos of specific kinds of animals, animal action shots, underwater shots, weather phenomenon and many more and the career path includes learning about nature, how animals behave, when are they active, finding local natural spots and being patient since nature doesn’t give you what you need in an instant!

Travel photography

5) Military Photography: A day in the life of an Army photographer might involve everything from snapping candid photos of soldiers at work to recording battlefield action as it happens. But not everyone can just join the Army and pick up a camera. The opportunity to record the Army in action takes special skills and specific training. As a military photographer, your photos would be used for recruitment, educational purposes, and historical documentation, similar to photojournalism.

6) Photojournalist: 
It is an art of creating a visual representation of a newsworthy event where words fall short. It most certainly is a broad career, since the field is extremely diverse, from international issues to local sports events and it comes with its own set of challenges. It’s one of the toughest fields to break into and requires a lot of passion and perseverance. To get into this field, photographers often get into a job at a newspaper or magazine. There’s a long period of freelance work also as you slowly build your portfolio and network.

7) Photo editor or digital imaging editor: This career is for those who have a keen eye in selecting the right image for a story and editing them for a magazine or a publication. The most essential skill is to have an eye for excellent photos and many times edit the photo to make it work for the specific purpose. A photo editor should understand how people react to pictures and should have a keen eye for detail.


Is photography your passion? Are you interested in freezing moments which will be cherished for generations? If it is so, check out our photography course on our website now and start the journey as a photographer!