Top 10 Big Ticket Items Every DIYer Should Own: day 2

February 1, 2011

A Digital SLR. How can anyone appreciate what you've done if you don't have a decent way to document it? DSLRs have the ability to show depth by focusing on an object and blurring the background. It also allows you to set the shutter speed and aperature opening on your own. These are things you just can't do with a point and shoot. Anyone with a DSLR who knows how to use it will tell you the same thing. 

Having a DSLR can help you to take photos for items you've created that you want to sell on etsy. The right photo can sell a product or get a better sales price over a similar item with a mediocre picture.Some advisable accessories to a DSLR is a lens with an f/stop of 2 or lower. These are run pricey but if you get a fixed lens rather than an adjustable one it is MUCH cheaper. Also a bounce light is almost like magic. You know how when you take a photo with the flash it looks like crap? Well....with a bounce light it doesn't. The only downside is that it only works indoors in rooms with ceilings no higher than 15'. So it's not so great for auditorium or banquet hall shots. But unless you're a wedding photographer that doesn't happen much. Oh and a wireless remote is also invaluable! Preferably one with a 2 second delay option.

And please, if you purchase a DSLR don't make the mistake of NOT exploring the settings. Learn what f/5.6 means. Learn how to make your photos brighter. There's few things more annoying than seeing someone purchase an expensive SLR camera and using it as a point and shoot. If you use it as a point and shoot, that's the quality photo you're going to get. Explore the manual settings. Trust me, you'll never look back.

Image 1 and Image 2

Interesting links:
I want to go here.
If I didn't have kids I would design my home with this color scheme.

Now seriously, how clever is this?

24 {comments}:

Christie // lemon squeezy home said... Best Blogger Tips

These are good tips (yesterday and today). And I had to smile when I recognized my sewing machine graphic (well, almost positive it is from my sewing through the decades posts:).

Juliette said... Best Blogger Tips

maybe this is dumb, but does a bounce light work if your ceilings are dark?

Amy B. said... Best Blogger Tips

bouncing light doesn't work if your ceilings are anything but white actually. The color of the ceiling will reflect back in the light from the flash.

You can use a flash diffuser to help with that situation though. I use one from Gary Fong, but there are quite a few on the market. Read the reviews and be sure you get one that fits your needs and your flash.

I totally agreed with the sewing machine recommendation, but I'm going to have to say that not every crafter needs an expensive camera. If you have a blog that you want lots of traffic on, yes. If you sell on etsy or other websites, yes. If you just like making crafts and fixing up your home? no. Not necessary at all. There are plenty of $200 cameras that will work just fine to take pictures of what you are doing.

Lucy in the Clouds said... Best Blogger Tips

Useful post - thanks. I've just bought myself a DSLR and am on a course learning how to use it properly.

I'm going to copy "If you use it as a point and shoot, that's the quality you'll get" onto my camera bag as a reminder!!

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

Love this series! I'm saving our pennies for a digital slr. :) After enlarging some pictures we took at White Sands with the highest possible settings on our point and shoot my husband agrees. Yeah! Hopefully I'll find an awesome one at a reasonable price. If it's not too personal, what kind of camera do you use and how do you like it?

Joanna said... Best Blogger Tips

Absolutely! I'm just an amateur, but DSLRs are amazing.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

What suggestions would you have for a cheap(er) DSLR? I've been looking at options but it can be daunting.

brittany said... Best Blogger Tips

the real question now is... where can i get that bag?!

monica lee said... Best Blogger Tips

oh no that's me, that's me. Nice camera...using it like a point and shoot. Argh! I need and assistant to read the manual and help me...wait where is my teenage son...he has a snow day today!

Aeriena Eve said... Best Blogger Tips

Does anyone have any links for learning how to use a dSLR? Even simple YouTube videos are beyond me!

Sweeter Hours said... Best Blogger Tips

Saving my pennies, le sigh.

jhelene said... Best Blogger Tips

Your posts are so helpful! A DSLR is on my list!

merry faith said... Best Blogger Tips

old slrs are fabulous too--you can get a used 40d, 50d, even a rebel xsi for cheapo and chances are, you won't need the features of the upgrade one (especially if you're selling things--do you REALLY need 15 megapixels?0 but there are some great point and shoots out there too--I know a photographer who loved her canon powershot g9 for years and between that camera and photoshop, she took pictures that could rival anyone with a 5d. granted, the g series is a very high end point and shoot, and she did end up getting a 5d mk II recently, but still. fabulous shots have much more to do with the shooter's eye than their gear. but a dslr is a fabulous thing to own and I love mine :)

Erica @ Acire Adventures said... Best Blogger Tips

*big sigh* I can't wait until I can afford one of these!

Faye Lewis said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for posting the camera information because your pictures are certainly beautiful.

Ana said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so happy you are posting about this. I got a dslr camera this Christmas and I'm learning as I go. So this is so helpful!

Cold Oatmeal and Purple Cows said... Best Blogger Tips

Dreaming of a new camera...

Stuey said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't know if I can agree with this. Many people rush into buying an SLR only to find that it's too much for them to handle.

Using an SLR in "auto" or "green box" mode is a waste of its capabilities and can actually lead to poor image quality. If one is going to use an SLR as a "point and shoot" camera, they're better off going with a "super zoom" camera or something similar with manual control options.

I often recommend super zoom cameras (e.g. Canon SX20) to more of my friends and colleagues than SLRs. These types of cameras are great stepping stones and can still be used after the user upgrades to an SLR.

In my opinion, anyone considering an SLR should take a look at how many photos they take in a year. 100? 500? 2000?

I took many 4000 photos with my super-zoom camera before upgrading a Canon Rebel XSI and then another 10,000 photos or so before upgrading to a Canon 60D.

Plus, more equipment and additional lenses are usually necessary to get the most out of an SLR, which translates to a lot more $$ than most people realize when they purchase their first SLR.

@no2pesnel - you first have to choose a system. Canon and Nikon are the market leaders and offer the most in terms of lenses and add-ons. The Canon Rebel XS is pretty affordable, but it's rather dated. If you wait you can get a good deal on a T1i or even a T2i with a 2-lens kit.

@Juliette , light will still bounce off of dark ceilings, but not well and as Amy B said you'll get a color cast. If you still need to aim a flash up to bounce back on your work, use a lightbox or stick some foam core board to the ceiling with renovable double sided tape or sticky tack.

"The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby ISBN 032147404X is a good place to start. It does a good job of showing how to use an SLR rather than just telling.

Mike and Shayla said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm so ashamed of myself. :) I've had a DSLR since Mother's day, and I just have not taken the time to learn what it can do! It takes really nice pictures in auto mode, and I'm especially benefiting from the image stabilization, but I know it can do so much more!
I will have to check out the Digital Photography Book.

Lauralee said... Best Blogger Tips

oh so very true. I love DSLR's. Some day . . . I'm really liking all the different series you've been posting. You are always inspiring

nike 6.0 shoes said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow its really amazing tips, and i love that photo and camera kit's. I am really glad that you shared this post.

Stuey said... Best Blogger Tips

@brittany, steve, gabe and ezra,

DaharaDesigns said... Best Blogger Tips

I agree! DSLR is a must - if you can afford one! In the meantime, invest some time and a few bucks into lighting and lightboxes - it'll save you and your products a lot of heartache.

I also wonder where a good starting point for a DSLR is - in terms of cost vs. capabilities; system notwithstanding.

Rachel said... Best Blogger Tips

I appreciate the camera information. I have a D5000 Nikon and I am figuring it out slowly. I do have a remote with the 2 second delay which is great when hubby doesn't want to take pictures of me for my blog photos :) I am going to have to get the bounce light to keep the pesky shadows from popping up in all my photos. Thanks again.

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