Want a really simple digital camera for your website?
This is what you are looking for…
If you need to take a better picture than the one coming out of your phone (and we will always urge you to go for something better than a phone image) then you are looking for a DSLR camera. Why do you need a better camera? Because the lens can move to frame your subject better. And due to it’s size, your phone just cannot do that. A lot of people no longer own a DSLR but that does not mean that they don’t need one. DSLR cameras now are… cheap. How cheap? Well a very good used camera to take images for your website, in very good to excellent condition is usually selling for under $200. And this camera will take an image that will pass muster on any website. The camera on the right is a Panasonic GF3. It is a few years old now, but if you go to eBay and do a search you will find a bunch of these for sale. They retailed new for about $6-700 but now they are selling, with all the goodies for under $200. These cameras are known as ‘Micro 4/3rds’ cameras. And they will produce a near perfect image for your website.
Micro 4/3rds cameras don’t have a mirror in them, so they are lighter and more compact compared to a full sized DSLR. This means that they have a few advantages over these larger cameras.
- they are smaller as they don’t have a reflex mirror in them
- they are lighter as the cameras have a smaller footprint
- they are cheaper to build as there are less moving parts
The downside is that they are not so good in low light settings. But for website images, we are usually chasing images that are in full light so that is not an issue. What you need to understand is that in this consumer driven world that we live in, people who have purchased a camera like this one tend to not wear it out. They will usually use it for a while then store it away somewhere safe and not use it. And that is why the prices are so low on them. As the manufacturers keep on making new ones to replace them, the price on a used camera is pushed down after a few years for a camera that is still perfectly functional and suited to your needs.
There are a few manufacturers using this ‘M43’ standard and the top of the bunch are Panasonic and Olympus. The models that you are looking for are:
Panasonic GF1, GF2, GF3
Olympus Pen series E-PM1, E-P1, E-P2, E-P3, E-PLI, E-PL2, E-PL3
Once you start to have a look at eBay you will be surprised to find that some models came with 2 lenses… and a bag… and a memory card… It is a buyers market and this gear is still in very useable condition.
The important difference between film cameras and digital cameras…
With digital cameras, you can take as many images as you need to take to get the right shot. For most cameras, running out of memory is not too much of an issue as you potentially have the capacity for thousands of images on the memory cards. So use this capacity and take a lot of shots. Good photographers don’t get a ‘keeper’ taking a few shots. They take hundreds of shots to get the images that they will want to use for a specific purpose. This is why we are seeing so many more great images on the web- there are so many more images being taken every day on cameras, phones and other devices. It is a numbers game, and if you want to get better images for your own use get more comfortable pressing that shutter button more often.