15 May 2013

Mercy of the Lens

another navy blazer

So when I initially put this outfit together, I thought the overall layered effect with be more uh, slimming ... but I guess somehow the mirror told me that I looked fine (?) and then the camera apparently disagreed with it.

Speaking of cameras, I upgraded last year from my point-and-shoot camera to a Panasonic DMC-FZ150. For a gal who has always used Canon products, it was actually a pretty easy transition to the Panasonic - the FZ150 had some nifty features like a flip-back screen and was remote clicker-compatible, both very nice conveniences for a gal who takes her own pics. Plus  the zoom on this fixed-lens camera is wicked good, seriously (I've taken it to air shows and had no problems zooming in on aircraft doing demos overhead or taxiing all the way across the airfield).

another navy blazer  another navy blazer

However, it's not the best portrait camera. Granted I don't have any sites set on Best Fashion Blogger of the Year or anything, but I do wish I could get some of the color richness and depth from a better camera. And yes, I do now regret that when I was looking last year, I nixed the idea of a DSLR because it seemed complicated (though I am totally that person who will buy something electronic and never ever read the manual. Ever. Eyes crossing even now at the thought) and wanted to save some dollars.

I haven't made my mind up yet if I wanted to make the investment yet, but I am currently considering a Canon T3i with a 50mm lens. Seems like it would not only give me better options for my outfit pics, but it'll let me take richer pictures overall. Though it does make me ask - for a lackluster photog like myself, would a better camera automatically equal better pics?

I'd love to hear some advice from you ladies. Do any of you currently use a T3, and if so, what do you think? Or what kind of camera and lens do you currently use for your blog pics and are you happy with it? 

another navy blazer

Blazer: Cartonnier via Anthropologie brief meeting (reviewed here - sim, striped, deal, luxe)
Top: Limited button detailed (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Jeans: J.Crew hipslung (worn here - sim, sim)
Necklace: C.Wonder square stone (worn here - sim, sim, cute bows)
Bracelets: J.Crew wildflower (sim), C.Wonder pave initial, Sage K and Co via Etsy (sim)
Bag: Pour La Victoire roma (worn here - sim, sim, pricey)
Shoes: Michael Kors hamilton (worn here - sim, sim, peep, luxe)

61 comments:

  1. I have a NikonD3100 and several lenses. A DSLR is going to take better pictures even if you don't know what you're doing. BUT, for me, having a better camera made me want to learn how to use it and how to take better pictures. I've taken a workshop and do a lot of reading. I've had it about 1 1/2 years and definitely consider myself an enthusiastic hobbyist. Editing software (if you're not using it already) will also help to brighten up dull photos, no matter what camera they're taken with. I use Photoshop Elements for "good" pictures, but I brighten up almost everything a little bit in Picasa which is free and a good place to start. Hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks, Kim! I've definitely taken more pictures overall since I started blogging and would love to continue that. Maybe having the better equipment will actually give me the push to work at being a better photog overall.

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  2. Don't you hate it when that happens? Silly lying mirror! Sadly, it happens way too often in my world. Ah, it's not me; it's just the clothes!

    Anyhow, I have nothing useful to contribute in regards to cameras because I still use my iPhone for pics and I don't see myself switching over anytime soon. Not that I'm particularly happy with the quality; I'm just a cheapskate, I guess, and I'm also a writer. For me and my blog, it's the words that are important and the pictures are just icing on the cake.

    I happen to love your pics and think you do a fantastic job regardless of camera. I say if your heart wants it and your pocketbook allows it, get the fancy one. But if you we're worried about the current state of your pics, then as I reader I can assure you that - iPhone, iPad or MacBook - your blog always comes up roses for me!

    www.myclosetcatalogue.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I took only my iPhone with me on this past London trip and thought it was perfectly sufficient to take pics on the run. For some reason I am absolutely terrible at taking pics of myself with the iPhone (and I don't even have a full-length mirror at home!)

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  3. I don't think the camera is lying to you, you look great. But I know what you mean...looks good in the mirror, looks terrible photographed but maybe it's just the camera and the angle and the way I'm standing because the mirror wouldn't lie to me, would it??

    The boyfriend just got a DSLR (I think it's a Canon T3i, but don't quote me on it) and I'm a little scared of it. I'm also a person who would never read the manual...I'm too impatient for that! But I don't think it's as complicated/intimidating as it seems, if I would just take the time to figure it out a little.

    (Also, bf bought it specifically to take pictures at air shows. And it's pretty awesome for that. :))

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    1. Very cool! I also originally stayed away from a DSLR because I thought it'd be too bulky, but that Panasonic is only a smidge smaller than a reg DSLR too.

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  4. I have a T3, I don't use it for blog pics but use it for other stuff, and it automatically takes better pictures than any of my point and shoots, even though I don't really know what I'm doing. Go for it!!!

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    1. Thanks! I def don't know what I'm doing, but I think it'd be great for taking better pics overall.

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  5. Oh so cute - loving this look so much!

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  6. I love my DSLR and am pretty much married to my 50mm lens, but since you almost always take indoor photos, do you have enough space for a 50mm lens on a crop camera? You may need to consider a 35mm.

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    1. Good point, Lyddie, something I should think about! I am hoping too that if I get a DSLR, I'll find the time to venture out and take more outdoor pics - I've tried a few times with my current cam but the pics seem to fall flat for me.

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  7. Love the layers and I think it looks good on you. Lisa, have you considered micro 4/3rds cameras? They're far less bulky than the DSLR and you can still change lens. I bought one last month, the Olympus OMD EM5 but just haven't had the time to play with it more so I'm still relying on my Panasonic LX3 for outfit pics. I won't have any excuses soon since I'm visiting London next week, so I'll get to put it to good use then! :)

    fauxionista.com

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    1. Thanks, Fauxinista! I considered those as options when I was looking at the Panasonic originally but once again they were a bit more expensive and I didn't know a thing about interchangeable lenses. Call it a case of me making too safe a decision at the time - ah well!

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  8. AHHHHHH!!!! I am going through the same thing with the lens/camera questions!!! I bought a Nikon D40 DSLR about 5 years ago and JUST upgraded to a 50mm f/1.4 lens and it is REALLY REALLY hard for me to get used to after using a zoom lens. It is FABULOUS when I am behind the camera but has proven to be very difficult (for me) for using my tripod and remote. I am starting to think the Cannon T3i is much more user friendly!!! I'm sure no one else is even noticing the difference on my blog pics but I have lost sleep over it....ha ha!

    P.S. I think you look adorbs today!

    XOXO, Jenn
    The Stylish Housewife

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    1. I'm sure it will be a huge case of trial and error with me if I get this new cam - the only person I know IRL with any photog experience is my sister's husband but unfortunately they live states away!

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  9. I want to upgrade to a DSLR too. I did a lot of research on it and I think I'm going to get a Canon T3. I've asked my blog friends about it and it seems you can get away with the kit lens for a while. But I didn't anticipate that I'd be buying a new car so the camera may have to wait :)

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Target Giveaway!

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    1. I "may" have to get new tires for my car soon, so I guess I need to think of that too ... argh, real life stuff ... ;o)

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  10. I absolutely love that jacket. I wish I had the body type to wear it

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    1. Aw, thanks! I can't wear this blazer unbuttoned though, I look ridic, even though I've seen other people do it and rock it.

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  11. I have a Nikon D3100 since 2010 and cant stop using it ever since. Dont let an appearance of DSLR intimidate you. It looks complicated but they make DSLR for beginners like the Canon T3 you are looking at which is a good starter. I picked Nikon based on good reviews when it came out but you wont go wrong with either one i guarantee. Stay in auto mode until you are comfortable enough to venture out to manual mode since it takes some practice. There is no need to rush.

    I hate reading manual myself so i mainly learn from doing but at some point you will be curious enough to wanting to know how to use it to its full potential. It is an investment you wont regret, its clarity, faster shutter speed, quality and functions are worth every penny. You would wish you bought one sooner.

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    1. Thanks for your great advice! I already am wishing I bought one sooner! ;o)

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  12. I've had a Canon Rebel DSLR forever, and you need one. I love mine. It wasn't a super expensive purchase (not like a thousand dollar professional camera--I think I got mine for like $600 maybe?) Do you know that I never take it off auto setting? Manual-shmanual. I did have to get a good quality canon flash for it b/c I hate regular flashes and how they make pictures look all blown out, especially indoors. But my Canon is what I use to take most of the pictures from my blog (And the indoor pictures post-Christmas of 12 all use the new flash.)

    Also, I Photoshop my pictures ALWAYS, and most people do. Straight out of the camera shots rarely look that good on their own.

    Taylor

    Two Wheelers

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  13. I went from an Olympus point and shoot to a Canon Powershot to what I use now, which is a Canon Rebel 4. I was nervous about the transition too--I'm so not tech saavy. But it is actually coming along nicely. I didn't read the manual--just read up on it online. I think it is definitely worth the investment, but then again, I use my camera every single day--be it for the blog or my kids or whatnot.

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  14. I use a T3I with a 50 mm lens and I love it!! It takes fantastic photos and it's very user friendly. My friend who's a professional photographer suggested I get that. I've also heard great reviews about it from many other fashion bloggers.
    Meredith
    createthatoutfit.com

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  15. i have an older model dslr and the lens i always gravitate toward is a 50MM. it's a 1.8 f/s because as an amateur i really didn't need the faster model. ;) once i figure out where my charger is i'll break it out and start doing outfit photos from there. hah.

    i do like this outfit!

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  16. Ooh I like this outfit and I do think that it's slimming!

    I've been debating the last few months on whether I want to upgrade to a dSLR or not. I've looked at a few cameras but I'm just not sure what I want to do. If taking pictures of my kids is my priority, I want a not TOO expensive camera that I can stick in my diaper bag without having to deal with lenses and all that stuff, because I don't want to have to carry around two kids, a diaper bag AND a camera bag. But then for my blog, I'd love to have a nice dSLR with remote (omg so sick of my self-timer), though I'm not sure how much longer I'll be blogging for, and I don't want to buy a fancy dSLR for the sole purpose of taking blog photos. Your Panasonic seems like a good fit though, so if you do upgrade to a dSLR, I would be interested in buying your old camera, so let me know!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Not that I am planning to quit blogging, but I was thinking along the same lines as you reading getting a DSLR - it's a nice investment camera and great for overall photography, but if I use it mostly for blogging, would it be worth it to spend the money IF I decide to quit?

      I have to hand it to the Panasonic - I've downright dropped it on its head once, and other than a mark on the body, it still works just fine!

      (And I'll def let you know!)

      Delete
  17. Your pictures are always bright and in high definition. I on the other hand need to get one of those DSLR!

    GREETINGS FROM DUBAI
    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES
    http://mrsjackofalltradesdaily.blogspot.ae/

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  18. Okay, let me ask you these questions: if you get a DSLR, will you still be taking your blog photos inside your house as you currently do? Do you intend to intend on using the SLR while traveling or generally out and about? I ask because (1) you don't need to shallow depth of field from the DSLR when there's a wall behind you, whereas if you take photos outdoors, you get that lovely soft background effect, and (2) yes, the SLR will take nicer travel photos, but they are bigger, and as you noticed with your iPhone in London, the best camera is the one you have with you.

    I have a high end point & shoot myself (Panasonic Lumix LX-7) and shoot my outfit against a wall (for now) AND I really like having a camera that isn't much bigger than a deck of cards that I can carry around every day, and didn't add a lot of bulk while traveling by train in India or walking through crowded market alleys.

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    1. OTOH, reading your comments, it sounds like you really WANT a DSLR, so if that's the case, then you should definitely get it!

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    2. Hahah, I know - whether I Need a new camera or Want a new camera are two different things. Because obviously I Want one ... ;o)

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  19. I have the Nikon 1 with 30-110mm lens. It's supposed to have the quality and options similar to a DSLR with the ease of a point of shoot. I feel like I cannot take decent self pictures with it!! Maybe it's just me? I shoot inside, like you. I use a remote shutter release, in bright indirect light with a low flash against a cream wall. Your pictures turn out much better! I would love for you to do a tutorial on how you take your pics because I think they look great. :)

    Love the outfit too, BTW!

    -Lauren @ Style of One's Own

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    1. Aw, thanks - virtual high five for another self-photog!

      Delete
  20. I must have mirror vision, you look perfectly slim to me and if you weren't always so beautifully dressed your comment about not owning a full length mirror would be kind of funny.

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    1. Taking outfit pics are the only way I can see myself from head-to-toe before I leave the house, hehe!

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  21. I would highly recommend the T3i. It's a great camera, perfect for a fashion blogger. It really doesn't take too long to learn and the results are well-worth the time spent learning. You will love the 50mm as long as you have the space for it (as another reader commented).

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    1. I'm hoping if I got a better cam, it'll make me get off my lazy butt and scout some nicer backgrounds!

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  22. My advice to you is to consider buying a used body because as of right now, everyone has been purchasing the new canon camera. Otherwise, I know nothing else. LOL. On to the outfit, you are looking lovely today! I love the jeans!

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  23. I used a T3i with the 50mm f/1.8 lens for a long time and the set-up was perfect. All ya do is set that puppy to AV mode (it lets you play with the aperture, which is what will give you that pretty blurry background), set the aperture to f/2.2 (it's the best setting I found for that camera + lens), and find an area to take pics that has a deep depth of field between you and anything in the background. Oh yeah, and you'll need photo editing software b/c pics straight out of the camera tend to come out a little desaturated & need some tweaking. =)

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  24. I don't think you look bulky at all. :) I have a Micro Four-Thirds camera, an Olympus EPL1. I bought it before I started blogging, which means I didn't pay attention to whether it was remote-compatible (it's not). I still haven't learned how to use all of its features, as I've found putting it on P mode (I control the focus and the camera controls everything else) will give me decent outfit photos. I use PicMonkey's free features for cropping and tweaking the exposure. I do like the Micro Four-Third cameras because they are a bit smaller, which means I am more inclined to take it with me places. :)

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    1. Size was another thing that kind of turned me off to DSLRs initially as well - I had a hard enough time lugging a point and shoot around! However, the Panasonic honestly isn't much smaller than a DSLR, and granted I wouldn't take it on all trips, it was less bad than I thought. Granted if I got into all sorts of different lenses, that would probably be another story ...

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  25. I think this a great casual look, and not bulky at all! I'm curious to read the responses to this post. I just finally upgraded to my first DSLR not too long ago, and I still have a lot to learn, especially about lenses. Can't wait to see what you end up getting!

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    1. I'm leaning heavily to the T3 right now, looking for some good pricing somewhere!

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  26. i agree with everyone else -- you look downright fabulous. although i, myself, have experienced something similar -- when getting dressed at home, i'll think "this outfit is amazing, amazing, amazing," but when I walk through the door at work, i look down and think, "wait, WHAT?!?" ...SIGH....

    cynthia @ www.scotchandpaprikash.com

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    1. My fave is after I get home and look at myself in the mirror, and think, "holy crap, I looked like THAT all day?!"

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  27. i love that orange on you so beautiful! i love all your gold jewelry too!!

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  28. Really like this look! Especially the purse! I think I need that in my life!!!

    Xo, Kenya

    Www.kenyaldesigns.com

    Kenya L Fashion Blog

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  29. I'm a Nikon girl myself. I have a 50mm lens and love it for portraits of my kids.

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  30. I just got a Canon T3i after MUCH MUCH research and love it so very much already. I carry it everywhere on the weekend in my crossbody bag. This means I don't just take outfit photos with it.

    As for lens - I am still trying to work out how useful a 50mm lens is for me

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  31. Unfortunately i cannot give you any camera or photograph advise as until last year i took my pics with a 3 year old Nokia phone. Last year i bought an inexpensive Canon which I am still struggling with...
    That being said, I like your pictures.

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  32. I think that your outfit looks good. It is just that there is no light between your arms and the jacket. That is all.
    As for cameras... oh boy. I am having a hard time. I used to have a DSLR, a Nikon. Cannot remember what type, but it was expensive enough. My husband traded it in for a Samsung NX11 and I use a 18-55 lens. Problem with the camera is that it had no remote control, just one with a wire attached to the camera (80 cm!!). But the shop owner found a standard one which is now fitted on top of the camera. It works fine. Only... I cannot use the flash of the camera as the remote unit is fitted on top of the flash hahaha. Like you I don't really like flash that much so I don't mind.
    As I always have the camera on a tripod I cannot use it for more depth or for setting the camera first. After all, if I want to set it, I have to dress a mannequin first, set the camera, hold it and then put the clothes of the mannequin on and take the picture. Don't think so. This is because it matters whether you are wearing a white dress, or shirt or black. And outdoors what kind of light there is. I wish I could get my pictures as sharp as you have them. So much to learn.

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  33. I use a Canon T2i (the model before the T3) for my food/craft/home photos and I love it. I use a 17-55mm wide angle lens. For outfit photos, you'd have to use a tripod and a remote and play around with setting your pictures up in a place where the light is nice and consistent.

    I don't know too much "technical" stuff about photography. I tend to shoot on a whim whereas Michael always shoots on manual mode. He has a Canon as well. But I can recommend researching lenses. They make a big difference. Think of the camera body as a boat and the lens as the captain. You can also rent lenses at some camera stores.

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  34. I got a T3i about a year and a half ago. I absolutely LOVE it. I use the kit lens (18-55mm) that came with it that I use most of the time, a 50mm lens for people shots, and a 55-250 zoom lens. I think it's pretty easy to pick up on the basics, and depending how much you want to learn there all kinds of tutorials and blogs on the interwebs. I am a super nerd and also bought the huge manual for my camera, which is helpful for me but not necessary. Good luck and happy camera shopping if you decide to splurge! :)

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