Posts Tagged ‘Experience’

Know the Quick Tips

For when you only have a few minutes to talk to someone who asks for tips on how to take good pictures, you might consider the following elements that have been helpful for me:

  1. Produce Emotional Impact
    1. Purpose (what message do you want people to walk away from the picture with?)
    2. Content (what subjects are impactful?)
    3. Focus (is the most important part of the picture clear?)
  2. Understand Composition
    1. Rule of thirds
    2. Depth of field
    3. Fill the frame
  3. Capture Dynamic Lighting
    1. Correct exposure
    2. Color
    3. Contrast

Knowledge flows along existing pathways . . . . If we want to understand how to improve the flow of knowledge, we need to understand those pathways." -Larry Prusak You probably have your own three sets of three that you feel are most important. To tell you the truth, I pretty much made this up on the spur of the moment in a time-crunched setting earlier this year. But it wasn’t hard because it was just summing up what I already knew in my head. Just think about it and you’ll find how beneficial your own experience can be to others.

Have you heard of SquareTrade?

I hadn’t either, until recently.

From a trusted source, was recommended to me as an inexpensive, reliable, and customer friendly location to purchase warranties for just about all electronics, including cameras, lenses and related accessories.

Before I buy into it, however, I’d like to hear from anyone who has researched them out or experienced working with them. I’m looking for some unbiased, experiential information about this seemingly too-good-to-be-true company. If you have heard of SquareTrade, would you recommend it?

Any and all comments are welcome!

What about Refurbished?

Recently, someone asked me, “Would you have any apprehensions about refurbished cameras? Do you know of anyone who has purchased one?” These are good questions. First, not only are they asking for my opinion, but they also want some insight from someone who has experience. Well, they have come to the right place. Not only do I have an opinion on the matter, but I also have some experience.

The last picture taken with the 20DLast November, I needed to upgrade. My first digital camera, a faithful 20D, died on a trip to Mexico City, and I was looking to replace my kit 18-55mm lens. I figured it would be best to do my research all at once and buy them both at the same time. Due to funds, I found I could feasibly purchase what I was looking for at Adorama if I bought them refurbished or used. I was apprehensive at first because I had never bought anything that wasn’t completely new before, but after some study, I came to the following conclusion:

  • Refurbished is worth the risk; used is not!

The difference between Refurbished and Used can be significant. Refurbished usually means that someone bought the camera, opened it, decided they didn’t like it, and sent it back to the manufacturer. Why they didn’t like it is where you have to take the risk. Perhaps it malfunctioned. Perhaps it had missing parts. Perhaps they just didn’t like the way it looked. Whatever the reason, once a camera is sent back, it can’t be sold as new anymore. Thus, they make the necessary repairs, run it through whatever functionality tests are required, and, if it passes, they put it up for sale as a refurbished item.

On the other hand, Used refers to a camera that someone has had for a while and has sold it back to the manufacturer for any number of reasons. It’s impossible to gauge the health of a used camera. The outward appearance might be excellent, but there is no way of telling what the inside condition is. Used cameras are cheap and you might get just as much life out of them as you would a new camera; it’s just that the changes are slim.

So, speaking from both opinion and experience, I would take the risk to buy a refurbished camera. Though I am only speaking from six months of light and occasional use, both my refurbished camera and lens are doing just fine.