Photo Lesson Overview on CGIPix.com

CGIPix is an observation that Nikon, Canon and the rest no longer make cameras,
they make computers that you can attach a lens to.
Here is a basic overview of what it takes to create good, better or best pictures, you decide how much effort you want to put into your pictures.

The basics of photography, all on one page:

Cameras

Here is some more information on these pages about the different types of DSLR cameras:

More on Professional Camera Bodies and Equipment

Backup Camera Equipment for Pros and Serious Amatuer Cameras - Prosumer DSLR Cameras

Hobbyist and Basic DSLR Cameras

Camera Equipment Gear List for Professional Wedding Photographers

A camera is a tool, just like a hammer. Some people can build a house with a hammer, and other people split their thumb open. Seriously, one of the most painful things for me is when someone wants to show me their pictures. All you can do is say, nice, quickly shuffle through them and get it over with. Most people take horrible pictures, and get lucky to take a good one. People who know how to take pictures can create good or great images with any camera.

Nikon, Canon, Sony (Minolta), Pentax, Olympus or Fuji, it really doesn't matter a lot, as long as it's a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera (DSLR), not a Point and Shoot (P and S).

DSLR - Interchangeable lenses


P and S - Single solid mounted lens


It comes down to price, accessories and functions. I prefer Nikon, because of their optics and mounts. A lot of the pictures on this site are taken with a 600mm F4 manual focus lens, originally made around 1998. It's still a top notch lens, and produces great photos, but since it is manual focus, it costs a lot less. An auto focus version costs around 5,000.00-6,000.00 used, while the manual focus is 3,000.00-4,000.00 used. Nikon is the only 35mm camera that I know of where you can use old manual focus lenses on the newest digital camera bodies. It's nice to have a complete selection of high end glass that can be purchased cheaply, and still work on a new digital camera.

Another good point for Nikon is their new flash units use their Creative Lighting System, where you can trigger the flashes remotely from the built in flash on camera, and have multiple flashes fire. This saves you a lot of time, trouble and money hooking up cords, purchasing flash sensors, and taking flash readings.

Canon cameras are great, they have a high frames per second shooting rate, and the cameras are solid. The Canon cameras have extremely fast auto focus lenses.

Sony cameras are the Minolta camera designs, rebranded and redone. They are great cameras, and cost less than Nikon or Canon.

Fuji cameras use the same lenses as Nikons, cost less, and have a different sensor in them that some people think are great.

Olympus and Pentax are two cameras I've never owned. They look solid, and some people will swear by them.

What it really comes down to is using one, seeing what you like, and sticking with it to learn photography.

Another consideration is what your friends are shooting, if you purchase a similar camera, you have more lenses around.

For professionals in the film and manual focus days, the choice used to be Nikon. Almost everyone used Nikons, so if you were at a pro event, you could get lucky. One time a newspaper photographer asked if I wanted to use his 600mm F4, with a 1.4 teleconverter while he went to grab some wide angle shots. When someone asks if you want to hook up to a 5,000.00 lens, you say yes. In the 2 rolls I shot with it, managed to get one ad shot and one editorial shot.

Currently, a lot of pros are using Canon, because the autofocus lenses are faster. Some pros are switching back to Nikon, as their lenses are now equivalent to Canon for auto focus speed.
If you have aspirations of going pro, then your choices are really limited to Nikon and Canon. That doesn't mean the other cameras are less quality, it's just that you need to think about interchangeability in the field.

For digital cameras, I use the Nikon D300. The Nikon D70s was my first digital, and it is a great camera, except the frames per second is too slow for sports and action. The Nikon D300 has great color rendition, fast auto focus and a high frame rate. It also has the advantage of metering correctly and displaying the F-Stop with manual focus lenses. But, like I said earlier, put any camera in a photographer's hands, and it will produce good images.

Point and Shoot Cameras

It's funny, but I'll be lugging around a 600mm F4 lens, with a D300 hooked up to it (about 16 pounds of camera and lens, at a cost of around 5,500.00), and invariably, someone will ask me which is the best point and shoot camera.

Honestly, those things confuse the heck out of me, "What button is it you push to make the shutter fire?"

Of all of the P and S cameras, the Sony's are really good. Nikon and Canon make professional gear, Sony is a consumer electronics manufacturer. If you're buying pro DSLR, Nikon or Canon, if you're buying consumer P and S, Sony is the company. I've used a few Sony P and S, and they were pretty good.

Here are some samples from the Photo Galleries:

Here are the guidelines for using any pictures from this site:

If the image is stated as being a COPYRIGHTED IMAGE, then it cannot be used. A link MUST be placed from the page that the picture is used, either to Home Page, Thumbnail Page or to the photo's Gallery Page.
The link can be a text link at the bottom of the page, or the picture can be a link.
There is a limit of 10 (Ten) photos that may be used from this website on another single website. After 10 (Ten) photos, permission must be obtained to use additional photos.
Keep the name of the picture as it was originally named, without changing it.
The images on this site are all sized at 400 x 600, that is the size limit for using them on any other website.
The Desktop Backgrounds are for personal use only, and are not meant to be put on a website, unless they are resized at 400 x 600.
You can use the images for commercial, personal, professional or any type of website.
If it's a commercial website, remember that you don't have a model release, so if it's a picture with someone in it, and they are prominently featured, you can't use it without a model release. When it's a picture of scenery or anything where the people are not identifiable, then you can use it freely.
The "MODELS" pictures are all PREMIUM images. They cannot be used without permission.
It's not a requirement, but send me an e-mail if you use a photo.