Photo Friday: Choosing the Right Camera

Photo Friday
We recognize that our audience has an interest in photography to capture special moments such as Courts of Honors, campouts, winter activities, family vacations, sport events, and other gatherings. “Photo Friday” is intended to help photography amateurs improve their photo shoots through photo tips, which may include basic skills, creative shooting techniques, and proper care and maintenance. Tips in this section are written by amateurs, professional photographers, and by other contributors. We hope that you find these tips useful in your Scouting program. Photo Fridays are brought to you by Brandon Queen Photography.


We talked about the different types of cameras on last weeks tip. Now we will talk about choosing the right camera for you. Many factors go into choosing a camera and what might work for you or your Scout might not work for someone else. Here are some key points you will want to consider.

  1. Size and portability
  2. Durability
  3. Ergonomics and Features
  4. Price

Ask yourself – What will I be using this camera for? If you are taking your camera on backpacking trips a smaller, more durable model might be better. Shooting the candle lighting ceremony at your unit’s upcoming banquet? Then a dSLR will allow you to control the aperture, shutter speed, and white balance to get a tack-sharp image of your youth.

Size and Portability

Point and Shoot cameras are getting smaller, slimmer, and more feature packed as time goes on. These are easily slipped into a ski jacket or a backpack pocket.  The Canon PowerShot SX230HS  is a great small portable camera. DSLRs are larger and less portable.


Point and Shoots also have some good features for your less than careful scout. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is both rugged and waterproof.  DSLRs like the Nikon D3100 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3  are durable but not waterproof. They will need a little more care with the interchangeable lenses as well.

Ergonomics and Features

DSLRs have a great feature set. You can change the arperature, the shutter speed, the white balance – basically everything that effects your photos. They also feel sturdy in your hands with buttons and dials at the ready. Point and Shoots have good “mode” settings that try and take the thinking out of exposure. They will select the settings that should take the properly exposed picture – but sometimes this doesn’t always work. In 75% of situations however it will take an decently exposed photo.


Do doubt about it Point and Shoots win this category.  A good point and shoot will run around $100. A great one will be in the $250 range. An entry level dSLR on the other hand starts at $600 and the sky is the limit from there. Take a look at the Nikon D3  to put on your “if I ever win the lottery” list. They are an investment to consider wisely if you see using the camera a lot.

Accessories you might want to purchase as well

  • A tripod
  • Camera bag
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra Memory Cards


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