We all love the art of photography, but sometimes the act of choosing a camera can get pretty confusing and very expensive.
With so many different varieties now on the market, such as DSLRs, mirrorless and action cameras, it’s no longer as simple as walking into your local high street retailer and handing over a wad of cash.
In celebration of such variety in the photographic market, Kirk Schwarz has compiled a selection of some of his favourite cameras over four very specific groups, to help give you an idea of what may work best for your specific needs – and best of all, everything is under £650...
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Lenses are such an integral part of photography, but we always judge them by the same standard. Is the image sharp? Are the corners free from vignetting? Is the chromatic aberration evident?
Sometimes we forget that they are simply tools – a means to an end. But what do you do when you want to take a break from the norm and capture an image with a bit more of an artistic feel to it?
Luckily there are options designed just for you. With creativity in mind, this month we are checking out lenses that each give a different and unique effect to inspire your creativity.
Some of these are as cheap as £10, while others are a bit more expensive. Kirk Schwarz looks at 10 of the best creative lenses...
Water is the last great frontier for many of us. Only a minuscule 5% of our seas have been explored, so with such a vast opportunity for discovery, it’s no wonder we heed the call for tropical destinations and the treasures our oceans hold.
However, the biggest limiting factor to capturing the beauty of the deep has always been the need for prohibitively expensive camera housings.
Thankfully, underwater cameras have come on leaps and bounds in the quality stakes. Newer models even allow you to shoot RAWs, use flash and gain access to a whole host of other features normally reserved for DSLRs. Here are five of the best...
Fixed focal length prime lenses offer unparalleled image quality, with little distortion and great sharpness making them the choice of professionals the world over.
Every manufacturer has a capable f/1.8 prime to suit any budget in its range, but the most coveted lenses are usually those with the widest apertures, thanks to their ability to let in more light than traditional kit lenses, allowing us to work handheld in much darker conditions than normal. So for this month’s group test we’re exploring the wider world of primes, with a range of focal lengths on offer from 24mm to 135mm.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 wide-aperture primes under £1000...
Ever tried to take photos in dark conditions, only to realise your camera’s pop-up flash isn’t powerful enough? Then this is the test for you.
Flashguns are one of the most versatile accessories in photography, as they are able to completely transform a scene in seconds. From on-camera flash for illuminating a subject, to dynamic lighting off-camera with triggers, to pairing with a slow shutter speed and your camera’s rear-sync for amazing action shots, using a flashgun will provide you with all the lighting options you need for more creative results.
As with all accessories, some flashguns can be costly. But this test proves you needn’t spend a fortune to get enlightened, as we’ve rounded up 6 of the best flashguns under £300...
Image editing is now an integral part of every digital photographer’s workflow, so getting the right software for your needs has never been more important. Adobe might be the undisputed market leader, with its CC subscription being used by over 9 million people, but it’s far from the only frog in the pond.
Many other software manufacturers are producing excellent alternatives, with a full complement of capabilities on offer – some of which even excel in comparison – and at very attractive price points.
This month’s group test lifts the lid on seven of the best Adobe alternatives for Windows and Mac users, and even includes a free service for those who want to dip their toes. Let’s take a look...
It’s been said that behind every good photographer is a great bag. It’s also been said that greatness cannot be measured. However, when it comes to carrying your kit, there are a number of features that everybody needs, and these are the bags that supply them.
Whether you’re a fast shooter looking for instant access to your camera, or a more considered photographer braving inhospitable weather for the perfect shot, there will be something here for you.
So from traditional backpacks and tried and tested classics to modern messengers, prepare to meet 10 of the very best DSLR kit bags in our no-hold-barred roundup...
Want greater detail, larger prints and tighter crops? Find your perfect match right here...Read More
Here are our 10 best mirrorless travel lenses under £1500
Travel photography – with its alluring promise of exotic lands, different cultures and tropical vistas – used to be the preserve of the professionals, as they were the only photographers with the time, funds and gear necessary to capture the best images at the world’s best locations.
But now, thanks to cheaper airfares and more keenly priced kit, great travel images are within reach of all of us. And it’s mirrorless cameras and lenses that sit right at the top of the packing list, as their capabilities now equal those of DSLRs, making them great compact and low-weight alternatives to their chunkier cousins.
Let’s check out the 10 best mirrorless travel lenses under £1500...
Here are our 10 best telephoto zooms under £1200
If you’re eager to get closer to the action, then a telephoto lens should be at the top of your wishlist. These powerful optics are the perfect partner for wildlife or sports photography, as they allow you to zoom in tight to shoot high-impact images.
Most feature built-in image stabilisation systems to help minimise camera shake, which is more of a risk when shooting with longer focal lengths.
However, some of these larger lenses can be rather heavy, so come with a tripod socket to transfer the weight. We’ve tested 10 of the very best telephotos under £1200 to reveal the optimum telephoto lens, and with prices starting at just £269 there’s something here to suit all budgets...
Here are our 10 best macro lenses under £1000
Close-up images, by their very nature, demand the highest quality from the lenses we use to capture them, so in these situations most photographers will reach for a macro.
These specialist optics allow the focal point to be extremely close to the end of the lens, which means you can fill the frame with minuscule detail and magnify small objects to achieve impressive – and often surreal – results, and reveal worlds otherwise unseen.
We’ve rigorously tested 10 of the best macro lenses currently available. All of the lenses here boast a true-to-life reproduction ratio of 1:1 or more, and are available for under £1000. Let’s find out who makes our top ten...
Here are our 5 best value low-level tripods
There’s an old photography saying that ‘the sharpest lens is a tripod’. And this is never truer than when shooting long exposures or intricate macro images. However, not all tripods are created equal and, for macro work in particular, you’ll need your trusty three-legged friend to be flexible enough to give you the creative freedom you need.
In this round-up, we’ve focused exclusively on low-level tripods, all of which will allow you to capture unique compositions very close to the ground. We’ve also limited our selection to affordable and sturdy options, with the most expensive being £258.
Let’s take a look at five of the best low-level options currently competing for your money...
Mirrorless cameras are often the first to implement new technology such as 4K and Wi-Fi...Read More
If you like to shoot street, landscapes or architecture images, a wide-angle lens is an absolute must. These optics allow you to pack more of a scene into the frame, and can help create a feeling of depth. But their ultra-wide angle-of-view isn’t their only appeal – they’re also fairly compact and lightweight, making them perfect for outdoor photography, plus they have a close minimum focusing distance. To help discover which is the perfect wide-angle optic for your camera, we’ve tested 7 of the best for APS-C DSLRs…
Looking for a bag that doesn’t scream out ‘photographer!’? Then a messenger-style camera bag will be just the ticket. These bags look like ordinary shoulder bags, so won’t attract unwanted attention, but hidden away inside is a padded area to keep your DSLR or CSC plus lenses safe and secure when you’re out shooting. And top access through a zip or flap usually makes it faster to access your kit than a conventional rucksack. These bags have enough space for the core equipment needed on a day’s shoot, plus extras like a tablet, laptop, a waterproof jacket or even your lunch. But which one should you buy? Let’s take a look at five of the best...
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