Where to Buy a Camera

Now that you’ve decided to buy a camera and the camera you want, the question becomes “Where do I buy the camera?” Not only do the options abound, so do the opportunities for the unethical to take advantage of you. I buy most of my gear through B&H Camera in New York City. Over the twenty years I’ve been using them I’ve not had a single unresolved problem. There was a time when UPS messed up a delivery, B&H fixed things up. B&H provides good service, reasonable prices and knowledgeable salespeople.

Now I will be the first to admit there are lower prices on the web. I’ve seen used, gray market gear and con artists on E-bay. There are plenty of web sites which will offer prices which are too good to be true…. And they are. A check of resellerratings.com will show hundreds of complaints when the price is unbelievably low. Years ago, I actually had to sue one of those places to get my money back. After that experience, I decided to stick with the tried and true, reputable B&H.

More Megapixels?

Hard to believe summer vacation will soon be upon us. With vacations planned, many people dig out their cameras only to discover a new one is needed. If you haven’t bought a camera in years, you’ll discover much has changed. Film cameras are a thing of the past. OK so perhaps you did buy a digital camera years ago. Even so, cameras are much smarter than they were.

The biggest myth about digital cameras is more megapixels are better. Sure they are if you are the salesman getting a commission on the sale. More pixels cost more. Before you head off to the camera store, stop to think about how you use the photos you take. Do you make prints or just keep them on your computer? How big a print do you make?

Let me stop for a moment and mention that just as cameras have been getting better over the years, so have the photo printers. As an experiment with my professional lab, we printed a three megapixel file as a 20×30 print. We also printed the same photo as a six and twelve megapixel file. A host of experts at the lab could find only minor differences at that size and only by looking closely. However, a 20×30 print is supposed to be viewed from about ten feet away. At that distance, our experts could not see a difference!

All of this means is that a three megapixel camera is sufficient for you, the average consumer. A camera with three megapixels is not going to provide you with any better results than a more expensive camera. A bigger concern for your camera is the lens and sensor used to capture the image. Personally, I would rather have higher quality optics/sensor than more megapixels.

Scheduling Your Wedding Day — Part 2

The ceremony is over, you’re married, the photos have been taken and now you are on your way to the reception. The time line planning is not over yet! There are still several events to schedule. More so than anything else, a wedding is judged based on the reception. The timing of your evening plays a large part on the flow of the wedding. The basic rule is “You don’t want to move (herd) people too much. The flow should be from cocktail hour to dinner seating to dancing. In addition, you don’t want to interrupt their dinner.

The major events at a reception are: Cocktail Hour, Introductions, Toasts, Dinner, Cutting the Cake, Serving Desert, 1st Dances(B/G, B/Dad, G/Mom, Bridal Party), Garter/Bouquet toss and the Get Away. You may decide to forgo somethings like the garter toss and add other events like a dollar dance. To determine your schedule for the evening, you will need to consult with your Master of Ceremonies (DJ/Band Leader) and the reception hall. If you are planning to serve your wedding cake as desert, your reception hall will need time to cut the cake. Therefore, I recommend cutting the cake right after you are introduced. I’ve seen couples cut the cake between the soup/salad or main course. Personally, I don’t like leaving the cake out too long as you never know who might accidentally bump into it.

Most couples schedule their first dance as desert is being served. As soon as the first dances have been completed, the dance floor is opened to all the guests and the party really begins. If you do decide on a dollar dance or garter/bouquet toss, you’ll want to plan on those a bit later in the evening. Finally, you should be mindful of when your photographer is scheduled to leave. As I typically book for the event and not by the hour, I’m there until all the events have been completed. However, there are those photographers who do book by the hour. They will leave at the scheduled time. If you want something photographed, you should make sure your photographer has not left yet. With proper planning, speaking to you venue and master of ceremonies, you will have a fun filled evening to remember for years to come.