Buying the Right Photo Equipment – #photography #bookreview

Buying the Right Photo Equipment: 70 Tips from the Top

By Elin Rantakrans
(Rocky Nook, paperback, list price $19.95; Kindle, list price, $9.99)

You’ve been shooting snapshots of family and friends for a long time with a simple digital camera. Now you want to amp up your game and gather up the gear necessary to become a serious, dedicated, well-equipped photographer.

Where do you start?

You may be overwhelmed by the wealth of equipment choices, how-to articles and opinions available online. Indeed, you may buy a lot more more gear than you actually need, or you may gather the wrong stuff for the types of photographs you really want to take.

Spend some time first with this small but effective book by professional photographer and journalist Elin Rantakrans. Well focused and well written, Buying the Right Photo Equipment gives succinct explanations for why you need certain items, such as specialized filters or accessory flash units or certain lenses, to achieve particular effects.

Excellent photographs by the author and 14 other professional photographers illustrate the key points.

Not all of the recommended equipment is expensive. The book covers such topics as why you may need gray cards, viewfinder eyecups and spirit levels, as well as remote camera releases, portable reflectors and lens bags.

It also delves into underwater housings, studio flash setups, computer monitor calibration hardware and software, stitching software and photo printers, to name just a few. And it doesn’t ignore the big issues, such what types of lenses and lighting situations are best when shooting landscapes, architecture, portraits, wildlife, etc.

Buying the Right Photo Equipment won’t answer every question — and doesn’t try to. But it can make you better equipped to ask the right questions and make good, money-saving choices once you start your search for the right photographic gear. 

Si Dunn


  • Si Dunn is a novelist, screenwriter, photojournalist, and book reviewer. His published books include: DARK SIGNALS, a Vietnam War memoir; ERWIN'S LAW, a private-detective novel; and JUMP, a novella about a combat veteran suffering from PTSD and alienation while trying to work for newspapers as a journalist. Several of his feature screenplays recently were under option to movie producers. He spent nearly 15 years working as a technical writer and software tester in the telecommunications industry. His current programming interests include Go, JavaScript, Python, R, Angular, and other languages and frameworks. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of North Texas.

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