Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

How to Choose the Right Digital Camera

Make no mistake about it, the state of cellphone camera technology right now is insane.

In fact, it’s fair to say that the premium digital cameras which we saw on sale ten years ago would have a hard time keeping up with something like the Google Pixel XL or Samsung Galaxy S8‘s image-taking capabilities. However, serious photographers will most likely want to invest in something a little more capable. Whether you’re just looking for a point and shoot model, or you want to go full-SLR, today we’re going to walk you through a few types of camera and help you to decide which is best for you.

Standard Compact Cameras

The first thing you need to do is decide why you need a camera. If you’re just looking for a way to capture better images from your day-to-day life, consider something like a standard compact camera. The majority of these cost less than $300, feature lithium-ion batteries, LCD screens, substantial zooming capabilities, and some of them even have handy Wi-Fi connectivity features so you don’t need to back up using a PC.

Likewise, a lot of them present the user with auto-intelligence features, meaning that they’ll automatically adjust their settings to provide you with the best image possible. Something like the Sony Cyber-Shot range, or the Canon IXUS line tend to fall into the decent entry-level standard compact camera range, while providing a variety of options depending on your own specific needs.

Enthusiast Models

If you’re wanting to find a camera with the same form factor as the standard compacts, but would like to achieve something a little closer to SLR-like quality, then opting for an enthusiast model is probably a wise choice. In low-light environments, they’ll struggle to produce that same kind of sharpness, but in any other case—so long as there’s a somewhat decent source of light—you’ll likely be stunned by the output of them.

Additionally, budding photographers will be pleased to know that these units provide a more affordable way to record in the RAW format. You can also, in some cases, attach proprietary accessories as well, such as viewfinders and flash guns. However, compatibility largely depends on the camera itself.

Something like the Canon G9X will set you back somewhere between $400 and $600; this will vary depending on which retailer you go to, and which options you decide to purchase alongside the camera. However, it’s a fantastic model, having received a five-star rating from ExpertReviews, and seven out of 10 from Trusted Reviews.

DSLR Cameras

While the term “DSLR” is thrown around a lot these days, no one can blame you for not knowing what that actually means. While they did—at one time—rule the roost in terms of image quality, Digital Single-Lens Reflex models have largely been caught-up with. However, they do offer some enticing options for photography enthusiasts, not least of which is their superior quality with lenses and peripherals; the vast majority of viewfinders, additional lights, wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, and even microphones are going to work with any major-brand DSLR you pick up.

You can also expect HD video-recording capabilities to be built into the vast majority of DSLRs now available on the market, while their APS-C sensors provide them with a much-better reach than their smaller-bodied counterparts (like the above-mentioned Compact or Enthusiast Models).

In fact, full-frame cameras such as the Canon EOS 6D and Nikon D610 both offer semi-affordable ways to start taking some stunning images. With each model costing around $1,400 and $1,200 respectively (depending largely on where you look), newbie photo-bugs can now start improving their portfolios without needing to make too large an investment.

These are just a few of the options that you can consider when investing in a new digital camera. While some of them may seem to have a hefty price-tag, it’s worth remembering that you’ll get what you pay for here. Serious photographers who want to start picking up work should really start off by capturing professional-looking shots to begin attracting prospective clients. However, hobbyists will likely find very little to complain about with the lower-end models mentioned in the earlier sections of the post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 Time-Tested Strategies for Financial Success

Financial Success

There are no short cuts to achieving financial success. To build, preserve and expand wealth that lasts you a lifetime, you must follow some proven principles. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the essential strategies you should make a part of your financial short and long-term plan to help you build your own financial success.

1. Set up a brokerage account

As soon as you’ve opened a bank account and signed up for your company’s retirement savings programme, jump on the next stage of smart wealth building by setting up a brokerage account. With it, you will be able to invest in stocks of different companies, no-transaction-fee mutual funds, as well as exchange-traded funds, which most people can’t access with their 401(k). 

To give you a quick guideline, opening an account with an online broker, Fidelity requires you to start with a deposit of $2,500; while at Charles Schwab, you’ll need only $1,000, which is not compulsory if you signed up for automatic monthly deductions of $100 or more from your account. For better money management and investment planning, it’s advised you go with a debit card that helps you with that goal in addition to making transactions convenient. 

2. Ensure your investing costs are at a minimal level 

Generally, less expenditure means more money in your account. As a fund investor, focus on ETFs and mutual funds with low expense ratios. As we already pointed out, the first thing to do is to register with a reputable online broker such as Fidelity or Charles Schwab so you can buy and sell stocks averaging $7 per trade. Besides, there are top discounters that allow you to trade select ETFs without requiring sales fees. Seriously consider index funds, especially those that track S&P 500, with estimated annual fees of 0.05%. Funds like Mairs & Power Growth (MPGFX) and Dodge & Cox Stock (DODGX) are recommended as they are top low-cost actively managed funds. 

If you have a fund manager, you’ll probably pay an annual consultation fee of 1%; but you can always negotiate for a lower fee. Another option is to go digital with an AI adviser, which can help manage your stock portfolio by using digital technology. An example is Wealthfront, which will not charge you a management fee if your balance is less than $10,000 and requires you to pay only 0.25% per annum for sums above that. You may also check Betterment, which levies just 0.25% of assets under management yearly. 

3. Diversify your investment 

Spreading out your investment with a variety of good value stocks and bonds can help you weather the storms of volatile periods and enhance your long-term ROI outlook. If, for example, your retirement is at least ten years away, keep 70% of your investments in stocks and put 30% in top-quality bonds. Mutual funds are good great for you too. For example, mutual fund managers, Vanguard Wellington (VWELX) keeps two-thirds of investments in stocks, as a principle, and the rest in bonds; and it has maintained a yearly return of 8.2% over the past 20 years. 

4. Rebalance, retarget and realign as necessary 

It’s important you get regularly balance your portfolio up for better overall performance. Move your investment assets around sometimes, divesting some funds off the ones performing well and shoring up the laggards to get a good mix. Always review your brokerage statements at least twice a year to see where your portfolio needs some rebalancing, retargeting or realignment and then go on to make the necessary trades. 

5. Adjust your investments

As your countdown to your retirement, your target should be an investment portfolio that gives you a good return that can stand the tide of inflation and also minimises your risk.  A spread of 50% stocks, 40% bonds and 5% cash is a nice mix that can help you achieve that goal. A mix of 60% stocks and 40% bonds and cash will likely give more growth; but if your risk threshold is less, then try a mix of 60% bonds and cash and 40% stocks.

Living with Depression: How to Keep Working

Living with Depression

In recent times, depression has become one of the most talked about mental illnesses that affect people in ways that no one could have foreseen.  It is easy to get disillusioned especially after you try for a long time and constantly fail to shake that dreadful feeling away

When your depression starts to creep into your work, it is the cue for you to shake things up a bit and try something new. Here are the things that you can do to make sure that you are not crippled by your depression at work.

1.  Break Up Work into Smaller Chunks

When you are depressed, you will find yourself settling for just being able to make things works. However, you will need to do more than just make things work. At some point, you will have to show up to work and get tasks accomplished. 

However, as you very well know, depression tends to scatter your concentration and suck away your energy. So, how do you keep yourself focused and energetic under these conditions?

Break up tasks into small ‘bite-sized’ bites and then work on them that way. Completing achievable goals will give you a sense of satisfaction.

2.  Work Does Not Make Depression Go Away

No doubt, you have heard people tell you or other depressed people, that if you get into something productive, you will not have time for depression. You hear it so much; it starts feeling as if it might be the elusive solution you have been looking for. 

However, this is far from the truth. Productivity will only do so much to distract you from the real problem. You will need to make sure that you are not duped into buying into this false philosophy. Do not fight fire with fire. While it will likely help distract you for a short period, it will not work a long-term cure or solution.

3.  Speak Openly About Your Depression

There is the potential that being open about your depression at work will have some disadvantages that you will not want to deal with. It has been proven, however, that speaking about it is much better than sitting on it and many workplaces now are very open to helping those affected with mental health problems.

1 in 4 people in the lifetime will have a mental health condition which means, realistically speaking, that in an office of 80 people 20 of those people will suffer from a mental health condition at some point.

When an employer or manager is made aware of the situation, they will accommodate the little things that you may miss, and you might even get perks like working from home when you feel like you cannot make it work.

4.  Personalise Your Workspace

It is always great to work in an environment that makes you feel comfortable and welcome. There is a lot that goes into making your space your own. You can start with lighting, colours and noise minimisations. All these things can affect your mental health without your realising it. Go for anything that makes you comfortable and positive. Add plants, family pictures and anything that makes you smile. If you do not want noise, you can get noise-cancelling headphones to block everything out and make yourself focus.  

To Sum Up

It is possible that you can be depressed and still function well. High-functioning depressives can juggle everything that demands attention and still have time to work on themselves. It all has to do with finding the right lifestyle, starting to operate with the right habits and then going for professional help. Medical care and therapy only help when you are doing more than just waiting for pills to kick in or things to get better.

Accept your depression – then challenge it!