Fun article. I’ve also been a “prosumer” photography dabbler for over a decade and write a little about that at https://amontalenti.com/photos.
I wrote a private article sort of similar to this one to guide a friend through photography (he was starting from scratch in 2021 after getting frustrated with the limitations of wildlife photography on an iPhone). This nice post has given me some inspiration to polish up my own and publish it at some point.
A good companion article to the linked one on lobste.rs would be this interactive breakdown of cameras and lenses:
I think you get better at photography by taking more pictures while trying out different things.
The little technical knowledge you need to guide you (the links between aperture, focal length and depth of field, the link between aperture, shutter speed, ISO and light, the link between focal length and composition) can fit in a few paragraphs.
Oh sure–but for us folks that are in graphics, it’s helpful to have articles like this that demonstrate visually terminology from the film world. When an art lead or a director says “Could we render this scene with a higher F-stop” it’s nice to have a mental model of what that means.
The beauty of digital photography (as opposed to traditional film photography) is that each image is essentially free at the margin (after buying the required equipment). This makes it convenient to experiment with stuff like different apertures and exposure.
Also the tech has plateaued, so it’s quite affordable to buy a full frame DSLR + fast lens from a previous tech generation used and not lose much money on resale (assuming one can float the purchase money in the first place).
I learned photography during the film era and got the basics from popular books on the subject, but it was when digital became affordable that photography become fun for me.
How would you recommend someone learn to identify camera models in the new versus the previous tech generation?
Around 4 years ago, both Canon and Nikon started moving to the mirrorless form factor made popular by the Sony A7 series. DSLRs are “old tech” and thus quite often sold used by upgraders.
Restricting to full-frame DSLRs (not mirrorless), Wikipedia has a summary:
Ken Rockwell is a controversial photo blogger but I find his summaries of cameras quite useful. This is his list of all Nikon cameras, full frame as well as crop (DX) and including mirrorless:
DPreview has excellent reviews going back years, here’s the one for my old D700:
They also have a nice comparison feature.