Our Favorite Gear

Our goal is to provide you with as much knowledge and experience that we've had with camera equipment to help you make an educated purchase. Here is a list of items we use and suggest to master your craft. We include camera's, suggested lens, props, and travel equipment for photographers.

Lens Review Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD w/ Picture Proof

Working for Gene’s Camera Store in South Bend Indiana has taught me so much more in 4 months than shooting for 5 years.  One thing I learned was how much Tamron and Sigma stepped up their quality.

My whole life growing up I was taught the Kia and Hyundai were bad cars.  And once upon a time they were.  But like Kia and Hyundai, Tamron and Sigma had the same stipulation.  It was until I started selling Tamron Lens, that I realized how their new G2 and entry level lens were much better than people claimed.  Below is a photo I took with my Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II with Vibration Control.  I paired this with a Canon 7D Mark I.  

Goose was happy to pose for me in front of Mackinaw Bridge

I was about 30 feet away from the bird and lied on the ground to capture this image.  I lined the goose up with the bridge in a vertical orientation and shot this at 5.6 aperture.  It still produced more than enough bokeh and separation from the foreground that I like.   Here is another shot at more of a wide angle with the same camera/lens combo.

The bridge from the other side shot at 18mm with crop sensor camera

In short, this lens has a great value to your collection.  In particular, if you are currently using kit lens for either Nikon or Canon, this would make all of those inferior.  You can sell your kit lens on eBay, purchase one of these from Tamron, (with an included 6 year warranty), and make your camera bag weight and size a lot more condensed.  Keep your eye out for upcoming specials on this lens around $599.  Purchase only from authorized retailers and make sure you do not purchase a grey market lens or camera.

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5 Cyber Monday Camera Package Deals

Black Friday was just a day ago, now the real time to save some money is on Cyber Monday! Here are 5 Camera Kits that will save you money this Holiday Season.  (To see more specs, just click the item image to see more).

Nikon D3500 2 Lens Kit

This kit is great for a student or someone learning photography as a new hobby.  It is on special this weekend until Monday with a saving of over $100 dollars.  Not only do you get the 2 lens kit, which covers 18mm wide all the way to 250mm, but you get a travel case, a memory card and much more.  Our number one choice this Holiday for the best bang for buck package deal. $449.99


Sony A6000 Bundle

We’ve discussed this camera in previous articles on DSLR Warehouse.  If you have read those reviews we are very critical of the A6000 series.  For the consumer looking to learn and have a small light weight travel camera, we suggest these all day!  Great bang for your buck and awesome for bloggers and vloggers.  Save over $100 these Holidays by clicking the link below.   $529.00


Canon 5D Mark IV

This camera is for the person who is serious about photography.  It is a pro-level full frame sensor and the latest series to the 5D collection by Canon.  Great color spectrum, great for any kind of photography including portraits, sports, real estate and more.  Now has built in wifi, touch screen, and more megapixels.  Originally $3199 for the body only, marked down $400 this weekend.  Get yours while you can!  $2799



Tamron 18-400mm Telephoto Lens

This lens is designed only for crop sensor cameras although it can be used on FX Nikon. Nikon allows you to change the ratio in camera unlike Canon or Sony.  You will however still experience some vignetting on a Full Frame Camera.  This Lens is a great deal because it allows you to get a better quality build while throwing away your standard kit lens.  If you take into consideration the crop factor, this is really a 27-600mm Lens.  Suggest you gets yours on sale now before the sell out!!! $50 dollars off!!! Only $599


Nikon D500 Specials!

We had to throw this in the specials because its a great deal for a sports or nature camera.  This shoots over 10 frames per second, is crop sensor, and has a great feel.  I love shooting with the high resolution pro level camera for all birding trips or local sport events.  Over $400 in savings this week!  Only $1799 on Amazon.


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Social Media & Photographers: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

WordPress is a source of social media.  I enjoy engaging with you and discussing topics based around photography.  But there are some outlets of social media that get taken for granted and are changing how photography should be seen and recognized as an art.

This post is not to bash social media, because I do think we need it, but rather give a different perspective of what our society has become.

My whole life I’ve lived in California.  I started shooting about 6 years ago.  My career started by shooting cars at car shows for clients and completing little side jobs here and there.  Over these next 6 years, platforms like Instagram, slowly began to morph from a place that people used to share pictures of their life with their friends and family, to a place where people advertise their skill and work.  This is a natural occurrence.  People naturally want to post what they are doing and want to be liked by others.  But with this, a lot of bad has come from it.

Below is a list of pro’s and con’s about how I feel toward social media.  Please comment your thoughts and lets engage in conversation.


  • Great for networking hand’s down
  • Great for showcasing your work to clients
  • Great way to stay in touch with family and friends


  • Oversaturated market of Photographers and Model’s (meaning everyone is doing the same thing)
  • Because of over saturation of the market place, a Job that would have earned you $200 five years ago, now may yield you $50 (or less) because of underbidding
  • People are consumed by the amount of followers and likes they have
  • People use the amount of followers to charge more because this some how correlates to how good they are
  • Unrealistic expectations
    • This gets its own bullet.  There are apps and programs that help people correct flaws and over exaggerate a scene.  People are constantly comparing themselves to others in this aspect.  Some one may idolize a “model” or “photographer” on social media for something they are perceiving as perfection, but in realty, it has been doctored.  This is the same psychological affect on a persons mentally as an addiction to pornography.  (Yes I realize this is a harsh comparison but think about it).

I can go on for days and days about this topic because at one time I found myself trapped in this negative feedback loop.  I was comparing my work with other photographers thinking I was subpar.  It is difficult to get out of this negative feed back loop and for me, I took drastic measures.  I moved away from a large city where everyone is famous (Los Angeles), to a place where I can focus on my craft.  A place where I can meet people in person and start printing my work.  To be able to display my work with others who take photography as an art form serious.  And now that I have done this, I was able to take the time to realized that social media needs to be used as the tool it was intended for.  Socializing.  Not marketing.  Since then,  I have made more personal connections in a professional setting, and have worked with and met so many happy, successful people, that are not self indulged with social media.  And it feels great.  If you feel stuck, please share your experience or comment on this post.

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1 Roll 1 Day – 35mm South Bend, IN

Happy Thanksgiving from DSLR Warehouse

Seasons Greetings,

We are so thankful today for the opportunity to be here and to be able to offer you compelling articles and experiences with our photography and more.  We hope you have enjoyed our articles so far and we hope we have helped you in one fashion or another.  We have a lot of good upcoming articles for the Holiday Season along with some tips and tricks.  Our blogs are on Pinterest so be sure to Pin them for your friends and to follow us on all major Social Media Platforms.

Here is a sneak peek of our choice for best “bang for buck” Holiday Camera Bundle:

Click here!!!





Last weeks Article —— HERE


close up of camera
Photo by Math on Pexels.com



Portrait Photoshoot with Sony A6000 Review

I really wanted to down size my equipment to be more suitable for traveling and I wanted something that would be good enough for both landscape and portrait photography.  I thought by getting a 24 megapixel Sony with an e mount lens, I would be able to get decent high resolution photos.  I was wrong.

My normal set up is a Canon 5d Mark III with an 85mm lens.  Yes I understand I am comparing apples to oranges but my biggest complaint about the Canon gear is that it’s so large and bulky.  When I go hiking or travel for a shoot, I usually take about 30-40 pounds of equipment.  Its ridiculous.  With this Sony A6000, I had 4 e mount lens, the camera, and 3 memory cards and I was still under 5 pounds.

Now, one complaint I had when using the Sony A6000 when taking portraits was how small it was.  With out a battery grip, my pinky finger would hang off the side of the body, and when shooting vertically, it felt like it was going to fly away in the wind.

Shooting with a professional model doesn’t make you feel confident either when shooting with an entry level camera.  Good thing she was awesome and we were shooting for fun because I let her know I was testing the camera for this purpose.

Below are three images.  Each with an excerpt of my opinions of the photo quality when I shot with Joelle.  Below those three will be photos I did for a clothing brand up in Grand Rapids with my 5D Mark III.


The photo above (@joelle.raquel) is straight out of Camera Raw.  She did a great job in cold weather and we did get some great photos together.  The nice thing about the Sony was that it does have facial detect and would lock the AF on her face.  But the thing is, the was a 1.8 Lens I was shooting with.  I figured I could have the ISO slightly up to compensate for the shutter speed being set a 1/500th.  I typically do this to make sure there is no blur in the image with my 5D mark III and 85mm lens.

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 12.36.10 PM

This is the quality of the photo on the edge.  By seeing this, it may just be the lens producing the poor quality.  There looks to be extra grain (possibly from the smaller sensor) and its also leaving aberration.  It’s not sharp and has too much noise.

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 12.36.35 PM

The center of the image is a lot more sharp and produces less fringe.  But with the amount of noise from the ISO at 500, it is enough to make the features on the face and hair below my standards.  I think I may use a metabones adapter in the future with a Canon lens to test the quality again.

Here are two photos taken with my Canon 5d Mark III features Model (@breighannamarie).  Notice the difference?


Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 3.36.44 PM

Would you agree that this is a night and day difference?  I would.  If you’ve got any input, please comment below and share with your friends.  Photographers and Models alike.

Thank you again for reading and thank you for supporting DSLR Warehouse along with me, Rawfoto.  I enjoy writing this excerpts for you and hope you take something away from them.  Coming soon, Top 5, How-to’s, and more.

Special thank you to both models for allowing me to shoot with them for these demonstrations.  If you want to see more, visit my personal website:


Remember to follow the models above by clicking on the blue links.

For inquires with Joelle, visit her personal website:



Remember to read last weeks article and find out what we recommend for winter photography clothing.  @DSLRWAREHOUSE

Why you need a professional Website! Not just Instagram!




Why you need a professional Website! Not just Instagram!

You may be asking me, “why do you need a professional website”? Then I’d assume you were under the age of 25.  Let’s dive into why you need a professional Website and the benefits of having one.

It’s 2018 and everyone’s getting hunch backs from staring down at their phones.  Instagram is the quickest and most popular app on the market for showcasing your work.  But let’s face it, Instagram is not the most professional outfit for serious business.

I’ve preached time and time again that quality is key.  With Instagram, you are only able to see a photo in max resolution of  1350×1080.  This is great when being viewed on a retina screen or any other mobile device but not on a computer.  Most camera phones are capable of printing sharp images up to 8×10 but when viewing the image on a computer, 1350×1080 resolution is low quality.  It will become pixilated and not sharp, and in return, if you have a serious commercial outfit looking to hire you, they may not think your equipment and standards are up to par.

Another great reason for having a professional website is personal branding.  Sure you can do this with Instagram, but you are limited to a description that is only 150 characters.  That’s like 30 words.  Can you really talk about what makes you stand out from your competition and appeal to a company with only 30 words.  If so, you’re amazing and give yourself a pat on the back.  Here is an example of my Instagram profile about me vs. my website:

(Instagram via @RAWFOTO)

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 5.22.07 PM

(via Personal Website)   http://www.rawfoto.net

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 5.22.53 PM

Side note regarding Instagram.  You can get a lot of info crammed into 150 characters or less.  Make sure you make it worth every word and direct your viewers to your website.  You want to use these two tools interchangeably.

The last and most important reason to have a professional website is google searching and embedding your URL into googles databases for ever.  Meaning, if you are Joe Blow form JoeBlowPhotography.com, then google searches will recognized that when being searched by anyone in the world.  You will build back links with other companies and websites.  You can intertwine this linking with you Instagram, featured articles, Facebook Page, Youtube, Pinterest, Blogger, whatever!  It is more powerful than Instagram because with out the Internet, Instagram wouldn’t exist.

If you are curious of the two websites I recommend for building websites, please see below:

Sign up now for FREE or sign up and sell your work for a low rate.  They also offer domain hosting and easy to use Templates (click here or on WIX photo below). They’ve even got them predesigned for photography portfolios and sales!!!


WordPress, which is what I use for this blog, also has a free platform for you to start showcasing your work as well.  I would suggest getting the 2nd tier entry to have a little more freedom and have a personal URL but to each their own.


Thank you as always for taking the time to read this post and be a part of our community.  Please follow us on Instagram and give us feed back.  We want to hear what equipment you prefer, what websites you like, your photography, tips and tricks, and everything else regarding photography.

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Are you a Photographer or an Editor?




Are you a Photographer or an Editor?

It has come to my understanding that everyone is a great photographer these days.  iPhones can take 12 megapixel photos and androids are shooting out 16 megapixel’s plus.  There is a day upon us that DSLR will be obsolete other than for telephoto purposes.  Everyone is a photographer and everyone is famous!

The reason I am writing this blog is in hope that we can remain true to our profession and craft.  Just like 35mm film is in the past, one day DSLR will be as well.  However, the knowledge and understanding of what makes a great photo will never change.  You can only understand shutter speed, aperture, iso, color theory, lighting, long exposure and everything else, if you study and learn photography.

One big trend I see in our social media era is people who post “before and after” photos.  I don’t know what it is as a human but we love fake realities.  We love to show off our work, before and after, and require praise and likes for self validation.  Old landscape painters would actually alter their scene in their paintings by excluding or including certain elements in the scene.  So what’s the fine line of over exaggeration?

Other than fashion retouchers and editorials,  I feel too many people are over editing their photos these days.  People have flaws and not all landscapes are as pretty and vibrant as they look.  I learned from my last trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan that the photos I see online and on Instagram are all highly edited to make the scene look extra majestic.  Albeit, the nature is beautiful but “pictures never do it justice”.  Here is a photo I took from my trip.  What do you think?  Edited or not?


If you choose edited, you are wrong.  These are natural colors of mid October in Tahquamenon Falls State park.  Now, if you go and google Tahquomenon falls, you will more than likely get photographs like this one below.


Can you see a drastic change in perspective?  Specially in the greens and oranges.  The browns are no longer browns and your eye and mind may think, well wow!  That’s a place I’d like to visit.  The internet and photo editing today is “cat fishing” people.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and I love to explore but when there is a model you’ve been wanting to shoot with for a year and have the perfect composition for her, then you meet her, and she’s nothing like her photoshopped images, you’re going to be upset.  This is one reason I like reading certain publications more til this day.  There are specific, usually journalistic type media outlets, that don’t allow for doctored images.  Why change something that isn’t real?  I just don’t get it.  If you have any input, please shed some light and add to the discussion so I can write a follow up blog entry.  Are you a photographer or and editor?

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Came used to capture these photos was a Canon 7D with a Tamron 18-400mm Lens



What to wear when shooting landscapes in the Cold

This sound like it should be explanatory but for some, they may need guidance.  Not everyone has shot in the cold before and there are some cool little gadgets photographers can use to stay warm while being able to function a camera properly.

#1 – Gloves, Gloves, Gloves!!!

Not all gloves are created equal.  You can search Amazon or Camera websites for days and find photography gloves between $8 and $50.  This is a case where you do get what you pay for.  Your limbs and fingers are the first things that get cold and are exposed to frost bite.  I would highly recommend a pair of gloves that are waterproof, windproof, and made with good insulation.  Any snowboarding glove will do but they make special ones for photographers that have finger tips that allow you to use your touch screen and they also have ones that have flip back finger sleeves.  Pretty neat right!

Here is an example of some lightweight insulated gloves below.  Follow the link HERE to see where I buy my Water Proof Photography Gloves.


#2 – High Quality Ski Mask

This last week I spent two nights in Michigans upper peninsula.  It was cold, 28 degrees to be exact, and that isn’t even as cold as it gets.  One major thing people forget when traveling around cold climates is that there is usually a body of water somewhere near by.  If there is a breeze, this creates a wind chill.  It can usually make the temperature feel 10-20 degrees colder.  In Michigan, they experience the “Lake Effect” quite often.  I personally use an old snow boarding bandana with a velcro release in the back but a full ski mask is much easier for most people.  Here are both examples below.

Half Mask Snowboarding Style Bandana


Full Face Mask Ski Mask Cold Weather


#3.  Protect your Feet!

Here are two more self explanatory items everyone should have when it’s cold, icy, and wet.  I would highly suggest a nice pair of cold weather socks.  I have seen sets of 4 for only $9.99 at Cabela’s and Bass Pro shop that are very soft and comfortable.  The other I would suggest, to prevent you from falling, would be Yaktrax.  These are a must need if you don’t have the correct shoes.  This will help prevent slippage and falling on hard ice and surfaces.  Very reasonably priced, and you can get them at Costco if you don’t want to get them here. Click the photo below to find out more today!

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Capture a Successful Collection of Photographs with these 3 Tips — Digital Photography School

In a previous article, I discussed some helpful tips for preparing for a photo shoot. It’s important to be ready, but let’s be clear – you have to be able to perform on the day. 1,124 more words

via Capture a Successful Collection of Photographs with these 3 Tips — Digital Photography School

1 Roll 1 Day – 35mm South Bend, IN

I believe we are getting to comfortable behind our large capacity SD and CF Cards.  We need to take a moment to go back and relearn the basics of photography.  To learn about how to compose an image with out the ability to snap 1000 images.

With that being said,  I am going to be starting a new series called “1 Roll.  1 Day. (and then insert city)” as titled in this post.

Today I finally got my 35mm black and white film developed.  I have the negatives for you to see if you’d like, just comment below.  This is literally my first roll of film ever to be developed and I took my knowledge for DSLR’s and applied them to these images.  Some may be slightly over exposed or under exposed.  It’s a learning process.  Please feel free to comment, critique, and share with your friends while you enjoy this experience with me.

All photos were takien with a Canon FTB-Ql with 35mm 400 Ilford HP5.  You can order in bulk right HERE

Here is what my Camera looks like for reference:



So I am new to the mid west.  Currently residing just about 20 minutes out side of South Bend, Indiana.  This city is very interesting.  The vibe feels like a big city, but there are very little people here.  I walked around for about an hour and a half to capture these images and probably saw less than 5o people total.  And this city has some big buildings!  Notre Dame University is less than a mile away.  I feel this was strange, but then again every place I’ve traveled to has been different with its own ambiance.

My Photos from South Bend, Indiana.  Please double click the photo in order to enlarge. Follow us on Instagram @DSLRWAREHOUSE


Thank you for visiting my blog and we hope you enjoy.  Please follow our journey and share in discussion.

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Personal Portfolio and Jobs – www.rafoto.net

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