A couple noob questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pony, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. pony

    pony TPF Noob!

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    I am a for real beginner, so be warned these may be really lame questions :lol:
    1)
    How do I find a good camera shop in Pittsburgh?? Google and WhitePages.com are not turning up much

    2)
    I inherited a Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 with these lenses:

    Leica D-Vario-Elmarit 1:2.8-3.5/14-50mm
    Leica D Summilux 1:1.4/25mm
    Nikkor-S 1:1.2/55mm
    Olympus Zuiko 1:3.5 - 5.6/14-42mm

    And this Flash:
    Nikon Speedlight SB-16

    I have not tried the flash at all because I just don't even know how to use it.
    I seem to be able to take half decent pics outside, but in low light I struggle. Anything over ISO 400 is really noisy. The built in bounce flash seems to give me better results, but in larger spaces does nothing good.

    As a beginner, is this equipment that I can work with? I don't see a lot of mention of this camera, so I don't know opinions about it.
    Would I be better off buying a mid range Nikon (I have used BILs D80 and D90 as a point and shoot and I liked the results)?

    Any advice? I am having fun, but feeling really frustrated with my camera sometimes.
    TIA
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In short... yes... camera is more than capable for a beginner....

    There was a time beginners learning on film didn't have access to anything much more than 400ISO fine grain negative. Definitely not something that would prevent a beginner. The camera is an older one so it isn't going to be a good comparison to recent released cameras with newer technology.

    Post a sample @400ISO. If memory recalls, I thought it was ok (printable) up to 1600ISO.
     
  3. pony

    pony TPF Noob!

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    I guess what I am wondering is if I am going to learn anything from using this specific camera, or would it be worth it to trade for a different one?
    If so, do you have any opinions on a good camera that is beginner friendly but that I can grow with?
    I also tend to want to take pics of lots of moving things like kids, pets, wildlife and this camera just seems so sluggish compared to the Canon 40D and Nikon D80 & D90 that I have played with...but I literally only played with those for a few minutes. I was shooting my 2 1/2 year old jumping into a pool though and those were much better able to catch her.

    I have been wanting to get serious about learning for a while and I finally have the time to do it so I just want to know what the best options are for me.
    Thanks again

    BOTH of my batteries are charging. It's exactly the time of day that I have trouble with right now so I'll get a couple samples in a few minutes
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  4. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    If you want to get serious, I'd tell you to get a Canon or Nikon. There is nothing wrong with what you have, but there are many more options for equipment such as lenses and flashes with the big 2. If you're wanting to get into any kind of sports photography, you will be able to purchase equipment which will allow you to get the shots(disclamier-you also have to know how to use the gear you have. The photographer takes the picture and the camera is only recording what the photographer sees... A D3X and a 600mm nikkor don't take great photos by themselves, you gotta know how to use them). Plus you will have a lot more support on the forums for either. I'm a Nikon guy myself but really either system is great(but Nikon is better). Just depends on your personal preference.

    I do not know much about the camera you have, but, I think you can learn with what you have. Do you want to be spoiled by newer technology and bells and whistles to make your life easier? It's up to you if you want to drop $ on new gear.
     
  5. pony

    pony TPF Noob!

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    I generally like being spoiled ;)

    Of the Nikons, is there one in particular that is an excellent beginner to intermediate choice?
    Specifically, is the D90 going to be too much camera for me? Or would it be something that would be appropriate to learn on, but also be something I could really dig into as I got better???
    Thanks
     
  6. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure you could learn something from that camera (exposure and composition come to mind) but it is an older camera and suffers from shutter lag like most P&S cameras.
    The Canon Rebel line has been a very popular line for Canon for good reason...they're good cameras to learn with. I'm not familar with the entry level DSLRs from the other makers (like Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, etc...) so can't comment on them.
    That's one the biggest differences between P&S cameras and DSLRs...DSLRs have almost no shutter lag and are just faster at almost everthing. Performance wise, most P&S cameras can't touch a DSLR.
    I think you'll be happier with a entry level or a prosumer DSLR. The DMC-L1 is a nice camera but it's usually the experienced photographers who can appreciate it for what it is and can make the most of it. I think most beginners would be frustrated by it.
     
  7. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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  8. pony

    pony TPF Noob!

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    You guys are awesome! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, I have about a million more too
    The one thing I DO love about the camera I have is the super easy access to everything!
    Aperture on the lens, speed dial right up top and white balance and ISO buttons that are right there. I am just starting to get more comfortable actually using them, so it makes it nice that I can so easily adjust stuff without searching through menus.

    Of the cameras you guys mentioned, do you have an opinion on which has easier access to these controls?

    I am really trying to find a good camera store around here, but having trouble.
    I may go to Best Buy and try them out. Can they take the cameras off those silly things they have them all mounted on?
     
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    I don't know about the Best Buy thing. I've "played" with the cameras there before but not for more than a few seconds. Salesmen annoy me.

    Generally, the higher end cameras will have more items on dedicated hard buttons. Example, my D300 has dedicated buttons for ISO, white balance, pic quality, a switch for AF area mode,(spot, auto or dynamic area), focus mode(AF-S, AF-C and M), metering(spot, matrix or center-weighted) and the two command dials control aperture and shutter speed. There are two buttons by the shutter, one exposure compensation and one mode, and holding either down while spinning the command dial changes the setting. I can change the shutter drive mode(single shot, low and high speed burst, mirror up or timer) by holding down a button and spinning a different dial. There is also an auto-exposure/auto focus lock button and an af-on button as well. All those items can be changed without digging into the camera's menu. Heck, I never even look at the LCD on the back when I'm changing settings. There is a small LCD on top that I use to look at settings, and most of them are also displayed in the viewfinder, so many times I can change a setting without even taking my eye away from it.

    Remember that a lot of this is preference, I love having these features available to me, just makes it easier to quickly change settings.

    I'm not too familliar with the D90, I do know it has some dedicated buttons but I'm not sure how many.
     
  10. pony

    pony TPF Noob!

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    One more question
    Any opinion on the Lumix DMC-L10?
     
  11. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Nice kit, but somewhat of a mixed bag. The Nikkor-S and Nikon Speedlite aren't particularly compatible with the Panasonic L1. There are adapters made to use the Nikkor on an L1 and you may have one. If you do, then the lens is useable, but it is more difficult to use and a native 4/3rd mount lens that fits the L1 directly. I would recommend setting it aside for the time being and concentrating on the two Leica lenses and the Olympus.

    The flash is an issue also. Its connections are designed for use with automated Nikons and not the Panasonic. While it will mount and fire on the L1 no automatic functions on either will work. Again, set it aside while you're learning.

    While many would push you toward a Nikon or Canon model, the L1 is a very decent camara. Its an older model now and its sensor doesn't perform as well as the better models today. It is still capable of some very good images. The Leica lenses are top quality items. You probably won't find better in either Nikon's or Canon's lens lines. Its certain that the "kit" lenses sold with the popular models from either Nikon or Canon are no match to the Leica-D Vario-Elmarit.

    I would definitely recommend that you spend a good bit of time with your existing kit. Only after you really learned how to use it well should you begin to consider getting anything new. You can find some of the best information specific to the Panasonic/Olympus/Leica "4/3rds" format cameras at Fourthirdsphoto Forum - Powered by vBulletin , a forum dedicated to the 4/3rds family of cameras and lenses.
     

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panasonic g vario 1:3.5-5.6/14-42mm lens

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use leica d varioelmarit 2.8-3.5/14-50mm asph on m mount