Another beginner with questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ichiro, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. ichiro

    ichiro TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    My name is Dan and I am new to the forum and photography in general.

    Let me first saw that I have practically zero knowldege of photography, other than the fact that I know of lense types, the need for good lighting, and the difference betwwenn an SLR and compact, after a bit of reading. My desire to get in to photos stems from my love of film, and I am very aware of good shot compostion and lighting in good films, so it kind of sparked my interest. If I were to describe my desires, it would to be to create some nice "artistic photographs" with an inital desire to explore landscapes and B and white photography as well. I would also like to create some photo projects with my own voice overs, but realise that a digital camera may be needed.

    So, I know these questions have been asked a thousand times but here goes:

    1) Film vs digital: I'm torn over which to get, as I know most say film is higher quality. Are most amateur enthuasists in digial now. I would like to create some collages/projects, and a computer helps, but I want good quality also

    2) SLR vs other: I know SLR offers most control, but should I get this or an SLR-style one. I would ovbvisouly want an entry level SLR, could it be bought for 600-700? or can i get great photographs of non-SLR?

    3) I will have no ability to set up my own developing studio, is that important, and does that meean I should go digital?

    4) will about 300 dollars help me to get 2 lenses: I want a wide angle and 1 telephoto?

    5) can i get good B/W with digital?
    my budget right now is say 700-1000, but Im not sure yet.

    Any links to price guides would help, as well as suggested models and basic "entry advice to a novice"

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Stevedevil

    Stevedevil TPF Noob!

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    Hi Dan and Welcome to the Family

    Whenever you look at buying and Camera gear then you will always have to look at your Budget.

    For Digital Verses Film, then this will all depend on your personal preference, All I will say is that in time you could always own both..

    With a Budjet some Second Hand Film Cameras are appearing on sites for very low costs as people are upgrading to Digital, but Film Cameras will always cost you money buying film and at the start for the processing of the film, where If you but a fairly good Digital ( Mid range ) your costs will be higher initially as the cameras are more expensive but then as longa as you have a Computer handy then you dont need to process at all really, or just process the ones that you feel are good to.

    SLR cameras will always give you " on camera " control of the exposure, Zoom, Depth Of Field Etc, where you can supplement a lot of this with compter graphics programs for non SLR cameras, a Compact camera can still offer high quality, but they normally have a fixed lens which is digitally zoomed, and most do not have Changeable Lenses, where SLR you can swap lenses to shoot objects Near ( Wide Angle Lenses ) and Far ( Zoom )

    When you start to buy lenses then as a rule of thumb, the better the lens, the more it costs, but if you get some budget lenses for now, then when you can afford to upgrade, your old lenses will still have good value for Re Sale

    You can shoot B/W on digital, as this is just an adjustment in the Menu of a Digital, or if you purchase a good computer package ( Photoshop is a great one ) then all editing of shots can be altered in the package, so you can always shoot in colour and change later,

    $1000-00 dollars will get you a very good mid level camera with a cheap lens to start, then when you can afford it you can add to your equipment

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome.

    Whether you shoot film or digital, creating collages and projects with voice overs...will be easiest to create with a computer/software so wouldn't worry about trying to find a camera with those features. Use the camera to capture the images and then use a better tool for the rest of it.

    Even though some digital cameras can shoot in B&W, it's much better to convert them with software. B&W film is something special...if you want to use that, then go for it...but it will need to be developed and scanned, if you want to include it with your projects.

    You can get great shots with a non-SLR digital...however, there are limitations and it's quite clear that a digital SLR is a much better camera and a much better investment.
     
  4. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    Some people choose to learn on film and purchase a digital camera after they know the basics. The other side of the argument says that you can learn faster with digital, because you can see your results right away and make adjustments immediately. If you have the money to start off with digital, I don't see why not. I started off with film with the idea that I would upgrade if I turned out to be something I really liked. Film is expensive, but it helps with discipline, because you have only a limited number of shots. Also, you can do darkroom work with film, and if that's something you really want to do, perhaps you would be happier starting off with film. However, to shoot film, you by no means need a developing setup. A film scanner is nice, if you want to do any post processing to your work, or if you want to put it online. An slr is a must if you are serious about learning photography. You get the most control and you will learn things you didn't even know you had to learn. As for the different lenses, an entry level slr usually can be bought with a kit lens, which is a zoom lens that goes from wide to telephoto. This is also a great learning tool, and it might take you some time before you decide you need something more than that. As for getting good b&w from a digital camera, there is a wealth of information on that topic online, and if you're in doubt about whether it's possible, check out "Black and White Magazine" which showcases both film and digital B&W.

    4
     
  5. Simon

    Simon Always Learning

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    It's mainly about the person behind the camera, just because a person has top of the range equipment it doesnt mean their skills are as good.

    My view would be to invest in the best equipment you can afford, digital is the way forward with many pros moving over and equipment being made for digital.

    Nikon are phasing out their film products and investing in digital.
    The second largest manufactuer must have based this decision on something solid.
     
  6. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    In addition to what the other responders have said,

    your friends are wrong.
    New digital camera sensors produce equivalent or better shots to any 35mm film camera with much beter control and much less expense.

    There are differences but they don't bear on your situation.
     
  7. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    You said artistic...... this means SLR. Down then to cost as to whether you go digital or nor not. Qiuality of an 8Mp DSLR file can in many cases surpass that of film. Buy one good fast lens. Not s bad ones that you can't use im many situations.
     
  8. Chickenhawk

    Chickenhawk TPF Noob!

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    Go digital. The majority of Pro and Amateur photographers converted from film to digital, not the other way round. Digital quality is improving all the time and is the future of photography.
    Some photography stores don't even stock film now.
    The one advantage is that Film SLRs are very cheap now.
     
  9. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I'd recommend going digital from the start. You'll learn more in a shorter time because the technical info is embedded in the image. I learned more in a couple of months with my first DSLR than i did in several years of owning a 35mm SLR.

    Owning both is in my opinion a waste of money. i had 2 35mm bodies as back up to my digital rebel but never used them. ever. so i sold them and don't regret it. back ups are only necessary if you're in a situation where you absolutely must get the shot eg a wedding.

    getting cheap lenses is also not such a good i dea i think. Whatever brand you go for if you buy decent lenses they'll last you for years and be of use when you upgrade the body. You'll almost definitely upgrade the body before the lens so get good lenses. a lower end DSLR will lose less money while you get used to it. when you then change for the next model up you'll have decent lenses already. Good lenses are one of the most important factors in image quality so poor lenses on a great body will produce poorer images than good lenses on a poor body.

    Always use a computer to process your images. never use the camera. I believe that when you select an image to be shot in B&W on the camera, it shoots in colour but then processes to B&W and doesn't keep a copy of the colour version. But if you post process on the pc then you can have both to compare and also more flexibility in the conversion itself.

    As for good images in B&W from digital - it depends on 2 things - the quality of the original and your proficiency at using whatever package you choose to actually convert the image.

    there is a monochrome gallery on my website and all the images were shot on digital. Some with a digital rebel and some with a 20D. The only one shot with my 5D is a bit shaky due to the light but it's the taxi at the top left. Have a look and you can at least see what is possible.
     

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