Brand new to the forums and photography as well

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by G. Ike, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. G. Ike

    G. Ike TPF Noob!

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    Hey, as the title of the thread suggests, I am brand new to photography. In fact, so brand new I don't even have a camera yet! I want to take mostly outdoor shots of nature, action shots depicting road bicycle riders/racers and possibly some artistic macros of random household items. I have no idea what to look for in a camera. My very basic knowledge of cameras and recommendations from other people I have spoken too point me in the direction of something like a Fuji FinePix S5200 or S700. I like the ultra zoom feature and judging by a friends shots it takes good macro photos. But then again, that could be my friend's skills and not the camera itself. So, do you guys have any recommendations for cameras? Thanks in advance for any responses and for putting up with such a noob
     
  2. ChickenFriedRyce

    ChickenFriedRyce TPF Noob!

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    If you've never had a camera, try and star with a point and shoot. Nothing too expensive, or too adavnced. Get yourself familiar with all the settings and buttons. Try the manual controls on the camera. Once you get familiar with that and have some extra money, upgrade to an inexpensive DSLR.
     
  3. Sheriff

    Sheriff TPF Noob!

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    Go to your local book store, get yourself a good book about photography for beginners. Read it and then you`ll know what camera you want. For the uses you listed in your post you`ll need a SLR. You`ll wan`t one as soon as your first shoot of bicycle riders will be over and you`ll be looking at your shots. Of course, your skills as a photographer are of most importance. But you need a camera you can grow with. Point and shoots are to basic, slow and etc, etc.
     
  4. G. Ike

    G. Ike TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Sheriff, is it a bad idea to buy a used camera? All of the SLRs I have looked at are a little too much for my budget at the moment. I would like to get the nicest camera I can for the least amount of money. Any suggestions?
     
  5. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Used digital bodies from B&H or most local shops are a good bet...but if you want a nice, full featured SLR (which you'll need for what you're doing) on the cheap - look at film bodies. You can get a Nikon N8008 (a very respectable body) for under $100 used.

    Although film seems like a hassle, a lot of printers (like Shutterfly, to throw out one example) will scan your images for you, let you do cropping etc digitally, and then make you prints (and/or give you a CD).

    I am a firm believer in learning to shoot with film, but that's just me.
     
  6. Samurai Photographer

    Samurai Photographer TPF Noob!

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    Join a local camera club. Your local camera store may have one. If you haven't purchased a camera yet, check out DPReview (www.dpreview.com). This site posts authoritative reviews on digital SLRs and point and shoot cameras. The reviews cover every aspect of the camera. Many reviews have galleries of images photographed with the camera.
     
  7. G. Ike

    G. Ike TPF Noob!

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    brileyphotog, film does seem like a hassle, but will I benefit in the long run from learning on film? And correct me if I'm wrong but are some features built into film? Like ISO?
     
  8. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

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    I'm going to make a contrarian recommendation here - based on what you said you wanted to shoot and your budget limitations.

    Why not a "Super Point & Shoot"? My recommendation would be either the Canon S5is (less than $400) or -if you can find one- an S3is probably around $225).

    Here's my thinking:
    --They have all the manual features, so you can learn the basics of shutter speed, aperture and exposure.
    --The construction of these cameras (I'm speaking only of these two Canons because I have no knowledge of other brands in this category) is far superior to the body and lens construction in any consumer level DSLR. (Magnesium frame, highest quality Canon glass, very sturdy construction, etc.)
    --With a built-in zoom range of 12X you're getting a lot of performance in a small, compact and relatively inexpensive package.
    --You mentioned Ultra Zoom and Macro as two features you want. Well, most Super P&Ss are great in both categories.

    Image quality is outstanding! OK, OK ... it's a small sensor and all that. But you're talking about a beginner's camera ... and one that's going to be used for a variety of situations as you learn.

    I'm really over the idea that one needs to start out shooting film because that process is somehow inherently superior.

    That's especially true when you compare the relative costs of shooting film vs. digital.

    Like briley above (for whom I have great respect) I'll admit this is just my opinion. I shot film for more than 30 years before I ever picked up my first digital camera and I loved it - and learned on it.

    But that doesn't mean it's the only way ... just that it's the traditional way.

    In any case, do some homework, join a local club, read some reviews ... and jump in with both feet! And have fun with it!

    It's a great hobby ... and (for some) a great profession ... and for others (like me!) a lifelong learning experience and adventure.
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ISO is deturmined when you purchase the film, The noted speed on the box is the ISO.

    I personally say yes you will benifit from film, the restrictions that one can not "sidestep" (so to speak) as well as inexpencive high level equipment make for a better learning experiance.


    Here is a post I did not long ago about the thought processes in Film VS digital and camera type selection.
     
  10. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Learning on film makes you take your time to get a shot right...which is a good skill. I also like the aesthetics of film as opposed to ultra-crisp digital shots all the time.

    ISO rating refers to sensitivity (to light) of both film and sensors. One nice thing about digital is that you can switch between between "film" speeds with a few button presses. On both the effects are the same - higher number equals more sensitivity, allowing you to use faster shutter speeds but adding grain or digital noise.

    With film you are stuck with ISO 400, 800, etc for the roll. So I wouldn't really call that a feature per se.

    The other advantage of film is lower cost for the body upfront. Then you can take that money and put it into lenses, which you can then put on your digital body when you are ready to move up...but that takes a little planning ahead.

    In the end 35mm vs digital is a toss up in my opinion. However, I can't see medium and large format film (a whole different animal) getting replaced anytime soon for certain applications. I'm not even going to get into it since whole article could be (and have been) written on that particular subject. :)
     
  11. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree, ISO as a "feature" comes only with digital and the ability to change on the fly.
     

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