BUYING A DIGITAL SLR CAMERA

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Otohp, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Otohp

    Otohp TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking to begin photography, and with the insane prices of cameras, would like to begin with something decent.

    A digital SLR, but one that has the most incorporation of all lenses & other things. I want a camera to be flexible, and be able to have the most different lenses to attach, to be useful for all things.

    I'm not sure about how all different types of lenses work with all other different camera models etc.

    I know sweet f a about photography & camera models etc. Need some pointing in the right direction. I'm in Australia, too, so i may not have access to as many resources as America or UK would (as in stores etc.)

    Any help is appreciated!!!
     
  2. Ant

    Ant TPF Noob!

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    You'll get lots of good advice here, but basically for your needs you can't go wrong with the big two: Canon or Nikon.

    There's three cameras I'd recommend you look at: The Canon EOS 300D, the Canon 350XT or the Nikon D50.

    The Canon 300D is the cheapest but has a restricted feature set, although if you're totally new to photography it may not bother you because you'll be busy learning the features that it has got, and you should get good results with it.. The Canon 350XT has the most features but is also the more expensive of the three. In the middle is the Nikon D50. There's tons and tons of info on all three cameras on the internet and there's plenty of choice for lenses with either brand.
     
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  3. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Where abouts in Australia are you? I might be able to tell you some good camera stores to go into and talk to them.

    Ant has suggested the main 3 entry level DSLRs. You'll also find some others done by companies like Minolta, and Sigma. But I'd stay away from them... they're not as user friendly.

    Canon lenses only fit canon cameras. Nikon lenses only fit nikon cameras.
    You can however buy adaptors (or so I beleive) to interchange nikon and canon lenses with the other type of camera... although you lose some auto features. (verify this... I'm not sure about it)

    Other lens brands to look at are: sigma and tamron. They make some nice lenses... but make sure you read reviews before you buy, coz similar lenses can have very different results.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    If you start out down the SLR road, it's worth mentioning that the standard zoom that comes with a kit camera isn't usually too great. Perhaps consider getting a 50mm f1.8 fixed lens as this will work better in lower lighting situations and give very sharp results - the cheapest bang for your Aussie buck.

    Rob
     
  5. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    I agree with the Sigma not being that user friendly but the Minolta is more friendly IMO because it acts a lot like the older manual 35mm cameras. You have most of your custom controls on knobs instead of in the menus. On top of that, with the realease of the Minolta 5D, the price of the 7D just dropped into a competitive price range.
     
  6. Otohp

    Otohp TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all that info guys!
     
  7. Otohp

    Otohp TPF Noob!

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    For starting out photography (and i should've asked this before) is a digital SLR the best thing to use in the beginning?
     
  8. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Depends on what you mean by starting out. If you've never ever used a camera before... then no it's not a good place to start.

    If you've got a little bit of a handle on, or would like to learn more about aperture, shutter speed, flash techniques etc then yes an SLR (digi or film) is the right way to go.

    A DSLR may be a faster way to learn than a film version because you can see straight away what you've done wrong... and you may also be willing to experiment more.
     
  9. Otohp

    Otohp TPF Noob!

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    I'm thinking of just going DSLR as, like you say, it's easier to see straight away without wasting film etc.

    Now it just comes down to finding which one amongst the millions.. heh
     
  10. Otohp

    Otohp TPF Noob!

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    Would anyone have a suggestion of where to look in metro QLD for good priced wide ranged camera stores?
     
  11. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am VERY old school when it comes to learning photography from scratch. I would recommend finding an experienced photographer with the tolerance of a saint. Then find an older manual control 35mm camera and a hand-held light meter. Buy a bulk film loader and 100' of B&W ISO 400 film and shoot, a lot. Learn the mechanics of light, its effect on film. The relationship of aperture/shutter/ISO. Then learn the effects of lens focal lengths. Learn the perspective of telephoto compression and its reciprocal effect of wide lenses. This is how I learned, and how I've taught my kids and now my 11 year old grandson. After you have a good foundation, then you can build and build large.

    As film and paper supplies are dwindling I may need to modify my approach. I think it would be with a DSLR and a 35mm (for a cropped chip, 50mm for full frame) prime lens. Any only use manual controls until the basics are firmly within your grasp. This might give you instant feedback and has the potential of teaching faster. But this method lacks the effect of learning from the mistakes of whole rolls of black or clear film. This kind of mistake is something you remember forever.
     
  12. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Sounds like photography is something you want to do a LOT in the future, sinse you seem to want a complete "system"

    I do not agree that you need film to learn the basics though. No way. You can get practice with digital SLRs too.

    I would buy a DSLR and a cheapest 28mm lens from your brand, which would be about normal angle on a cropped camera. Then study light in all its forms and how it affects your pictures.

    You body doesn't matter at this point either. Buy the cheapest model from either nikon or canon and with additional money buy a lightmeter.
     

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