Camera Advice for someone starting out

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by rogue, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. rogue

    rogue TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys,

    I'm extremely new to photography and would absolutely love to learn the art of it. I was wondering if you could advise me on which camera to pick -- I have had no experience except for chasing my friends with disposables. Mainly I'm interested in making black and white photos of "artsy" things but.. that may be too soon for me to think about? Anyway, camera advise?
     
  2. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    I would say get a digital and get photoshop cs2. you can get something like a 5mp sony cybershot that has manual controls and excellent optics for around 220.00
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/w1.html

    youd be suprised what you can do with that camera.....

    Or you can save up and get a dslr for 700 - 1200 $

    If you plan on seriously getting into it, you can bypass the 200.00 point and shoot, but there is a middle road....

    you can buy a good point and shoot used for like 150 and learn on it and with photoshop... it will take you a few months to get good.... in the meantime you are saving money, expiramenting and researching dslrs....

    when you have the money you can buy the dslr, and give the P&S to your wife ...... lol
     
  3. rogue

    rogue TPF Noob!

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    Heh, good thing I used to teach photoshop so I know my way around that program. So.. for starting out I guess I'll be getting the sony cybershot then later on advance to more "advanced" cameras.
     
  4. Aoide

    Aoide TPF Noob!

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    Hi Rogue. Welcome to the forum. I agree with Thorhammer in that you can start with a mid-range point and shoot camera and do a lot of work with it. There are amazing photographers on here who use a point and shoot (Verbal :hail:).

    The advantage of this is before you invest a lot of money in a DSLR you will have a better idea of features that you want to look for.

    As for cameras..... well.... Canon of course! :lol:

    Canon Digital Cameras
     
  5. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    I am going to go anti here and say buy a decent Nikon/Canon/Olympus/Minolta 35 mm SLR and a 50 mm lens of f2.0 or faster and a top shutter speed of at least 1/1,000 of a second. A second lens that I wouldn't buy right away would be a 35 mm f2.8 or 28 mm f2.8 and then a zoom of something like 70-210 and an f4.0 aperture. Then I would buy a dedicated flash. Used you can put the whole thing together for under $500.00 and have stuff that will resell well and perform quite well.

    The best thing IMHO you can learn is that the lens isn't what actually "sees" the photo first...it's either the photographer or the camera's brain. Learning photography is largely learning to see and then then learning how something looks in a print compared to how it looks when it was shot.

    Learning to see and be able to come up with a rough approzimation of exposure just from the eyeball is IMHO critical. Being able to do this gives you the ability to anayze in real time the exposure that the camera's brain determines and relating it to your mental image of the shot. If you can't follow the data it provides it may as well provide none.

    Consider that if you are shooting outside in bright daylight you could use the sunny 16 rule and shoot at, or bumped 1, the film speed at f16.0. So 400 spd film would shoot correctly at 1/500 at f16. 1/1,000 at f11.0, 1/2,000 at f8.0 1/4,000 at f5.6, 1/8,000 at f4.0 would all also be correct exposure values. 1/250 at f22.0 and 1/125 at f32.0 would also be accurate. 7 exposures and 7 different photos, all with correct exposure...only 1 is the way you "see" it.

    Starting with such a basic camera and 50 mm lens will force you to learn to see in advance. Other than maybe a center weighted meter and a depth of field preview, which is a great learning aid, you won't have much to hold your hand.

    LWW
     
  6. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The 'Art' of Photography has nothing to do with choice of camera.
    The only important thing is to choose the one that feels right so go into a good camera store and handle lots.
    As for digital or film - toss a coin. ;)
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Indeed. A lot is going to depend on you. Film might cost more to use, but is a lot cheaper up-front. Digital vs. film is a wash. Your choice will depend a lot on what kind of workflow you want to be involved in.

    What kind of price range are you looking at? You could get a $15 medium format Holga or spend several thousand on a digital SLR.
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I've been using the 7-megapixel version of that Sony Cybershot for just over a week now and can recommend it as a very good point & shoot. Images can be a tiny bit soft but with 7-megapixel and unsharp mask that shouldn't be a problem. Red-eye is sometimes a problem with flash but that too shouldn't be a problem since you know Photoshop. As far as making 'art' is concerned it doesn't really matter what camera you use - just go into the Photographic Discussion forum and see one of the many, many, many threads on that subject. When it comes to range of manual controls however, there are better cameras than the Cybershot. It only has a range of 2 apertures at any given focal length; e.g. f/2.8 or f/5.6 at widest angle, f/3.5 or f/7.1 at mid-zoom, f/5.2 or f/10 at full zoom. On the other hand it has a full complement of shutter speeds up to 1/1000. Overall I'd recommend it; you may not have complete control over exposure but at least you can improve your composition (I find LCD screens great for this).

    If you're mainly interested in black and white, I'm tempted to say go for film instead, but I may get shouted at by some :)
     
  9. 'Daniel'

    'Daniel' TPF Noob!

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    SHOUT SHOUT SHOUT. Not really.

    I agree with LWW. Gety a film slr with a 50mm to start with. Better to learn the (relatively) hard way to start with than learn how to use the easy then the hard. If you do the hard you can do the easy anyway.
     
  10. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Plus you can pick one up for the same price as a single memory stick for a digicam.
     
  11. rogue

    rogue TPF Noob!

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    thanks for all the feedback... keep in mind I am a hardcore noob so be careful with the usage of the terms :p I still don't know half of the things you guys said such as shutter or that f/2.8 stuff... so basic summary: canon or sony camera that works with film? Yes? :D
     
  12. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Sony AFAIK don't have any film cameras. Try Canon, Nikon, Minolta or Pentax SLRs and you can't really go wrong.
     

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