Camera needed....

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ThePhotoKid, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. ThePhotoKid

    ThePhotoKid TPF Noob!

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    I need a 35mm camera. I am going to be taking some photography classes and need a manual 35mm. I will be taking action shots, portraits, close ups, and night shots. So needless to say I want some quick shutter speeds as well as long shutter speeds. I would like this camera to accept new lenses and filters as well, for when I become better I would like to purchace a telephoto, etc.

    I am really lost and don't want the camera shop to take me for a ride. Any help please? Also if anyone knows a good source either online or a store to purchace any models suggested, please let me know. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. dlc

    dlc TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what brand you have in mind, but for good and fair prices check out the following website. They are a reliable online retailer. You will at least have a good idea of price range. I think that Nikon will have the best lineup of lenses to be used on a manual camera.
    http://www.keh.com/shop/brand.cfm?sid=newused
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I buy almost all of my equipment from the internet (KEH is great), but I know what I'm looking for. For a complete beginer, it's probably well worth the extra $20 or $25 it'll cost you from a camera store. Go in and talk to the folks; find a salesperson who's there because they are a photographer, rather than a salesperson (I sold cameras for 3.5 years for the employee discount). Actually having a real live person to talk to when you are having problems or trying to figure your new camera out is very helpful.

    Most entry level 35mm SLRs are about the same. They will be auto-focus, but you can turn it off and focus manually. They will have manual exposure, and a variety of semi and full auto exposure modes. Make sure that the camera you get has a cable release socket, and that you can adjust the ISO setting. For some reason some manufacturers like to leave these very necessary features off some beginner cameras.

    I like Pentax. They are just as good as the rest, but cost a bit less. It's hard to beat any Canon Rebel; they are usually priced nice, although Canon will cost more in the long run. Nikon makes great cameras too, but watch out, they are notorious for leaving some features (as mentioned above) off of their entry level cameras (N-60 for instance).
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    I noticed that. Even with the N-75. You get a spot meter but no manual ISO?!
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Isn't that crazy? Some report has told the Nikon engineers that 99% of the folks who buy these models will never move off the auto modes, use a cable release, or contemplate shooting film at any ISO other than the manufacturer's recommendation. So they include the features that sound fancy (spot meter) and make the sales pitch exciting, and then leave off the boring sounding features, and save a nickel per camera.

    This is where my obsession with vintage cameras comes from. I like cameras designed by engineers who were also photographers. The current crop of camera manufacturer engineers are cell phone photographers at best.
     
  6. ThePhotoKid

    ThePhotoKid TPF Noob!

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    I did a lil research on the net, and looked at the Canon EOS Elan 7. It seesm to get good reviews and seems to have alot fo features. Keep in mind I still don't know what alot fo the features do :) But I want a camera I can grow into.

    Any models you guys reccomend me looking into?

    I really don't have gobs of money. I will go into the shops and ask for advice. Will pick up the cameras, get a feel fo them and such. But I would like to not spend a small fortune, I am a college student :)

    Thank you for your responces, valuable information :)

    Any tips for buying? What should I look for, what questions should I ask, etc.?

    Thank you very much :) I love this forum!
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's been said before: the amazing photographs are made using the gear in yer skull, the gear in your hands is just a tool to get there. To take great pics all you need is focusing control, shutter control, and aperture control. A light meter is nice. You don't need to spend lots of money. The following features are nice, but absolutely unnecessary to take good pics if you know the fundamentals: auto-focus, zoom lenses, motor winder, auto exposure modes, multiple metering modes, pop-up flash, TTL metering, etc....

    There are many great pre-1990s 35mm SLRs that would be great to learn on, and could probably be picked up with a good lens (or two) for less than $150. You can get a Pentax K1000 for under $100; it's got all you need to take great photos.
     
  8. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    Well, i recently bought a Canon Elan 7e for a beginning class. I love the camera, tons of gee whizz features that i don't use, prolly never will. The camera is nice, its quick, its quiet and its sexy LOL, but it does lack in some areas that you will prolly find very important if you continue with your photography. It doesn't have a spot meter, (though a separate one is better anyway) no Cable release (extra 30 dollars) etc. It does have the fastest autofocus on the market which is nice.
    Anyways, i enjoy the camera i have, but i now know that it was overkill, Unless your doing something where you specifically need this kind of camera, save your money. Look online, go to a camera shop play around with the cameras, when you find one you like, hit E-bay for it, they have the best prices you will find on coamera bodies. I saved about 400 dollars on ebay for my camera.
     
  9. ThePhotoKid

    ThePhotoKid TPF Noob!

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    So.. what exactly does spot metering and a cable release do? And if I buy a camera without these features, can they be added to the camera if i need them later on?
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    In camera meters have different modes of metering. Most cameras have only one meter mode, but as you move up from entry level models they often have several choices.

    center weighted: this used to be the most common, the meter reads the center portion of the frame

    averaging: the meter reads several large sections of the frame, and finds and exposure that with best suit both areas

    spot: the meter reads a small spot in the center of the frame, similar to center weighted, but more accurate for metering specific areas in your image

    matrix: fancy computer chip technology combined with a mode that divides up the image into many different areas to be metered. Different areas are assigned different priorities. Check out manufacturer sales pitch for their twist. This is probably the most common now days, even in the point-n-shoots, digital, etc....

    A cable release allows you to trigger the camera without pushing down on the shutter button and jiggling the camera. Along with a tripod, this is a must have for long exposures. It used to be that everyone just had a threaded socket in the shutter button that any $10 cable release would fit into. These days all the manufacturers have a propriatary socket so you have to buy their $75 brand name release; ahh, progress.
     
  11. ThePhotoKid

    ThePhotoKid TPF Noob!

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    Oh man, cable release!? What a great invention!

    Metering is also cool. Sounds great.

    Sorry for being so amused :oops: but that stuff is awesome!
     
  12. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Cable releases are awesome. Make sure the camera you buy has a socket for one. If it uses a remote shutter release make sure it'll function on the "bulb" setting. Bulb is used with really long exposures.

    Metering is handy.
     

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