Camera suggestions for a newbie!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jade, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. Jade

    Jade TPF Noob!

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    I am new to photography...what I mean by that is that I have my $100 point and click. I have played with it long enough, but now I'm wanting better quality pictures and more to work with. Any suggestions on what would be a good starter camera? I want it for pics of my family, lots of my son, and vacation pics. I don't want to spend any MORE than $1000, but less would be better. Thanks in advance! I appreciate it!! I can't wait to learn all I can!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    For most would-be amateur photographers, the logical upgrade would be to a Digital SLR camera. There are many advantages of a DSLR over a point & shoot type camera...but that doesn't necessarily make it the best choice for you.

    I'd suggest going into a well stocked camera store and getting your hands on several different cameras. If you are OK with the size and feel of a DSLR camera, and you actually want to learn a bit about photography, then I would suggest going in that direction. There are several very good entry-level DSLR cameras available. The most popular (and probably best) are the ones from Canon or Nikon.
     
  3. Jade

    Jade TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for answering! Any other advice for me?
     
  4. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    If you end up getting an SLR, read the manual before even touching it (or while charging the battery for the first time). Then, read it again while playing with the settings.

    Also, in the top of this forum, there's a "Tutorial Thread" link with a LOT of helpful links, book suggestions, etc. One book that just about anyone here will recommend is "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It's a very helpful book for picking up on the basics of proper exposure. Read, shoot, play, and have fun!
     
  5. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Regardless of the brand and model that you choose, don't try to solve everything at once. One of the great things about SLRs is that they're the heart of a system, a system that can grow as your desires and pocketbook change.

    If you do spend time at a local store, please be aware that the sales personnel work on commission. Don't take up his/her time and then shop the 'net using the knowledge you obtained locally.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    If you want to improve your photos, knowledge is more important than getting new gear. So don't expect to suddenly see a vast improvement in your photos. Do some reading and put in the time to learn the basics. There are many good books and of course the internet is full of great tips, lessons and tutorials.

    Also, you may want to learn more about photo editing. You don't have to become a Photoshop expert, but you can do a lot with a some basic techniques and the right software.

    One of the best things about a DSLR system, is the almost limitless expandability. You can spend many thousands of dollars on accessories or just shoot with the 'kit' lens that is usually included with the camera. You don't have to run out and spend a bunch of money right away...if fact, I'd advice against that...just learn to use what you have, and add things as you find a real need for them.
     
  7. Jade

    Jade TPF Noob!

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    THank you all for you answers! I appreciate it! I'm going to go buy that book and do some more researching before I buy anything. I got photoshop a long time ago and totally gave up on that because I got so overwhelmed! That crap is CONFUSING!!!!
     
  8. WhyNotMe

    WhyNotMe TPF Noob!

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    Being a beginner myself I can say that everything above is definetly correct, but also have a few more suggestions. When it comes to photoshop, try learning just one thing at a time and getting it down by heart. There are great tutorials out there, even on youtube so you can actually see everything being done. Also if you decide to go with a dslr, in my opinion Nikons are more technical so they are a little harder to learn but you have more options, and Canons are easier to learn but without all the options. (I am talking mostly about entry level dslr, as I haven't researched any of the higher end ones) But both brands are great.
     
  9. zland

    zland TPF Noob!

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    Regarding cameras, there are many good ones. I would suggest getting either a used one or something recently replaced & yet still new. An example would be the new release of the Canon 7D. This is making the older models cheaper to get but still new like the 40D (you can get for under $1000) or the 50D, $100 to $200 more. Both are more than enough to grow into. In addtion, if you are not doing sport photography you can get something like a Canon Rebel that works great & maybe more within your budget. I have a friend that takes much better phtos than myself & does so with a Rebel which goes back to it is more the photographer than the equipment. As they say, novice get focused on always bying new equipment while professionals learn to use the equipment thay have better.

    You can always upgrade to newer/better camera bodies. I strongly suggest you buy the best lens you can since high end ones never devalue & are used for years/decades.
     
  10. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At $1000 you have some nice options. I would go to the local BestBuy and, hold the ones you are considering in your hands to see how you like the fit. The way the controls are set up alot of times make a difference to people.
     
  11. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Before you spend a lot of money on a camera, if you're truly a noob (as in never handled anything beyond a point and shoot) either buy or borrow a copy of Understanding Exposure.

    It has many, many images to explain what you're getting into. I totally thought I understood exposure until I bought this book. ;)

    EDIT: Also, once you 'understand exposure' the specs you're reading on lenses and bodies make waaay more sense.
     
  12. tiffanyjean

    tiffanyjean TPF Noob!

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    I am getting a nikon D3000. i went to a few places and looked at a few, but this one just caught my eye and felt right for me. You will know what camera is right for you when you go in and look at them and try them out for size. good luck!
     

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