Going Digital

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Naturegirl, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Naturegirl

    Naturegirl TPF Noob!

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    I can't believe I'm doing it, but I'm going to.

    I should probably provide a little background on myself since I'm so scarce around here & lurk more than post when I'm actually here. I've been into photography for a good 10 years now. I know a little, have done a few professional jobs but have never really worked hard at perfecting my talent and I have a bit to learn. I have twins & work full time so I have limited time anyway.

    I've decided to get a digital SLR. I'm going to have a studio in the next year or so & I have aspirations of doing some portrait stuff on the side, and MAYBE even dabbling in stock photography.

    I know NOTHING about digital photography. I'd like to keep it not-so-pricey but want something that I can learn on and use for pro stuff if I end up having the time for it.

    I've had my Rebel 2000 since 1999, I believe and have never had problems with it (til recently). And I think I want to go with Nikon this time.

    Aside from the camera, what else should I get?

    Thanks, in advance :)
     
  2. Naturegirl

    Naturegirl TPF Noob!

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    Did some digging in some other related posts. I think I'll go with the D80 for now. As it's been mentioned, the technology changes so often I'm probably going to be upgrading by the time I got it all figured out anyway...
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Not to start a brand war discussion...but since you have a Canon Rebel (and lens)...why not get a Canon DSLR so that your lenses will be compatible?

    If you only have the one Canon lens...and you really do want to switch...then now is the time...because once you start down the path of one system...it gets harder to change.

    Well, you will need a lens (obviously :D)...so which lens should you get? If you are planning on getting paid for your photography...it would be a good idea to invest in some good quality lenses. What's your budget?

    A good quality tripod would be a good accessory.

    If you plan of setting up a studio...then studio lights will be the way to go. Strobes (flash) units are better suited to shooting people, so I suggest looking into them. It may be wise to get familiar with your camera and lens before rushing into studio lights...but since a studio is your goal...then maybe getting some good lights, right off the bat, may work for you.

    What's you budget for lights? Many people, including me, will recommend Alienbees because they offer a good product at a great price. There are certainly more 'professional' brands avaliable if you want to go that route. Check out the site, it will give you a general idea of what you may be looking to spend on lights etc.

    Good luck :thumbup:
     
  4. mascafe

    mascafe TPF Noob!

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    If you are going to have an studio next year you need a more professional camera, maybe Nikon D200 or Canon 5D, and good quality lens. It would be a good idea to buy the camera now, because yoy will have plenty of time to know it, test it, see the machine positive and negative aspects, and you will be better professional.

    Regards.
    www.juanparmenides.com
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with that.

    The D80, the D50, D40 (or the Canon Rebel series etc.) should be plenty of camera...especially for someone just starting a studio. If you are planning to sell very large prints, then more mega pixels is better....but people can and do get great enlargements from 6MP DSLR cameras...so the D80 will be fine. The D200 is bigger, faster, better built etc...none of which really matters for studio work.
     
  6. Toast95135

    Toast95135 TPF Noob!

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    Plus the D80 is 10.2 megapixels, so it would make even better large prints.
     
  7. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    Me too - the D80 will do you well. :thumbup:
     
  8. Aside from the camera gear, you will need a computer with a large hard drive, a lot of memory, and fast processor - all three are mission-critical for developing (now called processing) and then storing images.

    You should also evaluate Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and possibly Photoshop Elements (or the actual major Photoshop application) to fine-tune your images after taking them.

    You will want to get a nice big memory card or two (2 gigs), a card reader, and a spare battery for your camera.

    There's a LOT more you COULD get, but it's not mission-critical. To mind come: a monitor calibration system, some smaller applications to run on your computer, and possibly some courses in how to use all of this stuff so that you get to know it in weeks, not months.

    Don't let it freak you out, it seems like a steep learning curve. Rest assured knowing that grandmothers across the country are doing this stuff now, it's become really accessible and consumer-friendly, and is not that big a deal. What matters is that you know how to take a picture. Every one will tell you it's SOOO different with digital - it's not. All that's changed is the path from subejcts in front of your lens to images printed on paper.
     
  9. PNA

    PNA TPF Noob!

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    Grandmothers and me (a grandfather) what to thank you for your vote of confidence in our computer abilities .....:lol:

    Having a D70, I think a D80 or even a D50 would be suitable for studio work at the outset. The D80 is 10.2 mgp by the way.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Naturegirl

    Naturegirl TPF Noob!

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    I thought about getting a Canon, but I really wanted to try a Nikon. I know it's usually preference with the brand issue, and I've always had good luck with Canon (until recently).

    As far as the studio goes, I'll have it, but probably won't be using it to do consistent money-making work for a while. I've realized lately that I have a lot to learn, especially when it comes to lighting, and I could use some practice as I haven't done much since having the twins. I plan to set the studio up to do some practicing and get a nice portfolio going before really taking on anything serious.
    I am freaked out......I swore I'd never go digital til film was competely over, so this is a big step for me anyway. And I'm not quite ready to get into heavy editing. At the moment, I have a Toshiba laptop.
    I'd love to get the bigger one, & the long-term thinker in me was trying to rationalize going for the higher-end model, but the :budgeter: in me talked her down. I have a lot of learning to do before I get too crazy.

    Thanks everyone, for your input. I really have to make an effort to get on here more & post some stuff.
     
  11. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I thought like you, that I would never migrate from film to digital unless there was no more film available.

    but last year I made the big step .. migrating from Canon to Canon .... and I did not regret it a bit, I instantly knew how to handle the camera and after a few days I took pictures of the same quality with my digital as with my film camera... using the same lenses.

    nowadays I migrated further to better lenses, but still I am happy to have stuck with the brand I was used to ...
     
  12. w.pasman

    w.pasman TPF Noob!

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    IMHO a calibrated monitor IS mission critical, if you want to sell your photos you'd better be very confident about the colors. Maybe the built-in color calibration tool of macintosh is good enough to start with, if you do it very careful and frequently but investing a bit in a good calibration tool sounds not a luxury to me.
     

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