Hello, I'm a newbie. Where do I begin?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by potato, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. potato

    potato TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone!

    I just registered here. I was not into photography at all, I don't think I'm particularly good at picture-taking department, and I don't own a decent camera. But I really want to be able to take good pictures.

    So, where do I begin? I'd appreciate any help.

    First, what kind of camera (digital) should I buy? I like Canon cameras and I can get a little discount on Canon products as well, so can anybody recommend me a camera, lenses, etc? Some people told me to get 30D, Rebel XSi, etc, but I don't know the difference.

    Second, can somebody recommend me a good book or site for totally clueless person like me? I don't have much leisure time, so I'm first looking for some tutorial that's easy and light but that can get me started.

    Any other tips, recommendations, etc will be great.

    Thanks much.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome aboard.

    The book 'Understanding Exposure' by Brian Peterson gets a lot of great reviews.

    Photography is an art...you don't necessarily need to understand all the technical aspects of it, to enjoy it or to be good at it. However, many of us enjoy the science and technical aspects of it just as much.

    Maybe all you need to get started, is a camera. Just go out and shoot what ever you want. Sooner or later, you will start to figure out how to take photos that you like.

    On the other hand, maybe it's better to get a good understanding of how photography works. Then you can better choose the equipment that will be best suited to you.

    What's your budget? As a beginner, you would probably want to look at the Rebel XSi (or the older XTi) and the lens that usually comes with it. However, if your budget allows, you might want to consider something more upscale, but that's certainly not a requirement for learning photography.
     
  3. potato

    potato TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the welcome and quick reply. My budget, I'd say, is around $1,000, give or take. I'll go look for that book right now.
    Thanks again.
     
  4. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps you can look for a decent but cheap super zoom with manual functions capability (being able to change aperature, shutter speed). It will give you a chance to explore photography without breaking the bank. If you find out you don't like photography, the loss won't be too bad as you can still use the super zoom as a point and shoot.
     
  5. Emerana

    Emerana TPF Noob!

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    Welcome. I started with an xti and am very pleased. I think its best to buy the body and get a nice "walk around"lens. I want the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM but dont have it yet, I just have the kit lens with IS. I also have a crappy zoom that I would also like to replace and a 50mm f/1.8 which is about $70 and is a great lens for the price (but not a good all around lens)

    That book that Mike mentioned is great and a must-have BUT ALSO READ YOUR MANUAL. It will answer 99% of your first questions.

    Photography...to be good at it at least, takes alot of time. But if you get bitten by the bug, you will find time.
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very true.
    I used to be a workaholic (still am... lol), and to find time to relax or do something different was near impossible. Once I decided to get a little serious about photography, I *made* all kinds of time to find places to go and shoot and lots of time appeared for me to learn.

    There is a basic photography course on proudphotography.com that I feel is excellent for new budding photographers. It is very reasonable, the people there are really great and the instructors know just what to say to encourage you to the next level. I took this course and liked it a lot.

    Understanding Exposure should be a must read for all new photographers... without it, many of us would still be out there stumbling blindly around trying to understand why we cannot get a good pic.

    The more you invest in your personal education, the faster you will learn how to take better pictures. Practice, practice, practice!!!
     
  7. potato

    potato TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your suggestions, everybody.

    Which ones are those "walk around" lenses?

    Is this one of those "walk around" lenses?


    Thanks.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    The term 'walk around lens', usually refers to a lens that covers the 'normal' range of focal lengths...or just a lens that is versatile for different shooting situations.

    I think that the standard 'kit' lens 18-55mm would be a good start, but if you wanted to get something better, the 17-85mm lens might be a good choice.

    On the other hand, maybe a 50mm F1.8 would be a better choice. It's very affordable and the large maximum aperture, F1.8, makes it quite versatile, even though it's not a zoom lens.

    The truth is that you won't really know until you try...so don't be afraid to just jump in and start shooting. You will eventually have a better idea of what you want or need.
     
  9. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    I have the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM as a walkaround lens, and I love it. I like the zoom range for lots of different things. But with a cropped sensor on the XSi or the 30D, you might find that its not ideal for wide angles. I still like it a lot though.

    As Mike said, the 17-85mm IS is a very good walkaround lens also. The 50mm F1.8 is the best prime lens for the money, and is great for closeups and portaits. Good luck with your decision.
     
  10. potato

    potato TPF Noob!

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    I'm curious. I guess the numbers and the letters in that string describing a lens mean something? Can you tell me what they mean?
     
  11. ChickenFriedRyce

    ChickenFriedRyce TPF Noob!

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    XX-XXXXmm equals the zoom of the certain lens
    FX.X-X is the aperture size, if I am not mistaken, the largest it can go.
     
  12. Sheriff

    Sheriff TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the great world of photography!!!
    To do list:
    1. get a good book written for total beginners in photography.
    2. read it
    3. in it you`ll find out about different camera types etc.
    4. choose a camera.
    I suggest you to get an SLR, don`t waste your money for point and shoots and so called bridge cameras. You`ll grow out of them quickly. And the cheapest SLR will be better then the most expensive point and shoot or bridge camera. Read the book first!!!
     

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