If you've got the time...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Donjo3, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. Donjo3

    Donjo3 TPF Noob!

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    I'm taking my first small steps into amateur photography, and I could use a little help. I don't know whats good/bad on cameras that I look at, and all the help pages here deal with $1,000+ dollar cameras. I don't know if I really want to commit that much money to something I know nothing about. For my first camera, I was thinking somewhere between $300-$500. If anyone could help me out in any way, I would really appreciate it. Sorry if this is a waste of your time, and I apologize for my ignorance. Thank you.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to TPF!! I'm sure we can come up with something, but you'll need a few more things to get decent help:

    Film or digital?
    Taking pictures of?
    US Dollars?
    New, second-hand?

    Rob
     
  3. Donjo3

    Donjo3 TPF Noob!

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    -Digital
    -So far, I've been taking pictures of people, and they really seem to like them, but I'd like to try objects and or scenery.
    -Yes, somewhere in the price range of 300-500 US dollars, or close to that
    - Is there much of a difference other than price? And it would have to be online somewhere, there isnt much for civilization where I live.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. jack lumber

    jack lumber TPF Noob!

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    Hello Donjo3,,,and welcome ,
    ALLWAYS remember,there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers!:D

    Now I think at your high end of 500 you are right on the cusp of some very fine cameras, I'm thinking a solid used Canon rebel xt 8mp will only be but a few bucks more.
    At 300 you will no doubt get a decent point and shoot in the 5 +mp range, but you may outgrow it,depending on your results,,or lack of them:sexywink:

    Whatever you buy look for something with a decent lens,,, good luck ,,and happy snapping.
     
  5. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    Used Nikon D50s w/ kit lens should be in the 400-500$ range. I'd wait untik Photokina is over and see what's being released, then grab a used older model at a good discount.
     
  6. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The next question then is are you looking for a point and shoot camera, or a digital SLR? For that price range, you are pretty much going to be stuck with a point and shoot, though if you wanted a used DSLR, you might find a pentax on ebay in that range with a kit lens. Even then it will be close to your limit if not more. My buddy has an Olympus c740uz with a 10x optical (not digital zoom) that is only 3 mpix but takes a great image. Does well even with 8x10. I think it's only in the $300 range. When looking at point and shoot cameras, look mainly at the optical zoom and completely disregard the digital zoom feature. Digital zoom is merely magnification through the camera's software and with crappy quality. The way I see it, they could advertise it as 1000x digital zoom. You can do that with any software, but it's going to look like crap regardless. And you are probably going to find many will be around 5 megapixel in that range which is plenty for 8x10 or so.

    If you wanted to save a few more dollars, but a dslr and you can get a much better camera and the ability to change lenses.
     
  7. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's always possible to get better by spending more, but there's a limit. [A quick check of any mall parking lot will turn up very few Rolls or Ferraris!]

    You said $US300-500 and I'll assume you meant what you wrote. That pretty much precludes the DSLRs. If you wish to buy a new camera with a spare battery, 1 Gig card and warranty, you might wish to look into rigs such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-20PP. I recently picked one up [black model] with the additional items listed for $US506 at B&H. Then download The Gimp and you're set to go.

    I've assumed you want a digital camera. If you're considering film, there are presently many used 35mm SLRs available which, with a reasonable number of accessories, will come in under $500. Brands to look for include Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Konica, etc. For $500, you should be able to get the body, a couple of decent lenses, lens shades, extension tubes/reversing ring, some filters and a tripod, all used [ebay?] That leaves an exposure meter and further accessories for a later time.

    While still on film, there are lots of used 120 roll film rigs under $US500.
     
  8. Donjo3

    Donjo3 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your advice, but I have another question. What is Photokina? And whats the difference between SLR and 'point and click'. So am I correct in assuming that I should ignore the digital zoom completely, and just worry about how big the optical zoom is?
     
  9. mykill

    mykill TPF Noob!

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    one thing that i looked at in gettin my camera (havent jumped into the dslr yet) was the manual controls....
    if you end up getting into photography more than you are now then its a good idea to get a camera with these controls so you can become familiar with them

    now im just practicing with my controls and trying to learn as much as possible before getting a slr....just my advice from a fellow rookie with a budget
     
  10. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    When I was first getting into photography I really didn't know anything about it and got a $300 point and shoot style cam. I had that for a couple years then got a $400 more soup'ed up P&S camera. Again, used that for a couple of years and just recently got a dSLR.

    I think my progression that way was caused by the fact that as I learned what the heck I was doing, the camera limitations started to stick out to me. So while I'm sure in another few years I'll be wanting a new dSLR body I look at that $700 I spent on P&S cams and I rarely use them now except when I need to take a camera somewhere where it might get a beating.

    My advice would be if you're thinking $300 - $500 save up the extra $100 - $200 and get a dSLR. Chances are if you're willing to drop $500 on a camera you're interest is more than 'just curious' so I'd make sure you're investing the money the best way possible.

    Good luck and let us know how you do.

    ... and while I agree that you can increase quality by throwing money at to an extent... it doesn't mean the cheaper P&S style cams suck. ;)
     
  11. Donjo3

    Donjo3 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, rmh159, I am more than curious, I really like taking pictures, but I dont know if I'm going to like it for along time, or if its just a phase. I'm in study hall right now, so later today I'll post the cameras I've been thinking about, and maybe you guys could give me some pros/cons of each, thank you.
     
  12. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Photokina is a large camera show at which the manufacturers show and tout their latest models.

    DSLRs have interchangeable lenses and larger sensors. Point 'n shoots do not have interchangeable lenses.

    Yes, go for optical zoom rather than digital zoom.
     

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