New to these forums - looking for advice

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by MarcusM, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, I just signed up on these forums. I had been wanting to join a photography forum for awhile but just haven't gotten around to it.

    I have been doing photography for a few years now - I would consider myself an beginning intermediate amateur. I have had one class way back in 1997, and learned most everything else on my own. I didn't really get into photography heavily until about 2002 or so when I bought my first digital camera - a point and shoot Nikon Coolpix 4300.

    I then bought a Canon EOS Digital Rebel, and I have been pretty pleased with it, but feel it is time to move up. The Digital Rebel is a good starter DSLR, but I think that's about where it stops. I still have the 18-55 mm kit lens it came with. I haven't gotten into additional lenses due to affordability. I don't think the Rebel's photos are as sharp as they could be, especially doing macro photography.

    I also bought an old Yashica TLR that I have used a few times. I love the sharpness, clarity and detail of medium format, but the TLR viewfinder is really hard to get used to. I still haven't mastered it.

    So, I am at somewhat of a crossroads right now. I want to get a new camera, but am unsure of what to get. I know it ultimately has to be my decision, but I'm wondering if I can get some feedback that might help me best determine which direction to go. I would love a Hasselblad or Mamiya medium format SLR camera, but I don't know if I'm ready to sacrifice the convenience of digital. Digital medium formats are way out of my price range, so I think I will have to stick with digital for now and maybe save up for a medium format SLR film camera down the road.

    I hope to someday sell some of my photography (freelance), so I am wondering if I can get some advice on a good camera to get? I will probably spend around $3 or $4000 on the body. I know the biggest expense comes from the lenses. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    There is some big hype right now, your timing is pretty good. Canon and especially Nikon have come out with some new cameras. The Nikon D3 and D300 are very new http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=2 actually the D300 hasn't hit the market yet it's coming out in November. As far as Canon I'm not sure but I think the 40d is fairly new. I'm sure someone more experienced can go in better detail than me. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people here that would love to be in your shoes right now... 4 grand waiting to be spent.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The Digital Rebel is a little old, for a digital device...but it's still a good camera. You would be pleasantly surprised at how well it performs with high quality lenses. Sure, the newer cameras are amazing and a pretty good improvement over the one you have...but still, good glass makes more of a difference.

    The 40D is the new 'mid level' camera from Canon. It appears to be an amazingly capable camera with many many great features. Have a look at it for sure. You should also consider the latest 'entry level' DSLR from Canon, which is the Rebel XTi.

    I guess you could also look at Nikon or Pentax or Sony etc....but since you already have a Canon...it would make sense to keep compatibility, so that the lenses are compatible (would make for a good backup).

    What ever you decide, consider that good quality lenses are important and figure that into your budget. Many of the best quality lenses cost more than these cameras...but there are great lenses that don't cost an arm and a leg.

    Medium format cameras are cool. The film ones can be had for a song these days...and the digital ones cost more than a family car. Although, the top end DSLR cameras (35mm format, not medium format)...are practically as good than the larger digital formats. The Canon 1Ds mk III, for example, is probably one of, if not the, best digital cameras available. For only $8000.;)
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bide your time and see what the new year brings. Spend a couple of hundred on a Mamiya RB 67 and have a ball. You may want to just stay with Medium Format and a good Film scanner if you want to do do landscape or art.

    If you are interested here are some sample photos from the Nikon D3 taken at ISO 3200..
    http://www.photographybay.com/2007/08/27/nikon-d3-sample-images-at-iso-3200/

    Even if you don't want to spend that much there may be several Nikon D2xs on the market. ;)
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    You Nikon Junkies are relentless...he's already a Canon EOS user :roll:

    :D
     
  6. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    LOL... Big Mike.

    Hey he said he just has a kit lens... come on you can throw that in the trash, hes has got 4 grand just for the body and who knows how much for glass. He is in the perfect position to make a switch!:mrgreen:

    Do I sense some jealousy... jk.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    Hey, I shoot Canon...I have no need to be Jealous. ;)

    I may be jealous of the OP, in that he's in a position to be buying some great new gear.
     
  8. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    The only thing I'd want to add to this thread (Which has already been implied by Big Mike I suppose) is that the kit 18-55 lens isn't all that sharp. You'd be amazed at the sharpness you'll get out of the 'old' Rebel with some nice glass in front of it. Of course, if I had $4k burning a hole in my pocket I'd want to get a new body too. I'd definitely stay with Canon and keep it as a backup though.
     
  9. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    You'd be pleasantly surprised to get even just the canon 50 1.8 on that puppy. The kit lens really ruins the experience I feel with these cameras. It's not fun to shoot, it doesn't take sharp pictures, and none it's not contrasty and colourful...

    Even just a new lens would help...

    But if you're gonna go all out, why not?

    The new 40D would be a nice addition to your bag...
     
  10. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for the advice. I didn't realize the kit lenses were such low quality. Also, just to clarify, I'm not ready to drop $4K right now, but I'm saving, and I'm part of the way there. It will be awhile but I'm doing the preliminary research right now.

    So do professionals not even use the kit lens at all? Are they almost worthless when it comes to professional photos? What is used in place of the 18-55 mm lens?
     
  11. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    I'm no pro but I think it would be safe to say that many pros will not use a kit lens for paid jobs. A pro could shoot with a kit lens and would still have awesome photos, compared to a newbie with a pro lens. One of the main differences is the constant aperture through the lens and the build of the lens. Pro lenes are made to last for many, many years.

    Again this is my understanding, but I'm not pro... yet. :sexywink:

    And of course the quality of the glass is better which gets you better contrast, sharpness, and colors that stand out.
     

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