Newbie.. looking to get into photography

Discussion in 'Welcomes and Introductions' started by p2porkchop, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. p2porkchop

    p2porkchop TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'll start off with the basics. My name is Steven, and I just turned 21 years old. I've always been interested in photography, but untill now I've never really had the funds available to purchase anything. I have a Nikon P&S, but its just not quite cutting it anymore. I see a good photo opp and I can't get close to the desired effect I'd like to achieve.

    I was wondering if anybody could give me some hints and tips on what kind of DSLR I should buy. I am new, never have owned a DSLR. The type of pictures I would most likely be taking are nature shots, and sports.. dirt track racing to be specific.

    As far as a budget.. I'll just have to see what equipment I can get and set my budget from there. :lol:

    Again, any help, hints, tips, or tricks will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Steven
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It really comes down to budget.

    New Canon cameras, current generation, no lenses (from BHPhotovideo.com)
    entry level T1i = $720
    pro-sumer 50D = $1130
    pro 5D Mk II = $2700

    So it really depends on your needs. Be realistic with the money you have and what you can afford. You can get used bodies, which are usually 1-3 generations old, for 30%-50% of the price of a new one, but again, old generation, technology may be different. May suit your needs, may not.

    What is more important is getting good lenses, as these are what define the type of photography you do. Investing in good lenses is key, and this is where the price starts to go up.

    Buying a 5D Mk II with 3 pro L lenses, plus accessories (grip, bag, tripod, memory) can be a $7000 investment.

    If you plan on shooting sports, you need good equipment, both body and lens. With nature shots, you could get by with a cheaper body and a good lens.

    Without knowing budget (and assuming your budget isn't $7000), I would look at getting a used pro-sumer body (30D, 40D) along with a good L lens, such as the 70-200 f2.8 IS. The lens is expensive, but its a great lens for sports on a smaller field and it can be used for many other things such as portraits, street photos and what not, and give great results. You may want something longer, in the 300-400mm range if you do sports on bigger fields such as football or soccer.
    But thats just me.

    More important than what fancy equipment you have is the knowledge you get. A photographer is not great because of his lenses, he is great because he has an eye and knows how to compose and work with light. Sure, the good gear helps, but it all starts with what you know.

    Read on the internet, look at websites like Digital Photography Tips: Digital Photography School . Pick up the book Understand Exposure by Bryan Peterson as a great intro.
    Practice, practice, practice.
     
  3. p2porkchop

    p2porkchop TPF Noob!

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    No, my budget isn't anywhere near 7k :lol:. Unless I win the lotto.


    As I said I'm new.. so something to get my foot in the door would be awesome. Just from myself, the Nikon D3000 has caught my eye.. with the reviews I've read on it, most say it is very user friendly. I think it sales for around $600 with one Lens. My starting budget realistically could be set at around $800 for a body, and maybe a lense.. if that is all possible. More advanced lenses, and flashes would come later, and If I do have a nack for it.. more advanced body's.

    Again, Thanks!
     
  4. Opher

    Opher TPF Noob!

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    Was in the same spot as you about 5 months ago. Personally i went with a Canon XS. But if you have the extra money you can go with the XSI. Comes with a 18-55mm lens. (I didn't look much at Nikon because everyone i know has a Canon).
     
  5. loopy

    loopy Brave little froggy...

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    If you want to shoot dirt track racing, you don't want dust all up in your camera - consider something with weather sealing.

    You could look into Pentax K10D DSLR 10mp ($649.00 w/lens on Amazon)
    Pentax k20D, 14mp ($ 969.90 w/ 55-300mm lens on B&H)
     
  6. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If the D3000 has caught your eye and your wallet, then find out what its closest competitors are (canon, pentax) and head to a camera store and handle them in store. See how they fit in your hands, layout of the button,... Whichever is more comfortable, go with that one.

    You can get the kit lens, the 18-55, but know that this lens is an entry level lens that most photographers look at replacing rather quickly.

    One of the most popular first lens upgrades is the 50mm f/1.8. Its a prime lens (no zoom), but the image quality / sharpness is really good and the f/1.8 gives you decent low light shooting. Great portrait lens on a crop camera. When I got mine, I only shot with this for a while I loved it so much. Best of all, its about $100.

    So yeah, D3000 or whatever similar camera (dont kill yourself over all the fun features, they are all more or less the same at this point) and then look at the 50mm... get the kit lens if you want as well, give a bit wider option. You may also look for a kit telephoto zoom (55-250, 70-300,...) as you wont be doing much dirth track shooint with a maximum lenght of 50mm
     
  7. Danigirl

    Danigirl TPF Noob!

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    I also had to start out with an entry level camera till I can save up enough to get a higher end one. I went with the Nikon D80. For me its advanced enough that I still have extra features to play with that the D40 won't have. But for beginners the D40 is relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. They usually are sold as a kit (meaning it comes with one or two lenses) and that will help you to play around with your camera till your ready to move up to the next step without totally breaking your bank. You can buy a camera body and lenses with a couple extras for about 500.00 depending on where you go. It can go up or down from there depending on WHAT your shooting. Hope this helped :)
     
  8. rgnplus13

    rgnplus13 TPF Noob!

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    I would like to say that I agree with "bigtwinky" that the glass will do more for your images than the body will. I feel that a body is no better than the glass that it looks through.
    If you are truly just starting and have not purchased anything consider this. Look at the availability of lenses. You are going to find that Nikon or Canon will usually give you the largest selection. These lenses will be easier to find used which can make the buget a little easier to work with.
    If you plan to shoot circle track racing I suggest that you look for "fast" lenses when you start to consider the glass. Faster lenses 2.0f and 2.8f lenses will be more expensive but you will need it for low light that you will find at a track in the evening on a Friday or Saturday night.
    I started with a D70 kit that came with a 18-70mm lens. I later added the other lenses that I currently have. I still have the D70 and get good results. I am looking to upgrade the body to maybe a D200 or D300 but all my lenses will fit these bodies.
    So I suggest that you get a kit from the manufacturer that you like that fits your budget but plan to buy better quality lenses before you spend a large portion of your budget on the body.
    Hope that this makes some sense.
     
  9. p2porkchop

    p2porkchop TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Everyone! Just about all day at work I'm at various websites looking, and reading everything.. but I'm still unsure as to what to get. - so many choices!


    I'm reading, and paying more attention and putting more emphasis into buying a camera, than I did when buying my vehicles.. or anything else for that matter! :lmao:
     

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