starting photography class - need a camera

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jtsporsche, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. jtsporsche

    jtsporsche TPF Noob!

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    hello, im new to the forum and i am about to jump into the world of photography. im enrolling into a class at the local community college which doesnt supply cameras.
    i need a camera that has
    1. an adjustable lense
    2. adjustable shutter speeds
    3. built in exposure meter

    i was looking at a cannon sx20 (if i remember i think thats what its called) it is a 12.1 mp which i understand is ok, and a 20x digital zoom.
    but im looking for suggestions. i dont think i need anything super awesome and id like to stay under $300

    thanks
     
  2. gian133

    gian133 TPF Noob!

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    I think that most classes, around here at least, use SLR's. And most use of the into classes use film so you learn to use the darkroom. I would say check out ebay or some of the used sites (adorama,keh,etc) for a used older model thats full manual.

    If your looking for canon i'm not really that knowledgeable on them but maybe something like the AE1 with a 50mm.

    Canon Manual Focus AE1 CHROME WITH 50 F1.8 FD (52) 35MM SLR MANUAL FOCUS CAMERA OUTFIT - KEH.com

    I dont know what you mean by adjustable lense. (assuming aperture) so i say a 50mm.

    Hope that helps.
    Gian

    Edit: now that i look, the ae-1 is not full manual. shows my little knowledge on canon.
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Wait until you start the class and see what the teacher says, over here you would be shooting film and learning the proper way
     
  4. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    "over here you would be shooting film and learning the proper way"

    I suppose you also have driving schools that use cars with hand cranks for starters and television repair classes that start with tube sets? If I were learning about photography now, instead of 1962, I wouldn't be interested in a class that wanted to start with me buying a film camera.

    An DSLR with give you much more convenient control of exposure, shutter speed, and the other variables, such as ISO than will a mega-zoom. Also, if it turns out you enjoy photography you have a base on which to build. The prices are similar. For example, a Canon SX1 mega-zoom sells for $518 at B&H Photo and the Canon 1000D DSLR with the 18-55 IS zoom is $480. If the purpose was for a photography class, I'd sure go for the DSLR.
     
  5. Philly101

    Philly101 TPF Noob!

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    jtsporsche, if you are taking a class, I would highly recommend a DSLR. My personal recommendation would be the Nikon D40, but if you like Canon, you could try the Rebel XS. Check out this post on my photo-blog if you are interested.
     
  6. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    Call the instructor, and ask him/her what they expect. Some prefer you have a SLR, and some a DSLR. Some don't mind either way. The reason that the instructor might want you to have a SLR is that they want you to have some darkroom experience.

    A friend of mine took a class at a local store, and she had a DSLR. No biggie, they just provided her with some "stock" neg's and she got the darkroom experience, san's the neg development.

    I'm sure the school wouldn't mind forwarding a message to the instructor to have them call you with a preference, if any.

    Have a great time in the class!

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Say what? The proper way? It's not the proper way anymore. It's the old way!

    And I know the difference, I took photography class my junior year in high school, 1968. I sold my last film SLR camera 4 years ago. All the darkroom crap went 6 years ago. I saw my first digital images in 1974. Made at work by the pro astronomer that lived next door.

    Digital and Photoshop forever, baby! Proper my as....... :lmao:

    But, yes. Check with the school, our local JC starts 'em all on film too. If they didn't, they wouldn't get that big check from me every year.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I love to poke a little fun at those who insist the proper way to learn photography is in the darkroom. But which darkroom? The darkroom of calotypes? The darkroom of tin plates? The darkroom of wet collodion emulsions? The darkroom with fulminate of mercury fumes rising up and slowly poisoning the photographer? Or would it be that heretical darkroom of the "modern era"--the darkroom of nitrocellulose stock--you know, the highly flammable stuff that all rotted away by 1920? Or would it be the darkroom of the decadent, flapper era, with safety film stock? Would it be the darkroom of the Type-R color print era, or the later color darkroom of the Cibachrome era?

    Early photographers coated their OWN plates with their OWN homemade emulsions. What about those lazy-butts who started to buy pre-sensitized, pre-packaged dry-emulsion,glass plates? Or those lazy butts who used rollfilm,with gasp, multiple exposures on one continuous,long piece of film?

    Sorry, but learning about darkroom-based photography as a prerequisite to learning "photography" makes about as much sense as learning how to milk the cow, separate the cream,stockpile the cream for a week until you have enough cream, and then filling up the butter churn to make butter. And yeah, I actually grew up (partly) on a farm where the butter churn was my great-grandmother's relic from around 1930. I vastly prefer dropping by the grocery store to pick up a pound of perfectly-cubed, wrapped,packaged butter in a one-pound paper package for $1.99. I want to put the butter on toast--I don't wish to maintain two cows, a barn,and a butter churn. Ah, I feel the desire building for sausage for breakfast next Sunday...I guess I'd better build a small bonfire to heat up the hog-scalding trough, dig out the hog scrapers, sharpen up the knives, and get the block and tackle ready to hoist the hog carcass up to butcher it. Then, clean the intestines, and get the sausage stuffing machine sanitized to fill the casings.

    [Only kidding--no photographers or hogs were harmed in the writing of this message. But yeah, darkroom work is like making butter or sausage from scratch.]
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I take it you have never shot film :lol: and don't know how good it can look and how much fun it is working in the darkroom and seeing your pictures come to life
     
  10. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    gsgary: "I take it you have never shot film :lol: and don't know how good it can look and how much fun it is working in the darkroom and seeing your pictures come to life."

    Of course, I've shot film. I'm 68-years old. I never had a car with a crank starter but I sure had a lot of motorcycles you had to crank. I also worked on television sets with tubes.

    I don't knock film work as a specialty but insisting that beginners start with film is, in my opinion, ridiculous. I remember a class on photography where a number of the students were discouraged from proceeding because of the darkroom work.
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's a lot different over here, i think film teaches you more than digital, when you read some of the posts in beginners most people are shooting away and don't know what they are doing wrong if they were shooting film they would soon learn or it would hit them in their pockets, it slows you down and makes you think more
    by the way i shoot both film and digital
     
  12. TJ K

    TJ K No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Them just have them shoot in manual and they can see how aperture shutter speed and iso change everything in the picture. Of course shooting in "landscape mode" and everything will not show you anything. The will to learn is the same whether it is film or digital. I know how iso,shutter speed, and aperture change an exposure and i started with digital but I wanted to learn about photography and how everything worked and now I know.
    tj
     

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