Want to move closer to pro but no money

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crownlaurel, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. crownlaurel

    crownlaurel TPF Noob!

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    I spent $455 on a Kodak camera 3 years ago and at the time it was a pretty good camera. I can some good photos outdoors:

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    I've shot two weddings...one for my dad and one for some friends...



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    But indoor photos are hard and without an image stabilizer, I lose a LOT of shots. I want to step up, but I don't have anywhere near the money (or credit) to get a good dslr.

    I've looked at Nikon D40s and while I do like them, I can't afford the lenses and accessories that I'd need. Most local places that sell cameras have crappy customer service and half of them won't even let you take pictures with the camera in the store (it's usually turned off/no battery/attached with a tight chain). I've been looking at advanced point and shoot cameras because with four kids, it's harder to stop and change lenses and set up tripods and all that and I can't afford separate cameras for family and hobby. I was considering maybe upgrading to a Kodak P712 with a 12X zoom and image stabilizer (about $450). You can still get accessories like extra lenses and a bounce flash, but you don't have to go broke to get started.

    I'd like to do more weddings/ QuinceaƱeras and do more nature shoots. I have a crazy dream of finding all the abandoned houses and buildings I can find and shooting them. Something about old abandoned buildings with broken or missing windows or covered with overgrown with weeds fascinates me. I won't offer to do weddings or anythig until I have a camera I feel comfortable with, but I don't know if I really have to have the whole kit and caboodle just yet.

    So for my needs (and very limited budget)...family outings, kids' portraits, nature hikes and occassional special events...would upgrading to a better Advanced P&S be worth it or should I forget it until I can afford a DSLR?
     
  2. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You already have Taken P+S shooting pretty far I think you should not waste your money on another P+S. I say just wait for the DSLR especially if you plan to shoot more events like weddings.
     
  3. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D50s are going for around $500 with a kit lens (18-55). Most would say that the lens is slow for events but they used to take photos with 4X5s and ISO 64 film so you know it can be done. ;)

    mike
    Search this site for info on D50s.

    mike
     
  4. crownlaurel

    crownlaurel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses. Here's another question: Nikon D40 at Sam's Club is $559 (plus tax) with the 18-55 lens. I've used a 10X zoom lens for 3 years and I do love to have that ability to get close w/o getting that close, but a lot of times I don't zoom in all the way (I never ever use digital zoom). If I got the D40 with that lens (it'll be awhile because dh already got his new drill instead of me getting a new washer), can the extra zoom be done by cropping or does that cut picture quality? Not that I'd be printing huge photos or anything (I'm horrible about not printing anything most of the time). It'd be at least a year before I could add any accessories.
     
  5. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Hi CL

    The worst thing about doing this on a pro basis are the costs involved, here in UK setting up costs to begin a business professionally would at least entail:
    2 dslr =at least $2000
    4 lens = ;;;;;; $1200
    2Strobe/Flashguns $500
    Computer $1000
    software $400
    marketing/advertising budget ?
    and at least above average ability to create excellent photographs. So honestly I wouldn't think your ready for this leap into the unknown yet, its not as easy as you think, as a hobby its very costly, as a business, until your well known and respected its enormously expensive. H
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well I know the OP mentioned 'moving closer to pro', but later they did say their needs were "family outings, kids' portraits, nature hikes and occassional special events"... and "I won't offer to do weddings or anythig until I have a camera I feel comfortable with"... so presumably we're not talking about starting up a business just yet.

    In which case... I think a dSLR would still be better than a P&S for your needs. You mentioned image stabiliser, well sure some compact cameras have that but IMO you'd be better off using a faster lens and/or higher ISO - the faster lens is impossible on a P&S (f/2.8 is probably the widest you can go) and higher ISO tends to be far noisier on a P&S. A good 6/8mp dSLR with a reasonable zoom and a fast 50mm prime would be a reasonably affordable solution compared to a high-end P&S.
     
  7. montresor

    montresor TPF Noob!

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    Isn't that stuff just the greatest? :thumbup:
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    You are bang on with this. I was just about to post something similar.

    My advice - take it slowly. Get a nice camera and the best lenses you can afford (do not get slower than f2.8 lenses if you want to shoot weddings) or indoors. IS lenses are great but very expensive.

    If you are taking this seriously as a hobby you need to spend a fair amount of money. if you want to do this as a business then I'm at over $17,000 (in a little over 2 years) and I'm just about to start out. Web site in progress..... (more money going out than in just now.......)
     
  9. crownlaurel

    crownlaurel TPF Noob!

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    I think it'd be years before I'd even think about trying to start a business...more of an extension of a hobby that occassionally leads me to a wedding, LOL. I do think I have an eye and I've got the desire, but until I can move up in camera, etc, there's not much more I can do. I'm hoping by Christmas, or if I can get a Spanish class going, I can make it in 10 weeks.

    My dad's wedding was in a small church and the girl who called herself the official photographer was awful, but she was family of the bride (even though the bride wasn't exactly thrilled), so I stayed out of the way. So all my wedding party pics were at a slight angle and I only had one view of the bride and groom during the ceremony, but the pictures they have framed all over their house are the ones I took. The other couple was a church member and dh was the minister. They couldn't afford a photographer and ended up not being able to afford the church they wanted or decorate the poorly lit, green carpeted country church they ended up in. Though they are far from anything a pro could do, the couple has photos of their wedding they otherwise wouldn't have had.

    I think I am going to save for a few more months and get the D40, but the kit lens is f3.5-5.6, so does that mean low light would be even harder? Or are there other factors? I'm guessing that lens is good for nature and outdoor shots more than indoor events?

    Would there be any benefits to seeking out a used film SLR to practice with?
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    If you are going to be shooting weddings...then good quality equipment should be mandatory. It's not cheap..but a professional craftsman should realize the advantages of using professional equipment. Not to mention that a wedding photographer should have backup equipment as well.

    Of course, it's not feasible for many people to just go out and drop several thousand dollars on camera gear. You have to start somewhere...just don't go shooting weddings professionally until you are prepared.

    The D40 should be a good camera to start with. It's part of the Nikon system so you will be able to expand and upgrade as you can afford it.

    That is a 'slow' lens which means that it's harder to get faster shutter speeds. Yes, the alternative is to turn up the ISO and that means more noise...however, you will find that a DSLR produces much lens noise that a non-dslr. For example, ISO 1600 on the D40 is probably just as good or better than ISO 400 on your old digital camera.
     
  11. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Look at the Tamron 17-50 or 28-75. Both have f2.8 max apertures and are not that expensive for fast glass. Or get the kit lens and buy the 50mm f1.8.... A great fast lens but you lose the zooming ability as that is a fixed focal length lens (called a prime lens).

    It's sharp and fast. Also when funds come around get a decent flash. The small one on the camera is not too hot!
     
  12. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    its not about the camera, if you want to get closer to pro images you don't need to spend thousands, for $20 bucks you can buy a canon ae-1 with a 50 1.8 . . . i know, i did it.

    if you can't afford to get the gear to perform like a pro, don't play pro . . . while it isn't the gear that makes images, in a place with low light where you HAVE TO GET THE SHOT as it happens and can't stage it in the light then you will need fast lenses and flash units.

    check out dpreview.com i buy from the following sites, keh.com and bhphotovideo.com

    also, i'm going to guess that the slow lenses they are referring to are still faster than your p&s, and the d40 will undoubtedly be able to shoot with a higher iso and higher image quality than your kodak. - - - meaning even with the d40 and a "slow" lens you will be better off in low light than you were before.
     

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