wanting to get started in digital

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by slickhare, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    i was cleaning out my house of junk the other day, and i found some old polaroids i had taken as a child. some of them looked pretty good actually and i remembered how much i loved my camera christmas present.

    so i decided that i want to try out some digital photography. so my question is, is it hard to get started in photography (even though i mostly just want to do it casually)? and also, do you have any recommendations for functional, inexpensive digital cameras?
     
  2. ShelleySnapz

    ShelleySnapz Photographer for hire!

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    by digital do you mean a manual (slr) or a P&S (point & shoot) camera?
    P&S is easy yet very limited
    an SLR canbe a big step if you dont know how to use the camera andor arent familiar with shooting manually...I went from a P&S to a DSLR and I was nearly over my head...took me several months just to learn all the functions and what not...research as much as you can to see what would be best for you
     
  3. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    is it possible to learn to use SLR over time? in that, do you need to have a grasp of every aspect of the camera in order to use SLR or could i buy a "For Dummies" type of book and take pics as i learn?
     
  4. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Matters which kind you get, but most Digital SLRs these days have easy modes, in which a person can just set it to them, and the camera will make the decision on aperature (Depth of field), and speed. Now, most people will eventually find this to be rather... 'boring'.. and will begin to move up to partial metering, and eventually to full manual. I always think it is good to work with a manual film camera before goign to digital, as I believe it helps one to appreciate editing and such, and just the true difficulty of photography, as well as ease the step to full manual, but many people will disagree.

    I would probably grab a Dummies book (I love those things), and read through it prior to getting a DSLR if that is your plan, just so you aren't overwhelmed and can begin learning more about the camera functions itself, as opposed to the 'basics of photography' (which get rather complex at first). I know from experience that taking photos and then looking at them, really helped me to understand photography more.

    Just incase you fell asleep with all of that, all I am trying to say is that you learn through experience, and experimenting:) Good luck!
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    As a Photography teacher (and being a pedant) I have to take exception to that statement.
    I know for a fact that people learn nothing from experimenting unless they have the technical knowledge necessary to understand what they are doing. It's no good getting a great effect or image if you don't know how you did it and therefore can't do it again on purpose.
    How it really works:
    You learn the basics and take pictures applying your knowledge to see how the basics work.
    If you hit the limits and want to go further you then need to learn a bit more of the theory - then you apply it.
    If or when you hit your limits again you need more theory, and so on.

    Get a good introductory book (or better still find a class at your local College). Take pictures applying what you learn and ask questions (here is a good place to do it ;) ). You'll know when it's time to move up.
    Learning anything new is hard work - nothing comes easy - so perseverance is a must.
     
  6. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    i would consider manual film except for the fact that i don't have ready access to a darkroom with which i could develop the film. so digital feels like the way to go for me

    so could anyone recommend any inexpensive SLRs?
     
  7. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    bump, some more help would be appreciated. could anyone suggest any inexpensive manual digital cameras to get started with?
     
  8. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    there arent any fully manual digital cameras (that i know of at least) that would be a good fit, but i think a P&S or basic DSLR would be good to learn on. yes, a manual film camera is probably the best because you pretty much have to know what you are doing, but you can learn with other cameras well also. there really isnt such thing as an 'inexpensive digital SLR' unless by inexpensive you mean under $1k. The Nikon d50 is a great beginning dslr. I think it runs for around $600-700...
     
  9. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    hmm the nikon d50 is quite pricey but i'll keep it in mind for the future. is it possible to make good work with a P&S camera and not have that whole "poser" feeling to it?
     
  10. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    Definitely. There are several famous photographers that use point and shoot cameras, actually. It just depends on what you want in a camera. I used a small kodak point and shoot for a good while and was able to find it's sweet spot fairly easily. Like with darkroom printing though, a digital photographer's work truly shines in his ability to bring out the best of his images in post-processing (by editing them in programs like photoshop). A photographer that uses a small compact camera but has stable composition and technical knowledge and good photoshop skills is much better than one with a huge pro dSLR, little knowledge, and that doesnt tweak their photos. You could easily squeeze into a long "it's the photographer, not the camera" lecture here, but i think you get the point ;)
     
  11. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    These are very good cameras for what you want to do:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=371189&is=REG&addedTroughType=search
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=381586&is=REG&addedTroughType=search
    If you can spring for either of those cameras (and you need to add 80 to 150 for your first lens too) then YOU'RE GUARANTEED TO BE SATIFSFIED WITH THE CAMERA

    If you don't have the budget, you can get a point and shoot. I know this one from canon is top of the line:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=347912&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

    There are other good ones too. What else? If you go with a point and shoot, get one with a hot shoe so that you can attach a flash or use it in a studio. You never know...

    I pretty much "wasted" 500 bucks for a good point and shoot just to realise I need a DSLR. So if you think "I want to do photography seriously", then I'd be inclined to push you towards a DSLR.

    If you don't have the budget, you can get a film camera and a lens, shoot BW film and develop yourself. Then you either get an enlarger and print it or get a scanner (200$ minolta will do for a start) - that's the budget way and allows you to learn.

    Hope this helps

    And if you're learning, the first camera doesn't really matter. You study light and composition and go through thousands of frames before you start to think you understand what you're doing.

    Good luck
     
  12. slickhare

    slickhare TPF Noob!

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    ok i've narrowed it down and i'm looking at the Canon Powershot S1 IS. is this camera any good?
     

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