What Camera to Choose?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by desireeinvisible, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. desireeinvisible

    desireeinvisible TPF Noob!

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    Hello, everyone.
    I'm a rising senior in high school. I have always been interested in photography, but over the last two years I have discovered my love and passion for it. My grandfather was a photographer and I think his skill finally influenced me.

    I know that I have a long way to go and there is so much to learn, but I really would like to further this "hobby" into something more, maybe major in Photography in college. I don't know many of the technical terms yet, and right now I'm only using a Kodak EasyShare ZD710.

    Since I would like to go more professional, I'm guessing it would be wise to upgrade to a digital SLR. I DO know that there is a BIG difference between regular shoot-and-point cameras vs. SLR cameras. I don't really understand the differences, but I have been doing research and trying to figure it out.

    I know some people say that I should start with something easy to use and gradually upgrade, but cash is tight, and I can't keep buying a new camera. I want something I can use now and in the future (at least through college and such).

    I'm also a fast learner and can teach myself to use just about anything. The only thing is, I don't know which camera to get. I would appreciate ANY suggestions or information.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    we have no idea how much money u want to spendd!

    budget!
     
  3. deudeu

    deudeu TPF Noob!

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    You can pretty much get anything that is right for your budget.
    The lens is what makes the biggest difference in the end (unless you buy a full frame camera, which i suspect you won't be able to buy). So whatever you buy, you are going to be able to grow with it.

    And whatever you buy, you will want to change it and get something better. This is part of this hobby/profession, however tight your budget is.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    deudeu is right - the lens of an SLR (or DSLR) is the most important component of it - the bottom end camera bodies equipped with the top end lenses and in the hands of an experienced photographer are able to give photos that will stand up with those taken with a top end body.
    So for budget (however much) I would aim to get the best lenses I could. Also you appear keen and eager to develop this further - rather than drop it all in a month - so I would say don't ever limit yourself to bottom end kit because you don't consider yourself good enough to use top end kit. Get the best you can and grow into that - and then get addicted and go after the next best ;)

    Also being self taught is not a major limitation - there is a lot of info out there on the web and in forums such as this for you to get comments on photos and advice on how to develop further - the key part in self taught is the motivation to keep going out and trying new things and improving on your skills - a school forces you to do such, without that you have to force yourself
     
  5. desireeinvisible

    desireeinvisible TPF Noob!

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    Well, I know that the prices vary depending on where you purchase. I noticed that that the Canon Rebel XSi is around $850 on amazon. Do people tend to steer closer to Canon for more professional photography or another brand? For a price range, I would prefer something that is in the $800s and below range (especially the below part, but I'm really just trying to get an idea).

    What is the difference between a full frame camera vs. one that isn't?
    Also, is there a specific lens that might be preferable for most situations?

    OH. So, no matter what budget camera I purchase, I really should try to get the best lens that I could. That was kind of unclear, but now I understand.

    What MP would you guys recommend?

    Plus, for a college student, is there a certain camera that I should steer towards, or does all of the above still stand even then?

    Thanks, you guys, so much for your time! You have no idea how helpful this is to me!
     
  6. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    Full-frame vs. non-full-frame: full frame sensor size is the same as film (35mm), a non-full-frame has a slightly smaller sensor, thus the image is cropped. Basically, this means that the full-frame will give you a slightly wider field of view, and non-full frame will give you a bit more reach. Full frames are more expensvine, and they can handle noise better. (You shouldn't be needing one of those for now). As for what to buy, get a beginner body (D40, Rebel, other makes), megapixels won't really matter, but they'll all probably have 8 and up, which will suffice. For lenses, what are you going to be shooting? Wildlife-sports-->telphoto Portraits-->standard to medium telephoto. Close ups of bugs and plants--->macro Family/friends pictures--->probably something that has a bit of wide angle, an all-round zoom probably.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    there is no camera that is popular amungst the professional community - though the do tend to stick to the top end of whatever brand they shoot with (nikon, canon, sony etc...)
    Also as for mega pixels - ignor them mostly. They are part of a big advertising and marketing gimik - you can get wonderful results on a 6mp 10mp 12mp or 20mp =- the deciding factor being the photographer in charge of the equipment. Also there is the sensor on the camera - as I mentoined the 450 does not benefit fully from an increased mp size as its sensor is still the same - this the shots are still being seen with the same device - this means no matter how many mega pixels I add the overall quality is fixed - though with more mega pixels you can resize down more which can help in many cases, but it does mean you are sacrificing the chances of more full size sharp shots.

    As for the use - it does not matter if you are a student, amature or a professional - the best is the best and the worst is the worst. I would encourage you to go for the highest kit you can without breaking the bank - but also keep in mind you level of commitment as well (only you can do that part).
    Further what sort of photography are you most interested in - people, landscapes, wildlife?
    Each area has different demends on the lens itself - landscapes want wide angle, wildlife wants powerful zooms and primes and people more medium to short range zooms nad primes.
     
  8. desireeinvisible

    desireeinvisible TPF Noob!

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    Just from these few comments I have learned so much! I can't believe how helpful this has been.

    I really don't stick to a certain type of photography. I love it all. Sometimes I capture shots of people if I feel inspired by a certain angle or pose I see them in, sometimes I stop on the side of the road while I'm driving to take a landscape shot. It all varies. It's kind of a bit random. Close-ups. Far-off images. Night time, Day time, extra bright scenes, candle light.

    Does this mean I'm going to need a LOT of lenses?
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    simply - yes ;)
    but you might be able to cover a lot of those areas with zoom lenses. They won't ever be as good as an equivatlent prime (no zooming) but good ones can deliver very good results. However there is a whole range of budget zooms which do tend to fall out in overall quality but can be a good starting place for many to get their photography skills built up and also hint at where they want to get better lenses (for exampe if they have a 70-300mm zoom and find that they are always at the 70 end and wishing for lower then they know to aim there which they might not have relised when picking the lens based on advice - experience and shooting beats word of mouth (or of text)/
     
  10. jg123

    jg123 TPF Noob!

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    I thought the XSI does have a better sensor?
     
  11. desireeinvisible

    desireeinvisible TPF Noob!

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    Haha, ok thanks. What mm lens do you think I should start with? Or, does it honestly just depend on the majority of my type of photography?

    There isn't such a thing as a more volatile lens, maybe..?
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    - did a bit more reading - its a 12mp sensor, so it is different, but its still the same sensor type and construction as the 400D so whilst its taking larger photos the overall quality of the shot at 100% is not increased and infact because of the larger area covered it has a greater noise element than the 400D. The only way you can get better photos is to reduce the photo size down in size and then use the unsharpen mask to make up for detail loss due to resizing
     

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