what camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Maks, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. Maks

    Maks TPF Noob!

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    hi
    i'm a musician/producer with a strong intrest in photography...
    but, i don't know anything about it...
    I want to buy a camera to shoot some pictures, in combi with some photoshop on my mac powerbook maybe...
    But, witch camera's are good for a newbie?
    it would be used for some 'all round' photography...
    I know how stupid newbie quastions can be sometimes, but hey; you have to start somewhere...
    thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    There are tons of different cameras out there, in plenty of different classes & price ranges. The more information you can give us, the better suggestions we could give you.

    I assume you are thinking of a digital camera. I always recommend a digital SLR camera, if you can afford one. The entry level DSLRs are around $1000 US. There are lots & lots of digital point & shoot cameras (seems everybody has one) but I'll try to quickly explain why I think DSLRs are worth the money.

    In just about every non-SLR digital camera, there is a very small sensor that records the image (about 4mm x 6mm) even in the high end $800 ones. A digital SLR like the Canon Rebel XT for example has a sensor that is 22.2mm x 14.8mm, that's quite a big difference. One advantage of a bigger sensor is image quality, especially at higher ISO settings. That means you can get better photos with less light. If you plan to print photos at say 8x10, image quality & digital noise are much, much better from a larger sensor.

    Another advantage is shutter lag, with most P&S digital cameras, when you press the shutter...it waits for a second or so before it is ready to actually record the image...with a DSLR...it's much faster. This is a must have if you are thinking of shooting sports or action shots.

    Also, with a DSLR, you can be tapping into a huge array of photographic tools. Canon & Nikon both have lots of great lenses & accessories that will work with their DSLR cameras (as well as their film cameras in most cases). Sure lenses are really expensive, but they are a good investment. P&S digital cameras are updated so often that they become devoid of resale value...and actually digital SLRs loose value quickly as well...but not the lenses.

    If size is an issue, then a small P&S digicam may be a the right choice...they are making them quite small. That's the one area where they outperform the DSLRs.

    It may be that a P&S digicam is all that you need, if that's the case then go down to a camera store and try out a bunch of different models. However, if you are concerned about learning & experimenting in the hobby of photography...a DSLR is 10 times the camera for only twice as much.
     
  3. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    Follow Big Mike -you can't get wrong!

    However, if you cannot afford a digital SLR, may I suggest a "prosumer" compact digital?

    They call this cameras prosumer because they are meant to be consumer cameras for professional users. Don't let the word professional impress you. One of this would allow you to use it fully as a simple Point&Shot camera, if you want, but it also would let you control a lot of things when you start feeling that you want to -which, I believe, will definitely be the case if you have "an interest in photography."

    The prices on these don't go much above the smaller point&shot.
    Their main issue is, perhaps, their size. They are considerably smaller than a DSLR, but also noticeably bigger than a tiny point&shot. But I don't believe this could really be an issue, unless you think on the camera as that minuscule gadget in your pocket to record some memories now and then.

    Take a look at this one, for example:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_g1.asp

    If you don't think you'll be telling the camera what exactly to do, then get just a point&shot. But don't expect to enjoy much the pleasures of photography, because the camera will have all the fun and you'll just push a button. If you do want to make a hobby of this, get at least the "prosumer" -and, of course, the DSLR, if you can afford it!

    And finally, you could also consider a film camera (I can't help it!). You'll be able to use the photoshop as well, as long as you scan the film (which the lab can do for you when they develop it).
    This will turn to be more expensive, although the cameras are much cheaper. But I still think it's more fun ;)

    Good luck with whatever you choose -and don't forget to let us know!
     
  4. lycrarob

    lycrarob TPF Noob!

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    Check out the Fuji lines. They have a wonderfull HR ccd chip and color representation.
    I had one of there small compacts and have since been purswaded in purchassing there s2 pro and love it even more.
    The best brand I have ever found on the market.
     
  5. catweh00

    catweh00 TPF Noob!

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    Personally,
    If you are just getting into digital photography for the fun of it and not wanting to spend a ton, just get a P/S like the canon A85 or something similar. They are fun to have, you can do a decent amount with them, and they do not cost nearly as much as a prosumer, nikon 8800 or comparable camera.

    After that, if you really enjoy the artistic side of photography (not just snap shots), then I would go with a DSLR. Prosumer cameras are nice, if you have the extra money, but dSLRs give you so much more for the dollar. My friend purchased the nikon 8800 I believe, while I purchased the nikon d70. My camera blows her away--just with speed, variety of lenses (since you can change them on the d70), picture quality, etc. She wishes she hadn't spent the $900.00 or whatnot for that camera.

    Not that the camera makes the photography, but the dSLR is truly comparable to 35mm film SLRs, in terms of speed and responsiveness. But get a P/S Canon first I'd say. They're cheap and great cameras.

    Craig
     
  6. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    I meant second hand $200-300 prosumer!
    I'd never recommend expending more than that in a prosumer. If you're willing to spend money in a digital, DSLR is definitely the way to go!

    And... why not considering film SLR....?
     
  7. catweh00

    catweh00 TPF Noob!

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    Panocho's right. Don't spend more on a digital camera unless its a DSLR. And believe me, salespeople will try to convince you that their cameras are practically dSLR, but in reality, they don't come close.

    $200-300 is a great range for a great digicam. Stick with that unless you want to get serious with lenses and all that for the dSLRs, which I love.

    I shot film SLRs too--just not a big fan because of film cost, no immediate feedback, patience thing, yadayadayada.

    Good luck!
    Craig
     

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