Where to even start?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by oleander, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. oleander

    oleander TPF Noob!

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    I'm working full time this summer before (hopefully) entering my first year in law school. Overjoyed at the fact that I HAVE MONEY for once, I'd really love to treat myself at the end of the summer with a big gift.

    I was thinking a camera. I want to take up photography, but I don't even know where to start. What's the best way to learn technique? And what about cameras? Everyone tells me to get the Nikon D70, but I saw the D50 is cheaper - would you recommend that for a beginner? I've heard good things about both.

    Someone just point me in a direction - any direction! :hertz:
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Photography, ultimately, is about composition and light -- the same as painting. Study the masters in photography and also the greats in the arts of painting and drawing. Look. Read. Learn.

    Start with whatever camera you're initially attracted to, but understand that there is no 'best.' With time you'll come to know which camera(s) fit your specific needs, as painters come to know which brushes they prefer.

    While it is relatively easy to become an equipment wonk [a simple regurgitation of memorized information], it is much harder to master light and composition [a creative act.] Always remember that owning a camera doesn't make you a photographer any more than owning a violin makes you a musician.

    That said, I wish you the very best!
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    The D70 does have a few more features than the D50. But the D50 is a very good starter camera. Still has enough user controls that you can get down to full manual (if you really want to learn). It's a really good camera for the price. Canon Rebel XT and the Pentax ist or the newer version K1000D comming out are all in the same price range and features.

    Nikon has one advantage in that you can use old lenses on it. But without some automatic features (manual mode). This may or may not be an advantage for you. So you might look into the others. I suggest you go to a store with some on display and handle them. See which one fits best as the quality of each will be about the same.

    Unless you make some big bucks later on the camera (brand) you pick now will be the one you stick with as the real investment is not in the camera but the lenses. You are buying into a system. The bodys come and go. But the lenses stay for the new body. Again Nikon has been the best as they have retained the same mount for decades. I have Nikon manual SLR's, AF slr's and now a D50 (also have a Canon 20D). Pentax is next best as the K mount has been around for a long time as well (no experience with it though).
     
  4. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Personally I think it takes a lot more than simply having been used longer to make a system the best. There is a large number of Canon lenses to choose from, and many are of excellent quality. There are fans of either system that will swear that their choice is the best, but I don't think a person goes wrong with either Canon or Nikon.

    Since you are new to photography, I would suggest you pick something you can afford that has manual controls and use that. You need to learn about light & exposure, composition, focal lengths, etc., before you worry too much about camera limits. And that can take quite a while. I don't just mean learn the tech, I mean have it reallly show up in your images.

    I'd also do a search on choosing a new camera here. This subject comes up a lot.
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    1) the camera and the lens doesn't matter if you're learning. Get the one that feels better/looks sexier. Nikon or Canon.
    2) I'd put a 28 or a 35mm prime on your body and stop for a while.
    3) before you buy a second lens, get a lightmeter and a tripod. Meter helps you to study light. Tripod helps you to study composition.

    I have a seconic L358 and can recommend it.
     

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