A beginner wanting to gain skills - need 'decent' camera

Timva

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Hi guys,

I'm completely new in the world of photography. I've been reading a guide to get me started that really helped me get ideas and get me excited to start making photos and editing them with special effects (link: tinyurl.com/mjea2en).
I have a good idea of which software I'll be using so the last remaining subject is a good camera. I've been told that most of photography is skills rather than a very high quality camera. So what suggestions do you have for an absolute beginner?

Has to be:

- Not too expensive
- Useful photos to edit with special effects.
- Easy to carry around
- RAW photos
- USB connection

Ideas more than welcome.

Thanks :)
 

hirejn

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Gavjenks

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Agreed that you should forget about special effects entirely for at least like... a year, if you really want to produce really high quality work.

You need to know the basic rules of normal photography down cold by instinct before you can effectively add on extra stuff like special effects or bend/break the rules in creative ways.

If you don't have the basics running through your veins first, then you will just end up being too distracted by thinking about your special effects and you'll end up screwing up your basic composition or exposure or whatever and ruining lots of shots.

It's like saying "I'm really interested in being a professional jouster" before you know how to ride a horse.



Get any real, somewhat modern DSLR that you can afford.
And get lots of books about photography basics like exposure, composition, and control of lighting.
Then go take normal photos for a long time.
 

Juga

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Buy an iphone and download instagram or......

Take the advice of these fine people and get a Canon T3 or Nikon D3100 and learn the basics like the exposure triangle, composition, etc.
 

goodguy

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Learn the basics, dont think about special effects right now.
Dont try to run before you learn to walk.

Good starters camera with lots of potential to grow into is.......................

Nikon D5200 with its basic 18-55mm VR lens is 750$, fantastic camera that will be great to grow into.
If thats too expensive you can go with the Nikon D3200, while its the most basic camera in Nikon's arsenal it is still a very capable camera that is more then enough for a newbie, 530$ for the camera with the 18-55mm lens.

Good luck.
 

TCampbell

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Hi guys,

I'm completely new in the world of photography. I've been reading a guide to get me started that really helped me get ideas and get me excited to start making photos and editing them with special effects (link: tinyurl.com/mjea2en).
I have a good idea of which software I'll be using so the last remaining subject is a good camera. I've been told that most of photography is skills rather than a very high quality camera. So what suggestions do you have for an absolute beginner?

Has to be:

- Not too expensive
- Useful photos to edit with special effects.
- Easy to carry around
- RAW photos
- USB connection

Ideas more than welcome.

Thanks :)

This would be a LOT easier for us if you were to ask for a large expensive bulky camera with no special effects. Any chance we get you to change your requirements?
:mrgreen:
 

texkam

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In the DSLR family, consider a used Canol Rebel. (T2i or better) The Rebel line is a bit smaller sized. Because they are an entry level camera, deals can be had from people upgrading to a more pro-series. They are still capable cameras and will accept any of the finest lenses in the Canon line. Keep in mind this suggested set up may still prove too bulky for your wants. I'll let others suggest smaller options.
 

Solarflare

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A beginner wanting to gain skills - need 'decent' camera

[...]

- Not too expensive
- Useful photos to edit with special effects.
- Easy to carry around
- RAW photos
- USB connection
  • Well, if you actually want to learn photography as a technical skill (not the artform, thats separate), you need a camera with good controls.

    If price is an issue, ideally some old used digital pro- or semipro-body, such as a Nikon D90. These are relatively cheaply now, often with surprisingly low shutter counts, and have the best controls and allow you to access the full range of photographic options. Aside from the newest gimmicks like video, lifeview and best high ISO performances, or the newest Megapixel records, these cameras made great pictures in their day and still can make great pictures today. Dont get an too old camera, though, for the older they are, the more compability issues may turn up. For example, make sure you still can get new batteries for that camera.

    Even an entry level DSLR will already have a lot better controls than p&s cameras, though. Good enough that it will allow you to learn photography.

    There are of course a few options of non-SLRs with good controls. Such as Fuji X, Leica M etc. But they are pretty expensive.

    You could also get into film and thats often pretty cheap nowadays.

    Warning: if you "just want to take photographs", this is much easier to do with p&s cameras.


  • "Decent camera" is too vague ? Every camera is a compromise. Some are very expensive, some are very cheap. Some are very heavy, some are very lightweight. Most are color, some are blackwhite. Some are very loud to operate, some are near total silent. Some are weather sealed, some are waterproof, some can be used underwater, others dont have much sealing at all, and some arent even really lightproof (Holga). And so on and so forth. If you get good pictures out of them, is a question of your technical skill and artistic creativity. So what is "decent" ? It really depends upon what you want to do.

    A DSLR is a great general all purpose camera. More specialized cameras have advantages in different fields, but arent this general. With the introduction and improvement of phase AF on sensor technology, this is about to change, but right now this is still true.


  • "Not too expensive" is not much of a clear budget. How much money you will spend is a question of what do you want to photograph, and in what quality, and with what comfort level. An iPhone 5 or really any p&s camera can already take great pictures, devianart proves this. Good pictures are a question of luck, technical skill, and artistic creativity.


  • Editing photographs is not a question of the camera, especially if you want to use RAW. Its a question of what editing software you want to use. Many cameras have in camera options, of course, but I avoid those, so I cant say much about that.


  • Easy to carry around - ideally, get an iPhone 5. Or any p&s. Or one of those Nikon 1 cameras. Or a Fuji X100s. Or a Olympus OM-D. Or a Leica M. Avoid the bulky SLRs and dont expect to be great at shooting action (i.e. sports, playing children, moving animals). Or, with some models, at least dont expect to be too good at it in low light.


  • Even many point & shoot cameras offer RAW today. I dont really have much of a clue about p&s cameras, though. They dont interest me too much anymore.


  • Every digital camera has an USB cable. Okay, technically a USB connection, and you can put an USB cable into it, but yeah, they all have it. The only exception I know of is the Leica M-E. So - want an USB cable ? Just dont buy a Leica M-E. Done ! (Btw, I just use a cardreader. They are insanely cheap and much more comfortable to use - faster, easier, same for every camera)



P.s.: Ooops. Sorry, got carried away, this posting is definitely a case of overthinking the issue. I hope its helpful, nevertheless.
 

raventepes

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My advice is to go into a store and play around with a few models in your price range. We can recommend all the gear in the world, but at the end of the day, YOU have to feel right shooting with it. Some prefer Canon, some prefer Nikon, and some prefer Pentax or another brand. It's all about your comfort.
 

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