Digital Camera w/ Manual controls...good to learn on?


TPF Noob!
Jul 28, 2003
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I am becoming more interested in photography. I have sought out information, and I am still sort of in a whirlwind trying to keep up with all the advice and knowledge that I've uncovered in my short search. I have decided to stop reading how to's and just get the hell on with it, in other words, going out to take pictures.

My father has a Canon t50 which seems to be a nice 35 mm. camera that I could learn on, but my reservation is that I would be going out and snapping photos and then turning the film over to walmart or some other low budget place to have them developed. This seems undesirable, like a slap in the face towards the art. So I thought about getting a digital camera, but I wasn't sure that it had all over the same manual controls that the 35mm.'s had. I have a nice pc and I am familiar with photoshop.

I am looking to spend 300 at most (I wouldnt mind spending extra on another lens or 2) but I just want to be armed with the tools to learn on, and once I start to become more attuned to what Im trying to do, I will find that I still have the means to it without having to start over with buying things.

The Olympus c-2500L seems to be selling for good prices on Ebay. Any thoughts or advice would be welcomed. Thanks.

i have an Olympus C2500L and i love it :D ... it has program mode, and manual ... ebay is ur best bet ... a couple of yrs ago, my hubby paid about $1200 for it, now "new" its going for about $800-$900 ... when i upgrade (if i ever :p ) ... im sticking with Olympus ... very easy to use ..

if u take a peak at my website, i shot all of them with an Olympus 2500L ....

on ebay also, u can get a nice wide angle lens for about $80 ... and a super macro lens on Olympus site for about $25 ... let us know what u decide to do :)

It seems nice. When you say program mode, what do you mean exactly?


there are differing philosophies that surround this decision. let me put this in perspective with your comment about the crime of a lab developing your film: theoretically it should not mean a darned thing if you are exposing correctly. that is the point. learning to expose by quality, not quantity, is paramount.

hmmmmm; i don't want to open the film/digital can of worms as it binds my shorts. my recommendation is shoot some with the 35mm. look at the results and compare to notes of exposure. post the photos here for feedback. the reality is that you must evaluate shots whether digital or film, therefore; to focus on the exposure and composition is the baseline and fundamental to photography.

one frame on an ancient konica manual film body:

program mode means that the cam sets the white balance, exposure time and aperture settings for u ... in other words, "point and shoot" :p ... as an amateur myself ... this was easy for me in the very beginning..

whether its digital or film ... u can learn the technical side of any camera with a manual ... but no textbook can teach u the creativity in a photo .. :wink: ... and what amateurs have going for them as oppose to "professionals" ... amateurs take more risk ... without thinking, "well, my light isnt perfect, the shutter speed is suppose to be this or that." .. so the more risks u take, the more photos u have, the better your chances of getting a few good shots.. i can take 40 shots and only have 3 decent ones, but i dont mind, im still learning

film or digital? .... i've seen bad photos either way, your tool is only as good as you are ... :wink:
So you think it would be better to just get out there and shoot and let the labs develop the pics. I guess it would force me to have to be very thoughtful when I took shots. Since my dad has the CanonT50, it wont cost me much to start taking shots. We will see what happens. I would like to get a digital camera though.

I just realized that digital SLR's cost a pretty penny. The models that arent slr's, like the Olympus c-2500L, are they inferior? whats the real difference?
i'll clarify:

it's better that you understand the basics of exposure and composition. whether that is digital or film; it doesn't matter. you can click of 500 frames on digital 'til you get it right, but what have you learned? unless you understood the dynamics of the situation, absolutely nothing.

my only recommendation is that you learn how to see a situation as it will look when you click the shutter.

and when you play your cards correctly as a professional, all you do is creative work.

keeping in mind, im speaking from a personal perspective ... im a very impatient person (my hubby can vouch for that :lol: ) ... i want to see my results right away .. digital gives me that personal satisfaction ...

but by all means, dont go out thinking that any camera, whether it be digital or film will make u a better photographer... because that would be selling u a pipe dream :lol: ... i think evey photo enthusiast has a niche ... and there is an audience for all types of photography ...

i think to date i shot over 1000 photos in the past month or so ... and out of that 1000, i may have less than 10% that i can live with :lol:
sounds to me u want to go digital? ... just do it, no risk no fun 8)
I have leaned towards digital merely because the images can be altered more easily. I dont have a darkroom or access to one. I do have photoshop and a working knowledge of the program. Above all I am interested in creating art, and while I appreciate ideals and ethics, I wouldn't feel guilty altering a photo to strengthen its aesthetic appeal, when all I'll be doing is putting it on my wall or giving it to a friend. Even if I was selling it, it seems that a lot of darkroom techniques are similar to what is done digitally (darkening, lightening, bringing out highlights, emboldening contrasts)

Here is a site that has some photos/art on it similar to what I would like to create:

the picture links are on the right. The photos aren't all great and I dont like them all, but the graininess and rustic look appeals to me and I wouldnt mind getting some shots of my friends like that. I just want to be able to augment them (tastefully) and it seems like a digital medium would be advantageous.

i like the perspective on those photos ... digital art is cool .. like i said, there is an audience for every type of photography ... i personally like to "create" myself, and sometimes photos are altered in darkrooms (imo, which is equivalent to photoshop) ... dont feel shame if u want to alter photos, their yours, and u can do what u wish with them

my work is not traditional and have had a lot of photoshop work on them.. but i placed an ad in the paper looking for subjects to pose for me .. let them see my portfolio .. and i get at least 15 emails a day from people wanting to work with me, photoshop and all ... so dont be discouraged ... do what u do

surprisingly, i got an email from a hand bag company wanting me to do product shots for them (which is not my thing cause its too restricting for me) ... i told her, thats not my style .. but if she wants me to put a twist to it ... its on :twisted:
sometimes photos are altered in darkrooms (imo, which is equivalent to photoshop)

hence, imo (in my opinion) ... i still beleive that :wink:
So you are saying that darkroom manipulations are respectable but digital ones are unacceptable?

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