I Would Like to Start Learning: General Advice Please (Bonus: Poll)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Blue Hour, Oct 11, 2015.

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What Do You Shoot: Canon or Nikon?

  1. Canon

    5 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. Nikon

    11 vote(s)
    55.0%
  3. Other/None (Please State)

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. Blue Hour

    Blue Hour TPF Noob!

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    Hello Everyone,

    In an attempt to keep this post short I have written some information about myself and why I would I wish to start taking photographs on my profile. If you wish to have a look before posting please feel free. Link

    I enjoyed taking photos when I was younger; I did so up until the age of about 10 or 11 and then academia became an ever increasing part of my life. I did go on to do art at school and can paint and draw (at least for now) but could not afford a good camera at the time. Now I can and would like to start taking pictures again that I have the time and money to spare.

    Coming from a point and shot instant camera circa 1999 I know nothing about cameras. No one in my family did and I've never been taught anything about them so I will need to teach myself everything. Obviously I've already started but if anyone knows some good resources either physical (I like having the book) or online/CDs etc it would be a huge boon.

    Finally I need the equipment; I am in need of a new computer - I was thinking of a "MacBook Pro" - and had the money for this anyway. On camera and lenses I would spend maybe £1000 at first for the body and kit lenses perhaps?

    I have no lenses at the moment as I've never owned a DSLR. I have tons of storage hard drives, memory cards etc so that's all covered.

    I forgot to say there is a store near by where I can buy pre-owned camera bodies in very good "like new" almost condition for very good prices. I've been in once or twice and the couple who run the store seem nice buy my meekness gets the better of me and I leave without asking questions.

    I also need software...

    I know will never go professional I know that but I like to have the best I can have without going OTT. Not to show off but I like quality it's not about the price or anything. I want to be sure I get the absolute best end product I can and I know that's mostly the lenses but every little helps right?

    I apologise I could not keep this short. Feel free to ask me questions either openly or via PM I'm always happy to talk to anyone and thank you for your time.

    Regards,

    Blue


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Get the Macbook if you'd like one. Get Lightroom from Adobe. Buy a Nikon D5500 or D5300 with 18-55 VR and 55-200 VR lenses. Buy an inexpensive Neewer 750 flash from an e-Bay vendor. BOOM!

    Then, get one of the many John Hedgecoe photography books, so you have an overview of what photography entails, as far as light, seeking out light, how to find light, and how to place yourself in relation to your subjects, and in relation to the light. The internet has a lot of recipe books sites, but it lacks the broad overview that a Hedgecoe book offers.

    The principles underlying advanced photography have remained unchanged for decades, but what has happened over the last decade is that a lot of newbies are making websites and blogs about digital imaging. In many cases, what they are teaching is error-filled, incomplete, or newbish.

    If you want to learn about photography, Hedgecoe's books are unmatched. If you want to learn how to dick around in software, the internet has a lot of sources to learn how to be a software jockey.
     
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  3. Blue Hour

    Blue Hour TPF Noob!

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    Greetings Derrel,

    Thank very much for your comment. I would like to learn the the "principles" as you say the right way. If I could I would even go back to the very fundamentals and look into analog photography (perhaps that's just nostalgia?) but my dexterity can no longer be relied upon consistently to start fiddling with film.

    I was not familiar with Hedgecoe prior to your reply; I have since bought the following Hedgecoe book link from Amazon, it cost less than £5 (roughly $8 I think). It has good reviews even some quite recent ones in fact and for an old book I am quite surprised at this so thank you.

    I do appreciate the rest of your information but cannot give immediate feedback on it I'm sure you'll understand; Thank you again for answering in such detail.

    Regards,

    Blue
     
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  4. snowbear

    snowbear . Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most of the cameras in the same price range will be fairly equal in the features they have. I could easily recommend Nikon but that's what I shoot and have no real experience with Canon or Sony -- in other words, I have an unintentional bias.

    1. Go to the store and look at what's within your budget.
    2. Handle each camera to fool how it "fits" in your hands. Are the buttons easy to reach (without looking)?
    3,. Check the menus - are they relatively easy to navigate?
    Go with the one that seems easiest to hold and use.
     
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  5. Blue Hour

    Blue Hour TPF Noob!

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    Hello Snow,

    I don't mind one's opinion bias or otherwise as along as they can justify why they have a bias and or prefer one over the the/all other(s) which you have in a way. Your approach seems logical and I like that I have been to the store a few times but and I have had no problem with either the Canon 60D or the Nikon D7200 they had out on the table at the back.

    Perhaps that's not a fair comparison of cameras? However I liked the feel of both I have very large hands; Before my illness I played the piano daily and I am told I have great pianist fingers (long, very long fingers). So pressing buttons etc is not much of an issue although I can see it becoming a problem future as my dexterity declines.

    I like the dual memory card slots on the Nikon paranoia perhaps? I just like to back up my data, thanks very much for replying.

    Regards,

    Blue
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you have a local store and it seems low on sales pressure when you go in that's probably a good option. f you have some idea going in what you might want you could handle them and try them out, then maybe go back another time to make your purchase.

    Used can be a good option and you can always trade in or sell what you buy now if you upgrade later on. I think buying used can be a way to get a good lens at an affordable price.

    Something by Hedgecoe should be good, and you might look at The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski. It's this one - The-Photographers-Eye-(PB) | MoMA Store , Amazon probably has it - there's another book with the same name by a different author so check the name.


    My choice in the poll is none of the above, I got a digital camera to use with lenses for my film rangefinders. Anything good from any/either brand should be comparable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
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  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The 60D has an outdated sensor that tops out at about ISO 800 with good quality. Check out the performance scores each camera earned. The thing is, the 60D is a nice BODY, with a good feature set. The only issue is it's so far behind 2015 sensor quality. Over three, full EV LESS base ISO dynamic range than the D7200 manages. THREE point One EV better for the Sony sensor...

    Canon EOS 60D vs Nikon D7200 | DxOMark

    Many is the time here on TPF that when these kinds of numbers are brought up, there will be a Canon fan (one guy in particular!) that tries to dismiss this as useless advantage for the Nikon, or as "meaningless", or who writes a thousand-word screed casting doubt on the DxO Mark testing procedures, yadda,yadda,yadda. As if having THREE full f/stops better dynamic range, and much better shadow recovery is "meaningless".

    And then you have somebody like Vtec, one of TPF's resident wedding pros, who processes both Nikon and Canon files, and who notes that Nikon files are, "much more malleable in post" than are Canon files.
     
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  8. Blue Hour

    Blue Hour TPF Noob!

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    Greetings Vintagesnaps,

    I have amended the poll to allow you to vote; I feel rather cliché in saying this but I just love your avatar. Did you take that photo yourself?

    I had come across the "The Photographer's Eye" before online and it's on my wishlist. I always try to get hardcover books when possible but the cost of this book is rather high. I may opt for the paperback on this occasion. Having said like John Hedgecoe, John Szarkowski was not on my radar so thank you for the suggestions.

    So you don't think there is a problem with buying used? the bodies are in great condition and the store offers you a free warranty. I can't see an issue myself other than the risk of mechanical breakdown outside of warranty.

    As always thanks for your time.

    Regards,

    Blue
     
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  9. Blue Hour

    Blue Hour TPF Noob!

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    Hello Again Derrel,

    I knew the comparison in terms of technical specifications was unfair (in favor of the Nikon). However those were the two cameras at the back of the shop on the "little table". Thank you for going into such detail again in your answer it's greatly appreciated. Although I will be honest with you I do not fully understand it all I understand the basics so far.

    I am aware of what the cool kids call "Fanboyism" between Nikon & Canon devotees. I myself don't care which brand I end up with but I know it will be one of the two. I will find the right one for me based on features, price, body shape and end product. However I do like to hear other peoples opinions. Although I am not easily swayed I find it an easy way to extract information.

    If you do not mind me asking what do you shoot with? Oh and I also took a look at your gallery on Pbase again may I ask do you fish? Thanks for your time.

    Regards,

    Blue
     
  10. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I collect and use all kinds of film cameras, mostly mechanical, including thrift store finds. I only have one digital camera! so I can't say for sure on used bodies but I've bought 'like new' or other good used lenses for it. I stick to buying from reputable dealers like KEH or Adorama here in the US.

    The avatar is an ad I bought for obviously, Polaroids, and I have a camera similar to the one in the ad.
     
  11. runnah

    runnah Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Eh don't get hung up on tech specs or brands. Find whatever works best for you.
     
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  12. Blue Hour

    Blue Hour TPF Noob!

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    Hi VS,

    Amazing I love old cameras! Sadly I have many other loves (books mostly) and it means that my money although I am not poor is spread thin at times. I never get round to cameras in the end but I'm glad some people keep the non-digital camera tradition alive.

    I have an old "Brownie" camera that was passed down to me from my Grandmother. It still works and looks great but I've never used it or taken it out of it's case, it has sentimental value. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.


    Hello Runnah,

    I won't or I'm not sorry if I gave that impression. I do like to look at the features and what not but I'll find the one that "clicks" eventually in the mean time I enjoy the "hunt"; Thanks for stopping by.

    Edit:

    Runnah I was not offended in anyway by your comment and did not mean my reply to sound so sharp my apologies.

    Kind Regards to All,

    Blue
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015

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