New and need advice ASAP

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by mark mikel, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. mark mikel

    mark mikel TPF Noob!

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    Hello all,

    I discovered my love of photography when snapping pictures of my son with my digital camera and then android phone using Instagram-by no means are they quality photo shooting equipment, but I love to capture a moment and I'm good at incorporating backgrounds and making a photo complete. I enjoy it, and want to make a it a professional hobby!

    Now, I'm ready to make the jump and buy a great starter camera. I will just be learning, taking portraits of my own son, pictures that capture interest, and learning photo shop. I'm by no means going into professional status anytime soon but would like to at some point (knowing full well that I have A LOT of learning to do before I get there).

    Keeping this in mind, what would you recommend for a great learning camera that I won't break the bank on? I don't want to invest a ton of money before I actually start courses and I'm sure that I want to invest all the time and money into my past-time to turn it into a profession.

    Your help is greatly appreciated as I don't know the terminologies, what specs I need for what, etc. As I said, I have an extremely small amount of experience on my own and have never bought a camera that cost more than $100! :) I'm hoping to only spend in the range of $350 for my learning piece.

    Any advice and suggestions are so appreciated... thanks!

    Mark


     
  2. limr

    limr Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is a very broad question that will probably require you to narrow things down a bit.

    You say you'll spend your time "...learning." Learning what? Exposure? Settings? Composition? Program modes? Background? Your style?
    What camera do you have now?
    Are you looking for a DSLR?
    Do you want manual controls?
    Do you want to be able to change lenses?
    Do you want a viewfinder?

    Etc.

    For a price of $350, if you want to buy new, you're probably looking at a compact, which would be fine for practicing more, playing with composition or different program modes. They are, however, limited (and fussy) when it comes to having more manual control over the image. And learning how to manipulate more than just exposure and composition will mean you'll eventually need a camera that you can control more effectively. In other words, it may be cheaper initially, but you'll outgrow it faster.

    If you look at used, then you might be able to find some entry level DSLR bodies under $300, but then you'll have to buy the lens as well, which will bump you over your $350 limit (depending on the lens.) But, an entry-level DSLR will stay with you through more stages of learning and possibly even further.

    I personally always recommend Pentax. In general, they are high quality cameras that give more value for your money than Canon or Nikon, which tend to have a price premium because of brand recognition. Not knocking them - they both make great cameras - but if you're looking for value on a budget, go for a used Pentax K50.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  3. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Something like a Nikon D3500 or Canon T6, at about $400.

    https://www.amazon.com/Nikon-D3500-NIKKOR-18-55mm-3-5-5-6G/dp/B07GWKDLGT/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1KL9FNBU90LBM&keywords=nikon+d3500&qid=1552115156&s=gateway&sprefix=nikon+d,digital-text,227&sr=8-3

    https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Came...ords=canon t6&qid=1552115301&s=gateway&sr=8-3

    Caution. There are 2-lens kits for both cameras and similar, which I do NOT recommend, as tempting as they seem. The 2nd longer lens, a 70-300, is almost always WITHOUT Image Stabilization (IS, Canon) or Vibration Reduction (VR, Nikon). IMHO, today it is dumb to get a long lens without IS/VR. It is the long lens that needs IS/VR the most.

    The other option is to buy used.

    Then do NOT buy another lens until you USE the kit lens for several months. Then you will learn what the kit lens can and cannot do, and you can make a better decision on what lens to get next.

    Research professional photography, as a job. It is not as easy to make a living as many think it is. Especially today when everyone has a camera in their phone.
    There is also an old saying, "the best way to destroy a hobby, is to make it a job." This may or may not happen, but it could.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  4. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Hello and welcome, there is a huge choice of camera. Do a google search to help you, good luck.....
     
  5. JoeU

    JoeU TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Ditto what ac12 said about the D3500 and the Canon T6.

    Take a look and do some research on both brands. Once you have the entry-level camera, your next step will likely be to invest in different lenses. Once you start doing that, you will likely be locking yourself into whatever brand you chose initially. When you're ready to move up, you'll have x amount of dollars invested in lenses that you'll want to make use of. Choose wisely. :)

    The standard kit lens is 18-55mm. The higher the number, the more magnification. 18 mm is wide angle, and suitable for landscape photography. The 55mm end is great for portrait photography.

    Once you start thinking about post-processing software, consider Gimp. It has a steep learning curve, but it's open source and free.

    Good luck. I envy you. You have many fun and exciting times ahead of you. Enjoy the adventure!
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    USED camera and used lens,for sure...
     
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  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I recommend a DSLR, and with that budget, you're going to have to consider a used camera and lens.
     
  8. Rinderart

    Rinderart TPF Noob!

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    I agree. something used Nikon or canon and all you need is a Nifty 50 Lense then work on Composition,Lighting, Depth of field and exposure.Those 4 things are the Roots to grow On. Good Luck
     
  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Start your search here:

    nikon dslr kit used | eBay
     
  10. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The 50 is only for FF.
    For APS-C it is a 35.
     
  11. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Of course, it will work on an APS-C camera, but you guys might be confusing the OP. He might not end up with that lens anyway.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A 50mm lens is a good learning tool...either on FF or on APS-C...
     
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