recommended beginners photo equipment

tammy.hiersche

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I am trying to purchase some photo equipment for my teenage daughter who intends on going to college for a photo and business major in 2 years. she currently has this very entry level equipment....
>> Sony a200 dslr
>>18-70 lens
>>75-300 lens

As she does plan to pursue her dream of becoming a professional photographer/business owner.....I was hoping to get her some equipment she could use now to practice with. She regularly takes photos for friends, families, landscaping....even with her little camera...she is pretty good and has a very good creative eye. Her biggest issues now tend to be lighting...as she does not have a lighting kit or any external lighting at all actually. Can anyone recommend where I can start...other than upgrading her camera as I plan to do that when she enters college.

Any ideas or suggestions would be great as I want it to be a surprise for her, i really dont want to ask her :)

and just to add.....she tends to take more pictures outside than inside...

thanks in advance
 

Nikon_Dude

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An external flash help would help tons. Not sure what the models are for the sony though. If you don't plan on sticking with sony in the future, you may not want to invest too much in sony accessories.
 
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arcooke

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She probably takes more pictures outside than inside because there's more to look at outside than inside, and the natural light is easy to work with.

I'd definitely go with something that encourages more indoor photography. If nothing else, just for more practice in that scenario. Maybe a beauty dish, or some softboxes. A backdrop kit wouldn't be a bad idea either. Decent inexpensive ones can be had on Amazon for under $150.

An external help would help tons. Not sure what the models are for the sony though. If you don't plan on sticking with sony in the future, you may not want to invest too much in sony accessories.

You can never have too many external helps! :lmao:
 

tirediron

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I think your best bet would be to give her a card with a note reading, "Good for one trip to XYZ Photo, up to a value of $XXX" and let her pick the gear she wants/needs most.
 

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An external help would help tons. Not sure what the models are for the sony though. If you don't plan on sticking with sony in the future, you may not want to invest too much in sony accessories.

Yes, camera bodies are an expense... lenses are an investment. Invest in something she can grow into, not out of.





p!nK
 
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tammy.hiersche

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wow...you guys are fast...well...I completely understand not wanting to dump money into a camera she doesnt plan on keeping and that she will undoubtedly outgrow....but for right now....getting her a new camera isnt in the books....as she outgrows this camera and she gets a new one....I will probably keep it for myself....so nothing really wasted in the end :)

so I was actually hoping to find recommendations on what accessories you all could recommend to someone just starting out...or are more lenses really what she needs first.....because....she has nothing to HELP with lighting...glare....backdrops....

thanks again and sorry for the beginners questions
 

Nikon_Dude

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The thing that helped me with indoor shooting the most was a prime 35mm 1.8 lens as well as a flash.
 

kassad

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If your planning on sticking with Sony look into the HVL-F42AM or HVL-F58AM flashs. That gets her started with lighting. I think the a200 should be able to fire either of these flashes wirelessly off camera.
 

gsgary

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wow...you guys are fast...well...I completely understand not wanting to dump money into a camera she doesnt plan on keeping and that she will undoubtedly outgrow....but for right now....getting her a new camera isnt in the books....as she outgrows this camera and she gets a new one....I will probably keep it for myself....so nothing really wasted in the end :)

so I was actually hoping to find recommendations on what accessories you all could recommend to someone just starting out...or are more lenses really what she needs first.....because....she has nothing to HELP with lighting...glare....backdrops....

thanks again and sorry for the beginners questions


If she is going to college they should have cameras that she can loan, also they should have a photographic studio with top quality lighting, don't buy anything untill she has been at college a while then she will know what she needs
 

Village Idiot

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wow...you guys are fast...well...I completely understand not wanting to dump money into a camera she doesnt plan on keeping and that she will undoubtedly outgrow....but for right now....getting her a new camera isnt in the books....as she outgrows this camera and she gets a new one....I will probably keep it for myself....so nothing really wasted in the end :)

so I was actually hoping to find recommendations on what accessories you all could recommend to someone just starting out...or are more lenses really what she needs first.....because....she has nothing to HELP with lighting...glare....backdrops....

thanks again and sorry for the beginners questions

And the problem with investing a lot of money into a camera system is that the college may prefer the students use one type of camera or another, which is generally Nikon or Canon. This may not be the case, but if a school has lenses and bodies the student can borrow, that would leave some one with a camera which brand isn't compatible with that school's gear at a disadvantage unless they purchased what they needed, which can be expensive.

A photographer I know that attends a local university has Canon 7D's and Canon lenses at his disposal through his school. That's what they bought and that's what students have access to.

Now as far a lighting, if you're going to purchase something for her, a proprietary flash (sony brand that can shoot in auto mode), a set of wirless flash triggers, like the Paul C. Buff Cyber Syncs, a light stand, umbrella, adapter, and umbrella can get her started in the right direction with a small portable kit.

There's other options, but the problem is, do you have room for it? You can get a complete 1600w/s studio lighting setup on Ebay for about $500-$1000, but that require bigger stands, AC power or an additional battery if she wants to shoot outside, and room to have lights and such setup.

If you go with the off camera speed lights, she can add additional 3rd party brand manual speedlights and additional receivers for under $200 each if she starts learning more and more.

Either way, buy her books and point her in the direction of several websites like:
Strobist: Lighting 101
Strobist
Lighting Essentials - a Place for Photographers. Learn Lighting, Photography, Fashion and Editorial Portraiture on Location and In Studio. Portable Strobes, Studio Flash and Natural Light Photography
zarias.com :: The blog of editorial photographer Zack Arias
Joe McNally's Blog
Chase Jarvis Blog

Those are some very good photographers along with the top link being a pretty good tutorial at off camea flash with small speedlights.
 

Village Idiot

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wow...you guys are fast...well...I completely understand not wanting to dump money into a camera she doesnt plan on keeping and that she will undoubtedly outgrow....but for right now....getting her a new camera isnt in the books....as she outgrows this camera and she gets a new one....I will probably keep it for myself....so nothing really wasted in the end :)

so I was actually hoping to find recommendations on what accessories you all could recommend to someone just starting out...or are more lenses really what she needs first.....because....she has nothing to HELP with lighting...glare....backdrops....

thanks again and sorry for the beginners questions


If she is going to college they should have cameras that she can loan, also they should have a photographic studio with top quality lighting, don't buy anything untill she has been at college a while then she will know what she needs

To a point. I think if the daughter is interested in lighting, buying a cheap OCF kit wouldn't break the bank and would give her an opportunity to learn about light.
 
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tammy.hiersche

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thank you all very much....you have all been very helpful....given me a great place to start thinking.....

your time and comments are appreciated!
 

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I think your best bet would be to give her a card with a note reading, "Good for one trip to XYZ Photo, up to a value of $XXX" and let her pick the gear she wants/needs most.

+1
Also point her at this thread and the forum - choices about accessories and camera gear are always highly dependant on the person using the gear and what might work for some won't work for others.

This way she can build the setup around the direction she feels is best and it also means that what she gets she already has an idea of a use for - accessories, even if they are the "right" thing, bought without a purpose or idea in mind of how and when to use them will quickly end up not being used and gathering dust
 

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