What to do on £500 budget?

jophassa

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OK OK, so I am an utter noob to this forum but why not start off my getting advice from the pros about what to buy.

I have been slaving away on numerous websites like dpreview and cnet for hours on end trying to find out the best camera to buy.

I thought about the Canon 350d with the 18-55mm lense because of its much lauded picture quality.

I also thought about the Samsung Pro815.

BUT!

The other day I thought it would really fun to develop my own photos so I thought about getting a standard SLR and getting an ultra-compact DigiCam. I thought it would add a more personal element to the whole process.

But I guess essentially I have no clue about what I want to do. Is the fact that dSLRs are large annoy any of you guys?

Can anyone recommend a camera other the the Pro815 and the 350d?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

LaFoto

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As an owner of the 350D I can tell you that with the kit lens it is not very large for being a DSLR, it is quite compact and light and I LOVE MY 350D! (Must write this, it is lying next to me on my desk, lens pointed to the screen, so I am sure it can read all I write here! :lol: )
If you are all new to photography but want to learn a lot and are ogling this camera, I - surprise! surprise! - would say: go for it! It is good. Just check out all my threads :biggrin:, and the newest should still have all their links intact, then you can see what the 350D can do.
 
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jophassa

jophassa

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I have had cameras such as the Kodak Z740 and the Fuji E900 but the latter was totally awful! It was just so difficult to get the thing to focus. It really was just a whole big waste of 9MPs!

I am interested in close-up photos and photos of people in their natural environments. And I must say i am a total sucker for a nice and sharp/crisp pic. of a flower. I will shove on some of my pics. sometime.

I am only 18, though, so don't expect me to be the prodigal son of Cartier-Bresson.
 

Torus34

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Budget is .5K? Want to develop your own photos?

It will be a stretch, but you should be able to pick up a Pentax K1000 or other manual 35mm with a 50mm lens, a good light meter, a decent enlarger and many peripherals such as a solid tripod, film tank, chemicals and trays, etc. for that price.
 
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jophassa

jophassa

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Yeah, I have chemicals, trays, enlarger, film tank and books.

BUT.

I can't decide if i should just go for a Canon 350D Rebel.
 
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jophassa

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OK, I have done some more searching and have heard some good things about the Sony DSC-R1. I know about the niggling defects of the F828 but the R1 seems to be improved. Does anyone think the 5x zoom is too limiting? Thanks
 

Johnboy2978

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Sony makes a really nice camera, and my previous camera was the mavica cd500. It was nice and served it purpose, and took a really nice image. According to dpreview, you would spend almost $900us for that, which is a lot considering you are stuck with one fixed lens. That is the primary reason I sold my sony and switched to a Pentax DSLR. I much prefer the versatility of interchangeable lenses, and I have more freedom in the manual mode. I would really give some serious consideration to spending that kind of money on an SLR-like camera, when you can get a really nice DSLR camera for the same bucks.

One more thing that was important to me was that I was missing some nice shots waiting for it to write the file. It's no biggy if you are shooting mostly landscapes, but if you are shooting sports, or kids who are constantly moving, you're sunk. The R1 uses flash memory which is an improvement as far as FPS compared to the CD500 I was using, but something to think about.
 

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Since purchasing a Panasonic FZ30 I've hardly used my *ist except with studio lights. Having said that last saturday night I took over 400 photos at a Debutant Ball using lights with the FZ30 and they are brilliant. Given the speed I had to take them having a 1 second review in the viewfiinder was much easier then with the *ist. But I haven't been able to use in my studio properly. However I've just ordered an FM radio trigger device which may solve that problem

The FZ30 is so much easier to use for the type of photgraphy I do, primarily close up, as the screen folds out enabling me to see the image without me getting into some twisted position. ( Not to mention the image stabiliser)

When it comes down to looking at my cameras and saying to myself hmmm shall I take the *ist and a few lens's and bits and pieces or shall I take the FZ30, the FZ30 nearly wins everytime.

I have to say this surprised me ....very much.

PP
 

JohnMF

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you could pick up a decent second hand film slr with lens on ebay for around a tenner and still buy a DSLR
 
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jophassa

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yeah, i guess you are right.

I like the whole film SLR concept but the possibility of a blurred photo means you run the risk of having an out of focus picture. And if you only take one photo of the subject it could become frustrating.

One option was to get a film SLR and get an ultra compact DigiCam - maybe a Ex Z750 or Ex z850?
 

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I'd suggest a used film SLR first, getting a DSLR later on, and here's why. The body isn't the important part of a camera, the lenses are. Lenses should be at least half your budget in my opinion--at least half. Get a used body, such as (since I like Canon) an Elan2 or 7 (or whatever the non-U.S. versions are called) and some good lenses. I'd recommend good wide-angle, standard (50mm), and telephoto primes, say 28mm, 50mm, and 100 or 135mm. That lets you do everything from wide-angle landscapes and architecture, to portraiture and subjects you can't quite get close enough to. Avoid at all costs any and all cheap wide-range zooms (for instance, a 35mm to 300mm--that's just craziness... I can't even stand the 35-80mm that came with my camera kit). If you must have zoom, try to at least get a 50mm prime as well. For closeups, invest in a good macro lens.

Then save up and later on get a 20D (or whatever current version of the equivalent in whichever brand you choose).

Another reason for this is that the full-frame DSLRs are expensive, even used--and some of the lenses for the digitals are not compatible with film bodies because they're designed only to cover the smaller sensor. Getting good lenses with a film body ensures that in the future, you can use them with any digital body (of that brand), even if you decide to go with one with a smaller sensor.

Also, if you can, try before you buy. Try out all the features of any body, and if you go with film, run at least one roll of film through the camera behind each lens you plan to buy, under all sorts of lighting conditions, using the whole range of apertures. With a digital body, the same principle applies.
 

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jophassa said:
yeah, i guess you are right.

I like the whole film SLR concept but the possibility of a blurred photo means you run the risk of having an out of focus picture. And if you only take one photo of the subject it could become frustrating.

One option was to get a film SLR and get an ultra compact DigiCam - maybe a Ex Z750 or Ex z850?


You seem to me to be itching to go for the digital option - that will be better for your peace-of-mind, otherwise you'll be wishing you had got a DSLR...get the Canon 350D. I wouldn't recommend a little compact. If you're keen about photography you'll be frustrated by the limitations of
the yuppie toy.

Whether using digital or film, the 'through the lens' concept means -
you never have to have out of focus picture...shaky maybe. Use a support, carefully compose (check the four-sides, exclude what you dont want to frame), relax...slowly breath in..slowly breath out..hold those empty lungs...take the shot.

Try a few exposures if it's a premeditated shot. Bracket for aperture, filmspeed, or back-lit /spot-lit compensation if you think it's a tricky situation. Know your controls by heart and get fast at operation.
I like mechanical cameras - everything is tactile..click/stop.
 
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jophassa

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JamesD said:
I'd suggest a used film SLR first, getting a DSLR later on, and here's why. The body isn't the important part of a camera, the lenses are. Lenses should be at least half your budget in my opinion--at least half. Get a used body, such as (since I like Canon) an Elan2 or 7 (or whatever the non-U.S. versions are called) and some good lenses. I'd recommend good wide-angle, standard (50mm), and telephoto primes, say 28mm, 50mm, and 100 or 135mm. That lets you do everything from wide-angle landscapes and architecture, to portraiture and subjects you can't quite get close enough to. Avoid at all costs any and all cheap wide-range zooms (for instance, a 35mm to 300mm--that's just craziness... I can't even stand the 35-80mm that came with my camera kit). If you must have zoom, try to at least get a 50mm prime as well. For closeups, invest in a good macro lens.

Then save up and later on get a 20D (or whatever current version of the equivalent in whichever brand you choose).

Another reason for this is that the full-frame DSLRs are expensive, even used--and some of the lenses for the digitals are not compatible with film bodies because they're designed only to cover the smaller sensor. Getting good lenses with a film body ensures that in the future, you can use them with any digital body (of that brand), even if you decide to go with one with a smaller sensor.

Also, if you can, try before you buy. Try out all the features of any body, and if you go with film, run at least one roll of film through the camera behind each lens you plan to buy, under all sorts of lighting conditions, using the whole range of apertures. With a digital body, the same principle applies.

Yeah, I guess you are right. I am going to Thailand and SE Asia for a whole year from August so a nice set of lenses would be pretty useful. If I get some Canon lenses (not FD, of course) I guess I can just get the 350D body later on and not bother with the supposedly poor abilities of the bundled lense. Do people think that is the best option??
 

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That's what I'd do... although, there are other considerations, like where are you going to get your film processed? And what are you going to do with the prints/film/negatives? Where are you going to get film? And other questions associated with the trip-planning process.

By the way, I envy you and your trip!

Also, don't discount the FD lenses, and other older lenses. Canon made some really good glass back then. Also, you can pick up a used camera for them pretty cheaply. For instance, my AE-1P... it has lots of features my modern Rebel GII body doesn't have, and I use it a lot for this fact. It's manual focus, manual wind, etc, but has the little split-target type focusing aid (I dunno what it's actually called). Plus a bigger viewfinder. DOF Preview comes in handy. The body isn't as easy to hold, and it takes a little longer to set up a shot, but overall, it works quite well, and I like it. Best of all, I bought it from someone I know who had no use for it, along with two lenses (an 80-200mm Macro and a 28mm prime) for only 3/4 of what I paid for the Rebel Kit (and its junkish lens).

Don't discount the older stuff; even if you get modern equipement with all the new modern features, that gear could break, and an older manual camera makes a great backup.

But to reiterate: In I was in your shoes, and know what I know now, I'd get a cheapish body (like the Rebel I've outgrown, but which contines to serve faithfully within the limits of its abilities) and a few decent lenses--possibly a couple of high-quality zooms, if I thought I would need them and I could afford them--and I mean high quality... not necessarily L-series (for Canon), but the ones with the best reviews.
 

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