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Author Topic: I'm a Beginner HELP  (Read 2057 times)
howard smith
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« on: September 08, 2005, 02:06:46 PM »
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For learning, a digital camera offers instant feedback, and mistakes and experiments are cheap.  No film or processing.

I'm not sure what you mean by beginner.  If you are still in the "What is an f/stop?" phase, a more basic camera may be good.  It will allow you to learn the basics before you plunk down big bucks (if you want to) on a pro camera.

Be sure your first camera has manual setting.  You need to know how to set exposure and focus yourself.  Pro cameras usually have this as a feature along with the auto-everything modes.

Get a camera that will last you for a long time.  After you take the training wheels off, you will likely want to keep the camera and hopefully use it.  A used prosumer camera doesn't keep a good resale value, so plan on being "stuck" with it.

You might look for a god used camera to learn on.

You spend about anything you can on a digital camera from a couple hundred dollars to over $10,000 for a camea and lens system.  That is a choice only you can make.
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howard smith
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2005, 05:35:05 PM »
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"... just buy the DSLR of your dreams ..."

Make sure you know what that is first.  What you think you need or want now may change next week.  Also, cameras change so fast, by the time you learn to use that dream camera, there may be another one out there even dreamier.
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milanissimo
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 07:54:38 AM »
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I agree. If you are beginner and have enough money, consider entry level (Canon EOS Rebel XT, Nikon D50) or prosumer (Canon EOS 20D or Nikon D70s) SLR. Every one offers full auto mode, basic exposure modes (portrait, landscape... ) and creative modes (program auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and full manual mode). If you do some reading about aperture and shutter settings, you'll find incredibly easy to use aperture and shutter priority. And there is of course huge flexibility and speed compared to compact cameras.
As for digital vs. film debate. Buy digital and forget film unless you want to do very special types of photography. As far as I know, film is still better for astro photography compared to digital. And if you want to do astro photography, you'll probably end up with 30 years old, fully mechanical and fully manual SLR anyway (not for professional purposes of course, just for your fun...).
I would suggest you Canon EOS 20D. I know it's expensive (for me it was VERY expensive), but if you're not a working pro (you aren't) or you aren't planning to become one in 2-3 weeks, then this camera will last you couple of years, during which you'll buy some nice lenses (like Canon 17-40 f4 L and Canon 70-200 F4 L - there are also other very nice lenses of course) and save for a new body... I don't know which model will be new in 3-4-5 years .. 40D, 50D??
Nikon also offers very nice line-up. D70 is also excellent camera and Nikkor lenses are considered to be excellent as well.
So start gathering information about cameras above. Many times you'll find crap like Nikon/Canon is better than Canon/Nikon... You'll need lot's of megapixels, 8mpix is HUGE advantage compared to 6 mpix.. forget about that. All cameras from theese manufacturers will deliver you amazing pictures. Just pick up the camera you like the most and everything will be ok.
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Caitu13
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2005, 10:32:18 AM »
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I'm a beginner in this field but I'm very interested in the field. I'm trying to decide which type of camera to chose that is simple but still professional. Is a digital camera better than the traditional 35mm camera? Please help!
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maz
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2005, 04:08:17 PM »
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I'm also a relative beginner, so I hope my experiences with this help you.  Howard Smith puts it well and maybe I can elaborate with my experiences.  I started off with digital photography with a Canon S50 compact.  This costs less than 200GBP (about 350USD).  This camera for me was great - it had the manual control Howard spoke about and in fact most of the modes my new camera (a 20D) has (eg shutter/aperture priority, manual etc).  Manual focus on the S50 is a bit of a joke though.  The S50 also generates RAW format images (which seem to be the way to go with digital).  Since I was interested in macro photography I upgraded to a DSLR for flexibility with lenses and the added control.  I was also pleasantly surprised with the DSLR's responsiveness - with the S50 you press the button & wait a couple of seconds before the shot is taken, the 20D effectively takes the shot instantly.  Of course the DSLR is a lot more expensive that the compact or a film camera, but the instant feedback makes learning so much faster.  
The other good reason to get a cheapish compact is because by the time you're ready for a DSLR, there'll probably be a 20MP out there for a lot less than you'd pay now, so no
point learning to use an expensive camera and when you get there find it's already obsolete.
I suppose with DSLR vs film (I had a film compact many years ago), I'm tending to get a bit lazy - just take lots of shots and hope one of them's good - with a film camera you have to try a lot harder, cos you've got 'only' 36 exposures to get it right and there's no real option of digital enhancement later.  For me digi is more fun - fun is all I want from photography, but that's just me...guess the choice ultimately is yours!  

Okay, I've just thought about this - just buy the DSLR of your dreams - it doesn't really take that long to learn all the modes and functions in your spare time, and learning how to use the equipment as well as photography is a lot of the enjoyment!  

Good luck!
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 06:24:53 AM »
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http://photonotes.org/articles/beginner-faq has some useful info. Some parts are Canon EOS dedicated but a lot is also relevant for other brands.

Also look at http://www.photo.net/equipment and http://www.photo.net/learn.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.
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