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Author Topic: Advice for a Newbie  (Read 5211 times)
Lin Evans
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« on: May 07, 2004, 11:14:34 PM »
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Hi Mike,

You're doing very well with the F828. The D70 will open new vistas and in some cases present new challenges.

First, you won't be satisfied with one or two lenses - it becomes a life-long quest for the next great tool. Instead of changing camera bodies (that too will happen with time) you will be wanting to try new and different approaches. The telephoto aspects will quickly become apparent for wildlife shooting. What was simply not possible with the F828 because of limited focal length will become commonplace but it begins to get expensive!  

For your portrait type shooting you will love the dSLR because getting those OOF backdrops will be soooo much easier than with the F828. On the other hand, getting excellent closeups with great depth of field from macro level subjects will be much more challenging.

What you have essentially learned with the F828 will carry over very well with the dSLR, but you will be able to get night shots and long exposures which were virtually impossible with the smaller sensor. You will concentrate more on the creative aspects because you know that the limitations will be more the photographer than the equipment.

Today I visited a PetSmart store which had a beautiful small lizard in a glass terrarium. I really wanted a picture of it, but the only camera I had with me was my F828, and as much as I love it for doing macro art photography, I simply could not get the shot. Had I had my 1D, 10D or 1DS with me it would have been a simple task, but the F828 simply couldn't handle the combination of bad lighting, reflections and get the proper exposure. Missed opportunity which having the dSLR's would have made simple.

On the other hand, why did I have the F828 with me and not the dSLR's? Simply because carrying the large equipment when I'm not working (I'm a photographer) is a royal pain in the behind. So don't give up the little f828 - just get the D70 and use each to it's best advantage as the conditions warrant.

Best regards,

Lin
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Lin
Mike Katz
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2004, 04:14:56 PM »
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Hi Tim

Thanks for the interest. I use Paint Shop Pro 8, and I am learning more and more about it each day. I will develop that skill continuously whichever way I go.

Mike
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Lin Evans
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2004, 03:55:25 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
Quote
The Sony wasn't designed to actually be able to take quality photographs in a variety of situations. The Sony was designed to get as much of your money as possible, and be quite UN-versatile, so you'll have to "upgrade" to the next Sony. A compotent review will tell you this, especially regarding night photos.

Spoken like someone with zero knowledge of either the camera or of photography in general. Take the trolling elsewhere PLEASE!![/font]
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Lin
jimk
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2004, 05:04:28 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']best thing for u  :cool: is to get a plain old fashioned regular film camera.. that you have to set the aperture and shutter speed ... and 1 or 2 prime lenses reason is because that way you will learn all kindsa things which later you can apply to digital phoography .. as amatter of fact buy only slide film with your film camera a simple nikon fm10 is a good learning tool[/font]
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Lin Evans
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2004, 03:59:35 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Tina, do you have and use an F828? I suspect not because this statement sounds like it comes from someone with no experience with it.

How about a sample of what you would call a "quality" image made with your choice of camera? Then I will be glad to match it with a sample of what I call a quality image from a Sony F828. I'm certain Matthew and a number of other professionals who make pretty good money selling F828 images will be glad to compare their work with what you have to show and let the readers decide? Fair enough??

Lin[/font]
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Lin
Mike Katz
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2004, 02:41:19 PM »
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Hello Forum Members

First posting. I really like the LL site and Michael's view of photography.

I have become more interested in photography only recently (February). Prior to that I used a P&S Sony. I purchased the F828 in February, and I really like the camera.

There's a lot to learn, and I am enjoying the learning curve. However, I have a problem with low-light pictures. The ISO restriction on the Sony, and other issues as well, limit my low-light efforts. Besides this, I have no other issues. If I continue with the Sony, I would purchase the F32X flash unit.

I will invest in a DSLR at some stage. I haven't been into it properly, but if it's today it will probably be the Nikon D70.

My issue is whether I should make the move sooner or later. I have lots to learn still about my camera, about photographic technique, and about post processing. In your experience, which is far greater than mine, will it be better for me to continue to learn and use the F828, or should I take the plunge now?

If looking at pictures will help you advise me, here are my latest ones:
http://mikekatz.smugmug.com/gallery/69527
http://mikekatz.smugmug.com/gallery/89001
http://mikekatz.smugmug.com/gallery/62364/3

I know I am asking a somewhat impossible question, but I will use all the feedback you give me to make an informed as possible decision.

Thanks for reading this far.
Mike
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BJL
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2004, 12:46:09 PM »
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Lin Evans has raised what is for me the biggest argument for having a one piece digicam instead of (or in addition to) a DSLR; portability. (Yes, I am being elitist and ignoring price!)

But between a "big lens digicam" like the 828 that is already too big for most pockets and the smaller DSLRs, I am not sure how important that difference is. I now carry my E-1 with 14-54 lens very often in a compact "trouser belt" bag that also carries the few main accessories like the only filter I need. For any camera to travel with me much more often, it would have to be shirt pocket sized (see the Sony T1, W1 thread), and so with only about the same zoom range as my E-1 kit.

The D70 w/ 18-70 is comparable to that E- kit in zoom range, size (a bit bigger) and weight (a bit lighter; plastic wins over magnesium on that count), so it might be about equally "belt bag" portable.
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Sfleming
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2004, 08:19:38 PM »
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Mike,

Don't sweat it.  Just shoot.  Shoot and shoot and shoot.  Then .... make prints.  Get yourself an epson photo printer.  Make the biggest prints you can and hang them on your wall.

Look at them whenever  you can.  Allow many moons to pass.  Shoot more.  Print more.  Your friends will tell you what an artist you are and .... how they never knew.

I was at a persons house the other day.   They recently graduated to a Sony 717 and have no idea about f stops, dof, tripods or actually anything about photography.  But they have dozens of photographs framed on their walls and I marvelled.  They go to interesting places and they shoot a lot.  I was deeply impressed and  moved.  

Just forget your worries and  shoot.  Study,  compare,  aquire better equipment as you are moved and one day soon,  if you persist,  You will have a body of work and you will be very happy with what you have accomplished.
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Leo K
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2004, 03:11:06 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']There's a lot to learn, and I am enjoying the learning curve. However, I have a problem with low-light pictures. The ISO restriction on the Sony, and other issues as well, limit my low-light efforts. Besides this, I have no other issues. If I continue with the Sony, I would purchase the F32X flash unit.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']The Sony wasn't designed to actually be able to take quality photographs in a variety of situations.  The Sony was designed to get as much of your money as possible, and be quite UN-versatile, so you'll have to "upgrade" to the next Sony.  A compotent review will tell you this, especially regarding night photos.[/font]
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Mike Katz
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2004, 11:07:52 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Hi Matthew

Yes, it was clear that the remote is for the tripod only.

I use flash indoors for family pictures. Usually my family will let me take pictures only at the weirdest times, and it's invariably at night.

The smugmug upload server is down, but once it is up I'll post my first flash efforts.

I also have a macro lens, and I occassionally need flash early evenings to take outdoors. I'm sure the new flash will do a better job - the internal one is just too bright because it's too close, and the FV32X has a special macro filter.

Mike[/font]
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2004, 05:16:08 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Tina is a troll, her only other post so far has been to insult Michael's camera reviewing practices. So far she(?)'s 0 for 2 in the signal-to-noise department.[/font]
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OliverPA
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2004, 03:45:18 PM »
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As I just wrote in another thread:
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I began photographing with a Sony P1 resulting in images where every technical aspect was flawed. But I liked them. A lot, actually. So I bought a Sony F717 (with all it's electronic gadgetry) to get rid of the P1's limitations and haven't made more than a handfull of acceptably good images until I finally sold it.
After I sold the F717 I got myself a D60 and some primes and boy, it's a totally different experience alltogether!
It's not the gain in resolution, not the significantly reduced noise (NeatImage helped the F717 images a lot), not just the fantastic optical viewfinder or the almost instantanious operation of both menues and image-reviews but the possibility to set limits by using primes (teaches a lot about composition) and that the camera really allows the user to focus on the image-making process rather than the tools involved.
Of course, not all of that applies to your situation (you'll actually lose resolution unless you spend substantially more) but my main problems with the F717 are still valid with the F828: Viewfinder and 'feel'. The Sony's feel like an MP3 player that grew up to become a camera whereas the DSLR's I've handled so far allow the photographer to choose his/her level of interaction with the technical aspects of photography. Hmm, that sounds odd... after all, the Sony does have all those auto-modes (auto landscape/sports/people/night/...) so one could just point&shoot with it... maybe it's simply the sound the mirror and shutter make when I press the release button - it's just so satisfying  so totally vintage
So anyways, this is, of course, just my own experience and it need not be how you would feel about it - MR seems quite happy with the F828 whereas I'd rather go out with the old P1 than an F717/828 because I'm sure the images will be better.
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Mike Katz
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2004, 01:28:15 PM »
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Thank you all very much for the responses. This is a really important issue to me. I'm new to photography, I really enjoy it, and I don't want to lose my enthusiasm.

I've posted this query on a couple of forums, and the replies have helped me clarify the issues. Here's how I see it now:

Since I am literally starting from scratch, I have to develop two skills. One is learning the camera and what it can do, and the second is learning composition.

To me, composition skills are paramount. That's where the creativity is, to see the shot. I need to learn how to recognize a good photograph, how to frame it, and so on. As all the pros keep on saying, the photographer is far more important than the camera.

After that, comes how I technically achieve it using the camera at hand.

I have a great camera that is easy to use and which most of the time will let me concentrate on composition. So, why am I considering a DSLR? Sometimes, especially in low-light situations indoors, or with macros outdoors, I just can't get the shot on the Sony. So, I have three options:

1 Live with it and move on to the next shot. Not really an option - I can get along without the macros, but not without the family pictures.
2 Learn how to get around the limitation on the Sony, and probably purchase an external flash.
3 Use a DSLR which will enable me to get more shots than I can at present. Of course, I'll still have to learn how to handle even lower-light at some stage.

So now, my question to you is more focussed. Which will allow me to be more creative - to keep shooting on the Sony and channel some energy to tackling low-light issues, or to learn a second camera so that it can take care of the majority of low-light issues for me?

Mike
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2004, 02:10:52 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Mike,

I bought the 828 specifically because I find the live LCD much more conducive for composition, mostly because I can compose with face off the camera.  When I use a tripod (for practically all landscape shooting) I always compose with the live LCD and shoot with the remote release.

Speaking of which, you need to buy the electronic remote release if you don't have it.  It will drastically improve overall image sharpness as you won't have camera shake on the tripod from pushing the shutter.[/font]
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2004, 10:58:53 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Mike,

Hope you enjoy the new flash.  I mostly shoot outdoors and have hardly touched the flash since getting the 828, since flash doesn't work in the burst mode, the 828 seems to have a nice contrast curve even without fill, and I mostly shoot landscape anyway.  The remote is for use on a tripod only -- in case that wasn't clear.[/font]
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2004, 06:36:53 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']best thing for u :cool: is to get a plain old fashioned regular film camera.. that you have to set the aperture and shutter speed ... and 1 or 2 prime lenses reason is because that way you will learn all kindsa things which later you can apply to digital phoography .. as amatter of fact buy only slide film with your film camera a simple nikon fm10 is a good learning tool[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Perhaps a manual typewriter would improve your spelling and capitalization?    



Actually learning photography with a film camera is a very inefficient way to learn photography.  The shoot/view delay is much too long.  The cost of film and developing reduces experimentation for most people.

It is true that many people would be helped if they slowed down and learned the basics.  But you can do that better with digital.  Just set your camera on manual,  set the zoom to a set length and leave it alone, ....[/font]
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svein
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2004, 03:04:21 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Have to agree with the last post. Read the article on LL too, and much of what he says makes sense. Started with all manual, B&W and later slides, but can't see why anyone would switch back to that now - at least not for that reason.

Most digicams have a manual option. Actually not as userfriendly as an old slr from the seventies og eighties, but still usable. Use that if you want a better understanding how it all works.[/font]
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boku
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2004, 09:36:07 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Forget the Sony camera if you'd like to make quality images and quality prints.[/font]
[font color=\'#000000\']Tina. Welcome to LL. Feel free to go away and stay away. Unless, of course, you are able to act civil. Is that possible?[/font]
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Bob Kulon

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Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Mike Katz
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2004, 04:13:06 PM »
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Hi Oliver

Thanks for your response. Actually, besides the low-light issue, I'm very happy with the F828. I limit the pictures I take, not the camera. Hence my dilemma.

Let me ask you this: will I carry everything I learn on the F828 with me onto a DSLR? Not button placements and so on of course, but technique. Or, will I have to re-learn a lot when I move?

Mike
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2004, 04:13:05 PM »
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There's a third skill - post production (which can be further broken down into image processing and printing). In general, and for the higher end DSLRs in particular, post processing is absolutely necessary and establishing a workflow that helps you get the most out of an image and also know when to stop tweaking can be a bit tricky. Then just after you get the image looking the way you want on the monitor, you print and get a magenta cast, or no shadow detail, or etc. etc. etc. and before you know it you're knee deep in color management, spyders, profiles...

To get the most out "photography" there has to be some degree of passion for ALL the steps.
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