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Author Topic: Beginner Camera advice  (Read 1435 times)
Technohedge
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« on: April 04, 2013, 02:44:00 AM »
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Hey guys! Im (fairly) new to the whole photography game, about to delve into the world of DSLR! I have recently moved to new zealand and discovered some amazing landscape which i want to get to grips with. Cant wait for the winter for some moody weather to see what images that brings Smiley

However, I will need some equipment first!! Wondering if I could get some advice/recommendations on what to start off with. Do9nt want to break the bank for first time equipment, looking at about 500 ish mark for a camera (could be more or less, depending on whats on offer)

Have a friend who is a professional who swears by canon so for that reason have been looking at the EOS T4i as I heard it was a beginners type camera suitable for the type of stuff I will be doing. However thought Id come and ask the experts on here first to get a more varied opinion.

Also would appreciate any advice on lenses (heard people say for landscape have a wide angle and also a large range zoom too just in case?)

Obviously with the weather here I will definitely be seeing some very harsh rain and wondered what people on here do to protect their equipment? Do cases provide enough and if anyone has any recommendations for these that would be great!!!

Havent had time to browse through here too much yet so if this has been covered anywhere in other posts would be chuffed if people could point me to them!!

many thanx in advance

Dave
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2013, 03:23:19 AM »
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For landscape work I would clearly recommend Nikon or Pentax DSLRs since they offer a significantly superior sensor in terms of dynamic range and a bit more resolution as well (although this aspect is less relevant) compared to Canon's current offerings.

Pentax DSLR have the advantage of a great weather treatment at a reasonnable price. I don't have first hand experience with these bodies, but the K30 is well within your budget. You may want to stretch it a bit and consider a K5IIs with a kit lens though. It should be close to your budget and a great answer to your needs.

Now, Nikon and Canon do offer a more comprehensive lens line up for APS sensors, but that will not be an immediate concern for you considering your budget.

Now, you need to be aware that other formats, based on smaller sensors, are now becoming increasingly more popular because cameras are smaller. The Olympus OM-D would be an interesting option (weather proofed, very good image quality, albeit not as good as the Pentax K5IIs), but it is even more above your budget.

Regards,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Hulyss
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 03:24:43 AM »
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Hello Technohedge,

For your needs and your skills, to start in DSLR world with ease, I advise you to go with the following gear :

  • Pentax K30
  • Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR Zoom Lens

The lense is not that good but cheap. Also Weather resistant (as the K30).

You wont be disappointed by Pentax gear and it is a well ergonomic system.
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Kind Regards - www.hulyssbowman.com
Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 03:30:32 AM »
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Today, any DSLR will give you excellent results. Look at this more from a system standpoint, meaning lenses available for what you intend to photograph, customer support, and most importantly, ergonomics of the camera in the hand. Things such as in what direction does a lens zoom ring turns, can impact your style much more than minute differences between cameras and lenses.

I would not recommend micro 4/3 or similar type of cameras, simply because DSLRs for me still hold the advantage of having a proper optical viewfinder, and allow mounting filters.

I would also recommend the series of books by John Shaw, a reputable nature photographer. These have helped me many years ago, with basics about technique and inspiration in the field of nature photography.
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Technohedge
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 03:50:12 AM »
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great advice, thanks guys Smiley
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Technohedge
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 04:23:53 AM »
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and also importantly, where to buy from? prices vary wildly on the internet but im presuming thats where the cheapest deals are to be had. Not bothered about postage due to my location as its someting i presumed i would possibly have to pay for anyway.

Also, when a camera says 'weather proof' how robust are they in the wet? Not planning on immersing it in water but the rain here is quick and heavy when it comes, will an additional case be recommended?

thanks

Dave
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RobbieV
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2013, 08:27:08 AM »
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I'll add Pentax to my recommendation. I would look into the K-30 or a used K-5. The weather sealing (when used with a weather sealed lens) is very robust. A quick google of Pentax weather sealing will show you exactly what you can put it through.

I would look into a used K-5. They have been popping up for just north of $500 on some forums. It's hard to recommend lenses because no one knows what type of shooting you will do within the landscape genre.  Most of the Limited series lenses are of good quality (but without weather sealing). The same goes for most of the the DA* series, which are weather sealed.

As for the ergonomics, that is really your call. I enjoy the small form factor and grip, and I have larger hands. Build quality seems to be very good with my experience.

They handle the best of all the APS-C dSLR bodies I've picked up, with Nikon coming in at a close second. I never warmed up to the scroll wheels and joysticks that some Canon's have, but that's personal preference.

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NancyP
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 03:07:18 PM »
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Pentax is advertising the K30 in the outdoors adventure magazines. I haven't used one. It is the cheapest decently weatherproof dSLR, and seems like a good hiker's dSLR. For a lower priced Canon, get out the plastic bag or after-market "raincoat" (by "Lens Coat" manufacturer or other).
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stever
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 03:56:35 PM »
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when i'm shooting in the rain, I like the Optech rainsleeves even with a "weather resistant" camera - they are inexpensive and small enough so there's no excuse not to carry them

the best place (probably in the world) to buy cameras is B&H in New York.  But the camera manufacturer may not honor the warranty if you buy it outside of NZ (and maybe Australia)

can someone from down under help here?
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Lloyd Mayeda
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 07:57:11 AM »
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I have been a happy Pentax K-5 owner for a few years and find it easy to use and reliable. Also there is a lot of support and friendly advice on this Pentax Forum:  http://www.pentaxforums.com/
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 12:14:06 PM »
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and also importantly, where to buy from? prices vary wildly on the internet but im presuming thats where the cheapest deals are to be had. Not bothered about postage due to my location as its someting i presumed i would possibly have to pay for anyway.

Also, when a camera says 'weather proof' how robust are they in the wet? Not planning on immersing it in water but the rain here is quick and heavy when it comes, will an additional case be recommended?

thanks

Dave

I used to think weather proofing was an impotrant practical feature. Then I got in the habit of putting the camera in a plastic bag when coming out of the cold. Now I think a ziplock over the camera and lens is just as good without the expense. I also don't like being flashy with electronics. A simple ziplock in some areas may remove the need to beat down a camera mugger.
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nairb
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 12:46:38 PM »
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If I were starting out again and on a budget, I'd certainly consider looking at the used market for something. I started out buying brand new with a D200, 50mmf1.8, and 20mmf2.8. It's a little crazy how many lightly used D300's, D7000's, 7d's, 60d's, etc I see listed on sites like craigslist or Kijiji where you could meet in person to inspect and buy. They're probably all over ebay too. The older cameras will be particularly capable if you'll be mainly trying to do low iso landscapes.
 
You'd probably do well to find one of those used cameras I mentioned (mostly for the better viewfinder and manual controls), along with a Tokina 11-16 F2.8 (f2.8 would be useful for night photos) and a 35mmf1.8 or maybe the 40mm or 60mm macro if that interests you. You'll certainly want a decent tripod as well if you'll be focusing on landscapes.

Even though the primes were a tad bit limiting for doing landscapes, I can't emphasize enough how much difference it made using just a couple primes to learn basics of composition and exposure when I was just starting out. I shot cheap grocery store film on an OM1 with a broken light meter along with a 28mm and 50mm for about 18 months before I bought a D200 in 2006 about a year after it was introduced. Made a huge difference for learning to use a basic set up like that with manual controls and constant aperture primes. Kept things relatively simple which helped reinforce the basics.

« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 01:17:34 PM by nairb » Logged
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