Beginner Photographer needs some help

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ModestPenguin, May 26, 2006.

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  1. ModestPenguin macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

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    #1
    Okay, here I go. I ust recently got addicted to photography. I have currently got an old Minolta 35mm and a sony cybershot froma few years ago. I recently took a begginnign photography class at school and fell in love. The class was on 35mm black and white film only.

    That was fun but from there I proceeded to take shots with the cybershot(a point and shot, not DSLR) and had so much fun, the world was in color and it was a glorious glorious thing.

    I only ask for two things.

    1. I would like to put the cash into a DSLR but I have no idea what to look for or what I need. If you people would be so kind as to help me I would be forever in debt.

    2. these to be critiqued. ANd maybe some explanations on how to post photos easier
     

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  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #2
    It looks like you have a good eye for composition and color. You will do well with whatever you get. The thing about SLRs (DSLRs included) is that you are buying into a "system". If you buy a Canon body then you will have to buy Canon lenes and then because you have those lenes the next body you buy will have to be Canon. Same goes for Nikon. Look at the systems and if you care about it look into the used markets too. New Nikon DSLR bodies can work with 30 year old manual focus lenses. Canon compatability does not go back quite so far but if you don't already own SLR equipment you may not care.

    If you continue to do the same type of photograpy as the four examples you posted you do not need a lot of features on the camera. Go to a sore a handle the equipment yourself. Be sure and look at the lenses. new buyers tend to spend to much time thinking about the bodies. those are cheap compared to a bag of quality optics or a set of lighting equipment You will upgrade the body in three to five year because that technology is moving fast but a lens can be a lifetime investment. I am still using a late 1960's vintage macro lens with my Nikon DSLR. It is "way sharper" than the D50 can record.

    About "megapixels" when comparing cameras take the ratio of the square root of the total pixel counts. ths will tell you the ratio of the resolutions. for example a 16MP camera has twice the resolution as a 4MP camera (not four times) Using this method you find that 6MP is very close to 8MP. What matters is pixels per inch in the final print. Another method is to compare the number of pixels along the longer edge of the frame. But "megapixel" is a marketing term

    Everyone will tell you to buy whatever camera they happen to own. "Buy the Canon 5D". "No get a Nikon D50 and save a couple grand." The Rebel XT is great, the rebel XT feels like a plastic toy. I like Olympus, look at the Evolt. Keep the Minolta and scan the negatives. Actually all of the above is correct.

    Next set a budget. Select either Canon or Nikon then buy the camera and "kit lens" that fits the budget then go get a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens and go shoot a couple thousand frames. then think about what other lens you might want.

    If you are into sports or wildlife you would want a long fast lens. be prepared to spend a four digit price. But from your examples maybe you'd want a fisheye or 10-20mm zoom. You don't know now.
     
  3. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #3
    I'd be willing to bet that that's a picture of a MINI, eh? :D

    I don't have advice to hand out, I'm pretty useless w/ a camera. Actually I have a question for you, ModestPenguin, did you feel that taking that beginning photography class was helpful or of value? (Thanks, and sorry for going sort of off topic in your thread.)
     
  4. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #4
    I know camera equipment can be found cheeper on the internet, but I really value the knowledge and experience of my local camera store. When I go to buy something, I can talk to someone who has used it and I can handle the one I am going to buy. And there are usually a few photographers hanging out at the shop to shoot the breeze who are always happy to offer an opinion or some advice.

    And some advice on advice. Listen to everyone, make them give you a reason they think like they do, and then make up your own mind.
     
  5. ModestPenguin thread starter macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

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    #5
    Thanks a bunch guys. Awesome advice. And yeah Devilot, that's a mini.

    So a Nikon body can use my old 35mm lenses? Is that what you were geting at? That would be bueno.

    Thanks Again
     
  6. ModestPenguin thread starter macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

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    #6
    And Devilo, yeah the class was awesome. Work with the film was quite an ordeal but it was sweet all the same. I felt very capable afterwords and enjoyed the knowledge I picked up about darkrooms and the technology behind 35mm SLRs.

    Definately recommend taking a class if you have the camera.
     
  7. mchendricks macrumors member

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    #7

    No, not quite. I believe you have a Minolta lens. That won't work with the Nikons. I think Devilot meant that SOME of the new Nikon DSLRs can still use older manual focus NIKON lenses, but sometimes they lose some of the camera functionalities, such as TTl metering. Nikon still uses the F-mount after all these years. Canon switched mounts so many of the older lenses won't work on the new bodies without an adapter of some sort.

    I can only say that you need to handle each camera you might want to buy before making a decision. Ergonomics matter when choosing a camera body. I use Nikon bodies but really like some of the Canons, but I have $$ tied up in Nikon lenses. That is where the real money is spent!

    Mike
     
  8. ModestPenguin thread starter macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

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    #8
    Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. So basically i'm staring fresh. Thats' cool.

    So, let's say I can work up $1000. Would that be a good starting budget? Lower than that would be nice but I'd like to stay away from the bare minimum.
     
  9. captainbrendo macrumors newbie

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    Mar 19, 2006
    #9
    I have a D70, it works with old manual focus Nikon lenses, but there is no metering. Plus it is awfully difficult to get a good focus with a smaller viewfinder. The new D200 has metering ability with older manual lenses though.

    If I were to offer advice on buying a DSLR I'd say: First look at your budget; see how much you can afford or are willing to pay. If you already know you love photography, then don't bother with a D50 or a Digital Rebel. Just make the splurge and get a 20D/30D or a D200.

    Chances are you won't want to spend a big wad though, so I'd say go Canon or Nikon; both have huge lens assortments and won't be going anywhere. When you are starting out, don't worry too much about what camera you get, cuz as you shoot you'll figure stuff out. To be general, Canon has slightly better image quality and Nikon has better ergonomics. You'll figure out which is more important to you!

    My recommendations for a beginner would be
    Nikon D50 (Don't bother with the D70, not really worth the extra $$$)
    Canon 350D or 20D
    D200 $$$
    Minolta (Has built in image stabilization and was recently bought by sony, so probably staying for awhile)

    Good luck and try not to get ripped off by a grey market scammer!
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    You could also get Olympus, or even Pentax. In many cases, they offer you "more" for less money. Their lenses also aren't bad at all. ;)

    Look beyond Canon and Nikon. I like Nikon because of the ergonomics and the general feel of it in my hands, but if my D50 was an Olympus product and not a Nikon, I would have bought an Olympus. It just so happens that I've seen and used an E-500 twice already and decided against it.
     
  11. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    #11
    I disagree, especially for pentax. I think their lens systems are not up to snuff. For one thing you can never have USM/HSM/AF-S on these systems.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #12
    That is kind of like saying "Fords have beter rides then Chevys." No, it's more
    mixed up then that. SOme Nikon lenses are better then some Canon lense and
    some Canons are better then some Nikons. You have to look model by model. More then that you have to look at the models you might buy.

    One generaztion that I do think hold up is that canon makes a wider range of build quality. Canon's low-end lens and body (350D) does have a more light weight "plstic" feel to it. Nikon tends to have only mid range and pro quality. Until lately that is. They have released a couple sub-$200 lenses, I assume to compete with canon's consummer line.

    One thing people buying their fierst SLR almost always do is worry to much about which of the camera bodys to buy. This matters a LOT less then which lenses you buy. When it comes right down to it all the bodys work about the same with minor differences. But there can be very large differences between lenses

    Small point about the D50. Yes autofocus drive does not work with older manual focus lenses but the autofocus sensor does work with these lenses. It will light up an arrow that tells you which way to turn the focus ring and lights up a green dot when you have perfect focus. So your eyes do not have to be that good. And the meter does not work but you can take a test shot and look at the histogram and get a pefect ecposure. Have you ever shot with a Haselblad 500C or some other classic medium format profesional camera? These can do excelent work and do not have a built-in meter or a focuas motor -- But this is mostly moot. If you happen to already have an assortment of manual focus lenses then you've been into SLR photography for many years and don't need any of us to tell you what you want.
     
  13. captainbrendo macrumors newbie

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    #13
    just go to dpreview.com and look at the tests of the cameras you are considering.
     
  14. Rickay726 macrumors 6502

    Rickay726

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    #14
    u have some very nice pictures and a good eye for some nice shots. i no 2 of my freinds on Dslrs, both canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, i no its an awsome camera for its price and take amazing photos. and a nice telephoto lense goes for about 600. I am actually looking to buying that camera so i could take some nice pictures to, but iv always been kind of a Video guy =)
     
  15. ModestPenguin thread starter macrumors 6502

    ModestPenguin

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    #15
    Thanks Again! You guys rock. Feel free to bump this with more advice. Working on getting the cash together to snag me something shiny. Thanks!
     
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