Another Beginner Needs a Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LillieDesigns, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. LillieDesigns macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I have always been interested n photography, but really want to give it a shot now. I don;t have a huge budget (the cheaper the better), but I'm looking for a versatile camera that will take really clear shots.

    I guess a P&S would be fine, but if possible, I'd like to maybe have a manual setting or two for when I get a little better.

    Also, can anyone point me in the direction of a glossary fop different photography terms for me? ISO, RAW, 25 seconds...I'm so lost!

  2. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    dpreview has some great info. Give it a try here.

    About which camera to get, I would really recommend a dSLR if you want to really get into photography. But still, there are some very good Advanced P&S cameras.

    Read this article from Ken Rockwell to learn more about the differences between P&S and dSLR cameras.

    From the dSLR side, you could get maybe a used one, or try getting one of the low-end cameras new (which are pretty good).
    Check this ones out:
    -Canon Rebel XT
    -Nikon D40
    -Pentax K100

    The three are excellent cameras.

    It all depends in how much "serious" you want to get in photography. If you know you'll like it, a dSLR would be a better option. If you only want it for taking photos sporadically, maybe a P&S could be better for you.
  3. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2006
    Nassau, Bahamas
    Take anything Ken Rockwell says with a grain of salt. He has some good advice, but stay objective. He also has some bad advice :)

    If you are serious, or intend to be serious I'd skip the P&S and go for the dSLR. I made the mistake of buying an "advanced" P&S first, and very quickly grew out of it.

    You can get a new Nikon D40 for fairly cheap, same with a D50 (maybe used) or a Canon Rebel XT (new or used). It won't have a big zoom of course, and bear in mind you are buying into a system (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc.) that you'll stick with forever in most cases.

    Good luck!
  4. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Why do you say that? In his lens review he is VERY objective and impartial.:p (Nikkor 18-200mm VR comes to my mind).

    I think I am yet to find a review were he does not mentions this lens. (The Godsend, the unbeatable, the lens that changed my life, etc. etc. etc.).:D

    But still, he is one of the first sites I visit when wanting more info about a lens or camera.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Seriously, buy a book. Even the older books going back 50 years cover the basics. Not much has changed.

    People here can answer specific questions but yours really does require a book length answer
  6. LillieDesigns thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    Los Angeles
    OK, so Canon Rebel XT or XTi, or the Nikon D40.

    hat about recommendations for a P&S?
  7. J'aime macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2007
    Canon S3 or S5

    But i agree with the others in that if you are really going to be serious about photography a dSRL is better for the long run. Personally, i would get the Canon XT and a couple of nice lenses.
  8. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    We shoot wedding photography with Nikon, but I would recommend sticking with either Canon or Nikon for the great selection and support.

    For your 1st dSLR, the ones recommended above would be great. Don't worry about the number of megapixels. Try to start with a lens that is flexible (around 18-50 at least) and don't keep trading lenses. Try sticking with just one until you learn more. Anything beyond a 1:3 ratio in the zoom and the quality of the lens will start to come into question (just MHO, don't flame).

    If your budget allows, get just a low end body (without kit lens) and pay more for a really nice lens to keep on it. We have a D300 on order, but I'm confident our pics would look great on a D40 with a decent lens and a good photographer. I can't speak in regards to Canon, but if you decide to go Nikon, PM me.

    If you want to stay on the more budget minded side... get a good kit lens and really work with it. We will occasionally shoot weddings on a kit lens(18-70) simply because it does the job well.

    I can't and don't recommend one brand over the other. I just got a great deal on the Nikon and was familiar with it (2 of my friends had Nikons). That said, we carry Canon P&Ss to dinners and social events where we're guests.
  9. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I think the folks who frequent this forum are much more likely to strongly encourage people to go for dSLRs when I really don't think they suit everyone regardless of how "serious" they want to get.

    Can you list a more outlined budget? That will really be a factor in P&S v dSLR, I'd think.

    Remember, getting into photography is more than "just" the cost of a camera (or body + lenses). There's also some v basic filters, and let's face it, a good case to keep your new toy protected, digital media, etc.

    Technology is amazing and there are fantastic P&S that can take superb images. Truly, it's more about the photographer than the gear. Which is why some folks can create art w/ cheapie disposable cameras and others w/ $3K plus in gear come out w/ cheesy family snapshots. ;)
  10. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    P&S cameras are nice (and FAR easier to carry).

    Personally, I'd rather a person that is intererested in photography spend 3x more and get a better (albeit) larger and more flexible camera that will work better under a greater number of conditions than recommend them to pay 1/3 as much for a P&S that takes great pictures in decent lighting but can't catch action, subjects at distance, low-light, etc. P&S cameras have their place, but for those that want to explore photography as an art/hobby, an SLR will allow them greater freedom of expression to express their creativity and share their perspective of the world. (sorry if I sound like a brochure for Canon)

    keep in mind however...

    a P&S you have in your pocket is worth far more than the high-end dSLR w/ fancy lens you have sitting on your table when a great picture opportunity arises
  11. Merser macrumors member


    Aug 28, 2006
    Save up for a DSLR

    I made the mistake of buying a nice P&S (Fuji S5200) about 2 years ago. I QUICKLY grew out of it. After a year of using it, I sold it on ebay and put the money towards a Nikon D50. I could not be happier!!

    I would recommend saving up and getting a Nikon D40, you dont need Nikon D40x. Sure it offers 4 more mega pixals, but you would be better off putting the price difference into a few more lenses (55-200vr is relatively cheap) My 6 mega pixal D50 prints crystal clear images at 12x14 and you can crop the heck out of an image and still get beautiful prints!!

    If you MUST get a high end P&S, then I will echo what a few others have said her, get a Canon S5IS.

    I hope this helps.
  12. slimon macrumors newbie

    Oct 16, 2007
    Only put a filter on the lens if you need it. The Pol filter if not needed has the same effect as a neutral density filter and robs you of about 1.5 stops of light. If you do want the effect put it on. Take it off if you don't.
  13. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Leica D-Lux3 / Panasonic Lumix LX2 (same camera)

    The best piece of glass available on a really compact P&S. I have the Leica and it is fantastic.

    To see examples of what this camera can do, check out Jim Radcliffe's portfolio. All of the shots at this site were done with his D-Lux3, and no, Jim does not work for Leica nor does he have any arrangement with them.

    The camera can shoot in manual mode or combinations of manual and automatic priority, and will write JPEGs (those in the Leica are better) and RAW formats. The raw images are fully supported in OS X.

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