Beginner to Photography!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aoaaron, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. aoaaron macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    #1
    Hey, one of my friends has a DSLR camera and I've been playing around with it on the odd ocassion for the past year and a half. I really like the idea of taking amazing pictures like he does (they look like model pictures) for family outings etc.

    I'm very new to photography. My family aren't into it so I'm pretty uninformed. I'm going to ask my mate too but wanted more opinions on if I should invest in a DSLR camera. I really do want to take photos and I think my sister, mum and dad especially would also enjoy it.

    I am on a slight budget so I'd be going at the entry point for lenses and the body. Can anyone reccomend me a camera/lenses? Are there any technological advancements forthcoming in the photography world which will cause even a slight price drop which could help?

    p.s. i live in the UK
     
  2. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2

    Hi aoaaron! :)

    The Canon 1000D should be a great starter camera for you. This is what I started with when I got in to photography. It comes with the 18-55 lens which is good enough for a starter. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canon-Digital-Camera-18-55mm-3-5-5-6/dp/B0014IK7QO/ref=cm_lmf_tit_1

    or google Canon 1000D for other good deals for Jessops, Jacobs, etc.

    Any camera is good and future proof as they say. It's not the same as laptops, etc. Things don't go out as date as much.
     
  3. aoaaron thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 4, 2010
    #3
    does it shoot video? it'd be awesome to have the option of video also!

    thankyou for your awesome reply and help btw!
     
  4. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

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    Feb 8, 2011
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    United Kingdom
    #4
  5. jabbott macrumors 6502

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    Nov 23, 2009
    #5
    The newly announced Canon 1100D (aka T3) does HD video, and it doesn't cost much more than the 1000D (aka XS). It comes with an 18-55mm image stabilising lens which is good for starters. For the money it should be a fantastic camera. To get good background blur (also known as bokeh) or for low light use, you can get a Canon 50mm f/1.8 cheaply. Then as your budget allows you can upgrade the camera and lenses based on your preferences. Best of luck!
     
  6. unclet macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    #6
    I would certainly recommend the Canon 550D. I was in the same boat as you 6 months ago when I bought mine, and it is an amazing camera. It should be a bit cheaper now, as Canon just updated it with the 600D, which appears to be essentially the same camera with a few nice bells and whistles.

    One of the main questions you should decide on is whether to go with Canon, Nikon, or another brand like Pentax or Sony. This is more important with DSLRs, because unlike point-and-shoot cameras, with DSLRs you are buying into a system with accessories like lenses and flashes that won't work on other brands. If you invest in good lenses for a Canon, then later decide you'd like to buy a Nikon, you've got to start over again. But if you decide to upgrade your Canon DSLR later, you've already accessories to go with it.

    There are a lot of people out there with very strong opinions about each camera brand who will tell you Nikon or Canon or another brand are the only way to go. In the end, each brand does have its own unique strengths and weaknesses, but it would be difficult to argue definitively that one is far superior to the other. I went with Canon because I've owned a few Canon cameras and my dad has used them all his life, so it was the familiar brand, and I don't regret it, but you may decide you like another brand better. Go to a store and try them out. See which one you like the feel of most and read some reviews. One thing I think you won't regret is moving up to a DSLR. I've had so much more fun with photography since I did.
     
  7. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #7
    My wife and I got a 1000D about a year ago. It's a great camera and the kit lens takes really nice photos for what it is.

    Our kids mostly use the 1000D now as we got a 7D in February. The 7D is a touch heavy for my daughters to use (12 and 10).

    Good luck with your photography. It's a great hobby to have (it can get kinda pricey, however).
     
  8. TheSVD macrumors 6502a

    TheSVD

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    The Jolly Ol' Midlands, England
    #8
    Hey man, good to hear you want to get into photography!

    the 1000d is a great starter camera, it's what I started out with! get it with the kit lens and the £99 50mm 1.8, I really really recommend that lens!

    If you want video, then get a 550d, you can get them fairly cheap now! It's what I upgraded to from my 1000d exactly one year later (birthdays :D) and I've been getting along great with it, the video is fantastic and we're actually shooting a film over the summer now :)

    You should definitely get either of these, (with the kit lens & 50mm 1.8) or PM me if you want more user feedback for both!

    Where in the UK do you live out of interest?
     
  9. aoaaron thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 4, 2010
    #9
    I live in Birmingham. Thanks for all the help guys. Time to get saving. :)

    I'm hoping to buy the camera in about a months time for the summer holidays to have a big of fun with it and depict the summer adventures. :D

    Any reccomended places to buy one on the cheap?
     
  10. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #10
    Canon and Nikon are both great systems. You have to decide which one feels better to you in terms of ergonomics, style and usability. Keep in mind that you'll only be using a camera which you enjoy picking up.
     
  11. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    Dec 7, 2010
    #11
    You've got a calumet in birmingham, they tend to be really good, Im a photographic equipment buyer at work and we've found them quite professional.

    calumet

    park cameras are also very good for mail order Park cameras Thats who I bought my nikon d200 off about 3 years ago

    The Nikon D5100 is similar to the canon thats been recomended and a few quid more, but it can shoot HDR images clicky
     
  12. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    the cold dark north
    #12
    actually, being a nikon shooter makes biased but..., my father in law just got the nikon d3100 and i have to say.. its an amazing little beast. very light, VERY amazing images and can shoot video etc. plus comes with the stabilized lens AND.. and this is where he really fell in love with the cam... the photoraphy help screens on the LCD.. great for a beginner, explaining quickly what what settings changes etc. VERY VERY cool feature if you are just starting as ANY dslr with all the buttons and settings can be daunting to say the least.
     
  13. aross99 macrumors 68000

    aross99

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Location:
    East Lansing, MI
    #13
    I'm a Nikon shooter also, and I think the D3100 is a great starter DSLR. It shoots video also. Kit will come with the basic 18-55mm zoom lens.

    Best recommendation I can give you though is go to the store and check out the entry level Canon and Nikon models. Hold them and take some test pics, and see how the menus and controls work. See how they fit in your hand. The entry models are a bit smaller and lighter than the more expensive models, and that size can make a difference.

    It doesn't seem like there would be a much difference, but most people seem to have a preference one way or the other when they try them out.
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #14
    The number one beginner mistake is to think about SLR camera bodies first. If some one says "buy a Nikon D3100" or "Buy a Canon xxx". they are doing you a disservice.

    Think first about the images. Find many images shot by others that you like. Look in print media, on line,... next think about the lenses that were used. Maybe you will need to ask for technical help. But figure out the lens. As it turns out camera don't make images, lenses make images and camera bodies capture the image.

    Next understand that owning an SLR is a process. You buy one body and one lens and then you get a second lens then upgrade the body buy a flash sell you first lens and so on. After time you have owned the SLR system for many years but all the parts have been swapped out.

    So what you select in not so much a camera but a company's system that you want to buy into and stay with for perhaps decades. Look not just at their curent line up of gear but the used market too. Getting back to lenses. Let's say yu know you will want on of those 80-200mm f/2.8 lenses. Canon will sell you a new one for close to $2,000. You can buy a nice used Nikon version for $650 but their older lens required a pro-type SLR body with an in-body focus motor. Now back to bodies: A Nikon D3000 is nice but it lacks an in-body motor and so you can't use the cheaper $650 lens. Spend $200 more now and save $1,000 later. In other words plan ahead. Look at the used and new markets and what you are likely to buy over the next five years

    Remember, lenses matter a LOT more than bodies. Lighting matters more than bodies ans so on. But all beginners always think of the SLR body first.

    All that said, what REALLY matters more is you, not your equipment. I'm sure painters talk about brushes and brands of oil paints but buying the best paint is not what really matters. Same with cameras. You can do great work with a $20 "Holga" ( See this: http://microsites.lomography.com/holga/galleries/natural-and-filtered/ )

    The best thing to buy are those big coffee table books filled with photos from the masters going back to the early 1900's. Find what you like and try to emulate that style. Actaully don't buy the books, libraries are full of them. Also get books on painting and art history and color and composition. Lastly get some on "how to work a camera".

    The entire process ends with selecting an SLR camera body, buy one that fits the les(es) you like. and that fits your budget.
     
  15. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    #15
    I think picking a decent body does matter in some ways, though. Yes, the lenses will always be important, but there's a lot of advancement happening in ISO performance, too. An older body is not going to give you the same quality image at high ISO as a newer body will. The latest bodies are able to do up to 6400 ISO with decent quality while previous generations pretty much maxes out at 1600. There are also the video features if that is important.

    It all depends on what kind of pictures you plan to take and finding a body and lens combination that will allow you to do that to the best of your budget.
     
  16. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #16
    Waves at fellow brummie!

    One resource to try is www.camerapricebuster.co.uk

    Jacobs in brum have always been good, the newly updated Jessops may be worth a look (not visited yet, but they seem to be going through a transition).
     
  17. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #17
    Ok, I will have to disagree with 95% of what you said. The part about the image is the only thing I agree with. Do you REALLY think a beginner who has held a camera a couple of times, knows what the heck an f2.8 lens is? Or do you really think you will send him to a store and he will base his purchase on the lens? No way. For the first year I would wager that he won't know the difference between a 18-55 kit and a 17-55 professional lens (besides the 1mm wider).
    As the OP stated and as probably most new comers to photography, he wants to take photos of his family. The aim with this is to get hims a starter package to ... yes you guess ed it.. STARTED. Save the "its a process" speech for later when he a) knows what he is doing and b) has willpower to continue the hobby and c) has money to actually buy a "pro like" body, which is false..the d7000 is NOT a pro like body :)
    . I think i will make a small web application that lets people answer a few questions and then it will recommend a slr for their experience.

    a hardcore beginner should NOT be faced with what you wrote when they "just want to take photos of the family".. which is EXACTLY what he wants to do.

    oh and the kit lens delivers VERY good photos..especially for a beginner.
     
  18. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #18
    Sounds like a lot of work for a hobby.

    OP - I take back my disservice of a SLR body recommendation and replace it with:

    If you're in the mood for a Canon camera, buy a "EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens" in a kit and take whatever SLR comes with it.

    The lens is good for family photos. Enjoy.
     
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC
    #19
    The cameras that are geared towards new comers are pretty advanced, I have to say. Any entry level offering from all manufacturers are great. I see a LOT more people shooting with Nikon nowadays when I am out and about. Their marketing is doing a fabulous job. You cannot go wrong with either.

    A 60D is a great camera as well. Not too expensive, shoots video and built very nicely.
     
  20. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #20
    I partially agree because you do have a point about lenses being a bit more important than the body itself. I don't think people do someone a disservice by recommending a certain camera. I think you're making some mistakes about beginners. Since I'm a beginner I think I can explain it a bit better than you do. Most of us beginners have no idea what you can really do with dslrs and lenses. We need to learn things like aperture, iso, etc. and also find out what kind of photography we like doing by simply doing it. It's a hands on hobby: you have to go out and take pics to learn the basics and to learn what you like (biggest mistake I made was thinking it was easy..hell no! it takes practice, lots of it). When you know what you really like you can buy lenses that will allow you to that. At first I thought I liked taking landscape pics and I do. But I also found out that macro is something I enjoy, actually I enjoy it even more than landscapes. The macro was something I found out after I bought my camera + lens, not beforehand although I've seen a lot of macro shots.

    Yep, just start somewhere and move up (or not if you're not in photography after all). The 18-55/18-105 lenses you get as a kit lens can be quite useful for nearly everyone (it's like the range most people use). The only thing that is debatable is the quality of a lens. You can spend quite a lot of money on a proper lens but if you find out that photography isn't all that you'll have wasted a lot of money. On the other hand, if you do enjoy it a lot you'll have wasted money on a lesser lens while in fact you could have bought the proper lens straight away. That is a bit of a gamble. I took it and spend a lot more money on the lens (got the 15-85 instead of the standard 18-55 kitlens for my Canon 500D) and for me it paid of (I bought another lens, specifically for macro). None of us can make that choice for the topicstarter, he needs to make it himself. We can only provide him with some advice.

    That's what I did and many others too. If you have someone using a particular brand it makes things easier if you use the same brand. You can borrow lenses and they are able to help you better. The camera ergonomics also differ so it is quite important that you go to a store where you can test them, have a feel. The second hand market can be very attractive, you can get things cheaper.

    The biggest mistake I made was thinking it was easy...it isn't! If you can take a course do so but above all..shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot. The only real way of learning it. I also think that this is why photography is so much fun :)
     
  21. aoaaron thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    #21
    wow thanks for all the responses guys!

    basically, i'm looking to get into this as a hobby to take family pictures and videos in different lights. i'll post a few images for examples later if thats alright and if you guys could reccommend me lenses which could get the job done, that would be awesome although I'm sure you already know what i'm talking about.

    holla to my fellow brummies btw!
     
  22. WillEH macrumors 6502a

    WillEH

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    Feb 8, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #22
    Honestly, the standard lense it comes with 18-55 will be good enough. Until you get the hang of it, I really think you should stick with basics. :)
     
  23. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #23
    +1, as i said before... get into it learn it etc. todays kit lenses are pretty damn good. Both manufacturers had a "bad streak" with their kit lenses a few years back, but nowadays they are pretty damn nice for what they cost.

    Really, OP: buy a small kit to keep your initial cost down for many reasons (if you want to sell it later because its not your thing, if you want to switch manufacturers etc.) I started with a olympus e-510 kit, went to nikon and had a short hickup by switching to a canon kit..i have been nikon since because I like the camera and lense lineup BUT I have very fond memories of my Olympus.
    As a beginner dont expect to stick with one manufacturer or to even make it a full time hobby... you might not like it and when you have a couple of thousand dollars worth of gear laying around that is not used.. THAT is a disservice :)

    So I would say look for a kit that fits your budget, go to a store and test both manufacturers for the feel and then buy it.
     
  24. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #24
    They're gonna be fine for a long time since you definitely need skills before the lens will become the obstruction. I didn't get the 18-55 kit lens because I wanted a fast focusing lens (speed was the reason why I choose dslr and not compact) so to me it was just ease of use that made me buy something else. I've seen people with those 18-55 kit lenses taking much better pics than me though, those kit lenses are definitely not bad at all!
     
  25. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #25
    Ive only got the 18-55 lens in my signature, but its a fantastic lens. I think i spent more on that one lens than on the camera myself.

    I've got a plethora of lenses for my film cameras but they dont fit my DSLR :(
     

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