beginning digital photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by flowagner, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. flowagner macrumors member


    Jun 1, 2007
    Vienna, Austria

    I just wanted to ask you a couple of questions. First of all, I'm quit new to photography but as I do have experiences as a digital artist (Photoshop, Illustrator) I had the idea of starting to take pictures more regularly.

    To be honest, I have no clue about cameras, whatsoever. I currently use a Nikon Coolpix P3 oder so but somehow I'm craving for a bit more. I want to make colorful, realistic photography and I'm urging to buy a Nikon D-40 oder D-80 because friends told me I should go for one of these models.

    So my questions are:

    - do I even need a 'better' (sorry I don't know the precise English term for mirror-reflex ... it should be something like that right?) camera to practice the basics of photography?

    - would my current camera be enough to start with or should I buy a D-80?

    - what programs would be optimal to get better results? i heard aperture is quite nice -- but as I adore Adobe programs, I also considered using LightRoom. could you give me some advice here?

    thanks a lot :)
  2. redrabbit macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2006
    I'm not sure what kind of camera your current one is. Is it a point and shoot? I always like to reccomend that people start on an old manuel camera to get a feel for adjusting camera settings and all that kind of stuff. I was able to get an old used Russian Soviet camera for $5 on ebay, and it still works to this day.

    For Lightroom vs. Aperture, they both offer free trials. Why not try them both out and see which one you like better? I started with aperture, but I love Lightroom for a number of reasons.
  3. M@lew macrumors 68000


    Nov 18, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    You don't HAVE to get a D80 to start with photography. You can really start with any camera to practice composition. To start with exposure, you'll need a camera that lets you set shutter speed and aperture. If your camera doesn't do that, then you should get a DSLR.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    English term is Single Lens Reflex, or SLR. put a "d" (for digital) in front of that - people often call a camera like the D80 or D40 a dSLR.

    A lot of the newer "point and shoot" cameras no longer have a number of the manual controls available that let you have more precise control over your photography. This seems to be an intentional decision on the part of the camera manufacturers - they're trying to drive people to buy their low-end dSLRs.

    I think you'll probably want an SLR at some point; so if you have the money you might as well buy now. Your friends have Nikons, obviously, so it makes some sense for you to go with that brand - although if they're all shooting the same camera, and all have the same kit lens and nothing else then there's less advantage to it (in other words, if one or more of your friends has multiple lenses, going with Nikon might mean you can occasionally borrow lenses you can't afford to buy right away).
  5. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I love the fact that you are asking the right questions FIRST and not after you made the mistakes...

    You don't need any type of camera to take good photos. If you want control and speed... go for the Nikon D40 or D80. If you just want control... go for a P&S with great manual control like the Nikon P5000 or the Canon G7 (the G7 is the better of the two in my opinion... Nikon user talking here). As for software... if you like Adobe get Lightroom. It won't give you all of the features of Aperture... but it syncs the best with the rest of the CS3 suite.

    So to simplify everything.

    1. Get the D40 and a good lens... skip the D80... go for the glass for good photos and other accessories that are a must. Get a 2GB or 4GB SD card and a bag for your GOOD lens (18-70 or 18-135) and a spare battery and spare SD cards. Plan to spend about $1000... if anyone tells you different don't listen to them and run away. :D

    2. Get Lightroom... since you like Adobe... don't fool yourself into thinking that one app is better than another enough to override your own feelings. If anyone tells you different don't listen to them and run away. :D

    3. If you don't mind having a great manually controlled P&S go for the Canon G7 for $400. It has the scroll and rocker wheel from the pro canon models (not that 30D crap... the real pro models) so you can easily control the manual functions with one hand... try it out it is sweet... made this Nikon guy forget about the P5000. If you get the G7 you will save about $300 or so and have the ability to shoot hi rez SD footage to expand your creative talent even more. If anyone tells you different don't listen to them and run away. :D
  6. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005
    A good DSLR will help you better understand photography in ways most point and shoots can't afford.

    Any pro will tell you how they've taken great shots with crappy cameras, but in general, if photography is something you might be somewhat passionate about, the investment into a SLR system will not be something you regret.

    Good luck!
  7. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    Many good suggestions here :) . You probably don't need the D80 right now, although it is a great camera.. as is the D40. You can go on Amazon and get a D40 with the kit 18-55mm lens for $500-550 or so. D40 offers all the manual controls so you can learn to properly use them in creative applications. I'd focus on the basics and as you get better you can buy better glass (more important than the body). You can upgrade the body when its necessary and you know what you want/need in a body.
    As far as Aperture vs. Lightroom.. I use Aperture and no experience with Lightroom. Aperture is great, but as it was previously said if you like Adobe and are comfortable with it, buy Lightroom. I'm sure its well integrated with photoshop :)

    Just my .02
  8. lightSmile macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2007
    utilize the MOST out of the camera you have

    I agree that you don't have to have the best, most expensive camera to create a beautiful photograph.
    My advice is to read the manual to get the most out of your camera.
    Make sure you know how to use all of the settings.

    Every time I buy a new camera or lens, I feel a surge of creativity. I also read the manual like crazy to make sure I know all the buttons and all the modes. I don't want a camera I don't know how to use.

    Sometimes having a small, cheap camera and knowing how to use the crap out of it... is fun.

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