Looking to start up.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by soul18, May 11, 2010.

  1. soul18 macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2010

    I have been looking through the forums on this website for a fair while, and reading up on the various topics. Usually reading the topics on Beginners looking for some advice. This is more or less why i am here, i have been reading up a lot on the various cameras and i am still undecided.
    Obviously i am looking to begin learning photography so i am not going to spend two thousands pounds on a professional camera. How ever i have been looking at the cannon 40d as perhaps a good starter camera, that will be good for a fair while and not just a stepping stone camera. Any one have any opinions?

    Also i know some of the basics of photography, but is there any websites you can mention that focus more on the technical side such as focusing on the camera settings? As many of the websites i have seen linked just focus on the equipment.

    Any advice or opinions will be a great help.
    So feel free to write what you want :)

    Cheers soul.
  2. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    You could say how much you *are* willing to spend, that would help in giving advice. Personally I wouldn't go for the xxD series unless I knew I needed the extras it gives me over the xxxD series; I'd much rather get a 550D and spend the difference on a better lens.

    There's also the question of what you will be shooting. Do you want to go for just using available light or are you also interested in getting a flash?
  3. soul18 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2010
    I would say the maximum price would be £500 anything under wouldn't be a bad thing, as long as i am not missing out on some of the better specs.
    I would also preferably buy a camera with at-least a kit lens to get me started.

    I don' t really have a set thing that i will be shooting i am going to take a photography course, which is where i am hoping i will find what i enjoy shooting for now i just want to shoot what i can when i am out and around. people, structures, building anything i can shoot really. See what takes my fancy more.

    I am thinking i can stick with natural light, and maybe a inbuilt flash for my purposes at the moment? With out have any real downside to not have a external flash at this time.

    Unless you can think of any of course :)
  4. emorydunn macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2006
    Austin Texas
    To answer your question directly, yes. The 40D is a great camera. It's got most of the features of modern Canons. You can pick one up for around $600 or £400.

    As for a lens I would get a nice 50mm prime. You can get one directly form Canon for about £70.

    There are a ton of books and websites you can read about how to work your camera, but I'd start with the manual. Really I've found the best way to learn how to do something is just to try it and see how that goes. If you feel you need extra help then go and look for that thing specifically.
  5. soul18 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2010
    Ok thanks are there any other cameras that would come close to the cannon 40d? Perhaps with better specs or price. Or do you think i should stick to the 40d?

    Would i not benefit more from a lens which is not a prime lens? Maybe something more like a 18-55mm? which will give a few more options when im taking a photo.
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    A good place to start is an 18-55 IS (~$100) and a 50 1.8 (~$100). Take the money left in your budget and find a body. Personally I prefer the XXD bodies to the XXXD bodies as I find it much easier to have the second control dial. I would pick either the 20D (cheap and old) or 40D (~2.5x the money, but a better camera (live view, more pixels, better screen, better high ISO performance)). The 30D is not much of an upgrade over the 20D and having used a 50D, I am not blown away.

    Use the 50 1.8 for low light and to start playing around with shallow depth of field. The 18-55 IS is surprisingly good when stopped down to f8 or so, it can be your general use lens.

    Take a few thousand pictures with those lenses, then decide what you want to take pictures of that you currently can't and buy equipment to fill that hole.
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    It depends if you just want a camera to take nice pics or if you want to learn photography.

    If you want to learn photography go with the 40D and a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. Here is why I say this:

    If you want to learn about aperture and shutter speed you need to be able to easily experiment with them. On a rebel, you can't do this easily because there is no back wheel. On a 40D, you can because it has the wheel. This sounds silly but trust me on this. On a rebel its a pain to shoot fully manual so most people end up not even doing it.

    As for lenses, grab a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4 because this lens will allow you to see the effect of changing the aperture. Lenses like the kit lens you can't see this change so easily.

    Sorry I can't write a more detailed explanation I am at work.
  8. unid macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2009
    I would say look at the GF1 with the 20mm f/1.7 kit lens.
    I'm just a beginner myself, however I've learnt that one of the main things is to take a lot of photos,
    a camera you'll happily have with you all the time is therefore a major consideration.
    It's a delightful camera, just about within your budget and at the least
    a very capable bridge to serious photography.
  9. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    I don't find it painful at all. Though I did come from the SX100 that used a back wheel to adjust both with Av button to separate them, just like the rebels do.
  10. Stratification macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    I'll second this. In manual it's just the wheel by the shutter release, or a single button and the wheel to do aperture and shutter. Not a huge pain. I certainly use my Rebel in Manual without any trouble at all.
  11. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    check out dpreview A great resource for both reviews and a very active set of forums.
  13. soul18 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2010
    Well the idea is to learn photography with hopefully, the idea that my photos will be good also :p. Well at-least eventually. I want the manual settings of a SLR in order to both learn, and improve my images.

    I was leaning towards Cannon as i have family with Cannon gear, Imo its a close battle between the Cannon And Nikon and like i said i am hoping for more than just a stepping stone camera. Something which i can maybe keep for a year or so and will still be able to produce some professional looking images.
  14. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    If you have friends/family with canon gear, I would go with canon. This lets you borrow their equipment (or vice-versa).

    Personally, I own Canon, but like Nikon controls better (but not enough to switch).

    You really can't go wrong with either company. Make sure you go to a camera store and try the cameras in your hand. The Canon XXD's fit my hand well, the rebels don't and Nikon at the time didn't. Each person is different though, so try them out. Obviously a camera store probably won't have older models, but at least with canon, the body shapes have only had minor tweaks with each generation, the 50D feels quite similar in the hand to the 20D. I don't know if the same holds true for Nikon.
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Go with the Canon - but borrow a camera system from family first for your photo classes before purchasing. At this point you don't know what you want in a system because you don't know what kind of shooting you like to do.

    Are you going to be shooting low-light available-light portraits, or outdoor sports? Are you interested in hiking into the wild with a light-weight camera outfit, or do you need the studio light connectivity? You probably don't know yet - but after taking a class with a borrowed system, and talking to the other students, you will have much more information to work with.

    Many Pro shops will let you rent a camera to try it out, and then credit the cost of the rental towards the purchase price if you buy it.

    Generally speaking, spend the money on the lenses and not the camera body. Good glass is essential for a good quality photo, a good camera body makes the photographer's life easier. Or, in other words - it doesn't matter how expensive a camera body you have, if you have crappy glass your pictures are not going to be great. This is a generalization, of course - but it does cover the majority of situations. (To the nitpickers, yes I am perfectly aware of Holgas and pinhole cameras. :rolleyes: )

    Good Luck with this! .... and welcome to the crowd.....
  16. jackerin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2008
    Cannon you say? Would this happen to be a relative of yours?
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    ^ heh.

    Seriously, a good camera won't necessarily render better images. You will get better images shooting with a 20D + a $1500 lens, than a $2000 body and a kit lens.

    I have been shooting for a long time (before digital SLRs were the norm) and I just picked up a 40D as my main body, paired with a 17-40L. IQ is amazing.

    This was taken a few weeks ago..

    Attached Files:

  18. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2002
    New Jersey
    You can't go wrong checking in at photo.net. It's all there, including aspects you might have thought were extinct, like film. But they are very active with modern Digital SLRs, as well as scanning in old (and new!) film, classic film SLRs, Rangefinders, medium- and large-format cameras. The various forums are split between the technical, artistic, and business sides of Photography. Don't worry, plenty of room for amateurs who just want to get better. Who's better to learn from than the pros, right?

    The Canon is a good camera, but you shouldn't simply take anyone's word for it. Check it out in person, and get a feel for it in your hands. I happen to like that size Canon, but some may not. Also, the ergonomics of a Nikon or even Sony might suit you better. I was able to check out some different size options from the Nikon & Canon camps before I made my decision.

    Best of luck to you!

  19. Vel macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2008
    Is that pic a HDR...

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