Need Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cschaeffer, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. cschaeffer macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2007
    I am a beginner to digital photograph, but I have high goals. I would love if someone could help me with the following questions.

    I want to create collage posters and collage progression pictures of my kids, and I have recently purchased a new IMac.

    1. What software would you recommend.
    2. Where woud you suggest to get the pictures printed at a resonable cost.
    3. As far a a camera any suggestions, I have a decent one now and might invest in a new one. Keep in mind that most pictures will be outside and sports related.
    4. What type of lens and filters do you suggest for outside sport pictures.

    Any comments would be helpful
  2. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    2. Walmart, Ritz, Adorama...
    3. It depends on your budget, willingness to sacrifice portability, distance, light levels, speed of motion, willingness to learn, speed of learning, etc.

    However, the best way for you to get to a place where you're ready to start answering that is (A) What does your current camera not do that you need and (B) is that a function of the hardware or the user?

    4. For lenses, see 3. I tend to shoot without any filters unless I'm using a polarizer, if you're worried about protecting the front element then I'd recommend plain glass for digital. Most sports photographers I know tend to shoot at 300mm, most serious parents I know tend to shoot at around 200mm because they can't afford a fast 300mm lens.

    At this stage in the game, probably the best thing you can do to find out if you're willing to achieve high goals is to take a community college course in digital photography. You'll get some instruction, meet other folks with different equipment, and if you're friendly with them, you can try out their equipment to see what works and doesn't work for you. You'll learn the fundamentals, hopefully some composition and lighting and how to use the basic digital tools.

    While it's easy to chime in with favorite cameras, without an idea of how lofty your goals are, your budget, what sort of folks you have around you, and how much you want to schlep gear around, it's really not worth you spending money when you're not yet at a point where you can evaluate the choices.
  3. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
    I have been using clark to to make prints for me over the last two years and they have been supurb, resonable prices, quality prints, and quick to send order.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    1) Start with iPhoto and (because you have a special requirement) Adobe Photoshop Elements. Change software only later when you have some good reason to.

    2) You spend $2,000 on equipment and hours of your time both using the camera and at the computer and then you want to save five cents on a print? You should be asking "Where is the best place to have prints made?"

    3) Everyone who is serious about photography will tell you to get some kind of DSLR. It really boils down to Nikon or Canon. How to decide? Look at the kit of lenses you might want in five years and
    buy the body that fits those lenses. As for which DSLR body to buy. It does not matter. They are all so close. What matters more is the lens and you. It really is true. If you look at an image you can't tell which DSLR body is was taken with but you can see which lens was used -- All bodies do is record images to memory cards. Lenses make images.

    4) You don't need any filters. Sports photography is expensive. Second only to wildlife photography. What you want is a "fast" lens. f/2.8 is good although you can "make do" with less. The classic lens would an 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom but they are not cheap. What's good for less? People will debate that. Some say a 180 prime. Others will just put up with a low-end f/5.6 zoom. A LOT depends on how close you can get and how bright is the light If you can be sppecific and say for example you want a full body shot of a person X feet away then some one can tell you exactly what lenght lens will you need.

    If budget is an issue and you still want top rate images then conceder film. A film SLR can still outperform a digital SLR and at much less cost.

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