Trying to get into photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wvuwhat, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    So, I've just purchased a 24" iMac and CS4 Design Premium (double purpose, taking some web design classes and have an interest in photography). Also, picked up a new 55" Samsung. So, needless to say, I'm tapped out on cash right now.

    I've got some good trips coming up. I live 20 minutes away from D.C., heading to San Fran, New York, and New Orleans in the next 3 months. Needless to say, I'll have a chance to take some memorable pictures.

    I don't know if I'm ready for a DSLR. I also don't really feel like dropping another grand. What would be a good point and shoot, that gives me some manual settings to take some good pictures at these places? If I find that I need a DSLR, I can always take a trip to my parents place and steal my step-moms D70.

    So, with a budget of say...300, what would be a good choice in my situation? Thanks.

    Also, any CS4 forum recommendations would probably be priceless right now.
  2. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    If you really are serious about photography, I'd skip the $300 P&S and go with any of the entry-level DSLRs unless you really think you'll want a pocket camera for snapshots. A D40 with kit lens is $350, in LN- at KEH.
  3. Acsom macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    Do what compuwar said. Considering the quality of the rest of your image editing/viewing chain, it would be a shame to cripple it by loading images that are limited in creative range. (You can get great images from a point and shoot, but only under certain circumstances and with limited creative choices.)
  4. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    No need to spend a thousand on a digital SLR. Check craigslist for a used Canon Rebel XT (350D) or XTi (400D) with kit lens. Older digital SLRs are still very, very good and I'd take a Rebel XT over a P&S any day. I still use my 4 year old Rebel XT to this day; many of the photos on my web site were taken with it. It holds its own just fine.

    Good luck!
  5. jecapaga macrumors 601


    Jul 1, 2007
    Southern California
    Well, he said he's not serious but interested in photography and unsure about DLSR. He's testing the waters perhaps. I have a Nikon DSLR and recently picked up a Canon PowerShot SX10IS for times when it's a better choice for me and it is a great camera ($300 price point).

    Plenty of manual settings. Zooms for days when I'm just screwing around town and it fits in my side pocket. Probably offensive to some, which is in itself fun. To the OP, there are plenty of great P&S cameras that you should consider for snapping shots on your trips while you get into photography.
  6. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    I don't see the words "not serious" anywhere in his post- however I qualified my post with "If you are serious" for a reason. With a $50 price delta, he can figure out how serious he is and still resell it for what it cost if he finds he's not serious.
  7. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Whatever camera you decide to buy, you've made one good choice already. I find my 24in iMac is a dream for editing/organising pix in Aperture (& PS). Double clicking a pic, to see it full screen, is fantastic (well, it usually is... though that size shows up a pic's deficiencies too... ;)).
  8. ajk816 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    The canon g series cameras are the "pro" point and shoots. The G11 just came out so you can probably get the G10 at a good discount. It'll allow you to do a lot of manual things just like a DSLR, without the cost and the lenses...
  9. wvuwhat thread starter macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    Thanks for the help guys. Keep it coming.

    While, I like to think I'm serious, I'm really not at this point. I really do not want to travel around town with a huge camera and lens strapped around my neck.

    I think something that will offer good low-light shots and help with shaky hands will be perfect. After I get used to my computer, PS, etc. I may realize what I'm missing and upgrade (I'm sure I probably will). But, for the time being, I am looking for convenience and cost, while still maintaining good image quality (I know I'm giving up a lot).
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    The tool enhances the skills IF you have them.

    A good photographer can use any equipment and make it look good.

    A photographer wannabe can use a $30,000 camera and still make it look like a snap shot from a cheap camera.

    So get the tool that suits your budget and actually learn how to take pictures.
  11. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    Unfortunately, what you are looking for is what most people are looking for and it doesn't exist without compromise. A cheap DSLR offers better low light performance than a PnS, but not great. Spending a ton of money can get you good low light performance.

    Most cheap DSLR's do not have image stabilization (I think Sony and Olympus may have stabilization). Canon and Nikon put it in the lenses and you pay more for one of those lenses than your entire budget.

    Something like a Canon G series gives you better than average low light performance (for a PnS, it's still going to struggle as the light gets low). They also give you image stabilization.
  12. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    The Lumix LX3 I hear is one of the best low-light P&S cameras too because it has an f2.0 lens whereas most P&S have 2.8 lenses. Also I heard it has pretty good manual controls as well. I don't know if the Leica version of the same camera has a different interface but it may be worth investigating too. The only big drawback is that it has a relatively limited zoom although this is not always a bad thing as it might just make you think more about composition rather than a superzoom that breeds laziness in beginning photographers.

  13. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    Read and practice, practice, practice and then spend. Better to know if you will enjoy something then to just go and purchase before knowing.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Buy a $300 SLR.

    Used D70 or D50 sells for that price. Actually spending more at this point would be a waste. If the goal is to learn and get good pictures the D50 will do as well as the D300.

    If you just want some snapshots don't spend that much on a P&S. Over spending on a P&S does not get you better pictures. Many times the model with fewer pixes does better. Look for a P&S with low pixel count and a quality lens.
  15. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    If you think a D40 is huge, then you're not likely to get serious.

    Low light needs big sensels to capture more photons, P&Ss don't have that. New newest Sony (WGX1?) is supposed to have about 2 stops better ISO performance than a similar normal sensor- you may want to look at that and the Samsung NX series when they come out, but I'd wait for some good side-by-side tests to see if the performance is going to be better than a larger sensor already provides.

    If you're not shooting from a moving platform, and you're not shooting static subjects, then subject movement is going to be more of a problem than camera movement- the cure for that is higher ISO sensitivity, which generally means a bigger sensor, which means a bigger camera, which means a DSLR...

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