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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JoshJosh117, May 22, 2009.
I would save up for another lens or external flash. Since you are just starting out, you won't know which lens and/or flash just yet, but you will soon.
Regarding memory card, 4 GB really isn't much. You will want to shoot in RAW format for additional post processing flexibility (e.g., fixing white balance and/or exposure with RAW affords much greater headroom). Each RAW file consumes about 22 MB on the average. 4 GB has enough room for about 180 RAW images. If you will be shooting 720p30 video (I would ignore 1080p20), you are looking at 220 MB per minute of footage, or just 18 minutes of recording. I would get 16 GB SDHC class 6, such as Transcend.
If you must get something, a remote can be very useful in many group shot situations.
Filters are good. I am soon going to be getting a new DSLR. I plan to get camera + 3 lenses (kit, telephoto, and fast 50mm prime), slingshot bag, filters, extra battery, more comfortable strap than included one, tripod.
For the battery, the genuine Canon battery I have works like a charm. A no-name brand that I used for awhile crapped out totally (a full charge would still read as "low" in-camera) after a couple of years. My suggestion would be to buy genuine if the price is reasonable, but if you're going to use another brand try buying an actual brand name, and not just a no-name manufacturer.
Multi-coated filters increase light transmission and help fight off glare better than single- or non-coated filters. I use a Hoya Super UV filter, and I haven't had any problems. I think either the Super or Pro1 is top-of-the-line when it comes to Hoya filters. Look for a good price but don't get a shoddy product--if it's bad enough it'll show up in your images sooner or later.
You don't "need" anything.
Sure a battery, battery grip, and all that shaz would "help" in a way or another, but as you're just starting out, you might actually realize that you don't need any of it.
If you find in the near future that most of your photos are vertically oriented (portrait), invest in a battery grip. If you find that you tend to shoot a lot at night, get a fast lens (i.e. a prime lens, look it up at www.slrgear.com). If you realize landscape is where it's at, then invest in a sturdy tripod and dabble in the world of filters (i.e. circular polarizers, neutral density filters, etc.) If you find that you like/do all different types. Well then, sorry about your wallet.
But like I said, you don't "need" anything for the time being. Shoot a lot and make a smart decision once you feel restricted with what you have.
One thing however I recommend to everyone is the EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. It's about $80 on the net and really teaches you A LOT about composition and some more technical aspects of photography. Look it up.
Have fun and keep shooting!
I wholeheartedly second these suggestions.
the only "necessary" accessories is some cleaning supplies. basically a lenspen or some lens tissue and cleaning liquid. you can send the camera to the manufacturer for sensor cleaning if you don't want to do it yourself.
the mini-tripod is probably next to useless, i dunno what they provide for lens cleaner, there's actually already a screen protector over the LCD (though you still might want to get a cheap plastic sticker so it doesn't get covered in fingerprints), and any UV filter they provide will be cheap and degrade image quality.
i dunno about getting a 16 GB card. all that means is you can lose more pictures when it corrupts. and will you shoot RAW? are you willing to go through all the extra manual processing that requires?
depending on if you really will shoot RAW, and how often (and how long) you'll use the video, stick with one or two 8GB cards.
if Sterlingtek has an equivalent yet, get that. otherwise, stick to Canon.
Unless you buy a top of the line UV filter, skip it. A top of the line thin CPL from Hoya or B+H would be nicer, specially when taking photos of landscapes with nice and white clouds plus blue sky, or when there is a lot of light being reflected toward the lens from water, glass, etc. However, the kit lens may not be enough. Consider the "nifty-50" in f/1.4, and later a 70-200mm "L," even if it has to be a f/4L USM.
Two 8GB cards are better than one 16GB card.
Honestly, most of those "kits" that web sites sell are pure ripoffs. They're just trying to make as much money as possible by selling you the cheapest possible crap at huge markups.
Kit "mini tripods" are universally junk (cheap plastic and so wobbly it defeats the purpose). Lenses generally don't need cleaning unless you regularly shoot in rain or mud with a weather-sealed L-series lens - just use a soft, dry lint free microfiber cloth. I have a 4-year old Digital Rebel XT and despite very heavy usage, the screen is still perfect; you probably don't need a screen protector. Finally, unless you're going to spend at least $80 on a UV filter, all you're doing is making your picture quality much, much worse by decreasing contrast and increasing flare. Those kit UV filters are cheap $10 pieces of crap.
What you want is a Canon Speedlite 430ex and a 50mm f/1.8 for starters. Those two simple add-ons open up huge possibilities over just the camera and kit lens, and are pretty cheap.
If you want a good tripod, you're going to have to spend $$$. With tripods, you definitely get what you pay for. Manfrotto is a good brand and will cost a minimum of $200 with head. There are no "bargains" when it comes to tripods!
I would recommend not buying ANY accessories and this is why.
1. Spare battery - the battery you have will last longer than any one shooting session you do. As a beginner, it's unlikely that you will go out and in one day, burn through a few hundred pictures. You might, but only if you don't think at all about what you're shooting which obviously is no good. If you go on a overnight trip that may be different. However, of all the previously mentioned accessories, this is the most sensible one, as running out of battery really sucks and a battery is relatively cheap and will be useful in the future.
2. Tripod - don't bother. At this point, you will only be interested in buying a cheap one and a cheap tripod is worse than none at all. Save your money, if you find yourself really enjoying photography, go out and buy a good solid tripod in a year or two.
3. External flash - again, don't bother. Personally, I think shooting with available light is plenty hard enough when you're starting. Adding a flash is extra confusion. You can use the one on your camera for now, it's not the best, but it'll do. No, I wouldn't use it at a wedding now, but with my first camera, I sure did.
4. Memory card - I wouldn't unless you plan on shooting RAW. Don't know what RAW is? See my last answer.
5. UV filter - again, theoretically useful, seeing as if you scratch your one lens, you're pretty screwed. But, a cheap filter hurts your image quality and a properly used lens hood gives pretty good protection also. A circular polarizer isn't a bad idea, but again a good one is expensive, a cheap one is junk and they're more useful for certain types of photography, that you may not be interested in.
6. 50mm f1.8 lens - maybe...in a few months. I agree with the previous poster that this greatly increases your compositional ability and enhances understanding of exposure. But, your kit lens is probably good enough for a few months.
The only "accessory" I would think you should buy, and it's not really an accessory is a book. Ideally, a few of them. "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson is a really good start. Ansel Adams first two books are also excellent. Also, why wait 2 years to take a photo class? There are cheap online classes, and many free online tutorials that are very good. In my opinion, when you can explain the following terms, it's time to start thinking about more equipment.
2. Shutter speed
4. Type of light
5. Rule of thirds
6. 1/length of lens
7. Depth of field
Buy equipment when you realize that your current kit is limiting your creative expression, not when you want to own more stuff.
If in a year or so, you find yourself owning a lot of equipment, but shooting mostly on the green box, you've probably put the cart before the horse.
50 can do many things.
The 50 is great for low-light, playing with shallow depth of field, and, on a crop body, portraits. And many other things, but that's for you to discover.
Oooo... I definitely agree with the slingshot bag, filters, and battery. I have a slingshot bag, and it fits perfectly. The bag slides around to your front so you can easily get the camera out when you need it and put it away when you don't!
I would suggest getting cleaning supplies first. I recently picked up a brush, lens tissues, cleaner liquid, lind free cloth, lens pen and a Giottos rocket blower. For about $40 this stuff is a must for keeping filters, lens, camera bodies and the sensor clean. The Giottos is also great at blowing dust from my computer screen and keyboard!
Books are another good place to spend money. I got Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs and it is great at teaching the basics on how to take pictures.
Also, unless shooting video, I wouldn't suggest getting memory cards above 4GB. I can fit 400 RAW files on my 4GB and 200 on my 2GB and I have plenty of room. Also, imagine if you lost a card, one got corrupted or damaged and you lost all the images. You'll only loose a couple hundred on a 2GB or 4GB card vs 800+ on a 8GB card. Just my 2¢.