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General Chat Thread, Any amateur photographers here? in General; Originally Posted by cookie_monster I currently donít know much about photography (other than the obvious) but would like to start ...
  1. #31
    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    I currently donít know much about photography (other than the obvious) but would like to start taking some high quality pics while out and about. Iíd like to buy myself a digital SLR anyone got any recommendations of a good starter camera, second hand is fine? Iím also going to look into an evening class.

    Any other tips would be appreciated.

    Cheers.
    What do you normally take pictures of?
    How much weight are you prepared to carry?
    Are you happy about frequently changing lenses?

    Everything has a compromise!

    If in doubt, buy Canon (widest choice of sensors and lenses, cheapish S/H stuff - though frankly it's all pretty expensive since prices shot up earlier this year)

  2. #32
    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    What do you normally take pictures of?

    Probably be landscapes and so on.


    How much weight are you prepared to carry?

    Not loads.


    Are you happy about frequently changing lenses?

    I'll probably only have a couple at the most to start with.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibbo_ap View Post
    Yeah, I love my D60.........wanted the D80 but couldn't afford it!! Photography has been a passion of mine for years, I love it, just wish I had more time to indulge.

    xx


  4. #34
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    Forgot, what's your budget?

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    You might consider an Olympus E-620, which is a relatively compact SLR camera that has the advantage of an articulating, or swiveling, screen. There is a dual lens kit which covers a good range from quite wide to quite tele. Currently on sale around £700.

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    I'm looking ideally at less than £500

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    That's a shame. Maybe an E-420 or E-450. Both available in the dual lens kit mentioned above, but without the articulating screen. I'm recommending these because they're small. They're also at your budget point. You should nip into Jessops, or similar and handle them and others.

  8. #38

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    Jessops is great for advice and going in to have a play, but don't buy. You'll spend a fortune compared to a specialist, independent camera shop (who will also care that you get the most out of it) or mail order.

  9. #39

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    In my local Flickr photowalk group, there's an ongoing battle between the Nikonians and Canons. Canon owners claim 'Nikons kill kittens' and the opposite claim that 'Canons kill puppies'. Take your choice

  10. #40
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    Would I be better off waiting and spending a bit more?

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    I think it really depends on what you want to do as a photographer. And don't forget you're buying in to a whole system of lenses and accessories for your chosen area (Nikon, Canon, Sony..).

    If, for whatever reason, you don't continue with photography after a period of time, the money spent could be potentially wasted. On the other hand, if you start with an older model, you can upgrade the lenses as and when your creativity expands. As your confidence grows you can upgrade just the body, while still having full use of all the lenses you previously bought.

    A good resource is Digital Camera Review - especially the reviews, side-by-side feature comparison, and the forums.

    Six months ago I was in a similar boat, upgrading from a Panasonic "bridge" camera to a DSLR. Based on my requirements I started out with about 8-10 cameras and gradually narrowed it down to one using a mixture of feature details, reviews and user opinions.

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    Busybub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie_monster View Post
    I'm looking ideally at less than £500
    This is coming from somebody who recently sold off an entire system including 2 Canon L lenses so take this with a pinch of salt:

    If I was starting again with your budget and intending to learn photography I would look for a second hand Canon 300D (£130) and either an EF28mm/F2.8 (£120) or 35mm/F2 (£150-160) lens.

    Your budget doesn't get you a decent wide angle lens without severely compromising your choice of camera body and short-tele lens options. You can't get a single lens which covers all shooting options. You can't get a decent mid-long zoom without compromising on lens quality or speed. If you're going to be compromised, you may as well do it with a decent bit of glass which you can flog later without losing much (if anything). You can vertically stitch images for landscape (which is a useful learning experience in itself).

    You can add a cheap (and frankly not very good) long range zoom whenever you like, if you feel the need, or go for a 50mm/F1.8 for portraits, and still be well within budget.

    Otherwise, the best thing I ever did (as a landscaper) was buy a decent tripod and polarising filter (58mm thread with step up rings for the lenses). I learnt more from using a tripod and fixed lens than anything I ever got from the camera with a zoom.

    When you've figured out what you are missing (ie what you need), you can flog the whole lot and expect to lose no more than about 10% on what you paid, possibly breaking even as you'll already have paid rock bottom prices.

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    cookie_monster (7th July 2009)

  14. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    Nah - they just have a load of lenses that won't work with anything else
    Agreed, and thus why I am a loyal Sony Alpha person I have a bag of Minolta Lenses and accessories that all fit the Sony Alpha, and I love my A200, took the leavers photos with it for the Y11 and its great they are loving them on Flickr Great camera and wouldn't swap it for anything.

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    cookie_monster (7th July 2009)

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    I think it really depends on what you want to do as a photographer....If, for whatever reason, you don't continue with photography after a period of time, the money spent could be potentially wasted.
    The thing is i'll be sharing this with the GF so it's hard to say exactly but i'd be pretty sure one of us will keep it up, probably both as we'll use it while out walking and so on.


    @ john - are the minolta lenses a good price, I already have a Minolta digital camera that i've had for a while and love it.

  17. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBentley View Post
    Nah - they just have a load of lenses that won't work with anything else
    There's more than a grain of truth in that

    I bought most of my lenses 10-12 years ago, to go with a Nikon F100 35mm SLR. They all continued to work with the D70 & they work fine with the D300 so I was able to protect my investment in lenses & still take advantage of the 'digital revolution'. That is the advantage of buying systems from the big players like Canon or Nikon. Most older Nikon lenses still work with their DSLRs, although you may have to use some manually.....

    I think the results from most digital SLRs are good enough to satisfy most users, personally I would choose a camera based upon how it 'feels' when you are using it, especially how balanced it is & how accessible the controls are to your fingertips. If you have big hands then some of the super compact DSLRs may not suit you, if you are looking for a lightweight camera a semi-pro DSLR with fast lenses may be too bulky/heavy. I remember in the late 1990s switching from a heavy Canon SLR to a lightweight Pentax, I didn't keep it very long as it was too light; that is when I switched to the Nikon F100.

    I have grown used to Nikon but I did recently try Canon as well as the Nikon D90 before choosing the D300, which handles more like my old F100. My advice to a novice would be to decide on your budget, decide is you want fixed focal length lenses or zoom and take a look at what is available.
    Make sure you have a good play with a few cameras and keep an open mind as to brand until afterwards. Canon and Nikon offer the most choice, but don't rule out the other brands until you have looked yourself.

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