Getting into photography

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Getting into photography

#1  Postby HughMcB » Mar 23, 2010 2:51 pm

Howdy peeps...

I'm looking for some advice on buying a new camera. I'm trying to dabble in some amateur photography and I want to make the leap from your standard digital piece of turd to a more serious bit of kit. I'm mainly looking for photographing landscapes as I do a lot of traveling and would like to document it on something other than my 7MP sony.

Obviously I'm not prepared to blow a small fortune on it (mainly if it all goes tits up) but I'm certainly not tight either, so I was thinking in the price range of $500-$1,000 (obviously closer to $500 preferable). I presume anything under the $500 isn't really worth looking at, but perhaps I could be wrong.

So come on all you photo junkies out there, get your tackle out and show me what you got and what you recommend.

Thanks in advance! :cheers:
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Re: Getting into photography

#2  Postby ElDiablo » Mar 24, 2010 12:50 pm

I haven't looked at cameras in a couple years, so I can't point to a specific camera and say get this but the general answer is get a digital SLR with a wide angle lens and a tripod. Canon or Nikon are equally good and offer a lot of lens choices. A quality lens is more important than bells and whistles on a body - for landscape you'll be spending most of your time in manual control on your camera.

The camera bodies that cost around $600 are very decent. My first digital SLR was a Canon 6mp camera and I recently printed some 3 foot wide posters and they looked great even compared to my more recent 13mp. I can imagine that many of these new cameras are going to perform even better.

Wide angle lenses allow you to capture more scenery and range from 12-35mm (more or less). The camera price range you are looking at I would suggest a lens that is at least 20mm if landscape is all you're going to do. You won't find yourself backing up as much especially if you're doing any architecture. From experience, I like the walk around benefits of a telephoto lens. My favorite walk around lens is my 24-80mm. It's a comprimise in both ranges but it allows me to photograph landscapes or people without changing lenses.

Why spend decent money on a lens? Clarity of image all the way to the edges of the frame. An ok lens will get blurry and show color abberations (red and blue outlines) on the perimeter of the image.

Other accessories to consider:
Tripod is your buddy, especially in low light conditions like night shots. I have a travel tripod (cost about $160) that works great as a monopod or a tripod.
A camera bag that can hold the tripod, snacks, water bottle.
Extra battery.
Extra storage media.
Battery charger that works in electrical out let or car charger.
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Re: Getting into photography

#3  Postby tnjrp » Mar 24, 2010 12:56 pm

HughMcB wrote:I'm looking for some advice on buying a new camera. [...] So come on all you photo junkies out there, get your tackle out and show me what you got and what you recommend
Sorry I can't really recommend any brands as it's a little bit dependant on where you live as to what makes sense to get. I've had a reasonably good experience with Canon digital SLRs myself and generally (regardless of the brand) would recommend buying rather at the higher end of the preselected price range than at the lower, with the eye on the lens quality and the pixel matrix capablities rather primarily, others features secondarily.
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Re: Getting into photography

#4  Postby rEvolutionist » Mar 24, 2010 1:03 pm

HughMcB wrote:Howdy peeps...

I'm looking for some advice on buying a new camera. I'm trying to dabble in some amateur photography and I want to make the leap from your standard digital piece of turd to a more serious bit of kit. I'm mainly looking for photographing landscapes as I do a lot of traveling and would like to document it on something other than my 7MP sony.

Obviously I'm not prepared to blow a small fortune on it (mainly if it all goes tits up) but I'm certainly not tight either, so I was thinking in the price range of $500-$1,000 (obviously closer to $500 preferable). I presume anything under the $500 isn't really worth looking at, but perhaps I could be wrong.

So come on all you photo junkies out there, get your tackle out and show me what you got and what you recommend.

Thanks in advance! :cheers:


I'm not sure what a second hand Canon 5D goes for these days, but they are a super landscape camera. Of course you'll need lenses for that, so that would likely blow your budget to pieces.
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Re: Getting into photography

#5  Postby Julia » Mar 24, 2010 6:02 pm

Don't get sidetracked by the number of megapixels. 7 MP is plenty for almost anything.
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Re: Getting into photography

#6  Postby HughMcB » Mar 24, 2010 6:36 pm

I think Digital SLR with about 7-10 MP seems to be the way to go. Will have to look around for something good though.

Thanks for all the tips (especially ElDiablo), very informative.

I think trying to get the correct lens is gonna most of the battle.
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Re: Getting into photography

#7  Postby The_Metatron » Mar 24, 2010 7:06 pm

You could go analog. Get yourself a steam powered Pentax K1000, some B&W film, and set up your own darkroom. Or, you could get really serious and get a large format camera for bigger enlargements.

I thought about using my K1000 ...
Image

to do some deep space or planetary astrophotography with this:

Image

Except the go-to fork mount lost its mind, Meade doesn't support it anymore (casually suggesting I buy a new telescope), so I stuck it onto a nice German equatorial mount from Losmandy, the GM-8:
Image

What I ended up with when I took a few shots of Luna was not so great. The originals are decent enough, but my scanner was shit, and the result is therefore, shit. Nevertheless, here they are:
Image
Image
Image

Not so easy, after all. It turns out that CCD imagers are far more sensitive than film. Image processing is also very important. None of that is available with a film camera. It looks like a firewire CCD camera may be in my future.
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Re: Getting into photography

#8  Postby HughMcB » Mar 24, 2010 7:19 pm

I've also been thinking about potential star-gazing applications, however where I live I have a better chance of roaming the cosmos by seeking some drugs down the local nightclub.

Still though, thinking of the future and all that, won't be inner city life forever. We had a thread on RDF with amateur astronomy pics, some great ones were in there.
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Re: Getting into photography

#9  Postby LIFE » Mar 24, 2010 7:22 pm

Go with a digital SLR, either Nikon or Canon, you will not regret it.
I'm into photography for several years now, own a Nikon D70 myself, and used lenses are awesome :D
I'll give you a more detailed reply later this day, don't have much time right now... ;)
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Re: Getting into photography

#10  Postby pcCoder » Mar 24, 2010 7:25 pm

I've though about getting one myself. A local pawn shop has some Canon EOS Rebel-G cameras for sale (I think dSLR) for ~$150-$250. Is that a good deal?
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Re: Getting into photography

#11  Postby HughMcB » Mar 24, 2010 7:30 pm

Sounds like it to me, but I don't know the condition.

Here's a review: http://www.testfreaks.com/analog-slr-ca ... s-rebel-g/

But then again, what do I know?! :scratch:
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Re: Getting into photography

#12  Postby HughMcB » Mar 24, 2010 7:32 pm

LIFE wrote:Go with a digital SLR, either Nikon or Canon, you will not regret it.
I'm into photography for several years now, own a Nikon D70 myself, and used lenses are awesome :D
I'll give you a more detailed reply later this day, don't have much time right now... ;)

Cheers buddy, I might have a chat with you about trying to pick up a decent second hand lens. I do think I'll be going for a Nikon/Canon dSLR though.

Now all I've to do is find a good deal! :grin:
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Re: Getting into photography

#13  Postby Julia » Mar 24, 2010 7:51 pm

The_Metatron wrote:You could go analog. Get yourself a steam powered Pentax K1000, some B&W film, and set up your own darkroom.


That was my first ever SLR I got back in 1977. But I'm all digital these days. Too many advantages.
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Re: Getting into photography

#14  Postby Julia » Mar 24, 2010 7:53 pm

pcCoder wrote:I've though about getting one myself. A local pawn shop has some Canon EOS Rebel-G cameras for sale (I think dSLR) for ~$150-$250. Is that a good deal?


Is is body only? In good shape? Sounds good.
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Re: Getting into photography

#15  Postby Mononoke » Mar 24, 2010 8:01 pm

HughMcB wrote:Howdy peeps...

I'm looking for some advice on buying a new camera. I'm trying to dabble in some amateur photography and I want to make the leap from your standard digital piece of turd to a more serious bit of kit. I'm mainly looking for photographing landscapes as I do a lot of traveling and would like to document it on something other than my 7MP sony.

Obviously I'm not prepared to blow a small fortune on it (mainly if it all goes tits up) but I'm certainly not tight either, so I was thinking in the price range of $500-$1,000 (obviously closer to $500 preferable). I presume anything under the $500 isn't really worth looking at, but perhaps I could be wrong.

So come on all you photo junkies out there, get your tackle out and show me what you got and what you recommend.

Thanks in advance! :cheers:


The most important thing is not the camera, the lens is key here. Get a wide angle lenz, 35mm would be nice. And get one with image stabilization. you don't need a really fast lenz
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Re: Getting into photography

#16  Postby pcCoder » Mar 24, 2010 8:14 pm

Julia wrote:
pcCoder wrote:I've though about getting one myself. A local pawn shop has some Canon EOS Rebel-G cameras for sale (I think dSLR) for ~$150-$250. Is that a good deal?


Is is body only? In good shape? Sounds good.


The ones in the pawn shop all have the lens as well (not sure the specs on the lens though). I would check it out before even purchasing, but the pawn shop in question is pretty good at providing a 7 day warranty on items of that nature. They also have several other cameras and even a couple digital camcorders.
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Re: Getting into photography

#17  Postby ElDiablo » Mar 24, 2010 8:32 pm

HughMcB wrote:Sounds like it to me, but I don't know the condition.

Here's a review: http://www.testfreaks.com/analog-slr-ca ... s-rebel-g/

But then again, what do I know?! :scratch:


FYI - it's analog not digital. Also has a 3 point auto focus which is rather low. More points allow you to set the focal point to more areas without having to move the camera around and then move it back. For wide angle it's very useful to have more than 3 points for how I use the camera.
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Re: Getting into photography

#18  Postby pcCoder » Mar 25, 2010 3:59 am

Oh, thanks. Well I'm so used to digital now that film cameras just won't do. :(
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Re: Getting into photography

#19  Postby Animavore » Jun 08, 2014 8:40 pm

Check out this cool camera.

A most evolved electron.
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