Where to start?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by bigdavecox90, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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    Looking at getting into photography.

    Have recently had a really keen interest in browsing photography forums and posts of different peoples work online.

    What type of camera should I be looking for? What is a reasonable amount to spend?

    Any advice welcome :)
     
  2. twist

    twist
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    You really need to consider a budget first. We cant tell you what you can/t afford.
     
  3. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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    Maybe around £300. Would this be reasonable?
     
  4. twist

    twist
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    Id say its a good start, what will the intended use be? Daylight, mostly indoors, landscape, portrait etc.

    Perhaps link some of your favourite photos to give us an idea of what youd like to achieve.
     
  5. snerkler

    snerkler
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    This might be a good place to start.

    Camera Buying Guide | AVForums

    First thing to decide is whether you want a camera you don't need to swap lenses or not? Then you need to decide if image quality is everything, or if portability is more important.
     
  6. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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    I'd say varied use.

    I'd like to get out and about really. Live on the coast so down the beach and countryside I guess.
     
  7. twist

    twist
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    Okay. Do you want to post some examples of pics you'd like to take?
     
  8. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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  9. twist

    twist
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    Most cameras will do that. As long as you can control the shutter speed. It's not as easy as it looks to take a nice image like that but you'll learn along the way which is most of the fun. Could need a tripod for slow shutters, do you mind carrying one?
     
  10. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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    Not at all, I fully understand I can't just walk outside and take pictures like that.

    All comes with a bit of practice I guess!
     
  11. twist

    twist
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    Brb.
     
  12. snerkler

    snerkler
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    FTFY ;)

    Okay, as twist says, most cameras can give you those shots as they have very large depth of field (DOF), ie everything is in focus. Are you also interested in shots where DOF is very shallow such as this?

    Lisanne with blue Hair | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Morning has broken | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    [​IMG]
    DSC00451
    by TDG-77, on Flickr


    If you also want shallow DOF then you need a camera with a larger sensor, which would be your CSC's and DSLR's. At your budget of circa £300 I'd strongly recommend the Nikon D3200 if you want to buy new. You'd struggle to find anything a great deal 2nd hand tbh imo. If you could get a 2nd hand Nikon D5200 for a similar price this is definitely worth considering though. Here's a few sample pics with the D5200
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=nikon d5200 f2.8

    Remember though, if you get a camera with interchangeable lens it can soon get VERY expensive as you constantly want to get better and better lenses. For example, the nikon 17-55mm f2.8 will set you back over a grand. You can of course get a 3d party one which will be cheaper, but they're still not cheap.

    I'm not saying that you should get Nikon btw, just that if you want a new starter DSLR circa £300 the D3200 is a cracking option.
     
  13. redboy1

    redboy1
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    I'm far from a photographer but I'm just starting to have a dabble like yourself.
    I went for this bridge camera Fujifilm X-S1 Digital Camera 3 inch Tiltable LCD: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

    I haven't been able to use it much as I'm pretty busy and also the weather ain't been up to much. What I can say is its got loads of settings, solid build quality and can take great pics.
    Most reviews are 5* And pics took with this camera can be seen here in some threads Fujifilm FinePix Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
    Just an option :smashin:
     
  14. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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    Thanks for the advice so far. I will indeed be looking at a range of close ups also, I really want to just get into it and have a play with Photoshop etc to improve the pictures.

    I must say I have looked at the Nikon, any advice on where's best to buy?
     
  15. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Amazon and Wex are generally cheap and safe to use, but also hunt around to see if there's any cashback offers. If you use one of the cheap Hong Kong sites just be wary of grey imports.
    Shops like London camera exchange and Harrisons Cameras do second hand cameras, and Im sure there's others. Then there's eBay of course, which you can find bargains but have to use with caution
     
  16. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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  17. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    You'll get quite a decent used cam for around £300.
    As you've been looking in forums etc, you'll probably have a rough idea for what you might like...right?
    Have a look in the classifieds here:-
    Digital Camera & Camcorder Classifieds | AVForums
     
  18. bigdavecox90

    bigdavecox90
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    Indeed I will, thanks for the link.
     
  19. bobbymax

    bobbymax
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    Add it to your "watch" thread. ;)
     
  20. bwfc0907

    bwfc0907
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    Sorry to hijack but my 12 year old daughter is showing a real interest in photography (and it appeals to me as her dad) as described in this thread and for similar photos to those in the link.

    The D3200 looks ideal to start. What would be the best lens to get with it for her to start taking the photos similar to those in this thread. I assume the one in the kit would be of little use? (I know nothing at this stage)

    Also am I better staying away from grey imports?

    Regards
     
  21. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Kit lenses are fine to start with, you just need to know their limitations such as they will let less light in than a faster lens (bigger aperture/lower f-stop), and IQ won't be as good as a mid to top end lens. If you can get a 'kit' with a constant f2.8 aperture short zoom lens, something like a 17-50mm, this will stand you in much better stead IMO.

    Grey imports are an individual thing. I personally stay away as the money I'd save on the items I've looked at wouldn't outweigh the 'worry'.
     
  22. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    Best to start off with the kit 18-55 (or similar depending on brand) - IQ will be perfectly acceptable to start with for a beginner. Once you get a better feel for the focal length most commonly used you can look to ugrade or add to the lenses owned - e.g 50mm F1.8 "Nifty Fifty" or perhaps a longer zoom if wanting more "reach"
     
  23. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Another thing to consider is that I'm assuming that your 12 year old daughter won't be overly strong and a DSLR with high end lens can get quite weighty. Kit lenses tend to be much lighter and maybe more suitable until she gets a bit older. Just a thought :smashin:
     
  24. missinglink

    missinglink
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    Just to thrown in a few thoughts...DSLR cameras are not the only types of camera to consider for those wanting to initially venture beyond casual snapshots.

    Compact System Cameras are less bulky and sometimes forsake a viewfinder by doing away with the internal mirror system which bounces the image to the viewfinder. This mirror system does not contribute to the image quality - only a means to frame and set-up the shot (for some, this is an integral part of taking photos though).

    If you are happy to use the LCD screen on the back only, then many CSC cameras have sensors exactly the same size as those found in DSLRs. CSCs have interchangeable lenses.

    The single most important factor to image quality is sensor size (physical size NOT number of pixels!)

    I'll add in a suggestion to check out: have a look at Fujifilm's X-A1 (Amazon UK £350 ish).
    It has the same sensor size as the Nikon D3200 (also a good choice).

    The sensor is large - APSC size i.e. (much larger than a compact camera or smart phone)

    This fuji camera comes with a 16-55mm kit lens and there are offers on at the moment re: either cashback or claiming a free lens of higher quality.

    I've got the Fuji X-M1 which is very similar. I moved up from a compact camera after learning much of the techniques and settings.

    The fujis are very compact but have superb quality. They have settings from idiot proof point-and-shoot right through to full manual.
    The out-of -camera images (jpegs) are excellent for those who do not want to spend hours developing them on a computer.

    Perhaps the poster with the 12yr old might find this worth investigating.
     
  25. snerkler

    snerkler
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    CSC's are definitely worth considering, and many do actually come with viewfinders. Personally I think viewfinders are essential for a few reasons (stabilising the camera, and being able to see in bright light are just 2) but I'm sure others will have a different opinion.

    One thing to note though is that AF speed of CSC's in this price range might not compete with DSLR imo, and I'm not sure that noise levels will either (although the X-A1 is supposed to have very good noise handling). I'm sure Twist be along to correct me though if I'm wrong ;). The X-A1 is certainly a good choice if you don't mind the lack of viewfinder though. Maybe they'll release a clip on viewfinder if they haven't already.
     
  26. missinglink

    missinglink
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    One other thought in response to the OP, Photoshop (or similar) cannot rescue a bad photo, although it can improve some aspects.

    The better the quality of the initial shot, the more you will be able to do with it although for most getting it right out 'in the field' is a joy.

    Personally, I hate trying to alter shots on a computer beyond cropping and perhaps sharpening. Although some folk love the artistic side of computer editing.

    Once you've got your basic gear, learn as much as you can about technique which will help you decide on buying future gear (especially lenses).

    After that you'll be hooked as photography is so addictive and great fun as well as an accessible skill.
     
  27. snerkler

    snerkler
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    My editing is because I'm a control freak and want the colours to look how I want them and not how the camera wants them to look :blush: ;) Besides, I know what the shot 'should' have looked like :)
     
  28. bwfc0907

    bwfc0907
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    Hi guys
    Thanks for the replies.

    Managed to get out and about this morning to look and get a feel for the cameras. Even my wife is getting interested.
    As a personal preference I would like a view finder and having a play with a few I do like to Nikon so am considering a D3200 kit. I would prefer the D5200 though, is it worth the extra money?

    I will spend some time reading the sticky from Snerkler as I know nothing about photography. I did buy a great app last night called DSLR by Betterbook to give me the basics.

    Still unsure the difference with a grey import as some companies appear to pay the VAT. Are there other issues?

    Any other thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
     
  29. twist

    twist
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    Grey - Positive, Cheap, BUT youre dodging tax (a moral choice). Main negative/s, if they go bust youre screwed for warranty, you may need to ship back to HK for repairs, wether you pay for postage depends on retailer, this can cost up to 60 quid insured, so bye bye saving, plus you may end up waiting for an extra 2-4 weeks for repairs due to shipping/returns, add that to repairs and thats around 8 weeks turn around. Pays ya money.... Often UK retailers do cashback offers which match grey prices so youre better off going that way imho.

    Up to you but at least you can make an informed decision now.
     
  30. bwfc0907

    bwfc0907
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    Thanks. Warranty matters to me so will stay away from grey.
     

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