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Old 04-20-2014, 13:17   #1
malleable
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Beginning photography?

God willing, I'll be retiring soon. I've always been drawn to photography and plan to take it up. Would a Nikon or Canon be
a better choice? I want something that's not overly difficult to learn on but that i can also grow into as i learn. I've been reading "Understanding Exposure" which is fascinating, but do you have any tips that could accelerate the learning curve or any advice?
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Old 04-20-2014, 13:46   #2
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Nikon or Canon is like Ford or Chevy. The choice is all yours.

Go to Costco and buy what they have. Spend under a grand and you'll be fine. Keep in mind it' not the camera that takes a good picture, it's the photographer.

Much like it's not the clubs that make a good golfer, it's the guy swinging them.
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Old 04-20-2014, 13:48   #3
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Given today's awesome technology, almost any name brand camera will do. Even if you start out with a Point and Shoot camera...

The important thing is to develop a vision of what you want the final image to look like. Then learn the technological means to get there.
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Old 04-20-2014, 14:00   #4
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Given today's awesome technology, almost any name brand camera will do. Even if you start out with a Point and Shoot camera...

The important thing is to develop a vision of what you want the final image to look like. Then learn the technological means to get there.
Pretty much. I sold off all my Canon DSLR stuff and just bought 2 Fuji Bridge cameras. Just buy something you and put in manual and control easily.
IF you go the DSLR route, go Nikon. Their flash set up seems better than the Canon ETTL system. Have fun.

Faster learning curve? Become a member of a photo forum, study their critiques and then attend a couple local weekend seminars and join a local photo club.
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Old 04-20-2014, 14:16   #5
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I've been a photographer since 1984. Was an early adopter of digital in 2000.

I've owned every major brand of camera, but was a Canon shooter from 2000 to 2011.

A friend recommended Sony for really Hi ISO shooting and for video. I bought a test camera and never looked back.

Sony A77 and A99 are two excellent cameras you can't go wrong with. The newest is now the A7r. ISO is now up to 25,600. The video and still samples are incredible!
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Old 04-20-2014, 14:47   #6
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Gear:

Nikon and Cannon are both great. Put money into "L" or "ED" glass instead of overbuying the body. Look into top end Sony and Fuji cameras also. Your style of shooting and subject will determine the type of camera and lenses you need.

Technical:

Take some classes at a local community college or university. Read books and watch tutorial videos. If you ned help ask someone, we like to share. And take the camera off all of the automatic and programmed modes. Learn to shoot manual. there are only four things you can control. ISO, shutter speed, aperture and focal length. Those four items are your craft. Learn them. All else is art. Craft first then art.

Artistic:

Make some friends who are good photographers. Photo groups, clubs pro photographers , galleries etc. Get a thick skin, burry your ego and have them critique your work and shoot again. the good part about digital is you can shoot all you want and not have the costs of film and you have the metadata to give you info on the image you took.

Rant:

Get it right in the camera. Learn to use the camera right and compose properly. This "shoot anything and fix it in photoshop later" attitude drives me nuts.
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Old 04-20-2014, 14:57   #7
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Something I never knew Is that camera places will also rent you lenses so there is no need to spend a ton to try different things .....

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Old 04-20-2014, 15:19   #8
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Originally Posted by JimBianchi View Post
I've been a photographer since 1984. Was an early adopter of digital in 2000.

I've owned every major brand of camera, but was a Canon shooter from 2000 to 2011.

A friend recommended Sony for really Hi ISO shooting and for video. I bought a test camera and never looked back.

Sony A77 and A99 are two excellent cameras you can't go wrong with. The newest is now the A7r. ISO is now up to 25,600. The video and still samples are incredible!
I like Sony better too... They have made Nikon's DSLR sensors for many years. They have Ben in a huge roll innovating like no other company. This video, staggered me. The technology just took a crazy leap forward. Watch this and tell me if your not amazed.

That said, it all comes down to sensor size. Educate yourself. Any high rated bridge camera (that means non detachable lens, configured like a DSLR) will be likely to exceed you skills for a while or simply be better for travel as an all in one. People that buy a DSLR and just leave the included lens on, generally are better off with a high end bridge camera.

IMO: the minimum sensor size is 2/3 and the step up from there the 1" are really good now. Better than a DSLR from a few years ago.

Once you get to 4/3 v APC or full frame sensors it's really about how many thousands of dollars you want in lenses.
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Old 04-20-2014, 15:21   #9
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Local club.
Just google photography club +local area. Show up.

Honestly, for 95% of what I shoot, I use my (top end) Canon PowerShot.
They're so freaking good now it's scary.

The only thing I really NEED my DSLR for is low-light action (indoor horse jumping) and ultra-wide angle stuff.

Here's a test...
One of these photos was taken with DSLR+ $2000 L-series stabilized lens, one with a PowerShot and one with an iPhone. Without digging into the exif data, guess which is which. (hard, ain't it?)

The Okie Corral

The Okie Corral

The Okie Corral
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Old 04-20-2014, 15:40   #10
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Any DSLR is good to start. If video is in your interests, get a Canon supported by MagicLantern. Otherwise, it is hard to go wrong.

I came into the thread to recommend "Understanding Exposure", but it looks like you have got it. Past that the most important thing is to DO it. The difference between a mediocre photographer and a great one isn't so much understanding the concepts as being able to apply them on demand. Go and take a LOT of photos in less than ideal conditions.

If you are planning on continuing, go ahead and invest in software to manage your photos. Lightroom will make a photographer's life so much easier. The hours and hours it saves are miraculous, and I'm only an occasional photographer.
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Old 04-20-2014, 15:53   #11
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Nikon or Canon = oranges or tangerines. Whatever your preference.

As already noted by others, camera bodies are secondary. Quality lens are primary.

Just a FYI. Seems the industry is moving towards being able (willing?) to sell full size sensors (35mm-because film in the analog days were 35mm frames) at "reasonable" prices. Currently, most non-pro digital SLR cameras use the smaller APS-C sensors.

I believe the downside with purchasing full sized sensor cameras is that lenses designed for APS-C sensors will not perform fully, thus requiring (perhaps) new lenses.

This may, or may not be an issue. Also, I don't know how many years in the future these full frame sensor cameras will actually become "reasonably" priced. It's an exciting prospect, though!
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Old 04-20-2014, 16:03   #12
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Past that the most important thing is to DO it. The difference between a mediocre photographer and a great one isn't so much understanding the concepts as being able to apply them on demand. Go and take a LOT of photos in less than ideal conditions.
Compared to film, this is the beauty of digital. With film, every frame taken (the film, the developing) cost money.

Look at other people's photos and learn from them. Angle, light, composition, what's in focus, what's out of focus, etc...


Quote:
If you are planning on continuing, go ahead and invest in software to manage your photos. Lightroom will make a photographer's life so much easier. The hours and hours it saves are miraculous, and I'm only an occasional photographer.
For some reason, every digital photo can benefit from a little touch up.
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Old 04-20-2014, 16:06   #13
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Do your research
Decide which features you want, and how much you are willing to pay
Find a store which stocks the cameras that have those feature
Handle the cameras; choose the camera which feels best in your hand

If you are planning to do post-processing (via Photoshop or whatever) you will probably want to take the pictures in "raw" format so you are able to tweak them as much as possible. Once the image has been saved as JPG, PNG, or whatever, your options are "limited".

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Old 04-20-2014, 16:07   #14
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I agree on the "Chevy vs Ford" thing, I was a Nikon shooter myself. As was mentioned, I feel their flash systems are a little better than Canon. Other than that, it's a wash IMO.

Try them both and see which you like better. Some find the Nikon controls more intuitive than Canon and vice versa.
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Old 04-20-2014, 16:34   #15
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Another advantage Nikon has over Canon is you can use any, even 20 year old, lenses.
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Old 04-20-2014, 17:15   #16
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Either one of these will get you started in the right direction

http://www.costco.com/Nikon-D3300-DS...100107159.html

http://www.costco.com/Canon-EOS-Rebe...100075344.html

both under a grand
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Old 04-20-2014, 17:29   #17
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Another advantage Nikon has over Canon is you can use any, even 20 year old, lenses.
Not entirely correct. Nikon's small frame digital cameras (D40/60/3000/5000 series) can only use Nikon's AF-S lenses if you want to use the auto focus feature.

The small body Nikon cameras (D40/60/3000/5000 series) do not have a focus motor built into the body. Other Nikon bodies have focus motors built into the bodies. All lenses prior to AF-S series used the camera body motor to focus.

AF-S lenses have their own build in focus motor. So they can used in the D40/60/3000/5000 bodies as well as other Nikon bodies. The downside is, AF-S lenses are much more expensive than non-AF-S lenses. And non AF-S lenses are (I think) no longer produced, but are available in used markets.
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Old 04-20-2014, 18:03   #18
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Yes, the lower end Nikons can't autofocus with the older/cheaper lenses. My niece found this out and was disappointed.

Nikon's flash system is superior, but Canon's newer flashes and cameras have caught up I believe.

Nikon has some really great zoom lenses, but they cost an arm and a leg.

Canon has some "cheap" super telephoto lenses that are F4. They also have a macro lens that I don't think has a Nikon equivalent.

Canon was the leader for video, but I think Nikon has closed the gap here.

Really, it's all about trade offs. There are some other good choices as well (EVIL cameras, Sony etc) but Canon and Nikon have lots of used gear available and their gear is easier to sell as well. Can be cheaper than renting or you could even make a profit if you do it right.
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Old 04-20-2014, 19:53   #19
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Maybe it is because I am old, but I learned alot more about photography with a manual film camera than I did from an automatic focus automatic exposure automatic flash digital camera. That said, film is certainly not inexpensive especially compared to digital images. And I am of an age when my first camera used 120 roll film, not 35mm. I am thinking now that a digital camera that has a manual exposure mode and possibly a manual focus mode might be good for learning. And take alot of photos.
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Old 04-20-2014, 19:59   #20
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I think Canon has a better selection of lenses in several different price categories. Canon and Nikon are both good. You can be a Nikon snob or a Canon devotee. :-) I like Canon, kinda goes along with our love of guns. LOL I have a full frame Canon 6D and love it, love it, love it.
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Old 04-20-2014, 20:21   #21
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Maybe it is because I am old, but ...I am thinking now that a digital camera that has a manual exposure mode and possibly a manual focus mode might be good for learning. And take alot of photos.
A decent dSLR will allow you to use manual mode so you control everything like you did with a film camera. If you take the photo in "raw" format you can use software to "develop" the image.
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Old 04-20-2014, 20:41   #22
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OP, as you can see asking "which camera to buy", is like asking "which gun to buy".

The answer is always, "the right one for you". When you're first starting out (shooting, skiing, golfing, taking pictures, riding bikes, welding, riding motorcycles... ), buy what you want because it will out perform you.

Not to mention it doesn't really matter, because if you're serious you'll end up buying another one, and another one, and another one...
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Old 04-20-2014, 21:02   #23
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OP, as you can see asking "which camera to buy", is like asking "which gun to buy".

The answer is always, "the right one for you". When you're first starting out (shooting, skiing, golfing, taking pictures, riding bikes, welding, riding motorcycles... ), buy what you want because it will out perform you.

Not to mention it doesn't really matter, because if you're serious you'll end up buying another one, and another one, and another one...
What he said. Truer words were never spoken.
You can spend over $6,000.00 on a camera body, and Canon has lens that cost over $25,000.00.
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Old 04-20-2014, 21:33   #24
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God willing, I'll be retiring soon. I've always been drawn to photography and plan to take it up. Would a Nikon or Canon be
a better choice? I want something that's not overly difficult to learn on but that i can also grow into as i learn. I've been reading "Understanding Exposure" which is fascinating, but do you have any tips that could accelerate the learning curve or any advice?
First set of questions to help me help you:
1. What do you want to take pictures of?
2. Do you think you will sell pictures and/or make money at this hobby? (Or is this just exploration/learning and personal use?)
3. Does size/weight matter? i.e. I have a 50-500mm lens. I do not carry it very far because it weighs a ton and is HUGE.
4. Do you have any friends who are already into this hobby? I went Nikon because my father had a Nikon. I have loaned lenses to friends and received phone calls when they get stuck.


5. Have you already made a decision and just want us to back you up OR are you open to having us help you pick the right gear for you? Watch out for the people who recommend what they have without getting the entire picture of what you need.
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Old 04-20-2014, 21:40   #25
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The answer is always, "the right one for you". When you're first starting out (shooting, skiing, golfing, taking pictures, riding bikes, welding, riding motorcycles... ), buy what you want because it will out perform you.

Not to mention it doesn't really matter, because if you're serious you'll end up buying another one, and another one, and another one...
To an extent I agree with you, BUT....
You can easily dump a lot of money into something and realize that it isn't what you need in a week or month. This can be done by buying something that is too big/small/complicated/lacking THE feature.....

If I can help walk him into the right setup for him, he will not be lacking for a couple years and by then the technology will improve and....he will understand what he uses and be able to buy a better setup for himself.
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