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Old 06-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Beginner Photography Recommendation

Well I pmed a couple people here who I know are knowledgeable in this dept., but I figured I would open it up to the masses.

I am looking to get into photography, never used anything more than a point and shoot camera and I am just never satisfied with what I see. I will be heading off to college (large campus, lots of "pretty" views) so I feel that this would be a good time to get into photographing. My budget for a digital slr camera is maxed out at about $350, maybe a little more if a gun will sell. Do you have a specific camera/lens combo you could recommend for this budget? I will most likely be purchasing this off eBay but have no idea where to even begin.

Any recommendations would be considered and greatly appreciated! Help me make this first experience a pleasant one!

Thank you!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ive found lots of canon 30D's on craiglist here for 275-350...
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I picked up a decent used Canon T3 for $350, with everything it came with as new. While I am not a pro by any means, I have been messing around with the stock lens and taken some okay pictures so far.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I like my 30D, nice and solid camera. The bonus of getting a camera like that is the extra knobs to make adjustments rather than buttons.

Also if you want to learn more about photography, a film SLR where you have to set the aperture and shutter speed can be a good learning tool. Lotsa good film SLRs for cheap too.
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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a film SLR where you have to set the aperture and shutter speed can be a good learning tool. Lotsa good film SLRs for cheap too.
problem with that is film and developing add up when learning..

you dont get instant results and dont know if you screwed up that once in a lifetime shot untill you get your film back when the shot is long gone.
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Old 06-26-2012, 02:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I suggest the book "understanding exposure," the authors name escapes me.

I have not been paying as much attention to the used market, but I think you'd be better off going with a used rebel series than a used X0d series camera. The 30d, while nice, is pretty old and I think the sensor in a newer rebel would outperform it.
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you don't have much of a budget and already have a camera, maybe you just need to learn to take good photos first instead of getting more expensive equipment.

Some interesting links to check out. Especially the 2nd one. It has some crazy examples of point and shoot photo quality.
How to Make Great Photographs

Your Camera Doesn't Matter
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you don't have much of a budget and already have a camera, maybe you just need to learn to take good photos first instead of getting more expensive equipment.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am sure your college has a photography club with a blackroom and all the film chemicals and what not, you should check it out, as for a camera I really enjoy and have had great results from my Nikon D40 which is an "entry" level DSLR. You could also look into Micro 4/3rd camera systems.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Be warned, if you thought Paintball was in anyway expensive, photography is even more so. Watch out for glass addiction.

After you get a camera and a lens, you're going to find that the lens either isn't wide enough, long enough, or fast enough, and then you are going to want to buy a few more. You'll possibly start off trying to save money buying "Slow" glass, with focal ratios of f/4 or slower, and eventually you'll wander into somewhere dark, and start wishing for something more along the lines of f/1.8 or 1.4... So you scrap together the cash and buy better glass.

Eventually you'll likely start reading about lighting, and off camera flashes. So you'll go out and buy some strobes, stands, and maybe cheap out going with a wired or optical setup. You'll also find yourself wanting to buy different light modifiers to go with your lighting gear. Sooner or later, if you keep up with it, you'll find yourself getting frustrated with your flash controls, and you'll read up about things like the wireless pocket wizards, which you can be lucky to get for $200 a piece, and you'll probably want a spare as well.

And don't forget the gear bags! Your first will be great at the start. You'll love it, but then you'll find little things about it you don't like. A pocket isn't where you really want it to be, it doesn't hold the lenses in the shape and order you want, so you start looking online, and sooner or later you find you have a closet with half a dozen gear bags fitting all the different types of photography you get into, ranging from one or two lenses for a light walk around setup, to hard sided cases to pack all your lighting gear in for when you go on vacation.

Then one day, years from now, you open your closet and start going through the numbers in your head, and you've spent five, ten, twenty, forty grand in photography supplies...


And then you'll smile to yourself, because you see that you made it this far without the wife killing you by beating your head in with your tripod. (Oh, don't forget you'll likely buy yourself a few tripods. Don't cheap out on them.)


But you have nothing to fear. Just keep the risks in mind before venturing into the hobby. Save up, but the best gear your budget allows, and avoid temptation of getting the cheapest possible. If you buy good glass to use on your cheap starter camera, then it is still good glass if you find yourself upgrading to a better camera later on, or losing interest and selling everything off.
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