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Thread: Which SLR Camera to start with for newbie?Pls help!

  1. #21
    Midnight
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    Good advice. I also learnt the ropes through digital photography. I did get involved with film photography briefly many years ago but didn't quite have the patience to delve into it back then, and it took a digital camera to rekindle the shutterbug in me several years later. This is not a film vs digital argument, but I think most people would agree that the learning curve is a lot less steep (not to mention more psychologically rewarding) with digital compared to film. Just my S$0.02's worth.

  2. #22

    Wink

    Originally posted by Eric
    I agree very much with Andre that practice makes perfect. I guess a lot of the choice whether you start with film or digicam depends on how you learn best.

    I had been thinking about learning more about photography for more than 5 years. Considered getting an SLR a few times over that period. In the end, I bought a digicam.

    My problem is that I'm not a very good or patient learner. If I need to make an adjustment, write it down in my notebook, and then wait 1-2 days for the film to come out to see the results, I loose interest very quickly. Some people can learn like that, I cannot. Some people like the anticipation of waiting for the film to be developed. I'm too impatient.

    I need immediate feedback. Take a picture of a sunset and meter on the sun - oops, everything else is too dark. Try meter on foreground - better but now sky is too bright. Try meter on sky - much better I find it much easier to learn this way. I blew about 80 exposures on a sunset (bracketed every shot). But after that, I got a much better feel of what I was doing wrong, and I didn't cost me anything on film or developing. The best shot turned out a little under-exposed. Nevermind, adjust the levels a bit in photoshop. Now at least nice enough to develop into a photo and paste on my office cubicle Motivation to carry on shooting.

    Working on composition is also easier on PC. I generally shoot slightly wider and then crop on PC. Many helpful comments from others like, "maybe if you go for tighter crop...", "what if you put the subject on the right side of the photo", etc. Open photoshop and try it out. As I slowly get better, I tend to need to adjust the composition less.

    Of course I'm still just a newbie (only had my camera for 2 months), but I'm sure I would be even greener if I started on an SLR.

    Good luck, Hyde! You should choose something you will be comfortable learning with. Something that matches your learning style. A pro with a kiddy camera can easily best a kiddy with a pro camera.
    Well, actually it's best to start off with film, if you really want to do photography.

    With an SLR (film), you start off with the basics: aperture priority, shutter priority, program modes, manual modes, etc... AND from there, you get familiar with these modes and can do without the basic modes.
    From there, you can save and save and get better lenses in the future, zoom lens, macro lens, prime lenses...

    Digital cameras (NOT those DSLRs), on the other hand, are no doubt easy to use, YES, you can take wonderful lovely photos with it, but you do not really learn the skills of photography. Also, Photoshop *may* become your good friend...

    But then again, if you have got the cash, AND want to learn photography the digital way, the DSLR is the way to go. Then from there, you'll probably learn that Photoshop is really your best friend
    With the DSLR, you dont have to wait for any film negatives to be developed, as everything can be done on your computer.

    NOTE: do take note that the Digital camera is a consumer camera. The DSLR is an Digital SLR that is far more superior than any digital camera. They are not the same, do not get confused by this fact.

    Approx prices:
    Decent Canon/Nikon SLR model = ~S$400 - S$800
    Decent Digital Camera (at least 3 megapixels) = ~S$500++++
    DSLR model = ~S$2800 - S$8000+

    Hope the above would help in making your decision...

  3. #23

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    One more thing I wanna add and this is IMHO:

    With film photography, everytime your negatives are developed, you see the good results, you will feel very contented.

    Whereas with digital, if the shot isn't nice, you shoot and reshoot, until you get something you want.

    That's also one of the differences that I wish to point out.

    Cheers.

  4. #24

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    Cool...Hear many feedback from you guys from diff kind of views...
    Think I had decided to get a beginner SLR camera 1st.
    If I happen to have spare cash to spend next time, I'll try to get a digital cam then.
    Seems like many of you guys here owned a Nikon or Canon SLR camera.
    Now the qns back to the square one again,I have to decide on which SLR camera I should get for myself 1st.hehe.
    As for a budget from 300-500, izzit possible to get a nice begginer SLR camera or izzit better off to look for 2nd hand SLR camera.
    Sorry I seems to ask back the same old qns from the start of the thread but just make myself decide on wat should I get so once my payday come, I'll know wat to go for.

  5. #25

    Talking

    Originally posted by hyde
    Cool...Hear many feedback from you guys from diff kind of views...
    Think I had decided to get a beginner SLR camera 1st.
    If I happen to have spare cash to spend next time, I'll try to get a digital cam then.
    Seems like many of you guys here owned a Nikon or Canon SLR camera.
    Now the qns back to the square one again,I have to decide on which SLR camera I should get for myself 1st.hehe.
    As for a budget from 300-500, izzit possible to get a nice begginer SLR camera or izzit better off to look for 2nd hand SLR camera.
    Sorry I seems to ask back the same old qns from the start of the thread but just make myself decide on wat should I get so once my payday come, I'll know wat to go for.
    Well, I hope the rest don't flame me for posting this message
    If you want to get a Canon SLR system, the EOS 300 should be good enough for you. The kit (body+lens) comes with a USM version zoom lens, and that's pretty good for beginners.
    *USM = ultra sonic motor*

    For Nikon, well, I'll leave it for the Nikonians to do the talking :P

  6. #26

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    Personally thinking of getting a Good SLR Camera to start off on my film adventure. Looking at EOS 30 / 300 / 500 to start off, but limited by my budget of 300-450 with lens.

    I believe a mint condition EOS500 should be in my range, but would like to hear more from people who had used it before. Or should i look at another model altogether?

    Anyone?
    Last edited by misato; 2nd August 2002 at 01:33 AM.

  7. #27

    Talking My 30c worth of comments...

    Originally posted by misato
    Personally thinking of getting a Good SLR Camera to start off on my film adventure. Looking at EOS 500N or EOS 30 to start off, but limited by my budget of 300-450 with lens.

    I believe a mint condition EOS500 should be in my range, but would like to hear more from people who had used it before. Or should i look at another model altogether?

    Anyone?
    Well, the EOS 500N utilises a plastic mount whereas the EOS 30 (a different class model) uses a metal mount.
    You might wanna take this into mind because if you change lenses frequently, the plastic mount might wear out faster than the metal lens mount of the EOS 30.

    I've tried out the 500N before and only recently the EOS 30... and I have to say this... I love the EOS 30! The Eye-Control Focus (ECF) is cool, although most people will say that it is redundant :P

    Okok. The 500N is a pretty old model and if you wanna go for it, I would suggest you get the EOS 300 instead. The EOS 300 kit comes with a USM lens, I believe.

    Both cameras come with 7-point Autofocus system. And also has a Depth-of-Field button.

    For the EOS 30, it's more for the serious photographer in mind. It even has a 2nd jog-wheel dial at the back of the camera.
    Also, the EOS 30 offers a max 4 FPS, which IMHO, is "damn solid"!

    The EOS 30 comes with a "partial" Aluminium-built body, and from reviews I've read, it's pretty sturdy.
    The EOS 500 (or 300) comes with a silver/black plastic body which scratches easily.

    Last but not least, the price difference for the 500N (or 300) is about HALF of the EOS 30.

    I believe after you have read my post, the difference is clear enough. Else, head down to the shop, and try both models (or other models). Reading reviews of the camera is not good enough, you've gotta feel it to feel the difference!

  8. #28
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    How about the new Nikon F55 ? Cost $499.00 with 28-80 MM G lens. Probably can get cheaper at AP / CP.
    Pentaxian for life ! My Webby
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  9. #29

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    Thanks for the feedback, I believe the EOS 30 would be a very good choice, now is to find out the price for a mint condition one. Most importantly, it must be able to fit into my budget.

    Realistically speaking, my best bet would be with the EOS 300. As for the F55, after looking through the specification, i feel that its a little too entry a level a SLR for my use. Maybe the F65 might be a better choice, however its harder to find a used F65 than a EOS300.

  10. #30

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    btw, those lens that came with the camera (Kit lens) are usually no value because the quality is usually very bad.

    so , u might need upgrade to a better lens, 2nd hand will do. but that would be later.

  11. #31

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    Originally posted by ninelives
    but consider film slr camera is an investment. not to forget u need to buy negative film($4), process and develop it($10).
    Well, if you shoot digital and want to print the images out, that's not cheap either.
    (void *) &NHY;

  12. #32

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    Originally posted by Eric
    With digital, a learner can get immediate feedback on how changing variables affect the outcome of the photo.
    The downside is, this may make the person rely on the trial-and-error process too much.

    How long are you going to use this crutch? When will you be confident enough to turn off the LCD and _visualise_?
    (void *) &NHY;

  13. #33
    Jerome
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    Originally posted by andretan


    Well, actually it's best to start off with film, if you really want to do photography.

    With an SLR (film), you start off with the basics: aperture priority, shutter priority, program modes, manual modes, etc... AND from there, you get familiar with these modes and can do without the basic modes.
    From there, you can save and save and get better lenses in the future, zoom lens, macro lens, prime lenses...

    Digital cameras (NOT those DSLRs), on the other hand, are no doubt easy to use, YES, you can take wonderful lovely photos with it, but you do not really learn the skills of photography. Also, Photoshop *may* become your good friend...

    Hope the above would help in making your decision...
    Yup, agree. I find starting off with film helps one appreciate better photography. I started with film when digital was very new or unheard of. Given a choice, I'd start all over again with films. Well, lemme see... it's like if you know how to play the piano, switching to an electronic keyboard is a breeze and you appreciate it very quickly. But I don't think it works vice versa.

    With films, you appreciate exposure even better and you'll tend to want to explore the different terminologies of photography like aperture, shutter speed etc. With digital, there is a tendency you'll shoot and reshoot till you get the shot you want. As a beginner, there is a tendency all you are concerned with is the final image. Of cos, I view this as an advantage now (given my many years of experience with films) but I don't think so for a beginner. To put it bluntly, I think it's a lazy way to learn photography. And of those friends I know who own digicams, although they have the Av, Tv, modes on their cams, hardly anyone would bother trying them out much or at least understanding the little details about such technical aspects.

    OTOH, if you simply want to take pictures with instant feedback, carry ard a not too big cam and not worry about the technical stuffs of photography, a consumer digital cam such as the Canon S or A series or Nikon Coopix 775, 2000, Olympus, Minolta... and such is the best way to go!

  14. #34
    Eric
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    Originally posted by nhyone

    The downside is, this may make the person rely on the trial-and-error process too much.

    How long are you going to use this crutch? When will you be confident enough to turn off the LCD and _visualise_?
    Think of this objectively. When you are learning, you take a picture and wait for the film to be developed. Then you see where you went wrong so next time you do better. This is also trial-and-error. Digital just speeds this up a little.

    Turn off the LCD and _visualize_? I don't understand this part. Why can't someone _visualize_ when using the LCD? Like saying when will you ignore DOF preview and _visualize_?

  15. #35
    Eric
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    Originally posted by Jerome


    Well, lemme see... it's like if you know how to play the piano, switching to an electronic keyboard is a breeze and you appreciate it very quickly. But I don't think it works vice versa.

    I like your analogy about the electric keyboard. I prefer a slightly different analogy. Before computers became popular, most people used typewriters. If you can type flawlessly on a manual keyboard, you will have an easy time typing on a computer. I'm pretty ok on the computer, but I cannot complete a letter on a manual typewriter cos I make too many mistakes. Finish a whole bottle of correction fluid also not enough. Now, if you want to learn, which would you choose to start on?

    Digital IS a lazy way to learn. That's why I like it I've owned a Canon G2 for about 2 months and already I've gone through more than 1000 exposures (and only on weekends). Sure, if I have shot 1000 exposures on film, I may have improved more, but I'm not sure how long that would take (and how much it would cost). I respect all of you who have paid your dues and did it the hard way.

    In the end, photography is about getting the image in your head transformed into an image in your camera. The camera is just a tool.

    Whether you type on computer or typewriter doesn't matter, as long as your story can flow from your heart to the paper (or monitor)

  16. #36

    Default Re: My 30c worth of comments...

    the EOS 300 does not come with a USM kit lens. the lens is the EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 driven by a DC motor.

    P.S. i have an EOS 300 kit for sale.
    Last edited by mervlam; 2nd August 2002 at 11:30 PM.

  17. #37

    Wink Re: Re: My 30c worth of comments...

    Originally posted by mervlam
    the EOS 300 does not come with a USM kit lens. the lens is the EF 28-90mm f/4-5.6 driven by a DC motor.

    P.S. i have an EOS 300 kit for sale.
    Dunno about you but some shops I've been to are offering a USM lens... so I thought it was standardised

  18. #38

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    Originally posted by Eric
    ...... Like saying when will you ignore DOF preview and _visualize_?
    when one is day dreaming?

  19. #39

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    Originally posted by art2d2
    How about the new Nikon F55 ? Cost $499.00 with 28-80 MM G lens. Probably can get cheaper at AP / CP.
    although the 55 is new, it does not support TTL with external flash ! it is not compatible with all the new Nikon lenses VR - Vibration Reduction !

  20. #40
    Cleophas
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    Well, with a small budget I would recommend borrowing an SLR from somebody to start off first while you save up. Ask around from friends and relatives (or the photography club at school for a loaner if you're still a student). You may be pleasently supprised to find an uncle or somebody you know who has a SLR lying around unused for years.( happened to me when I first started! Pentax K1000 )

    The reason I suggest this is because if you are to get a very cheap camera you may regret it down the road. It cost alot to 'change' system when your skills out grow the camera and you may find trying to get rid of the cheap camera for an upgrade too much a hassel.

    From what I see now, I suggest saving up for the F80S for the Nikon system or the EOS30/33 from Canon the best choices. If you really can't find a SLR to loan for the time being, borrow a Point & Shoot camera and start shooting anyway. Even when using a P&S you need to understand the basics such as composition, back-lighting, red eyes, film speeds and stuff.

    Have Fun!! )

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