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Thread: Big help needd.which camera and where to buy. i like to learn phototaking, course?

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Big help needd.which camera and where to buy. i like to learn phototaking, course?

    hi. i just new here. last time during poly i din have time to take up photography. but i have passion in this hobbby. i like to seriously learn abt it.

    i don have any camera. could anyone of u advise mi? other then this where can i buy it at a more reasonable price.

    meanwhile i would like to also take up work shop or course to certify myself too.

    i hope that eventually i can do model shootin and wedding shooting for pple.

    i love to catch happi moment of pple. pls give mi as much info and feedback. thks so much

  2. #2

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    I would suggest the following;

    1)Go digital instantly. Get a DSLR[most reasonable models that come to mind are 300D(less than 1k second hand) or D70(cant remember, but should be between 1k-1.5k second hand)] and some lenses, shoot like mad and post your shots here for critique. I'm sure many CSers would be willing to give you pointers. Take note of them and apply them to future shots.

    2)Get a manual film SLR(nikon FM series is a good choice and should cost you less than 500 second hand). This has next to no automation(except perhaps the built in light meter for some) and presents an extremely steep learning curve for photography. You will learn quickly about aperture, shutter speed and exposure quickly out of necessity. It will definitely make you technically very sound. Composition and capturing moments will have to come from experience.
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  3. #3

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    i suggest you go to the library or borders to read up more books on digital photography before buying a camera hastily. Like what stoned said, there're a lot of things to learn. you won't want to spend too much on a camera and then find that it's functions are useless to you, or worse, get a camera which too limited manual features to play with.

  4. #4

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    hmmph... suggest go and get a NIkon FM2 with a decent lens to learn the fundamentals of photography, before going into digital.

  5. #5

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    Get an Fm2 or F80 to start with... can always use them as backup when u get a dslr in the future.

  6. #6

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    film camera need not always choose manual.

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    Default reply to stone,asturia105,macfreak,alchemist,user111

    stone=thks for such reply. your advice is gd. but i have some question more lilke. for you, if i was to buy the manual nikon does it mean that it will reduce the number of shoot as i need to buy a lot of film and to develop is costly.

    would it be better for mi to buy the dslr as i can learn to take photo unlimitedly. however, like wad asturia105 i should not jump and buy a camera before knowing wad i need.

    another question too! i have enrolled to any course. do u guy recommend any course for mi to start with? should i buy before taking up the class or should i buy a camera after i take up the class?

    macfreak,alchemist,user111 seems to encourage mi to go for manual cam first before buying a dslr.

    should i get nikon fm first?????

  8. #8
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    You need not join a course ... in fact most of us learn without any formal training ... you just need to mix with the right crowd and join some meaningful photoshoots!

  9. #9

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    If you feel better by taking a course.

    Try courses offered by PSS (Photographic Society of singapore) located in Selegie Rd, opposite the Paradise Center.
    If you have a UOB credit/debit card, you can take the courses at Member prices w/o signing up to be a Member.

    just Open a Savings a/c at any UOB (free), and apply for a UOB debit Mini (also free lifetime membership) then apply for the courses at member prices w/o paying the Orindary membership fees of S$40.

    http://www.pss1950.org/programs.php


    While a DSLR is good, cos u can take and take shots w/o ever needing to go develop, and as a begineer, "bad shots" are common, so u can delete....
    It is certainly not a "Everyone can afford" price

    for a low start up cost a 2nd hand camera shld be a nice starter.

    you can either choose a manual Film one like FM2..etc or a simpler low end auto film like F55 or so, just to understand the basics and move on from there.
    a F55 w/ kit lens, shld be dirt cheap 2nd hand I believe.
    Just dont get dis-heartened if u dont get a lot of good shots at the start.
    Neither did i...then again, I still dont get good shots now..lol

    A manual Film camera is supposed to be a good beginning camera as it doesnt have automated modes and everything from the Focus, to film advance and metering ..etc is done by the photographer.

    Then again, turning an auto film camera to "M-mode" and setting it to manual focus, shld achieve the similar effect, except the Film advance is automated and so is the Film Rewind.



    Regarding your question...

    "Do I need to own a camera before I join the Society?

    This is based on personal preference. The Society, besides organizing photographic outing trips, it also organizes courses, talks, workshops and exhibition to enable the members to widen their knowledge and scope. Cameras are not needed at these activities.

    However, it is advisable that members own their personal camera so that they can practice what they have learnt. At the end of the day, it is all about practice to perfection."

    I will suggest a F75 or so camera, as it CAN BE set to manual if u wish to learn things manually or set to PRogram mode, when you dont want to bother with focusing while shooting something.
    Last edited by Winston; 23rd January 2005 at 11:05 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangxie
    stone=thks for such reply. your advice is gd. but i have some question more lilke. for you, if i was to buy the manual nikon does it mean that it will reduce the number of shoot as i need to buy a lot of film and to develop is costly.

    would it be better for mi to buy the dslr as i can learn to take photo unlimitedly. however, like wad asturia105 i should not jump and buy a camera before knowing wad i need.
    I disagree a DSLR is the 1st step to learning photography.
    While I agree that using film, you have to pay for rolls of films and developing costs. You shldn't be wasting rolls and rolls of film w/o learning some basics. unless u plan on using P-mode all the time.

    If you depend on Shooting More and Correcting shots, I dont think thats a good way to learn.

    I have seen people shoot 10,000 shots on a D100 or other DSLR and yet not understand basics like F-stops, Exposures...

    Its just plain Trigger-happy, In this case, its shutter-happy.

    Sounds more like BUYING a CAR, to learn Driving, instead of learning Driving and buying a Car later.

  11. #11
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    Seriously, if you like to know what a self learn shooter like me thinks please read on.


    Digital cameras are kind of an electronic product nowadays. The technology will "never be ending", due to the need to get the most from end consumers. Now that you do not know anything much about photography, I would rather you get something simple to try out first. Photography is very tiring, when I bring my SLR walking along the street for hours, it really spoiled my mood sometimes. It also invites staring eyes if you are doing it at some places like Raffles Place or other public places. So first you must learn to overcome fears of such intimitating eyes


    OK, like what others mentioned, you can get a DSLR/SLR or read up first before you purchase any equipment. First of all, go to some websites and read up on certain things like Aperture, Shutter Speed, Exposure, Metering, Film Speed (aka ISO 100 etc). These are the basics of photography IMHO and should be the foundations of your way to making pictures from your camera.

    Next you must know what you intend to shoot, like family photos, portraits, scenery, sports. Look into books that teaches you how to get the best or better pictures with the right equipment. For example I am using a SLR, and I like to shoot portraits of people, models, half body or full body. I would just get a cheap 50mm F1.8 to start with, for a half body at 3-5 feet away, full body at 5-8 feet away depending on my needs and the environment. Or a head shot with a 100mm F2.0.

    Third, you must know your budget, how much are you willing to spend now and able to spend in the next few months and future to achieve your intentions. If you are short on money now, the best is still to get a SLR with 1/2 lens, learn some basics with real teachers at photography workshops. Film is actually very cheap with slide film from $6 to $12 depending on the model. Start with $6 slide film and process it for $6.30 for learning to get right exposure, or some cheap $3 negative film, process at $3 and $30 cents per 4R printed, total cost is slightly more at $16-$17 compared to $12++ for slide. Alternatively, you can get a DSLR or some digital camera with manual functions. Some with manual functions are cheap, like the A95/A85/A75 ranging from $400-$600+/-. If you are serious about photography these cameras will be your backup or sold off once you get a newer with better functions one.

    Forth, you must know your limit. Photography can be addictive. Some of the equipment can seldom be used, but when the time arrives, it can be useful for just that one shot of your life. I rather you learn how to work with your limited equipment than buy different equipment but seldom use it. Some equipment are a must, like blower, dry box/electronic dry box etc. They are essential to me at least, but some others simply do not need them as photography is their career or they simply do not bother.

    Lastly, organise yourself by creating a system to store your pictures, digital soft copy, film copy, 4R photos etc so that few months down the road you can search and look at them easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    I disagree a DSLR is the 1st step to learning photography.
    While I agree that using film, you have to pay for rolls of films and developing costs. You shldn't be wasting rolls and rolls of film w/o learning some basics. unless u plan on using P-mode all the time.

    If you depend on Shooting More and Correcting shots, I dont think thats a good way to learn.

    I have seen people shoot 10,000 shots on a D100 or other DSLR and yet not understand basics like F-stops, Exposures...

    Its just plain Trigger-happy, In this case, its shutter-happy.
    Well said! I had friends shooting with DSLR without understanding the basis of photography at all too. Put to AUTO mode and happily snap away and preview the pictures straight away. They dun even understand what is exposure at all (aperture, shutter speed). Shame!
    I would always encourage people whom just started photography to use a manual film camera (like the good old-school Nikon FM2 with a 35mm or a 50mm fixed lens, cheap and good) and understand the basis first. And this camera will gotta last you for many good years to come (unlike DSLR which lifespan of digital camera is short-lived).
    Time goes by and as you use more of your instinst (rather than relying on the automation of the camera)to take picture is rewarding! Now, my eyes become a natural light-meter!!!
    Last edited by XXX Boy; 23rd January 2005 at 12:06 PM.

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    Default reply to all

    ermmm. after learningn so much from all of u and hearing all your opinion. i realised 300D or FM2 sound the best as they are good enough camera for mi to learn.

    300D is a veri gd DSLR which can be on close to d70 and FM2 is a superclassic and veri pro camera too.

    as wad all most of you say. fm2 sound like a gd set to work with especially when i no longer a newbie in future. fm2 stil works for mi.

    ermm now i have my next problem. u guy have any idea how to get one set a gd price.at the same time,i no camera pro. how to check whether it is in gd working condition? and also where?????

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangxie
    ermmm. after learningn so much from all of u and hearing all your opinion. i realised 300D or FM2 sound the best as they are good enough camera for mi to learn.

    300D is a veri gd DSLR which can be on close to d70 and FM2 is a superclassic and veri pro camera too.

    as wad all most of you say. fm2 sound like a gd set to work with especially when i no longer a newbie in future. fm2 stil works for mi.

    ermm now i have my next problem. u guy have any idea how to get one set a gd price.at the same time,i no camera pro. how to check whether it is in gd working condition? and also where?????
    what's your budget?

  15. #15

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    hmmm.... if u are hardworking enuff....this is my recommedation

    1) manual film slr
    2) analog film slr
    3) dslr

    tips:

    1) move on to the next only if u tink u already "conquered" all the aspects wat u are using with....

    2) build up ya lens collection as u start off...thus stick to one system, most systems the newer lens are all backwards compatible

    3) even though shooting film, scan it and dun print it. this way u save alittle money and can start experimenting with post processing straight away....

    Reason:

    this way, ya learning curve is super steep, thus it will push u to learn, u snap like mad on a film, u burn ya own pocket...thus u WILL learn quickly how to shoot properly....

    IF u are lucky enuff, in probably about a year u should be able to advance to a DSLR.

    if u are fast perhaps u will start portraits and weddings 6 months from now with an analog slr.....

    Finally, to end off,,, this is juz MY personnel recommendation, i wont say its the best way to learn, its juz a POSSIBLE way to learn, end of the day do wat suits yaself the best

    I am juz a newbie too ya......

    cheers....
    The Witness

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    Default to zaren and withness

    my budget is less than a k including a 50mm f/1.8

    wad is theh different between maunal and analog slr.

    btw. other recommend mi a95, hows everyone opinion.is fm2 still better off.

    btw, u said soemthing like if i learn fast. who to learn or how to learn from. can u give mi a detail guide.

    i not that rich just veri normal. i just wanna continue my dream so i invest in it.

  17. #17

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    a95 is a digicam with manual settings....they dun exactly produce the same stuff as slr cameras in terms of quality....since u said that u wanted to help take weddings and portraits, perhaps tt's y alot of ppl here pushing u towards the (D)SLR side...

    who to learn from is another issue....u cannot not know anything about the basic functions of a camera and expect to tag along with say a studio straight away.... personally i feel that a good way to start learning functions will be to shoot streets.....

    an analog slr (good enuff to start off learing with one) and a 50mm prime will cost u ard 300.....

    analog slr as in those AF types....can auto focus.... buten settings can still use amanual.....so essentially u can disable all the other functions and juz shoot it like a manual slr.... the catch is that it auto-focuses....so u dun need to go turn the focusing ring yaself...

    then while learning and finding out whether if dslr is for u....then u can start saving up or building up along the way....

    cheers...

  18. #18

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    Well.. I suppose if you're not sure how much you want to invest in it.. go with a prosumer model.. and shoot in full manual all the way..no presets.. you won't be able to do manual focusing with most prosumers.. but you will learn about aperture and shutter speed.. national library's got lotsa good books on photography..

    this saves you making a huge investment on an assortment of lenses, etc.. if you're not really ready to commit.. otherwise.. then just go with a dslr!

    mm.. e300 for about $1500 first hand? 300D, or D70
    don't think you'll go too wrong with either model..
    don't worry too much about not knowing what you're doing.. part of the fun is figuring out what combinations will give you the shot.. etc.. digital will allow you to shoot and experiment all you want.. so play around with it!

    hope this helps..

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    If you feel better by taking a course.

    Try courses offered by PSS (Photographic Society of singapore) located in Selegie Rd, opposite the Paradise Center.
    If you have a UOB credit/debit card, you can take the courses at Member prices w/o signing up to be a Member.

    just Open a Savings a/c at any UOB (free), and apply for a UOB debit Mini (also free lifetime membership) then apply for the courses at member prices w/o paying the Orindary membership fees of S$40.

    http://www.pss1950.org/programs.php
    If I have UOB acc, then I'll have free membership for how long?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom81
    If I have UOB acc, then I'll have free membership for how long?
    If i am not wrong, you need to have the UOB mini card and used it to sign up for courses to enjoy the courses at members' rate.

    You however do not enjoy "free membership" of PSS as attending the course do not qualify you as member.

    I would however encourage you to join as a member so that you can take part in the competitions (external as well as internal), courses, use of facilities, affordable outings/studio sessions etc.

    As for pangxie, it is not "necessary" to attend a course to learn photography. Much like you do not need to know photography to take photos.

    It will however be useful to learn thru some form of formal training so that you learn systematically. Also, after taking a course, you will have an idea of what you wnat to do , whether it's fashion, wedding, nature or whatever and can take it further with more advance courses.

    No doubt, you will prob learn the same thing thru informal channel, friends etc. However, you may take 3-5 time the time to get to your goal as you may be misled, or simply have questions/queries they can't help.

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