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Thread: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

  1. #21

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    I am puzzled as well. Is learning suppose to evolve that way.

    So to start from film camera, which model ? how basic should I get to maximize learning and appreciation?

    If we need to start from scratch to appreciate things, FM2 is still too advanced and automated. How about an EM first then FM2
    Ryan
    if u really want, i suggest use a PnS and get the framing part right first ... then a prosumer, and learn to use the lightmeter (digital or analog) and how the iso, aperture and shutter speed interact with each other ... also can learn to use the metering ... then once u've moved from 'getting-there' to 'GOT IT!' on those things, get a dslr and learn about DOF and everything else ... so by the time u get a dlsr, you should have most of the basics right ...

    it's more the WANT and determination to learn, rather than use auto/program and get technically correct photos asap.

  2. #22
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Expiredyoghurt View Post
    if u really want, i suggest use a PnS and get the framing part right first ... then a prosumer, and learn to use the lightmeter (digital or analog) and how the iso, aperture and shutter speed interact with each other ... also can learn to use the metering ... then once u've moved from 'getting-there' to 'GOT IT!' on those things, get a dslr and learn about DOF and everything else ... so by the time u get a dlsr, you should have most of the basics right ...

    it's more the WANT and determination to learn, rather than use auto/program and get technically correct photos asap.
    Then I must be one of the antithesis.

    I bought my first (D)SLR last year, two months before my europe trip, two weeks to handle the basics and learn from the trip. I started off manual spot metering. and I still do now. And I learned everything off my slr, and was an enjoyable process.

    I still think it is the learning mentality. Echoing what you already mentioned, it is the want and the determination that determines the learning process and progress. People who tend to use it otherwise can carry on with carrying an oversized PnS and continue their way.

    Ryan

  3. #23

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by giantcanopy View Post
    Then I must be one of the antithesis.

    I bought my first (D)SLR last year, two months before my europe trip, two weeks to handle the basics and learn from the trip. I started off manual spot metering. and I still do now. And I learned everything off my slr, and was an enjoyable process.

    I still think it is the learning mentality. Echoing what you already mentioned, it is the want and the determination that determines the learning process and progress. People who tend to use it otherwise can carry on with carrying an oversized PnS and continue their way.

    Ryan
    thats the huge difference between you and most beginners ... most express a want, but well ... as the saying goes ..

    the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak ...

    and shortly after getting confused by the functions and many things to learn ... they give in to the 'just use auto or program mode' advice ... in this day and age with cameras that snap when it detects you smiling ... -.-"" most don't have the want and will to go through the learning process ...

    more or less the result of this modern era of instant gratification ...

  4. #24
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Expiredyoghurt View Post
    as for why there's a camp saying to start with film slr ... well...

    if you use the D80 (or any dslr) on Manual mode, sure u CAN use it like a film cam and learn the basics from there. ... but WILL you? ... chances are that you won't ... the thing about film slrs is you haven't the luxury to set auto/program mode ... and if u use a/s/m you still need to think and figure out what the settings u want are and use the lightmeter ...

    how many beginners even notice the lightmeter in their dslr? ... i know too many beginners who pick up a dslr, put to auto or program and boast that the cam helped them learn so much about photography (and no, they're not talking about framing ...)
    Well... i mean... there's no doubt that not having any auto function will force you to set up the camera properly... but... it's a really silly way to force yourself to learn photography basics, i think.

    If you use a DSLR in Auto mode only, you're not the kind of person who is really keen to master the camera. Chances are, a film SLR will be even more frustrating, because the entire roll of exposures will be bad. Might even give up photography.

    As a learning tool, in the hands of someone who's actually keen to learn photography, I think the DSLR/Prosumer trumps any film SLR in terms of the speed with which you can learn.
    Furthermore, nobody can refute my point that the EXIF data is so beneficial to learning. If you perform exposure bracketing with a film SLR, how will you remember which setting you used? Gotta jot them all down in a notebook as you capture each shot, right?

    note to Expiredyoghurt: I keep using the word 'you', but i'm not referring to you!

  5. #25

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by Expiredyoghurt View Post
    as for why there's a camp saying to start with film slr ... well...

    if you use the D80 (or any dslr) on Manual mode, sure u CAN use it like a film cam and learn the basics from there. ... but WILL you? ... chances are that you won't ... the thing about film slrs is you haven't the luxury to set auto/program mode ... and if u use a/s/m you still need to think and figure out what the settings u want are and use the lightmeter ...

    how many beginners even notice the lightmeter in their dslr? ... i know too many beginners who pick up a dslr, put to auto or program and boast that the cam helped them learn so much about photography (and no, they're not talking about framing ...)
    film camera doesn't = fully manual. we had program AE way back in the 70's, courtesy of Canon A1; Aperture priority is, of course, introduced earlier. as a matter of fact, almost all SLR--except maybe the cheapest model--introduced in the 80's offer program AE, including the Leica R4.

    maybe I can understand why the "lao jiao" photographer thought the recent digital snapper is of...you know, like the retired NSmen looking at the current NSF. saying like: "we were tougher, we had gone thru blah blah blah, you guys are lucky". maybe these "old bird" should look at how the really really old bird took their picture in WWI/II?

    my point is, photography is fundamentally an ART. the camera is just a tool, its primary job is to aid the photographer. will I take a better picture with better understanding of how camera work? maybe, the knowledge will definitely help. does it mean a complete noob of camera operation like the digital PnS will never take a good picture? I don't think so. a F1 driver don't have to know how his F1 car work to win a race.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Just to dispel some myths...film cameras can have Auto or even P mode as well.

    And yeah, we jotted down the exposure information when using film, if we wanted to learn.

    I came from the old school and learned through the expensive way. But to advocate that we should start learning photography with a film camera is not acknowledging the excellent work that has been put in by those who jump started with a DSLR. I supposed it all depends on one's learning approach and discipline. DSLR is very convenient and film sort of forces you to have a basic understanding of the technicalities of photography before you even start shooting. If you shoot film with the kind of attitude as betrayed by some of the questions asked in this forum, you might as well spend the money on movies

  7. #27

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by learntoshot View Post
    Hi all Senior,

    I am totally new to DSLR camera (zero knowledge on it). Personally, I used to own a point to shot type of digital camera and the problem is, I couldn’t take nice & good pictures from it. The reason that prompted me to consider a DSLR camera is my baby son. Hope to capture more beautiful pictures of him and my family. Therefore, I am here to ask all expert/senior on the view of getting which model/brand that totally suit a beginner like me. Thank you.

    PS: currently, I am looking at Canon DSLR 450D (with kit) Promotion price is $1499. Would welcome suggestions and recommendations on other models/brands. (of cos, the cheapest the better) Cheers.
    1st of all, I'm not that senior but I suggest you figure out why your pictures ain't up to your own standards before deciding on a DSLR. A DSLR wouldn't turn anybody into a top notch photography in an instance

  8. #28

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    ask you hor ,how long your tempering last ?

  9. #29
    Member gymak90's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Guys, is this thread becoming: Photographer or Camera? Which gives good pictures? Kinda OT.

    Frankly, if the TS wants recommendation for a dslr, please kindly give good and useful recommendations and tell him things that he should look out for.

    Yes, you can use a PnS or a film SLR to learn the fundamentals of photography. Developing the art of seeing and to learn to appreciate light and shadows. But maybe the TS found the physical limitations of a PnS (e.g. noise, shutter speed, variable aperture) restricting him from taking good quality photos?

    I agree photography is an art, but are you sure the TS is looking to come up with artistic photos of his son, or he is just intending to use the dslr to capture good times, make good memories?

    After all, with all the technologies we have today, modern dslrs have them in built, which makes photo-taking easier and photos have higher quality than before. Which also means if TS wants to learn the artistic touch of photography, using a dslr is good option, and he need not settle for a PnS once again just because he is new to photography?

    Anyway, back to topic. About what blive said, of 'fast refresh rate', I totally agree with that. But to get a high frame per second (fps) rate, you have take into account of your shutter speed. So a fast lens, like 50mm f/1.8 will be a cheap and good option.

    Glenn
    The best things in life are free.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    I think the main thing about great photos is lighting and composition. Personally, I feel you should go see a lot of baby photos on the internet. Google, Flickr them. Shoot lots of hotos and go post on Flickr and get lots of feedback to continue to improve your skills.

    Instead of buying a DSLR, you can considered multiple point and shoots. If you are purely after the pictures, I recommend multiple good PnS cameras like the Canon G9. Put one at home, one in the car, maybe even one in the in-laws, one with your parents etc. So you know you got a good camera handy and charge the batteries so you are ready to shoot at every opportunity. The plus point is that the G9 gives you DSLR controls and also simple PnS. In addition, it shoots some wicked videos! You do want to shoot videos don;t you?!!!

    On the other hand, if you are looking for an excuse to buy a new toy for yourself to overcome the newly blessed father blues. Go out and splash the money at the Great Singapore Sale or something! It's retail therapy, buy what you want. You will grow out of it as you get use to fatherhood. LOL... get multiple good point and shoot cameras, dude.

  11. #31
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by gymak90 View Post
    Guys, is this thread becoming: Photographer or Camera? Which gives good pictures?
    Erm, both? Though I say cameras are getting smarter faster than photographers

    My personal preference is to stick to one of the two big brands - Canon and Nikon, reason being that there are more users, more accessories, more choices of lenses. And to get an entry level DSLR, or one of the higher models if there are features you think you would like.

    I think the most useful advice you can get are what features in higher end models you would find useful.

    Since I'm more familiar with Canon, the advantages of the 40D over 400D/450D are:

    1. Larger / brighter viewfinder (450D > 400D)
    2. Metal body (instead of plastic)
    3. Better ergonomics, more controls
    4. Faster burst frame rate
    5. Better AF (though I do not know about the difference between 40D and 450D AF)

    450D actually has a couple of (somewhat debatable) advantages over the 40D : more pixels and contrast-based AF. It also uses SD/SDHC, which may be a consideration if you already have good SDHC cards.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by gymak90 View Post
    Guys, is this thread becoming: Photographer or Camera? Which gives good pictures? Kinda OT.

    Frankly, if the TS wants recommendation for a dslr, please kindly give good and useful recommendations and tell him things that he should look out for.
    Good point. Maybe TS can consider used equipment too. The same money outlay may buy you better, but used equipment. Also, the remaining stock for Canon 400D and the Nikon D40x may go for a song now that replacement models are out.

    Olympus has got some wicked lens, you may want to check out if you like Olympus colors. Advantages that you may like is that the E-410, E-420, E-510 and E-520 are significantly lighter than comparable Canons and Nikons, etc etc. I think there is better value for money in Olympus. However, it's not major brand, lens options and perhaps resale value may suffer.

    If you are still thinking of Canon, consider the 40D too. It's not that expensive if you are able to get it from Hong Kong / USA

    Fact is the DSLR camera makers are surviving because they make some fine cameras. All produce good cameras. Research what features are important to you... again dun you want to shoot videos?!!! Go to a shop and have a feel of what you like and then shortlist them and rank them by how they perform on the features important to you. I did this exercise and bought myself the G7, then the G9 and I am still itching to get a DSLR so I can take my old EF lenses out of the dry cabinet.... still itching to buy...

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Hi 1st of all congrats on ur new born. actually PnS camera also can take nice picture for my case when my son was born i using Nikon PnS camera till now he is around 1yr old then i got my DSLR ..just some of my thinking since u got around 1400 u can try sony A200 get the 2 lense kits which cover the range.As for shooting you newborn baby try not to direct flash at him although i might or might not hurt him ,For skill u have to pratice and pratice,shoot and shoot.As for nice or nice very hard to determin as different ppl got different kind of seeing thing like eating habit.

    My suggest go and get the feel of the camera of the range u want the decide on it ... for me i go round like tampenise Courts as there got quite a number of range of different brand of DSLR to feel . for sony u can go wisma or few of the sony style to get a hold of the camera.

  14. #34

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    okay, first i apologize for starting a contest of camps on 'film VS digital' media...
    i merely wanted to highlight the method he could choose in learning photography.
    TS has first to decide what kind of photos he intends to acheive, i cannot decide that for him, but i can at least provide for options for his learning curve.

    yes, the learning curve of film is slower, i agree totally. the facts of the DSLR clearly wins.
    but, in film, it gives you an additional edge - shooting discipline.
    by this i mean that it naturally forces you to be more focused on what you want before you fire the shutter. in digital, this may not be the case.

    and yes, i recorded the damn EXIF on a notepad when i started in film 2yr ago.

    how often will you print your photos when you shoot digital? memories in a CD or harddisc? i'd rather not. but thats just me, i'd just like to air considerations that i would keep in mind.

    the suggestion on having video mode is important. i dont have a child, but a video mode will be excellent to have around your family gatherings.
    Last edited by Benji77; 19th June 2008 at 11:30 AM.
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  15. #35

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Hi

    First, congrats to you on your newborn.

    I'm a newbie DSLR user too. The reason why I started to take more interest in photography and/or DSLR, and eventually bought one, is also because of my baby daughter. But it took me a few months of googling and surfing around forums such as CS to arrive at the decision. And I do encourage you to read up a bit more about photography and lighting, about the functions of each of the cameras available, about lenses, about aperture and shutter speeds, as well as how to compose pictures before making the decision. After all it's not a small sum of money, and you want to make it worthwhile.

    I'll leave the technical specs and recommendations to the experts and seniors around, but thought I'll share some 'newbie practical advice', having just been through this phase. If you think a DSLR will give you better pictures, that's only half right. Yes, equipment plays a part, but the cameraman is also important. 'Cameraman' includes not just the person behind the camera, but also all the theories on lighting, composition, etc. In the initial weeks of playing with my DSLR, most of my pix were not usable, and many were out of focus. They were worse than those taken with PnS. The first usable pix came at around 300-400 shutter count (I don't know what's the standard, but this is what I just went through). So you have to be mentally prepared for this phase of your DSLR life. If you give up too early, then money is wasted.

    Therefore, I encourage you to rethink carefully what you really want. Do you want to (a) improve your photography skills, or (b) just want to pay for the technology to get nice pix? If you want (a), a DLSR will give you the opportunity and flexibility to explore more than what a PnS can. If you want (b), and think that a DSLR allows you to achieve it, then as I said above, you are only half right, because it will take some effort to get it right. You may be better off with a PnS.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Hi sorry, borrow thread from TS on this quest.
    I seen threads on people saying buying UV filters too

    what r UV filters for?

  17. #37
    Senior Member dennisc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    UV filter to prevent UV light from entering UV sensitive digicams. Else pics will turn out a bit bluish.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by dennisc View Post
    UV filter to prevent UV light from entering UV sensitive digicams. Else pics will turn out a bit bluish.
    Eh, nowadays, that's incorrect already. UV filters make no difference to pictures nowadays. People buy UV filters to protect the front lens element from scratches and other damage.
    Alpha

  19. #39

    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by akagi07 View Post
    Hi sorry, borrow thread from TS on this quest.
    I seen threads on people saying buying UV filters too

    what r UV filters for?
    By the way, did you try a google search or a search here on the forum before asking such a basic question? If you replace your "r" with the correct spelling of "are", you'll get many many results that answer your question.
    Alpha

  20. #40
    Member lennyl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommended DSLR camera for beginner

    Quote Originally Posted by akagi07 View Post
    Hi sorry, borrow thread from TS on this quest.
    I seen threads on people saying buying UV filters too

    what r UV filters for?
    Quote Originally Posted by dennisc View Post
    UV filter to prevent UV light from entering UV sensitive digicams. Else pics will turn out a bit bluish.
    UV filters are mainly used to protect the front element of the lens from contact, dust, sand, scratches, fingerprints. With film, it prevents hazing of the image from UV light. I have yet to see any convincing evidence that it improves image quality with with digital sensors. In fact, the reverse is true - there might be a slight degradation of image quality. It is more prone to flare and light has to travel through yet another layer of glass.

    And this would also be a good time to learn to use the search function The UV Filter vs. Lens Hood debate is one of the long running ones, like Card Reader vs. USB cable and One Big Card vs. Multiple Smaller Cards (a.k.a "eggs in a basket").

    Edit : dang, I knew I shouldn't have bothered answering this one, so many replies why I'm typing
    Last edited by lennyl; 19th June 2008 at 04:53 PM.

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