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Thread: slr or dslr for learning photography?

  1. #1

    Default slr or dslr for learning photography?

    I'm intending to take up a course (basic) and the general feedbacks (after asking around) I received is that a slr is preferred over a prosumer digi cam for the course .
    Will dslr be a good replacement for slr as a learning equipment for the course?
    BTW, I have a G2 currently.

  2. #2
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    might be because the course has some focus on film/negatives (choice, use, development, etc) and you'll gain better insights on this if you use a normal SLR. also a normal SLR will be a lower cost entry.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza
    might be because the course has some focus on film/negatives (choice, use, development, etc) and you'll gain better insights on this if you use a normal SLR. also a normal SLR will be a lower cost entry.
    that's what i think so, because of this modules.
    hehe...but the developing cost for a normal slr will be high (complaints from colleagues who uses it for their course)

    if that's the case, my plan will be to get a 2nd hand entry-level slr for the course and eventually moving on to dslr.
    do u think it's advisable or logical?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptm
    that's what i think so, because of this modules.
    hehe...but the developing cost for a normal slr will be high (complaints from colleagues who uses it for their course)

    if that's the case, my plan will be to get a 2nd hand entry-level slr for the course and eventually moving on to dslr.
    do u think it's advisable or logical?
    Factors to consider:-
    normal slr + film/developing cost for the course = $XXX dollars

    dslr + memory cards = $yyy dollars.

    Which is more?

    And for Dslr, in learning stage, more time spend in front of computers downloading/editing before you get back your image.

    for film, less time involve as you 'partner' the lab to get back your image.

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    Don't waste money. Your G2 is good enough for learning Basic Exposure, Just switch it to M Mode and use only Spot Metering. If you can manually set your "correct" exposure on G2 without turning on the LCD Display, you will have no problem with either the film or digital in terms of exposure.

    Unless the course REQUIRE you to develop B&W Negatives then get a cheap EOS 300 or a EOS 66 will do.
    Last edited by jasonpgc; 15th September 2003 at 12:00 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowcrash
    Factors to consider:-
    normal slr + film/developing cost for the course = $XXX dollars

    dslr + memory cards = $yyy dollars.

    Which is more?

    And for Dslr, in learning stage, more time spend in front of computers downloading/editing before you get back your image.

    for film, less time involve as you 'partner' the lab to get back your image.
    my guess is $yyy.
    hehe...my wish or aim is to eventually own a dslr (be it entry level).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonpgc
    manually set your "correct" exposure on G2 without turning on the LCD Display, you will have no problem with either the film or digital in terms of exposure.
    Hmm...that is a real challenge
    all this while i've been relying on the lcd when fiddling around with the exposure values.

    r u suggesting that i set the exposure based on my understandings or judgements and only refer to the pic after capturing it and learn from there?

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    Yes, use the G2 as if the LCD don't even exist. Force yourself to check the pictures on the PC only. Use the optical viewfinder for composition instead. Use the G2 like a Leica M6. You'll find all the effort spent on learning worth while when you can get your MANUAL exposure dead on everytime everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptm
    Hmm...that is a real challenge
    all this while i've been relying on the lcd when fiddling around with the exposure values.

    r u suggesting that i set the exposure based on my understandings or judgements and only refer to the pic after capturing it and learn from there?
    The LCD doesn't really display your mistake due to the low resolution.... Best it'll do is to show you if your shoots are correctly exposed.... Best is view it on the com....

    One thing about Digital is that lots of time is spend post processing it... e.g, you took 100 shoots, each shoots takes you about 3 to 5 mins to post process. That'll be like 300 to 500 mins in front of the com...

    My advice if you want to learn SLR is use a film one first, so that when you switch to DSLR, your time spend post processing would be much lesser as the basic foundation is already there...

    my 2 cents worth.
    Hope it's helpful...

  10. #10

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    Try a manual film camera, if you don't care about brand names, there're basic ones for really cheap!

  11. #11

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    Your G2 is perfectly fine for learning photography. I think getting a DSLR is overkill in terms of the cash you will have to spend. I started out young with a conventional SLR but didn't really learn much till I got my G3 (even though that is ironically a "downgrade" other than for the digital bit). I quote what I wrote in another thread about cameras/photography in general:

    My take...

    I started with a Nikon (FM2? can't remember the model number) SLR when I was in primary 3 years ago and then moved on to a Canon F1 SLR in 1985/1986 by virtue of hand-me-downs by my dad who is an award-winning photographer. However, much of what I picked up about photography was from what I read in books rather than picking up the skills from my dad. Wasn't that much of a frequent photographer then because I wasn't that independently mobile, schoolwork prevented me from having photography as a regular hobby, and the costs of photography was too prohibitive as a young student back then.

    At the encouragement of my dad, I took part in a couple of inter-school competitions... Got a couple of consolation prizes but hardly ever touched a camera on a regular basis unless I went on holiday.

    Fast-forward to a couple of years ago... Ever since starting work and earning my own pay, the financial independence as well as mobility plus time for a serious hobby has allowed me to purchase first a Powershot S10 as my entry-level camera to digital photography. Even so, the S10 was reserved more for snapshots and holiday pictures on and off. Fast forward to more recent... about 8 months ago, I purchased my first prosumer: a Powershot G3. Whatever manual controls the camera had rekindled my interest in photography as a student. Being able to set my own exposure settings manually as opposed to the S10's "dummy" settings allowed me the creative latitiude to do the pictures that I want and like. The G3, though not an SLR, has controls that were close to one. The instant-preview nature of digital photography allowed me to learn at a pace that would not have been possible with a conventional camera (at least you did not have to wait for film to be processed and then analyze your results at a later date!). Couple with the usefulness of a live preview and a flip-out LCD, my dad was able to teach me a lot of the finer points of photography than what was possible with a conventional camera. My interest rose by leaps and bounds (see some of what I managed to achieve with my G3 at http://engloy.elcreations.net), especially when I managed to get several of my pictures exhibited at a public exhibition recently, and when I got a highly commended award at the recent UOB Painting of the Year exhibition. And these pictures were all taken with just a humble prosumer G3.

    However, within 10-11months of my G3 purchase, I am currently at crossroads. While I still enjoy the versatility of my G3, I find myself outgrowing the camera in terms of the exposure latitude/dynamic range that it can offer (despite trying to push the G3 further by using RAW captures), as well as wanting the freedom of interchangable lenses on my camera. And not to mention the cleaner shots/high ISO settings that I can achieve with a DSLR. The logical step for me is to move on to the 10D but I find the cost of the camera PLUS the lenses needed to achieve the same focal range of my G3 too prohibitive (easily up to $5k). The imminent launch of the very much cheaper 300D may be good news for me and I am waiting with bated breath for that camera which I am seriously considering buying.

    The point which I am trying to make is that... yes... it's good to have a DSLR to start of with. I myself started with SLRs but which were luckily passed down to me without additional costs. Even though I had SLRs to play with then, it did not mean necessarily that I took great pictures then.

    But if you are unsure about photography and where it would take you (whether if you would continue to take pictures, or simply drop it due to a lack of interest), my advice would be to go for cheaper option (but not necessarily "crippled", my Powershot G3 was pretty reasonable) rather than plonk all your money down on a DSLR plus lenses. Simply put, a cheaper camera does not equal to inferior photography and many would tell you, it's not the camera but the person that is behind the camera that really matters. Of course, a better camera will enable an already good photographer to capture even better pictures. However, the fundamentals of good photography still have to apply, and picking up these fundamentals does not entail having to have the very best in your equipment. To a certain extent, your equipment does determine how much interest you might have in photography. However, not having the highest-end equipment does not mean that you cannot continue to be interested in photography nor does it mean taking lousy pictures. As you progress, you might want to purchase better equipment naturally. You must however first progress or otherwise, photography would be just more of a matter of saying what high-end equipment you have rather than the quality of the pictures that you take.

    Just my 2 cents worth

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    Sorry, I beg to differ. And sorry if it sounded a bit "xxxxxx", but if u can get it right at the moment u squeeze the shutter trigger, you won't need a lot of post-processing. I know it's easier said than done, but whatever photograpy concepts and foundations still have to apply to DSLR, it's not being digital you can get away with it.

    Be it film or digital, the camera is just a medium for storage, again, as everyone said, it's the person behind the camera that does the "clicking".

    And film or digital, I think it's a matter of preference, need and/or convenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kira
    One thing about Digital is that lots of time is spend post processing it... e.g, you took 100 shoots, each shoots takes you about 3 to 5 mins to post process. That'll be like 300 to 500 mins in front of the com...

    My advice if you want to learn SLR is use a film one first, so that when you switch to DSLR, your time spend post processing would be much lesser as the basic foundation is already there...

    my 2 cents worth.
    Hope it's helpful...

  13. #13

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    wow didn't expect the volume of advices...really appreciate it

    i've come to realise that my G2 allow me to learn the exposure aspects of photography.
    now i'm wondering if i should go for a basic course after all
    i've been reading up books on photography and had discussed with my colleagues who are attending courses, and I'm able to understand what they have been taught.
    i've not been able to put my readings into practice and learn from there

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    Read, learned, apply.

    Then review, learn and apply again.
    Last edited by AJ23; 15th September 2003 at 05:09 PM.

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    film has particular reaction to light exposure that wont be understood when learning on a dslr or any digital camera for that matter. if one wants to eventually shoot seriouly on film in the future, then start on film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by showtime
    film has particular reaction to light exposure that wont be understood when learning on a dslr or any digital camera for that matter. if one wants to eventually shoot seriouly on film in the future, then start on film.
    Not to mention also that if you want to shoot black and white, slide etc later, don't think digital is going to help you in those areas. So why not just start with film...

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  18. #18

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    Film or digital doesn't matter. It all depends on your budget and preference.

    DSLR=SLR+ 300 rolls of film and processing(no development) cost.

    Shooting digital, one needs to know as much of exposure as a slide shooter, possibly more.

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    Stick with your G2 and use all the manual controls. It approximates very closely to a DSLR or SLR. Whatever you learn about aperture, shutter, exposure, ISO etc etc will still be the same no matter what camera you pick up. The only diff you will find is the focusing speed and noise. Of course if you have excess cash, then by all means go get a DSLR.

    You see, each camera has its own quirks too and by practicing on the G2 you will become good at it. When you switch again, you need to find out the quirks of the new camera. The basic rules you learn will still apply.

    So it depends you budget.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptm
    now i'm ...
    If it helps you to make a decision... I just received news from the UK that I've been awarded the Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain (ARPS) (for more details see http://www.rps.org)

    The 15 photos that were in the successful portfolio were all taken by my trusty G3 (on full manual mode)

    So, go ahead and shoot and learn all you can with your G2, which is already a very good camera by itself.

    Regards.

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