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Thread: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

  1. #1

    Default Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Hi there guys,

    I am planning to get my first camera, preferably a DSLR (I also never owned even a normal digital camera before lol apart from cam phones. Budget probably <$2k. Going to dubai soon and want to take some great pictures and also for future use of travelling etc. Video function would be a nice addon as well. Purposes are to learn more about photography, lighting shots and try to achieve some professional shots and benefit me in my work of computer graphics world. Any great cameras to recommend? I think I have a few choices to choose from: Nikon D90, Canon 50D, Canon 40D, Canon 450D. What do you professionals recommend and what shops should I approach to get my cameras for best service, warranty and price? Heard a few good ones like MSColor, Cathay Photo, Alan Photo?? And I think of the few choices, only nikon d90 provides video am I right? What you recommend better for future options like addon lens or obselete technology etc.

    Sorry if this may sound stupid but is it possible to trade in an existing canon powershot tx1 for a canon dslr?

    Cheers guys! Much appreciated for the help and this forum is amazing. I believe I will learn a lot from here.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    get a LX3 instead.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
    Hi there guys,

    I am planning to get my first camera, preferably a DSLR (I also never owned even a normal digital camera before lol apart from cam phones. Budget probably <$2k. Going to dubai soon and want to take some great pictures and also for future use of travelling etc. Video function would be a nice addon as well. Purposes are to learn more about photography, lighting shots and try to achieve some professional shots and benefit me in my work of computer graphics world. Any great cameras to recommend? I think I have a few choices to choose from: Nikon D90, Canon 50D, Canon 40D, Canon 450D. What do you professionals recommend and what shops should I approach to get my cameras for best service, warranty and price? Heard a few good ones like MSColor, Cathay Photo, Alan Photo?? And I think of the few choices, only nikon d90 provides video am I right? What you recommend better for future options like addon lens or obselete technology etc.

    Sorry if this may sound stupid but is it possible to trade in an existing canon powershot tx1 for a canon dslr?

    Cheers guys! Much appreciated for the help and this forum is amazing. I believe I will learn a lot from here.
    Unfortunately, the highlighted are not really compatible... what you really need is a photographer...



    All cams/systems are future-proof... even a properly maintained vintage cams are usable today... but no cam is "upgrade-lust" proof.

    You seemed to have done your homework... and yes, you actually self-answered your question.
    Gallery | Facebook Page Spreading the Good photography.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Since you want video in a dslr, D90 it is. But be aware of the limitions of its video function. One very obvious limitation is it has no auto focus in movie mode.
    Also you mention that you never own a digital camera before. It take some practice to learn how to use a dslr properly, granted there are P and scene modes, but will it be too much for you to learn before your overseas trip?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by hisokaka View Post
    get a LX3 instead.
    yeah should just get a LX3. Its really quite awesome and its quite compact too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN View Post
    Unfortunately, the highlighted are not really compatible... what you really need is a photographer...



    All cams/systems are future-proof... even a properly maintained vintage cams are usable today... but no cam is "upgrade-lust" proof.

    You seemed to have done your homework... and yes, you actually self-answered your question.

    Haha I don't mean those really professional shots you see for sports and action but hope to be able to master those neat nice shots that can be done with a dslr and the basic kit.

    Anyone tried the above cameras listed and what are your experiences with it? What are like the benefits and cons on your own summary if you could provide a brief one. I have not tried any of the cameras yet but where do you guys recommend me going down to have a test?

    Another thing is I heard about the live mode on the canon models and there is a firmware that you can hack for it to be able to film video down at 720p? Is that possible? I saw that you will have a white box on it and it cant be removed unless through external editing programs? Hope someone can confirm with me. I might go down tomorrow to check out the cameras and decide. What I think is the 450d and 40d is a bit old now and I should go with the D90 or the EOS 50D.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by tanslrs View Post
    Since you want video in a dslr, D90 it is. But be aware of the limitions of its video function. One very obvious limitation is it has no auto focus in movie mode.
    Also you mention that you never own a digital camera before. It take some practice to learn how to use a dslr properly, granted there are P and scene modes, but will it be too much for you to learn before your overseas trip?
    I think the D90 has basic video functions, definitely not able to match EOS 5D kind or camcorder quality but should be sufficient for me. I did use DSLR camera (I believe that was a D70) before for photography of an event I am part of as company shots and that was my first time. But mostly on auto mode. Didnt really explore the manual modes. I guess I can learn through the overseas trip and also before that trip, I can get used to it first.

    I know that sometimes there are free sessions of how to use your DSLR by Canon or Nikon but if buying from the stores like MSColor, Cathay Photo or AlanPhoto, you will still get such promotions?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Hmm how much is the LX3 retailing at? I might be keen to try it as well but I figure if I am going to spend at least 1k, I should at least invest in a pretty decent DSLR model for upgrade lens options in the future.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
    I think the D90 has basic video functions, definitely not able to match EOS 5D kind or camcorder quality but should be sufficient for me. I did use DSLR camera (I believe that was a D70) before for photography of an event I am part of as company shots and that was my first time. But mostly on auto mode. Didnt really explore the manual modes. I guess I can learn through the overseas trip and also before that trip, I can get used to it first.

    I know that sometimes there are free sessions of how to use your DSLR by Canon or Nikon but if buying from the stores like MSColor, Cathay Photo or AlanPhoto, you will still get such promotions?
    Do also remember to consider the cost of lenses to achieve the "professional" look you want. Large-aperture lenses can be immensely helpful for portrait photography.

    But I don't see why you want to fly before you can walk... Best to start with a normal PnS, it may satisfy your requirements.
    Alpha

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    I think if I am going to go for a sub $1k camera, probably after 6months or a year I will change to a DSLR one. So I guess I should just one time invest on a good amateur-intermediate DSLR. What kind of lens should I go for as well for general travelling photos and scenery? Is the basic kit 18-55mm sufficient? Should I get the higher grade ones like 18-200 which I think might blow my budget.. I don't really understand the lens definitions and type yet. Another important thing is I might be going to use the camera to take high-res textures of skies/stones/grass/bricks for my work.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
    I know that sometimes there are free sessions of how to use your DSLR by Canon or Nikon but if buying from the stores like MSColor, Cathay Photo or AlanPhoto, you will still get such promotions?
    I got my camera from one of the online stores. Yes, I'm entitled to the free product training by Canon.
    7D | 50f1.8 | 17-55f2.8 | 70-200f4LIS | 580EX2

  12. #12

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
    I think if I am going to go for a sub $1k camera, probably after 6months or a year I will change to a DSLR one. So I guess I should just one time invest on a good amateur-intermediate DSLR. What kind of lens should I go for as well for general travelling photos and scenery? Is the basic kit 18-55mm sufficient? Should I get the higher grade ones like 18-200 which I think might blow my budget.. I don't really understand the lens definitions and type yet. Another important thing is I might be going to use the camera to take high-res textures of skies/stones/grass/bricks for my work.
    There is a thread on 450D pics. Quite a number of pics are from 18-55mm lens, and I think the pics are rather sharp.

    My 17-55 stays on my camera almost 90% of the time. I used it 100% during my travels and for scenery shots. But if you are talking about taking shots of animals/people without going too close to them, 55mm would not be long enough. 200mm would be the choice then, really depends on yourself.

    2 cents worth from another newbie.
    7D | 50f1.8 | 17-55f2.8 | 70-200f4LIS | 580EX2

  13. #13
    Member OnePiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    hi, i think D90 is wat u want... but the problem is, u say u never own a digital camera, so maybe later u will have problem to use the camera within the short time(cos u will go oversea)... so, if u think u can learn how to handle the camera within this period, then go ahead to buy D90, if not, then i advice u to buy a SemiPro compact camera ,cos the SemiPro camera oso can take good pic...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    I think a prosumer camera would be a better choice for the TS...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    actually not much diff now... a cheap DSLR can give you a headstart as well as any prosumer. and you get to start builing your system.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
    I think if I am going to go for a sub $1k camera, probably after 6months or a year I will change to a DSLR one. So I guess I should just one time invest on a good amateur-intermediate DSLR. What kind of lens should I go for as well for general travelling photos and scenery? Is the basic kit 18-55mm sufficient? Should I get the higher grade ones like 18-200 which I think might blow my budget.. I don't really understand the lens definitions and type yet. Another important thing is I might be going to use the camera to take high-res textures of skies/stones/grass/bricks for my work.
    Looking at your initial list none of the cameras is available below 1k. Either you get a good PnS (as mentioned: LX3) or you must decide for a DSLR system now. Changing systems (manufacturers) later can be quite costly. To avoid this and since you are new to the topic I recommend you wait with your DSLR and get a good PnS camera.
    The basic kit lens of a DSLR is sufficient, that's the reason why it is included as kit lens. Don't get fooled by "higher number = higher grade lenses". Numbers are focal length and define the Field of View of a lens. As long as you don't understand these basics (nomenclature of lenses) it would be a hazardous game for you to buy any lens.
    What do you mean by 'high-resolution'? You want to recognize tiniest details? Or you want to print A0? Both is possible if you know how. To safe you from disappointments and wasting money be conservative. Do you want to fiddle with settings at your Dubai trip or do you want to take pictures and let the camera do the job? Learning DSLR needs time.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    u might want to reconsider in getting D90 for its video, try it out and u know. shift it while recording...

  18. #18
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
    I think if I am going to go for a sub $1k camera, probably after 6months or a year I will change to a DSLR one. So I guess I should just one time invest on a good amateur-intermediate DSLR. What kind of lens should I go for as well for general travelling photos and scenery? Is the basic kit 18-55mm sufficient? Should I get the higher grade ones like 18-200 which I think might blow my budget.. I don't really understand the lens definitions and type yet. Another important thing is I might be going to use the camera to take high-res textures of skies/stones/grass/bricks for my work.
    i wrote a few threads on compact-DSLR upgrading based on my outdated experience in late 2005, though it is rather fragmented by now, you can still take a look.

    basically DSLR offers you
    1. narrow depth of field (to isolate a subject)
    2. wide angle perspective to scale sizes (to make your subject looks big with mid-field and distant subjects being small)
    3. versatility and options of optimised quality through lens at different focal length
    these are main features that compact will not achieve, and if adapted well, can allow you to improve your photography. you should only consider a good compact or prosumer in terms of their compactness as they cannot match or replace the features on a SLR.

    i'm also using an entry level DSLR, and still proscrastinate for an upgrade, which is D90. if you are not extremely ambitious, most entry level DSLR nowadays should satisfy you and last you for a period. just spend according to what you are comfortable with, noting that even older models would not disappoint you (etc S$400 at 2nd hand price), but do save a sum for lens (in near future) as they are more expensive but makes more diversified changes to the subjects and compositions you can approach. the improvement of image quality is also more easily seen between lens than between bodies. if you are tight on budget, just save as much as possible on the cheapest DSLR but do not buy D40/60 without in-built motor as the lens upgrade will eventually be more expensive.

    do not expect DSLR pictures to be as punchy as the compacts (not sure if still true today), as DSLR uncompressed outputs are by default less contrasty with more details, but will eventually benefit more by post processing from RAW. on the other hand, DSLR can be also preset in-camera like a compact, to have punchier higher contrast more saturated direct jpeg output but at the expense of original details. i only shoot decently after a year or so, as most average users are.

    just start slowly. dun need to fuss about the complicated settings. just use the simplest workflow, focus, frame and shoot, then learn feature by feature, lens by lens, filter by filter, subject by subject. in the meanwhile, read bryan peterson's exposure books to understand the basic theory (which will be immensely useful once grasped cos everything is inter-connected).

    dun have to buy all types of lens and all types of filters in one go. for general travelling, consider weight (light, best <500g), maximum aperture size (at least f/3.5 or lower number) and focal length range (rather than power which in compact camera terms, it is like your 11x zoom). generally, people's main aim is to be able to catch most of a building in front of you and at least a quarter-body shot of a person in front of you - which is what a kit lens like 18-55mm (or up to 105mm if you can spend more) f/3.5 (or up to f/2.8 if you can spend more) does. chances are you will sell off or just leave it much less used once you got better lens, but the point is you will not know what lens to buy until you have understood the limits of each and every value (18mm, 55mm and f/3.5) through practice. if you use nikon in the end, i would suggest that other than the kit lens, buy a 50mm f/1.8 AF-D at about S$150 together with kit lens and body, so that you can see immediately the difference of using a prime and a fast lens. and if you find that you dare to go very near a subject and dare to lie down on the street, get an ultrawide lens when you can spare $500-$1500 for one as your next lens.

    and last of all, dun ask me what is the best camera or best brand. cos i only know the few equipments i have. i'm as clueless about D90 as those who have not used it before. generally brands make little differences to undemanding amateurs, but will be important if you expect a lot or with very specific requirements which you will not know now. and yes, change camp is expensive especially after your 2nd or 3rd lens. so decide on your budget, see what you can get, and then have a feel of how your fingers move around the buttons. once settled, stop worrying about brands and your next lens. you did far more homework than i did 3 years ago (i saw an advertisement and a review, and bought my DSLR) so no worries.
    Last edited by zoossh; 11th January 2009 at 01:31 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Anson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by CYRN View Post
    actually not much diff now... a cheap DSLR can give you a headstart as well as any prosumer. and you get to start builing your system.
    An entry-level dslr does not take video & never include a "Leica" 35-420mm zoom for the price (S$1k) that is great for traveling . With a prosumer camera, you can still built your "system" with the various lens filter & external TTL flash which could be used on your future dslr system.

    Right?

  20. #20
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Advice: Entry to the photography world and of DSLR budget

    Quote Originally Posted by Anson View Post
    An entry-level dslr does not take video & never include a "Leica" 35-420mm zoom for the price (S$1k) that is great for traveling . With a prosumer camera, you can still built your "system" with the various lens filter & external TTL flash which could be used on your future dslr system.

    Right?
    do educate me on prosumers, cos i thought most prosumer accessories are not compatible on DSLR.

    and i wonder if it is realistic to expect that "leica" 35-420mm zoom to produce results similar to and expected of leica e.g. rangefinder lens. also are we able to compare the "leica" 35-420mm zoom to a 3rd party 18-200mm or 18-250mm lens of similar price range?

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