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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Camera For Beginners?

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JRV's Avatar
Member Since: Feb 19, 2005
Location: USA
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Can any photography gurus tell me what might be a good camera for a beginner photographer? My girlfriend wants to play around with modeling for some pictures and all I have is a Sony Cyber-Shot. I've tried taking pictures with it but they don't turn out as nice as some of the stuff I see online. I can get the lighting the way we like it but my camera isn't cutting it. The slightest movement on my part causes the picture to blur. Any ideas for a good camera?
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Member Since: Apr 20, 2008
Location: Devon, UK
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I've just got a Nikon D40 and as a total noob to photography, I've been told it's a good first step.

The pics it takes are ceraintly a step on from my previous fuji S5600.

Have you tried a tripod??

First came a shuffle. Then an 8gb 3rd gen nano.
Next a macbook.
Then an Ipod Touch. And a Nikon D300. Not an Apple but gets used with the macbook
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Member Since: Dec 14, 2006
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The Olympus E-420 is supposed to be good for beginners. Good price too.
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Member Since: Jun 26, 2005
Location: Lancashire UK
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I have just bought the sony a200 dslr and I have found it very simple to use and reasonably priced too.

The key things that I learnt when looking at the buying an SLR are the following:

1- An expensive camera body will not take great photos if you have a cheap/poor lens attached to it. It makes more sense to have a cheaper body and more expensive lens.

2 - If you intend to get into the whole DSLR thing, you are buying into a brand for a long time as canon lenses only fit canon bodies etc. If you end up buying a load of canon lenses then decide you want to move to nikon then it can be an expensive swap. With the sony, you get a lot of minolta lenses and I have found that for my use, their range will do me fine.

3 - Go to a shop and pick up the camera and have a play around with it. Whilst I sort of forgot this rule myself as I didn't really have a decent camera shop near by. I would say that if you can, go and test the cameras out for yourself.

4- Do not get stung into buying the better model - like a computer, look what features you need and want and if it does that job, great. Mega pixels mean very little overall so if one camera is 8mp and the other is 10mp - it doesn't automatically mean its a better camera.

5 - Factor in the cost of some computer apps to help get the best of your photos. I use Aperture as the basic editing facilities are ok for me but if you are looking to do potrait work and want to start getting rid of blemished skin and airbrushing etc, then Photoshop is probably the right thing for you.

Hope that gives you some things to think about and one last thing. Have fun!

Just the road and my MBP.. wohoo.. No wireless networks - DOH! Oh well, wheres my ipod! :headphone
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Member Since: Apr 27, 2008
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Am also a beginner, I just got a Canon G9 a few months ago. Been really LOVING the camera. It isn't DSLR but you can shoot in RAW! Anyway. I like my G9 the way it is. No camera beats it! =p

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Member Since: Apr 18, 2008
Location: California
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Well, if you want to stick with point and shoots, I suggest the Canon G9.

If you want to get into the world of SLR cameras, then here are some suggestions:

-Nikon D40/D60/D80
-Canon Rebel XT (350D), Rebel XTI (400D), Rebel XSI (450D)
-Sony Alpha A200/A300
-Pentax K200D
-Olympus E-520

Homer_j is very right in his post. Remember that at this point, all DSLRs are good. It's quite hard to buy a new DSLR and get a bad camera. Also remember that the outcome of your photo is not based on your cameras specifications, but on how well you composed the shot. The photographer is what makes a photo look beautiful.

Also, don't fall into the world of bias camera users that will only recommend what they use because that's what they use. No matter where you go, you'll always see at least one person claiming that "____" (brand) is crap, so get a Canon < example...

How deep do you want to get into photography? I suggest that you do your research on the cameras listed, see what your budget is, is photography something you'd like to continue as a hobby? It can be a very expensive hobby, as you will most likely want to get more lenses, flashes, and more accessories/equipment.

If you do want to get into photography, then check camera reviews around the net and visit dedicated photography/camera forums for even more in-depth user reviews.


View my photography blog Here!
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get a Nikon D3.. it will do everything you want it to a more...

Click the logo to check out my site...

"learn the basics, learn the rules, and then learn how to break them creatively.." - Phototini
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Originally Posted by macwannabe View Post
get a Nikon D3.. it will do everything you want it to a more...
That's way extreme for his girlfriend's needs.

The G9 is a good camera, as suggested, or even cheaper and just as good IMO (I use it and you can see my pics: HERE The Vieques pictures were taken with a Kodak PnS, but I think all others are with the S3IS Canon.

is the Canon S3IS or the S5IS, the difference between the S3 and 5 is that the 5 has a hot shoe for an external flash, as well as a bit of a better LCD. But for the price, it's an almost unbeatable camera. It's one flaw however, is noisy shots at night if you're going above 400 ISO. But, there's no need to if you have a tripod. Even with the camera you own now, if you used a tripod and if you have manual settings available to you, there will be no blur. All it takes is stillness and a good aperature and exposure setting.

As for the DSLR's, I'd personally hold off if I were you. Do a LOT of research. I was gung ho on Canon stuff, and was about to buy a 450 D (XSi) but after holding one, and comparing it with some of the Nikons, I felt much more comfortable with the Nikons. You really should not only investigate the specs, because you will be holding this big thing a lot, and it must fit you well. There are a lot of new cameras out there, true, but as said, glass is important, just as much as a nice big sensor. I think the most important things are glass, and a nice clean (meaning not noisy) picture without the need for in camera noise reduction. Noise reduction can have some ill effects that are only detected when you least want it there.

Good luck.

I also recommend buying a book called "Understanding Exposure" (the revised edition) written by Bryan Peterson. It's a highly recommended book for a good reason.
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Member Since: Apr 17, 2008
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I am a picture taking newbie and I wanted a nice camera and I got the D40. I really like it. Its simple enough to use and takes excellent pictures. Read up on it. Remember, its not about the megapixels.
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The D40 sucks for not being able to AF with all of Nikon's current lenses. There's some nice ones out there you miss out on. Some one said Staples has them for $400 right now though...that's a bargain.

What's the budget?

And a better camera is not going to give you better pictures. Learning about photography is going to give you better pictures.

Like this; think you could tell me how this photo was taken? If you like it and you want to be able to shoot like this, you're not going to be able to do it unless it's either a happy accident or you learn how to create what you want to see by learning about the technicalities of photography.

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