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Thread: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

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    Dickie Davies' love-child Cruella's Avatar
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    SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    OK, I've got the Mac and now I want to start a new hobby, photography! I also have Photoshop Elements and now I want to buy a second hand digital SLR, but everyone I speak to has a different view on the 'best' make/model to buy within my budget.
    I don't really want to go above £300-£400 for a body and one lens. Just the basic starter camera but I also don't want to end up thinking in 6 months time, I need to upgrade!
    Help from any 'David Bailey' types would be appreciated.
    I've been looking at some second hand Canon EOS 400D (I can't afford the 500D unfortunately) any thoughts?

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Well, I have half hour to kill at work before I can leave so why not.

    The "body & lens" setup isn't the only option, there's also the fixed lens + add-ons option; but there are 2 schools of thought regarding that and beginners gear.

    The purists will poo-poo the fixed lens option, however, the advent of digital cameras should have killed that off (but it hasn't).

    The point is, getting dirt, dust and grit in the body.
    In the days of film, a bit of grit would ruin the current exposure, then move off with the film; However, a bit of grit on your sensor means all of your snaps from then on are ruined. Also, cleaning grit off a sensor isn't simple and could result in permanent damage if you're not careful.

    A fixed lens DSLR can't get anything in the body, therefore it isn't an issue.

    The downside, is that they are slightly less flexible WRT lens option, however, I think for a beginner that doesn't matter so much.

    Probably less model-specific advice than you wanted, but I hope it helps (FWIW, I have an old Olympus E-10 which I got a few years ago from ebay for about £150. Old but I still use it).

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruella View Post
    I've been looking at some second hand Canon EOS 400D (I can't afford the 500D unfortunately) any thoughts?
    Well - I have the 350D, and quite simply, I love it. It's a wonderful little camera. OK - so it's not that little, but it's still wonderful. I'm not going to do a full-blown review - there's enough of those online from far more knowledgable folk than me, but I'm happy to answer any specific questions about it.

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    Dave_Pr (2nd-December-2009)

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    My opinion is that you pay for the name a bit with some brands, Canon, for example.

    When I've got a bit of spare cash my money will be spent on a Pentax. They're much better value for money than some of the 'expensive' brands.

    I also happen to have three 'manual' lenses that will fit from my P30 film camera so it's a no-brainer for me.

    I already have a fairly standard zoom lens, a telescopic zoom, and an extreme-wide-angle lens (not quite fish-eye, but almost). I've taken some great pictures with the extreme-wide-angle lens. The telescopic zoom is my least useful lens of the three.

    I don't think dust on the sensor needs to be an issue when changing lenses. The Pentax I want vibrates the sensor to make any dust fall onto a sticky pad underneath. The ability to move the sensor is also what allows for the image-stabilisation (anti-shake) feature.

    Let us know which one you choose (and if it's any good!)

    This website has loads of digital camera reviews, check prices elsewhere though as some of them look out of date.

    http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equ...igitalslr.html
    Last edited by Bubble; 27th-November-2009 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Added link to what digital camera website

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Decide if you want Nikon or Canon ( or what ever ) by looking at accessories and lenses you might want to buy at a later date

    i just love the Nikon CLS flash set up and the fact, even the very latest Nikon cameras, can still use most lenses made 40 years ago ( great if you want to buy a S/H specialist macro lens on e bay)

    See if you like the "feel" of the camera (I have been a Nikon fan for over 40 years)

    I would recommend looking at a Nikon D70s
    They still sell well on e bay, so if you do want to upgrade later to say a D90
    you should get a similar price to what you paid
    Last edited by philsmove; 27th-November-2009 at 05:52 PM.

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    I've got a Canon 400D and it is certainly good enough for an amateur.
    Have just done a photography course (photos are on facebook Di) and the guy teaching us said that in his opinion Canon or Nikon are the brands to choose - Canon leaning more towards the amateur market (in terms of lens quality, pixels, and various other techno jargon) and Nikon more towards the professional...

    The 400 D was recommended by ESG - that might put you off...

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    Dickie Davies' love-child Cruella's Avatar
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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    OK, I've managed to get a used Canon EOS 400D for £255! Bargain! (I hope it's all in working order when it arrives)
    I'll be back for some help with technical stuff I expect.

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    I would like a new camera but not sure where to start... not sure if I want something as big as an SLR...

    I saw the Panasonic Lumix G1 on a TV ad last night - as a 'smaller' SLR type camera with lighter lenses.

    Anyone any experience with this camera, or know of other similar 'smaller' cameras?

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    I would like a new camera ......?
    The good news, it's pretty difficult to buy a "bad" digital camera

    As you say a full size DSLR is a very big, but will the G1 go in your pocket or hand bag?

    IMHO For personal photos, a camera that is quick and easy to use and will fit in a pocket, is more important than all the other, must have features and mega whatnot's

    Before you buy any camera, do try using it.

    Remember, it's no use when that fantastic photo opportunity arises and you miss it, because you left your camera at home

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    As you say a full size DSLR is a very big, but will the G1 go in your pocket or hand bag?

    IMHO For personal photos, a camera that is quick and easy to use and will fit in a pocket, is more important than all the other, must have features and mega whatnot's

    Before you buy any camera, do try using it.

    Remember, it's no use when that fantastic photo opportunity arises and you miss it, because you left your camera at home
    This is exactly the point - I keep taking pics with my mobile phone and while its better than nothing, its not great.

    I also have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to using a camera - I think I also need to go on a photography course.

    Anyone got any recommendations about a good 'small' camera then? If I decide to opt for that - for now anyway?

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Panasonic Lumix TZ7
    I have not used one, but if I was buying a compact, it would be on my list of cameras to try

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    Lynn (1st-December-2009)

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Thanks, will add that to the list to consider.

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    I have one, and really like it. The still photos are good, despite there being very limited manual controls. It is very good for videos of dance classes and cabarets. You can zoom whilst videoing, which most digital cameras don't seem to let you do.

    It is not as good as an SLR at taking photos, nor as good as a proper video camera at doing videos. But SLRs and video cameras are useless if you end up leaving them at home because they are too big and heavy.

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    Lynn (2nd-December-2009)

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    But SLRs and video cameras are useless if you end up leaving them at home because they are too big and heavy.
    This is a key point for me - I tend to see things I want to take a photo of when I'm out and about doing other things, its not that I tend to go out specifically to take photos - its more if I'm out walking, or travelling somewhere and see something that I want to stop and capture... so ideally something small enough to just always have with me in bag or pocket. I'm not going to carry an SLR about everywhere with me, so probably no point in getting one, at the moment anyway.

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    It is not as good as an SLR at taking photos, nor as good as a proper video camera at doing videos. But SLRs and video cameras are useless if you end up leaving them at home because they are too big and heavy.
    They are, and from time to time I've left my current one (Canon EOS 20D - a far better camera than I need, but I was offered a too-hard-to-resist second-hand deal) at home for that exact reason. I usually regret it. To me, it's worth carrying around - if you put the photos side-by-side with pictures from a compact (even a good one), there's just no-comparison.

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn View Post
    - I think I also need to go on a photography course.
    The great thing about modern fully automatic cameras is, you don't need to understand about white balance and ISO values etc, the camera does it all for you, even if it's too dark, the flash will automatically switch its self on,
    but best all, you do not have to wait to see if you photos have come out, you get the results immediately

    3 tips
    take lots of photographs
    delete (cull) the rubbish ones
    back up you favorite photos

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    Lynn (2nd-December-2009)

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    I've tried to stay out of giving my opinion on this thread, as its difficult for me to be objective


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    I have one, and really like it. The still photos are good, despite there being very limited manual controls.

    It is not as good as an SLR at taking photos,
    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    The great thing about modern fully automatic cameras is, you don't need to understand about white balance and ISO values etc, the camera does it all for you, even if it's too dark, the flash will automatically switch its self on,
    I agree.......... But the problem comes, when you DO know a little bit about photography, having such little control, is somewhat frustrating..

    You'll always get an okay result but it'll be rare to get an absolutely brilliant one or one that's 'artistically different'!

    But then again, an SLR in the hands of someone with no knowledge whatsoever, won't get better results, in fact, they're likely to get worse results!

    Unless they use it in Auto-mode, which kind of defeats the object

    3 tips
    take lots of photographs
    delete (cull) the rubbish ones
    back up you favorite photos
    Great advice.
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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    The great thing about modern fully automatic cameras is, you don't need to understand about white balance and ISO values etc, the camera does it all for you, even if it's too dark, the flash will automatically switch its self on, but best all, you do not have to wait to see if you photos have come out, you get the results immediately
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn
    I also have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to using a camera - I think I also need to go on a photography course.
    My photography teacher told us on the first day that if you use a modern digital camera on auto mode, 90% of the shots we took would be okay... "but this course is about the last 10% - ensuring you can get a good shot every time; and making your shots better than just okay."

    If you're interested in photography, learn how to use your basic tools properly. Learn about cameras, lenses, and lighting. It doesn't have to be a formal course; there are lots of good books and lots of information on the internet about every aspect of photography. But if you make the effort to understand your camera, you'll love and treasure it all the more, you'll take better photos, and you'll gain a whole new appreciation for the photographic work of others.

    Creating okay photos, 90% of the time may be okay for some people, but if you're interested in photography enough to invest in decent gear, then you should be willing to invest in the effort to know how to use it.

    You can also learn a lot by posting your photos on Flickr - there are many interest groups where enthusiast and professional photographers are happy to provide feedback. I post my own photos here: http://flickr.com/photos/leonardlow.

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    Lynn (3rd-December-2009)

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    My first edited pic with the new camera.
    Last edited by Cruella; 14th-May-2011 at 04:55 PM.

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    Re: SLR Digital Cameras, which one?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruella View Post
    My first edited pic with the new camera.
    All in all, exposure settings look pretty good.

    Depth of field @ f/5 looks good with focus on eyes and no blurred-out facial features, but with some nice artistic blurring of the subject's fur receding into the background.

    Decent balance between ISO (400) and shutter speed (1/60s). If the flash was capable of more power, you might have been able to get away with a lower ISO, but as it's a built-in flash that may not be possible, in which case ISO is good, to prevent a longer shutter speed (which might have resulted in blurring from the subject moving).

    Exposure setting appears to have been "Normal". Did you shoot this in the camera's Auto mode, or were you working in any of the exposure control modes (Av, Tv, or Manual)?

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