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Thread: Camera for a beginner

  1. #1
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    Camera for a beginner

    A complete beginner, but someone who wouldn't mind trying to become proficient to a degree.

    Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations, be it a DSLR or such, best all around lenses types etc.

    The initial use would be for nature shots, forests, hills etc. I'll be spending a few weeks in Nevada and California and my host has mentioned the potential to see bears at a gold claim of his, and that was enough for me to think about ditching my reliance on a smart phone and learn how to take some worthwhile shots! I don't have a large budget, 1k would be the limit second hand, and that would require selling a few watches to justify.

    Any thoughts welcome :)

  2. #2
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    You need to think about two things , not only the camera but the lens. Irrespective of the camera to fill the frame with a “bear” you need a 200mm so when looking within your budget ignore 22-70 mm type lenses as they will leave you wanting

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    A complete beginner, but someone who wouldn't mind trying to become proficient to a degree.

    Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations, be it a DSLR or such, best all around lenses types etc.

    The initial use would be for nature shots, forests, hills etc. I'll be spending a few weeks in Nevada and California and my host has mentioned the potential to see bears at a gold claim of his, and that was enough for me to think about ditching my reliance on a smart phone and learn how to take some worthwhile shots! I don't have a large budget, 1k would be the limit second hand, and that would require selling a few watches to justify.

    Any thoughts welcome :)
    Nikon DX DSLR and you may as well get the kit 50mm f1.8 as it's a good lens

    used Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Lens for Nature and other things

    a couple of good SD cards

    (you can probably buy new kit for £1,000)
    Last edited by BillN; 31st January 2019 at 20:07.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    You need to think about two things , not only the camera but the lens. Irrespective of the camera to fill the frame with a “bear” you need a 200mm so when looking within your budget ignore 22-70 mm type lenses as they will leave you wanting

    Steve
    Thanks Steve. The majority of what I'd want be capturing would be scenic landscape shots, rather than shots with specific items filling the frame. So had been thinking that 35mm or such might cover that. If I do see a bear, I'd want the ability to get the surroundings into the shot, not just the animal. As you say though, it is about lens plus body, so it leaves me even more confused :) if I could stretch the budget, I'd certainly rather have a pair of lenses to cover a range of possibilities.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillN View Post
    Nikon DX DSLR and you may as well get the kit 50mm f1.8 as it's a good lens

    used Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Lens for Nature and other things

    a couple of good CF cards

    (you can probably buy new kit for £1,000)
    Thanks BillN. I'll have a look at this. And I go used for most things (don't need an experience :p) and be able to get better or more bits for my money.
    Last edited by hafle; 31st January 2019 at 20:08.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Thanks Steve. The majority of what I'd want be capturing would be scenic landscape shots, rather than shots with specific items filling the frame. So had been thinking that 35mm or such might cover that. If I do see a bear, I'd want the ability to get the surroundings into the shot, not just the animal. As you say though, it is about lens plus body, so it leaves me even more confused :) if I could stretch the budget, I'd certainly rather have a pair of lenses to cover a range of possibilities.


    Thanks BillN. I'll have a look at this. And I go used for most things (don't need an experience :p) and be able to get better or more bits for my money.
    If that's the case go for a Nikon (wider) zoom - most are really good - but the 18 300 is twice the price of the 70 300 - both DX lens

    18mm will give you x 1.5 on a DX (i.e 27mm), and similar up the range 300mm = 450mm in conventional terms on a DX sensor
    Last edited by BillN; 31st January 2019 at 20:17.

  6. #6
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    I have started learning photography using the Nikon D3300, the quality of the photo depends on how you set up the camera from the shutter speed, lighting, and angle more. Some people always tells me that it doesn't matter if you use a smartphone to capture a photo for as long the angle is right and you are focus on the subject. I usually take a photo of my dog and the best thing to capture a good photo is by showing them a treat or getting near automatic feeders. I am honestly planning to create my own vlogs on summer. Everything is a learning process you just need the passion to whatever you do.
    Last edited by 1claire; 7th February 2019 at 04:48.

  7. #7
    I'd imagine there are vast expanses of scenery where you are going - you mentioned hills, forests and bears so I would also recommend the Nikon 70-300 VRII to go with your D3300. I used to have this lens and used it with my D90 and D600 and it's very good optically, and you can pick them up pre-owned for a really good price. If you don't have a tripod that's the next thing I would buy.

  8. #8
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    This s/h budget price combination could get you started

    https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Niko...VR_233365.html

    … a 14.2 megapixel golden oldie with a Nikkor lens equivalent to 28-80mm

    Lots of reviews on YouTube

    Select fully auto in good light and it'll provide you with excellent images

    Add a longer lens at a later date


    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

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    A Fuji XT-1 or XT-2? 16MP and 24 respectively on APS-C sensor. Around £220 and £650 s/h from somewhere like Wex. Both give you nice dials to set the type of things you want to learn how to use. The 18-55 (24-80 on full frame equivalent) is about £330 s/h and has stabilisation and water resistance. A 18-135 (24-200 equivalent) is £444. Again is stabilised and WR. Just the latter would give you a great travel zoom range in a relatively small package.

  10. #10
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    Had some stuff on my plate, but back thinking about this again. Currently thinking about this combo.

    Body
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-D3500...07GZP6JPG?th=1
    I can get one "like new" from an online shop without a lens for £319, but not sure if the included lenbs would be worth more on ebay than the initial saving. I don't know too much about this as you know, but would the included lens potentially be better at 18 than with the telephoto lens regarding bowing, although I know I should be able to use lightroom lens correction.

    Lens
    https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equip...dx/sku-808651/

    Not sure if the extremely minor amount of dust is something to be worried about.

  11. #11
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    There's been a lot of good advice about all sorts of different cameras. The only thing I'll throw into the mix is when starting with a DSLR system, just remember you're buying into a lens system rather than a 'canon' or 'nikon'. Once you're in to a specific brand and have made the investment, it can be costly to change.

    Plus, I'm Canon all the way :D

  12. #12
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    Also, another thing to remember is things like crop factors (certainly with Canon and their EF/EF-S range). Depending what camera body you get and the size of the sensor can affect the ultimate photo you get (I.e. 1/2" sensor vs 1/3" sensor etc.)

  13. #13
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Had some stuff on my plate, but back thinking about this again. Currently thinking about this combo.

    Body
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nikon-D3500...07GZP6JPG?th=1
    I can get one "like new" from an online shop without a lens for £319, but not sure if the included lenbs would be worth more on ebay than the initial saving. I don't know too much about this as you know, but would the included lens potentially be better at 18 than with the telephoto lens regarding bowing, although I know I should be able to use lightroom lens correction.

    Lens
    https://www.mpb.com/en-uk/used-equip...dx/sku-808651/

    Not sure if the extremely minor amount of dust is something to be worried about.
    Buy both and you'll likely not regret the decision … but practice and practice before your trip … And a bit of dust will make no difference to the image … I'd willingly buy MPB's cheapest 'well used' and 'dusty' 18-300mm knowing it's a good lens.

    You're likely worrying too much.

    Get out and use whatever you decide on … and post some results on the forum for some feedback.

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 27th March 2019 at 16:07.
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    Buy both and you'll likely not regret the decision … but practice and practice before your trip … And a bit of dust will make no difference to the image … I'd willingly buy MPB's cheapest 'well used' and 'dusty' 18-300mm knowing it's a good lens.

    You're likely worrying too much.

    Get out and use whatever you decide on … and post some results on the forum for some feedback.

    dunk
    Camera arrived on Saturday, but a bit too busy to really use it beyond a couple of shots. Cant share until I can find somewhere that'll let me upload a 14mb file.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/HAnOozG

    Lens should hopefully have been delivered by the time I return from work today. Go the weekend off so think I'll take it into Bristol and up onto the mendips etc.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Camera arrived on Saturday, but a bit too busy to really use it beyond a couple of shots. Cant share until I can find somewhere that'll let me upload a 14mb file.

    https://imgur.com/gallery/HAnOozG

    Lens should hopefully have been delivered by the time I return from work today. Go the weekend off so think I'll take it into Bristol and up onto the mendips etc.
    Great job! Before you know it you'll be a fully signed up member of Adobe Lightroom!! If I were you i'd watch a few videos on YouTube for some basic DSLR skills, I'll see if I can find someon that can make a big difference on your photos.

    Good luck!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregR_ View Post
    Great job! Before you know it you'll be a fully signed up member of Adobe Lightroom!! If I were you i'd watch a few videos on YouTube for some basic DSLR skills, I'll see if I can find someon that can make a big difference on your photos.

    Good luck!
    Thanks.

    There is some american guy (froknowsphoto) who's done some videos I really enjoyed. He knows how to explain things to both experts and beginners alike. I saw that he has a 45 minute video on how to use this camera, so will be giving that a watch before long. And I've already a copy Photoshop and lightroom, but never gotten around to installing it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    Thanks.

    There is some american guy (froknowsphoto) who's done some videos I really enjoyed. He knows how to explain things to both experts and beginners alike. I saw that he has a 45 minute video on how to use this camera, so will be giving that a watch before long. And I've already a copy Photoshop and lightroom, but never gotten around to installing it.
    And again for those bits of software, youtube is your friend! Good luck and definitely share your results with us! :)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregR_ View Post
    And again for those bits of software, youtube is your friend! Good luck and definitely share your results with us! :)
    Absolute pea soup today, so proved a bit of a challenge to say the least, but got to have a play at different shutter speeds etc. Out of about 100 photos, only a handful I was happy with though, and they're hardly brilliant. All a learning curve though, and got to enjoy a nice walk in the process.






  19. #19
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    I’d say that was a pretty good start! Love the first one in particular.

  20. #20
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    It's proving a tricky one. While I can take some ok shots, I'm also finding that I can take what appear to be subpar shots, but a touch up in lightroom make them acceptable. Think I'm going to stop paying attention to the camera screen, only shoot in raw, and give every shot a chance. I'm currently just using preset filters, and moving the sliders around a bit from there, but hopefully at some point I can confidently start moving the sliders without presets.

    Here's a photo I was not at all happy with until I opened it up in lightroom this evening.

  21. #21
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Don't worry about dud shots, every photographer takes loads, even the pros. You'll soon come to recognise differing light conditions and what settings will get you the shot you want, or at least very near with minimal tweaking needed. There's probably a body specific sub-section on POTN (Photography on the Net) for your camera, I've picked up useful info re my Canons there, eg keeping the exposure compensation set at + ⅓ to ½ stop, then bringing it down if need be later, much better than going the other way and having problems in the shadows etc. Re landscape focal length, google "landscape with 70-200".

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    It's proving a tricky one. While I can take some ok shots, I'm also finding that I can take what appear to be subpar shots, but a touch up in lightroom make them acceptable. Think I'm going to stop paying attention to the camera screen, only shoot in raw, and give every shot a chance. I'm currently just using preset filters, and moving the sliders around a bit from there, but hopefully at some point I can confidently start moving the sliders without presets.

    Here's a photo I was not at all happy with until I opened it up in lightroom this evening.
    There’s not a lot wrong with that at all - nicely focused on the writing on the dial.

    Shooting in RAW is definitely an advantage when it comes to post processing. I don’t do a huge amount of post processing but I have seen professional photographers create some stunning images that looked pretty mundane when taken straight from the camera. One of them once told me that digital images are designed to be post processed.

    Certainly don’t get despondent about “duds” - the great advantage of digital over film is that there is no penalty for trying things out and taking lots of photos. Try different apertures, different shutter speeds, different presets, etc so you can become thoroughly familiar with your camera and its capabilities.

    If it helps, I am probably happy with between 5 and 10% of the photos I take. I am no great photographer, but I’ve been lucky enough to have photos published in various books and magazines.
    Last edited by willie_gunn; 31st March 2019 at 10:45.

  23. #23
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Your compositions are fine. When post processing, consider looking at and working with the histogram to optimise results.

    https://digital-photography-school.c...oom-histogram/

    dunk
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  24. #24
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    Well I've been doing some reading, and taking a lot of photos. I try and take each photo a dozen times while going through the range of aperature etc, just to see how it all works.

    I'm not so much seeing what I'm doing right, rather I'm begining to identify what it is that has led a photo to be wrong. Either way, learning is occuring I guess. One thing that's been painfully obvious, is that using the zoom feature of this lense, well it's a waste of time if I don't take my tripod with me :)

    Managed to take a couple (out of a thousand odd) that I'm happy with though, so I've also been spending my time playing around with lightroom. Lens correction makes one hell of a difference!




    Nothing wonderful, but a lot better than my phone :)

  25. #25
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    I use a Canon DSLR and for years used a 28-80 and a 70-300 lens which covered a lot of eventualities.
    Now mainly use a 100mm prime macro lens and a 150-600 sigma lens for wildlife which is fun. Not high end stuff, but enough to satisfy my desires!

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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