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  1. #1
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    New Photographer

    I have always enjoyed photography, but I only have a cheap digital camera. What do I need to look for when I go to purchase a good one?
    I'm gonna live forever if I have to die trying.
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  2. #2
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    There are a couple of questions to ask first:
    What price range are you looking for?
    What do you generally want to take photos of?

  3. #3
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    My price range is up to $1000.00
    I like to take photos generally of nature. Birds, animals, scenery, stuff like that.
    I'm gonna live forever if I have to die trying.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot
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    With that price range, I'll assume that you are not afraid to go with a Digital SLR (DSLR) camera. It would be best to go with one of the entry level DSLR camera such as one of Canon's Rebel series. I am not as familiar with Nikon's DSLR line, but they are also good cameras. Of course buying a used model is also an option.

    Things you will need to look at and (potentially) buy:
    Memory cards - DSLRs use either SD or Compact Flash memory. If you don't want to buy new memory, go with a camera that uses the same type of memory that you have.

    Lens - I associate scenery shots with lenses that are less than 50mm, while with birds and animals, you will want to be able to zoom up close. I use a 28 - 135mm lens to be able to do both, though at times I would not mind having more of a zoom. Take a look at the pictures you have taken with your current camera and look at the EXIF data - what mm do you show for your shots? For those shots, did you wish you had a wider view or a more close up view? That can help determine what kind of lens to get.

    Of course there are so many other potential things to buy (tripods, shutter releases, external flashes, etc.) but those are the basics to start with. Reading up on photography and those technical specs mean can also help you in a decision, as there are a lot of other potential things to look at.

    Feel free to look things over and ask questions and I will try to answer them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sperlock View Post
    With that price range, I'll assume that you are not afraid to go with a Digital SLR (DSLR) camera. It would be best to go with one of the entry level DSLR camera such as one of Canon's Rebel series. I am not as familiar with Nikon's DSLR line, but they are also good cameras. Of course buying a used model is also an option.

    Things you will need to look at and (potentially) buy:
    Memory cards - DSLRs use either SD or Compact Flash memory. If you don't want to buy new memory, go with a camera that uses the same type of memory that you have.

    Lens - I associate scenery shots with lenses that are less than 50mm, while with birds and animals, you will want to be able to zoom up close. I use a 28 - 135mm lens to be able to do both, though at times I would not mind having more of a zoom. Take a look at the pictures you have taken with your current camera and look at the EXIF data - what mm do you show for your shots? For those shots, did you wish you had a wider view or a more close up view? That can help determine what kind of lens to get.

    Of course there are so many other potential things to buy (tripods, shutter releases, external flashes, etc.) but those are the basics to start with. Reading up on photography and those technical specs mean can also help you in a decision, as there are a lot of other potential things to look at.

    Feel free to look things over and ask questions and I will try to answer them.
    What he said. I'd personally go for Nikon though - at the prosumer end they're winning the race currently.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist mrandrei's Avatar
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    You can surely find cheap digicams on Ebay or Amazon. I would suggest Canon PowerShot SX20IS. Love that cam!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrandrei View Post
    You can surely find cheap digicams on Ebay or Amazon. I would suggest Canon PowerShot SX20IS. Love that cam!
    That's true, but he's got a budget of $1000 so it makes sense to go for a DSLR and a lens or two as the quality will be streets ahead.

  8. #8
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    I like to click each and every thing regarding to nature only. What should i have to do to improve my photography that my clicks will seem real and natural.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenni9 View Post
    I like to click each and every thing regarding to nature only. What should i have to do to improve my photography that my clicks will seem real and natural.
    Practice Practice Practice, Nothing else comes close to practice.

    find the best images you an on the net and in print and determine how such images were captured.

    you will doubtless come away from such an exercise richer for it.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot cpace1983's Avatar
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    I'll second the Canon Rebel DSLR comment. A good DSLR such as the Rebel would be miles ahead of any point-and-shoot. Off the top of my head, the XSI is decent, and usually is sold with a combination package with a telephoto lens.
    I am a Freelance Linux Consultant.
    I offer flat rate Linux support, as well as hourly support.
    Feel free to visit my blog, Ramblings of a Linux Administrator.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpace1983 View Post
    I'll second the Canon Rebel DSLR comment. A good DSLR such as the Rebel would be miles ahead of any point-and-shoot. Off the top of my head, the XSI is decent, and usually is sold with a combination package with a telephoto lens.
    The Nikons are just beating them at the moment for image quality, but I'm sure Canon will come back. To be honest, there's not a lot in it. I just like the look and feel of the Nikons. Best thing is to go and pick one up and see which you like.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot cpace1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spark_Creative View Post
    The Nikons are just beating them at the moment for image quality, but I'm sure Canon will come back. To be honest, there's not a lot in it. I just like the look and feel of the Nikons. Best thing is to go and pick one up and see which you like.
    Best thing you can do for image quality is to dump the EFS lens, and go with a L lens- problem solved on clarity.

    I'll second the opinion though that you need to demo whatever you plan on buying. Make sure that it works for you.
    I am a Freelance Linux Consultant.
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  13. #13
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    I'm just glad that there is competition between Canon and Nikon - that's great for all of us.

  14. #14
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    Absolutely.


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