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Thread: camera for beginners

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    Member joey83's Avatar
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    Smile camera for beginners

    I'm wanting to get a new camera and experiment with photography a bit. I have been looking at a Canon 500D. Can anyone tell me if it's a good camera just for basics or recommend any others?
    Thank you!
    Jo

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    Hi Jo

    Every one is going to have a different opinion on the best way to learn. Some take the approach that you should start off in point and shoot mode with an SLR, but I take a different approach. You may take to photography, you may not, but the cheapest way to find out is to buy an old film camera and a 50mm lens. This may cost you as little as $100. Then you are on a "pay as you go" setup. Throw a roll of film in, shoot it, take it to the local lab for developing and a scan to disk. You then have your digital files and film, maybe some prints too. You can choose an SLR or rangefinder, or even a compact. If you want to take the digital route, I would strongly suggest a used Nikon D80 or Nikon D200. There would be equivalent Canon, Sony, Pentax et al, but I'm not familiar with those cameras. If you want new, any DSLR made in the last five years is going to be a good camera, and you need to look at the lenses and the way the camera feels to decide which one.

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Jo

    Firstly - welcome to the AP forum ... this is the place to ask your Qs and get lots of (hopefully) usefull advice
    If you also meander thru the 'camera/lens gear forum' you'll find others who have asked similar Qs and got their answers

    Tom has given you his opinion - a good one ... I would suggest a bit more research maybe

    There are as many good quality camera makers as there are motor car makers, and for best results, you need to "drive" each contender to see which does what you want
    Just as you would not buy a car because a friend told you 'they' like a certain car - you would go for a test drive first to decide for yourself

    You are about to embark upon many years of good photography - so choose the camera that suits your hand size, your fingers need to be able to reach the controls; your eye needs to be comfortable looking thru the eyepiece & viewfinder; the size & weight needs to be comfortabe for you to carry and hold up and use - and so it goes on

    I suggest that you make a date with your local camera shop, sit down for an hour or so and try-before-you-buy

    Hope this helps a bit ...
    Regards, phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    Hi Jo,

    Let me start by saying that my experience is with Canon DSLRs (Pentax film cameras).
    I am sure that the other manufacturers have cameras in their range at the same price point as the 500D, and that they have similar features and performance to the Canon, so this ISN'T a "Canon is better than the others" post, but a reflection of my experiences.

    After having used film for a LONG time I moved into digital in 2007 with a Canon 400D, and have since added a 550D to my kit.
    I have handed the 400D to my daughter to allow her to step up from her point and shoot.
    The 500D you have been looking it is two models newer than the 400D, and just like the 400D will allow you to do much more than "just the basics".

    You haven't mentioned which lenses you are considering, but I am assuming that as a beginner, you are either looking at the 18-55 kit, or 18-55 and 55-250 kit.
    While my daughter has access to all my lenses, she has discovered that a 50mm f1.8 and an 18-55mm kit has covered most of her needs so far, and that she has learnt a lot through using them.

    While there are MANY options, all with pros and cons compared to the 500D, they all give you control over Aperture, Shutter Speed and Sensitivity (ISO).
    These are the variables determining how light arrives at the sensor and captures what you see. As a beginner, learning about these fundamentals, along with composition, in much more important than "which" camera you buy.

    So yes, in my opinion the 500D will make a very good camera for you to learn with.
    Depending on your budget, I would get the IS Twin Lens Kit, and a 50mm f1.8.
    The 50 f1.8 was a "standard" lens on film cameras, but on an APS-C body such as the 500D equates to an 80mm lens.
    If you decide you want a fixed focal length lens (a "prime" lens), many will suggest that a 35mm lens, or thereabouts, is more suitable as a "standard" lens on APS-C bodies.
    The reason I suggest the 50 f1.8 is because they sell for about $125 compared to $385 for a 35 f2 (DDP prices).

    For anyone else posting, remember these are my opinions only, and do not suggest that this the "best camera, or lenses", or the OPs only choice.
    Having read a lot of threads like this one, on this and other forums, I have found that it is more beneficial to the OP to reply to their post, rather than picking holes in the posts of others who have replied.

    Mark
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by OzzieTraveller View Post
    G'day Jo

    Firstly - welcome to the AP forum ... this is the place to ask your Qs and get lots of (hopefully) usefull advice
    If you also meander thru the 'camera/lens gear forum' you'll find others who have asked similar Qs and got their answers

    Tom has given you his opinion - a good one ... I would suggest a bit more research maybe

    There are as many good quality camera makers as there are motor car makers, and for best results, you need to "drive" each contender to see which does what you want
    Just as you would not buy a car because a friend told you 'they' like a certain car - you would go for a test drive first to decide for yourself

    You are about to embark upon many years of good photography - so choose the camera that suits your hand size, your fingers need to be able to reach the controls; your eye needs to be comfortable looking thru the eyepiece & viewfinder; the size & weight needs to be comfortabe for you to carry and hold up and use - and so it goes on

    I suggest that you make a date with your local camera shop, sit down for an hour or so and try-before-you-buy

    Hope this helps a bit ...
    Regards, phil
    i agree with u.

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