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Thread: I need a camera!

  1. #1
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    I need a camera!

    I know there are a few shutterbugs here. I am looking for a dslr to take gearshots with. My phone actually takes very good pictures, but it also ate about 500 pictures for no apparent reason. I would go up to 800 beans, I think. Any more than that would be overkill, I think.
    "Steve, you are a man of many goats."~ capnjuan

    "Alternatively, you could just go the ultra-relic route with it. Basically go for a look that says the amp was on fire and they put it out using belt sanders."
    (amps - I need a "99" & "50")

  2. #2
    I like my Canon Rebel. There are lots of different Rebel models through the years, and most are very affordable. Mine also does hi-def video (and I haven't even played with that much). I remember film photography. Digital is just awesome.

    You'll likely want to get some program to "mess with" your photos. With all the megapixels nowadays, my photos come out about 6 feet wide at 72 dpi. I always "develop" those down to 12-18 inches for the web. I use photoshop elements (<$100). Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    B&H is a good online source. Sometimes they have great bundle deals.

  4. #4
    Things to realize before you go down this dark path:

    You may want to consider:

    Camera
    Lens
    Flash
    Memory Card(s)
    Card Reader (if you don't have one already)
    Software

    Entry-level DSLRs often come in a kit that includes a "kit lens" which is functional but not great. Lenses are where the image quality really comes from. Well, that and the person taking the photo. That said, if you can't recognize the difference between a $200 kit lens and a $2000 pro lens, then the pro lens isn't worth the money. For me they weren't until I grew into them.

    Because of all of that, a DSLR may be overkill. There are some seriously great ProSumer cameras that don't have interchangeable lenses in your price range that may be worth looking into.

    If you still think a DSLR is the answer, then my recommendation is to go to your local big-box or camera store and handle them all. If you're not already invested in a system then buy the camera manufacturer who's camera feels best in your hand. I'm a Canon guy mostly because I have been for years and as a result I have a lot invested in lenses. If I were to start from scratch today I'd probably lean towards Nikon today because I like the ergonomics of their camera bodies more now (I didn't think that 15 years ago).

    If you're going to use the camera for detailed amp gut shots, you'll want one that can do reasonably good close-up work. Most cameras call this "macro", though they usually misuse that term (don't get me started). Still, being able to shoot clear close-up images is a huge benefit when talking amp guts and pickup details and the like. For full-on guitar shots, a zoom lens in the "normal" range is all you need. Honestly the big deal with guitar shots (any photo, really) is light and controlling the light is more skill than gear (says the guy who spent WAY too much money on his lights).

    If you start doing research you'll fall down the path of megapixels and pixel pitch and a bunch of other crap. My advice is to ignore all of it. A camera is a tool just like a guitar. It should inspire the artist and not get in their way.

    Cameras don't take great photos; people take great photos.



    Edit: Just an after-thought. I bought my teenage daughter a Canon Rebel, but I did that only because it would allow her to work easily with my existing gear.

    Double Edit: Shooting raw is amazing. Learn to shoot raw. Also, invest in hard drives for all the space you'll consume with all those raw files.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member killdeer43's Avatar
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    Adorama is a very good online site to consider, and they offer great customer service for returns, exchanges, etc.
    They have kits aplenty to equip you with everything you need to get started.
    FWIW, I'm a long-time Nikon fan.

    Joe
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  6. #6
    Senior Member killdeer43's Avatar
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    Yes, as GAD alluded, an external hard drive is an essential if you plan to shoot a lot.


    Joe
    "Just give me one extra season, so I can figure out the other four."

    Westerly:
    '75 D35
    '76 F112-6
    '94 D4-12

    Other:
    Seagull S6

  7. #7
    I don't think you can go wrong with Nikon or Canon, but make sure you get a brand name lens. When I was into film photography, I preferred Pentax, if only because of the backward/forward compatibility of their lenses, but even their least expensive DSLR that I've seen would be pushing your limit with a decent lens. As to B&H and Adorama, they have often been accused of selling gray market products, nothing illegal, and there can be substantial savings, but there is usually no US warranty.
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  8. #8
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    Actually, I bought a Nikon D5000 bundle from Best Buy. I shopped B&H, but Best Buy had a great deal...two lenses, case, memory cards, charger, for a great price. I'm not too into the weeds on cameras, but mine does more than I'll ever figure out.

  9. #9
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    Started doing the research today, so it should be interesting, especially when I drag an amp into the store and throw it onto the counter.
    "Steve, you are a man of many goats."~ capnjuan

    "Alternatively, you could just go the ultra-relic route with it. Basically go for a look that says the amp was on fire and they put it out using belt sanders."
    (amps - I need a "99" & "50")

  10. #10
    Senior Member Guildedagain's Avatar
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    DSLR's are not the way to go. Not from zero to DSLR.

    I would highly recommend a point and shoot with a decent lens, Sony has Zeiss lenses (more or less) and Panasonic has Leica lenses.

    What gets you quality photographs are "the glass", and the sensor.

    Micro 4 3rds cameras (CANON is a good example) are pure pro photographers tools, to the point where my brother in law (who used to pal around with Ansel Adams and Edward Weston) teaches B&W photo seminars in the desert actually uses his tiny Canon for everything now, even tho he has $20k of (heavy) Canon DSLR gear...

    Personally I prefer Nikon DSLR cameras, the older lenses are pretty outstanding.

    But I use a Panasonic Lumix LX5, cheap, handy, and does amazing close ups.

    "The best camera is the one you have on you", and the lighter and more compact the better. Obviously the Iphone, etc fits this shirt pocket category.

    As well, with a "real" camera, you can learn things like how to control exposure, depth of field, etc.


    Any old Kodak publication "How to make great pictures" from the 50's can teach you everything you need to know about these things, as well as hundreds of other books, John Hedgecoe comes to mind, but I'm a bitof a dinosaur I suppose...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hedgecoe

    In closing, I'd have to say my point and shoot consistently takes better quickie pics than the fussy DSLR which has a tendency to underexpose, especially with wide angle lenses.

    But if I hear a Pileated Woodpecker chomping on a snag and I want to try to get a decent pic, I grab the Nikon with a 300 lens, which by the way when not on a "full frame" DSLR undergoes a 1.6 multiplication for an actual focal length of 480mm, not too shabby for birds.

    I did graduate from a 2 year Commercial Photo program back in 1997, back in the lovely old darkroom days. The teachers made us shoot everything on 4x5's, 35mm cameras were not considered serious cameras, especially not for any kind of serious art photography...

    Had my first darkroom in a bedroom closet in 1972, when I was 11. I'd got black Pentax Spotmatic for my birthday, and I was in heaven. I'd already been shooting since I was about 8 on a good old Kodak 126 film Instamatic... ;-)
    Last edited by Guildedagain; 04-16-2019 at 05:04 PM.

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