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Unread 11-06-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
Ithlia
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So I want to get into photography...camera suggestions? (Details provided)

Alright...I'm really big into cosplay, but I have always been fascinated with photography. It is something that I have wanted to get involved with for years, but only as a hobby. I want to take photos at conventions that are of a higher quality than what my regular digital camera can take, but I also want to have the ability to do photoshoots myself between conventions of my cosplays.

Now, since I am not going to be doing this "professionally" of any sort, I don't want to drop a lot of money on a camera. My boyfriend is buying me a camera for Christmas, but I am pitching in $150 since the cameras I'm looking at are around $500.

I'm leaning towards the Nikon D3100 or a Canon Rebel, but I still want to get more opinions from people. I really don't want to pay any more than $500 for a camera, but I definitely want it to be either Nikon or Canon.

Thank you for the input! If you require any more information, I'm more than happy to answer.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
sukotsuto
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It seems like you are pretty much set. With that budget and two options for manufacturers, there are only so many cameras available new right now. Do you want to buy the camera locally or online?

If you don't have anyone to help while you take photos of yourself in cosplay, then you should consider a camera that has a "fully articulating" LCD screen on the back. This will allow you to see yourself on the LCD screen ,so you don't have to do trial and error photo taking. Although, it would probably be difficult to find a new camera with a screen like that for $500 or less. The Nikon D5100 replacement was just announced, so that model might get cheaper until they stop producing it. Maybe the "Black Friday" sales coming up this month would be a good time to get it cheap.

Other important things to get:
1. A tripod, take note of how tall the tripod can get when fully extended. Some cheap tripods can only get as tall as 3 ft or 4 ft.
2. A wireless shutter release (a remote control for your camera). This will allow you to fire off the camera or start the timer from a distance.

Both of those items will help you to take photos of yourself in cosplay without any assistance.
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Unread 11-06-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
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I'm a canon shooter so of course I lean towards the rebel. However, just tossing out there, my cousin got a Sony NEX-5N recently and the thing is pretty awesome. It has some features that even my 7D doesn't have, and it's right around your price point. Certainly if you're thinking about DSLR video you might want to consider it, although I don't know if that's of interest to you.

Otherwise, I don't feel like you can go wrong with the basic Nikon and Canon offerings. Whichever one feels better in your hands should probably be the winner.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
Ithlia
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@Sukotsuto: Those are really good suggestions, thank you! I haven't thought much about the LCD screen, but like you said we will see once Black Friday rolls around. I'm not too concerned with a flipping screen since I'm sure there are other, cheaper ways to figure out how I will look on the camera lol. But if the option is available to buy one that isn't uber expensive, I'll definitely consider it!

As for buying locally or online...it all depends really. My boyfriend said he would go out Black Friday to see if there are any kind of deals on cameras, and if he finds nothing then he will try Cyber Monday. So pretty much I'm open to either.

And the shutter release is a really good idea I haven't even thought of! Thank you :3! I'll probably eventually get a tripod of some sort, but right now my main concern is getting the basics hehe! Thank you!


@djlemma: Yeah...I'm not too concerned with videos. As for the Sony camera...for some reason I'm just set on getting either a Canon or a Nikon. To me, they seem like the best brands out there. I don't want to take any risks ya know? I'm not saying the other brands are bad, but I'd rather go with the two most well-known brands to give myself a peace of mind lol.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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If you want to "get into it" and see yourself eventually taking it seriously as a hobby, then it's not a bad idea to stick with Canon or Nikon. The other brands can certainly make good images, but the big two just have so many more options when it comes to third-party support, used equipment, and all the other benefits that come with a very large user base. I'm personally a Canon guy but Nikon has excellent offerings as well.

As for starter equipment, I would probably go with a lightly used Rebel. A T2i or T3i is a great choice, with the T3i being a little newer and having a few additional features. They have the same sensor as the 60D and 7D, which means competent low-light performance, and overall very good image quality for a starter camera. If those are out of your price range or you won't buy used, the T3 (not T3i) is an okay choice for a super low price - though the T3 is certainly much more "entry level" when it comes to size and features; also, I don't know much about the sensor in the T3, other than it's different and a little smaller than the other Rebels.

Camera bodies depreciate quickly, whereas good lenses hold their value for much longer. Therefore, definitely don't rule out a gently used body that someone else has outgrown; let someone else take that depreciation hit for you, and spend the savings on the other stuff you'll need, like lenses, a memory card, flash, bag, tripod, remote shutter release, the list is just about endless. About 1/3 of my equipment was bought used, including my two favorite lenses.

Also, if you want to get the most out of your camera, invest in the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Modern DSLRs are pretty smart, but when left on the fully automatic modes, they will do a good job of making a perfectly average picture in every possible situation. Once you understand the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) you can move away from the automatic modes, tell the camera what you want it to do, and take your photographs from "average" to "pretty good" and then to "fantastic."

Also, the forums on http://photography-on-the.net are a fantastic resource for novices and pros alike. That particular forum leans more toward Canon, but the fundamentals of photography are the same regardless of the brand of the camera.
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Last edited by nathancarter : 11-07-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 12:25 PM   #6
Surfsama
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Canon Rebel with an 18-135mm zoom and 50mm f1.8 and you're set. Throw a speedlite in there if you can afford it.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 06:52 PM   #7
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I give out the same advice to anyone new. Go to the store. Try out the entry level models as they should have them in there. It might not be able to power up or even work. But the main thing out of this exercise is to figure out which camera in your hands feels like its works with you.

Between Nikon and Canon they are nearly the same on the low specifications. And to be honest unless you hit the higher level cameras and lenses you won't really care. The main thing to look for when you start out is the how the camera fits your hands. Other than that everything else is fixed usually with money

And my next honest answer. Look at the Sony NEX-5. If you're only on the border and the ability to take better photos over your regular Point and Shoot. With image quality generally on par with your entry level DSLRs with even less physical size.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
Ithlia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathancarter View Post
If you want to "get into it" and see yourself eventually taking it seriously as a hobby, then it's not a bad idea to stick with Canon or Nikon. The other brands can certainly make good images, but the big two just have so many more options when it comes to third-party support, used equipment, and all the other benefits that come with a very large user base. I'm personally a Canon guy but Nikon has excellent offerings as well.

As for starter equipment, I would probably go with a lightly used Rebel. A T2i or T3i is a great choice, with the T3i being a little newer and having a few additional features. They have the same sensor as the 60D and 7D, which means competent low-light performance, and overall very good image quality for a starter camera. If those are out of your price range or you won't buy used, the T3 (not T3i) is an okay choice for a super low price - though the T3 is certainly much more "entry level" when it comes to size and features; also, I don't know much about the sensor in the T3, other than it's different and a little smaller than the other Rebels.

Camera bodies depreciate quickly, whereas good lenses hold their value for much longer. Therefore, definitely don't rule out a gently used body that someone else has outgrown; let someone else take that depreciation hit for you, and spend the savings on the other stuff you'll need, like lenses, a memory card, flash, bag, tripod, remote shutter release, the list is just about endless. About 1/3 of my equipment was bought used, including my two favorite lenses.

Also, if you want to get the most out of your camera, invest in the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Modern DSLRs are pretty smart, but when left on the fully automatic modes, they will do a good job of making a perfectly average picture in every possible situation. Once you understand the exposure triangle (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) you can move away from the automatic modes, tell the camera what you want it to do, and take your photographs from "average" to "pretty good" and then to "fantastic."

Also, the forums on http://photography-on-the.net are a fantastic resource for novices and pros alike. That particular forum leans more toward Canon, but the fundamentals of photography are the same regardless of the brand of the camera.
This is very good information, thank you so much! I will probably have to look into a used body, because I would honestly like to have more money to spend on other necessities (such as the case, lenses, etc... that you listed). Thank you again so much for the information!!


@mrgetalife: Yeah...I do really need to go and play with the cameras at a store to figure out which ones I prefer to hold. For now, I just wanted to get as much information as possible to determine what I should buy, etc... As for brands, I'm 100% set on Nikon or Canon. I gravitate between the two honestly. At first I really wanted a Canon, now I really want a Nikon, but I feel myself gradually shifting to the middle where either will work for me haha.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 10:49 AM   #9
LupinTheBored
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithlia View Post
Alright...I'm really big into cosplay, but I have always been fascinated with photography. It is something that I have wanted to get involved with for years, but only as a hobby. I want to take photos at conventions that are of a higher quality than what my regular digital camera can take, but I also want to have the ability to do photoshoots myself between conventions of my cosplays.

Now, since I am not going to be doing this "professionally" of any sort, I don't want to drop a lot of money on a camera. My boyfriend is buying me a camera for Christmas, but I am pitching in $150 since the cameras I'm looking at are around $500.

I'm leaning towards the Nikon D3100 or a Canon Rebel, but I still want to get more opinions from people. I really don't want to pay any more than $500 for a camera, but I definitely want it to be either Nikon or Canon.

Thank you for the input! If you require any more information, I'm more than happy to answer.
Get a used D40 (with 18-55 and 35mm or 50mm f/1.8) (use it until you're confined by the camera and you need to upgrade) and you should have some cash to spare :P.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 10:51 AM   #10
LupinTheBored
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithlia View Post


@djlemma: Yeah...I'm not too concerned with videos. As for the Sony camera...for some reason I'm just set on getting either a Canon or a Nikon. *To me, they seem like the best brands out there. I don't want to take any risks ya know? I'm not saying the other brands are bad, but I'd rather go with the two most well-known brands to give myself a peace of mind lol*.
They are. Ask anyone who makes a living off of photography ;P.

As well as their systems are much more extensive than Sony or Pentax. So when you need to grow up and out you can.

If you have any more questions, feel free to Pm me :P.

Last edited by LupinTheBored : 11-08-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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