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Thread: Accessories?

  1. #1
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    Accessories?

    Okay, so based on the advice I have been given here and other places (and due to my own eagerness ) I think I am just going to go ahead and buy a new camera and then figure out how to use it through trial & error. My main rationalization for spending $1000-ish on a new digital camera is I can do my own "professional" pics of my son--which cost me around $700 last year. I realize I'll still be spending cash on printing, but it won't be near as expensive, right?

    My next question is, what are necessary accessories for doing portrait types of shots? I want to gradually collect lenses, flashes, etc. over time, but what will I need from the get-go? Anything beyound what the camera comes with? I am thinking I will get the Digital Rebel XTi or D80. I haven't been to stores yet to hold these two, but it seems like from what I've read that they are close to what I'm looking for.

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    My advice would be to get the camera of your choice with the kit lens first. Then as you learn more about what you want to do with your camera, start looking for the accessories. There is going to be a learning curve when going from a P&S to an SLR, and adding a bunch of accessories without knowing the basics is only going to make that learning curve steaper. I would start with outdoor portraits of your son and work with natural lighting before adding a flash into the mix.

    The only other thing I might consider is getting the body only, and choosing a better quality lens to start out with. I have been very pleased with the results of my kit lens, but the slow maximum apperture doesn't let me get a real shallow depth of field.

    So to sum it up, I would start with the basics, and as time goes on, you will figure out what you need from there. This could save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    Senior Member WsW-WYATT-EARP's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    Well from my experiences ... I went from a nikon coolpix 5700 to the DSLR world. From having the Nikon already and being happy with it I leaned more towards the nikon line. I did however go to the store and hold the nikon D50 / and D70 (D80 wasn't in stores yet) also I held the canon similar models. The canon's were smaller and didn't feel as nice as the Nikon. I talked to the guy in the camera shop (wasn't best buy or a chain like that, small town high end camera shop) He gave me pro's and con's for all the cameras I was looking at.

    After some advice from here also I decided that the D-50 would suit my needs as a beginner in the SLR world. From what was said here the D-50 eliminates the need for alot of post processing and is geared more towards a beginner in that aspect. Also what is said here alot is that your lens is what matters. Better to spend less on the body and more on good glass ... can always upgrade the body later as your needs for more / different options change and then just use the good glass you have already.

    The person to hear from for good portrait types of shots is Alison ... search around for her portraits and you will see why i say that ...

    good luck and have fun shopping ... it is overwhelming with all the options and figuring out what does what ... but either road will make you happy i am sure !

  4. #4
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    I agree with the above and yes you will save money especially with digital. No film to buy and develop.
    You will find out thought that the list will ALWAYS get longer.
    Good luck and hope to see what you end up with and some of your photos.

  5. #5
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    p.s. Trial and error is fine but some of these gizmos have so much stuff on them, you'll never be able to figure out what's what.
    Nikon has good on line tutorials. I don't know about canon but they probably do too.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ronnoco's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    Trial and error, perish the thought. Shoot with another photographer who knows cameras and techniques, take a course at a local high school or college at night, join a local camera club in your area to learn more, and also look carefully at some books on photo portraiture. Even buy some photo magazines and learn about how the photographers got the shot that is illustrated.

    Multi-tasking is the name of the game. Study and do your homework, at the same time as experimenting. You need to see quality shots and figure out how to imitate them while at the same time developing a personal style.

    Ronnoco

  7. #7
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama Moon
    My main rationalization for spending $1000-ish on a new digital camera is I can do my own "professional" pics of my son--which cost me around $700 last year. I realize I'll still be spending cash on printing, but it won't be near as expensive, right?
    The main investment in becoming a good photographer is time. It takes work - a lot of work - and a fair amount of money, but get one of the two cameras you're looking at (with kit lens) and work with just that for awhile. There are great shots you can do with a minimum of equipment.

    There is a reason that professionals charge a lot of money. I don't mean to discourage you, but it's not their camera that gets them those images. Sure, there's kind of a basic standard for what's needed and a D80, etc is easily good enough for excellent work. Reading and studying is great but it's only part of the equation. You've got to get out and shoot and really see what all the settings do - and what they don't do. Learn to recognize good light from bad light, and with portraits look for good vs. bad backgrounds. These two points are very important.

  8. #8
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    Re: Accessories?

    Quote Originally Posted by another view

    There is a reason that professionals charge a lot of money. I don't mean to discourage you, but it's not their camera that gets them those images. Sure, there's kind of a basic standard for what's needed and a D80, etc is easily good enough for excellent work. Reading and studying is great but it's only part of the equation. You've got to get out and shoot and really see what all the settings do - and what they don't do. Learn to recognize good light from bad light, and with portraits look for good vs. bad backgrounds. These two points are very important.
    You are absolutely correct, and I understand this, but I'm hoping with a good camera and some studying, I can get something close. After all, I have one advantage they don't have--nearly unlimited time with my subject! :thumbsup: The last professional I took my son to, who is highly regarded in our area, let my son play outside and he just click-click-clicked. I'm sure it will take me more "click-click-clicking", but I'm hoping with time and practice I'll get a few shots worth blowing up to give to the family.

  9. #9
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama Moon
    Okay, so based on the advice I have been given here and other places (and due to my own eagerness ) I think I am just going to go ahead and buy a new camera and then figure out how to use it through trial & error. My main rationalization for spending $1000-ish on a new digital camera is I can do my own "professional" pics of my son--which cost me around $700 last year. I realize I'll still be spending cash on printing, but it won't be near as expensive, right?

    My next question is, what are necessary accessories for doing portrait types of shots? I want to gradually collect lenses, flashes, etc. over time, but what will I need from the get-go? Anything beyound what the camera comes with? I am thinking I will get the Digital Rebel XTi or D80. I haven't been to stores yet to hold these two, but it seems like from what I've read that they are close to what I'm looking for.
    I've been a Nikon and Olympus user. My daughter just purchased an D80 kit with the 18-55 lense and a long tele zoom. I really like the Nikon D80 body but I hated the kit lense (mechanical not optical). I really like the kit lens that came with my D70, the 18-70mm. For portraits you need 35mm equvalent of 70mm. With the Nikons that is about 50mm actual lenght. The only bad think about the D80 the body is about $1K.

    You may wish to look at the Olympus E-volt 500 camera, it's physically smaller than either the canon or nikon DSLRs

    With what ever camera you should purchase a GOOD tripod, extra battery, exterial charger if the camera didn't come with one, and a read anything memory card reader.
    GRF

    Panorama Madness:

    Nikon D800, 50mm F1.4D AF, 16-35mm, 28-200mm & 70-300mm

  10. #10
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Hidden Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    I agree with the above and yes you will save money especially with digital. No film to buy and develop.
    You will find out thought that the list will ALWAYS get longer.
    Good luck and hope to see what you end up with and some of your photos.
    I agree that we'll all save money in the long run with digital cameras. However, there are hidden costs that it's important to be aware of. I am spending a couple of hundred dollars a year on external drives in order to store all of my digital images. Given, I probably shoot more than the average photographer. But you do have to store all of those images somewhere.

    Memory cards, computer equipment, and software costs are all important considerations, too. You may not need as much as another photographer. But you can expect to need more memory, a faster computer, and possibly better software. If you get really serious about digital photography you'll find that photos that might have once seemed good start to look not so good. Or that your computer takes too long to process or upload photos. One way or another, there are going to be unexpected expenses.
    Photo-John

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  11. #11
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Accessories?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mama Moon
    The last professional I took my son to, who is highly regarded in our area, let my son play outside and he just click-click-clicked.
    There is quite a bit more to it, actually. When you're working with natural light, position yourself for the best quality of light. With the light behind you and no flash, the results will be bad - and not great at noon either. Morning or afternoon sun at a bit of an angle will give you good results. You'll probably have to move yourself a lot to keep this angle though. Also, be careful of distracting backgrounds. This is one of those things that I can tell you, but once you start applying it with your shooting, you'll be a believer and will really have learned it. Experimentation is always a good thing!

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