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  1. #1
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    "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    i just purchased an olympus e620 with two lenses, and now im already being told theres tons of things i need to get with it (tripod, filters, extra battery, etc), and im wondering if i could get some personal opinions as to what is worth getting up front, and what i should play wait-and-see with what i need, and get later.

    Things i already have

    Portable laptop for transferring pictures on trips etc (i travel a lot)
    Tons of photography software

    On the 'already ordered' list:

    Camera Body (of course)
    Two Lenses (14-42 + 40-150)
    2gb xD card (for rare use)
    8gb compact flash card (for main use)

    things i was told are "MUST GET" and`i am close to order (if i get confirmation they are worth while)

    2 UV filters (1 per lens)
    Extra camera battery for the long trips + emergencies

    things i was told i must have (but i figure wont work for my picture taking lifestyle)

    Tripod
    Flash Attachments
    Remote (for taking pictures)
    Wide Angle Lens
    Camera Bag

    --

    I figured for a camera bag, to makeshift something out of a high quality backpack i already have, and add dividers + soft cloth areas in it for my pieces. Basically, i am unsure to the practical use of any of the above items (my first dslr, ive never photoshopped personal taken pictures, and have basically not taken a DSLR picture as of yet).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Quote Originally Posted by red05usa
    i just purchased an olympus e620 with two lenses, and now im already being told theres tons of things i need to get with it (tripod, filters, extra battery, etc), and im wondering if i could get some personal opinions as to what is worth getting up front, and what i should play wait-and-see with what i need, and get later.

    Things i already have

    Portable laptop for transferring pictures on trips etc (i travel a lot)
    Tons of photography software

    On the 'already ordered' list:

    Camera Body (of course)
    Two Lenses (14-42 + 40-150)
    2gb xD card (for rare use)
    8gb compact flash card (for main use)

    things i was told are "MUST GET" and`i am close to order (if i get confirmation they are worth while)

    2 UV filters (1 per lens)
    Extra camera battery for the long trips + emergencies

    things i was told i must have (but i figure wont work for my picture taking lifestyle)


    --

    I figured for a camera bag, to makeshift something out of a high quality backpack i already have, and add dividers + soft cloth areas in it for my pieces. Basically, i am unsure to the practical use of any of the above items (my first dslr, ive never photoshopped personal taken pictures, and have basically not taken a DSLR picture as of yet).

    Thanks in advance.
    Congratulations on your new equipment. I also just purchased the E-620 - I've only had it out once for a short time, and so far I love it.

    Here is my personal opinion - I think you're right on with your initial thoughts.

    Extra battery - yes. IMO this is important. You can get a 3rd party battery for a lot less money that will work fine. Amazon has lots of 3rd party batteries - free shipping when your total order is $25 or more.

    UV filters: Personally I don't think they are a necessity. If they are less expensive the can degrade the image. I've been using a dslr for about 12 years and have never used one. I take care of my equipment - leave the cap on when not in use, and just being careful - common sense stuff. Lenses aren't all that easily damaged (I said "easily")!

    Tripod
    Flash Attachments
    Remote (for taking pictures)
    Wide Angle Lens
    Camera Bag
    Camera bag - sounds like you have it figured out - whatever works!
    The rest can wait. See what you use your camera for mostly - then decide what focal length you are missing before you buy another lens. Wide angles are great - but if you're not going to use them, it's not a necessity. The remote - again it depends on whether or not you will use it.

    Flash attachments - same as above. You may want to get one if you're into low light/indoor/studio kind of photography. If not now, see what develops with your photography.

    And so on.

    In the meantime, enjoy your camera! And post some photos!

    Liz

  3. #3
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Oh you've hit on the thing that feeds the gear fetishist in all of us. I know how it can strike and make you feel like you need absolutely every accessory made. It's tough to resist, but I'd hold off on a lot of stuff and shoot. A lot. Every day. Liz got it totally right. Then when you bump up against something you can't do with what you have, find the right tool to get the job done. Want to do long exposures of brooks or rivers? Tripod and neutral density filter. Want to do macros? Tripod and remote shutter cord. Want to do landscapes during civil twilight? Tripod and graduated neutral density filter. Going for a long vacation? More memory cards and a really comfortable camera bag/pack.


    jeez. I guess a tripod should be on the list, but most gear is an impulse buy...make sure you really need it for your work and then you'll be really glad you have it.

  4. #4
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    You must have been given your "MUST HAVE" list by a salesman.

    Everyone's "must haves" are different and I suggest you wait and just shoot first. Believe me, you will know a "must have" when you come across it. The "stuff" will always be available so no need to hurry and buy now.

    Besides, by the time you find a "must have" item you must have, you may have changed cameras or sold off a lens.
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  5. #5
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Depends entirely on what you want to do.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    The extra battery is a pretty good one. It is so much more practical to cycle through, than to put one on hold while its being charged. I don't know anybody who wouldn't benefit from this practically. This way, you can also drain your batteries without fear of being stranded, allowing healthier recharge, and no pressure for recharge or recharge time.

    *edit - $45 on amazon - link.

    FYI - I typically avoid third party batteries, first party typically has a better build and better MTBF. You may notice gold contacts on the first party battery, and silver on the third party.

    The backpack idea doesn't sound very good. I guess that depends on the backpack, but whatever you do be sure that you protect your gear with safe storage.
    Last edited by Anbesol; 04-23-2010 at 09:39 PM.

  7. #7
    trigger happy geriatric.
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    if you intend to take photographs at a shutter speed lower then the focal length of your lens, you need a tripod. For example if you are shooting at a marked length of 50mm, double it (your sensor has rhe effect of doubling the marked focal length of your lens, so that at 50mm your lens has a field of view equivalent to 100mm). At shutter speeds below 1/00th of a second you should be looking at using a tripod. Youfigure a tripod isn't part of your picture taking lifestyle? So why do you see professional photographers using a tripod? To look good? No, it's because they want to guarantee that their work is sharp. You want pictures that are blurred through hand shake? Cool, don't get a tripod.

    Dave.

  8. #8
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    I agree with Liz:

    Don't waste money on UV filters unless you are shooting in an area with lots of debris, salt, sand etc. They are not "protection." They break because they are thin, not because they are protecting anything.

    Don't buy something until you actully need it. I know people who only shoot handheld, why buy a tripod? Do you shoot in conditions that need a flash? Most people don't, at least at first. Shoot first, load up on equipment later.

    Even the extra battery... most batteries last all day now for most shooters. If you find you are shooting through an entire day and running out of power, then buy an extra battery. Most people seldom do this. For what it is worth, I buy third party batteries and find them to be as good as or, in one case, better than the OEM version. But the variability in these batteries tend to be higher than OEM.
    .
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  9. #9
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    my paranoia is coming from an upcoming vacation, and im figuring im going to be shooting a lot of wildlife + sceneries, and i dont really have the time for a tripod (at least, on most of my trips).

    but the thing that scares me most, is that ill be in a once in a lifetime trip / situation and not have the right equipment. I mean, if i literally cannot get a picture because i dont have the right filter (and its something ill never get to take again), im going to feel just... angered.

    I mean, will i know what pieces i need after a month of shooting? will it take a year? will it be instantly?

    Thanks for all the quick responses.

    Edit: most all of my shots will be outdoors in the middle of a vacation, semi-fast moving. not even much time to change lenses. i figure (although i havent practiced it yet), im going to have enough time if i see a good landscape to quick swap lenses, but most of the time just keep my 40-150 lens on and hand held shots of a lot of wild life.
    -- also, will 1-4 months be enough practice to become 'good enough' at using a DSLR and learn about the important features?
    Last edited by red05usa; 04-24-2010 at 11:38 AM.

  10. #10
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    The 'once in a lifetime' possibility exists for all photographers, it's something you learn to deal with and gets easier as your skill improves. Relax. Isn't this supposed to be fun?

  11. #11
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    fun, yet serious business!!

    -- good point. ill have to keep that thought in mind. but i have to get a GREAT picture of a blue footed bubi in order to make everyone in the wildlife area salivate

  12. #12
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    it will come through persistence, knowledge and luck. the most important thing is to shoot often and work to develop skill as a reflex. If you have to stop and think, fiddle and adjust that boobie is going to fly away. practice, practice, practice.

  13. #13
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    bubis always seem to fly away *CRIES*.

    no, but seriously. im going to practice my best and try that then. i figured it was a skill thing, but i mean, i literally dont know enough to even take a picture yet, so it seems a lot of manuals and learning DVDs first, assuming those explain enough.

  14. #14
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Quote Originally Posted by red05usa
    --
    I figured for a camera bag, to makeshift something out of a high quality backpack i already have, and add dividers + soft cloth areas in it for my pieces...
    Wrong answer think again. Your bag is THE most important piece of equipment. It should:

    - allow you to get access to your kit instantly (while preventing others from doing so)
    - be very robust, and protect against rain and dust
    - be the only bag you need to carry around with you
    - be something you can have with you all the time (I use my favourite shoulderbag as a pillow sometimes)
    - preferably be small and not look like a camera bag

    A shoulderbag gives quickest access to gear but it has limited carrying capacity for spare clothing, passport, money, guide books, etc. I use one when I'm at home

    When I'm on holiday I usually take a backpack camera bag (I have 3 of different sizes). The camera gear is in a dedicated compartment which is readily accessible once I've taken the bag off my back.

    If you try to fix up something with a regular backpack then the camera gear is likely to be in the bottom and not readily accessible. You can walk around with the camera dangling around your neck the whole time but that's not something that I do.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  15. #15
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Quote Originally Posted by red05usa
    my paranoia is coming from an upcoming vacation, and im figuring im going to be shooting a lot of wildlife + sceneries, and i dont really have the time for a tripod (at least, on most of my trips).

    but the thing that scares me most, is that ill be in a once in a lifetime trip / situation and not have the right equipment.
    This changes things a bit - wish you had told us this earlier.

    Definitely consider a spare battery then. I didn't recommend it earlier because most people don't shoot enough in a day to completely drain a battery on a regular basis. On vacation it is not always possible to have a freshly charged battery so having a spare can save your day.

    A camera bag is also necessary but you really should check them out personally at a camera shop to see how they each might work for you.
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  16. #16
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Quote Originally Posted by red05usa
    ...also, will 1-4 months be enough practice to become 'good enough' at using a DSLR and learn about the important features?
    It depends solely on you.

    Certain aspects of shooting wildlife can take years (simply because there is not enough opportunities to practice) to master. One can read all the books on the subject but it really comes down to hands-on practice.

    So sooner the better. Like right now.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    -- also, will 1-4 months be enough practice to become 'good enough' at using a DSLR and learn about the important features?
    Just be sure you are at least fluent enough to use shutter and/or aperture priority modes, bonus if you can execute full manual quick enough by then. Anyway - depends on how committed you are to learning the craft...

  18. #18
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    Re: "MUST HAVE" camera additions?

    Forget the uv filters but I would strongly suggest good circular polarizer if you will be shooting scenery. One to fit each lens or get a cokin adapter and one filter of the largest size you'll need...it will then cover both lenses.
    Keep Shooting!

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