Feeling WAY OUT of my element... newbie in search of a camera

This is a discussion on Feeling WAY OUT of my element... newbie in search of a camera within the Casual Chat forums, part of the OTHER FORUMS category; Hi all... I am new here (first post) and am looking for some help. I am looking at getting my very first high end "ish" ...


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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Hi all... I am new here (first post) and am looking for some help.

    I am looking at getting my very first high end "ish" camera. I have been looking at the Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1MP 3" LCD Digital SLR. The purpose of this camera is to mostly take pictures of aquaria... octopuses fish corals ect. I want to take videos and also have a good macro setting.

    I have no idea what most of the info means with cameras so I am often lost when reading the threads. I need KISS (keep it simple stupid). Please dumb it down for me. Do I need a 18-55mm Lens? Is this for macro? I have absolutely no idea what I would need (if I would need) anything to help shoot macro pics.

    Thanks in advance. I really appreciate the help.

    If this is in the wrong place please let me know, thanks.


  • #2

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    Apr 2011
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    I was also looking at Canon PowerShot 10MP 2.8" LCD Camera with 5X Optical Zoom.

  • #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Swindon,Wiltshire,UK
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    Welcome!

    I'm not good with the techie stuff(I leave that to my husband ) but I would strongly advise you to find a local camera store,make friends with the guys behind the counter and ask as many questions as you can think of.If it helps,take a list of your requirements and actually have a play controlled test of the cameras that you narrow your choice down to. I have found that a camera and other goodies can sound fantastic in print but when you get to handle and use them they're not what you're going to feel good with.

    Until you can do that invest in a good reference book or any of the camera magazines available and learn some of the terms,which you'll be able to put into practice later on.Look at lots of pictures to decide what styles you like and subjects you want to capture.Then when you have your camera shoot everything for a while and practice,practice,practice.

    Most importantly,don't forget to post your results for us to admire
    Karin


    Taking photos that please me, but if you like them too then it's a bonus!

  • #4
    Nikon Shooter
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Eatontown, NJ
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    PHOTO EDITING OK
    Your first trip should be to the bookstore. The forum can give you a lot of information, but you'll always get a better education in a bookstore. The forum will be able to answer specific questions (your initial post is so broad as to require, well, a whole book!).

    Do you need a macro lens? Depends. If you need to magnify your subject to a minimum of 1/4 size, yes, you'll need a macro lens. That's probably still a bit of giberish, but that's why you need a good beginner's book.

    I'm always a little hesitant to send a complete beginner to a photo store for their recommendations. That can work, yes, since most camera stores are on the up and up. But there are also a bunch that will convince you that you may need more than you really need. Or worse, they may not have in stock what you really need, but they have this other equipment... Your best defense against this is, you guessed it, education. Read a good book.

    The EOS you mentioned is a great camera- but you also need the proper lenses for what you want to accomplish- like the 18-55. Although macro lenses are usually more like 85-105 mm. I believe the second camera you mentioned is a point and shoot. Personally, if you want to get into serious photography, I would avoid P&S cameras- just my opinion. But then again, that's why you need to educate yourself and not listen to me. DSLR's will always take better pictures than a P&S.

    You also need to know what to expect as output from the camera. File sizes from a 15MP camera can start to get large. Obviously you have a computer or you wouldn't be here on the forum- but is it old or new? How much available storage do you have? If you start taking lots of pictures, don't forget you'll most likely need secondary storage (and backup storage) for your images. You need to figure this into your budget. And don't forget you'll need to learn at least some basic post-processing editing (there are free tools, so don't panic, and it isn't difficult).

    I can't recommend a good book to get started as it's been at least 20 years since I read one at that level. Maybe someone else on Photoforum can recommend one?

    Regards,
    Marlo

    Check out my blog! --- http://marlomontanaro.wordpress.com

  • #5
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2008
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    Cochranton, Pa.
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    Getting understanding about OP's concerns from printed material would be almost certainly more difficult and time-consuming than from personal explanation.

  • #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Basically I want to take pictures and videos of my octopuses and children. Plays, swimming etc.... I have been doing some reading on both of these cameras. The truth is while most of the functions are cool as all get out, I think its way more than I need. I am just a hobbyist. I have found that one hobby (keeping octopuses) requires another (photography) in order to share the adventures.

    There is a wolfs camera store kind of close by that I can go to. I have been reading but I am not really looking to get a basic book on photography, I am more interested in simply finding a camera that will do what I want it to do ie. close up photos (macro) and video.

    Thank you for all of yalls input. If you can recommend a decent camera in the 800$ range that I can go to the camera store and talk about for a relative newbie that would be great. I dont mind point and shoot cameras as long as they have a good macro filter and videos.

  • #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    89
    PHOTO EDITING OK
    I sure do know that you'll be learning a lot on this community about that subject.


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