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Calling All Photography Guru's

Discussion in 'Wildlife Artwork and Crafts' started by EA, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    A lot of you take some awesome pictures so I thought I would lean on you for advice.

    What is a good camera for a novice? My wife has mentioned several times that she would like a nice camera. I'm clueless beyond the one on my phone and she is not much better.

    I'm looking for something reasonably priced, if there is such a beast. Not too complicated for a beginner, but may be accessorized as she learns.

    Any thoughts?
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Simply my opinion but "reasonably priced" diamonds would be nice as well. I have several of the "mini-digitals" and my phone died just as well or better. Most of them have static wide angle and those with telephoto are a poor excuse. Quality photos are taken by quality cameras. Nikon is the professional standard but I've always been partial to Canon. Then comes lens selections and, trust me, there are no "reasonably priced" quality lenses. I have standard 50mm wide angle lens but u prefer my 18-200 zoom. The good one will cost as much as the camera body. So how serious are you???

  3. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Thanks George,

    Well, I did a quick google search just using "Nikon cameras" and they came up $400 - $2000 on the search page. I didn't look any further than that.
    I'd say $800 would be tops. I'm really not sure how serious she is. She may use it 3 times and it collects dust for months.
    I think once she got into it, her passion may grow, but I'm not going to drop $1k/$2k right out of the gate.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I don't know if you're a members of COSTCO, BJ's, or SAMS, but they often have great prices on "starter kits" for quality DSLR cameras. A friend just bought a Canon EOS Rebel with a wide angle lens at BJ's for about $400. Professional stores sell the camera body only (without a lens) so be wary of what you're buying.
  5. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    These are on Amazon

    $439 SHIPPED
    Kit includes Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S Body - Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Normal EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Autofocus Lens
    58mm 2X Professional Telephoto Lens - High Definition 58mm Wide Angle Lens - Digital DSLR Auto Power Slave Flash - Transcend 16GB Class 10 SDHC Card -Transcend 8 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card
    59-Inch Photo Video Quality Tripod -SLR/DSLR Pro Hand Camera Grip -Water Resistant Camcorder & SLR Camera Case - RS-60 Wired Remote Control - 3 Piece Filter Kit (UV-CPL-FLD) 58mm - 58mm Ultraviolet UV Protector Filter
    Hi-Speed SD USB Card Reader - Camera & Lens 3 Piece Cleaning Kit - Tri-fold Memory Card Wallet - LCD Screen Protectors (Clear) - Table Top Tripod


    $499.95 Save $249.05
    Canon Rebel EOS T5 4-Lens SLR Premium Kit by Ritz Camera with all Manufacturer-supplied Accessories + Full USA Warranties:
    Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR Body, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens, Canon 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens
    Polaroid Studio Series .43X HD Wide Angle Lens, Polaroid 2.2X HD Telephoto Lens, Polaroid Pro Slave Flash, Transcend 32GB + Transcend 8GB SDHC Cards
    Polaroid 57-Inch Photo/Video Tripod with Deluxe Tripod Carrying Case, Polaroid 8-Inch Heavy Duty Mini Tripod, Ritz Gear Water-Repelling Shockproof Professional SLR Camera Case, Polaroid Optics 4 Piece Filter Kit (UV-CPL-FLD-Warming), Triple Axis Bubble Level
    Ritz Gear Hi-Speed SD/Micro USB Card Reader, Polaroid 5 Piece Camera and Lens Cleaning Kit, Polaroid Memory Card Wallet, Universal Screen Protector (Clear), Polaroid Lens Cap Strap



    $599 Save $300

    Canon SL1 Body with Canon EF-S 18-55mm & Canon EF 75-300mm Telephoto Lenses With all Canon Accessories + Full USA Warranties PREMIUM RITZ CAMERA BUNDLE INCLUDING:
    Polaroid Studio Series .43x Super Wide Angle Lens, Polaroid Studio Series 2.2X High Definition Telephoto Lens
    2-Pack Lexar 32GB SDHC 200X Memory Cards, Ritz Gear OTG USB Reader/Writer, Ritz GearDSLR Camera Bag Case, Polaroid Memory Card Wallet
    Polaroid 57" Tripod, Polaroid 8" Tripod, Polaroid Pro Slave Flash, Polaroid 58mm Filter Set with Pouch
    Polaroid Deluxe Cleaning Kit, , Bubble Level, Polaroid Screen Protectors, Polaroid Lens Cap Keeper


    When they start talking SL1, T5SLR and T5 EF-S my head starts hurting. I assume the SL1 is the better of the 3, but how much better - for a rookie?
    LCD view finders, if it's like my phone, you cant find your target in the sunshine. Does that happen with these camera's?
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    LOL You can set these cameras to use the screen viewfinder or look through the lens (as you do on bright days). I always look through the lens as I did with 35mm.
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Those are basic kits and not bad deals. I like the too two models over the last one. The lens choices are "OK" but the apertures are strictly daylight/ bright light tools. It's breath taking as to what a quality lens will do for photographs.
  8. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Mike why don't you try to contact Boxie Kallina or Rodney Rock. They're real photographers unlike me.
  9. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Thank You George. I will try that.
  10. Allie

    Allie Active Member

    The top one T5 kit is fine for her and there's no reason to spend any more. If she really gets into it, there will be a better model in a few years and she can upgrade and still use the lenses (unless she goes full frame, which is unlikely).

    And I would stick with Canon. You can read all day arguments about Canon vs. Nikon and there isn't much difference, besides software and customer service. Canon wins in spades on both those accounts. I've owned several of each and speak from experience.
  11. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Thank you Allie. Good info
  12. nswiken

    nswiken Well-Known Member

    I would avoid the packages. You end up with too many nick nacks, a cheap, unsteady tripod, and extra off brand lenses that essentially fit on the end of your existing lens. I shoot a Canon T3i right now, but want to move up to a 7D Mark II. Still an APS-C camera, but great reviews. If you are just getting started, you may want to look at the T3i. 18MP sensor with APS-C format. The crop format (C) gives you a 1.6X magnification with whatever lens you are using. That can limit you for wide angles, but comes in handy for wildlife and sports. I have a basic zoom lens right now, and my telephoto was stolen, so I am going to upgrade. If you can afford "L" series lenses, do so from the get go. I am looking at the Canon EF 24-70 L f4 IS USM lens,which also has a macro setting for close in shots, and the EF 70-200 L f4 IS USM lens. This is not a super zoom lens, but you can crop your photos and still get good detail and buy a Canon 1.4X or 2X extender later on. There is a huge price jump when you go from f4 to f2.8 lenses, along with added weight. Watch some YouTube reviews on the lenses I mentioned. You can also get the L series lenses without the IS function, for less money, but the IS (image stabilization) gives you up to 4 f stops of motion control when hand holding the camera.

    The kits you are looking at have cheaper "S" lenses that may not give you good results even with light room adjustments. Trust me, it's frustrating. Get the best lenses you can. Whatever lenses you decide on, put UV filters on them, and maybe circular polarizers. This protects the lenses and cuts haze.

    Get a good tripod, as well. SLIK USA has many good ones. I have a Ravelli with a pistol grip head, but it is big and bulky. Very steady, though. If you want to get motion blur, or shoot low light, a tripod will allow you to still use a high ISO setting and shoot very long shutter speeds. All these new camera bodies have more bells and whistles than you may ever need, but shooting full manual is very rewarding.

    Good lightroom software is a must. Once you take the photos, they can be manipulated endlessly thanks to digital.

    Clear as mud, right?

    Here are some examples of my shots with my T3i using the 70-200 f4 L lens I borrowed from a friend.





    Using my former 75-300



    And my 18-135 s lens


  13. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I apologize for forgetting about you Stuffed Bird. Your photos are gorgeous. You nailed the "kits" down perfectly in my experience. Thanks for your input.
  14. nswiken

    nswiken Well-Known Member

    No apology necessary. I am an amateur. Just saw the thread, and wanted to add my opinion. I was just reading about a new 70-300 Canon lens being released at the end of November. $549. Looks like a nice upgrade for a good price.
  15. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Thanks SB.

    I was looking around and it appears the T3i has been discontinued. Not sure what the next best thing is, but she [email protected] sure ain't getting the 7D Mark II. Wow.. ;D

    You're pictures are fantastic and I appreciate your input.
  16. nswiken

    nswiken Well-Known Member

    Don't be afraid to look on ebay for gear, cameras, and lenses. People are often upgrading, and sell their old stuff on there. Many shops also sell on ebay.

    I just looked on eBay, and there are hundreds of t3is listed. Check them out, check their feedback, find a US seller, and look for a seller that isn't using stock photos. Ebay covers if there are problems, but I've never had any.
  17. I would second the notion of looking into second hand for an introductory camera...especially if you aren't sure if you want to go "all out" into the field. You can get a Canon EOS Rebel G (my first digital SLR) on eBay for less than $100. It still works great for "portfolio" pics. The one recommendation I would give though is decide what brand you want to use because when you go to upgrade it's nice to know the parts, i.e. lens, flashes, etc. will be able to be used. My upgrade was a Nikon and none of the lenses fit from my old manual or digital Canons. Also, if you'd like some more hands on advise, check out your local camera shop...they usually have trade in items. You'll pay a little more than on eBay or such, but often will offer some sort of training with your new toys.
  18. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. It will probably be a Christmas present so I don't know if I will go used, but I have some good leads now. Appreciate the feedback.
  19. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Mike - Allie gave some great advice. 99.999% of folks just getting into Photography end up putting their high end cameras on "Auto" anyway. So, there's no real reason to spend a ton of money on something that she eventually may want but most likely won't. Furthermore a lot of the money spent on higher end cameras is spent for resolution. Photographers today don't have to frame good composition in their photos like we had to do "back in the day" with film. They simply peel off a bunch of photos, pick the best one and crop it where they need to (and still have plenty of resolution). Your wife doesn't need a 20 gig SLR digital. The suggested $400-$500 price range should be more than enough budget to find a camera plenty good for your wife's needs.
  20. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Well, I hope I didn't get spanked.

    I went ahead and ordered a used Cannon. Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm IS II Lens

    Not sure if it has the C-Format you recommended SB. I can't see anything in the description.

    $285 + $15 Shipping....Sound Fair or did I get beat? You can tell me. I can take it. ;D

    There were auctions going on with last bids of $225/$235, but I wasn't waiting for that crap to play out and then lose it.

    Thanks again for the help.