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  1. #1
    Senior Member Scarfism's Avatar
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    Default Digital Photography Class

    I have recently signed up for a basic digital photography class and was wondering if anyone has taken anything similar? If yes, what type of camera would be sufficient? Does it need to be anything fancy? I know each course probably has different requirements but I thought it would be good to get a general idea. I did contact the course coordinator but waiting for them to get back to me.

  2. #2
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    get a nikon d40 w/the 18-200mm VR lens. You want an SLR camera, not a point and shoot, and this is very light and good for beginners. It takes excellent photos. The 18-200 is all you need for most situations.

    But if you have a limited budget, get any body - doesn't matter. Spend the $$ on your lenses.

    or you can get the nikon kit with the 18-55, but longer lenses are better in portraits. B&H Photo was selling a nikon kit with the 18-55 and a 55-200 VR w/ the d40 body for like $500, which is amazing.

    You can also get a canon rebel, but I am a nikon fan. It doesn't matter which brand you get, they are both solid - but you will end up sticking with one brand your whole life because the lenses are not interchangeable between them. Also, you get familiar with the terminology for each brand.

    What type of photography are you interested in? I can help you choose lenses if I understand more what your goal is...

  3. #3
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    wait until the first class and they'll tell you. you can spend a lot on a camera without necessarily needing to; depends what you want out of it.
    -end of thread-

  4. #4
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    no good instructor will tell you what camera to buy.
    the camera is for you, not for the class...

  5. #5
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    I agree with Jeno - the D40 is likely sufficient in most cases. The D40, I was told by a camera store owner yesterday is being phased out in a couple months - so it will only get cheaper. You may want to wait a bit if you can.

  6. #6
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    This is why the kit is so cheap at B&H...
    Don't get talked into buying the D40x. Seriously.

    Also I suggest an external flash: nikon SB-400

  7. #7
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    let me rephrase... The instructor will be able to tell you what minimum things you'll need to complete the class. You might think you need a lot more than you actually do for the class, or vice versa. And yes, of course you may want a better camera for your own personal use than is necessarily needed for the class. That depends on your needs/budget.

    obviously (hopefully?) you wouldn't go out and buy the first camera the instructor tells you to buy, or the first camera someone on the internet tells you to buy, without doing some research of your own.
    -end of thread-

  8. #8
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    a camera is a camera. it's not the car that matters, it's the driver.

    get whatever SLR you can afford and spend the money on the lenses. the only differences you need to worry about in the camera body is the iso and the shutter speed. the nikon d40 is the best prosumer you can get (besides the canon rebel) for under $800.

  9. #9
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    My mom has an old Nikon D70 and it's working out pretty well for her casual photography. One thing she complains about it is the weight. It's a tad heavy. A D40's smaller and lighter.

    About external flash, you can probably hold off on that for now. The build-in one for the D70 is fine for most automatic shooting. A decent flash is bulky and heavy. Actually most of the time you'd turn off flash and just increase aperture and exposure time for low light. Flash tends to make the picture look unnatural.

    It's probably a good idea to attend the first class and hear what the instructor has to say before you go off to shop for a camera. Also head to a large camera shop and really test out the different brands and models before you buy one.

    This was what I noticed 5? years ago looking at the different brands of SLRs

    Sony alpha
    - can use old Minolta lens (if you got any)
    - shot stabilizer built-in to body (other brands have them on selected lens, therefore can get pricey)
    - default color balance/shadow setting is very sharp (i.e. BRIGHT, can look a tad unnatural unless manually adjusted)

    Nikon
    - old reliable brand, can reuse old non-digital Nikon lens (although they mostly become tele-lens)
    - shot stabilizer avaliable only by purchasing special lens. (Very useful for taking pictures indoor without a tripod. Frankly who wants to lug one around?)
    - Color I personally believe is the most natural with default settings
    - rapid burst shot shooting (for D70) is alright. (of course that's 5? years ago... technology improves)

    Canon Rebel
    - Also another reliable brand, first consumer digital SLR to enter the market I think.
    - burst shooting on the Rebel is very very fast for the first 30s? (again, I'm referring to the old one)
    - color balance wise, I'll put it in between Nikon and Sony. (It's a personal preference thing how vibrant you want your photos compared to naturalness)
    - easy to use turn dial menu system (although most companies have copied Canon's design so there's not much difference nowadays)

    Edit:
    You should talk to Geoff. He takes gorgeous photos
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ter-study.html
    My stuff (design & other junk) lives here: http://nnbox.ca

  10. #10
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Good advice Nightning.

    The solid D70 and D70s have been taken off the market and replaced with the D80, which is a piece of crap. For a little bit more you can get the d200 (excellent) or get a few d40s. Whatever...

    Like I said, lenses/flash/etc depends on what you are interested in shooting...

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