to value or not to value?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by adamohermia, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. hi im Julie. im still 17 and right now, im trying to find the perfect camera for
    me... the lenses were a shock (they cost more than the camera??!)... so i
    decided to buy a semi professional camera... anyone want to help me find one?..
    what brand?.. ooh! ooh! and please... the ones that wont rip off my wallet..
    that easily.

    and here's one question: What do you want the world to understand about photography?

    your answers could help me a lot.. ^_^v
  2. Hello Julie Anne,
    which camera, depends very much upon what you want with the camera. If you want wall sized prints, like Gursky, you might look for a 8x10 viewfinder camera. If you want fashion shots like Terry Richardson you might want to look for an Olympus Stylus Epic, that you can pick up for little money at ebay.
    If you don't know where you are heading, as was for me at the age of 17 and still is so sometimes nowadays, you might want to buy a DSLR. Brand is not important. Look which one you can afford, which has the lens you want and can afford and then take the cameras in your hand and see if you like them. For example I just compared the Olympus E-510 to the Sony A 350. The Sony is probably the better camera when you compare the items and data-charts, but I simply didn't like the ergonomics of it.
    Another way, old-fashioned I admit, is to go for a cheap film SLR and buy some b&w-films, find a darkroom and discover a new exciting world.
  3. Click my name, for my thoughts on this. ;-)
  4. All the DSLR bodies on the market today can produce images that strain the capabilities of the available lenses, and require the photographer to pay attention to technique to avoid being a limitation to the quality.

    Get a body you can afford, but get the best lenses you can. Good lenses will be used for many years. Camera bodies will come and go through your life. Look at the lens selection of the company you are choosing.

    You will soon feel like you are married to that company and any divorce will be expensive, but rest assured that any body you choose will take great pictures if you give it good lenses and technique.
  5. If you're going for a dSLR I'd recommend the Nikon D40, which won't hurt your wallet that bad, but will definately get you started on your way. The kit-lens that comes with will be enough in the beginning, and later on you will discover which focal lengths you use the most and buy new lenses depending on that. I bought a D50 a year ago and realized that I pretty much only use one focal length, so I bought a prime lens, which is a lot cheaper then zooms and is used on 80% of my photos.

    Fun to see younger people around here. I'm 17 myself ;)
  6. I'll add my voice to the "any body will do" chorus, but I'll add three other suggestions.

    (1) Make sure you hold and try out the different options. I made my choice when I, too, was 17. That was nearly forty years ago, and I've never regretted taking time, going into shops, handling the different options, until my heart told me the right choice to make.If a shop isn't willing to be patient while you do this, over several visits if need be, they are not worth bothering with - find a new one. The dealer who *does* allow it will give you invaluable help over the subsequent learning time, and probably for years ahead.

    (2) Don't be seduced by the "latest thing" - buy second hand. You will save a lot, that way; you will also get more quality for the same money; and, if you decide later to change your mind, you will have less investment to convert. If you want to go for a new body, then at least look to the second hand shelves for your lenses.
  7. Oops ... only spotted it as I clicked the "confirm" button, but ... my three suggestions were collapsed into two.
  8. You're 17 and starting out...

    1) Forget the DSLR and fretting over which lenses to buy. Get a good digital point & shoot, such as the Canon G9 -- I think they go for about $500 or less.

    2) Forget about film (for now) -- stay with digital, since a big part of your education will be the quick feedback that you get from the pictures you take.

    3) Buy photo editing software, and learn to use it.

    4) Join/participate in online forums post your pictures online, and solicit feedback from others.

    5) You're 17, so I'm sure you have a myspace or facebook page -- display your pictures there. I think facebook and flickr have some easy to use interface.

    6) Get good grades, high SAT scores and get into a good college.
  9. I disagree whole-heartedly that someone's age should be a criteria upon which to decide whether or not to get a digital SLR. That makes as much sense as buying eyeglasses when you get old, because old people tend to have poor eyesight.
  10. I disagree whole-heartedly that someone's age should be a criteria upon which to decide whether or not to get a digital SLR. -- M Barbu
    You can disagree all you want, since you're obviously missing the point.
    Age in and of itself is not a constraint, but age 17, coupled with "starting out" and especially when the OP has obvious concenrs about her budget obviates the DSLR as an option. She is not going to learn more or faster with a DSLR versus a very capable P&S like a G9, so from that perspective, and taking heed of ALL of my points would allow her to progress more effectively. A less expensive G9 + software + media cards + all the other peripherals and accessories gives her am more COMPLETE start into photography compared to buying a DSLR and some kit lens.
    Another point, and perhaps OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE to the OP, is that NO POST -- yours, mine or anyone else's -- is a valid criteria upon which to decide whether or not the OP should get a DSLR. THE ONLY VALID CRITERIA for that decision is whether or not the OP really wants one. And that's for her, and her alone, to decide.
  11. And that's for her, and her alone, to decide.
    Very true, but posts that suggest that one's age or level of experience should be a factor in whether or not a digital SLR is purchased make that decision much more difficult, since they are misguided at BEST. How is someone going to get that experience, without starting SOMEplace?
    A new PowerShot G9 has a market value of about US$470, now. A used EOS Digital Rebel with the kit lens can be had for US$320. A new Digital Rebel XT with kit lens can be had for US$450. As you can clearly see, the PowerShot G9 is NOT necessarily less expensive. Furthermore, dSLR bodies are available for about US$40-50 less, if omitting the kit lens. This is useful if a different lens is desired. There are many criteria upon which one can make a decision about what to do in life. Unless dealing with matters of life and death, one's age or level of experience is seldom a wise criterion to choose.
    Wilson Tsoi has captured breath-taking photographs with one of Canon's least expensive point-and-shoots. Certainly, it's possible to replicate this. But note that many of his photos are at ISO 50, use extended exposures, and a table-top tripod. With any camera, it's important to fully understand the inherent limitations of the technology, so you can best utilize it to your advantage. No camera will come with a sticker that reads, "Do not use if under 18."
    Yes, the PowerShot G9 is a 12 megapixel camera. However, it's sensor size is only 1/1.7", and you are limited to one lens with a variable maximum aperture of f/2.8 - f/4.8. The Digital Rebel XT, on the other hand, has a sensor size of 22.2 x 14.8 mm, and works with any EF or EF-S lens. The difference in sensor size means that you'll see noise in the PowerShot G9's ISO 100 images that would not be present in those of the Digital Rebel XT. This is an inherent result of cramming so many pixel sites on such a small sensor. I could go back and forth extolling the virtues of a digital SLR compared to a point and shoot -- and vice versa. That's not my point. My point is only that I choose to give Julie the benefit of the doubt that she's smart enough to be able to take advantage of a digital SLR, if she decides that's the aspect of photography she wishes to explore. I'm not about to put the kibosh on her, just because she hasn't quiet yet been in existance for two decades.
    With a digital SLR, once she gets a better understanding of her style and preferences, she can choose to invest in better quality or more specialized lenses that would work without making any other changes in equipment or workflow. If she wants a faster, wider, or longer lens than what comes built-in with the PowerShot G9, she'll need to sell that camera and replace it with another, first. Likewise if she decides she wants to explore low available light photography. Or sports (3fps vs 0.8, with AF). Or using apertures smaller than f/8. The list goes on and on...
  12. Thank you everybody!
    I cant believe there's still so many things i need to learn about. I know my age is not really that much of a big deal when it comes to getting good photos. Im not skilled enough but with all the advices everybody gave me, im more inspired to pursue becoming a great photographer. Also, I really want to convince my dad that i can be one. He thinks i cant be successful with photography.

    i want to comment on what sir keith leonin said: get good grades... and get into a good college.

    im already a college student.^_^ second year, nursing. and yes, instead of photography, my dad forced me to become a doctor. nursing is just a pre-med. Now, it's fine with me but im still walking the road to be a photographer.(i have good grades. all my subjects were A to B. except POLITICAL SCIENCE which was D. i just hate politics.)

    i kept on reading everyone's responses over and over coz it amazes me to find people like you want to help people like me to become people like you.. ^_^

    i really thank you guys. someday im gonna post my pictures. YOu'll see what you helped me to become. ^_^

    -if my english is not that good, please tell me.. i spent a very long time to finish this short message as "grammarous" as possible.^_^
  13. I can appreciate your father's intentions. However, make sure that medicine is something that you enjoy, as well. I can tell from your comments, that you have a deep desire to please him.

    We already have enough doctors with the technical skill, but with no passion/love for the field. I've encountered many. I would even venture to say that the passionate are in the minority. Whether they burned out, or were initially like that is inconsequential. They don't have the love for it, now.

    Medicine is one of the few fields were it's absolutely *critical* that you have a love for the field, and the patient, because the field is all about the patient. Also, it requires a lot of time and effort to complete not only your undergraduate work, but your graduate, medical school, and internship work. That's not something that you should do just because someone provided the spermatozoa necessary to make you. Nor, because you love someone. You need to do it because you love *it* (medicine).

    Love of the money you'll make is also not a good reason. There are plenty of other professions where you'll make just as good a living. Some, where you can earn even more (C-level officer in a company, to name one). But, there, you won't be in direct control of the quality of life of other human beings (and possibly whether or not they live or die). A very wise ophthalmologist counseled me when I was contemplating following in his footsteps: "If there is anything at all in the world that will give you as much satisfaction as medicine, do that instead. I've seen many marriages and lives (as a result of suicide) ruined by the requirements and stress that medicine places on the doctor."

    He didn't even include "greater" in his statement to me! Medicine needs to be "it" for you, else you stand to have regrets later on in life.
  14. Julie, DO NOT buy a Point & Shoot camera, as you will outgrow it very, very fast, and it will
    not provide you the options that an entry DSLR will.

    Better to spend the most $$ on lenses (later on) then to waste lots on a pro or semi-pro
    body. Doing so would be about the worse thing you can do, 2nd only to buying a Point &
    Shoot camera.

    Look at any and all DSLR's under $1,000 offered by Canon and Nikon. Go with the cheapo
    zooms and primes for you get better, keep the entry level DSLR, but slowly start
    to upgrade your lenses, as finances allow.

    Invest $ in classes that will teach you photography, how to use the DSLR, and post
    processing too.

    Leave the P&S cameras to those who just want to take snapshots and have no burning
    desire to get into photography as a serious hobby or possible vocation.
  15. thank you so much.
    When you mentioned that love of the money is not a good reason, its true about the money although love might not be the right word. It took me 3 years to convince.. no.. force myself to learn to love my dad's wish for me to be a doctor. But when i decided to finally follow what i want to do, for just a couple of weeks, i realized, becoming a doctor might not be as bad as i thought. I mean, the money could support me since the cameras, lenses and other stuff are expensive. but am i just being foolish? I'm really in a dilemma right now..
  16. before i was supposed to buy a Canon 400D but the store phased it out. But they recommended the new one, the 450D. What do you think? Is this gonna be okay to start with? Even without the upgrade lenses i mean.
  17. Julie, spend some time on these sites:

    The government has their own version:

    I think you'll find dozens of career options that will net you six figure salaries, with a degree, good grades, and once you've got ten years of experience (right about the time that you'd be ending your internship, if pursuing Medicine ;-)
  18. I would also suggest some introspection to determine what your best options are. Do What You Are is a really good book on the topic, that approaches it using your Myers-Briggs personality type. I would highly recommend it. If you don't want to buy it, you should be able to find it (or something close) at a good public library. A guidance counselor (college or otherwise) should be able to help as well.
  19. Sorry for not just putting this in one post; I'm a bit scatter-brained today. Newer bodies have more "bells and whistles". It might be better for you to focus on getting a "good enough" body, and put your money into high quality lenses. Even the 6.3 Megapixel original Digital Rebel (300D) will yield higher quality photos in low light, with an f/1.8, f/2, or f/2.8 lens, than a point-and-shoot. There are still places where you can find the older bodies: Digital Rebel XT (350D) $394.95, and Digital Rebel XTi (400D) $528.88

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