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by Bart Arondson

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25

Technique is typically at fault with "fuzzy" images 99% of the time with someone new to dSLRs with only an 18-55 kit lens. The lens is not the problem. 18-55s are limited, and they are cheap, and there are much nicer lenses around, but how you use one is more likely to be the fault than what glass is in the lens. People will often blame the lens because ...


19

Presumably because the people who buy their first DSLRs mostly come from the point-and-shoot world and care about the versatility afforded by the zoom more than about image quality. Also, a 50mm is way too long to be a good "default" lens with an APS-C camera, and good-quality ~30mm lenses are, due to certain quirks of optics, much more complex (and thus ...


13

I would caution AGAINST a Nikon D7000. I love mine. Love it. It's awesome. It's also more camera than a lot of people will really want or need. The D3000 was a lot cheaper, let me get better lenses as I figured out what to do with them, and had nice little tutorials built in. Perfect for a beginning photographer. As a middle case, take the D5100. An ...


12

Just because you buy a zoom lens doesn't mean it is the only lens you are now allowed to use! And just because you are using a zoom lens doesn't mean you can't still alter the composition of your photographs by using your feet! The advice you have been given is primarily a warning not to stand in one place and stop exploring shooting angles and perspectives ...


11

You should focus on taking pictures! Don't worry too much about the gear. If you're really interested in this as a hobby, I suggest budgeting a significant chunk right off (See this slightly-tongue-in-cheek article) and buying some decent mid-range gear. I don't mean you need to buy a ton of stuff without knowing what you need, but if you jump in at higher ...


11

Traditionally a price factor, but not anymore. The idea that you should shoot only black and white as a beginning "serious" photographer is both highly subjective and highly restrictive, especially in a world where colour comes at no cost. If you are shooting film and doing your own darkroom work, then there is a distinct price advantage to shooting in ...


8

First, ALL modern DSLRs are good. There are levels of good but they are all good. Any one will do but there are some differences. Higher end cameras like the Nikon D7000 and Canon 7D you mention and Pentax K-5 family are more efficient to use because they offer more external controls. They let you work faster which is more important when you actually have ...


7

It sounds like you are a good candidate for an "SLR like" camera such as the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. It has very high quality, in a smaller package that is great for travel. It also gives a very wide zoom range for its size and cost. These SLR like cameras typically have full manual control of things like aperture and shutter speed, but also have auto ...


7

Print out a nice gift certificate for her and let her choose the camera. And don't worry about the small hands. I know a small handed photographer that has no problem with big equipment.


7

One possibility to consider might be a film camera. With a little patience, you can find a truly professional-level film body in the price range you've named. Based on what I've seen from quite a few people who've started out shooting digital, I tend to think that spending at least a little while shooting slide film has some good points. Many people no ...


7

My first recommendation is that you familiarize with the basic photography concepts, starting with the exposure triangle. All cameras are based on these principles, so it is important to understand them, even for the cameras like yours that don't let you set some of these settings. Understanding the above will make you realize that calling your camera ...


7

This is a great camera with a lot of advantages for a beginner. It's dead simple and very reliable. It doesn't even need a battery except to meter. And the meter is great — a simple, direct needle which indicates the overall exposure of the whole frame. I find this much more enjoyable to use than the LED indicators used on newer fancier cameras. Combined ...


7

Read this guide by Ken Rockwell: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/go-pro.htm is totally enlightening... If you don't have time to read it, let me summarise it: do not go professional. The article a little bit dream shattering, but the sad truth is that very few people can make a living with photography (many try and most struggle), if you really like ...


7

User convenience. Zoom lens quality and speed is good enough for everyday use and the convenience of being able to change framing instantly, trumps the gains in quality from primes. The zoom thing is not universally true, however, because there are some (expensive) cameras such as Fuji and Leica models that have a fixed 35mm lens, which is the 50mm ...


7

There are a number of reasons why the 'kit lenses' we have now became commonplace. Back in the early 90's (when I started out) zoom lenses were heavy, bulky, suffered compromised optics and came with a big price premium even at the budget end. Lens makers had been working on those issues for a long time anyway and by the end of the decade the value gap ...


7

iPhoto ('09 and later) will automatically take full advantage of shooting in RAW. In particular setting white balance will work much better (no loss of color) and you will have more exposure headroom (you will be able to reclaim more shadows/highlights when adjusting exposure). The only downsides are that you will fit fewer images on a given memory card, ...


7

Any actual (photo)technical advice aside, my recommendation would be: Pursue whichever plan keeps you most interested in photography. The underlying question is: What do you try to achieve? If you have specific goals, one method or another might be better. If you are in this for pure fun (like I currently am), follow the path that is more fun to you and ...


6

Here would be my topics How to Hold a Digital Camera How to buy the right equipment for you Composure - Some basic rules and how to break them Shutter/Aperture settings - How they affect your shot Depth of field Lighting and Exposure How to use flash What is ISO? How to pre-focus and use auto focus effectively An introduction to White Balance Lenses and ...


6

One approach would be to look at the top questions on this site, and to make sure those things are addressed in a helpful and organized way. You could even reuse the content from here, since all user contributions are licensed under the sharing-friendly Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. Translation into local languages is very much a part of ...


6

The free resource you point to (digital photography school) has a great reputation and produces quality content. Start there and don't think about spending money until you start feeling like you you find yourself unable to push your craft forward with the resources available. When you're ready to start investing in being taught, take a look at resources like ...


6

Am I correct in understanding that switching primes all the time is highly inconvenient, and you risk getting your optics dirty or dropping your lens... If you have a large collection of primes and use them exactly as you would a zoom, then yes you will be changing lenses almost constantly at considerable inconvenience. Prime shooting requires a ...


6

I agree with the comments made by JohannesD. It is easy to see that your tripod moved, when you magnify the picture of the stars. You can clearly see that the star trails are not small circle segments, instead they have an irregular curvature which is indicative of tripod movement instead of the usual trail casued by the rotation of the Earth. It is ...


5

From a camera perspective the Nikon D5000 and Canon 600D are both perfectly usable and powerful enough for wildlife photography. However, neither one has a kit lens that would be useful for wildlife, especially birds. As a very general rule of thumb, 300mm is the minimum for larger game, 400mm for larger birds, and you can never have enough focal length for ...


5

The 550D is a very capable camera. The image quality is very good and the HD video is also excellent. It has quite a small lightweight body - it feels a little more toy like that the more expensive Canon Cameras. It has a packed feature set for the money and I'm sure you could get a lot of enjoyment from it as well as some great photographs (you can get ...


5

what about Pentax K-r? I think that the body with 18-55 kit lens could fit into your price range. I have his predecessor K-x and I am very satisfied. The Exmor CMOS chip has very low noise also when using high ISO - so you can better shoot in low light - even ISO 1600 is very good. Pentax kit lenses are very good compared to entry level Canons and Nikons ...


5

I think this question has already been asked. Here are some. I will add these to the tag wikis What are good resources for a beginning photographer? How to start learning photography? What are the first few photography books someone should read? What blogs should I be following if I am learning photography? What are the best online photo classes? I ...


5

This is called "shallow depth of field", there are 3 factor (that you control) that affect depth of field: Distance to subject - as you get closer less will be in focus, also, you will get more background blur if the background is far away Focal length - longer focal length = less in focus Aperture - this is the easiest to use because it's a setting you ...


5

It depends on what you want. One of the key things RAW can give you is the ability to adjust white balance after the fact, and to a lesser degree fix exposure errors. If you find yourself wishing you had that ability with important photos, it may well be worth it even if you never plan on doing any more advanced editing. That means iPhoto will be just fine, ...


5

On the assumption that you own any form of digital camera (including in your phone) from the past few years, my answer would be to just use that to begin with. In a while, you'll have a much better idea of what sort of photography you're interested in and can then make a buying decision based on that - otherwise you're at risk of spending money on something ...


5

The gimp docs, youtube and various gimp tutorial websites already mentioned in the comments are invaluable. I have found that I made the most progress when I tackled photos that I wanted to edit. Whether it was an event you attended, a holiday, a topic, subject or chosen destination that you had in mind (instagram, etc), start with some photos and experiment ...



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