New answers tagged beginner
In addition to the other very good answers: try to anticipate your next move. If you go for a mid-range camera, there is a risk that you start casting envious glance at higher range soon after that (depending on what you put behind "serious"). Or that even mid-range starts looking overkill given that even a low-end camera does take very good pictures too ...
Any camera with either fixed lens or zoom, manual controls or even automatic can be okay for learning composition. The two most important considerations are your eyes and your muscles. If you are over 50, like me, a large viewfinder is critical for composing and checking the sharpness. Secondly, I have several dslr's such as Olympus E-10, Nikon D1x, ...
I love my K1000. My favorite lens is an SMC 28 mm f/2.8. I like how you can be right on top of a foregrond object and get everything in focus. I like to shoot stopped down for maximum sharpness. I have owned a dslr, but often found the images to be a bit fuzzy. Not so with my K1000. I've had many people say that my pictures are beautiful. Thank you, K1000.
You want studio flash, not continuous lights. You will never get enough depth of field with continuous light. Butterfly lighting works well for basic beauty. One large softbox above and very close to the face, and another or a reflector below to light under the chin. Beauty lighting is often very flat. Do you have a good retoucher available?
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