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Old May 16, 2006, 1:23 PM   #1
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I've been using a point and shoot for about 3 years now and have finally become so frustrated with shutter lag, boot up times, and missing shots from the autofocus being slow that I'm saving for a DSLR.



I have been using a Nikon 8700 and 8800 and have been very happy with the quailty of the pictures...that is when they are of the subject before it runs away or just doesn't come out because of the lighting. I did purchase a SB-800 speedlight for it and that has help considerably with the lighting, but I feel I have outgrown these and need to graduate.



I have not used a SLR camera since high school journalism, and even then the teacher just told us to get the needle of the meter in a certain area and then shoot the pic. So, I need to go through some instruction to make sure I get some decent pictures. I'm completly amateur, have no interest into going into photography as a profession, but thoroughly enjoy taking good photographs. Can anyone recommend any online photography classes or websites?




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Old May 16, 2006, 2:16 PM   #2
rey
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Check this out:
http://www.canon.co.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/index.html


For formal class, I've seen people recommend betterphoto.com, but I have no experience with them except when Jim Miotke went to my local library to promote his book. He basically covered the basic stuff in his book.

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Old May 16, 2006, 4:53 PM   #3
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You'll be surprised what you can learn by asking the right question right here!
We are a friendly bunch, so we don't care how basic the question is, as long as it seems like you really want to learn (and aren't just wasting our time... we are offering up our time for free, after all!)

The advantages of a DSLR over pocket/point-and-shoot cameras are many and varied. But there are disadvantages as well. Make sure you take that into account! A DSLR is heavier & larger so if you like taking a camera with you very where, you gotta take that into account.

You'll spend more money, especially on lenses. They will last you longer (if you choose wisely) so that is an upside. And the quality is almost certainly higher... again, if you choose wisely.

Eric
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Old May 18, 2006, 10:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Basically, I need to refresh and learn basic photography. Using a point and shoot, of course, you do not need to worry about aperture settings or fstop settings.

My biggest gripe with my point and shoots are the shutter delay and night photography. My 8800 just doesn't cut it. Since I own a SB-800 speedlight I thought I would stay with Nikon. Don't get me wrong, I love my 8700 and 8800, I have just outgrown them. After looking at the available DSLRs, I've been thinking about the D2X. I know it will be way more than I need (especially pricewise, but I seem to have buyer's remorse if I don't get top of the line.

Thanks for the info and for the link. I'll definitely check it out.

K-


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Old May 18, 2006, 2:40 PM   #5
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If you have the money, there are few better DSLRs anywhere than the D2x. It is a stunning camera... but not cheap. Other than weight and the cost of the batteries, the few people I know that have it love it.

The basics of photography are really around this:
- Capture an interesting subject. This is both a personal and intended audience thing.
- Capture the proper moment. Learn to anticipate things. This is easier with a DSLR as they are much more responsive.
- Artistic composition. This you can get via cropping or do it "in-camera". This is the same with the point-and-shoot. Experiment with this and learn what you like. Look at what other people photograph and think about the images.
- Proper exposure. This is probably easier with the DSLR, as they have better metering systems. But you also might have more options with the DLSR than a point-and-shoot. Read the manual to learn more. One huge advantage is that you'll have exposure compensation - learn it, love it. It lets you say "I know in situations like this the camera gets it wrong. I'll correct it" and you can, very easily. I wouldn't use a camera without this feature (the D2x has it.)
- depth of field (DOF) placement. Get what you want in focus and what you don't out of focus. Most/all point-and-shoot cameras have very large DOF. The D2x will have less in focus than you're used to, but this can work to your advantage depending on what you're shooting. You control this by what lens you use, how far away you are from your subject and what aperture you use.
- Learning to read light. A good image in bad light is uninteresting. A good image in good light is way better. Learn to apperciate the subtle qualities of light. Sunrise and Sunset light is much more interesting (its softer, its looks warmer.) Middle of the day light is flatter and harser (shadows are stronger, sharper edged, and distracting.

If you can do those things, you will do well.

Eric
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Old May 22, 2006, 11:39 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the replies. Took my point and shoot this weekend to the beach and missed some good shots from shutter lag. Think I will goget a case of Ramen Noodles so I can save up for the DSLR a little quicker. hehehe

Rey: Thanks for that link. It was awesome.

Eric: Thanks for the tips. I've got this thread printed out. When I get ready to get my camera, I'll post and get recommendations on which model I should get.



Thanks again all!
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Old May 22, 2006, 5:53 PM   #7
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Thanks from me too eric, some real simple but effective suggestions there.

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Old May 24, 2006, 3:18 PM   #8
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Hey,* * *Once you decide which camera you're going to get, you might want to check out: http://www.elitevideo.com.* They have instructional videos that cover all of the features and functions of cameras, and they give some photography tips.* I've personally found their videos very helpful.* Just an idea that you might want to check out!Allie
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Old May 24, 2006, 5:37 PM   #9
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Yeah, I got their DVD tutorial for my Olympus EVOLT E500 camera over a month ago just after I got my camera. The DVD is quite helpful and there were some "bonus" clips (lens advice, basic photography stuff, etc). It covered every single function/feature of the camera.


You should check their store on eBay first though. I actually got it on sale from their eBay auction/store since they were also selling there, as "jonvideo" (99.8% positive feedback; easy communication/transaction and quick shipping...very nice and helpful on the phone too). Instead of their regular site price of $75USD, I got mine for $39USD on eBay. You never know, they may have your partricular camera model's DVD tutorial on sale. I saw quite a few on there at that time.


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