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Old Mar 16, 2007, 9:40 AM   #1
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Which camera would be easier to learn how to take "real" photos, utilizing the cameras various settings and adjustments? Would I learn basic photo taking best on a G7 or the Pentax? I'd like to move past the "hit the button in the auto mode."

Which of the two cameras above would be most suited for the "newbie" to learn more than just point and shoot.

Thank you
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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Where do you want to go?

Both have P&S modes, turn it on & shoot.

Advantage of the DSLR is the longterm flexibility, won't out grow the camera. Could cost more in lenses as needs do/do not dictate.

Advantage of the G7 is that it offers a good deal of flexibility w/o any additional expense (or moderate expenses).

If it's not a matter of cost then I'd go DSLR hands down, remember -

it's pretty easy to turn OFF un-needed features, it's REAL hard to turn on features a camera doesn't have :-)
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 11:38 AM   #3
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Which would be easier to learn from? For instance I see there are a few " how to" books on the market for the Pentax. I don't see any for the G7. ( of course I know that each camera comes with a manual.)

I want to learn, and not get discouraged from too much info or not good enough explanations. Frankly I need to learn it all, past "on / off " point and shoot."
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 12:13 PM   #4
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Jeff,

Now sure what your ultimate goal is...maybe you don't even know, and that's OK. Assuming you have little or no photographic experience, I personally feel that it would be wise to start with a point and shoot camera (one with full manual capabilities), rather than jump right into a DSLR with a full bag full of lenses. However, I'm not sure about the G7. It is a compact camera, and a very expensive compact, at that. You might be better served by trying a bridge camera, one which is SLR-like in format, which approximates the size and weight of a DSLR. Research those which have true manual modes, preferably with manual zoom and focus rings. That should give you a good idea whether or not you want to continue on and purchase a DSLR system. A couple of cams which come to mind are the Fuji S9100 and S6000. The both feature manual zoom and focus rings, aperture and shutter priority modes, and full manual modes. In addition, they both offer RAW format, which the G7 does not.

Good luck with your selection.

the Hun

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Old Mar 16, 2007, 12:26 PM   #5
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I know this sounds bad but really there is no easier. What I mean is once you move past "auto" it's all the same, regardless of the camera.

Aperature priority is aperature priority, shutter priority is shutter priority, ISO is ISO....etc.

It's not so much learning "a camera" as it is learning photography. For example I learned on a Canon AE1 (SLR) - I know what all the manual settings do on my current camera - it's a simple matter of "oh, this button does XYZ" = the manual.

The G7 will allow you a great deal of control, the K100D will provide more longterm flexibility - do you want/need that flexibility?


There are lots of basic photograhy books on the market.
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 2:24 PM   #6
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Bailey59 is right.

You need to look at the problem differently. I advise against the 'how do I use the XXX camera' approach. The better approach is: what is photography and it's components - what is exposure, what is aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth-of-field, white balance and how do they all interact. What is composition and what makes good photos. All of these topics are completely independent of which camera you are using. Understanding the principles of photography is what will make you a good photographer. Once you understand them, you can literaly spend 15 minutes with a new camera and the user manual and be good to go. Which button or dial you turn to set exposure compensation in aperture priority mode is a minor issue (again a few seconds with the camera and manual will tell you this). Knowing WHEN to use EC and HOW MUCH to use really is independent of the specific camera model.

There shouldn't be any debate - the DSLR option will give you more room to grow. But only if you are OK with the size/weight and the need to change lenses. And that's a big issue. I completely disagree with people who say a DSLR is more difficult to learn on. It isn't - you can leave one lens on it and use it in auto mode just like a digicam. You can also use the pre-fab modes just like a digicam. And guess what, when you're ready for aperture priority, shutter priority or manual mode - they all have the same affect in both cameras. BUT, with a DSLR you'll have wider ranges to choose from (more aperture values and you'll see a bigger difference in your depth of field), more usable ISO values, etc.

A 'bridge' camera is only a good idea if you are uncertain whether the size/weight/expense and need for lenses that are essential in DSLRs is right for you (a camera is no good if it's too bulky and you leave it at home). If you're convinced you're comfotable with those issues the DSLR will be just as easy to learn on as the digicam and will give you much more room to grow.
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 2:58 PM   #7
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I would go with the DSLR. You'll have more creativity as far as depth of field, a greater variety of lighting that you can shoot in without a flash (or letting the flash contribute more or less to the exposure more easily), more options for focal length/lens quality and other benefits.

But, only if you don't mind lugging the larger camera around and spending time learning to use it, as well as finding a good lens (or lenses) for the types of photos you want to take.

If it sits on a shelf, you won't be taking advantage of it's benefits. ;-)


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Old Mar 16, 2007, 3:29 PM   #8
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I have a G5. Its great. However, if I was starting out now rather than a few years back then I would jump in for a dSLR. They give you more flexibility and choice.
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Old Mar 16, 2007, 3:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
(a camera is no good if it's too bulky and you leave it at home).
Extremely important point. I no longer have an SLR because I found I just couldn't be bothered hauling the camera. If I couldn't put it in my pocket I didn't bring it along = fewer & fewer shots.


Quote:
Which button or dial you turn to set exposure compensation in aperture priority mode is a minor issue (again a few seconds with the camera and manual will tell you this).
Yep- the only reason I've even opened the manual on my current camera was to check a couple of icons (first burst & last burst) - I already knew what all the settings meant..........and my SLR went away some 15 years ago.


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Old Mar 17, 2007, 9:23 AM   #10
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IMHO, the most important things to figure out about photography have nothing to do with the technical aspects of the camera. Knowing where to stand when shooting (composition) and figuring out lighting being the most imporant. I would also count knowing how to do basic editing (cropping, levels, curves/contrast, saturation, ...) as more important.

So I would suggest getting a digicam that fits in your shirt pocket. You won't be able to shoot in as low light levels as a dSLR, or add a really long/wide lens. Even if you decide later that you want a dSLR, you will still have a use for a carry-everywhere camera so the money will not be wasted. You will also have figured out how to use a photo editor and the prices will have come down on dSLRs and the quality will have gone up.
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