Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 6, 2010, 12:44 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 47
Default Just Purchased My First SLR

After much thought debate and input from may of you on this forum(Thanks to all) i just purchased a shiny new Cannon XSI. Can't wait to start playing with it.
Next question that I need some guidence on:
- With another lens being a while down the road, what are some other accesssories that I should be looking at to purchase pronto. I have already purchased an extra battery and card and looking at several bags.
- What are your recommendations for reference material and reading. Books magazine websites etc to advice on knowledge from a novice standpoint.
powelldb1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 6, 2010, 12:54 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 48
Default

I bought the same camera with the extra 55-250 lens and am waiting for it to arrive now. People on this forum ahave been great about giving out advice. I ordered a couple cheap lens hoods off of ebay and got a book on the xsi from the the Magic Lanter series. So far the book seems to be really good. I'm still looking for a camera bag.
gman1987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 1:06 PM   #3
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

Based on your previous post, I would suggest an external flash be a consideration. Don't get obsessed with extra gadgets at this point. You have memory cards and a backup battery - that's good. You're looking into a bag - that's good. The flash is the next thing IMO that will benefit your needs - the primary one being indoor family.

Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is a good book (actually there are several versions) and is worthwhile. In all honesty I don't find any photography magazines to be worth the subscription price. By and large thay are 90% advertisement - including their reviews which pretty much claim every piece of gear is the greatest invention (that's what you get when the lifeblood of the company is based on advertisements - you don't want to bite the hand that feeds you).

In addition to Peterson's book, I would suggest looking into editing software. You can start with some free stuff but Photoshop Elements is a very good investment. Besides being a good product, it's a product a LOT of people use - so there are a lot more books on how to use it and a lot more advice on how to use it on the web than some of the other software packages. You'll be amazed at how big a difference good photo editing makes to your photos. I'd say about 99% of photos can be noticably improved with photo editing.

When you get into that, there are some good articles on the Lumionous Landscape website.

Above all else though - I think the best resource is other photographers. So joining a camera club or just using online forums. Ask questions and post pictures for critique (specifically ask for critique and be prepared to accept it). The old adage is: Practice makes Perfect. No, it doesn't. Practice makes PERMANENT. Practice poor technique for 5 years and you'll absolutely be able to repeat that technique but you'll still have poor results. And don't fall into the trap of limiting yourself to gear-centric discussions. Camera clubs aren't Canon or Nikon or Pentax because the brand you use is only a small part of it. So seek our online forums where people photograph what you like to photograph and learn from them. Your learning curve will go 1000% faster that way because it's interactive.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing some of your photos in the forums here!
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 2:23 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,572
Default

When I switched from CF cards to SD cards, I was worried about keeping traclk of all those little cards. Then I found this, and haven't had any trouble.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 2:37 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 47
Default

Thanks for all the suggestions. Looking on amazon at the books right now. Aloso to TCAV for the SD holder that will come in handy. What about lens cleaning kits and do I need a white balance card at this point?
powelldb1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 3:15 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

Getting either a lens brush and/or lens cloth is a good idea, along with a hand air blower (I use a rocket air blower). I use the brush more often then a cloth as dust is my primary problem with lenses.

If money is an issue, I'd wait for a white balance/grey card. They are very nice to have but there are alternatives - a white piece of paper, a billboard with white on it, a white car (though you have to be careful with this because a white car may not be really white), snow will do in a pinch and once I used the tarmac of a street that seemed to be neutral colored (and it worked that time). There are also the camera's presets for various lighting conditions that do reasonably well. I keep thinking about getting a grey card but never quite get around to it - I keep a white piece of paper and a white coffee filter in my bag (the coffee filter also works as my flash diffuser) that I can use in strange lighting conditions. But grey cards are more accurate than my various methods, no doubt about it.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 4:24 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 47
Default

everyone seems to be pretty consistant on recommending an external flash. Are there a lot of options is one better than the other or is it pretty much straight forward. Thanks again
powelldb1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 4:28 PM   #8
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

the 430EXII is the best combination of price and performance. Can't really go wrong.

Metz has a good reputation as well, but personally, I am done with 3rd party flashes after having some compatibility issues.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 4:49 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 628
Default

A book that made sense to me was written by Scott Kelby. It is called the Digital Photography book.

I liked it because it was written in non-photographer terms. Although you'll want to become fluent in the language of a photographer, Kelby's book get you started by saying things like: Turn this knob until it says 320 aim and mash the button.

For me, it was a great primmer and I still pull it out. I also loan it to friends, (after they leave a deposit!).

Faithfully Yours,
FP
FaithfulPastor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 6, 2010, 4:51 PM   #10
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8,529
Default

I agree with Hards80. I used to use a Sigma flash and switched over to the Canon 580exII. With the latest release of Canon DSLRs I believe there have been compatibility issues with at least sigma. So, that would have me concerned if 2 years down the road I bought a new DSLR and my flash had issues. Now I believe Metz has an easier time because you can update firmware so that may be an option. But I'm no longer a huge fan of the Sigma flashes.
JohnG is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 3:32 PM.