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Old Nov 6, 2010, 11:51 PM   #1
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Default Wanting a dSLR not sure if it is right for me.

Well, I am 16. Photography is fun to me, I find myself behind the camera trying to take the best picture I can. My aunt had a SLR camera that I played with some, being able to focus on things I wanted too just felt right.

I've never had my own camera, besides my trust-worth BlackBerry. So I believe it is time to step up.

With Christmas coming up I have a feeling Santa wants me to have a camera under $600 maybe $700 if I'm good enough.

The Pentax K-x is my top choice right now, it looks nice but I am open to all the help I can get. I would be taking pictures of just about everything. I am going to Paris and Madrid coming up, so I will be loading up alot of pictures.

-Harrison.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 1:37 AM   #2
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The K-x is a fine camera, and is good for just about anything. Can you be a little more specific about what you want to shoot?
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:46 AM   #3
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I would be shooting, some action things like trucks and ATVs. But landscape things, like trees and ponds.

At the same time I would want to be able to use it to take pictures of people.

For lenses, do you mind explaining why you would have different lenses?
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:25 AM   #4
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for action photography your probably better off with canon or nikon cameras but not sure if there entry level camera are any better or not sure someone can advise there - for landscape photography the kx is good camera and is same for portraiture - sports again depends - the autofocus might let you down

different lens well

macro lens for taking picture of small things basically they let you focus very close to the lens

wide angle - typically used for landscape etc - can create distortions and emphasies distance between thigns in the foreground and background

telephoto lens great for bringing far away thigns close in to fill the frame and they do the opposite of wide angle lens and compress apparent distance between objects

lens aperture - the faster the lens (lower f number) the more expensive the lens usually gets - but they let you take pictures in lower light conditions and let you isolate your subject from teh background by knocking it out of focus - so is usually desireable to have as large an aperture lens as you can afford - again as can be confusing large aperture = low f number so a f1.4 or a f2.8 lens apposed to a f5.6

what lens you want to buy will be determined by what you want to photograph and how far away from your subjects you'll be - the speed of lens you require will be determined by the lighting conditions you'll be shooting in mostly but also artistic reasons for blurring backgrounds etc

hope that helps a little
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harrison94 View Post
For lenses, do you mind explaining why you would have different lenses?
The DSLR paradigm is different than point-and-shoot. The idea behind an interchangeable lens camera system is it allows you to use a lens that is designed for a more specific task. The more you design a lens towards a specific thing the better you can make it at that job. The more you try to create a jack-of-all-trades lens the more you have to make compromises in the engineering.

There are several lens attributes that you consider when choosing the 'right lens' for a job.

Focal Length: How "wide" is the lens? A "standard" wide angle lens for an aps-c camera is 17-18mm at the wide end. You want such a wide angle for group shots, indoor shots and landscape shots. Sometimes you want "ultra-wide" - that means about 10-12mm on an aps-c camera. At the other end of the spectrum is a lens for shooting birds and animals in the wild where 400-500-600mm is a common lens length.

Another attribute of a lens is it's maximum aperture (aperture is the opening in the lens that lets light in. The wider that opening is the more light gets in). The measurement we use to refer to aperture is f-stop - that's a ratio of focal length to the size of the opening. Because it's a ratio, the LOWER the f-number the BIGGER the opening. Most kit lenses are typically around f3.5-5.6 (which means at their widest setting they are capable of f3.5 aperture but as you zoom out the widest aperture becomes f5.6). Having a wider aperture allows for two things:
1) allows you to have faster shutter speeds which is important in low light
2) creates shallower depth-of-field (DOF) so less of the image is in focus and the background is blurred.

Another aspect of a lens to be considered is an area important to macro shooters. A 1:1 macro lens means the camera can take a shot where a subect the size of the imaging sensor can fill the frame. A 1:3 lens means the subject must be 3 times the size of the sensor in order to fill the frame.

Another aspect is build quality - is the lens built out of metal or plastic?

Another aspect is the type of focus motor - silent or noisy? fast focusing or slow focusing?

And, of course, there's the matter of QUALITY. Shaprness, distortion control, control of chromatic aboration and other quality issues.

So, just like cars, lens manufacturers make lenses in various quality levels to meet various price points.

So, the reason TCAV asked what you want to shoot is to determine what lenses might be appropriate.

For example, I shoot canon. One of my lenses - 85mm 1.8 is great for shallow-dof portraits:


But it's not very good for landscapes. My "walk-around" lens (24-105) is great for general purpose photography - parties, some landscape, general shots of my son:






But, it's not long enough for wildlife photography for anything more challenging than a seagull. FOr that I use 100-400mm lens:


But for field sports at night, neither lens works. Because I need a constant f2.8 aperture and at least 200-300mm focal length. So I shoot with a sigma 120-300 2.8 lens (and at night I add an external flash):


Inside, 120-300 is a poor focal length for standard shooting. So even though it has 2.8 aperture, 120mm is just too tight for a lot of shooting.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:51 AM   #6
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Canon and Nikon have better selections of lenses for a wider variety of purposes than Pentax (or Olympus or Sony), and Canon's dSLRs and Nikon's dSLRs, except for their lowest level models, have better AF systems for moving subjects, than the Pentax K-x.
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 9:22 AM   #7
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I'll just mention that one of Canon' cheaper models, the T2i (550D) has excellent autofocus AND extremely high resolution (which gives more detail in the picture, and means you can crop down and remove parts of the original picture that you don't want. It also (as this is a video forum) has good on-board video capability.
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