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Old Oct 28, 2013, 12:43 AM   #1
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Default Completely unsure

I've toyed with the idea of a dslr, because I would like more control over a pos camera. But each time I look at them, the price tag and size makes me balk. I've mostly satisfied the "urge" by taking photos with my smart phone and never looking at them again. But lately I've been going back to wanting to take photos I can look at without grimacing (mostly because my photo taking skills are terrible), and pulled out an old TZ-1 and attempted taking photos a few times. They were very disappointing. I know that most of it is actually the skill of the photographer. I know that I could take a class, but it seems that you need a dslr camera to take a class.

So... I'm back to looking at cameras. I've really never been satisfied with the photos that came out of this camera. I've liked the Elph I had (but wanted more zoom), and I've liked my smartphone better than this camera (smartphone is dead).

I tend to be outside, take photos of birds, graffiti, buildings, flowers, insects, or something odd I notice. Sometimes I'm out in the evening or night (particularly as the days get shorter). I'm usually intrigued by something like color contrasts (red leaves, green moss, water) odd reflections (like the moon on a window at sunset), distance shots (where you see a path through the trees) etc. Sometimes I wish I could make the background blurry when I focus on an object. Sometimes I wish I could capture depth and how something curves (the tree trunk with graffiti was curious in how it curved and colors). (I also wish I could capture leaves falling out of trees in motion, and the way the water flows in a stream for some reason).

Some of the photos I've taken are below. Most of them seem blurry, washed out, or the colors are flat. So I'm doing something very wrong. I'm not sure if there's a camera that I might learn technique more easily? http://smillas.imgur.com/tz
(I'm realizing now how creepy the last photo looks, I was propping myself against the tree to try to capture the weirdly red sky vs the green ferns and the illumination of the bright house vs the other houses that were dark. It kinda looks like a scene from a movie where something bad is about to happen. Ick.)

Last edited by smilla; Oct 28, 2013 at 1:02 AM.
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 1:39 AM   #2
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Switching to a dSLR won't instantly improve your photography. In fact, because of the extra complexity, you'll probably see the opposite. But it will give you access to the greater creative control that some of your shots seem to indicate that you'd like to be able to take advantage of. Good luck.
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Old Oct 28, 2013, 1:00 PM   #3
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smilla- I kinda like those images you took...
Yes,technically not perfect, but you picked out some interesting shots from an otherwise seemingly totally orthodox and unexciting environment- suggesting you have an eye for a shot- and frankly that's something that cannot be taught.

As for the technicalities of a given shot and the settings required (and why...) a good photography "how and why" book is an invaluable (and inexpensive...) tool to more successful photography- or even scour the web for online tutorials- even youtube for some tips and advice...

As for hardware... you're going to ideally need a camera with a decent sized sensor for depth of field control (more so depending on lens used...) and for better noise control in lower light.
There are so many good cameras out there now,you're really spoiled for choice, but I would focus (groan...) on the how's and why's before you indulge.

As a guide though- an entry level DSLR is fine and offers IQ as good as higher end models- they're just not as feature packed,not as well built and generally shoot slower with more basic AF systems- not a problem unless you're shooting fidgety subjects all of the time.
If size concern's you- possibly consider one of the mirrorless bunch- Sony's NEX,Olympus Pens,Canons EOS M etc...
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 5:57 PM   #4
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Take a look at the Sony Alpha DSLR's. They have a camera to fit any price range.

Just start out with the "kit" lens, and as your experience and passion grows, you can add more lenses into the mix.

Hope you enjoy a wonderful life of photography!
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 9:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIMON40 View Post
smilla- I kinda like those images you took...
Yes,technically not perfect, but you picked out some interesting shots from an otherwise seemingly totally orthodox and unexciting environment- suggesting you have an eye for a shot- and frankly that's something that cannot be taught.
Thanks!

I think part of the motivation to purchase a new camera is so I can take classes. I am really dying to take a photography class. Though if I buy a camera it may be a while before I can afford a class! I would like a camera that's fun to learn on that I can grow into. I don't mind if it's frustrating for a while. As a kid I took a photography class with the old film SLRs and it was quite fun, though they had the cameras they loaned us, I didn't need to buy or find one to bring with me (I looked into renting and it didn't seem worth it). I do have the dilemma of something compact I'm likely to carry (rather than heavy that I have to lug around), vs something that I have more control over and can be taught in a school. I've debated over the mirrorless cameras, but I'm not sure if they're the right thing or not.

Last edited by smilla; Nov 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM.
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Old Nov 1, 2013, 9:40 PM   #6
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Have you thought about a bridge camera? Fujifilm HS30EXR or Canon SX50, maybe?
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