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Old Mar 6, 2005, 7:52 PM   #1
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i dont know much about cameras and im thinking about getting into photographt with my dad this summer, i was wondering what a good starter camera i should get and if it should be digital or regular. what takes better pictures
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 8:26 PM   #2
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Cameras never makes pictures - photographer does. Quality of photos does not depends greatly on witch camera you are using, but rather how do you use it - so if you like to produce good result you should be willing to learn, and to learn a lot. From almost any point of view good film camera overpass 5 times (or even more) more expensive digital camera, but in real lifedifferences are not so dramatic andoften almost negligible. However if you just about to start doing photo, I personally would recommend you digital camera. Tremendous advantage of them is instantaneous feedback - you can correct your mistakes straight away and therefore make your learning curve much steeper (and much cheaper :-) ). My advise would be not to buy an expensive camera - but rather look at something witch give you ability to use manual controls. Almost any manufacture making such cameras - have a look around. Fuji 5000Z or Canon A75 would be my recommendation for starting point.
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 8:29 PM   #3
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Film cameras tend to be better than digital cameras of the same cost. For example, you can buy a film SLR camera for the cost of a typical utlra-zoom digital camera.

However, I would stay away from film cameras. The benefits of digicams are far greater nowadays IMO. In particular, digicams are better for newcomers because you can take "infinite" pictures without it costing anything (other than energy from (rechargeable) battery ). In other words, you can experiment a lot more and this is helpful when you are starting out... so I would stay away from film cameras, even though they can take better pics for the same price range... besides, film cameras are endangered and about to become obsolete (except in the professional arena)...

As far as what camera to get, I would go for a prosumer of some sort. Depending on your budget, I would consider everything from the low-end prosumer to the high-end prosumer. I would stay away from consumers (ultra-compacts and compacts). The consumers tend to be smaller and more portable but usually are more limited when it comes to amateur photography. The prosumers are larger but have more manual controls and are arguably better at taking pics. Examples of prosumers I would consider include Panasonic FZ3 or FZ20, Canon G6, Sony V3, etc.

BUT if money is not an issue and you are willing to spend US$1000+ then I would look at a digital SLR (DSLR). These are far better and more pro-like but cost more. Examples of DSLRs includ Canon DIgital Rebel (350D), Nikon D70, Canon 20D, Pentax *istDS, etc.

Discuss with your dad and let us know what your budget is. Once you have a dollar figure, you can sort of narrow it down to a few classes of cameras. I think a decent amateur-photographer-oriented camera will cost US$350 minimum... you can go a bit lower if you go for an older model or used, or cut back on some features, but I would try to aim for one that is around $350 minimum.
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 8:49 PM   #4
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what about a Nikon N75 AF SLR just the body and then buy a really nice lens seperate. i really like the look of this camera. i was just making sure that there was no drastic difference between a digi and a film camera. Im taking a photography class next year and they only teach on film cameras so im really just looking for film only camera so i dont have to buy another one when taking this class. plus my dad already has a dark room. im also going to really get into night photography so if that helps. my budget is nowere over $500
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 12:56 AM   #5
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N75 is a proper camera - you can do anything with it. But remember that lens is the key to success - you should pick up the best glass you can afford. It would be better go to Nikon forum and ask them witch lens is most suitable for you.

Good luck
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 9:42 AM   #6
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I can't afford all the film I'd use if I didn't have a digital camera.

My memory card gives me 235 shots when it's empty. How many rolls of film is that? I can blow fifty shots on getting just the right angle, and I don't have to pay for the privilege.

If you're just getting started, digital is way better than film - just make sure the camera has manual controls AND auto.

It's not about "which camera makes the better pictures." It's about getting something that will help you learn photography. I learned by taking a whole fuckload of pictures, and I couldn't have afforded doing so with film.
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 12:10 PM   #7
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Tap wrote:
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what about a Nikon N75 AF SLR just the body and then buy a really nice lens seperate. i really like the look of this camera. i was just making sure that there was no drastic difference between a digi and a film camera. Im taking a photography class next year and they only teach on film cameras so im really just looking for film only camera so i dont have to buy another one when taking this class. plus my dad already has a dark room. im also going to really get into night photography so if that helps. my budget is nowere over $500
I think you answered your own question, and it is a good answer as well. Night photography is one area the chemical cameras do better than digital - long exposures mean noise in digital.
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 12:54 PM   #8
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Yes agree with the issues digital has with long night exposures. But long exposures in chemical film photography mean calculating and adjusting forreciprocity failure in each film type used, and handling the color shifts because the emulsion dyes don't respond identically during long exposures.

Night exposures brings astro-photography to mind.:-)Here is a website where most of the images are done with a dRebel on a 80mm refractor telescope,and a few with the dRebelusing a 200mm F2.8 lens. http://www.carranzafield.com/astrophotography.htm

I agree with Bill you have answered your own question, if you will need a film camera in school :-). When my daughter started photography in college she needed a full manual film camera(Pentax k-1000, then graduated to a Canon ae1p and a Cambo(4*5) in later years). Cameras with automation were not permitted in first year.

Peter.
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Old Mar 7, 2005, 9:42 PM   #9
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PeterP wrote:
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... Cameras with automation were not permitted in first year.
Tap, you should check with the instructor to find out what cameras are allowed/prefered. Might be that the recomendation for the first year is a camera/lens combo that costs a good chunk less than your $500. Could be enough left to buy one of the shirt-pocket digitals that is fairly good. You will have a use for that kind of camera later, and it will serve as an introduction to digital.
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Old Mar 8, 2005, 1:09 AM   #10
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"Im taking a photography class next year and they only teach on film cameras..."

The N75 is a good camera, but it might even be overkill for a photography class. I recently picked up a good working Mamiya 500 DTL, which is an excellent student camera, with 50mm f1:2 lens on eBay for $51. It even had the original fitted camera case and a nice neck strap. It came with a Vivitar 28mm F1:2.5 lens, also. Oh, and there was a Vivitar 200mm f1:3.5 lens. Did I mention the 2x AND 3x teleconverters WITH cases? When I put everything in the nice leather camera bag that was included, I barely have room for the Focal Maxi-C flash . Of course, I have to manually focus the camera, but somehow I manage. What's the point? Well, people are dumping their 35mm gear. With careful shopping, you can buy a lot of good stuff for dirt cheap prices. Digital is definitely taking over so I don't know that I would invest much in a film camera, but that doesn't mean you have to deprive yourself. I took over a hundred pics with my FZ10 this past weekend and thousands within the last year; however, my favorite photograph from that period was taken one afternoon last summer when I loaded a roll of Agfapan APX b&w into my 35 year old 1000 DTL, slapped on an equally ancient Pentax 85mm f1:1.9 lens, and shot the niece's kiddies as they peered out the rear window opening from the cab of a '39 International pickup. Enjoy the photography class. Years from now, you may even look back on your time with film as "the good old days".
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