Northstar's Journey Into Photography

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Northstar

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Now that I have the camera I figured I would just morph this into my gallery thread.

Updates:



I've been wanting to get into actual photography for a year or so now and figured since I have the free time now I might as well give it a whirl.

There is just once teensy problem in the fact that what I know about photographing is what I've learned from video game photo modes. So I'm hoping the very talented photographers here can give me some pointers on how to take decent pics (if anyone knows any good books or websites it would be a great help).

As for the camera, I've been looking at this Nikon D3200 as it seems like a good budget camera based on the reviews.[/quote]
 
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There is just once teensy problem in the fact that what I know about photographing is what I've learned from video game photo modes. So I'm hoping the very talented photographers here can give me some pointers on how to take decent pics (if anyone knows any good books or websites it would be a great help).
Hey, that's a fine place to start. It's where I realized I liked photography, and I'm sure others as well. If you post in this thread you can get advice from fellow learners and those with more experience. They really helped me with both the technical side of things and the artistic (Not that you can tell since I haven't actually put up an image here or on Flickr in a long time). Plus we could always use more members actively posting in this part of the forums.

As for the camera, I've been looking at this Nikon D3200 as it seems like a good budget camera based on the reviews.
I think that would be good, Nikon's entry-level offerings seemed more impressive to me than Canon's in tests, but I haven't used either outside of a store so I can't really say. I will mention the Sony a5000 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 as possible alternatives if you don't like the size and weight of a DSLR but still want good performance.

Hope to see you posting some work soon. 👍
 

Mike Rotch

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I've been wanting to get into actual photography
👍

Some things to think about before you bust out the CC:

1) What type of photography do you want to pursue e.g. landscape, still life (car), people etc....what did you mean by "actual" photography? This kinda informs what choice you might want to make. If you're doing landscape, size doesn't really matter. If you want to do streety stuff or candid themes, a more discreet camera like a mirrorless one might be a better idea;
2) How bad is GAS in your life :lol:. When you buy a camera you are buying into their 'system' of lenses, and unless you get a mirrorless (which allows you fit a multitude of other manufacturers lens at the cost of relatively small OEM lineups) you are pretty much wedded to Nikon, Pentax or Canon lineups if you go that route.
3) There are a squillion YT videos on photography techniques, it is a good place to start, probably before you even lash the cash.
 

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Quick question, @Northstar: do you see yourself shooting with manual focus lenses?

(Some extra commitment is needed, along with your subjects being still.)
 

MatskiMonk

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If you're looking at the Nikon, you can get an idea what the camera can achieve, and what lenses you might want based on what kind of photo's you'll be taking... by looking somewhere like this https://www.flickr.com/cameras/nikon/d3200/ and looking at the EXIF info shown. Also useful for picking up pointers on what settings people have used.
 

Azuremen

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Quick question, @Northstar: do you see yourself shooting with manual focus lenses?

(Some extra commitment is needed, along with your subjects being still.)

To expand on this, manual lenses are cheap way to obtain some interesting and genuinely good lenses. The learning curve is quite a bit steeper if you only use manual lenses, and at first you're going to want your subjects to be still, but with practice you get decent at focusing on the move. Though auto-focus still wins when subjects are moving a lot and you need multiple shots.

The D3200 is a fine entry level camera. I do see the Sony a6000 kits coming down under $500 on sales at times, which is the camera I often suggestion because of it's size and flexibility with adapting lenses to it. Alternatively, there is the Fuji X-mount system, which has beautiful cameras and lenses but they cost a premium.
 

Northstar

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1) What type of photography do you want to pursue e.g. landscape, still life (car), people etc....what did you mean by "actual" photography? This kinda informs what choice you might want to make. If you're doing landscape, size doesn't really matter. If you want to do streety stuff or candid themes, a more discreet camera like a mirrorless one might be a better idea;

I'll probably mostly do racing, car shows and nature pics.

3) There are a squillion YT videos on photography techniques, it is a good place to start, probably before you even lash the cash.

I will have a look there later.👍

Quick question, @Northstar: do you see yourself shooting with manual focus lenses?

(Some extra commitment is needed, along with your subjects being still.)

I guess I haven't really thought about it. I'm guessing it would be a little easier getting the hang of things with auto-focus for now.

On the camera decision front, I found this at Target where I can get a 10% discount, it would end up being about the same as the Nikon I already posted once taxes are taken into consideration. Does this seem like a good deal or should I stick with the Nikon?
 
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On the camera decision front, I found this at Target where I can get a 10% discount, it would end up being about the same as the Nikon I already posted once taxes are taken into consideration. Does this seem like a good deal or should I stick with the Nikon?
Again, I've not used either much, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but comparing the specs of the two really quickly:
  • The Nikon has slightly higher resolution: 24 megapixels vs 18. That's not really a big deal, but worth mentioning.
  • It also has more autofocus points and types of auto focus.
  • The rear screen has a higher resolution.
  • It can take more photos per second, (4 vs. 3) which would be important for motorsports.
  • And it has slightly better battery life.
All that said, the two are more alike than they are different. Honestly, the deciding factor for you may be looking at which company has more appealing cameras that you could potentially upgrade to in the future, if you find you really enjoy the hobby.
 

Azuremen

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@Turtle - On the topic of sensors, the Canon 18mp sensor is quite dated compared to the Nikon 24mp and you can clearly see this when pushing shadow detail during processing. That being said, the 18mp sensor from Canon is still quite capable and the resolution is a far smaller issue than the dynamic range when compared to the Nikon (which is a Sony iirc)
 
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@Azuremen Yeah, I thought about mentioning that, but I became a little unsure about it when I saw the Nikon is an older model. Canon updated the sensor in the t6, right?
 

Azuremen

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@Azuremen Yeah, I thought about mentioning that, but I became a little unsure about it when I saw the Nikon is an older model. Canon updated the sensor in the t6, right?

The t6i has the new 24mp sensor, the t6 still has the ancient 18mp sensor. Still, I feel Canon lags behind the Sony/Nikon sensors in terms of dynamic range. I'm sure someone (or DXOmark) can be more precise about it though :P
 

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I guess I haven't really thought about it. I'm guessing it would be a little easier getting the hang of things with auto-focus for now.
In that case, my vote goes to the D3200. Great sensor in that little thing. And whatever lens you get with the body, make sure you also add a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX to it.


Another advice I'd give is to look at the used market. Lots and lots of gear going around, normally in good condition and for a fraction of the price (30% to 50% of the price new).
 

Northstar

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Another advice I'd give is to look at the used market. Lots and lots of gear going around, normally in good condition and for a fraction of the price (30% to 50% of the price new).

Does this seem like a good deal?

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/wsh/ele/5637844108.html

What kind of things should I look for in used cameras?

I've some others that could only look sketchier if they were in the back of a trunk.:lol:
 

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Does this seem like a good deal?

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/wsh/ele/5637844108.html

What kind of things should I look for in used cameras?

I've some others that could only look sketchier if they were in the back of a trunk.:lol:
Nah. I see too much useless stuff there.

Besides (and someone correct me if I'm wrong here), I don't think the D3300 brings anything new and worthwhile over the D3200.

My general idea - and based on your original link - was to try and look for a D3200 for around $250 and keep $100+ in your pocket. I think it's reasonable and my guess is that you can find a deal like that.


Things to look out for: you should ask the seller for the shutter count (anything below 5,000 is almost new and 20,000 or more is probably OK as well) and do a quick try at the AF - it should be relatively quick to lock onto a static subject and without strange noises.
Other than that, if it looks good and without any marks, you should be fine.


I don't want to get you into trouble, though... :lol:
Just buy new if you don't feel comfortable doing it and enjoy the safety of warranty.


Be prepared to clean the sensor - maybe $40 bucks to get the required bits your self or taking it to a store to have them do it.

A $5 blower should take care of 99% of the stuff. ;)

Besides, I'm guessing most of these cameras are stuck with the kit lens their whole lives, so it should be OK.
 

Mike Rotch

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A $5 blower should take care of 99% of the stuff. ;).
Probably. Or the guy might have been a bushwookie doing astro in the dark and playing with friend's lenses. Always go in eyes open into used gear is all I suggest :)
 

MatskiMonk

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I just want to echo the second hand suggestion. It makes sense for lots of reasons.... I mean, if you get into photography, you'll want to upgrade anyway, and if you don't, you haven't lost anything when it finally breaks.

FWIW, my EOS-20D is now on it's third owner and still going strong, my EOS-60D was bought new and had to go back for replacement within a month or so, and 5 out of 6 repair visits to the camera shop have been for lenses rather than bodies.

I think one of the most important things is to buy into the brand you want to be shooting with in a few years time - so, as you amass peripherals, lenses, and manual shooting experience, you won't get to the stage where you have to ditch everything and move to a different brand in financial crippling swoop!
 

Northstar

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My general idea - and based on your original link - was to try and look for a D3200 for around $250 and keep $100+ in your pocket. I think it's reasonable and my guess is that you can find a deal like that.

Something like this?

I sent them an email asking for the shutter count, I haven't heard back yet (it's really close to so that's nice).
 
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And if you end up wanting the telephoto lens that comes in the kit you originally posted, you can find them quite cheap. Or you can start the slippery slope that is prime lens ownership.
 

Northstar

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If you didn't see my post in the latest purchase thread I picked up the camera this morning and it was actually a better deal than I thought as he threw in an extra battery. I haven't messed with it too much as Le Mans is on, but I've taken a few pics.

This is probably the only one that I feel is decent enough to share.