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View Full Version : Choosing my first DSLR and very confused.



Britt
06-03-12, 03:40 PM
Hi there
I'm new to the site, new to DSLRs, pretty much new to photography as in I love it, I love taking photos and trying to capture the essence of a scene but half the time don't know what I'm doing. In my head I see what I'm aiming for but am limited by my knowledge of photography, what can be achieved and what my Canon G9 can do.

So basically, I am looking to get a DSLR in order to have more control over my photos and learn more of what can be achieved pre, during and post production. I'd really appreciate some advice. I've loved my G9 and, as a result, have been looking at the 1100D and 600D both of which I seem to be able to get good deals on at SLR Hut. (Are they any good? is another question.) I understand they are both good cameras but it would take me longer to outgrow the 600D. I do love technology and I'm excited at the prospect of seeing what can be done with a DSLR. My passions are landscapes, flowers, portraits and animals.

I am open to other suggestions. I lean towards Canon because that's what I know and a lot of reviews have the two as being the best entry level DSLRs.

Any advice would be most appreciated.
Thank you
Britt

wave
06-03-12, 03:58 PM
Hi and welcome first thing to ask is what modes do you shoot your g9 in at the moment.

Britt
06-03-12, 04:14 PM
Well, I've tended to use all the preset functions ie portrait, landscape, indoor, beach etc. I've also tried to use the manual settings but I don't know how to get the depth of field I am looking for. Again my lack of knowledge could be to blame but, from what I understand, it all seems to be to do with aperture and I struggle to get that right with my g9. I've also used the macro settings a few times which is brilliant for flowers and last week I got a really special photo of my cat. I have taken some lovely photos with it, I just think it might be time to upgrade. Unless it's me being a numnut and what I am looking for is actually possible with my g9.

wave
06-03-12, 05:09 PM
the g9 is a very capable camera what i would do is get a book or look for a course that will teach you the basics of how to use the shutter priority, aperture priority and manual mode. You will need to know these to get the best out of a DSLR

Britt
06-03-12, 05:50 PM
Thank you so much for the replies and advice. I can't do a course as I have to look after my daughter but shall definitely buy myself a book. Are there any you would recommend? I feel a browse in Amazon coming on.

Chris Cool
06-03-12, 07:39 PM
Hi, the Canon 600D is the better buy and has the articulated screen which I have found useful on various cameras I have bought. Review it here Clicky (http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/reviews/digitalslr/128870/1/canon-eos-600d-review-rebel-t3i-review.html) and here Clicky (http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/canon_eos_600d_review/)

If you would like to see how a DSLR works and all the basic functions in visual form, then Clicky. (http://web.canon.jp/imaging/enjoydslr/index.html) You will also learn a lot about the basics of photography. It will also help you understand your G9 better as well.

If you want to learn more, then on WDCs sister site Amateur Photographer. I have a page with various tutorials - look down the bottom under 'Photography tutorials for the beginner' Clicky (http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?88333-HOW-TO-POST-IMAGES-amp-LINKS-Plus-Free-programs)

Don't forget, post processing is an important part of photography and should be used to sharpen and enhance pictures taken with any camera. If you don't have an imaging editor, then use the one in my signature below. There are 32 video tutorials to get you started. The most useful is the Adjusting levels (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/06_Levels/06_Levels.html) and for the advanced user. The Curves tool (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/07_Curves/07_Curves.html) is a must (it's my favourite all-in-one adjuster). My Resize-Crop-Sharpen tutorial below, will get your pics ready for the internet :cool:


Cheers!


.

Britt
06-03-12, 09:51 PM
Chris
Thank you so much for your reply. Those links are so helpful and the canon tutorial explains things in language that I actually understand! Hooray! I'm halfway through part 1 and already feel like I've learned loads.

Thanks again. I've ordered a couple of books from Amazon and now I feel I'll understand them.
Take care
Britt
PS Leaning more and more towards the 600D. Although the 550D is attractive too. I think I should stop researching. Is the Nikon 3100 any good?:rolleyes:

Chris Cool
06-03-12, 09:58 PM
I'm glad the links helped :)

I quite like the Canon 550D as well. As for the Nikon D3100... well, what can I say. Another good choice lol

Have fun!

wave
07-03-12, 07:29 AM
hi one thing i always say when looking at a DSLR is you are buying into a system so make sure that system fits your needs.

Canon and Nikon have the most lenses to choose from including third party such as Tamron and Sigma.

the canon 550d is a great camera you would have to see if such features as swivel screen and wirless flash are some thing you require with the 600d.

The nikon d3100 is on pare with the canon 1100d. the nikon d5100 is on pare with the 600d and 550d.

Good Luck

Britt
07-03-12, 07:52 AM
Thank you Wave for that heads up. Why is choosing a camera so difficult? I think I might pop into a shop and have a look at them to see which one feels best. I am tempted by the swivel screen as I have been known to put the camera above my head to get a better shot.

Tina
07-03-12, 02:28 PM
Hi Britt
I'm in the same position as you are I'm going to save for the Canon 600D, I have read Scott Kelby's digital photography vol.1 and enjoyed it so I've purchased the others try www.bookdepository.com for good deals on books. Good luck x

Chris
The link you posted is great I've read part 1 and can't wait to read the rest - Thank you! :)

Tina x

Chris Cool
07-03-12, 03:40 PM
The link you posted is great I've read part 1 and can't wait to read the rest - Thank you! :)

Tina xHi Tina. I like Scott Kelby also.

OK about the link. When you have got your camera. Come and join me on WDCs sister site, Amateur Photography forums and post some pics in the the Appraisal Gallery (http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?34-Appraisal-Gallerytp://) Just follow my How to Post Images & Links tutorial... we're always gentle to newcomers lol :cool:


Cheers!

Tina
07-03-12, 04:27 PM
Chris

Thanks think I will pop over, will take me a while to save up but if it's ok I might join in with my current fuji s1000fd?

I'm really excited as I'm hoping to start college in April (digital photography for absolute beginners) the course got cancelled in January.

Tina x

Chris Cool
07-03-12, 04:38 PM
Chris

Thanks think I will pop over, will take me a while to save up but if it's ok I might join in with my current fuji s1000fd?

I'm really excited as I'm hoping to start college in April (digital photography for absolute beginners) the course got cancelled in January.

Tina xYep, join in and get some feed back on your pics now. It's not the camera anyway. It's the person behind it that counts. While your waiting to start your course, why not have a look at Jodie's classroom stuff Clicky (http://www.morguefile.com/docs/Classroom/) She is talking about film photography but it all applies to digital as well...

Don't forget, post processing is an important part of photography and should be used to sharpen and enhance pictures taken with any camera, so be one up on the class and start practising now.

If you don't have an imaging editor, then use the one in my signature below. There are 32 video tutorials to get you started. The most useful is the Adjusting levels (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/06_Levels/06_Levels.html) and for the advanced user. The Curves tool (http://ictpublish.com/pixlr/Videoes/07_Curves/07_Curves.html) is a must (it's my favourite all-in-one adjuster). My Resize-Crop-Sharpen tutorial below, will get your pics ready for the internet :cool:

See you on the other side lol :cool:


Cheers!

Tina
07-03-12, 05:23 PM
Chris

Thanks your super helpful :) I've book marked Jodie's page think it's gonna be a late night! My hubby has Adobe illustrator and photoshop are they any good?

Have you seen that Scott Kelby is doing a live training day in London Sat 28th April 89 shame I can't make it, it sounds really interesting (even if most of it would go over my head at the moment lol)

Tina x

Chris Cool
07-03-12, 05:36 PM
Chris

Thanks your super helpful :) I've book marked Jodie's page think it's gonna be a late night! My hubby has Adobe illustrator and photoshop are they any good? PhotoShop or the smaller Adobe Elements editors will probably be used in class. PIXLR below is similar to both and the videos will give you a good grounding - only problem I see is that you would probably want the advanced course after looking at them lol!


Have you seen that Scott Kelby is doing a live training day in London Sat 28th April 89 shame I can't make it, it sounds really interesting (even if most of it would go over my head at the moment lol) Yes I have but I'm retired now and London is too far for me to travel. Best if you learn the basics first lol

Happy learning!



.

Britt
07-03-12, 10:09 PM
My goodness. Thanks to both of you for all the info. It's going to take me ages to plough through it all. Just ad well as my birthday isn't until August and I think I'll combust by then. Have been playing some more with my g9 and getting to understand the root of my frustration. The aperture is somewhat limited f2.8 - f.8+ and when I put it in manual, it will not focus on what I want it to. the only way I can get the depth of field I am looking for is to switch it to macro, which isn't perfect.

To torment myself further, I popped into Currys today and look at all the ones I'm interested in. I think it will be either the 550d or 600d. I've got big hands and the Nikon grip doesn't work as well for me. I liked the feel of the 1100d but it will slip out of my hand in the summer. So now I've held one and am in love. Just got to wait for five months. Time to start reading, experimenting and getting ready to spring out of the traps when the time comes.

Chris. the idea of showing some of my photos is intimidating especially as I haven't done much post production on any of them.

Chris Cool
07-03-12, 10:34 PM
Britt


The aperture is somewhat limited f2.8 - f.8+ and when I put it in manual, it will not focus on what I want it to. the only way I can get the depth of field I am looking for is to switch it to macro, which isn't perfect.Not much DOF due to the small Sensor (http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/compact-vs-digital-slr-cameras.htm)


Just got to wait for five months. Time to start reading, experimenting and getting ready to spring out of the traps when the time comes.I spent many months learning all about photography before getting my first SLR - made all the difference. I was able to concentrate on composition as I had learnt all the technicalities. I also learnt all about post-processing which was in the darkroom when I started...


Chris. the idea of showing some of my photos is intimidating especially as I haven't done much post production on any of them. Well, start practising! Time is on your side lol


Cheers!


.

wave
08-03-12, 08:10 AM
Hi britt there maybe a reason that you you are having trouble with focusing. when you press the shutter half way do you see more than one focus point light up if so you may need to switch it to just the centre spot then focus with that and then hold the shutter down and recompose your shot.
it will take time to learn these things but it will get second nature too