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Photographer or not?

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by Blurred Image, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Blurred Image

    Blurred Image Active Member

    A strange question I know but I can't work out whether my desire to buy my first DSLR is about playing with a gadget or about wanting to get into photography again after a very long absence.

    Let me explain, in the days before digital, As and modern cameras I owned a Minolta 300s 35mm film camera with IIRC a 28-80mm lens (plus any lens I could con out of my dad since his Minolta had the same mount). It stopped working so I went early digital, nikon cool pix with 3 or 4mp resolution. I later got a Samsung with a 5x zoom. When those failed I had already become a casual snapper. So bad that one family holiday (with young child) I took less than 8 photographs over 2 weeks.

    I now want to record family events and activities but would like to get into landscape (on family trips, commitments will limit photography to a secondary activity) and closeups of flowers, bugs, nature generally.

    Put simply being time starved any chances of photography will be around family life. On a family walk I'll have to be quick to take photographs is that photography?

    Is it worth buying the DSLR?

    I'd rather not get a compact camera and don't like bridge cameras. It's DSLR or nothing (unless you're pursuasive).

    BTW to give you an idea I'm looking at secondhand nikon (again the vain hope that I could borrow lenses from my dad's much better camera kit). Nothing special a D3100 I think. A basic kit zoom lense as well.

    In your opinion is it worth bothering with buying into a photography hobby with little money and time?

    PS what to buy is secondary as I'll just review other beginners posts on here.
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Well you are not looking at a massive outlay for a D3100, but I would urge you to spend a little more and go for the far better D3200. Worth buying into? I have to say yes, simply because I can't really imagine being without cameras, not that I am taking a huge amount currently, but I take a camera if I go anywhere, unless it is just the local shops.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    photography was never a cheap hobby. There is a lot going for the better bridge cameras - they cost more than an entry DSLR but a lot less than the lens collection to go with it. No-one but you can decide if you can tolerate a possible regret purchase but if you already decided you won't spend any time on it .......
  4. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I have a life full of regret purchases, and I've loved everyone one of them. :)
  5. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't believe anyone who claimed not to have bought something and subsequently regretted it, where cameras are concerned for me it is more that after a time I find I don't need it any more and eventually sell it on. There are a couple of regrets, but they were both cheap items anyway, so not worth dwelling on. The purchase regrets are two of the cars I have owned, for entirely different reasons in each case.
  6. Blurred Image

    Blurred Image Active Member

    Oh I'm so with you on that. Cycling is my main interest over the last 4 years (other than new family) and I've made mistakes on bike purchases but I've enjoyed them all the same. My current mistake has been used for 3+ years in several loaded camping tours, numerous family rides and commuting. I know it's not right. I didn't spend enough to get what I really need, as shown by the 3.5 years of happy use. I should have spent double and got a half decent steel tourer.

    With photography and me there's a knowledge I'll like it but suspicion I've moved to a stage in my life when I don't have my own space or time to do my own thing. I'll buy it and not get to use it. I hate white elephants! Gadgets and cameras I like.

    The other point is buying cheap secondhand I'll regret not spending double for something better. I'm obsessed with bang for your bucks. The idea that £20 extra gets this or £50, £100 or, £200 gets you something with features I really, really, really must have. I don't do absolute cut offs with budgets very well.

    Thirdly there's obsession. I'll admit to that character flaw that results in getting obsessed with a new toy or hobby.

    BTW I'm a published photographer, did I say that? As a kid my architectural photograph of a local building got published in my school magazine! Hah! You didn't think it was a real publication did you? ;)

    PS I never got credited, the teacher never tried to find out who took it just credited it with Anonymous but I knew it was mine. I still remember getting my head and camera right down into the corner of the building among pee and dog shoot to get it. As I said, I can be obsessive about new hobbies. Taken with a Minolta C300 with a cheap zoom lens in IIRC ilfrachrome 400 B&W film.
  7. Blurred Image

    Blurred Image Active Member

    BTW not meaning to fuel the Canon/Nikon argument but the Canon i handled felt more solid than the nikon one. Prices were £365 & £374 after cashback respectively. D3400 from Nikon and IIRC the 1300D from Canon. New but I'll get used.

    Saw a pen lite 5 camera for something like £160. If I don't go DSLR is that a reasonable camera option? I read a review that it's got the same sensor as a highly regarded olympus CSC but at half the price. Basically the review made it out to be a bargain for what you got when it came out. What's your view?
  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I did an HNC Photography about five years ago now and nearly every student there had a Canon 1300D. Did everything they needed it to. Not saying that's what you should get, but it was a hugely popular choice. I can't offer much thought on anything other than Canon DSLRs because although I own a variety of other makes of camera, none are DSLRs. I inherited my first one and that rather dictated what I went on to purchase later. I've never regretted it. (I"m sure Nikon owners will tell you the same thing) I do think 'handling' is important. What suits my hands might not suit yours.

    As for whether or not you'll get time to shoot with a small family...well that's really up to you. I know that with three children there were plenty of times when I felt frustrated at not being able to wander off and do my own thing. But I got some great family shots at family events which we will all treasure for years to come. When I first started out I probably concentrated on things I could shoot at home and in the garden. But kids don't stay tiny forever and you can expand your interests as you go. One day your child will be off to university or college, or starting work or travelling abroad. Do you really want to wait until then to get started again?
  9. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Of course the children are a ready-made subject in themselves and you will really want pictures of them to treasure in the future, so the camera can do that and you can have the odd personal wandering as well.
    Geren likes this.
  10. Blurred Image

    Blurred Image Active Member

    The starting point was recording our family over holidays, trips out, etc. We have a £80 nikon compact digital but IMHO my current and previous smartphones took better photographs.

    Before that I got a Samsung digital with a 5/6x zoom I think. It was a regarded camera at the time with a degree of manual, aperture and shutter speed adjustability. It was as close to an enthusiast's camera in compact digital form. My lad was allowed to play with it by my partner and it broke.

    We got the cheap nikon because the Samsung was too bulky for her. It never got used.

    Now IMHO there's a point where camera gets too big for pocketing but too small to carry separately in its own bag. Dslr size is right for its own bag so would be carried like that. Between the two sizes is this area, IMHO, that you can't fit in a pocket but don't want to carry separately.

    Now I'm looking at recording family, sadly lacking so far. Getting good kit will be the only way to get me more into doing that. Using it for other things is a plus and only make me more into it.
  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Well I say, stop shillyshallying around, get a camera and get taking photos with it!
  12. Blurred Image

    Blurred Image Active Member

    Good word that. Although I prefer thinking of it as dithering, equivocation, vacillate or pussyfoot.

    Seriously I'm going to get a better camera though I'm obsessive in that with deciding on purchasing something expensive (I'm tight, anything over £50 fits this category for me) according to some algorithm on criteria. A mental calculation on value, cost, performance, quality, etc. All factors with a mental weighting. Even calculating in my mind what I'll miss if I don't get it.

    All this counts as shilly shallying. Of course in my mind I'm also hearing the little voice saying "you don't need it". I'm not well paid, I've not got much free time for artistic / creative photography and family recording can be done on a smartphone or £80 camera if I don't get time to do photography that really needs a better camera for me to get results. I make no bones on it that the dslr is likely to cover a degree of my deficiencies in the art.

    Of course pay day coming up, always a hard time not to splurge on the unnecessary. Could use to get the "necessary" camera.

    BTW apologies for my self indulgence on this thread with this dithering. Time to look for a Canon 1300D or D 5 200 from Nikon. I've decided whichever one of those I spot at a good price with decent lens I'll buy. Used of course.
  13. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

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