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Hi all.

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Smadga, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Smadga

    Smadga Member

    Hi all, total newbie when it comes to photography, got my hands on a Canon 400D with two lenses, I'll probably be enrolling in a local college course to get my head around getting the most out of it.

    Look forward to reading the forum and hopefully posting pics.


  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Welcome, sounds like you are off to a good start!
  3. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    What Pete said.

  4. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. I'd also echo Pete's comment above. Hopefully, the college course will give you (among other things) a good understanding of the basics. If you get stuck, just ask... there's a wealth of knowledge on this forum - and there's usually someone who'll know the answer.

    Your kit sounds good, though at some point, you'll probably find yourself being dragged into the "upgrade" path. I'll offer some advice (which, of course, you're at liberty to ignore, if you wish;)):- if (or when) you feel the desire to upgrade, before doing so, stop and think what you're trying to achieve.

    Most beginners fall into the trap of thinking that their photographs will be improved by buying a "better" camera. This will (usually) not be so. Manufacturers will - through marketing - be trying hard to persuade you that if ONLY you were to buy the latest 'Canikon XZ123 super-zappo' camera, your images will suddenly be just SO wonderful (they won't). The college course should prove a much better investment. :)

    If you decide, after careful consideration, that you do want to upgrade, consider upgrading your lens(es), in preference to upgrading your camera. Rule of thumb:- a good-quality lens on a modest camera will generally do a much more satisfactory job than a modest lens on a good-quality camera.

    Have fun!
  5. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Another rule of thumb: 1 minute at the shooting stage often saves 10 minutes in Photoshop.

    Other than that: welcome.


    Geren likes this.
  6. Smadga

    Smadga Member

    Thanks for the welcome and the great advice much appreciated.

  7. Smadga

    Smadga Member

    By the way my lenses are a Canon efs 18-55 and a Sigma APO 135 - 400 4.5-5.6.
  8. Raza Shaikh

    Raza Shaikh Active Member

    Welcome to the forum!
  9. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you meet any people on the course who have newer and very expensive kit, ignore them if they sneer at your older kit. It's perfect to learn on, and its 10 megapixel will more sensor is more than adequate for decent 20 x 30 cm prints of correctly exposed and focused images. I have had some 40 x 60 cm prints done from a 10 megapixel DSLR, but the quality of the lens becomes more important for larger prints (I used an old-model Sigma 10-20 for these larger prints). Only when you have some large prints done and on display will you really appreciate what you can do with the decent kit you have.

    Also, I don't expect you will have any form of image stabilisation in your lenses (and not in the camera body), so pay close attention when the lecturer talks about the minimum shutter speeds you should use for the longer end of the 135-400 zoom.

    I look forward to seeing your images on the gallery pages.
  10. Smadga

    Smadga Member

    Cheers Chester much appreciated, being a complete beginner I'm looking forward to learning, hopefully will invest in a newer camera then once I learn the basics.
  11. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    My point was that you need not rush to get a newer camera body for a while - at least not until you find it cannot do something you want it to do. Beware upgrading just because you fancy something newer, and get on the regular upgrade treadmill, because it gets expensive. After using a 10 megapixel DSLR for 6 years, I got a 16 megapixel one that is now 5 years old and have no plans to upgrade again. I can get good 50 x 75 cm prints from it if I use a decent lens. Since I got it, any available funds have been invested in decent secondhand lenses. For example, one of my favourite lenses is my old-model Sigma 10-20 mm that I use for many landscape shots. In recent copies of AP I have seen 'mint' condition used ones selling for as little as £160. (When I got mine 10 years ago they were £370 new and £270 secondhand, but the later release of an 'upgraded' model helped the used prices drop further.)

    Using the same lens, a competent user and a 10 megapixel DSLR body will usually get better results than a novice and a 36 megapixel body. And the higher definition is probably pointless if you only look at the images on a PC screen or a small print.

    Also, your are lucky to be learning with a digital SLR. When I got my first secondhand SLR in 1973 I was using Kodachrome 64 ASA slide film, and one roll of 36 process-paid cost be about 2 weeks pocket money. You can take hundreds of shots whilst you learn, and check the results on your PC the same day. Imagine having to pay for film and processing...

    Finally - it's not a sign of weakness to look at the user manual for the camera body (many beginners on the AP forum act as if it is, and ask questions that show they are too lazy to look at the manual). If you don't have the manual, look for one online and try to download it for reference.
    peterba likes this.
  12. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Manual for your camera here.
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily newer. Once you have learned what you want to know, your opinions of what will give you "better" pictures may well change. I'm not saying you'll take up (for example) large format wet plate: merely that more megapixels and (especially) newer zooms will not necessarily improve your photography. Once a camera is "good enough", it's, well, "good enough". Thereafter improvements in your pictures are down to you, not your camera. On my .eu site (and indeed for many years before) I call it "the quality plateau".
    peterba likes this.
  14. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Hi Spence,

    As a fellow elderly digital camera owner (in my case a Canon G10 and a Nikon D200 with a load of old manual Nikon lenses), welcome to the funny farm! At risk of seeming rude to Rog, I'd get a Magic Lantern (or similar) guide to your camera - written by someone who has used it and not machine transleated out of Korean via Welsh. I learnt more in an hour from the ML guide to my G10 than I'd found from the manual in years. I think this is the model...


    (and this is from a battered ten-year-old Nikon with a manual focus lens on - just to give you hope)
    I'm only thinking about replacing the body because it's starting to get a bit cranky (like its owner).

  15. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Adrian,

    Ah: you had the improved and clarified version, proof-read by a native Mongolian speaker, without the additional Estonian and Albanian intermediate steps...


    gray1720 likes this.
  16. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    But, of course, we must also encourage all the wealthy users who cannot grasp this concept. Their regular 'upgrades' ensure the healthy secondhand market that makes photography affordable for many of us.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  17. Smadga

    Smadga Member

    Thanks for the replies all, a lot to think about and saves me jumping the gun and upgrading straight away, at least until I can photograph something and know what the hell i'm doing anyway.

    Got hold of the Magic Lanten book off Amazon cheers Adrian.
  18. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you look closely at the APOY round 3 winners in the AP issue dated 28.07.18, you will see that number 24 was taken with same camera body that you have. I know that many entries have usually been taken with more recent and expensive hardware, but sometimes something good taken with older or more affordable kit gets in. The lens used was a 24-105 made to use with a full-frame camera body, and if a Canon lens it probably cost as much when new as your camera body did.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  19. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I mentioned once before the travelling exhibition of wildlife photography that I went to. All the pictures were printed BIG (see the illustration below) and the camera/lens was identified for each shot. I was hard pushed to spot any appreciable difference between shots from £6000 FF cameras with "professional" lenses and some truly arresting shots made with bridge cameras or low end DSLRs.

    Sony HX90 8GB 01 DSC01097.JPG
  20. Smadga

    Smadga Member

    Very interesting cheers all, hoping to do some close up work and maybe some wildlife so I'll invest in some lenses before the body.
    steveandthedogs and Roger Hicks like this.

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