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Camera help

Posted: Thu, 26th Aug 2010, 3:59am

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Poseidon1231

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My friend is in a photography class at his school and he needs a decent camera for it, does anyone have any ideas. (His price range ends at $250)

Thanks smile
Posted: Thu, 26th Aug 2010, 5:23am

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Axeman

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It shouldn't be hard to get a compact digital camera with manual controls for under $250. What features does he need specifically? What does the instructor of the class consider a decent camera?

And what was he thinking when he signed up for a photography class without a camera? That's like taking piano lessons without a piano.

If you look at older bodies like the Canon Digital Rebel XT, its not hard to find them with a basic lens on eBay for around $250, if he needs a DSLR. But nearly all of the compact cameras from Canon, Sony, Nikon, or Olympus, etc. will give you access to shutter and aperture priority for manual shooting, and will have lots of features that the Rebel XT won't, and are cheaper.
Posted: Fri, 27th Aug 2010, 1:36pm

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danielgwood

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Additionally, I would strongly recommend your friend go to a shop and try out cameras before choosing one to buy (or borrowing them from friends if they will allow it).

He'll get a better idea of how things are laid out, weights/sizes that are preferable, etc.

Doesn't mean he has to buy from the shop, its often cheaper not to.
Posted: Fri, 27th Aug 2010, 8:35pm

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Poseidon1231

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alright cool thanks for your help biggrin
Posted: Sat, 28th Aug 2010, 3:04am

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Serpent

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I'd get a Rebel XT or a film SLR. A manual digital point and shoot won't challenge and will end up limiting your friend more in terms of controlling the image.

Learning through film is fantastic, you can do almost do anything you can in Photoshop in a dark room. You can easily turn your bathroom into a temporary dark room too. I bet you can get everything you need for under $300.
Posted: Sat, 28th Aug 2010, 6:46am

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ben3308

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Get a film Rebel, whichever model you can get within your price. I would also, for photography classes at least, recommend getting Ilford 400ISO film, as it is a good mix of quality and versatility. It's black-and-white, but for most photography classes - unless it's journalistic photography - that should be the norm.

Film Rebel, by far. Smaller-end digital camera is a huge waste. Sorry! biggrin
Posted: Mon, 30th Aug 2010, 3:34am

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Axeman

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While I can certainly see the benefits of learning how Photography used to work, there's a point where you need to focus on the current formats and technology. I mean, just because they used to shoot to glass plates doesn't mean that's what everyone should learn on. Digital is the accepted standard now in just about every type of photography, from fine art to photojournalism, for the simple reason that it is a better format than traditional film.

Before you panic, I'm not saying film should be forgotten or ignored, or that its a bad format. Learning about the film process is definitely beneficial still, but I don't necessarily think it should be the sole focus of someone new to photography. There's lots that can be learned from film, and much benefit to be had. But I still hold that digital is better.

And in case my first post didn't make it clear, I also recommend getting an SLR if at all possible (and I was waiting for answers to the questions I posed before offering more specific suggestions). But at the end of the day, its not about the equipment. Its about the photographer. Work with what you can get, and you can still make terrific images.