July 23, 2014, 06:34:55 PM

Author Topic: Driving myself crazy, need help!  (Read 2342 times)

StickToYourGuns

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Driving myself crazy, need help!
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:10:10 PM »
So, over the last few months I've taken an interest in Photography. It's a long story but needless to say I work at best buy, and unlike most of the Best Buy horror stories, our store is lucky enough to have a seasoned photographer who has 30+ years of experience and is just a pleasure to talk to and be around.

He has honestly brought out the photo bug in me that has honestly been wanting to come out for a long time, and with that I want to purchase a camera. I've racked my brain for these few months with all the most popular questions, Canon vs Nikon, APS-C vs FF, and the like, and still cannot honestly come to a conclusion.

I want to shoot:
Concerts (Primarily)
Portraits
Street Photography

Now with the types of photography I want to do, obviously low light is huge. At first I was leaning towards a nikon D7100, as its AF assist lamp seemed like a huge benefit to low light, however for street photos or concerts I won't be using this and therefore renders that point moot.

I'm basically down to the Canon 70D or the Nikon D7100. I know what the basic turnaround here is, "If you want to do any kind of video, go 70D, if you want pure image quality, D7100." Is this the bare bones answer? Working at best buy I have tested them both, and honestly the Ergonomics on the Canon feel much nicer and I enjoy the layout, but if someone can convince me that the features and overall quality of the D7100 is all around better, I could easily be swayed in learning to deal with the layout and feel.

And as a final note, my budget basically is enough for either the 70D or D7100, so roughly $1150 or so. Since this is my first camera, is going with either the 70D or D7100 the smart choice, or should I honestly just save up for the Full Frame, like the D600 which is only $1500 currently? My brain hurts guys, help!


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Driving myself crazy, need help!
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:10:10 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 12:31:30 PM »
I'd actually advise you to go even lower than that to start with. Go for one of the entry level cameras, or a mid-high end quality mirrorless ILC. And then buy a couple of cheap primes. For Canon the 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 are quite cheap and reasonably good quality, especially the 40mm. Not sure what the Nikon decent & cheap prime(s) are.

And then take photos. A lot. In a lot of different situations, and keep reviewing the photos on your computer (not just the back of the camera). Use manual modes, don't use the green box auto. Shoot RAW and learn about color temperature and white balance. If you go Canon a fairly capable photo editor/converter comes with it so you don't necessarily have to buy any software right away.

After 6 months to a year you'll start to figure out how you use the camera, what focal lengths you might like best, and what your real style is. Besides learning what you truly like to photograph. I'll tell you, for concerts, you don't really get to enjoy the music/performance nearly as much as if you just went and left the camera at home. Of course, that might be your thing where you love to doing at the same time :)

After that time, you'll actually get a feel for what your real needs are. At that time, go ahead and buy that higher end APS-C or FF camera, or rent one for a week or two first and then buy. And don't forget about lenses. Generally it's recommended to buy high quality lenses before upgrading a body, although it can vary depending on the circumstances. Probably after you get your 2nd body it'll be time to really invest money in lenses.

Hope that helps!
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AcutancePhotography

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 12:54:03 PM »
Pentax K-3.

Seriously, if I were just starting out, I would give much serious consideration to the Pentax line.
I shoot with a Camera Obscura with an optical device attached that refracts and transmits light

Drizzt321

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 12:56:06 PM »
Heh, nice signature AcutancePhotography :)
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
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sunnyVan

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 01:06:22 PM »
I'd actually advise you to go even lower than that to start with. Go for one of the entry level cameras, or a mid-high end quality mirrorless ILC. And then buy a couple of cheap primes. For Canon the 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 are quite cheap and reasonably good quality, especially the 40mm. Not sure what the Nikon decent & cheap prime(s) are.

And then take photos. A lot. In a lot of different situations, and keep reviewing the photos on your computer (not just the back of the camera). Use manual modes, don't use the green box auto. Shoot RAW and learn about color temperature and white balance. If you go Canon a fairly capable photo editor/converter comes with it so you don't necessarily have to buy any software right away.

After 6 months to a year you'll start to figure out how you use the camera, what focal lengths you might like best, and what your real style is. Besides learning what you truly like to photograph. I'll tell you, for concerts, you don't really get to enjoy the music/performance nearly as much as if you just went and left the camera at home. Of course, that might be your thing where you love to doing at the same time :)

After that time, you'll actually get a feel for what your real needs are. At that time, go ahead and buy that higher end APS-C or FF camera, or rent one for a week or two first and then buy. And don't forget about lenses. Generally it's recommended to buy high quality lenses before upgrading a body, although it can vary depending on the circumstances. Probably after you get your 2nd body it'll be time to really invest money in lenses.

Hope that helps!

Follow what he said. I wish back then someone had told me to buy something more affordable instead of getting the latest camera.  If you just need something to play with maybe a used or refurbished 60d is fine. I don't think either 70d or d7100 are substantially better in image quality.  They cost substantially more because they are new and have features you don't need.  Save up for a better cropped or a 6d, as I would highly recommend,  when you feel ready.
6D, 24-70 2.8L II, 17-40L, 100 2.8L, 70-200L F4 IS, 85 1.8, 135L, Sigma 35 1.4, 600Ex-RT, Rokinon 14mm

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MrFotoFool

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 11:40:01 AM »
Absolutley go with whatever feels more comfortable in your hands and more intuitive to use. Image quality and features are great on all new cameras and I doubt there is any real world difference between comparable models of Nikon and Canon (or Pentax or Sony). If the Canon seems easier to use (and to me they are) you have already made your decision.

For what it's worth I think the 70D is a great choice and I am not sure why people are telling you to buy a lower model if you can afford this one now. It will be the only camera you need for several years.

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 01:17:47 PM »
Don't forget about lenses.... The lens will have more impact than the body....
The best camera is the one in your hands

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 01:17:47 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 03:37:07 PM »


I want to shoot:
Concerts (Primarily)
Portraits
Street Photography



For Concerts and low light events, FF pulls way ahead.
 
For Portraits, FF is definitely better.
 
For Street photography, a smaller unobtrusive camera is better, I would use whatever DSLR you choose, but if I bought a camera just for street photography, it might not be a DSLR.

 
Personally, I'd recommend a 6D for its low light performance.  The other issue, as a previous poster mentioned, is lenses.  When you are on a budget, you can find excellent Canon lenses on the used market easier than the other brands.
 
Does your $1200 budget include lenses?  If so, you do indeed need to backup and rethink.  Plan on spending 2X the price of a body on lenses to begin with, and more later on.
 
So, with a total $1200 budget, I'd dig up a old Canon film SLR, and take advantage of the Canon loyalty program.  Trade it in for a REFURBISHED camera - lens combination and get 20% off.  The refurbs have a 1 year warranty, and are typically perfect.  A few high end bodies are held back, but you can get a nice 60D for under $500, which will leave you room for some good lenses.  You will want f/2.8 or fast primes for Concerts.

sb in ak

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 07:42:19 PM »
6D would give you the best all around DSLR for those needs. Though for street, you might be better served with a smaller rangefinder-like camera.
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bholliman

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 06:04:40 AM »

I want to shoot:
Concerts (Primarily)
Portraits
Street Photography


For Concerts and low light events, FF pulls way ahead.
 
For Portraits, FF is definitely better.
 
For Street photography, a smaller unobtrusive camera is better, I would use whatever DSLR you choose, but if I bought a camera just for street photography, it might not be a DSLR.

Personally, I'd recommend a 6D for its low light performance.  The other issue, as a previous poster mentioned, is lenses.  When you are on a budget, you can find excellent Canon lenses on the used market easier than the other brands.
 
Does your $1200 budget include lenses?  If so, you do indeed need to backup and rethink.  Plan on spending 2X the price of a body on lenses to begin with, and more later on.
 
So, with a total $1200 budget, I'd dig up a old Canon film SLR, and take advantage of the Canon loyalty program.  Trade it in for a REFURBISHED camera - lens combination and get 20% off.  The refurbs have a 1 year warranty, and are typically perfect.  A few high end bodies are held back, but you can get a nice 60D for under $500, which will leave you room for some good lenses.  You will want f/2.8 or fast primes for Concerts.

+1  The 6D + 85 1.8, 135 2.0 or 200 2.8 are probably the best mid-range price options for concerts and portraits, but even the lowest price options (refurb 6D using Canon's loyalty program + used 85 1.8 ) will cost you between $1,600 and $1,800 which looks to exceed your budget and you would be pretty limited with just one prime.  Adding the least expensive, flexible Canon zoom, the 24-105L would add another $650.  Full frame is terrific, but still not real inexpensive to get started...

Given your budget of $1,150, APS-C probably makes more sense.  As Mt. Spokane pointed out, you need a decent camera body, but lenses should really be where the majority of your money goes.  Bodies are a short term investment while quality lenses will last you for many years or even decades. 

My recommendation assuming $1,150 is a hard budget, is to buy a used or reburb 60D or T4i(650D) for
around $350-450.  Get a 85 1.8 for $350 new or maybe $280 used and a 18-55 kit lens, preferably an STM for some focal length flexibility.  Assuming you stick with photography, you will eventually want to replace your camera and kit lens with something better, but this kit would give you a great start for concerts and portraits.  For street shooting, both lenses are fairly small and compact with a Rebel or 60D, maybe not ideally small and inconspicuous, but not bad.

An inexpensive speedlite that you can use to bounce flash should be your next priority, as on-camera, direct flash makes some pretty poor pictures. :o  I'd suggest a used 430EXII (maybe $250) that you can use on-camera to bounce off walls and ceilings or (even better!) off-camera, triggered by your built-in camera flash using optical triggering.  Using speedlites really opens up a new world of possibilities for portraits and many other types of photography.  There are some good off camera flash tutorials online, but I'd really suggest getting a copy of Syl Arena's "Speedliters Handbook", well written and covers the topic extremely well.  B&H sponsors some speedlite workshops by Syl that you can find on YouTube as well.

Regarding your decision between Canon and Nikon systems, both are obviously excellent or they would not be #1 and #2 in the world for DSLR sales.  I looked at both systems and chose Canon for the following primary reasons: 
  • best full "system" of hardware including bodies, lenses and accessories (lenses especially excellent)
  • best support/service in the industry
  • long term commitment to lens mount systems

If you are like many of us, you will acquire a fair number of lenses and accessories over time that will tie you to one manufacturer, so I think its important to look at the long view and each manufacturers history.  You don't want to invest thousands of dollars on lenses and accessories only to have the manufacturer change their new cameras to a different/new lens mount system a few years later (Sony has bad track record in this regard), leaving you with lenses that can only be used with outdated bodies or forced to use an adapter.  I plan to keep my best Canon lenses many, many years and will probably go through several generations of new camera bodies before they need to be replaced.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 06:15:14 AM by bholliman »
Bodies:  6D, EOS-M (22/2 and 18-55)
Lenses: Rokinon 14mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0 IS, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8L IS Macro, 135mm 2.0L, 24-70mm 2.8L II, 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, Extenders: EF 1.4xIII, EF 2xIII ; Flash: ST-E3-RT, 600EX-RT (x3)

Canon1

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 10:47:44 AM »
Pentax K-3.

Seriously, if I were just starting out, I would give much serious consideration to the Pentax line.

I wouldn't.  Canon and Nikon have much better lens options.  Despite all the stories about people jumping from one brand to the other, it is actually difficult (for those of us with a limited budget) to switch to a new system once you have a collection of glass and a level of familiarity with a specific brand.

AcutancePhotography

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 01:59:34 PM »
Heh, nice signature AcutancePhotography :)

Just my way of rebelling against the hypocrisy that is common on photography sites on the Internets Tubes.  :)
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sb in ak

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 08:33:23 PM »
Pentax K-3.

Seriously, if I were just starting out, I would give much serious consideration to the Pentax line.

I wouldn't.  Canon and Nikon have much better lens options.  Despite all the stories about people jumping from one brand to the other, it is actually difficult (for those of us with a limited budget) to switch to a new system once you have a collection of glass and a level of familiarity with a specific brand.

Well, it depends. Pentax has better options if you want a line of small pancakes, but otherwise it's a little lacking, especially if you want full frame glass (if Pentax ever does produce a full frame body).

Agreed on the brand jumping. You always lose money in it, and you usually end up with something less than if you have a tight budget.
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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2014, 08:33:23 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 01:44:36 AM »
So, over the last few months I've taken an interest in Photography. It's a long story but needless to say I work at best buy, and unlike most of the Best Buy horror stories, our store is lucky enough to have a seasoned photographer who has 30+ years of experience and is just a pleasure to talk to and be around.

He has honestly brought out the photo bug in me that has honestly been wanting to come out for a long time, and with that I want to purchase a camera. I've racked my brain for these few months with all the most popular questions, Canon vs Nikon, APS-C vs FF, and the like, and still cannot honestly come to a conclusion.

I want to shoot:
Concerts (Primarily)
Portraits
Street Photography

Now with the types of photography I want to do, obviously low light is huge. At first I was leaning towards a nikon D7100, as its AF assist lamp seemed like a huge benefit to low light, however for street photos or concerts I won't be using this and therefore renders that point moot.

I'm basically down to the Canon 70D or the Nikon D7100. I know what the basic turnaround here is, "If you want to do any kind of video, go 70D, if you want pure image quality, D7100." Is this the bare bones answer? Working at best buy I have tested them both, and honestly the Ergonomics on the Canon feel much nicer and I enjoy the layout, but if someone can convince me that the features and overall quality of the D7100 is all around better, I could easily be swayed in learning to deal with the layout and feel.

And as a final note, my budget basically is enough for either the 70D or D7100, so roughly $1150 or so. Since this is my first camera, is going with either the 70D or D7100 the smart choice, or should I honestly just save up for the Full Frame, like the D600 which is only $1500 currently? My brain hurts guys, help!

canon 6D
sigma 35 f1.4
sigma 85 f1.4

this is pretty much gold for all 3 of your uses
I would add the 40mm pancakse just because its so light and makes for a great street lens and is damn cheap

i very often only go out with my 5Dmk3 the 35 and the 85 sometimes my 20mm voigtlander will tag along if i think i want to go wide but i don't have it with me at the moment :(
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Dick

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 02:12:37 AM »
I'd actually advise you to go even lower than that to start with. Go for one of the entry level cameras, or a mid-high end quality mirrorless ILC. And then buy a couple of cheap primes. For Canon the 40mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8 are quite cheap and reasonably good quality, especially the 40mm. Not sure what the Nikon decent & cheap prime(s) are.

Over the years I've learned that the easiest way to kill a hobby is to start with crap equipment. Instead of climbing the ladder from cheap bodies and lenses to the good stuff, it makes more sense to get the best suitable stuff one can afford straight away. Especially with lenses there isn't even a huge risk of losing the money if the hobby doesn't last.

That being said, I started my DSLR hobby with a damn Rebel and I bought a better body after 2 months. Should have never bought the Rebel. I don't even like the photos it produced even though it was paired with decent glass. Now I have mediocre quality photos of my first daughter's first months.... Boring DOF and low + grainy image quality already at ISO 800.

And as a final note, my budget basically is enough for either the 70D or D7100, so roughly $1150 or so. Since this is my first camera, is going with either the 70D or D7100 the smart choice, or should I honestly just save up for the Full Frame, like the D600 which is only $1500 currently? My brain hurts guys, help!

How long do you need in order to save the extra cash? Honestly, if you want quality and the lowest possible price, I would look at the Sigma 35mm + a 6D or the comparable Nikon. The types of photography you mentioned all ask for FF. Crop has no benefits there.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 02:18:14 AM by Dick »
EOS 5D Mark III + 8-15L + some boring L lenses + a 35mm Sigma...

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Re: Driving myself crazy, need help!
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 02:12:37 AM »