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  1. #1
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    Best Tips for those getting into DSLR Photography

    I've always found these types of threads to be very useful so I thought I'd start one here. Please add your best tips you'd wish you'd known when you were starting out.

    1. Good glass is more important than a good camera body.
    - I like many others made the mistake on my first camera of thinking better camera = better pictures. It still amuses me when people see a good photo you've taken and say "wow, you must have a good camera!"

    - Figure out what you're needs are, decide whether you're going to go the Nikon, Canon or other route, and then get a decent body you won't have to upgrade next week, but spend the majority of your money on good lenses! The nice thing about lenses is that you can pick them up second hand all over ebay, and they retain their value very well if you decide to sell them later.

    2. Shoot, shoot, shoot! I'm a reader and researcher by nature, and I find myself spending too much time reading about photography rather than pressing the shutter. There's nothing like trial and error, and with digital, its free to experiment!

    3. Now to contradict my last statement, find a good forum for photography. There are tons out there (photography-on-the.net, photocamel.com, etc. etc.) There is a WEALTH of information out there on any subject related to photography that you'd ever want to know about. Having the pros on those sites is not only an invaluable source of information, but also inspiration. Post you shots there, let people tear them apart and learn from each one.

    Please add you tips too!
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  2. #2
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    1. Good glass is more important than a good camera body.
    Very true. I didn't believe this at first also, but I trusted the advise of a friend. Years ago, I bought my body(Rebel XT) for $500, and my Canon 24-70mm 2.8L for $1250. I'll have that lens forever and couldn't ask for better.
    Although, after 4 years, my ability/needs are starting to pass up the quality of the entry level Rebel. I could benefit from a better body in certain situations, but it took years to get to this.


    2. Shoot, shoot, shoot!
    I tell everyone this. You can't really learn and understand without shooting and seeing it on your computer. When you venture into the Manual mode of the camera, you can really learn a lot by playing around.
    I still love putting on my 50mm f/1.8 and taking photos changing one setting at a time. Got through the apertures, ISOs, and shutter speeds. Then, compare each photo side by side on your computer. You will really learn a lot by seeing how the slightest changes make a difference.


    3. Now to contradict my last statement, find a good forum for photography.
    Like the ones stated by DJ, another of my favorite is:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/index.php
    Especially the section about lenses, with some amazing photos:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...play.php?f=107

    You can really learn a lot and get some ideas/inspiration from seeing other people's photos.

  3. #3
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    How about some tips for us regular idiots with cheap sony digital cameras
    I always have good intentions, just the wrong execution.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweber81 View Post
    How about some tips for us regular idiots with cheap sony digital cameras
    Its really no different with a Point and Shoot (P&S) vs a DSLR, the basics of a good photo are the same.

    1. Shoot shoot shoot, and submit your photos to a forum where you can get critique. Most good photo forums will critique the subject of the photo, not what it was taken with, they understand the limitations of your equipment.

    2. If your P&S had a manual mode, use it. Play around, grab the manual, understand the functions and why and when you use them. Auto is great for a quick snapshot, but controlling your cameras settings will open up a whole new world of possibilities.

    3. Understand light. Light is what makes or breaks all photos. Don't be afraid to use flash in bright sun as fill light to reduce harsh shadows, on the flip side, don't be afraid to turn the flash off in a darker setting to change the mood and capture a darker scene. Shoot the pictures both ways and see which is giving you better results.

    4. Positioning. Don't be afraid to shoot from different angles. Turn the camera, shoot from below or above your subject. Zoom way in. Concentrate on framing your picture in your mind and in the view finder before you press the shutter.

    5. Challenge yourself. Shoot subjects you're not used to shooting. Go out one day and just shoot straight lines you see, or just shoot reflections. Photography is about seeing the world in a unique way and capturing it regardless of the equipment.

    Anyone else feel free to chime in here, I'm not expert, just a fan.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweber81 View Post
    How about some tips for us regular idiots with cheap sony digital cameras
    The best thing is to experiment. Your camera I assume is a compact and has mainly auto mode with a number of scene selection to choose from. I am sure your camera does have the capability of manual settings but it is the DSLR format that allows for the lens to be changed. This is the bonus that makes a DSLR camera so much more versatile. I know it sounds stupid but just play with your camera when you are not actually trying to take pictures, ie not worried about missing a shot and just learn what your camera is capable of.
    Quote from Rocky " I don't want to look like a guy who is trying too hard"

  6. #6
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    I agree with all of the above. Glass is the most important aspect of photography. As you are searching for that particular lens also be aware of import versus US. In this case it's not US made but made for US purchase. In the case of Nikon. If it is import, Nikon will not repair it should something happen. They will not repair the lens regardless if you would pay them. If you have an Nikon import lens you would need to have the lens repaired by a third party vendor and there are plenty around. So do your research before spending your money. So for those of you who travel abroad, be careful of those deals you find outside of our borders as you might have some issues down the road should you need warranty/repair work.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Esta View Post
    I agree with all of the above. Glass is the most important aspect of photography. As you are searching for that particular lens also be aware of import versus US. In this case it's not US made but made for US purchase. In the case of Nikon. If it is import, Nikon will not repair it should something happen. They will not repair the lens regardless if you would pay them. If you have an Nikon import lens you would need to have the lens repaired by a third party vendor and there are plenty around. So do your research before spending your money. So for those of you who travel abroad, be careful of those deals you find outside of our borders as you might have some issues down the road should you need warranty/repair work.
    I totally agree with Glenn! I have the same camera as Glenn and I have made the investment in the glass as well. Glass, glass glass!!
    Quote from Rocky " I don't want to look like a guy who is trying too hard"

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    wish i still had the manual for my cybershot so i could look up what the different picture shooting options do. I just put it on auto and shoot away. My pics never look very good either though.
    I always have good intentions, just the wrong execution.

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    Hey Ryan does your camera have scene selection modes, like portrait, night ...etc? These are settings that set the ISO, shutter speed and aperature for a given situation (somewhat like manual..)
    Quote from Rocky " I don't want to look like a guy who is trying too hard"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by osageid View Post
    Hey Ryan does your camera have scene selection modes, like portrait, night ...etc? These are settings that set the ISO, shutter speed and aperature for a given situation (somewhat like manual..)
    yeah but it just has symbols on the dial. I dont know what each symbol means.
    I always have good intentions, just the wrong execution.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweber81 View Post
    yeah but it just has symbols on the dial. I dont know what each symbol means.
    Follow Pit's link and download your manual.

    http://www.usersmanualguide.com/sony/cyber-shot_cameras
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweber81 View Post
    wish i still had the manual for my cybershot so i could look up what the different picture shooting options do.

    here it is..http://www.usersmanualguide.com/sony/cyber-shot_cameras
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweber81 View Post
    wish i still had the manual for my cybershot
    google is your friend

    EDIT: I see BP beat me to it. I should read all the way to the end of threads before moving my fingers.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the tips! Would lke more difinition on DLSR. I have recently been concidering upgrading. I have been torn between chosing a Nikon or Cannon. I do love Sony though. I have a Sony CyberShot 7.0 pixels and have had it for 6 years. It was first digitial and it has been the best camera. I went from a Nikon 35mm to it being my first digital. I have learned from and expierenced with it alot. I can't complain I have gotten my money's worth although at the time it was almost $500.00. I do alot of photography!!! I love photography its my hobby. I have been wanting to go DLSR and just need to understand the benefits of it and how it works.

  15. #15
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    From a way amatuer-
    Pay attention to the background- a boat looks better in the open area behind your target, rather than looking like it is coming out your targets ear!

    Also- I have learned that manually setting the white balance gives me better colors than not doing it. There is a ton of difference of taking pics of cody on a white piece of ice, and then Sara on a "yellow" wood volleyball court. I either just find something white and take a pic of it out of focus, or use a white napkin over the lens.

    pull the trigger- I will take 100's of shots at thier athletice events to get a few decent ones. CF cards are cheap!

    I use a Canon AOS Rebel XT and have been happy with it (although I am really dumb with it)

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