Recommendations for Cameras, Gear, and other Equipment

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Recommendations for Cameras, Gear, and other Equipment

Postby LandonsMommy » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:16 am

(I am not sure if this has been brought up in another thread... :oops: )

I am trying to find a good camera so I can take more professional looking pictures of my son and other things. But... I don't know where or how to start looking for a camera! I do not want anything too expensive.

So, would you wonderful ladies be able to give me a rundown of what cameras you have (or had) and what the pros and cons are of each one? :) Thank you!!!!
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Postby charlotteb » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:54 am

I used a FujiFilm Finepix S700 for a while. It was a decent camera for just taking fun little pics of my son with. Plus, it has a video recorder option - which is the reason I've kept it, since it's the only kind of camcorder I have. I think it was about $200.

I shot with a Canon Rebel XTi for a while, too. It was a wonderful camera, much more than I really needed for just taking good pictures of my family and friends. An added plus for it is that it has external flash capabilities, and you can change the lenses (you can't do that with the Fuji). They have them on Amazon, with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens for $609.95.

The camera I have now is absolutely amazing, but if you're looking to save money, it won't be your choice. I have the Nikon D300, but it ran me close to $1600. If you ever decide to seriously upgrade, I highly recommend it. But if you're just getting started, it's not really necessary.

I'd go with the Canon Rebel or, if you prefer Nikon, maybe the D40. They have that at Amazon with the same lens for $456.35. They're great cameras, so I'd recommend starting there.
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Postby booboo » Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:17 am

Honestly, I think a good camera is a quality tool.... but to truly get 'professional' looking portraits of your son, you need a few more tools in your belt, kwim?

#1 find a good photo editing program (Photoshop Elements 6) is a good place to start. They offer a free 30 day trial, and then purchasing the program is about $80. Learn how to use it, and it will be your savior! lol! this simple step alone has drastically improved my photography images.... bumping up the contrast and color takes an image from drab to fab! [note: photoshop recently released Elements 7, and free trials should be available at the end of October... but the actual product is a little more expensive]. There are also tons of tutorials online that will show you how to use it: Elements tutorials

#2 when you get a new camera, learn how to use it on manual. Otherwise, it wont serve you any better than having a point&shoot on auto. Here's a great lesson website: Stop Shooting Auto


I shot with a Canon Rebel XT for a long time, and it is a great starter camera. Now they make lenses with the image stabilizer, which I highly recommend to anybody shooting kids, because it gives you a sharper image when you use a lower shutter speed on a moving subject.
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Postby stuckunderhere » Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:45 am

I think a good beginner SLR camera should be your choice. They're a lot cheaper than those big awesome professional ones everyone seems to be getting lately (The Nikon D200 and up for example) and they have tons of manual features for you to play around with and get great shots.

I'm a big fan of Nikon so of course I'll direct you towards the D40 or D60.. And if you want to go for other brands, I say stick to Canon. Those are the two very good brands that you can trust.
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Postby Impatience » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:07 am

The new Nikon D90 is an excellent choice - and hits that sweet spot between the "beginner" SLR and the pricier "sophisticated amateur" SLR. It was just released and comes bundled with a great lens. It also takes wonderful pictures in Auto, and comes with Active D Lighting built in (which is great when you're shooting in low light/shadows/without a flash).
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Postby stuckunderhere » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:39 pm

Its actually still a very expensive buy (over 1000$ Body Only)... and its considered an advanced SLR. You should have a look at the Essential SLR category like I was talking about earlier. The D60 is a pretty good deal and seems to be a good camera choice.
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Postby Shlebo » Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:44 am

I really like my Canon XSI and I feel it takes good quality pictures - I have even sold some. Just be sure and buy good glass and it makes a world of difference! :)
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Postby AmandaP » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:24 pm

ANYTHING Nikon. Ive owned several regular point and shoot Nikon Coolpix cams and my dSLR is a Nikon D200. They are durable, dependable, and extremely versitle. Ive absolutely loved every one Ive ever owned.

And yes, buy the best lenses you can afford. Skip the aftermarket gadgets and buy brandname, it will last you longer and return your investment faster.

And DO start with Photoshop software of some sort. It will save you a TON of time and money in the long run.
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Postby blue-eden » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:22 am

AmandaP wrote:ANYTHING Nikon. Ive owned several regular point and shoot Nikon Coolpix cams and my dSLR is a Nikon D200. They are durable, dependable, and extremely versitle. Ive absolutely loved every one Ive ever owned.

And yes, buy the best lenses you can afford. Skip the aftermarket gadgets and buy brandname, it will last you longer and return your investment faster.

And DO start with Photoshop software of some sort. It will save you a TON of time and money in the long run.


I'm jumping in late, but I agree with this.

I love Nikon, and have three Nikon cameras and am insanely happy with all of them. I have film (Nikon F75) and digital (D70s and D90).
I agree, get the best lenses you can afford, as good glass is a better investment in the long run.

Also, think about which lenses you want to use, and make sure they are compatible with your camera. With Nikon, all their lenses will work on all their camera, but that's not true with Canon. However, some lenses will not work in autofocus mode (which is pretty important for getting good focus on moving subjects like babies) with some cameras. A good example is the most popular portrait lens - the 50 mm 1.4 - which won't autofocus on the Nikon D40. Something to keep in mind.

I've used various photo editing software -- Microsoft, Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Creative Suite, and Lightroom and I would definitely invest in some.

Lightroom is GREAT for when you shoot in RAW and want to enhance exposure and batch edit, but it works alongside Photoshop. You can't make layers in Lightroom -- Lightroom is for global edits to the whole photo. I do about 80% of my work in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (a free plugin that works with Photoshop to edit RAW files) and then move over to Creative Suite 4 to fix local colour issues, duplicate layers and do a gradient for black and white conversions, or do creative editing.

I agree also to shoot in manual, not in auto and that site she posted was great! Auto mode even on a professional camera won't get you better photos than a point and shoot. Read your camera's manual, learn to use the settings, and get your photos right straight out of the camera, because fixing them in photoshop won't look as good as if you get it right while shooting. Underexposing or overexposing your pictures will mess with the white balance and colours, and make them look "off" even if you try to fix them later.

Great thread!
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Postby Stephie702 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:57 am

this is awesome thread!!! Ive been experiementing with photography for awhile...but id liek to get more serious.... what other pieces of equipment are good?? how about backdrops and set ups?? im not so much worried about lighting yet because i am a fan of natural lighting :)
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Postby ssgt_wifey_usmc » Tue May 18, 2010 12:39 pm

any recommendations for a DSLR tripod?? i do have one for a p&s but don't think it'll hold.
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Postby ReubensMomma » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:05 pm

Photoscape is another free download for editing pictures and it's one of my favorites :)
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Re: Recommendations for Cameras, Gear, and other Equipment

Postby casi7787 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:53 pm

Odd man out as usual. I have always been a Sony shooter. I love Sony. Until last spring I used the a65 for 3 years. Last spring I fell in love with the a99. Back in the day just a point and shoot, but still Sony.

https://m.facebook.com/CasiAnnPhotograp ... =bookmarks

I'm still mostly in hobby mode at the moment because we're still working on my studio, but I get some friends and family in for sessions sometimes.

I'm gonna go find old pictures from a little point and shoot Sony...
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