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Super Contributor
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Camera for a beginner

[ Edited ]

I agree generally with your statement about the old saying! :-)

In the specific case of our original poster, he seems to have a limited budget, hence my efforts to focus him on starting modestly and putting his efforts into learning and experience. There is a lot to be said for joining a camera club and attending a few courses, even if they impact on one's limited budget. I just co-taught a course for newbies at my local club, and of the attendees several realized by the end that they had purchased gear that was not suitable for their purpose. Had they attended the course first it might have saved them from frustration - I felt for them...

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Camera for a beginner

That's my plan! I've already been researching classes in my area. I just wanted a good all around camera to get started. Then as my taste for photography changes, I can adjust my purchases to what I need. That's why I was vague with what I wanted to photograph. I have no idea what I want yet Smiley Happy
Super Contributor
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Camera for a beginner

That is a very wise strategy, if I may be so bold.  Photography is a great balance of the technical and the artistic.  I am retired now, and my sight is beginning to fail me :-( but I shall enjoy the pasttime as long as I can.  I wish you every joy and success in your journey.

 

In the meantime you might want to have a look at the free online lecture series - "Lectures on Digital Photography" by Marc Levoy, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University.

 

https://www.sites.google.com/site/marclevoylectures/home

 

Some of the stuff on lens optics and colour theory is a bit up there (I haven't had to use Calculus in over 40 years so I took the equations as read!), but the practical stuff and some of the really cool demo stuff is brilliant.  There are also sessions on the history of photography, which is great to give you a social and cultural context for the photographic medium.

 

cheers: Trevor

 

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,451
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Camera for a beginner


RLL39 wrote:
That's my plan! I've already been researching classes in my area. I just wanted a good all around camera to get started. Then as my taste for photography changes, I can adjust my purchases to what I need. That's why I was vague with what I wanted to photograph. I have no idea what I want yet Smiley Happy

The T6 is a really good starter camera.  If it is anything like the T5, then the menus have a tutuorial mode, which explains each setting as you select it for adjustment.  The kit lenses are not Canon's best, especially the 75-300mm lens.  Like the others have said, avoid that kit.

 

The T5i comes with a much better 18-55mm lens, compated to the T6.  It offers the same resolution as the T6.  It has a tilt-twist LCD screen, which I don't find particularly attractive.  It's just another mechanical something that can break, although it is nice that you can tuck away the LCD screen.

 

The T6i is almost the same camera as T5i, but with one MAJOR difference.  It offers 24MP resolution, compared to 18MP resolution for the T5i and T6.  It also uses a more advanced image processor compared to the T5i, which in turn has a more advanced processor compared to the T6, which in turn has a more advanced processor compared to the T5.

 

I would advise a basic T5 kit from the Canon refurbished store link that I posted above.  It's a small investment, and just enough DSLR to get your feet wet enough to take that camera course.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Camera for a beginner

I actually got a $50 gift card at Amazon so I got a brand new t6 kit for $449. It gets here Friday so I'm sure I'm gonna have ten billion questions for everyone soon. Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it Smiley Happy
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,451
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Camera for a beginner


RLL39 wrote:
I actually got a $50 gift card at Amazon so I got a brand new t6 kit for $449. It gets here Friday so I'm sure I'm gonna have ten billion questions for everyone soon. Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it Smiley Happy

Good choice of camera.  It's a great starter DSLR.  You can download the manuals here, and get a head start.

 

https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/support

 

Start typing "Rebel T6" in the box, and click on the full model number when it appears.  This will take you to the product support page for your camera.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-13-2017

Re: Camera for a beginner

Hi, I have been reading over the posts for beginner camera. I’m looking to buy my 12 year old daughter a new camera. She has a canon rebel power shot sx530. I think it was a wonderful choice for her as a beginner. She has taken over 2000 photos of wildlife and she truly has a knack for this. I don’t have a big budget and she is not ready for anything complicated. She hasn’t even learned all the various uses of the simple sx530 rebel, but it has been a great camera for her. What she is getting frustrated with are long distance shots of hawks on tree tops as well as in the sky. She hates the idea of a clear subject blurred background, but that may be the way it is with her camera in order to get the best shot of subject. I was thinking about the T6 as a step up. It comes with a 55-300 lens. She does not have a tripod and would like to hold camera in her hands most times. I think she needs to learn in baby steps until she gets the hang of all the buttons and what they can do. She also gets upset taking close ups of bees/butterflies. She has to stand 5- 7 feet back to get the shot. I have no experience with cameras so I’m in need of help for her. I don’t want to spend more than $700 until she’s ready and old enough to take camera courses and learn more about cameras and photography, but I want her to continue on the journey of wildlife photography. She has proven her dedication and love for it. I’d love to see her take pictures she’s proud of and not want to throw the camera, because of her inexperience. Thank you

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,981
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Camera for a beginner

The T6 would be good, as well as an SL2. One thing she will really like is that the SLR's will have much more responsive shutters.

 

The 55-300 will be good for wildlife, but at some point you might want to add the "kit" 18-55 for wider-angle general purpose and the 60mm macro for those butterfly shots:

 

IMG_3411.jpg

Super Contributor
Posts: 129
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Camera for a beginner

[ Edited ]

One important question for her is what she wants to do with the photos she takes.  Is she going to show them on a web page, look at them on a monitor or print the images.  If she is going to print the images how big does she want those images to be?

 

The reason I ask is that output has a big impact on the kinds of gear one is going to use.  The requirements for output to screen or small prints do not necessarily require expensive gear.  If her needs are not IMMEDIATELY demanding - she is after all at the start of a learning curve, I would recommend getting a bridge camera.  A bridge camera has the same basic controls of a DSLR, but is a lot smaller and has a non interchangeable lens.  What it does have is a lens with an amazing range: from very wide angle to super telephotos.

 

I am going to use a term called equivalence here.  It is simply a means to compare lens performance from different type of camera on a standard scale.  The numbers written on a lens are relative to what that lens would see (called the Field of View - FoV) on a full-size sensor (a sensor the size of 35mm film), a Canon T6 has a smaller (crop) sensor, so a lens on such sensor has its FoV focal values multipled by the crop factor (in this case 1.6) to get its true FoV.

 

For example, the lens you were talking about on the T6 has what is called an equivalent range of 88 - 420mm (1.6x 55 to 1.6x 300), while a bridge camera such as the Canon SX60HS has an equivalent range of 21 - 1365mm!   That's means the lens can 'see" a much wider range!

 

A bridge camera is more compact and lighter, so it is easier to carry (as the saying goes the best camera is the one you actually carry).  It has a smaller sensor (think smaller negative if you like) so images cannot be blown up to as big a size as those from larger sensors on more expensive cameras.  That said, the images one can get from a bridge camera can be very good.  As below.

 

04 Heron SX60HS.jpg

The image above was taken with the Canon Powershot SX60HS bridge camera,

0C3A0148-1-2 LR.jpg

This image was taken with a Canon 7DMkII, with a 100-400 MKII L lens, and 1.4x MkIII extender

 

This is Professional level camera system that cost 10x the amount of the Canon Powershot SX60HS.  Can you see 10x the difference in these images?  On a screen or small print (8" x 10") I would doubt that too.

 

So I would submit that the bridge camera is perfectly capable of deliverying excellent results for a  very reasonable price - they are available for less than $500US.  If you were sticking to your budget you could then consider a tripod and a cable release to help your daughter with the types of images she wants.

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-13-2017

Re: Camera for a beginner

Hi, thank you very much! You have helped me a great deal. I never heard of a bridge camera until you answered my question. I have a lot of learning to do myself if I want to make purchases for my daughter. I'd hate to give her another camera as an upgrade and have her be disappointed with the quality. I want her to continue moving forward and keep this positive since she loves wildlife photography. She likes to take pictures of squirrels, turkey vultures, hawks and all the birds down at Forsythe bird refuge in New Jersey shore. We have only had a few opportunities to photograph deer, fox and large wildlife, but maybe someday I'll take her to the wooded wildlife refuge and make sure she has the right lens. She also wants to start entering wildlife photo contests this spring. Hopefully she'll enjoy the competition and learning experience. Thanks again!
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