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Author Topic: if u only had $2000  (Read 9169 times)

BFoto

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if u only had $2000
« on: May 28, 2014, 10:00:14 am »

I have a canon 1d and 5d with lots of L glass. Havent needed 'new' so have only kept a glancing eye on the latest and greatest.

I have a niece wanting to start in the world of photography and has $2k to spend.

I have emphasised the need to spend more on better glass with a lower end body.

If u only had $2k, what would you buy today?

Chairman Bill

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 10:13:51 am »

I'd either buy a Fujifilm X100s ($1300), maybe with one of the conversion lenses, or a Fujifilm XE2 + 18-55mm ($1200) and the 55-200mm ($699)

duane_bolland

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 10:36:52 am »

This is a tough question and very common.  The problem, of course, is that 2 grand is the tip of the iceberg if you include Photoshop, a good tripod, etc... 

I think it helps to have an end goal in sight.  How serious is the person about the art of photography?  And what is she interested in shooting?  Is she more into wide angles or telephotos?  Some folks have no interest in changing lenses and knowing that now would really save money.

I'm a Canon man, but I never suggest someone get a Canon Rebel.  The problem with those cameras is that you get locked into a recreational format with few options to upgrade.  And you don't get to experience good glass. 

Lately I've been pointing folks to m43.  I have a buddy who uses an Panasonic Lumix something with three lenses (two zooms, one fast prime).  The system is versatile, affordable, and there are plenty of options to upgrade later. 

If portraits were her passion, I would consider starving for a month and then splurging on a Fuji X-T1 with 56mm f/1.2.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 12:07:54 pm »

1. Any camera and any lens are good enough for beginners these days. Rebels and kit lenses in particular. And not just for beginners, but for us as well, except we are too vain to admit it. Stop obsessing over "better glass." Neither camera nor lens see a photograph. We do.

2. Ask your niece to show you a dozen of images that she wish she made them. That will give you an idea of what attracted her to photography. Shallow depth-of-field? Close ups? Super wide-angle distortions? Portraits? Broad vistas? Instagram-like filters? That would give you an idea in which direction to go. For instance, if shallow depth of field, get her a 50/1.8 instead of a kit lens. If (f)"art" filters, spend more on software, or cameras that already have them.

3. In contrast to the past, when a camera bought lasted a generation, today cameras are almost single-use disposables, i.e., will be obsolete in a year or even within weeks, if purchase timing is bad. Lenses can be sold on eBay. Thus start cheap and see where her interest will lead her. After a while, depending on her level of interest, she will be able herself to determine that and figure out what her next purchase should be.

DeanChriss

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 12:22:02 pm »

If u only had $2k, what would you buy today?

I'd buy a Canon Rebel. According to Canon the Rebel models are "compatible with Canon EF and EF-S lenses", which is every lens Canon makes. Some time ago a friend of mine who was shooting stock temporarily used a Rebel with numerous L-series lenses, including a 600mm F4. He got some amazing photos, many of which were published. Rebels don't have all the durability and features of the high end cameras, but with a little care and a decent lens they make a very respectable image file. I think it'd be hard to find anything better in the $400 range. The rest of that $2000 could be put into a lens or two, depending on what she wants to do. You may also want to consider the used lens market for a better price.
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capital

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 12:53:49 pm »

Why not buy a $100-200 Point and Shoot? Or even a refurbished dslr camera?
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SZRitter

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2014, 01:05:31 pm »

Something not discussed is ergonomics/user interface. I find cameras to be a very personal choice, so I HIGHLY recommend going to the nearest camera shop or retailer and holding them. Seriously, last time I was choosing, I really disliked the feel of the NEX 7, and really liked the feel of a gripped E-M5. If you like how a camera feels and operates, you are much more likely to use it.

That said, I say Fuji and Oly right now for feel, but that is just personal preference.
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NancyP

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2014, 02:27:18 pm »

Canon user here. Ergonomics count.  She should handle a few cameras, decide whether she likes little, big, SLR, compact with viewfinder, compact without viewfinder. RAW capture should be possible. There's nothing wrong with the Rebels, they can be used as aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, as well as with the "consumer" modes. I liked the T2i I used at work, but handled a 60D and liked the ergonomics of the slightly larger camera better. Other people may like "dainty" better. A lot depends on what style she is most interested in working. If she wants to do "street" photography, a compact or bridge camera with RAW capture is the ticket.

My 60D has been a fine all-around stills camera (I haven't tried video, haven't been too interested in video). It's a little long in the tooth, at 4 years and well over the rated number of shutter actuations, and still going strong. A refurbished 60D or Rebel/SL1 and refurbished Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 or Canon EF-S17-55 f/2.8, a "student price" Lightroom license, a computer if she doesn't have one already, a tripod and head, and extra card, extra battery, polarizing filter, all ought to come in well below the target price, and if she wants a telephoto, a Canon EF 70-200 f/4 non-IS is a steal, off-brand macro extension tubes if she wants to try macro. If she wants to try video, the Canon 70D and one of the STM IS kit zooms would be the ticket.
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DeanChriss

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 05:00:56 pm »

I have a canon 1d and 5d with lots of L glass. Havent needed 'new' so have only kept a glancing eye on the latest and greatest.

I have a niece wanting to start in the world of photography and has $2k to spend.

I have emphasised the need to spend more on better glass with a lower end body.

If u only had $2k, what would you buy today?


For some reason I kept on thinking about this question, and I think your niece doesn't need to spend $2K. Most people just getting into photography don't know what they want to do yet, or even whether it's a passing fancy or something they want to pursue. I think it's most important to get a kit that will allow the most versatility and exerimentation. There are Canon Rebel T5 kits with two zooms covering 18mm to 300mm for $550 at B&H. She could do a LOT with that. If her interests go in a certain direction there will be plenty of money left over to pick up some appropriate accessories or specialized lenses later on. It's a lot better than the Minolta SRT 201 and a couple of crappy primes I started out with. Sure, the kit lenses aren't stellar, but she's probably not making 20x30 inch prints right out of the gate, and you can fix vignettng and color fringing in post processing.
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PeterAit

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 05:56:33 pm »

Your niece should not be concerned with "glass" and all that pixel-peeper crap. She should get a manually adjustable camera and learn composition, lighting, timing, exposure, shutter speeds, depth of field, and the other aspects that are the heart of good photography.
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scooby70

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2014, 06:01:03 pm »

I have a canon 1d and 5d with lots of L glass. Havent needed 'new' so have only kept a glancing eye on the latest and greatest.

I have a niece wanting to start in the world of photography and has $2k to spend.

I have emphasised the need to spend more on better glass with a lower end body.

If u only had $2k, what would you buy today?


I'd buy a Sony A7 and a few Rokkor or Zuiko primes and in fact that's what I have, I ditched my 5D and some nice lenses to go another way.

If the budget allows I'd also but a Panasonic G1 and a manual macro lens and I have that set up too :D actually I also have a GX7 and some AF lenses too but that'd blow the budget.

As for your niece, is video important? If it is that could influence the choice.
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eronald

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2014, 07:02:28 pm »

I'd get a used 3 year old Rebel with its kit lens, and a 50/1.8 used too, maybe $300 total and take it from there. Rest of the money could finance a nice holiday for a young person, or some courses.

The Rebel, new or old is a really good camera when used with primes, and sharp with plenty of depth of field with the kit zoom.

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NancyP

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2014, 07:35:38 pm »

She might like to join a photography club at her school or in the community. She could see what other people are doing, make friends, go on group outings, learn the basics. She can start her photography journey for 0$ with her phone, then branch out. An introduction to post-processing class would be a nice gift item. If she wanted to try film, there are a zillion options for B+W photography out there. 4 x 5 pinhole camera and direct positive paper? I am an old fart, and remember how fascinated I was as a kid by the chemical development process (still am). Does anyone in her family have old manual focus manual aperture legacy lenses that could be adapted to a MILC format camera (or for that matter a standard DSLR, I am using some of my film-days lenses on my new full frame DSLR).

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SecondFocus

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2014, 08:44:42 pm »

Very much agree with Slobodan Blagojevic.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many published photos I have shot with the Canon 50 1.4. Get one of the new Canon Rebels and even the kit lens and go shoot photos. People spend way too much time and effort on gear for most photography.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 02:15:58 pm by SecondFocus »
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Codger

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2014, 02:09:54 am »

Slobodan, your second suggestion is one of the best I've seen for the OP's request for advice.  As for the issue of obsolescence, unless a current camera gets worn out, it will still do the same things a year or two from now: the distraction for all of us is, whatever cameras are like then will probably have surpassed the current technology.  The other good points are about budgeting for the "hidden" expenses: batteries, cards, software, etc.  Start with the concept of self-expression and pleasure.  Good advice.
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2014, 04:15:44 am »

Let your niece use some of your gear for a while, then she can decide.

Ajoy Roy

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2014, 11:30:14 am »

I am Nikon man. Got the D3300 with the kit lense a couple of months ago. Total cost in India less than $600. This is a perfect camera for beginners. It has all the idiot proof modes, so if you want you use it as a point and shoot. It also has the conventional modes - manual, aperture priority and shutter priority. I normally shoot aperture priority.

With the superb 24MP sensor and a high DR, as long as you do not overly blow the highlights you can always recover shadows to get reasonable exposed images, with time as expertise grows, nailing exposure will be a routine affair. The provide View NX-2 software is fine for normal picture adjustments and if you want more, download the free Capture NX-D beta. I process all my images in it.

Once your niece gets an idea of what a DSLR is and whether it is her cup of tea, she can always acquire more lenses initially and a more sophisticated body later. The thing is that with a $600 outlay she will be all set. The balance can either be banked for future or as others have advised spent better on a Photographic holiday or classes.
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Manoli

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2014, 11:50:54 am »

She should get a manually adjustable camera and learn composition, lighting, timing, exposure, shutter speeds, depth of field, and the other aspects that are the heart of good photography.

and a 50/1.8 used too, maybe $300 total and take it from there.

+1
to both the above comments. If MILC perhaps add a $100 for a Metabones adapter to allow the use of legacy lenses without having to spend a fortune on auto this, zoom that.

As an alternative suggestion, the FujiFilm X-E1 has just been discontinued and you should be able to find excellent 'deals' at a minimal cost. In the UK they were offered at both a heavily discounted price and a choice of a free lens ( including the excellent 35/1.4 Fujinon).
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Ben Rubinstein

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2014, 12:40:20 pm »

Sony A7 is a killer deal right now. That and the kit zoom with pretty much any legacy 50mm.
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KirbyKrieger

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Re: if u only had $2000
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2014, 12:55:36 pm »

Slobodan, your second suggestion is one of the best I've seen for the OP's request for advice.  [ ... ]  The other good points are about budgeting for the "hidden" expenses: batteries, cards, software, etc.  Start with the concept of self-expression and pleasure.  Good advice.

+1.  What does the budding photographer like?  "Start with self-expression and pleasure."  Don't discount the _high_ costs of things other than the camera and lenses: computer, monitor, printer, paper, etc.

Personally, I tell people to _record data_ with a camera, and _make pictures_ with a computer.  But I'm favor hang-on-the-wall pictures, which may be a bias the person in question does not share.

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