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thinking of getting a DLSR but feel overwhelmed and lost

Forum: Photography


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September 18th, 2010, 07:24 AM
bittersweet's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,117
I'm thinking of getting a DLSR, but I have no clue about what I need besides the camea. My current Kodak Easy Share (keep the snickering down) just isn't cutting it anymore.

Do I need to have a special computer program for editing and/or downloading? Does that come with the camera?

Does the cord that plugs from the camera into the computer come with it? Do the pictures automatically download to the computer? With my point and shoot it came with a little CD program that I downloaded and all my pics would go into this programs photo bank when I plugged in. Is this the same for DSLR?

How do you go about printing them? Are there special CDs they need to be downloaded to? I imagine I can't take the memory card to Walmart and plug it in the kiosk like I'm used to doing

Give me a list of what I need to purchase get started taking great pictures, getting them on my computer, and getting them printed.


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September 18th, 2010, 08:32 AM
bittersweet's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,117
Oh wow, don't I look like an idiot! I meant DSLR

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September 18th, 2010, 09:07 AM
Doodle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Orlando-ish Florida
Posts: 10,919
in what way is your point and shoot not cutting it?

how involved or not involved are you looking to get (involved time and money wise?)

the basic DSLR body will run you a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars depending on what you want. You can purchase them with a kit lens but the general consensus is the kit lenses sucks and you are better off deciding what kind of photography you want to do and ordering the body of the camera and a lens suited for what YOU want to do separately.

Each lens ranges in price from 99$ (the cheapest called the nifty fifty) all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. Most of us are not investing in 30K lenses but an 1,100 lens is not too unusual.

Your camera will come with some editing software but it's very limited. Generally, you will want some form of photoshop. The basic elements is under $100. You can also try picnik.com (what I am currently using). It has many of the abilities of photoshop but is only $24 a year to use. It can be frustrating b/c flash can crash or it gets all buggy and refuses to save but for now, it's doing what I need it to do.

The cord? I'm not sure. I upload via my laptop using the card reader slot. If I wasnt doing that, I would purchase a card reader which would more quickly read and upload my photo files. DSLR photofiles are going to be 2 - 3 x the size of the current files you camera is giving you.

Printing, I upload to the website of one of the professional labs and order prints. The quality is far superior to what walmart produces.

If you are not looking to get quite so involved, there are some amazing point and shoot options out there that even offer some of the control of DSLR but without all the costly necessities. My friend has this camera Amazon.com: Canon PowerShot SX20IS 12.1MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch Articulating LCD: Electronics and takes great pics from the macro (super close up) all the way to incredibly detailed moon shots. With my current lens I cant take either shot and with the next lens I'm buying, I still wont be able to take either shot (I'm investing in portrait primes)

Lastly, there is A TON you can actually do with most point and shoots. Up until May, it was all that I used and I was selling photos on Etsy.com

all but 5 of these were taken with a point and shoot canon powershot My Fave People Portraits - a set on Flickr

all exceptt the last one from this group were taken with my powershot bench monday - a set on Flickr

I just finally invested some time in reading my camera manual (online) and started figuring out how to better use the features I had.

I waited 5 years to get my DSLR. That's how long I wanted one but until recently, I wasnt ready for the time commitment. Now that I am, I'm doing what I can to learn everything. But, I'm also kind of frustrated by how expensive it all it. My amazon wish list is now a mile long full of photography must haves
Visit my photography page
Erin, Mama to 6 little birds

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September 18th, 2010, 03:18 PM
CrysG's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Franklin, IN
Posts: 1,052
I have a Nikon D90 which I love it cost $1300 with the lens, I do have a 1.8 55mm.

If have lightroom and photoshop elements for editing! I LOVE lightroom! It's made my post processing 20 times faster than photoshop. You can go to the adobe website and download a free 30 day trial of all adobe products( the acutal photoshop, lightroom, elements, etc.)

Yes you can take your memory card (mine takes a normal SD card) and put it in the walmart kiosks and it will print, ONLY if you shoot in JPEG format! If you shoot in RAW(which is probably to complicated to start with anyway) you have to have software(which your camera will come with!)

My camera uses just a USB cord, very easy has a Nikon Transfer, or you could get a card reader which ever would be easier for you!

Depending on if you are just playing or wanting to do it professional depends on if you want more stuff. I would suggest shooting in Auto for a while!

A great book to read is called Understand Exposure, by Bryan Peterson!

if you have any questions please feel free to ask!

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