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Old 11-27-2013, 05:23 AM
AKLankford AKLankford is offline
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Hey guys and gals. I've been looking for a new camera and have been tossing around the idea of stepping up to a DSLR. Let me be the first to state that I am a totally newbie to DSLR cameras and know just about nothing about the lens, etc....

On that note I currently use a Fujifilm S4500 digital and although it gets the job done the quality isn't there obviously. I'm looking for something with decent MP, ability to shoot 8 fps or so, and although its not crucial video would be nice as well. Oh and since it is my first DSLR I'd like to stay under $1000 with lens, bag, and all that little stuff.

I have read photography forums and couldn't answer my questions about shooting in cold weather, white backgrounds like snow, and beginner gear. The threads i found on here seemed a little outdated a couple years.

So basically I am asking your guy's opinions and preferences on cameras/gear that closely meets me needs. All input is appreciated and look forward to hearing from ya. Thanks!

---AKLankford
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:38 PM
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I was in your shoes prior to last winter. I picked up a cannon t3i and it works good for what I need. I think you can get a two lens setup and accessories for well under a grand these days. IMO it takes sweet picture, and I just rock it on auto modes when shooting sleds. Others like the Cannon 3100. Cameras can get super expensive fast, but for clicking off sweet pictures for a beginner like you and I, I found the Cannon T3i to be up to the task. Battery life has been great even in the cold.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:57 PM
AKLankford AKLankford is offline
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Thanks for the input! I was actually looking at the T3i or a D5100. Both seem pretty comparable and about the same price range depending on where you're looking of course. Do you use the 18-55 lens? or do you prefer something different?
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:57 AM
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I have the 18-55 and 70-300. I carry both in the backwoods but use the 70-300 more. Something in the 30 ish to 200 ish would be more ideal for single lens carrying IMO as I am always in the cross over range for the two lenses it seems.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:22 AM
griffin86 griffin86 is offline
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When shooting in snow, set your exposure compensation lower, your photos will be over exposed. Save some money for lightroom to edit your photos.

Shoot at 1/1000s to freeze motion and the largest aperture to isolate your subject from the background, it makes them pop.

Shoot in raw so your have more range in editing your photos.

You don't need a high frame rate camera really. I'm happy with 4fps for sledding, other sports I need more though.

Spend most of your money on lenses, that makes the biggest difference.

They say when you bring your camera in after being inside, wrap it with plastic to prevent condensation. I haven't done it though.

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Old 11-29-2013, 02:34 PM
OhioMitch OhioMitch is offline
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I'll throw some my professional photography two cents in here.

First: Good cameras don't just magically take good pictures.
Second: Buy used!!
Third: Learn!

Get a good setup within your budget that won't limit you too much and then take your time to learn what you need to know to take good photos. When I say a setup that wont limit you the #1 thing I am talking about is the lens. You can spend $5000 on a Canon 1D X body and a 18-55mm kit lens will still limit you drastically. You are better off buying a reasonably priced body and saving some room to drop coin on a lens or two.

I have a t3i I use as kind of a beater camera for mounted video and some photos here and there and I'll be the first to tell you it performs well beyond its price point. If you aren't too worried about not having crazy fast burst rate the t3i will be a great starter camera. The only thing I would recommend as an alternative in this situation is a used Canon 1D mk2 which is an older model professional body that used to cost well over $4K but can now be had for around $400 (t3i range.) The advantages are you have 8fps burst, 45 point AF system that will keep damn near anything in focus, fully weatherproof build (drop it in the snow, dust it off, good to go) The downside here is that being a professional level camera its not super user friendly. No green box auto mode or built in flash so it can be a bit of a learning curve.
I can go on and on about advantages and disadvantages about certain bodies and have probably owned or used most of them in Canon's lineup so if you have questions feel free to ask.

On to the lenses.
Here is the number one leading situation for unhappy DSLR purchasers. "I went out and spent X on Y DSLR body which came with this cool kit lens but the autofocus is slow, it takes crappy pictures in low light, and I can't get close enough (zoom wise)"
All of these issues are likely caused by the $100 kit lens you just put on the front of your $800+ DSLR Body. The kit lenses often use variable aperture which is when then lens stops down in aperture (lets less light in) as you zoom in further. For example the trusty 18-55mm kit lens is f3.5 @18mm and f5.6 @ 55mm. When your body has less light coming through the lens it will struggle to autofocus and likely produce terrible pictures in low light conditions.
As for the zoom issue the 18-55mm lens is ok for your average snap shots but if you want a decent photo of anything more than 40-50ft away (snowmobiles) you will want to look elsewhere.

Although it is still variable aperature the Canon 18-135 lens (incompatible with the previously mentioned 1D body) is a good starter for some outdoor action stuff like you are looking for and since it comes as a kit lens they are all over ebay and craigslist from people selling them to upgrade. You can find them for $450 new and a decent bit less used.

So if I had to recommend a specific setup I would say grab yourself a t3i and a 18-135 for around $400 each and get the feel for things then step up to a few better lenses if you decide its necessary later.

Sorry to be so long winded but I hope you find that helpful.
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Old 12-01-2013, 07:36 PM
AKLankford AKLankford is offline
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Thanks guys for everything. I decided to go with a used t3i from a friend of mines mom (she used it as a backup camera). She gave me the body, two batterys/charger, 15-55mm lens as well as a Cannon 75-300mm, case, and monopod for a pretty decent price I think. I haven't got to take it out yet. -15 here in AK and I'm not too keen on going out when its that cold haha.

So my last question is, is there anything else I need or should I just start shooting with it and go from there on my needs as far as hardware?

Again I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:16 PM
griffin86 griffin86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKLankford View Post
Thanks guys for everything. I decided to go with a used t3i from a friend of mines mom (she used it as a backup camera). She gave me the body, two batterys/charger, 15-55mm lens as well as a Cannon 75-300mm, case, and monopod for a pretty decent price I think. I haven't got to take it out yet. -15 here in AK and I'm not too keen on going out when its that cold haha.

So my last question is, is there anything else I need or should I just start shooting with it and go from there on my needs as far as hardware?

Again I really appreciate it!
Memory cards. Lens cleaner and micro fibre cloths. Maybe a filter. Maybe a flash.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:26 PM
OhioMitch OhioMitch is offline
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Just get out there an use it. Become familiar with it and read up on the plentiful information online about camera basics.
Once you get the hang of things you might want to upgrade to a better lens but you should be ok to start out with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKLankford View Post
Thanks guys for everything. I decided to go with a used t3i from a friend of mines mom (she used it as a backup camera). She gave me the body, two batterys/charger, 15-55mm lens as well as a Cannon 75-300mm, case, and monopod for a pretty decent price I think. I haven't got to take it out yet. -15 here in AK and I'm not too keen on going out when its that cold haha.

So my last question is, is there anything else I need or should I just start shooting with it and go from there on my needs as far as hardware?

Again I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:32 PM
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Now that you have yourself a camera make sure you keep it safe. I always kept it in a backpack but there are lots of good options.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:23 PM
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:06 PM
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