T Nation

Got My DSLR...


For my 18th, because it was such a special and lovely occasion, I recieved a Canon 1000D as a present from the family, along with a decent carrying case (room for 1-2 more lenses) and 4gb memory card.

I was wondering who on here is into photography? either as an amataur or professionally. Would be cool to see that some of the awesome people of T-Nation share a passion for it, not all photographers are fat and lazy :wink:

Some general advice would be appreciated on how to really get going, as i'm starting a Cinema & Photography course at Leeds University in September and want to come prepared best i can. Any strong equipment reccomendations? I also have a sturdy good quality tripod and a sort of general kit bag too.


I don't know Canons, but I recommend only buying full frame lenses. They're more expensive, but lenses last forever, the technology doesn't really change, and they hold their value. The most important part is that if you ever upgrade your body, all your lenses will still work. If you buy digital lenses, if you upgrade your body, you'll have to buy all new lenses.


I'd get a decent flash with diffuser and this: Canon 77mm 500D Close-Up Lens - it'll help with close up photography without you having to spring for a macro lens. It's a recommendation from Scott Kelby the author of The Digital Photography Book. I like both volumes and he has plenty of other gear recommendations.


Interesting, i never really thought about this but i just know the standard 1000D is a good starting point when it comes to camera's with lenses included.

Thanks, i've been told by a friend some kind of extension tubes might be the cheapest option for macro on the cheap, still around £100 though, so i might have to live with what i have for now.

No pro's on here or anything?


I do photography part-time, mostly models and portraits. I use Canon gear. All Canon EF and L lenses will work with your camera body, as well as any future better Canon body you may buy. Be aware that the kit lens that comes with that camera is a real piece of crap (unless you got a higher end kit with an IS lens).

One of the best low-cost investments you can make is a prime lens. I shoot with a 50MM 1.8, it cost me $85 US. LOTS of people love that lens, and for the price, you can't beat the option of that 1.8 aperture. I would bet your kit lens doesn't get any wider than f4 at best. Primes are usually sharper than zooms as well.

Here's some advice for starting out: Put your camera in manual mode, and leave it there. Get used to changing the settings yourself, and take tons of shots. This will help you to understand your camera better, and to see the light in each scene with a critical eye. If you want to start using flash, check out http://strobist.blogspot.com/ , one of the best resources out there. Have fun!


..i'm 3 weeks away from having saved up for a Canon 5d mark II. A full frame DSLR with HD video capabilities. For a first DSLR it's way too expensive, but thenagain, the image quality is astounding and it's something i want to do, so i'm going for it. We oughta start a Photography thread one of these days, eh?


I'm jealous. I would LOVE that camera.


I have a Nikon D300, which takes insane pictures. I also have a Sony HD SR-12 for my videos and that also gets very high quality video. Practice as much as you can, and learn how to use light to your advantage. Adjust the settings and see what happens. With digital, you actually will save money with exposure and battery costs. You can also learn shooting RAW vs JPG, and which is better for your situation. Just go out and have fun with it, you never know when an opportunity will present itself.


X2...that piece of advice about a prime lense is a good one, as is the getting used to what your camera does by having it in manual.


You lucky fucker! of course luck has nothing to do it it as you will have been working hard to save the money up for your baby.
I am fuckin' envious..(even though I'm a nikon user.)


I have a friend who is a DOP by trade, but is also an enthusiastic still camera user who is experimenting lots with making HD movies with the 5D mark ii, and some of them are absolutely astounding.


..the 5d II is a remarkable camera, that's for sure. Just for personal enjoyment, i want to get the most out of it as possible, so if anyone does have pointers, tips, suggestions and ideas, let's hear them!

..to give you an impression of what this thing is capable of, here's a video from an embedded journalist in Afghanistan, and remember, this is a DSLR camera: http://vimeo.com/4642425

[edit: sorry for the highjack!]


It is the IS lens :slightly_smiling: That sounds like a great price, i'll check it out thanks. I'll definitely try figuring out full manual mode, it's the only way forward i agree.

I think i might start shooting RAW too, experimented with it using Adobe Lightroom as well as the standard Photoshop CS4 raw edit and the difference is certainly notacable, though perhaps more so for photos taken in automatic/semi-auto modes.


To be honest, I only shoot JPG. The main use for RAW is that you can use lightroom to set your white balance in post, but I always just do it in-camera instead. You can also get more DPI resolution out of RAW I think, but that only really helps if you want to make really big prints.


One thing is, that with all that eye-bleeding resolution, you need some expensive first class glass, because without it you are going to see every optical deficiency of cheap lenses in minute glaring detail.
Also you should try shooting it at 11mp and 5mp as they are generally just as sharp if not sharper than 21mp on the canon.

If you want to see a cool short movie showing the HD capabilities of your 5d ii check this out.
Just click to play on the first page.



That is a good amateur camera, you can really get some awsome results. Im a professional photographer (fashion, landscape).

To get going just go out and shoot, shoot everything, and with time you will find out what you are best in. ALAWAYS shoot in RAW, you have to master raw postprocesing if you want the very best results.

Its extremely early to suggest some additional equipment, because you havent decided yet what kind of photography you wish to do. But Ill suggest some basics.

1- Battery grip and extra batteries. ( its very frustrating to miss a shot because u r out of power, and the grip will make de camera easier to grab if you have big hands. )

2- UV Filter for all your lenses, this will protect them from dust and scratches, and it helps prevent haze in you pictures. Just dont get the cheapest ones because they can affect image quality, try japanese brands.

3- Several 256 meg. memory cards. Buying a 4gb or 16gb card is stupid and expensive. If you lose or damage it all your work will be lost. Instead 256mg are cheap and if you brake or lose one you will not lose you entire work.

4- 50mm (1.8) lens, its THE standard lens, very useful for a lot of photography styles. the 1.8 is the cheapest, but if you like to shoot in the dark you should try the 1.4 or 1.2 (EXPENSIVE)

For a good tripod try looking for a good quality ballhead and Manfrotto tripods, YES they are expesive, but they will last you 20+ years if you take care of them, and if one part gets broken you can replace it. You can get on of those from ebay from under 300$.

Im sure you will like photography :slight_smile: its a very rewarding hobby. If you need advice in any specific photography style or equipment just PM me.

BTW a lot of photography noobs are like videogame fanboys, always bashing other brands, so excpect to see a lot of Nikon vs Canon vs Sony vs Pentax controversy. And of course there also people who think that a 10k camera can take better pictures than a 500$ one.

Heres a little advice, cameras are tools, you need to know how to use them. Even cellphones cn take awsome pictures if your skills are good. Cameras dont take pictures, photographers do :slight_smile:
"image" comes from "imagination" not from "lens sharpness" or "noise levels"


Awesome advice, I completely agree with the some people are more into being tech heads than actually going out and taking photos!
However I just want to say that "not sharp" and "noisy" are usually incompatable with "good image".
(For most subjects anyway.)
Is there anywhere we can see some of your work?



Its one of the mags I work for. You can see a lot of my work there. Im currently working in my own webpage (the old one was shit) so hopefully ill have it ready this month.


Bummer, all I got was this error message when I tried to punch in your site.
Apache/2.0.59 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.0.59 OpenSSL/0.9.8d PHP/5.2.1 Server at www.fashionvictims.com Port 80

Guess I will have to wait for your own webpage. :slight_smile:


Thats true, RAW is better when you are blowing up pics to huge sizes. But other than that its not ideal, it also takes up a shitload of memory. Long live NIKON.