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Want To Get Into Photography?

Blog / 2013.02.10 18:46

So you want to get into photography. It's simple, but first you'll have to know a few things. And by a few things,

I really mean many things. There are terms you need to know which will probably be safe to learn AFTER you procure a camera, but hey, why not get the basics down before you do anything. 


First thing you should take into consideration is what you want to use your camera for. Since I'm writing this post based on the anon who expressed interest in using the camera for concerts/long-range, I'll tailor it better for that need. 


Almost all DSLRs and mirrorless camera bodies these days are capable of amazing functions - from High-speed  multiple image capturing to beautiful 1080p video. 


So when you're thinking what camera body to get, consider your needs and wants along with your budget. Most DSLR brands offer bodies ranging from Entry Level (Amateur) > Semi-Professional and Professional. Most people start off with an entry-level body. It offers great picture quality with virtually all the functions someone just getting into SLR photography will require, without the additional bits. 


Naturally it gets more expensive as you move up the ladder, with professional bodies going up to $10,000. But let's start at the bottom shall we? I'll assume we're looking at Semi-Pro and lower bodies. You'll then want to look into a particular brand. 


Canon (delighting you ALWAYS ;D), Nikon and Sony are the most popular brands for DSLR and mirrorless cameras these days (Nikon is a joke for mirrorless though ㅋㅋ). 


Examples of camera models:


Entry-Level: Canon EOS650D, EOS1100D. Nikon D3200, Sony Alpha SLT-A37

Semi Professional: Canon EOS60D, EOS7D. Nikon D7000, Sony Alpha SLT-A77V


These are just for reference. There are so many more cameras available and it's up to you what feels good for you. If you have the budget, you are free to go with a more difficult to use camera, so long as you are willing to learn. 


Okay, once you've settled on the camera options, you then look at further options. 


Professional level cameras from the manufacturers offer full-frame bodies (that take photos in 35mm format), while cropped bodies may offer between 1.3x and 1.6x crop, where the 'zoom' factor on your body is multiplied by that number. Basically, if you have a body that is not full frame (like the EOS7D) you can get better zoom on your photos. This may post an advantage to the concert goer. 


Also, semi-pro and lower bodies often offer lenses that are cheaper and are tailored specifically for the smaller bodies. Their quality may not be as great as a brand's top-of-the-line lenses, but in today's prosumer market, these lenses offer an alternative for those getting into this rather expensive hobby. 


For an example, I will use Canon's 7D and it's larger sibling, the 5DMarkIII to explain what I've just said above.


The 7D is a 1.6x crop factor body. 

The 5DMarkIII is a full-frame body.

ALL Lenses made by Canon are compatible with the 7D.

The 5DIII, however, can only take EF lenses, whereas the 7D can take the cheaper quality EF-S lenses made for smaller bodies. 


This is why you'll see shops selling kits such as "EOS 7D + EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6" and "EOD 5D Mark III + EF 24-105mm f/4L". 


Okay, that more or less settles it for choosing a camera model. I'll get to lenses later, after I explain some key terms. 


The anon asked what "f/" meant. 


f/ stands for Aperture. Lenses allow a certain amount of light into them in order to create brighter images from using as much natural light as possible. The wider the aperture, the more light goes in allowing for brighter shots. 


Rule of thumb: Wide aperture = Lower Number (f/1.8) - Narrow Aperture = Higher (f/9) 

Uses: A wider aperture is used to make a blurred background suitable for portrait shots of people. A narrower aperture is used for landscape/scenery, where you want to get as much detail into the photo as possible. The wider the aperture, the brighter the photo. The opposite applies for narrow apertures.



Next is Shutter Speed, which is how long the camera's shutter remains open. The longer the shutter speed, the more light goes in, the brighter the photo. The faster the shutter speed, the less light goes in, the darker the photo. Faster shutter speeds are meant to capture something on the move, while slower ones generate bright images for more still objects. Do note that slow shutter speeds may result in blurred photos. 


Lastly, you have ISO, which is the how sensitive your sensor reacts to light that enters the camera. Higher ISO numbers mean brighter photos but will increased the noise (grain) in your photo.


The key to getting the perfect photo is my balancing these 3 settings (assuming you use manual only mode like I do), into producing something that is great to look at. It takes time and patience. 


Last part. Since your interest is in concerts, I will suggest that you get a camera kit that has a decent standard zoom lens included. 


Should you purchase the Canon EOS650D, you can choose to buy the 18-135mm kit, which covers you from wide angle to telephoto range. You can then invest in zoom lenses such as the 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 55-250 f/4-5.6 IS II, and when you get to a suitable level (or you're filthy rich), the 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM. 


Hope that was informative. 


Sample Images I've taken:


4minute's Sohyun - EOS7D + EF 70-200 f/4L IS USM




SNSD's Seohyun - EOS450D + EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM Mark I 






Posted by AngryCamel

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