Having worked out (last week) pretty much what I wanted from a DSLR I thought that the next stage would be pretty easy.
Like Matt I wanted a camera that had a quick start up time, as a lot of the pictures I take are of the RockDoves and Moreno, so it isn’t always practical to ask them to pose and wait around whilst I work out shutter speed, aperture etc.
I was pretty sure that whilst the idea of swapping lenses all the time appealed from one perspective (the poser), in reality I concluded it would be a real pain. I doubt I would carry them around that much, and indeed I could actually see them becoming a reason as to why I didn’t use the camera that much. Maybe one day, especially a HUGE telephoto, but for now I wanted just one good “all round lens”.
I was actually feeling pretty pleased with myself at this stage. Little did I know what was just around the corner.
First, I made the ‘mistake’ or reading Digital Photography Expert Techniques again! Mistake? Well if I thought it was good the first time around I am now addicted, BUT have come out with more questions that I went in with:
– What Workflow will I realistically adhere to, and indeed what will be best for me?
– What software should I aim for? Realistically how long will I be happy to use GIMP?
– Should I calibrate my screen?
– Flash or not? If so, which one?
– Grey card?
Second, I hit eBay with a vengeance and quickly got extremely confused:
– What is more crucial, the lens or the camera body?
– Should I buy one of the ‘bundled’ deals that look very attractive?
I did manage to work out with the help of Matt and Mike that I should stay away from the bundled offerings, as although the camera bodies were generally what I was looking for, the lenses were older and inferior. I had already worked out that whilst 2 extra tripods would be useful they weren’t essential. I had also dismissed the idea of buying a body only and using the old SLR lenses that I had. Not just because their effectiveness would be reduced by 1/3rd i.e. a 300 mm would effectively be a 200 mm, but because auto focus wouldn’t work, along with a number of other features.
Mike reinforced that you should get a camera and a lens of the same brand, and Matt reinforced this adding that in his view (supported by some great articles on Ken Rockwell’s site you should stick with the recognised brands.
So I was looking for a camera body and lens from the same, quality branded, company. I had to be able to shoot in RAW (whatever that is) so that I could make the most of the software that I was going to have to buy at some stage, but that I had absolutely no idea which it would be. Clearer? Marginally I guess!
If I am honest I was down to a Canon or a Nikon. Mike and Matt couldn’t really help here though in that Mike is a Canon man and Matt a Nikon man! I was probably veering more towards a Nikon at this stage, but wasn’t sure if I would look at the D70 and a top of the range lens, or a D80 and a slightly inferior lens. Mike had some good advice – pay top dollar for you main lens and drop down a notch for your secondary lenses, but then again he has spent an insane amount on his equipment.
One thing I was absolutely sure about though was that I really wanted a DSLR more than ever. Yes, I wanted one ‘because’ it was a DSLR, but mainly I wanted one because I really want to embrace the whole art of photography in a big way. Whilst this removed the pressure in one respect – I knew I was doing the right thing in buying one, it increased the pressure in a major way – do I buy something that I can (just about) use now, or I do go up a level (or two) and buy something for the future?
So where am I?
– Body v Lens; which has the priority,
– Body; which one,
– Lens; which one(s),
– Software; not cheap, another nightmare decision looming ahead, and
– Workflow; really not my forte so a huge change required.
I will explore these areas over the coming weeks, in the meantime. MATT ARE YOU THERE??????