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Thread: Starting photography as a hobby

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    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Starting photography as a hobby

    Not completely new to DSLR's, but haven't owned one before. I would love to get into photography, have a real interest in it, but after reading up on entry/mid level DSLR's, there's a LOT out there and it's all a bit confusing for a newbie.

    So, if you were to recommend a DSLR to a friend who had a budget of ~£500 (give or take a few), what would you suggest? I have no brand preferences and would like to try my hand at different types of photography, nature, water (I live by the sea), macro, people, urban, etc. Don't think I'd have the need to do much photography at night though, but getting the odd shot of Brighton Pier at night with it's lights would be awesome if I could.

    Any tips/advice is also welcome.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Doesn't matter what you pick

    ALL DSLRs from the last 5+ years are capable of taking amazing pictures. ALL will have the semi-manual modes that you need to learn with.

    So basically, get the cheapest body you can find that you find comfortable in your hands. Pick up a standard zoom lens (ie kit lens) for now while you learn, and save the rest of the budget for more lenses down the line when you better know which direction you want to grow in.

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    What Kalniel said,but don't just look at Nikon and Canon. I would also suggest you have a look at the Pentax since their dSLRs tend to have weatherproofing and glass pentaprisms in the whole range,which are far brighter in low light than the pentamirrors used by others in your price bracket.

    I would use this website as it is an easy way to scan for camera prices:

    http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/

    You can get this Pentax K50 hit with two lenses which have weatherproofing for under £500:

    http://www.srsmicrosystems.co.uk/pen...ses-black.html

    AP gave it 5/5 when they reviewed it:

    http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk...ax-k-50-review

    A few other reviews:

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/cam...1221188/review
    https://www.ephotozine.com/article/p...r-review-22468

    It was a £500+ camera when launched.

    It is getting a bit old now - so if doing high speed photography and video,Nikon and Canon will have the edge. However,in terms of build quality and viewfinder quality their similar priced cameras are not a patch.

    The K50 can also take AA batteries with an adaptor too. It really is an ideal budget travel camera.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-06-2016 at 11:27 AM.


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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    That Pentax K-50 does look nice, and being near the sea and with British weather being the way it is, "weather-proof" might be a good idea. I know my Mum struggles to take pictures when it is raining.

    I guess I could pop down to my local Jessops and have a little play with it, see how it feels.

    On a side note, that Amateur Photographer site looks really good, know any others I should bookmark to read? Or magazines, in the digital age they seem a little redundant, but it's sometimes nice to sit back and chill with a magazine rather than a screen.

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Also,here is the newer KS2:

    http://www.srsmicrosystems.co.uk/bla...wr-lenses.html

    AFAIK,the AF and video abilities are improved and it has a fold-out screen. It is a smaller camera than the K50 so you cannot use the AA battery adaptor.

    BTW,note that many retailers push for Canon and Nikon due to making more money with them.

    Regarding review sites:
    1.)DPReview - owned by Amazon now but seems to still be relatively impartial and is one of the older camera review websites

    http://www.dpreview.com/

    2.)Amateur Photographer - originally a print magazine only which has been running for over 50 years

    http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/

    3.)The Imaging Resource! This also has been around for quite a while

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/

    4.)ePHOTOzine - a newer site but still not too bad

    https://www.ephotozine.com/

    5.)Camera Labs - a newer site and is a one man band but pretty decent

    http://www.cameralabs.com/

    6.)photozone.de - a German lens review site and they have very high standards

    http://www.photozone.de/all-tests

    7.)What Digital Camera? Website of the print magazine

    http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/


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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    National Geographic

    I find photography magazines tend to be a bit pushy towards getting this years model of camera etc. but if you ignore the camera reviews I guess there may be some good tutorials.

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Wow, nice list, thanks!

    Regarding the K-S2, looks like nice but this line is a little concerning:

    ...unlike most other brands there’s no way to switch off the manual focus wheel on the lens...
    Would that cause an issue for beginners like me?

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    National Geographic

    I find photography magazines tend to be a bit pushy towards getting this years model of camera etc. but if you ignore the camera reviews I guess there may be some good tutorials.
    Owned by Rupert Murdoch now who fired a lot of the older people!!

    One of the best Photography magazines out there - not really sure where it is heading now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Wow, nice list, thanks!

    Regarding the K-S2, looks like nice but this line is a little concerning:



    Would that cause an issue for beginners like me?
    Nope - I have a Nikon D600 and most of my older lenses,don't have a switch so I use the one on the body.

    Plus you are unlikely to use manual focus unless you have very good eye sight - older cameras had focussing screens and it is not the same as the focus confirmation.

    Second Edit!!

    This looks a bargain:

    http://www.castlecameras.co.uk/penta...-18-55-wr-lens

    OK,you miss out on the tele lense,but the K5 II was the top end semi-professional Pentax dSLR three years ago. Not the best for video but has the build of much more expensive cameras.

    It is built like a tank.

    TheAnimus used his K5 in Africa and Kushtibari used his up north in the wet,and the latter won awards for his work using the camera.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 04-06-2016 at 12:37 PM.


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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Very nice, but pushing a bit with £500 and only one lens. I like the K-50 bundle with 18-55mm and 50-200mm weather resistant Pentax lenses, all together cheaper than budget and a little room for the other bits (bag, card, etc).

    Just noticed, Jessops do a 55-300mm lens in their "exclusive" deal for an extra £30 over the first SRS link you posted. The 200mm version is £199 and the 300mm version is £257 on Amazon. I guess that is well worth the extra?

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    The 55-300MM will have extra reach so is probably worth the extra £30. It is a screw lens(so uses the camera body to AF),so can be a little slower for fast stuff like aircraft.


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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Nobody seems to have mentioned buying used yet, especially if you're just starting out and likely to buy more specialised kit once you find your niche.

    I've had good experiences with both SRS and Wex, both offer a 1 year warranty as standard unless otherwise stated.

    SRS have a K5 body for £249, K5 II body for £349
    Wex have a K30 body for £251.
    You're then free to pick and choose lenses.

    Of course you don't have to go with Pentax either, I've just posted those as a comparison to other Pentax posts.
    Last edited by Bagnaj97; 04-06-2016 at 04:15 PM.

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by Bagnaj97 View Post
    Nobody seems to have mentioned buying used yet,
    I think used falls under 'cheapest you can find', particularly along with my last 5+ years qualifier

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    I guess I could pop down to my local Jessops and have a little play with it, see how it feels.
    Pentax are kind of the '3rd' option at best. I don't think Jessops carry them.

    They were late to the digital game. Very late. So they almost died entirely.

    However, Pentax is very innovative, but yet often manages to falter. I should know, I've been using them for the last 8 years, in 4 of their models. If you want video Pentax are the worst in class, if you want photos they are almost always the best at the price point. Their build quality often far exceeds the competition. I've seen a Cannon die in the cold of Iceland. Inside a Jeep. I was outside taking photos of us being stuck, in -god knows what, it was incredibly windy, I couldn't keep my arms still due to the elements, but this photo always makes me laugh to this day, even if the gide was super pissed (we had to get a tow).

    If you want good video, buy Canon, if you want better stills, buy anything BUT Canon. Their focus on that has cost them quality. Ask our resident convert from Canon to Sony, Josh why. You get so much more dynamic range, the ability to really pull back detail, and fix an otherwise flawed photo.

    As you are in Brighton, if you can make it to Watford, I'd highly recommend visiting SRS, the company mentioned a few times already in this thread. The guys there are amazing, they are cheaper often than Amazon, but with good knowledge. They aren't going to sell you the most expensive camera either, I can't speak highly enough of them, they also carry Pentax.

    For magazines... It's hard to recommend them. They are mostly junk. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/ have some excellent tutorials but you simply can't beat practice.
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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus View Post
    Pentax are kind of the '3rd' option at best. I don't think Jessops carry them.
    Yeah they do:
    http://www.jessops.com/cameras/digit...efpath=facet_4

    Another good indie recommendation is London Camera Exchange, who have a couple of franchises outside of London too.

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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Yeah they do:
    http://www.jessops.com/cameras/digit...efpath=facet_4

    Another good indie recommendation is London Camera Exchange, who have a couple of franchises outside of London too.
    The website isn't reflective of their in store offerings.

    I was chatting to a Jessops guy a while ago, before the bankruptcy they were being kept afloat by one specific leading brand. This loan was pulled. A very good camera shop, co-incidentally, had the reciprocal of this offer, that brand rep never gave them the time of day, until Jessops failed. Then they were very keen to sell via them. This is really informal chitter chatter and should be viewed as such!

    The big brands often spend a lot of money helping people discover their brand, this is natural, but the issue is that frankly it's not the best option for many.
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    Re: Starting photography as a hobby

    I don't think Pentax were that late to the game,as you had cameras like the Pentax *ist D in 2003:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxistd/

    https://www.ephotozine.com/article/p...lr-review-4283

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/Pentax...tal-SLR-review

    It was remarkably compact for the time.

    Minolta,Olympus and Sony were somewhat later with viable dSLRs.


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