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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2009, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

I agree.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2009, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

I second (third?) Dan and Tom's advice. You want a store where they actually know something. You will pay a bit more, but call it training expense.

The rules are simple:
  • Camera on a tether? Leave.
  • Any other electronics, other than perhaps pro audio recording equipment? Leave.
  • It's OK if they sell computers, as long as they are extremely high-end Macs for professional use.
Trouble is, real photography equipment stores are dropping like flies. It's very hard for them to keep up with the pace of development (and the capital required for inventory). The stores used to have film sales and developing/printing services to give them some steady cash flow and just as important get you into the store regularly, but it doesn't work like that now. Good stores are getting rare outside of major-major metro areas.

I've gone to a local store, and unfortunately the guy has to try to sell me what he has, which is a tiny fraction of what's available. The nearest store that really impresses me is Samy's in LA, and that's pretty much a full day trip.

I won't pick a salesman's brains and then go buy it cheaper elsewhere--that's stealing. To avoid this situation I avoid talking to salesmen.

Most of the time I study, ask questions, and then buy from B&H. I've gone to classes at Calumet Photo--I paid for those so I'm under no obligation.

Ned
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2009, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NedYoung View Post

I won't pick a salesman's brains and then go buy it cheaper elsewhere--that's stealing. To avoid this situation I avoid talking to salesmen.

Most of the time I study, ask questions, and then buy from B&H. I've gone to classes at Calumet Photo--I paid for those so I'm under no obligation.

I agree, when someone spends time a lot of time with you, it's just not right to buy somewhere else.

I picked my equipment the easy way, I got a lot of good advice from some smart guys at a place called talkFestool, and then bought online.

However, I will admit to a lingering sense of obligation.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2009, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

I had told Dan, but the nearest local camera shop according to Yellowbook, is two states away in Tenn. I think if I actually want to hold one before I buy, I would have to go to CC, just to hold it.

I have really spent alot of time researching though. Of coarse its down to Canon or Nikon, but after visiting Canon's own websight, I was put off by some of the remarks that was being made by users of the cameras in their review. Some had said something about getting black circles around eyes, and Christmas lights.

I realize once I choose a side, I'd probably be committed to that side after purchasing lenses. I'm trying for a pros and cons list, and also trying to evaluate what my needs and future needs will be. I will be asking lots of questions.

It was funny reading the whole thread about the Nikon D700, then Joraft winds up getting one!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

I have to fess up that I bought my Nikon D300 at Circuit City. I did all my research online, mainly comparing the D300 to the new Canon 50D. I read reviews and decided that I should hold each camera to see which one feels better to me. The Nikon felt a little better and, when focusing on stuff in the store, the Nikon focused the first time while the Canon hunted a little before focusing. I decided on the Nikon and Circuit City was offering 0% financing for 24 months, so I bought from them.

Tom.

Oh, interesting story, I drove about 45 minutes to Circuit City and when I got home (about 8:00 pm) I opened the Nikon box and pulled out my new camera. Strange, it felt heavier in the store. I didn't see the function button, the "D300" was a sticker, the white "Nikon" was painted outside the lines and the LCD was about an inch or 1 1/2". Back in the box, back in the truck and a lot of words I can't type here. Got back to the store and the manager replaced it with another (which I asked the box to be opened at the store this time!). I was glad they replaced it without complaint but I didn't expect to see such a horrible knockoff in a Nikon box from such a large chain store.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2009, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by tvgordon View Post

I was glad they replaced it without complaint but I didn't expect to see such a horrible knockoff in a Nikon box from such a large chain store.

Wow, Tom, that is a surprising story. On the Internet, yes, but I would never expect such a "bate and switch" in any local brick & mortar store.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

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Originally Posted by tvgordon View Post
...I was glad they replaced it without complaint but I didn't expect to see such a horrible knockoff in a Nikon box from such a large chain store.
I'm guessing the store had been ripped off by someone returning the junk you got and keeping the real thing. The store probably restocked the junk without examining it as closely as you did, and then it was available for you to buy.

Ned
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

Rob,
This is really a huge subject and the fact that your doing technical research is telling that you are doomed financially. My opinion is that, equipment is not going make you a better photographer, keeping print quality aside. Let's not forget Photography is an art where there are many mediums for expression. I once took a class where the only photo equipment we used were 5$ Holga Cameras. These were medium format cameras with plastic lens, fixed aperature, fix shutter, no flash, notorious for double exposure. Long story short is that I had a ball in that class because my it checked equipment worship at the door. I have had many cameras since and my advice is get the best you can afford. Don't get caught up in the"I'll be complete once I have this or that". I've been there done that and many many dollars later, I've settled on an excellent P&S and Digital SLR. I have liquidated almost all of my film camera except for some classics.

As far as Raw is concerned I for me it's just too cumbersome and painstaking if you are post processing 2000 Disney vacation photos. So, I settled on Fuji SLR's because I could use all my Nikon stuff on a camera that does an excellent post processing job with little to no re-work. I first bought the S1 for 3,500 nine years ago and at the time was blown away by the results in comparison to Nikon's pink skin tones.
The S1 is now a dinosaur and I replaced it with the S3, which I intend on keeping till it dies.
As far as keeping up with the littles one's or old ones for that matter, P&S are difficult to get moving shot because of shutter lag but don't let that alone guide influence your shot taking. In fact you will get far better natural candids with P&S than with SLR's. Big rig SLR's are just too intrusive for candids, hence the rise of the Leica and Nikon Rangefinders. I guess you can paint or tape the SLR black for camoflauge.

I'm guessing you will be working within a certain budget. If you are looking to get into portraits you can take great shots simply with a window tape, card board and white sheets. I have many, many portrait and photo books I would be willing to lend you if you are interested.

One last thing is I can not stress the importance of learning the camera from a technical perspective in relation to aperture, speed, time, focal lengths, etc. Before digital days knowing how to take properly exposed photos was a must with film cost. I remember when doing medium format shots shots really thinking about settings before pulling the trigger.

So as you can see by my post above your in deep doo doo!
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

vteknical,
Great points and I must agree, the camera does not make the Photographer, just like owning a bunch of Festools does not make you a cabinet maker. Aperture, shutter speed, bracketing shots, composition and understanding the way light works are all paramount to getting good pictures. With the advent of digital photography and large media cards it is now cost effective to take many shots of your subject at different settings to try and get the optimum result, the ones you don't want can simply deleted and not cost you anything unlike film photography. Then with "computerized" developing ie: photoshop you have so much control over the image that you never had with film, photoshop is complex beast of a program and a course in the use of it will not be wasted. To summarize, great photos can be taken with a so so camera if you take time with your composition and understand what different apertures and shutter speeds do in relation to depth of fields etc. I myself am just an average photographer and can only speak from my experience but understanding the basics of photography is more important than which dslr camera you use to take the shot.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: could use some more advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinWhite View Post

Great points and I must agree, the camera does not make the Photographer, just like owning a bunch of Festools does not make you a cabinet maker.
Ain't that the truth! All very good points, Victor and Colin.

But on the subject of working with RAW files, I too was not enthusiastic about working with them at first, but I sure am now. Software like Lightroom lets you make all the adjustments you would normally leave to the camera, after the fact, and it gives you as many chances as you need to get it right. About the only mistake it can't help much with is over-exposure, so I always try to err on the side of under-exposure.

And as far as working with a large number files at once, Lightroom makes that a piece of cake.
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