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Thread: Just bought a new camera - what other equipment do I need?

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    Just bought a new camera - what other equipment do I need?

    Hi everyone,

    New to this photography lark and just bought my first dslr this morning and awaiting delivery of my new toy, Nikon d40 with kit lens.

    So as a complete and total novice to photography in all shapes and forms what else do I need, I've bought memory cards is that all I need to get going or is there anything else I should really purchase now?

    If that's all I need for a start, what would be the progression of equipment to get, is it more lenses, an external flash, tripods, filters? I don't particularly have a type of photography that I pursue myself yet, but in terms the pictures that I see other people take that appeal, I tend to be drawn towards landscapes and cities, I will need to take pictures of family and friends also.

    Help!


    Stuart

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    Re: What else?

    Hi Stuart, welcome to CiC

    I'd have to recommend a tripod to start. Personally I went the route of getting other things first, and I regret it. I constantly found myself mad at the fact I couldn't get a shot, or it came out blury all because I didn't have a tripod. If your camera does not have an onboard flash, I'd recommend picking one up soon as well - especially if you're going to be doing any P&S (point and shoot).

    Once you've used your camera for a bit you'll probebly find you spend most of your time at one extreme or the other of your kit zoom lens. That will help you decide what lenses to invest into. I would have to rate filters lower on the list. I don't personally own any (yet) - but I also havn't found myself in too many situations where I've been disappointed that I didn't own any.

    Start saving some money on the side for some post processing (PP) software. I highly recommend Photoshop CS4 or Photoshop Elements.

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    Re: What else?

    Hi Stuart,
    I would get an extra battery and a flash to start.If you are going to do landscapes you'll need a sturdy tripod.Also a good UV or clear protection filter for your lens.Read the camera manual a couple times to get familiar with the controls and menus.
    As Kent said"start saving your money"
    Regards,
    Jim

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    Re: What else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    As Kent said"start saving your money"
    Too late - Colin's here

    Seriously (for just a moment) ...

    Welcome Stuart - great to have you with us

    In all seriousness, the "which bit of kit next" question really depends on what it is that you need to assist you in capturing the shots that you want - and until we both know what that is then it's hard to suggest anything. eg for me a tripod is "Equipment 101" - but someone into street-shooting would probably benefit from quite specific lenses and perhaps a flash.

    For "general photography" (if there is such a thing) I'd suggest the likes of a hotshoe flash - tripod - remote release - UV filter for lens front element protection "sooner rather than later", but ultimately the list can get VERY long.

    Perhaps post some sample images as soon as you can - and give us more of an insite into what you're enjoying shooting - and we'll try to help from there.

    Also - what software are you using for post-processing, and what photography/processing books have you invested in?

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    Re: What else?

    Thanks for your responses guys,

    I'll get on with some research re: the tripods, flashes and filters any suggestions though. I assume none of them are imperative to get immediately.

    Regards

    Stuart

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    Re: What else?

    Colin,

    Thanks for the response, will try and sort the pictures out once the new arrival is here. As for post processing software I will probably pick up adobe cs4 through my course as I can get some great discounts through my college and I need some of the other applications for my course anyway. With regards to books my current plan was to rock into the college library and take a look at various books there to see if I can find an author that speaks my language if you know what I mean! However, if there are any authors/books that you can recommend than please go ahead.

    Thanks

    Stuart

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    Re: What else?

    Hi Stuart,

    CS4 is the perfect way to go - it's the most powerful software on the planet for this kind of thing - but even more importantly - it has the largest support infrastructure (book / videos / usergroups).

    In terms of books, there are a couple of sets that I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE you'll get your money's worth out of in the very first week (seriously - if you get these and think that they're not incredibly useful, I'll buy them from you for what you paid for them) (and no, I'm not on commission!) ("darn" it!).

    The first is actually a boxed set of 3 books from Scott Kelby. If you haven't heard of Scott then I can tell you that he's a goofball - nice guy - a one-man "tour-de-force" in time management - and also the worlds most published author across ALL technical disciplines (along with being a photoshop & photography guru).

    The second should be - in my opinion - somethng that Adobe should include with every copy of CS4 (also from Scott).

    You can also read more about Scott here (and he also has quite a few clips on youtube).
    Oh - and also one of his companies that provides Photoshop training (that's also good - I subscribe to it)

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    Re: What else?

    Hi,

    How about taking a 101 digital photography class at your local college? Students can get discounts on editing software as well as computer related needs including hardware. Saving you some money since Adobe Ps isn't cheap.

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    Re: What else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    Hi,

    How about taking a 101 digital photography class at your local college? Students can get discounts on editing software as well as computer related needs including hardware. Saving you some money since Adobe Ps isn't cheap.
    I think he is
    I will probably pick up adobe cs4 through my course as I can get some great discounts through my college and I need some of the other applications for my course anyway.

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    Re: What else?

    Colin,

    Thanks for the recommendations, I'll certainly seek out those books you recommended and have a read.

    Amberglass

    As KentDub has said I'm already on a college course that qualifies me for the student discount from Adobe, but more from the Dreamweaver/Web Development side of things, so I'll certainly be looking into a photography course down the line when funds and time allow. For the meantime however, I'll have to rely on the books, youtube and this forum.

    Regards

    Stuart

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    Re: What else?

    Stuart, just be aware that when you purchase a Adobe "creative suite", you can not upgrade individually on the creative apps. You will need to upgrade the "entire suite" all at once. Something Adobe neglected to tell a lot of first time consumers.

    A great YouTube tutorial is Nikon Help Hotline to show you your way around your camera's features btw.

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    Re: What else?

    Amberglass,

    The student edition that I would be eligible to get you're not allowed to upgrade anyway. There is an upgradeable education version as well but the funds won't stretch to that anyhow. My current line of thinking was to use my cousin's computer short term, as if Adobe stick to their normal timescale for releasing new software CS5 or whatever it will be called should be released around April/May so I'll wait for that before using the student discount.

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    Re: What else?

    I'm not sure if your have an Apple store near you, but if you show your ID at time of purchase; you can get the full non-student version (at student discount) that you can later upgrade when the time comes.

    Another thought, I would suggest that you focus more on learning to master your basics and fundamentals of photography first. I'm more of a traditionalist photographer since I originally started film for decades. I myself very rarely go into Ps or Ps my images. I use Lr (lightroom) or Aperture on my mac along with some basic plug in actions. For some photographers like myself, it's all you will need. But workflow is a necessary evil in photography.

    One of the biggest advantages to digital photography is that you can pick it up fast. But keep in mind that a bad picture, or composition, will always look bad/off no matter how much Ps you do. As you learn more, you should rely more on your skills and abilities "in camera" and while you're on site than hope for the best in post with Ps.

  14. #14

    Re: What else?

    Hi Stuart

    "as a complete and total novice to photography... what else do I need?"

    Patience - bucket-loads of patience, and a damn good sense of humour.

    Well, unlike the other suggestions, they are at least gratis. :-)


    cheers
    B

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    Re: What else?

    Amberglass,

    Thanks for the tip re: the Apple Store will seek them out when the time comes.

    Bunter,

    Cheers for the comments think I have those covered for now, except for when I'm waiting for my camera to be delivered!

    Regards

    Stuart

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    Re: What else?

    I was recently in Boston for a meeting and went to take some pictures of "Old Ironsides." When I got may camera out, the UV filter was cracked. I have been putting UV or 1A filters on all my lenses for years to protect the front element and it finally paid off. The camera was wrapped in a large Calumet lens wrap -- I love those things -- and inside a back pack that has been a lot of places with no previous damage to any of its contents. It was hand carried onto the plane as always. I recall now that the backpack was emptied for security at the local airport, so maybe it happened then.

    My advice: Get a filter on the front of the lens and don't let Homeland Security check your stuff outside your presence.

    The tripod is a great idea but it sometimes gets a thorough going over by the same group and that means they are going to go through your bag while you are trying put your shoes on.

    Be patient with your new camera. There is a learning curve with any new equipment. Photography has been a life long -- since high school -- hobby for me and I would not go back and change a thing.

    Have fun!

    BillTexas.

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    Re: What else?

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTexas View Post
    don't let Homeland Security check your stuff outside your presence.
    Do you get any say in the matter?

    I had a bit of "fun" with our local airport security a few years ago ...

    ... I ended up having to go through security for a domestic flight (normally not required but as luck would have it the aircraft was departing from a gate that necessitated a trip through security). I usually carry a Swiss army knife on my belt - and (somewhat predictably) it was a "big problem".

    The irony is that on my flight TO this domestic terminal I flew up in the cockpit with the flight crew, complete with Swiss army knife still on trousers.

    Chances of being allowed to carry it on board in light of this? Zero.

    Ironically, they changed the regs at a later stage and since the blade length is under the maximum, they're now allowed!

  18. #18

    Re: What else?

    If you do end up buying CS4, you might also want to look at Martin Evening's book. I would seriously suggest getting to a store with both his book and Scott Kelby's and comparing them to see which you prefer. I did that, and I'm glad I did because while I know that Kelby's books are very highly thought of, personally I find his style of writing a bit grating after a while and prefer Eveving's drier approach for repeated readings

  19. #19

    Re: What else?

    Your story made me smile, Colin. Last year I few to Mexico from the UK via Miami (daft idea, will never do that again even if it means booking a direct flight wth Virgin! )

    My camera backpack went through security at Heathrow & Miami on the way out, no problem. However, on the return trip - with exactly the same contents - the chap on the xray machine at Cancun picked up the small screwdriver came with my Lee filter holder, and which I'd completely forgotten was in there. Makes one wonder, doesn't it?

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    Re: What else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubeedy View Post
    So as a complete and total novice to photography in all shapes and forms what else do I need
    Hi Stuart.

    [me too novice ]

    just take some snaps, post those here & get experts comments. those will definitely help u a lot.

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