A note to beginners

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Marty4650
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Klaus... my notes to beginners
In reply to Klaus dk, 4 months ago

Klaus, everything you said was true. But I want to approach it from another angle.

So here are my notes to beginners.

  • Not to be unfriendly, but I still think it needs to be said, I wish you would read and research the forum before you post the same question that was answered 2,000 times before you ask it. 
  • Please remember if you ask very vague and general questions, you will get very vague and general replies. Be as specific as you possibly can be. If you are asking for a camera or lens recommendation, then please tell us your intended purpose, your skill level, and your budget. If you have size and weight preferences, then state them.
  • Also remember that all this camera gear stuff works, and it all works pretty well. So very often it just comes down to personal preferences. Do you really want to spend your money based on my personal preferences?
  • Some very amazing photos have been taken with some very modest cameras. And some very crappy ones were taken with high end expensive stuff. The lesson from this is that gear choices are less important than understanding composition, selecting interesting subject matter, and getting proper exposures.
  • I realize that when you spend a lot of money, you want to be certain about what you are buying. But also understand these are technology devices and are not designed to be used for 30 years. It's not like buying a piano or a sofa. You are buying something that you will probably replace in 3 to 5 years. This means... don't spend more than you have to, and don't try to start at the top.
  • Also consider buying used gear. Since so many people upgrade frequently there are plenty of "last year's cameras" for sale at bargain prices. And they are barely used. There is something really odd about camera geeks. They have absolutely no problem with buying a used home, a used car, or marrying someone who was married before.... but they have a neurotic fear of buying a camera that was touched by another human being before they broke the seal on the box. Go figure. Don't be one of those guys.
  • Don't obsess over specs and test results. Sometimes the differences only matter when you are making huge prints, which is something hardly anyone does any more. The truth is, the differences between ergonomics are more important than minor differences in specs. If you don't enjoy using a camera, you will use it less, so make sure you select something that is right for you. Not something that is right for me.
  • Always remember this is a hobby, and it supposed to be enjoyable. If you make it into work, you will start wondering why you aren't getting paid. Shoot for the fun of it.
  • It really helps if you put your question in the right forum. That way, you will be more likely to get a good reply. Even though this is the "Beginner's Forum" if you are a beginner who has a question about a Nikon lens, then you will probably get more replies if you ask it in the Nikon Lens Forum. You will also get better replies.
  • Don't be afraid to post photos and ask for constructive criticism. You can learn a lot from other shooters. And don't get upset if a few tear you to shreds, because there always are people like that. But fortunately, there aren't very many like that, but it does happen. I helps to have a thick skin!

Good luck!

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Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 +4 more
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