first time camera buying advice - please help

Started Nov 18, 2012 | Questions thread
ARShutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 8,959
Slow down

A dSLR is not complex from a user position.  All you have to know is photography, and that takes time, not gimmicks.  What you're asking for is like asking for a calculator that gives you the answers to physics problems, but you don't understand maths and you haven't reviewed the project documentation.  The calculator sure has lots of features, but you won't know what to do with them, and you'll probably get the wrong answer.

Cameras work by adjusting film speed, exposure time, and lens aperture.  The rest is physical positioning, opportunity, and luck.  The best way to start learning is by doing, trying different things based on proper photographic techniques and seeing what happens.  Using Creative Auto is like using an equation solver on a calculator when you don't understand the basis for the input equation.  That will only result in a loss of learning time, and lots of wrong answers.  What you need is an instructor, not a dumb auto-mode.

A camera like the Canon 7D, when used with a fast-aperture lens and an Image Stabilizer, can work well as a point-and-shoot when using its Program mode and when properly programmed to do what you expect.  To do some of the other things you're talking about, and assuming that you're serious about the initial purchase, you should be considering the following lenses:

Canon 16-35 f/2.8

Canon 35 f/1.4

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS

Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6

No, photography doesn't respond to demands to make it lightweight and easy.  Lens glass costs money, and has weight.  Also, don't expect "amazing pictures" until you've put in at least 500 hours of work related to the subject matter you expect to be crazy-amazing.  The camera body can cost as little as £1,000 or more than £3,500.  It's the lenses that cost much more, so choose a lens system carefully before you buy a camera body.

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