I am an amateur, and want to buy my first digital camera for stills and video, where should I begin?

Started Dec 24, 2012 | Questions thread
photosen Veteran Member • Posts: 5,600
A few tips

1. Learn photo techniques. To do this see which subjects and occasions would let you shoot more, then choose a lens and camera combination and practice a lot (daily if possible). Use manual modes instead of automatic modes. The usual route is a "beginner" camera with an 18-55 lens or a fixed 50mm(ish) prime. Try to spend more time shooting than fiddling on the computer. This step will tell you if this hobby is for you or not, without breaking the bank.

2. With that knowledge, decide which subjects interest you more, which focal lengths you need for those and which lenses cover those. You will be somewhat limited by the brand you chose in step 1, as some brands have better lens offerings at your budget. Practice some more. This will tell you if you've married the brand or if you're into hoarding gear instead of into taking photos.

3. Take photos of the subjects that interest you more with the right technique and lenses; your goal would be for photos that say something, not photos that are merely technically right. See if post processing helps you get more out of the pictures. This separates the photo technician and the pixel peeper from the photographer. A pro photographer is able to overcome the additional hurdle which is performing on demand, while dealing with customers and getting paid.

4. Once you are comfortable with photo, learn about video techniques. This is whole new ball game which involves a story to tell, the advantages and disadvantages of DSLRs with respect to video cameras, getting the audio right and heavy duty post processing...

 photosen's gear list:photosen's gear list
Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 35mm F2.0 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM +3 more
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