Recomendation for my new camera

Started Oct 28, 2003 | Discussions thread
Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 5,934
Re: Recomendation for my new camera


Glad to know you have set your career path early. Here is my experience.

I started photography at 12 with a Rollei TwinReflex (i.e., a camera with TWO lenses, one for viewing and the other for shooting) and used it for many years. Of course, compared with today's any camera, that Rollei is a stone age one. However, I learned a lot from using such a primitive camera. I must set aperture, shutter speed, adjusting for different film speed, and so on. With these skills I became a part-time pro for a long time. So, what is the point? My point is that the camera itself is less important initially. It is a tool for you to learn and to capture your vision. As long as it works fine under most conditions and provides every possible manual control, it is a good one. I always prefer to have a primitive one because I can think, visualize, and reiterate. Thus, even when every one moved to F4, I still used my old trusted F3 and F2AS. When you got some early real assignments, you will start to accumulate more experience and earn some money, and then you will know which systems and lenses will be good for you and your career. The period in which I learned the most is when I must shoot Kadakchome 25 or 64. I must make sure every exposure is right to the point and the composition is good enough to the publisher to use. In this way, I learned to choose lenses, films, aperture/shutter speed, etc so that each slide is nearly what I want, because postprocessing is nearly minimal.

Now get back to your camera selection. I may be an old fashioned person because I learned the whole thing in the old way. I personally would suggest shooting slides for a while. You could buy a used SLR body and a couple of reasonable lenses. This would still keep the cost down below $900. Because shooting slides are so strict with only a little tolerance, I am sure you will learn more fast. Then, when you have accumulated sufficient skills, you might want to go up for DSLR. Of course, you will pay some $$$ for slides and processing. On the other hand, if you make up you mind to ensure every frame is a keeper, you will be very careful and shooting process will be slower, which implies less frames and higher successful rate. In fact, you could use your 4500 as a Polaroid for taking some preshots to compare with your slides. That will easily train your eyes to see things in a more accurate way.

BTW, I am not sure if the 4500 or any similar Coolpix would the best for macro work. My pro-life spent more than 30% in shooting macro, which forced me to use various equipment (e.g., micro lenses, bellows, extension tubes, and teleconverters). One thing for sure is that a SLR or DSLR with a micro lens beats every Coolpix camera in every aspect except for convenience.

Finally, I would suggest to spend more time to think about lighting and learn about color tone (if you like color). Without light, there is no photo. Natural light can force you to think like what Adams did many years ago. On the other hand, artificial light can be controlled by you and provide you more opportunities to do experiments. I would suggest to start with hot-lights rather than flash because hot-lights are continuous. They are also cheaper. For example, a JTL web light costs only about $150 with stand, small softbox and a 250W halogen lamp. The only problem is that its intensity is weak; however, you can easily use your 4500 to do experiment.

Ok, it is my $0.02. Hope the above could provide you with some merit.

Wish you to have a successful career.

Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 User Guide

 Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list:Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list
Olympus D-600L Nikon D7100 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G +2 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow