From: bugbear on
Peabody wrote:
> As a hobby, I mean.
>
> I've been doing stuff with a Canon A590IS for a year now, but have
> been thinking about getting into photography more seriously -
> getting a nice camera, etc. My total investment in the A590 setup
> is around $150, including the camera, batteries, charger, SD cards,
> and card reader, and that's using a cheap, wobly tripod I bought
> years ago that really isn't much good.
>
> But serious photography seems to be a really expensive hobby, and I
> would be operating under a limited budget. So I was trying to make
> a list of the things I would need, and would appreciate help putting
> specific numbers on some of these things. Here's my list so far:

What do you want to do that your 590 won't do?

BugBear
From: Peter Huebner on
In article <00ca7bc5$0$23697$c3e8da3(a)news.astraweb.com>,
waybackNO784SPAM44(a)yahoo.com says...
>
> But serious photography seems to be a really expensive hobby, and I
> would be operating under a limited budget. So I was trying to make
> a list of the things I would need, and would appreciate help putting
> specific numbers on some of these things. Here's my list so far:
>

Back in the days (talking about the 60ies and 70ies here) the accepted
strategy was: get the minimalist camera body that will do the job for
you, and buy it new, and then get good 2nd hand glass for it. It's a bit
more work ...
I used to put 2nd hand (from reputable shops) Contax-Zeiss lenses on a
Yashica FR for many years and got excellent image quality. No way would
I have been able to afford those lenses otherwise. Also got a very nice
Yashica zoom ex-demo to fill in some of the gaps.

I bought a middling-high powered Metz flash for my slrs, and the nicads
in it rotted because I totally underused it. Never, ever used it on the
camera that I can remember ... used it with a sync cable in those days
as a fill-in flash, but just not very often. Flashes are useful for
press and wedding photographers ;-) and party snapshots indoors I guess.
As someone said, some halogen lamps, some cardboard to bounce the light
around, even sandwich-wrapping paper on a pine frame to make a diffuser
if you want to do set portraits and stillife, or set up macro.

I know it's easy to get covetous, with all that shiny sparkly stuff out
there, but it's better to wait and see what you really *need* once you
get shooting. Too easy to waste money on *want*. (the voice of
experience, I seem to have some magpie genes also). I find I almost
exclusively use tele and macro for instance, there's no way I could
honestly justify the purchase of a high quality super wide angle lens.

If you're going to be taking shots of/through glass and around water or
ice, consider getting a rotating pol filter.

h.t.h., -P.
From: Chris Malcolm on
Peabody <waybackNO784SPAM44(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
> As a hobby, I mean.

> I've been doing stuff with a Canon A590IS for a year now, but have
> been thinking about getting into photography more seriously -
> getting a nice camera, etc. My total investment in the A590 setup
> is around $150, including the camera, batteries, charger, SD cards,
> and card reader, and that's using a cheap, wobly tripod I bought
> years ago that really isn't much good.

> But serious photography seems to be a really expensive hobby, and I
> would be operating under a limited budget. So I was trying to make
> a list of the things I would need, and would appreciate help putting
> specific numbers on some of these things. Here's my list so far:

> Canon XSi with 18-55mm IS kit lens - $560
> 50mm 1.8 lens - $100
> other lenses
> filters
> lens hood
> extra battery
> SD cards
> camera bag
> tripod
> off-camera flash, lights, other lighting equipment
> software - raw processing and general editing
> software - HDR, pano
> books?

> I guess one way to keep the cost down would be to just fart off the
> entire flash/lighting category, and stick with available light.

> Also, there's the issue of software. Everybody talks about
> Photoshop, but I wonder if there might be freeware that would let me
> process raw images well enough and do the occasional HDR or pano
> pic.

> If it matters, I probably wouldn't be doing weddings, wildlife, or
> sports, but pretty much anything else.

> Well, I'd appreciate help on filling in what things are likely to
> cost, and what things I need to add. Kinda hoping to stay under
> $1000, but that may be unrealistic if I have to buy software.

You can do everything with free software, but to do everything
Photoshop does you'll need to do some learning and research and use
more than one program. With respect to free software I'd start with
the very simplest, and then when you find you need to do more, find
out what extra you need.

The latest Picasa, free from Google, can be used purely as an editor
if you ignore all the webby stuff it does. It offers a very simple
beginner's editor with a very simple intuitive interface. It's limited
in what it can do of course, but what it does do it does very well at
extremely high image quality. It even does a rather good job of
automatically converting most camera RAW files.

You have a Canon A590IS, which is pretty good, and say you want to get
more serious about photography and get a nice camera, specifying a
DSLR. But your A590IS is pretty good, and you might find that under
good lighting conditions your chosen entry level DSLR and kit lens
wasn't as good. That would be pretty disappointing, and possibly very
annoying considering how much it had cost you.

Don't be too surprised. Good P&S cameras are better -- in good
lighting conditions -- than cheap DSLRS, even though the DSLRs are
much more expensive. The reason is usually that the kit lens that's
packaged with the DSLR isn't up to the optical quality of the P&S,
especially if, like yours, it was a low range zoom designed to
maximise optical image quality.

So I suggest you first try and take your A590 seriously. Find out how
to get the best possible images from it. In doing that you will
discover two things. You will acquire a benchmark and understanding of
image quality which you know your next camera and lens must
exceed. That will probably mean avoiding the package deal with the kit
lens, and going for a selection of better lenses. You will also have
found out what the most annoying limitations of the A590. That will
enable you to make a much better purchase lenses etc to go with your
next camera.

--
Chris Malcolm



From: Floyd L. Davidson on
Peabody <waybackNO784SPAM44(a)yahoo.com> wrote:
>As a hobby, I mean.

It's like any other complex endeavor (kids, dogs,
airplanes, racing cars, yachts, pianos, violins,
photography, whatever)... if you do it "right", it
takes all of your money and all of your time.

>I've been doing stuff with a Canon A590IS for a year now, but have
>been thinking about getting into photography more seriously -
>getting a nice camera, etc. My total investment in the A590 setup
>is around $150, including the camera, batteries, charger, SD cards,
>and card reader, and that's using a cheap, wobly tripod I bought
>years ago that really isn't much good.

Okay, that makes sense. But you don't seem to have
asked yourself the right question, which is what
*exactly* do you want to do? You seem to be looking at
trying to do everything... but without considering that
your budget simply won't stretch far enough to do
_anything_ right if you try for all of it at once.

Figure out what you *most* want to do *now*, and work on
a *good* set of tools for that. In a year or so, more
or less, you'll perhaps be ready to move on to some new
area... worry about that when you get there!

>But serious photography seems to be a really expensive hobby, and I
>would be operating under a limited budget. So I was trying to make
>a list of the things I would need, and would appreciate help putting
>specific numbers on some of these things. Here's my list so far:
>
>Canon XSi with 18-55mm IS kit lens - $560

Why?

>50mm 1.8 lens - $100

Why?

>other lenses

Which ones? And for each lens, why that one?

>filters

Why?

....

>I guess one way to keep the cost down would be to just fart off the
>entire flash/lighting category, and stick with available light.

You don't *need* most of the things you listed. I don't
know if you need a flash, because I have no idea what
you'd do with it!

>Also, there's the issue of software. Everybody talks about
>Photoshop, but I wonder if there might be freeware that would let me
>process raw images well enough and do the occasional HDR or pano
>pic.

GIMP and UFRAW.

>If it matters, I probably wouldn't be doing weddings, wildlife, or
>sports, but pretty much anything else.

"Anything else" is not the way to decide. Pick out
something, and go for it. Portraits and/or "people
pictures", landscapes, macro, technical, fine art,
trees, snakes, girls, boys, whatever.

>Well, I'd appreciate help on filling in what things are likely to
>cost, and what things I need to add. Kinda hoping to stay under
>$1000, but that may be unrealistic if I have to buy software.

The first thing you had on your list was a camera, and I
would suggest that after you've decided what you'll be
doing that choosing a line of lenses would be a better
starting point for equipment. Then choose the camera to
go with them.

On a budget, Canon isn't the right direction for lenses.
Consider Pentax and Nikon, where there is a simply huge
variety of great optics available at low prices because
they are used and old and they are missing all the
frills (like auto focus and stabilization) that cost big
money.

Rethink your priorities, make some choices, and then post
again!


--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) floyd(a)apaflo.com
From: Alex Monro on
bugbear wrote:

> BD wrote:
>> Software - check out GIMP. It won't open the RAW files from the camera
>> by default, but you should be able to dig up some mechanism for
>> converting to TIF and then opening in GIMP.
>
> Gimp will open raw "native" if you add the (free) UFram plugin.
>
That's UFraw.

http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/

The GIMP is a very capable image editor, but it does take a bit of effort
to get the most from it - tutorials are available on-line.

http://www.gimp.org/

Another free image editor / RAW converter is RAWtherapee:

http://www.rawtherapee.com/