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beginner advice

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Posted

I'm looking at getting my first DSLR for Christmas. I'll mainly use it for taking photos of my dogs. Some stills but a lot of action shots of them doing agility. This kind of thing
[IMG]http://www.deertrackers.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/scanned-image.jpg[/IMG]
But obviously it would get used other times, got a couple of weddings next year for example.

I don't want to spend a fortune as I am going to be learning. So it was looking at the entry level canon eos 1100d and nikon D3100. Both as a kit with a 18-55mm lens since it seems like the best deal to get started. I am leaning more towards to nikon. Will either of these be able to replicate that type of photo? I am guessing i'll need a shutter speed of at least 1/500 or 1/1000. Not sure what that means for exposures.

Will that standard lens give enough zoom/detail at a distance of about 10-20m away, or will i need a bigger lens? Maybe something like a 55-200?

I've read getting started stickied tread but that is a lot of information to take in. I just want to get something in my hand and start trying different things 8-)

Also is it worth waiting for the January sales,or will the prices remain constant until the newer models become more widespread?

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Posted

The example photo you posted is probably taken with a longer lens, if you want to take photos at a distance a telephoto would be desirable.

Both of those cameras should be fine, however I'd say the Nikon is slightly better. I'd recommend lenses with stabilization (IS, VR) if you're getting Nikon or Canon which do not have in-body stabilization, I also think you should be fine with 1/160 for your exposures.

What is the total budget you are looking at?

Prices remain fairly consistent until new products are announced (for bodies), lenses usually retain their value much longer.

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Posted

thanks for the advice. probably looking at about

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Posted

I think on a budget you could do well with a canon 55-250mm f4-5.6; it has decent range with IS. Consider picking up a used canon 450d or something similar; I've seen used ones listed for about 200 on amazon uk. although I've never bought a used camera from amazon, so I can't say what the pitfalls may be.

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Posted

Used equipment is always a good idea, you can find good glass fairly cheap on ebay/keh/craigs. Edit: Hmmm though after seeing you're in teh UK, i'm not quite sure about the used market there?

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Posted

While used equipment will allow you to get a better deal, I wouldn't go for a camera body which is too old as ISO noise levels have decreased significantly over the last 3 years or so and the telephotos in your price range are usually f/4.5-5.6 models.

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Posted

I forgot about this thread so thought I would update it. I got the Nikon D3100 with that 18-55mm kit lens. I tried taking some photos with it and failed miserably. Argote's guess of 1/160 shutter speed turned out to be too slow, and all i got was a blurry dog. I needed to get upto 1/300 to get any kind of clear image. However because its been the winter all the shows have been in large barns/equestrian centres, meaning at the aperture that the kit lens had I came out with nearly a black image unless I went right to the top of the IOS range and lost quality. Zoom on it wasn't enough too so I did get a telephoto. I came into a bit money so bought a Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG Macro HSM. So the 2.8 aperture has made a huge difference and I got some great shots, still quite a high IOS though. Ill post one tonight.

I've been looking at a pros website and he puts the details of the pictures on, and in the summer events outdoors he was using a shutter speed at 1/1250 and 1/1400 with an aperture of 4 (ish) and IOS at 400. Cant wait until the Easter weekened which is when the first outdoor event is.

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Posted

see attached photo of a friends dog. Think this one was of the best that I took.

[IMG]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j244/anth_85/603044_10151238871127911_1144470356_n_zps2943cf86.jpg[/IMG]

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Posted

Not bad, really bad perspective though! Post more in the digital gallery thread!

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Posted

[quote name='Draconian Guppy' timestamp='1357930254' post='595447944']
really bad perspective though!
[/quote]

what does that mean?

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Posted

Well see how a green fence and the trainer distract from the subject, in this case, the dog. You need to move around and find better angles. And what focus are you using? AF-S, AF-C, A?

[color=#000000][font=arial, sans-serif][size=4]
[b]AF-C[/b] (AF continuous, sometimes called continuous servo) is good use when photographing moving objects. When your camera is set to[b] AF-C[/b] and you focus on a moving subject, [u]for example a dog running towards you[/u], the focus will stay on the animal so long as your shutter button is held half way down. In other words, the camera will keep re-focusing as the animal moves. That is, so long as you keep your shutter button held half way down.[/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=arial, sans-serif][size=4]
[b]AF-S[/b] (AF single, sometimes called single area AF) mode, is good for photographing subjects that don't move, such as flowers or portraits etc. It locks the focus on the non moving object that you want to photograph. You can then recompose the shot and take the photograph.[/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=arial, sans-serif][size=4]
[b]AF-A [/b]is where the camera selects and goes between the last two modes. If it thinks the subject you are photographing is stationary, then it will automatically use [b]AF-S[/b]focus mode. If it picks up that the subject you're photographing is a moving subject, then it will automatically use [b]AF-C[/b] focus mode. This is also the default camera focus mode, unless you change the setting to [b]AF-C[/b] or [b]AF-S[/b].[/size][/font][/color]


http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules

Also, don't be afraid to use high ISO, you can remove some noise with post processing.

quick google search as an example:

[img]http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/dog-show-5.jpg[/img]
[img]http://ph.cdn.photos.upi.com/es_pv/upi_es/6cd9517c21f3cdf3c4fd784c131febff/El-136o-anual-de-Westminster-Dog-Show-Club-se-celebrar%C3%A1-en-Nueva-York.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.houstonpettalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Dog-Show-2009-29.jpg[/img]


This last one was taken by a Canon 5D Mark II ( and probably better lens) and notice the dogs face is completely isn't completely sharp.

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Posted

ah right I'm with you, I tried to position myself so I could be in the best position to get 3 or 4 different shots per run. Might have been better to select one single shot to aim for.

I was using AF-A, I was focusing on the jump bar or the weave poles, and waiting for the dog to go to it and firing the. Would it be better to use AF-C and following the dog through?

I think this is better
[IMG]http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j244/anth_85/DSC_1763_zps0f518b45.jpg[/IMG]

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Posted

That's a better shot, though look at the botom legs how they appear to be the same distance as part of the fence, though, i'm nitpicking :p you could remove some of the noise in post processing for a cleaner shot.

AF-A does it good job, though it often hunts when deciding whether to switch to C or S. If your subjects is continuously on the move, you will be better off with AF-C. What you did was basically cheat the focusing system, which is perfectly fine, but then the camera metered for the white in the post and not the dogs white coat. You could also try exposure like (AE) Button if I recall correctly for same cases.

Don't get me wrong, your photos are pretty good, just pointing out some improvements.

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Posted

for that kinda lighting and venue, u probbaly reallly need a 80 1.8 or a 135 f2.

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Posted

[quote name='Draconian Guppy' timestamp='1357935417' post='595448162']
Well see how a green fence and the trainer distract from the subject, in this case, the dog. You need to move around and find better angles. And what focus are you using? AF-S, AF-C, A?


[color=#000000][font=arial, sans-serif][size=4][b]AF-C[/b] (AF continuous, sometimes called continuous servo) is good use when photographing moving objects. When your camera is set to[b] AF-C[/b] and you focus on a moving subject, [u]for example a dog running towards you[/u], the focus will stay on the animal so long as your shutter button is held half way down. In other words, the camera will keep re-focusing as the animal moves. That is, so long as you keep your shutter button held half way down.[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=arial, sans-serif][size=4][b]AF-S[/b] (AF single, sometimes called single area AF) mode, is good for photographing subjects that don't move, such as flowers or portraits etc. It locks the focus on the non moving object that you want to photograph. You can then recompose the shot and take the photograph.[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=arial, sans-serif][size=4][b]AF-A [/b]is where the camera selects and goes between the last two modes. If it thinks the subject you are photographing is stationary, then it will automatically use [b]AF-S[/b]focus mode. If it picks up that the subject you're photographing is a moving subject, then it will automatically use [b]AF-C[/b] focus mode. This is also the default camera focus mode, unless you change the setting to [b]AF-C[/b] or [b]AF-S[/b].[/size][/font][/color]


[url="http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules"]http://www.photograp...mposition-rules[/url]

Also, don't be afraid to use high ISO, you can remove some noise with post processing.

quick google search as an example:

[img]http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/dog-show-5.jpg[/img]
[img]http://ph.cdn.photos.upi.com/es_pv/upi_es/6cd9517c21f3cdf3c4fd784c131febff/El-136o-anual-de-Westminster-Dog-Show-Club-se-celebrar%C3%A1-en-Nueva-York.jpg[/img]




This last one was taken by a Canon 5D Mark II ( and probably better lens) and notice the dogs face is completely isn't completely sharp.
[/quote]

How do you create the DOF effect / blurred background?

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Posted

[quote name='Detection' timestamp='1358614258' post='595464364']
How do you create the DOF effect / blurred background?
[/quote]

Narrow DOF is the result of 4 factors: Aperture, Focal Length, Sensor Size and Distance to subject. Those seem to be long lenses with wide apertures at medium distance with a DSLR (probably APS-C sensor).
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