Gut Rumbles

January 17, 2006

cool shot

I've always wanted to try my hand at serious photography. I think I have the eye for it, but a good camera is just too damned complicated for me to operate. Go beyond "point and click," and you've lost me.

Years ago, I owned a good 35mm Olympus but it was a bitch to use because by the time I set the f-stop, focused the lens and did all the other technical shit I had to do to take a picture, I had either missed the shot or fucked it up. When a thief broke into my house and stole that camera (among other things), I secretly was delighted to exchange the camera for the insurance money I received.

But if I HAD a good camera and I COULD operate it, I probably would take pictures like this one. Pretty cool, huh?


The new digitals are just about sucker proof. The one I bought last summer does pretty good and I know nothing about cameras-as you write;just point and click. What I like about the digital is that not only can I see immediately what I have taken but I can also touch it up once I put in in the computer. And the whole set up including the soft ware cost less than a good 35 MM used to cost.

Posted by: GUYK on January 17, 2006 10:24 PM

As long as you get a camera that has interchangeable lenses Guy is right. You can't screw them up! I need to do this, too.

Posted by: Velociman on January 17, 2006 10:28 PM

Get yourself to and go through their selection. There, or

If you don't wanna learn all the f-stops 'n stuff, stay away from digital SLRs.

My recommendation is Minolta. I have the DiMAGE Z1. I LOVE it. It's been dropped several times and still works. Get the Z3. It comes with pretty good software too.

AVOID DIGITAL ZOOM AT ALL COSTS!! Optical zoom is MUCH better. The Z3 has 12x optical. All you'll ever need.

Then invest in the biggest memory card you can get, along with a card reader. A tripod's not a bad idea either.

The best way to get good at taking pictures is to take LOTS of 'em. That's one of the reasons I say get the biggest card you can. Mine holds up to 5000-some shots depending on the settings.

Myself, I'm thinking of taking the step up to DSLR.

Posted by: The Partsguy on January 18, 2006 12:50 AM

Rob...the Parts guy is right. The more you take...the better they get. I started taking sports pics of my kids in basketball the beginning of my oldest daughters freshmen year. 45,000 pics later I've gotten pretty good. I wore out a Sony Mavica 350...and recently bought a Sony DSC F828. Fixed lens but "smart zooms" in optical to 8X, shooting a 5 Meg pic. The key is to ask yourself what you want the camera for? Taking sports pics is different than taking pictures of people at a party for example....OK...depending on the may not be that different LOL. A great place to research cameras is in the following Everything you wanted to know about just about every camera on the market. The reason I started the pics for sports is...It's what I give my daughters and their friends for High School Graduation. You might consider starting something like this for your boy. You won't regret it. Any questions...e-mail me at my e-mail address.

Posted by: No Mo on January 18, 2006 01:26 AM

I have a couple of digital cameras and some old 35mm, i recently went back to 35mm. I like shooting black and white when i get the photo bug up my ass. The old nikkon and cannon are old friends and I know what I am getting. Digitial is fine but I have a hard time composing through those lens.

Posted by: jamesoldguy on January 18, 2006 09:36 AM

I'm a professional photographer with work in many major museums, on sale on cards at Barnes and Noble, et, et.
I'm using a Nikon Coolpix 8800 currently. I rarely use my film cameras anymore.
NIKON, by the way, just announced they are ceaing sales of most film cameras.
Get at least a five megapixel camera with 10X OPTICAL zoom. Ignore the digital zoom. It just enlarges the pixels.
I'd educate myself on
Get five memory cards, minimum. You can live without first. There are plenty of editing programs around. Epson makes the best printers. HP is second, Canon third.

Posted by: robert on January 18, 2006 09:57 AM

I have been an amateur photographer for over 30 years. There are some things I want to say to you.

First, it's the photographer that makes the picture, not the camera. Some very, very good shots have come out of the simplest cameras and a lot of junk comes out of the most expensive. Which leads me to my second point.

The Parts Guy and No Mo and others are absolutely correct. Whatever camera you finally choose, take lots and lots of pictures. Take pictures of everything. The more you take, the better you get at it. And don't get discouraged when most of what you take are dissapointing. The truth of the matter is that most of your pictures will suck. But that's okay because most of mine suck too. Indeed, most of what Ansel Adams shot sucked too - he said so himself. But - out of say, 200 photos shot, I will have at least 5 good keepers and usually at least one really great one that gets the 8x10 enlargement and a matted frame hanging on the wall.

Okay, two other minor points...

I LOVE digital. I bought my first digital camera back in 2000 and haven't looked back. Indeed, I have almost completely abandoned film. With the latest photo software on the computer, and today's photo printers I can produce a high-quality, frameable print at a fraction of the cost and hassle of film. Please don't misunderstand - there are still photography techniques that absolutely require film - large format portraiture for example. But for the non-professional, I wouldn't bother.

And to Chablis... Hock the kids, mortgage the house and get thee over to the camera store and get yourself that Nikon D-70 (or D-50). I own the D-70 and love it. If I could post a photo in this comment, I would show you an example. It is a great camera and you will not be disappointed. For those who use the Canon system, the Digital Rebel is just as good.

One really nice thing about the DSLR's is that if you are stepping up from a 35mm film camera and own the corresponding film bodies, the same lenses will work on the digital systems. And that's the thing with DSLR's. Digital bodies will come and go as the technology progresses. But the lens is the heart of the camera. I have lenses that are over 20 years old that will still work on my D-70 - in fully manual mode, of course.


Posted by: Roy on January 18, 2006 10:30 AM

I just point and click. I took some really good pics of you didn't I? You saw my little camera. The one you have is a lot better than mine. Just start using it.

Posted by: livey on January 18, 2006 11:05 AM

I have a NIKON 8700

Love it....8 megapixel, 8x optical zoom. Excellent camera...and I have an Epson printer, great combo for making professional quality photos. I havent used a film camera in YEARS.

Posted by: Ruth on January 18, 2006 11:39 AM

Thanks for the shout, Rob! Much appreciated.

I've emailed you my recommendation as to what sort of camera you may like. Let me know what you think, and let me know what you decide on going with.

Good luck in your quest for a new camera.

Best -

Posted by: Braden on January 18, 2006 05:41 PM
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