Cameras forum

General discussion

HELP! Its URGENT....Camera buying help

by nickton_shaan / December 28, 2012 2:30 AM PST

I'm good at photography and very familiar with point & shoot cameras. Some of my photographs with point & shoot cameras have been really good.

But now I want to take a step further, and this is where I am confused. My photography basically now will involve portraits and landscapes.

So what I am confused about is that my current budget is upto the price range of the cheapest entry level DSLR cameras (I can spend more, but I really do not want to take the risk as I will not earn anything on it). I have never used any DSLR cameras before and I will be totally new to it (I also cant take photography lessons since I'll have to travel too far for it). I can learn quicky by myself, but is it worth taking the risky giant leap from Auto Point & Shoot to DSLR? Or should jump in for a 'Manual Control point & shoot'?

So in short:
1) I am pretty good at capturing really amazing pictures with point & shoot cameras.
2) Now I want to climb up the ladder and take a step further into clicking better pictures of landscapes & portraits. (Its a hobby, not a profession. But I like my hobby also to be perfect).
3) I have never used a DSLR before.
4) My budget is upto the price range of the cheapest entry level DSLR cameras (I can spend more, but I really do not want to take the risk)

Should I purchase:
1) Entry level DSLR's like Canon Rebel T3/EOS 1100D or Nikon D3100 both with only a 18-55mm starter kit. (Can not invest in further zoom lenses for landscape photography because my budget will not fit)
2) A small photo-studio owner told me that since i have never used a DSLR before, he told me to go in for a Semi-SLR for portrait & landscape photography with long zoom & with "Manual controls" . (What are the benefits and negatives of these Manual Control point & shoot cameras? Can you recommend me any model numbers for these which I can use for Landscape & portrait photography also with "good quality and focused" pictures?)

What should I do? Please read it again if you'r confused like me too! Happy

Post a reply
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: HELP! Its URGENT....Camera buying help
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: HELP! Its URGENT....Camera buying help
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
I own that T3i with the 18-55m lens.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 28, 2012 2:34 AM PST

I can set it in full auto mode and it's no effort to take a picture. About the only setting I change is to flip the lens switch to manual focus. The auto focus is a tad slow for my taste. The T3i starter kit was at today for 600 new.

You'll need some SD card to get going.

I like this model and still shopping around for a better bag for it.

Collapse -
Manual Controls
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / December 28, 2012 7:29 AM PST

The manual controls (all DSLR cameras have them) lets you step outside the box a bit.

The two I use most of all are the Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority.

Just about every photo you take can use several shutter speeds and aperture settings for the same perfect exposure setting.
When in Auto mode the camera always selects something in the middle.
When you are taking action shots you want to favor the faster shutter speeds.
Press the shutter half way down and look in the viewfinder and see what speed the camera chose.
Switch to Shutter Priority and select a faster speed, the camera will automatically select the appropriate aperture setting and will automatically adjust the ISO if necessary.

Adjusting Aperture can give you a shorter/longer depth of field. (area of sharpness).
If you are taking a picture that has something important that is near and far, you want a longer depth of field so that both are in focus.
In Auto mode the camera will select something in the middle.
If that is not good enough, you press the shutter button halfway and see what the camera chose.
Switch to Aperture Priority and then you can use a darker setting which will give a longer depth of field.
Aperture for normal pictures can be from about f/2.8 up to f/16.
The smaller number is a brighter setting, a larger number is a darker setting.
The shutter speed will be selected automatically for a perfect exposure.

If you want to get completely outside the box you can go full manual.
You can select settings that the camera will say is all wrong.
But sometimes you want that setting for a reason.
When in manual mode you can set shutter speed and aperture to anything you want. Take the picture and check the results, if the picture is not what you wanted change the settings and try again.

The DSLR also lets you adjust the place of exposure
In Auto mode it is set to look at the entire area and base the exposure on that, but favor the middle of the scene.
But what if you are in a dark audience watching a play and want a good picture of the stage.
You want the camera to ignore the darkness of the audience and concentrate on getting a good exposure of the stage.
You then set the exposure setting to "spot" or "center" and the camera will base the exposure on the center of the scene.

The camera has so many features that it will take a long time to understand and use them all.
But that is the fun of photography.


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


$16,000 used SUVs

Whether you like your SUVs cute or capable, or some blend of the two, we've got a wide variety of choices in Roadshow's first collection of Editors' Used Picks.