What Lens or Camera to buy, or How To???



As always, feel free to ask any photo related questions in the forum. That said, sometimes you get an answer quicker by just doing a google search. There is tons of photography related information out there. You will probably get it quicker that way, than waiting for people to answer your specific question on any forum.

1. What camera should I buy/ is this camera any good?

It is hard for someone to answer this question without knowing, what you are after in general. This answer can vary depending on what you are looking for in a camera. Are you looking to take photos inside the house, at outdoor sporting events, scenic settings, or portrait type stuff? Do some Internet research for yourself and your options will start to narrow. A good starting point is always:

Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ
Or other sites that you can search through reviews of cameras

Choosing which digital camera to buy - A guide to the best cameras out there - Reviews and comparisons and good deals

2. What settings do you use for xxxx type of pictures?

There are many tutorials and FAQ’s online. These questions can be answered easily by doing a google search for:

“Photographing _________”

Just put what ever you are looking for in the blank. Lightning, Football, Bands, clouds, or what ever you want… it is all out there for your taking, and it’s free.

3. After seeing someone’s really nice pictures…. What camera do you have? Your camera takes really nice pictures. I want the same camera so I can take pictures like that.

The camera is only part of the equation. A professional photographer once told me, “he could shoot a sporting event with a $250 point and shoot, but he just wouldn’t get as many keepers”

The big thing is to learn how your camera works, and how to use what you do have. Once you learn this stuff, you may find you don’t need to spend $1000 on a DSLR, and another $900 on a zoom lens. Plus you will get much better pictures with the camera you have, I guarantee.

Using Your Digital Camera-Contents

How to take good pictures with the camera you have - Illustrated tips and tutorials

4. How do I get my camera to do ______?

The rude answer to this has always been RTFM (read the F’n manual). This is a necessary thing to do, but some manuals don’t always tell you much about how to use the functions available. That is when things like Field Guides for you camera come in handy, or a book like these.

Amazon.com: Using Digital Cameras: A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Image Capture (Practical Photography Books): Joel Butkowski, Andra Van Kempen, Andra Van Kempen: Books

Amazon.com: Basic Digital Photography: A Comprehensive, Step-By-Step Guide to Selecting and Using Digital Cameras, Computers, Scanners, and Software: Ron Eggers: Books

Amazon.com: (The Complete Beginners Guide To) Using a Digital Camera for the First Time: Bill Hall: Books

Don’t forget to check your local library. Remember, it’s free!

5. I want a new lens, what lens should I buy.

Again this all depends on what you are looking to spend and the situation you are shooting. You can really spend more on one lens than on a DSLR itself. The more you spend the more you get….I know DUH! When it comes to camera lenses though this really seems to ring true. You can get a 70-300mm F4-5.6 zoom lens for $150, or a 70-300mm F2.8 for over $1000. You will see that the second lens will take sharper images since it is made of much better glass, it will allow you to shoot in lower light, and hold its resale value for years and years. That said, if you shoot in situations that supply plenty or light, why spend all the money on a F2.8 lens. As stated before you can find a lot of info by looking at reviews on these as well.

Good article:
Digital Camera Lenses - Choosing an Interchangeable Digital SLR Camera Lens | OutdoorPhotographer.com

What lenses for my digital SLR (Canon)

6. My pictures are blurry. Why?

There are many causes for this, but if you learn how a cameras shutter speed and aperture work you can answer your own question most times. Likely candidates are shutter speed is to slow, and your getting a moving targets motion. Second possibility is you are introducing the blur by hand when you press the shutter release. The rule of thumb is you want your shutter speed to be faster than your zoomed in mm. For example, if you were shooting a deer in a field at 300mm zoom, you would need a shutter speed of at least 1/300 of a second or better. If this doesn’t allow you to take a bright enough picture you need to adjust your aperture or ISO to make up for it. See I told you; you needed to learn how a camera works. Lol.

7. My pictures are too dark, why?

Easy answer, you camera isn’t letting enough light in. This is accomplished by using a longer shutter speed (see above ? about blur though), a larger aperture (lower number = larger aperture), or increasing your ISO (tends to make more noise in pictures).

Books like these are great for anyone asking almost all the above questions and many others.

Amazon.com: Using Digital Cameras: A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Image Capture (Practical Photography Books): Joel Butkowski, Andra Van Kempen, Andra Van Kempen: Books

Amazon.com: Basic Digital Photography: A Comprehensive, Step-By-Step Guide to Selecting and Using Digital Cameras, Computers, Scanners, and Software: Ron Eggers: Books

Amazon.com: (The Complete Beginners Guide To) Using a Digital Camera for the First Time: Bill Hall: Books

There is so much info on the Internet about photography, all you have to do is search. You can find good settings for almost any type of shooting, reviews on anything photography related, and tips and hints to make your photographs better.

In a way a camera is like a car, if you don’t know what the buttons or controls do, things are not going to turn out good.

I hope this will help people to find the info they are in search of.
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Great job "j" ----very informative and great advice.....I found on the B and H Photography store site.....there are a gazillion links to different things....also complete(free) PDF's of out of print books.....just google B and H Photography---also a great place to but stuff too....if you ever go to nyc....their store is amazing!
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Found this list of stuff on another site. Very helpful links all around.

List So Far:

Online Shops:
Camera Gear:
Digital cameras, all other cameras and everything photographic from Adorama Camera
B&H Photo Video | Digital Cameras, Camcorders - good camera store
Digital Cameras, Camcorders, Photography Equipment - CALUMET
Helix Camera & Video
KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More. - Good camera store lots of used
J&R: Electronics, Digital Cameras, Computers, Appliances, Software, Video Games, DVDs, CDs .
Welcome to Really Right Stuff - All things tripod. (Good info as well.)
International Camera since 1949 Services other camera shops like keh.
KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More.
Crystal Camera Repair - Home - Ai kits and camera repair.
Online Developers & Printers:
Epson HP Canon Printer Inkjet Photo Papers Ink Cartridges ATLEX.COM - good prices on ink and paper
Bay Photo Lab, ROES, digital prints - they do a great job, standard shipping just $1.50. Great Roes Software (Pano Printing!)
www.elcocolor.com/poster_special.htm - fine poster sized prints, great customer service and fast delivery
ezprints - another good printer with a good pano printer on the pro side.
www.meridianpro.com - The software is easy to use, the prints are fantastic and the prints are usually shipped within 24 hours.
Mpix.com - Home - great printer
www.vistaprint.com - good prices on business cards and the like.
Pro Photo Lab: Photo Prints, Press Printed, Press Books | WHCC - Another great printer. Will press print custom cards in low quantities.
Books and Other Printed Material:
Amherst Media - Publisher of Photography Books - good source for photography books
The Nikon Compendium
Nikon System Handbook
All Things Else:
1stChoiceMemory.com - Computer Memory Upgrade - Laptop Server Notebook Desktop PC RAM - DDR DDR2 DDR3 SDRAM - Memory Configurator - For anyone who wants to upgrade their computer's memory cheaply.
Academic Superstore : Academic Software discounts for students, teachers and schools - Great prices on software if you have a child in school, or if you are an educator.
BocaPhoto.com - We specialize in photographic accessories - great source for all the little Nikon things.
www.buydig.com/shop/home.aspxUsually - the lowest retail prices by a reputable company.
Machine Embroidery Designs/Custom Dust Covers - great custom covers for printers.
Welcome to 'da Products - excellent LCD protectors.
eDealinfo: Deals, Coupons Rebates and Discount Offers, Daily Hot Deals, Latest Holiday Special Offers, Free Shipping, Price Comparison - quite a few bargains on general usage stuff.
Passport photos for free - ePassportPhoto.com - the site helps with information on different sizes of pictures required for passports and / or visa in different countries.
www.gadgetinfinity.com/sells - the Cactus wireless flash trigger and more.
haodascreen.com/default.aspxHaoda - Fu focusing screen.
Hunt's Photo & Video - Good source for ink.
Kirk Photo: Quality Photographic Equipment for Outdoor & Nature Photography - Lots of camera accessories.
www.mpex.com/midwest - photo exchange, reasonably priced lighting equipment and more.
M-ROCK Camera Bags and Digital Camera Cases - Camera backpacks.
Photodex ProShow - Slide Shows for HD, DVD, PC and Web - Photo slide show program.
Premium Photographic Inkjet Paper by Red River Paper - A great place to order photo papers, I have used their greeting cards and the paper is great.
Digital Photography - RawWorkflow.com - Michael Tapes: photo news and commentary - Sellers of the whi-bal white balance reference card.
Online Photo Storage:
Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing
ImageShack® - Image Hosting - Imageshack; Kind of like Photobucket.
PBase.com - pbase; you can search on lenses and camera models
Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket - Photobucket; Personally I use this because a friend recommended it.
SmugMug Photo Sharing. Your photos look better here. - SmugMug; great photo storage site with protection
Zenfolio | hosting service for photo galleries | a place to learn and enjoy photography - Zenfolio

Website Hoasting:
Name Search:
Search Register Domain Names | Internic.ca
Registering and Hosting:
Register Domain Names at Register.com - Business Web Hosting Services and Domain Name Registration Provider
Domain Name Registration, Website Hosting Plans and More - Dotster
Browser Update Page
» Parcom.Net Internet Services : Web Hosting Since 1997 :  High Quality Internet Hosting & Domain Registrations
Domain Name Registration, Web Hosting, SSL Certificates, and more. - Dynadot.com
Insider Hosting.com Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers, Co-location
Web hosting provider - Bluehost.com - domain hosting - PHP Hosting - cheap web hosting - Frontpage Hosting E-Commerce Web Hosting Bluehost
Domain Names and Web Hosting by IPOWER
BluDomain - Fully editable flash websites for the creative professional
Affordable Web Hosting at Lunarpages
Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting - Free URL Forwarding, e-mail forwarding and DNS services are included with our cheap domain names registration service
Multiple Domain Hosting, Reseller Hosting, cPanel & Linux WebHosting Services by CirtexHosting
Host Monster - Web hosting

Actions,Tips &Tutorials:
atncentral.com - Tons of actions. Been around for a while.
Bill Richardson's Adobe Photoshop Actions - great actions
porg.4t.com/0-9.html - Great place, loads of everything. and well organized. Everything is alphabetical.
PanosFX.com - Home - gret set of actions some free. plus some tuts.
Apple - Aperture - Tutorials Tutorials for Apple Aperature users.
Photoshop Effects - Photo Effects - Photoshop Tutorials Lots of great tutorials.
Mark S. Johnson Photography - Did RadiantVista's Photoshop 101 classes and lots of other things.
HOME - The Mindful Eye - TMELive.com - Did the daily critiques on the RadiantVista site and some other stuff.
Photoshop Tutorials and Flash Tutorials - Tutorialized - Thousands of tutorials, on all sorts of imaging software
Training for Photographers, Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Multimedia Artists, and Hobbyists | Kelby Training Kelby's fee based training site also loads of books and other material.
The Luminous Landscape - Photography and photoshop tutorials relating to landscape photography.
Digital Darkroom @ The Light's Right Studio - Photoshop techniques
Photoshop Tutorials - Home - photoshop tutorials
www.photoshopquicktips.com - photoshop quicktips
digimods.co.uk/tutorials.htm - Don't like the look of your car? Then change it.
Digital Photography Tutorials - Multiple photography and photoshop tutorials.
myJanee.com Graphic Creations and Photoshop Resources - She has a lot of great tutorial and most of the stuff works in Elements.
User-Written Tutorials on DPChallenge - Great tutorials on a wide range of topics.
Making Your Own Passport Photos - Tutorials - Passport Picture tutorial.
Gallery Wrap for Canvas Prints - Gallery wrap tutorial. Also has an action for wraping.
Pioneer Woman Photography - Ree Drummond - Great site with lots of info and tutorials. As well as a great site overall.
Online Magazines
www.photosynthesis.co.nz/nikon/specs.html - Specs for Nikon Lenses
Shutterbug: Home Page Shutterbug Magazine
Nature, Wildlife and Landscape Photography Resource Online magazine of the Nature Photographers Network
Adobe Creative Suite Tutorials, Reviews and Resources for Photographers, Designers, Illustrators and Developers | Layers Magazine
Photoshop User TV - Shouldn't need to say more than the title!
Travel Photographers Network Travel Photographers Network
Adobe Photoshop Killer Tips Matt Kloskowski's Photoshop Site.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips Matt Kloskowski's Lightroom Site.
Photoshop Insider Blog By Scott Kelby Scott Kelby's Site.
[Dave Cross Dave Cross's Site
Home Online resource, and blog
Photography/Camera Info:
General photography and just getting into photography info:
www.nikon.com/ Nikon's home site.
dg28.com - photographer education - great bunch of how tos on taking great pictures.
GloriaHopkins.Com Home Page Good advice on composition and the like
photonotes.org/dictionary/ Dictionary of photography and digital imaging
dryreading.com/camera/index.html Camera simulator--fun for beginners!
Understanding Exposure - SimCam - Film and Digital Camera Simulator - Photonhead.com Another simulator
a shot apart: tutorials - A site that is good for a beginning/amateur DSLR shutterbug.
planet neil - Talks about one flash photography and for a flash beginner it really helps one to understand flashes.
Online Depth of Field Calculator - Online depth of field calculator
Advanced Lighting:
Benji's Studio Lighting and Posing Tutorial - Great website with studio lighting and posing tutorials.
http://www.youtube.com/profile_video...ophotolife&p=r - youtube video series on studio lighting and more
Opps! Page Not Found! 3-d studio light tutorials
strobist.blogspot.com - Lessons on lighting, great links, and a bit of humor and sarcasm mixed in.
FlashFlavor.com - A little something for the wedding/aspiring wedding photogs kind of based on the external lighting concepts of the Strobist site.
How To Use Your Nikon Sb-800 Flash With Softboxes, - ILP - How to use a SB800
www.photozone.de/Reviews/overview - good source of lens reviews.
www.naturfotograf.com/index2.html - Bjorn Rørslett's site with older lens reviews as well as new lenses and camera reviews.
NikonLinks - Home Page - link site.
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...ikon/index.php - lots of good info about almost all Nikon models.
Focus on Singh-Ray Filters - great ND filter blog
Post Processing
Photoshop for Photographers - Lots of good info and some actions.
Dry Creek Photo - Explanation of printer profiles and how to use as well as a database of commercial printer profiles of Costco printers and custom profiles.
Photoshop Tips - lots of great info from Using ACR to comparisons in uprezing programs.
panoguide: the guide to panoramas and panoramic photography - Great source of panorama information
No Home of There Own
Thom Hogan's Nikon Field Guide and Nikon Flash Guide - Always a good, informative read.
Nature Photography from the Pacific Northwest and beyond by Bob Johnson @ Earthbound Light - I especially like Bob's weekly tips, and his archives are fun to go through... plus he shoots Nikon!
blog.nikonians.org - Love the daily updates here, as well as the podcasts... very nicely done!
Norman Koren photography: images and tutorials Tutorial, galleries and more
Welcome to LensProToGo where we rent quality camera lenses for your next shoot
Rentglass.com - Lens rentals by mail for Canon and Nikon SLR cameras
ZipLens - Online Lens Rentals for Canon and Nikon (d)SLR
LensRentals.com - Rent Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or Sony Lenses and Cameras
BorrowLenses.com - Camera Rental and Canon/Nikon Lens Rental
Home - Glass and Gear - Canon and Nikon, Lens Rentals, Camera Rentals

Nature sites:
Birds and Animals:
ML : Page Moved - Animal calls and behavior site
www.web-nat.com/bic/ont/tipsindex.html: Tips on photographing birds
eNature: Birds & Birding - Online guide for birds, pictures not drawings.
WhatBird | identify birds | bird identification guide | north america - It has a very good section for keying out birds.
All About Birds : Home - It has everything from bird attraction to tips for photographing
BirdwatchRadio.com - An audio podcast about birds and birders with Steve Moore As the name implies, It's all about birds.
http://www.skyways.org/orgs/fordco/w.../a-ff/byb.html - Fred's Flower Finder; good explanation of terms and a simple key for basic flowers
My Wildflowers - Wildflower identification, gallery, gifts - Very easy to use. Has several search parameters to help you narrow down what wildflower it is.
weedid.aces.uiuc.edu/ Plant ID for small weeds


Methodically disorganized
Found this one yesterday: NatureScapes.net. They do not have many members but they feature an international community and discussions on every aspect of photography. Most importantly, there are some genuinely good photographers there. (Do have to register to see any posts, but it's quick and worthwhile.)