So I want to get into photography. I feel like it will motivate me to go outside my dorm and actually see the world. Maybe it’ll get me more active and lose some weight. Who knows. I have no idea where to start though. I don’t really have much for equipment (just an iPhone 6). My parents have a Canon EOS Rebel T3 that they don’t use that I could probably borrow, but ultimately I want to get something of my own.
So basically, what would you guys recommend for getting into photography? I’d be willing to spend somewhere around $250 ish for a camera (I know you can’t get much for that but it’s something), and possibly upgrade it at some point down the line if I really enjoy it. Also if you have any online resources to check out for some type of tutorials to get the basics down those would probably help.
Thanks in advance!
The Rebel T3 is a great entry point if you can get your hands on one. From there I would suggest expanding your lens collection.
The lenses you want to look at depends on the type of things you want to photograph. Landscapes? Sporting events? Portraits? Street Photography? These sorts of things will help determine which lenses you’d potentially want to lean towards.
Well I enjoy hiking, so landscapes are probably what I’d be doing most. But there are some cool buildings downtown so maybe some street photography as well. I know the T3 we have has 2 lenses, a ‘zoom lense’ I think it’s called. That one is 75-300mm. And then the other one is a shorter one that says 18-55mm. What would you recommend?
So typically with landscape photography you want to go with the wider angle lens, so you can get as much of the scenery in frame as possible, so I would suggest the 18-55.
It’s important to note that the T3 (and many other inexpensive DSLRs) have a censor about 2/3s the size of what is considered a standard “Full Frame” censor. This means that any lens you put on it has a crop factor of 1.5.
So when that lens says it’s an 18-55 it means its that focal length for a Full Frame censor, on the canon T3 it has an effective focal length of 27-82mm (the focal length x 1.5). The widest angle (27mm) is still good for landscape, putting it around 50mm (around 33mm on the lens) is good for everyday street photography, the higher foal lengths would be good for portraits.
As time goes on you’ll find that other lenses are specialized to serve specific types of photography better, but for starting around I think that 18-55mm gives you a lot of options for figuring out the fundamentals.
I started my SLR photography with a CanonT60, and learnt at lot (and I am still learning with the new DSLRs)
As for online resources:
The Nikon India Youtube channel isn’t too bad, but search for Nikon School DSLR Tutorials (In English)
For one, since it sounds like you’re in college (dorm life and all) sign up for a photography class next semester. Your parent’s Canon will be a good starting point, and those two zooms will cover nearly all of your focal length needs for now. If you really want to learn how to shoot though, I always recommend people look for a 35mm film SLR at a thrift store/pawn shop and buy some rolls of film. Either way, just get out and start shooting.
Honestly, $250 isn’t going to get you anything unless you want to go with very used / old gear. I’d just borrow for now and make sure you like it before spending a buncha money, then save up for something like a D3400 kit, or Canon equivalent.
OR if you really want your own stuff, maybe pick up a film camera, like the Canon AE-1 with a 50mm f1.8. You can find them for around $150, and that 50mm focal length is versatile. Problem with that (and the reason I haven’t touched a film camera in years) is it costs more time and money to get the film developed.
With that gear, the 18-55 is going to be your go-to for almost everything.
Landscapes are generally shot with wide lenses, but you may need something longer for some landscapes too (sometimes you physically can not get to where you need to be to get the framing you want, so you may need the 75-300), so if you’re shooting landscapes bring both.
For street, you’re safe just bringing the 18-55.
Also, as @OmonRa said, sign up for a photo class (if you have the money for it).