Buying Kit..a quick guide for the newbie.

#1
Buying Photography kit is a minefield, DSLR, Full Frame,, Mirrorless. What I hope to do in this post is give some tips that I have acquired over the years in purchasing Photography gear...and I have a lot of the stuff believe me.

1. Decide your need: Do you want to take up photography as a serious hobby or are you a click and shoot photographer, do you take portraits or sports or do you specialise in Wildlife. For example a Canon 7D Mk2 is a brilliant wildlife and sports camera because of the high frame rate, but a 70D is a good alround camera for the enthusiast and the 5DR is for high quality, high definition images. There is not a lot to choose these days between a "basic" camera and a high end camera.

2. Glass before bodies: If you go down the DSLR or mirrorless route, then lenses should be your primary concern, good glass will always out score a good body. Also lenses are transferable and if you buy well good lenses will last a lifetime.

3. Always consider 2nd Hand: 2 of my bodies and 5 of my prime lenses are all 2nd hand, you can pick up good quality kit for the price of new mediocre kit. Photographers tend to look after their kit so buying 2nd hand is a really good choice.

4. Get a tripod or Monopod: 2 accessories I would aways get are a decent tripod and monopod, a must have for landscapes and macro photography.

5. Flashes: There are some really good deals and cheaper brands, I use Neewer flashes with wireless triggers, 2 for £100 and the results are just as good. Same goes for strobe flashes.

6. Remote release: A remote release eliminates camera shake, a wireless one is even better again there are good triggers out there for under £30

7. Filters: One filter I wouldn't be without is a polarising filter, this reduces non-metalic glare, saturates colours and skies. SRB Photographic do good ones at a reasonable price, the other filters I wouldn't be without are ND graduated filters, these help balance sky and ground exposures to give a more balanced exposure (less work in photoshop)

8. Reflectors: A small reflector helps bounce light into shadowy areas giving a pleasing image without over dark shadows, you can but these for under £30.


Good 2nd Hand retailers I have dealt with (there are others out there)

MPB
Ffordes
Mifsuds
I am sure there is more and will think of extra stuff to update this post as it comes to me.
 
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#2
Editing software, Loads to use, buy outright, lease monthly or free/shareware. Price isn't always an indicator of value. many have free trials - take a look and see which ones you are happiest using

on the subject of editing, regardless of the software you decide on it won't matter how good the software is, how wonderful you edit, if your screen isn't calibrated. There are plenty of products to help with it, personally I have a datacolour spyder elite. It can make a huge difference.
 
#3
Editing software, Loads to use, buy outright, lease monthly or free/shareware. Price isn't always an indicator of value. many have free trials - take a look and see which ones you are happiest using

on the subject of editing, regardless of the software you decide on it won't matter how good the software is, how wonderful you edit, if your screen isn't calibrated. There are plenty of products to help with it, personally I have a datacolour spyder elite. It can make a huge difference.
Same here, GIMP is excellent bit of software and Photo Affinity is proving to be a good alternative to Photoshop and Lightroom. Canon's DPP is excellent as well and actually handles noise better than Adobe.
 
#4
Image Stabilistaion: Is a great tool, but can lead to other issues especially if you use a tripod or monopod. If you do use a tripod remember to switch it off as it will result in blurry images. Buying IS lenses can be more expensive than a non-IS version. In my experience IS is a nice to have rather than a must have.
 
#5
Lenses that you need.

10-22mm - Useful for indoor photography of Bovington and various museums like Cosford's Coldwar Hanger.......
18-300mm
24-70 F2.8 - Great for Wedding, gig and lowlight non flash photography
50mm (Nifty Fifty 1.8 or 2.8) - For Portrait Photography
50-500 Sigma aka the Bigma Mk1
70-200 F2.8 - Great for wedding, gig and lowlight non flash photography
100mm fixed Macro Lens for your insect and model making and portrait photography.
100-400 IS
150-600 Sigma Sports with Docking station to customise the Auto Focus speed (aka The Bigma Mk3).

And for those who are still in and have access to camera gear they can borrow. The Sigma 200-500 F2.8 (aka the ultimate Bigma or the Carl Gustaf of camera lenses which has it's own Nato Number and comes in a Peli Case.

And you want at least 2x bodies.

Duracell make camera batteries that last longer than the original OEM ones. But you need to buy a Duracell charger to charge them.

Shoot in Large RAW format and buy PNY or Sandisk 16 - 32gb cards.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
Lenses that you need.

10-22mm - Useful for indoor photography of Bovington and various museums like Cosford's Coldwar Hanger.......
18-300mm
24-70 F2.8 - Great for Wedding, gig and lowlight non flash photography
50mm (Nifty Fifty 1.8 or 2.8) - For Portrait Photography
50-500 Sigma aka the Bigma Mk1
70-200 F2.8 - Great for wedding, gig and lowlight non flash photography
100mm fixed Macro Lens for your insect and model making and portrait photography.
100-400 IS
150-600 Sigma Sports with Docking station to customise the Auto Focus speed (aka The Bigma Mk3).

And for those who are still in and have access to camera gear they can borrow. The Sigma 200-500 F2.8 (aka the ultimate Bigma or the Carl Gustaf of camera lenses which has it's own Nato Number and comes in a Peli Case.

And you want at least 2x bodies.

Duracell make camera batteries that last longer than the original OEM ones. But you need to buy a Duracell charger to charge them.

Shoot in Large RAW format and buy PNY or Sandisk 16 - 32gb cards.
Agree with what you say with some of those lenses, but some are wants rather than needs. I get by with:-
18-35mm that came with the camera
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 (brand new)
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS (brand new)
Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS (2nd hand)
and a Samyang 8mm f/3.5 UMC fisheye lens (brand new)
Along with a 2nd hand Canon 50D (bought with 900 activations) - 300 quid, 3 years ago.
Also have a Canon Speedlite 430 EX and a Manfroto 290 Xtra tripod, all carried around (when altogether) in a Lowepro Pro Runner 350 back pack and a Lowepro Fastpack 250 when taking only some of the kit.
 
#7
I've used Photoshop for years, since the late 90s I think and I'm mostly self taught. There's a lot of really good software out there these days and a lot of it for free. The best one I've found for simplicity and ease of use is Fotor.
Fotor for Windows Reviews - Free Photo Editing & Collage Software for Windows

It does a lot of very complicated things very quickly. Watch out for the McAfee foistware if you install it. Apart from that it's highly recommended.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Duracell make camera batteries that last longer than the original OEM ones. But you need to buy a Duracell charger to charge them.

Shoot in Large RAW format and buy PNY or Sandisk 16 - 32gb cards.
really? I have a few Duracells here for my D90 and D7000 and they don't seem to care whether I use a Duracell charger, a Nikon charger or a Lemix branded unit.

+1 for Sandisk, definitely.
 

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