Finally, a new camera!

Pentax Digital CameraI’m probably not the world’s worst photographer–maybe the 17th or 18th worst.  I suppose it doesn’t help that out of four digital cameras in my house, zero of them work properly–or at all.

A few years ago for Christmas, my in laws gave us a great little Nikon point + shoot that I loved for a long time.  Then suddenly, just recently it went on the fritz.  The USB cord wouldn’t read at first, and then it just wouldn’t even turn on at all.  So I had to go back to using an older Canon that weighed about 6 tons and had a screen about the size of pinkie nail.  Worked okay for a while, and then decided that the CF card was perpetually full even after repetitively emptying it.  The little Casio Exilim that I won off a radio station a few years ago never worked for much longer than 3 months–not even sure what happened to that one.  So at this point, I’m down to using my ancient Canon Elph with a whopping 3 megapixels!  I loaned it to my mom for awhile and she lost the charger so I know in a matter of hours I won’t eve have use of that one.

So that, my friends, is how you go from 4 cameras to 0 cameras.  I hemmed and hawed over investing in a DLSR camera for a long time.  Part of me feels that my lame photography skills don’t warrant such an advanced piece of equipment.  Thanks to our families contributing to our camera fund at Christmas this year, I’ve finally crossed over and left point & shoot behind.  It is, after all, a business tool and will hopefully help me improve my product shots overall.

After plenty of research and price comparison we went with this Pentax model.  It has a lot of features that I don’t even pretend to understand.  I’m hoping that with some good user-friendly books and perhaps the help of a few willing photo-savvy friends I’ll get the hang of it quickly.  It’s due to arrive tomorrow–New Year’s Eve, so I plan to get snapping right away.  I’ll post my experiments and hopefully my progress as I go along.

Any tips you have on favorite shooting settings, proper lighting techniques or anything really?  I’d love to get some feedback and guidance on how to get started!

tags: , , , , | December 30th, 2009

3 Responses

  1. Fstop Fitzgerald says:

    Congrats. Get extra sd cards now. Small ones – 2 and 4 GB. Sandisk SDHC Ultra and/or Extreme3. Don’t waste your money on other kinds, brands. They have a limited shelf life, so replenish as needed. Good practice is four in good condition. One in the camera, three ready to load. Don’t fill them all the way – leave a few frames for wiggle room. Filling them increases chance for corruption – the very same reason you want more small cards vs. one big card. Besides who wants to wait a zillion minutes while tons of images upload?
    Next thing: shoot RAW. Always. You seriously don’t want to miss out on having the best image quality when that once in a lifetime shot happens. Seriously. Also ACR and Bridge have some sweet RAW editing that will save you time. You can automate teh the whole change to JPG. Keep you files untouched in RAW. JPG is lossy every time you touch the buggers.
    While you are getting the extra SDHC cards, get an extra battery and charger. Charge one battery while you are shooting. Waiting hours for a battery to charge just blows.
    You don’t need to put a cheap pieces of glass in front of a good lens – especially a digital lens. The flat glass will actually cause softness on the edge of your frame. The only exception is a polarizing filter, and that is only useful when the light source is at right angle to the lens.
    The Photoshop dude, Scott kelby has a short digital photo book that is a good starting point: The Digital Photography Book.
    Put the shorter lens on your camera. Don’t swap lenses out frequently they way you would with a film camera. Each time you open up the digital camera by taking the lens off, the sensor can get dust and schmutz on it. Not good. The long lens is not as useful as the shorter – it’s a lot longer than with a film camera. Turn the oncamera flash off for most things (except bright sun) unless you like the flash look. Get a tripod and good lights for shooting products. Eventually, if you enjoy this camera, talk to me and I’ll fill you in on where to go next.
    Have fun. Don’t be overwhelmed – it’s just a tool.

  2. Don says:

    Have fun!!!!!

  3. Ilane says:

    What a coincidence! I got a SLR for Christmas too! Let’s have fun learning together!

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