Thursday 10 March 2011

To DSLR or not to DSLR

I've been posting a lot of photographs lately, with this 365project thing. And I'm really coming hard up against the limitations of my mobile phone camera. Whilst not as bad as some, I can't adjust focus, or do much of anything else, really, and I'd like to start exploring the techniques of capture a bit more.

At present, I have a chance at a secondhand Canon 450D, which I know has been taken care of well. I am seriously considering it. I know it'll tie me to Canon lenses For The Rest Of Time(TM), but from what I've figured out poking around the net, it's pretty much Nikon or Canon, and at the levels I'm likely to go to, much of a muchness. I'm very very tempted to go with the Canon body available, as well, it's available.

Due to financial constraints, I'll probably go with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens to start off with, although I'd really prefer a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM. Still, I figure I can always upgrade eventually, once I exhaust the possibilities, or get good enough so that it's actually an issue. I also have no idea where to source these things aside from random internet purchases (since brick-and-mortar are a ripoff). I could really do with some advice.

I'd also like a macro lens at some point, and for that I have NO idea whatsoever, yet.

Oh, camera bag and tripod. These would be nice. I am currently leaning towards crumpler for a camera bag, because I already have a crumpler bag which does me quite well. Tripod - I'd prefer something light and compact that still expands to a full size. I need recommendations, because my google-fu is weak in this respect, it seems. Advice on both bags and tripods would be great, if you've got some to share.

That's about it for now.


  1. You can get carbon fibre tripods. They're *incredibly* light and wonderful. They're also incredibly priced. Don't buy one unless you're whining about how heavy everything is when hiking with it for 10 days.

    I got one that is fairly light, but decent, with a manfrotto head on it (any decent tripod comes in two parts that you buy sep - the tripod and the head that you put the camera on).

    camera bag... I currently have three. A small one that fits the body and one lens (don't use it much, but it has been known), a big Lowepro Computrekker that takes just about every bit of gear you could possibly need (including your laptop) - which is great for "I'm taking everything" trips. I also recently just got a Kata DR467i which takes less camera gear, but also holds laptop and has a section that is basically enough to store other stuff (like a change of clothes or two - i.e. a daypack). i really like the Kata.

    The Kata is basically what I'm taking a lot of places now - even when going overnight somewhere.

    Do look online and do look at pro photography places (the ones that stock all the film chemicals :) - can be much cheaper online and can be okay at the pro places. I'd recommend Vanbar in Melb, not sure in Qld, but I have been to a giant awesome store in Bris before (that I forget the name of) - so they do exist.

  2. Thanks Stewart! I'm .. not precisely sturdy, so I tend to try and minimise the weight of the gear I'm carrying in general.

    Thanks for the tidbit about separate tripods and heads - this is news to me! I am really ignorant about the whole shebang (although less so than this time last week).

    Mostly for looking up prices and such I've been crusing ebay and shopbot - I'm not sure those are the best sources, but sticking-with-what-I-know kind of thing. These things are not very discoverable if you don't know what you're looking for, unfortunately.

    Thanks for the bags tips :) I just want to start out with one - possibly just an insert in one of my existing laptop bags (of which I have ... 4 at last count).

  3. I can source you a monopod for about $15 and a basic tripod for about $20.

    Tripod weighs 500g, monopod is 150g

  4. Looks like I can get you a 500D canon body with a EF-S 18-55mm IS Lens for about $300 assuming the supplier isn't a scammer.

    Can also do a Rebel XSi for about $20 more with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
    Or a Nikon D80 with an 18-135mm lens