The one you buy . Lol. No but really the camera I got wasn't to expensive which was a FujiFilm FinePix S4250WM. I got this camera about a year ago.
Pretty much that is where I started my photography, if you don't count my Droid X I had. So I'm still learning about photography as I go along, doing research, and learning from people that have experience.
i've only just started taking photos, and i've got an iphone and a bridge camera from 2003,
the advice i got when starting was " you need a camera that will teach you the basics, a camera that you can lose drop and break without worrying about the camera until you know what you're doing. get a camera that has different shutter speeds exposure etc. but isn't hard to use. then when you know how to do it. get a better one."
the camera i use is a fujifilm s7000 and i think it's ok for a beginner.
For me I recommend a Samsung NX1000. It works like a dream. It has the basic stuff you would get with a entry level DSLR, but in the style of a point and shoot camera. And also is very light weight and not so expensive anymore.
What's your budget? If I were you, I would go for a Nikon F100 and Nikon F80, because I already own a film scanner. They are stellar performers, and sell dirt cheap now.
I agree that you shouldn't start with a film camera though, unless you own a darkroom or a good film scanner (more likely you won't). My suggestion is to start with any entry-level camera, if your budget permits a brand new camera. Choose the brand that your family, friends, or relatives own most gears. That will save you a lot of money, and enable you to play around with gears. I don't generally need all my fancy lenses, such as 70-200/2.8 or macro lens. If you can borrow only on special occasions, that would be very nice.
If your budget is really low, go for used DSLR. Browse through keh.com
The only problem with film is that you're paying for the film and you're paying for the developing. And, the equipment to do color, if you so choose, is quite expensive. If you have somebody doing it for you, you then have to go to a specialist if you want anything other than a straight print.
But, the bigger thing is that because you don't see the results instantly, you don't get that feedback loop while you can still do something about it. Which IMHO is vital for a new photographer to speed things up.
While you may have to pay for film and developing costs, the upfront expense for the camera system itself is significantly lower than it would be for a DSLR. The F100 *palmbook recommended and a decent lens can be had for as little as $200, whereas the digital equivalents to that system on the market today costs as much as $2000.
I also completely disagree with instantly seeing the result as being necessary for new photographers. Photo I courses in most colleges and high schools were completely analog until roughly six or seven years ago when DSLRs as a whole became more affordable. Hell, the art school I graduated from didn't make their Photo I course all digital until 2009.
Yes, and if you're shooting enough to warrant a system like that, you'll have made up the price difference over the course of a summer. It's been a while since I shot film, but even at 50 cents per frame, that's only 3600 frames or so till you break even on that. And the last times I was working with film, I seem to remember it being much more expensive for proper printing and developing.
Also, keep in mind, that if you aren't doing your own prints and developing, that it's pretty dishonest to suggest that the $200 is at all equivalent to the $2k version. Especially when you can get a perfectly good 5 or 6 year old dSLR that's more than adequate for only a couple hundred more than the film system.
As for instant viewing, it's absolutely necessary if you want to progress efficiently. By the time you get the negatives back from the lab, it's very easy to forget what the conditions were like when you took the shot. Sure, you can learn focus and composition like that. But, if something is obstructing the edge of the viewfinder, you can't just fix. And you don't get that histogram assessment to help train your eye to figure out when you're blowing highlights, loosing shadows and see if it even matters.
And you're certainly not going to have any meaningful level of control over the results, especially if you're not setting up your own lab.
All in all, I'm not really sure why I'm even arguing, it's quite clear that for the purposes of learning photography that digital is head and shoulders above analog in terms of efficiency and efficacy.
Don't get me wrong, I do like analog, there's nothing quite like a well exposed and composed slide, but it's not how I would recommend people learn photography. It used to be necessary, but now it's rather decadent without much to show for it.
I think the fundamental difference between both of our arguments is the context in which one would be learning. My argument for film is partially based on the supposition that the person who started this thread is learning in an academic setting (which probably isn't the case but is something I recommend doing), where access to processing printing labs is not an issue.
That said, I still disagree that digital is 100% necessary and that learning through film is decadent and unnecessary. While you may not have a histogram to gain information from, you do have the negative itself, and it's not hard to see if an image has been blown out if you have a loupe. Similarly, between digital compression (because how many beginners immediately shoot RAW), differences in color spaces, possible monitor calibration errors, and ICC printer profile inconsistences, there is just as much room for error outputting an digital file as there is a negative.
Regarding the cameras themselves, the point I'm trying to make with the price difference is that in terms of value for money you can get a much more sophisticated film system for a much smaller cost than you could for buying digitally. Also, you are supposing that a beginner shooting film will shoot at the same rate that a beginner shooting digital will, and that is simply not the case. 3600 exposures is a minimum of one hundred rolls of film, and from my firsthand experience it takes a beginner learning on film far longer to hit that point than a digital shooter does. Shooting film is a fundamentally different approach than digital, and is why the number of film actuations capable on a body matters a hell of a lot more with digital than it does with film. While you could buy an older DSLR, you will be dealing more with the limitations of the technology and the limitations of the output and, if you get serious about it, will be forced to upgrade later anyways. And should one decide that photography isn't for them, it is a hell of a lot easier to sell film equipment than it is an obsolete DSLR (which you can't even give away at this point).
What this really boils down to is that film and digital offer two very different approaches that are no less valid than the other. With digital, you have instantaneous feedback and the ability to shoot indiscriminantly; with film, you have a much lower initial cost and limitations that force you to work slower and take greater consideration to what you are doing. I can argue that my personal experience has shown me that learning on film is just as valid to learn on as digital and that it offers its own set of advantages, but it honestly depends on what learning style and financial outlay would be best for the person learning.
Of course, I'm supposing that people will be running through shots relatively quickly. That's how one improves ones skill. Talking about photography can glean some information, but it's the frames that one actually shoots that are really the only ones that matter.
And that really gets back to the point I was making, having to wait until you get the film back, or until you have time to develop it, means that you've given up the chance to really see what was there at the same time as when you've got the image. What you get on paper is the important thing, but for people learning, it's important to be able to compare the conditions with the settings with the result.
And obsolete dSLR? Really? I've been using the same dSLR for nearly a decade with good results. The only reason why I'm upgrading now is because I need the improved noise performance and antidust mechanism. Had I sold my camera 5 or so years ago, I could got gotten about 80% of the original cost back on the body. What's more, my new 7D will probably last me until it physically fails as there isn't really anything that's likely to come along that's going to obsolete it. And we've hit the point where the body technology is relatively stable, not as stable as for film bodies, but it's pretty stable and I can't imagine there being too much change in the next decade, at least as far as things that really matter go.
As far as the workflow goes, you're making that out to be much harder than that really is. If you compare that with darkroom technique, which really is mandatory, if you want to control your work, digital is a cakewalk. Sure there's better and worse ways of doing it, and more and less sophisticated ways, but if you're having straight prints done with film anyways, it's more than a little bit unfair to hold digital to that much higher of a standard.
At some point I really need to get a film body. I shot a role of Fuji color transparency once and it was phenomenal. Kind of a PITA to expose, but I think with a proper meter and some practice I could get some great shots.
There was a time, back in the 70s, when a Yashica was just as good as pretty much anything else you could name, and some of them were better than most, at a lower price; they were wildly popular -- but that time is long past. By the 80s, they had given up even trying to compete for the high end market, and they had finally even given up on making SLRs (with the exception of one model used for dentistry) even before digital cameras became popular. These days, they have almost entirely dropped off the map. If it were not for their old rangefinders that are still in demand, and their 80s FX series SLRs that still have a following, most people would never have heard of them. If Yashica even still makes cameras I wouldn't know where to find one, because none of the better stores carries them. I believe Yashica's best days are firmly behind them. That said, if you have an old Yashica J7 or an FX2 or FX3 SLR, or maybe an electro 35 GSN rangefinder, then I understand where you are coming from. Those were truely excellent cameras.
If you want to learn photography (as opposed to just taking photos) you want a camera that allows you to control the exposure settings (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO). Pretty much anything that allows you to control those will be a good learning tool.
I started with, and still use, a Nikon D3100. They were cheap to begin with but have come down even further since they've just been replaced. Really no complaints, it's a brilliant first DSLR and it can even shoot video in reasonably good quality
Start with a P&S, if you use it enough to outgrow it, you can be sure that you're not throwing your money away with a dSLR.
Right now, the biggest thing is to have a camera that you can have with you at all times. A dSLR is likely to be too heavy to carry around constantly. A bridge camera like the PowerShot sx 40 hs is going to have all the manual controls for less than what you could get a dSLR for. Depending upon the application, the manual focus may or may not be usable, but it is included.
$300, is probably about half what you can get a decent dSLR body for, and less than the cost of a decent lens.
And if you need to, there is a filter mount available for it, so you can start experimenting with those if you like. The main downside to the camera is no native RAW support and the lens is a bit slower than what you would have with a dSLR. (Raw support is available via CHDK though)
Have you any idea what you want to shoot? For example do you want to shoot fast moving wildlife? Or architecture? How about landscapes or peoples portraits? Also what is your budget, how much are you willing to spend?
If you give us an idea of what you want to shoot and how much you are willing to spend then that would probably help us steer you in the right direction of a rough choice for you to consider.
I see. Well I am planning to shoot pretty much just architecture and things around my downtown area. I am very open to the price as I'm not sure what is a good or bad price for a camera. (I understand it is expensive) Thanks for the help
Unless you are interested in film, ignore the suggestions about starting with film. Learning on film doesnt make you a better photographer than if you learn on digital. Wanting to take the time to learn how to become a better photographer makes you a better photographer. Take the time to learn and master your tool, whichever it is, don't waste time learning a platform to which you must invest a lot of time in learning skills you will never need.
You don't see driving schools starting kids out driving wagons before trying out cars. You don't see computer sciences students learning punch cards before ever touching Windows. You don't see military trainees starting with bows before learning to shoot a gun. Learning on film is great for if you want to learn how to use film. If your goal is digital, learn on digital, you will save time, money, and be better off for it.
As for the camera itself, it will really depend on your budget. My advice is usually the Lumix GH2 ([link]). It is a mirrorless micro four thirds body which makes it smaller and more handy than a DSLR with most of the benefits of one. Considering the image quality it offers you likely will struggle to beat it for the price point.
What a load of crap. The point is that the film cameras I mentioned don't have any automatic crutches. You HAVE to learn how to use each control. You can't set it on automatic and just snap away, like 99% of digital camera owners do; sure they can use the camera, but they are as ignorant after five years as they were when they bought it. Then on top of all that, you suggest a camera that is DESIGNED to shoot in automatic.
It makes no sense at all, and the analogies are totally inept. He's suggesting a camera designed to shoot on automatic, a glorified point & shoot camera. Tell me how you learn when all you have to do is frame the composition and trip the shutter.
Pentax K1000 or Pentax SP1000. In either case, it's a film camera, it's purely manual, the controls are intuitive (as much as these things can be), the in-camera meter is a needle, not lights, so it shows you the exposure precisely, and you will learn a great deal from it. What you can learn from using it all translates into the digital world really well too, and you will have a deeper understanding of just what your digital camera is doing. Once you have learned to use one of these old-school cameras, then using a digital camera, that has several automatic functions (autofocus and several types of autoexposure), is pretty easy.