Tuesday, October 13, 2009

DSLR for Beginners

Friend 1: Congratulations!
Friend 2: Congrats, you've moved to the next level!

Sounds like I'm playing a Nintendo game.

Friend 3: Congratulations! Welcome to the dslr gang!

Recently, I've moved from this...

To this...

It's a 2nd hand Nikon D60: it fits my budget and, according to the reviews, D60 is a good start for newbies.

Here's what I find helpful when starting with Dslr, i.e. digital single-lens reflex camera. I hope this list can help you as well:
  1. Sign up on Flickr, and join the photo groups that you like and feel comfortable with. Viewing other people's pictures taken with the same camera gives you motivation;
  2. Read your camera's manual, it's very handy!
  3. View the online tutorial for your specific model. This link for Nikon D60;
  4. Read tips for beginners. I find these sites very helpful: slrphotographyguide.com
  5. and digital-photography-school.com. The latter site provide a very good article on how to care for your camera. The lens are expensive to repair and/or replace, therefore take good care of it!!!
  6. Shoot in raw, the picture quality is better;
  7. Practice, practice, practice!!! Although the different camera settings can be overwhelming at first, they should become second nature with practice. Birds and dogs will not pose for you, you have to be ready!
  8. Try not to delete pictures from your camera, as they can actually look nice on your PC. Digital is meant for taking as many pictures as you want, then you can select and delete them when viewing them on your computer.

A list of helpful accessories for your Dslr:
  1. Lens blower: to remove dust on your lens and camera;
  2. UV filter: to protect your lens against dust, moisture and finger prints... although the main function is to reduce UV light and keep the exposure unchanged. I never remove this protector from my lens;
  3. Camera lens cloth, a microfiber fabric will avoid scratches on your lens;
  4. How to store the lens:
    1. Ziploc bag and desiccant to store your lens. My senior has been storing her lens this way for over 10 years, and has had no problems;
    2. DIY dry box, used by my friend's pro photographer... no need to buy an expensive dry box.
Once you've tried Dslr, you won't want to go back on the normal digital cameras. For me, I still use the digital camera... because it's small enough to bring along when I don't want to carry the big camera.

I still need lots of practice... remember the 10,000 hours rule? hehe.

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