Monday, September 11, 2006

DSLR: What Next?

I've finally bought a DSLR. Finally! I would really like to thank Uncle De, Ikelah, my parents, O-K, my friend at work and Puan Mama Sarah in making the very tough decision. I would like to continue this sentence but I'll wait until I actually get the camera before commenting further.

One of my fears that let to the delay in buying a DSLR was that, buying the camera is only a tiny foot dip in the large sea that is photography. The world of photography is so vast, that it's daunting to start. Spending money in buying the body means spending a lot MORE money in buying the accessories. Starting to spend time in photography means investing a lot more time to master the intricate art.

It's like getting married: It's a lifelong commitment. (See why I was so scared to even start?) If the hobby is akin to marriage, I'll add that I already have many wives to satisfy: the blog, the computer, Linux, GIMP, anime, medicine and Puan Mama Sarah. Adding another wife is really spreading myself thin.

Anyhow, I've already tied the knot so I might as well move forward (looking forward to the honeymoon!). Now that I've bought a DSLR, (here's comes the question, brace yourselves PMS, Auntie De, KKL and DITH) ... what to buy NEXT? Here's the wishlist:

1. A speedy Compact Flash Card.

Below is the ultra fast Compact Flash card made by Corsair, a US maker renowned for their RAM chips for computer enthusiasts. It boasts 80x and 40x read and write speeds respectively. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. Don't forget to get big capacities (in my case 2Gb is optimum).

2. A Camera Backpack.

A rugged and tough backpack is crucial to keep the expensive equipments safe and sound, especially during travels. One that I particularly like is the backpack made by Crumpler, called the Sinking Barge. The cool thing about the Crumpler is that it's a hybrid bag with compartments to store both a laptop and a camera. It's padded to the brim with various well placed compartments for wires and chargers. It'd be perfect for me. You could read the review of Crumpler Sinking Barge Backpack here >>>>

True story: I've been stopped twice at airports when my laptop bag was scanned: The security attendant grimly asked, "Why does you bag have so many wires inside???". I meekly answered, "well ... I have so many gadgets the wires are actually a charger for my iPod, charger for my videocamera, a charger for my laptop, USB cables, the charger for my camera, wires for my external hard disk and a multi-point adapter to charge everything at the same time!" After around 15 minutes, I was free to go. Thank goodness!

It looks like a normal bag
Compartments to fit the camera body, lens and charger.
3. A microfibre cloth.
Simply to keep the expensive optics clean and free of dust, a microfibre cloth is essential to avoid scratching the lens.
4. Adobe Photoshop CS2
Adobe Photoshop is arguably the most powerful and most widely used image manipulation program out there. After owning a DSLR, having Photoshop is just crucial for photo enhancements.
5. A tripod
In order to keep the photos sharp, especially at low shutter speeds a stable tripod is extremely important to minimise movement and camera shake that would blur the photos. Below is the Giotos MT 8180 carbon fibre professional universal tripod which costs around $400. The carbon fibre technology is used in Stealth Bombers and B117 Stealth Attack Jets. You know, so that you could approach the subject you're photographing stealthily ... This beauty is slim and light and precisely engineered.

6. Polarisers and filters.
Expensive! Many polarisers and filters are above £150! These things are thin layers placed infront of lenses to reduce glare (for example from water surfaces), increase contrast, increase colour saturation, and make the sky stand out.
7. Lenses.
Don't get us started on lenses. There are just so many types, and so many makes. Talking about lenses is another topic of its own. Behold the prestigious Canon L series lenses:
8. Photography Magazines
I'll be buying a lot of these from now on.
Phew, that was a long list wasn't it? Any additions or recommendations guys? (especially for a beginner)

24 comments:

Mama Sarah said...

See you all, a good wife (like me) will never ask her husband to buy her bling*bling, knowing that her husband pocket is almost empty.

bby, you see your 'other wives' are so EXPENSIVE. I'm the LEAST demanding one.

You should be thankful, and be married to one ONLY (that's me if you still don't understand yet).

KKL said...

Encore encore!
*clap clap clap*

auntie de said...

weeeelll.. the microfibre cloth i can help with. got loads free from the drug reps, haha..

get ready for the downward spiral into the financial abyss.. but not before taking a really really nice pictures and posting it on the blog! enjoy! :D

dr in the house said...

And why do I get the feeling that this entry is going to draw more more comments than the previous? tsk tsk

OK said...

Bag and cheap UV filter (Hoya).. yang lain can wait a year or two. Use the kit lens first until you feel your shots need that bit more. You don't have to buy everything at once.

Of course, if uncle D also buys a canon you guys can share kit! Here. I have ikelah, p5, jimmy (who has a d70, d200, olympus, etc and many2 lenses) and a few other nikonites to help share toys and maybe help in the decision making process

I don't recommend reading magazines and websites as the they make you drool and want to buy more.

But what I do recommend is a good book about dslr in particular a good book about the 400d if there is one. I have one book on DSLR (tgh kat rumah ikelah) and also an I am looking to purchase an ebook on the d50 (i know it's old, but it still works!)

Regards

OK said...

Bag and cheap UV filter (Hoya).. yang lain can wait a year or two. Use the kit lens first until you feel your shots need that bit more. You don't have to buy everything at once.

Of course, if uncle D also buys a canon you guys can share kit! Here. I have ikelah, p5, jimmy (who has a d70, d200, olympus, etc and many2 lenses) and a few other nikonites to help share toys and maybe help in the decision making process

I don't recommend reading magazines and websites as the they make you drool and want to buy more.

But what I do recommend is a good book about dslr in particular a good book about the 400d if there is one. I have one book on DSLR (tgh kat rumah ikelah) and also an I am looking to purchase an ebook on the d50 (i know it's old, but it still works!)

Regards

Ikelah said...

awal awal dah reverse psy.
just 4 short lines entry. congrats for having an understanding wife and friends. good luck.

dyanna said...

An intrinsic statement by MS, but quite a powerful one.

It seems like the cost to bear a DSLR is so high... I think I have to reduce goal to just have a prosumer camera first.

So, which camera did bought? (sorry if i miss the info, hanya sempat scan through je).

izhal said...

doctor mynn, tumpang lalu...

hahahhaaa... lawaklah mamasarah... you know, my camera pun puan farah belikan as my birthday present... and she reminds me of that till today hahaha...

"You should be thankful, and be married to one ONLY (that's me if you still don't understand yet)."[mama sarah]<---thats my better half's exact words...

doctor mynn,

love your comment rebuttle on CMOS vs CCD... yes, they will be 2 groups (or should i say groopies) that will favour ither CMOS or CCD...

what other perks are given with your 400D??? i heard in malaysia they give the bag, a CF card, tripod and 400 free photo prints...
you can check my fotopage to see what i got... oh yeah... get a tripod that has 3 angles of rotation and that can detach its camera mount... mine sucks... and circular polarizers in UK are way too expensive if its 150pounds... mine is just 5000yen (RM150), but i heard in malaysia its under RM50!!! sakit hati... oh yeah... get the largest polarizer filter to fit your biggest lens and get a step up ring to make it compatible to your smaller lenses... serious... kalau tak rugi... anyway, i found out that owning a DSLR memang menjadikan kita gila camera gadgets... but at least now i cant afford to play golf hahahaha...

I ENVY YOUR 10MP sensor and self cleaning option...

ps-just found out that Nikon DLSRs uses Sony CCD sensors :)
pps-unveiling of your new camera will be taken using what camera???

izhal said...

forgot one thing...
try to download the manual from rapid share or some p2p software... you can proint it A4 size... the one that comes in the box is made for smurfs and hobbits...

Ikelah said...

My suggestion:

1. Kad pengingat
make a decision; you want to shoot and save in RAW, high res JPEG or ...etc. this wil somehow determine your memory card which is the fist you have to buy.

my experience: d50 6MP with 1GB memory. initially save as high res JPEG(as suggested by many) which is good with about 450 images(tak sure sebab dah lama). later i save in RAW and i m stuck to it. with 1GB the space will fill about 140 images.

Why JPEG.... can be viewed by many viewers, photoshops readily. DITH will not call me for abc...xyz. the quality is excellent in good cameras.

then Why RAW.... it is save in the format where the photographe can still edit off camera what he had taken... exposere, white balance, sharpness etc. It holds exactly what the imaging chip recorded. Nothing more. Nothing lessand uncompressed. the initial settings are just tagged.

the only setback in RAW is that it consumes more time editing but here lies the fine art and creativity of digital photography. in reality for photography enthusiast it has already minus the darkroom which is more time consuming.

with your 10MP, i'll say at leat 2 GB fast CF card. ;)

2. filters
hahaha... i'll totally disagree with the cheap plastic thing. we used to joke with p5 about a cheap plastic infront of an expensive glass coated lens. get a good one for your expensive lens. no point having hight quality lens to be eventually filtered by cheap low quality plastic. get a B&W atau yang sepadan... UV for lens protertion and circular polarizer. the polarizer can be later. the quality can be seen clearly when comparing both my hoya and rodenstock circular polarizer.

i agree with the filter size but how big the thread?

3. Bag yes... maybe but i prefer a container. an airtight plastic container that you can keep your expensive toy from fungus, fungus eating the lens coating. you also need silica gel to absorb the moisture esp in the tropics. tak perlu yang mahal, as long boleh masuk camera and for future another 2-3 lenses. as somebody had mentioned a 50..f1.8 is cheap with exellent quality, far better than the kit lens is not to be missed. with a reverse ring boleh convert jadi cheap good quality macro lens. ;)

4. dust blower and kain lap(untuk camera dan bukan untuk pinggan mangkuk aunty de). get a good one. 1 x investment.


5. adobe photoshop. melanun je kat malaysia. RM15 DVD dengan bonuses+++. ;)

6. tripod... later laa kecuali cukup budjet. kalau nak ambil gambar family, just get the cheap beanbag atau pinjam teddybear sarah/amar.

7. magazines... kat malaysia RM10 kat sana mahal. lebih baih web browsing.

8. as for me, i got myself an extra battery because of the possibility of long outings. itu pun yang brand lanun.

9. pelapik LCD. get this protective plastic film to prevent scratches to your LCD.

10. lain-lain later kut, remote shuter release, flash gun etc.

(3 jam + tengok patient + 1 circumcision)

mynn said...

darn it, i get more and more envious hearing about your Nikon Club with so many members for swapping lenses and accessories. as for me, at least i know izhal is a 350D user and Rosli a 20D. hmm sapa lagi? ....

O-K
the sign that i am about to buy something is when i buy the magazine (betul tak bie?) e.g. laptop magazine --> beli laptop, games magazine --> beli games, recently i bought my first camera magazine (waktu travel ke scotland) a few weeks later --> camera :D

I agree about getting a good book on DSLRs and I already have on in mind by John Hedgecoe. i was surprised that my oncall partner (she's also a canon enthusiast) suggested the same book.

izhal
puan mama sarah revealed that she was thinking of buying the camera for me. sedar2 bangun pagi --> i've bought the camera myself already. haha. anyway, i'd rather i buy it for myself rather than having it given to me kot. especially something that expensive. there's a certain satisfaction if you buy stuff like that yourself.

i'm surprised to learn that SO MANY women buy DSLRs for their significant others (case in point: DITH, Izhal's wife, my oncall friend etc222). i hope you guys have learnt from this post that buying a DSLR for your significant other is a BAD idea! hahaha... unless photography is also your hobby or you want more free time to yourselves. (auntie de is the only one still salvagable here).

again izhal, in the UK, the only bonus we get for buying the canon 400D is given a box and probably a plastic bag. unfortunately no proper camera bags, lens cleaners, free filters or whatever you lucky guys get (grr!)

i'll bear in mind what you say about buying polarisers -- thanks for the tip. also, regarding unveiling of the camera -- hahaha -- i've thought about the same thing. to make it ironic, i'm going to take pictures of it using my cameraphone!

only joking ... i havent decided yet whether to use (smoke and) mirrors, or to use the old sony. you know, as a way of saying goodbye to the old camera ...

ikelah (i am also writing this in between tengok pesakit). thanks again for your long comment!

i've already bought an "ultra" fast 2 Gb Compact Flash card. hopefully arriving anyday now. i've also berangan2 about which format to take pictures in: i was thinking of trying both RAW and JPEG. but many222222222222222222222 people recommend RAW. and i'm a quality freak -- i bet i'll stick to RAW too, eventually.

filters
i think getting at least a UV filter to protect the lens is paramount - top priority. i'll have to look for a good one.

getting a bag is also (for me) top priority. i'm currently looking at ebay for the Crumpler. i would extremely like a hybrid bag where i could put my laptop as well as the camera with accessories so that when i travel, everything would be in one convenient (well protected, and waterproof) storage.

actually ikelah, my father is also a photography enthusiast. he has a dslr, and i've always seen him carefully storing his cameras and various lenses in a glass tub complete with blue crystals. i've been wondering what the blue crystals were --- it's the silica gel isn't it?

as for photoshop. kat UK takut nak lanun. (i'm using genuine windows xp and genuine antivirus) instead, i'll stick with GIMP which ive invested lots of time in learning. maybe not as easy or powerful as photoshop, but i still could get very good results.

ooo tripod bukan priority ke? i see...........

magazines. hahaha, one of my hobbies is reading magazines I'm afraid. i love buying magazines on various topics. i'm trying hard to stop, like you said: resources on the internet are vast.

in conclusion gentleman, i've decided the following as priority purchases:
1. camera bag (harga = £100)
2. microfibre cloth (harga = £10)
3. (UV) filter dulu kot. (harga = ??? upwards of £20-£30)
4. i've already bought a 2Gb fast CF card.

auntie de
better not get uncle de started on DSLRs!!!!

KKL, PmS, DiTH
whoops, too late for you guys :p

mynn said...

ps
i would love to have a site where our members like O-K, Moby, Izhal, Ikelah, yours truly and actually sapa2 pun where we all submit photos and have homeworks -- abit like photowarung.com which i so admire.

mynn yg ngantuk said...

correction:
fotowarung bukan "photo"warung

mynn said...

pps
I'm thinking of abbreviating the name of the site to STItch, Stitch, StItch, stItch, st-ITCH or something. what do you guys think?

hiyoshi said...

Sounds like you just got yourself a very demanding new wife.

Congratulations anyway!

nnydd said...

Mynn,
Saya terasa nak mengucap panjang2 dululah, teeheehee. Boleh terbayang muka PMS, teeheehee. Mintaklah dijauhkan drpd isteri2 yang high-maintenance macam ni, teeheeehee.

Kalau membeli jangan lupa pakai Quidco. For the record, I have already earn £14.30, teeheehee.

ps: Abdul Azim if you read this, you have my condolence.

OK said...

i wish i was working over there..oh well

fm said...

hiyoshi - the 'demanding new wife' = not a solehah one, I presume...(nauzubillah)

anyway, as a normal du'a for a 'newly-wed couple': May Allah bless the couple, n may the husband bring out goodness/barakah to the wife n vice versa...

izhal said...

wah 2GB... i was going to suggest you not to waste time saving in RAW... the JPGs from your 400D is produced from RAW sensor data using a combination of on chip hardware i.e. noise cancellers, gain boosters etc and also embedded software... if you manipulate the RAW files yourself, you're doing it using purely software, thus its slow and editting will differ from image to image... but some ppl have all the time... for me, life is too short for RAW but since you got 2GB, go ahead... im sure you'd learn something that i missed out on...

by the way, my wife has 3 cameras where one is an SLR (canon film SLR)... but the lens cant work with any canon DSLRs because of the redesigned EF and EFS lens mount... she's quite good in photography but knows nuts about image sensors heheh... maybe thats why she wants me to have a big boy cam... she bought it for me using my credit card :P anyway, its the thought that counts ;)

dyanna said...

Camera ni 'female' ke?

mynn said...

dyanna
maintenance macam female

izhal
i think i'll experiment with both RAW and Jpegs and see which suits me. I don't have that powerful of a computer so don't know if i have the patience for RAW. we'll see.

tergelak reading your wife bought your DSLR ......... using your credit card. smart! however for me, i still would prefer to buy any gadgets/electronics myself -- because i the criteria for my gadgets are veryyyyyyy specific :)

O-K
so do i.

hiyoshi
yeay! hiyoshi pulak, tak nak beristeri lagi ke?

nnydd
tak beli through quidco pun. rugi tak buat account!

Uncle De said...

next time u could use nnydd punya account, im sure he wouldnt mind u contributing to his account...haha

nnydd said...

Uncle De,

kita buat account Quidco bersekutu, ala al-Musyarakah. Savings goes to non-Zionist causes, ;)

Fiat Sapientia Virtus!