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Please help; camera recommendations


I am attending a university to get a degree in Visual Art-Digital Art. I need a good digital camera to use in my photography classes and to create images when learning Photoshop, etc.

What are the minimum specifications that I need?

Name brand considerations?

How much should I expect to pay for one good enough for university work? How much should I expect to pay for something I can use well past graduation professionally?

Is there a used camera market? If so, what are the considerations?

I would really apprieciate any input from photographers, especially art photographers.

Art is Life.

I've lived upon the edge of chance for 20 years or more...
Del Rio's Song

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They have them to use at university and most universities even employ a photography technician to help. I wouldn't waste your money unless you want to go into photography after uni and it's not especially important until mid 2nd/3rd year. It also depends if you're focusing on photography and digital compared to actual fine art.

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I am really hoping that I can get something off the bat that will carry me through a two decade career as a digital artist/art photographer with Photoshop and skills.

I am majoring in Visual Art - Digital Art. I have to take two photography classes, Digital Photography and Commercial Photography. I also have the option of taking Advanced Photography. I have no interest in the other optional class, it is called Design Multimedia and deals with PowerPoint*%$ and [email protected]). So I will be taking all three photography classes.

I am 54, retired, and never have to work again, so I am making social activism my work. I want to create art that raises awareness of issues and to serve as a social media/ real world focal point for bringing together people interested in change.

My plan is to create photographs, digitally manipulated photographs, collage work, and mixed-media, socially relevant art, while creating a social media campaign and bringing together those already working for change. To highlight their efforts, enlist the aid of those with allied concerns and raise general public consciousness.

Warning political commentary below:
UHC Now!
Take my guns constitutionally: Repeal/Amend the 2nd!

* I created 160 slide presentations for briefing Generals in PowerPoint 95 every eight weeks, for 18 months from 1996-1997.
% Microsoft Office User Special PowerPoint 2000 Certified
$ Already had a university level class in PowerPoint 2002, result A

@ Crashes

I've lived upon the edge of chance for 20 years or more...
Del Rio's Song

reply

Good luck with that. you'll probably be okay of you're looking at going into a job in the business sector as having a degree in anything to do with computers is very viable. If you're looking to be an artist and putting your work into galleries....good luck.

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You probably won't get a digital camera to last you 20 years, but you might manage 5-10 years with a single camera. I'd recommend a Nikon or Canon, but the lenses are more important than the camera body.

b l u e
g r e e n

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You probably won't get a digital camera to last you 20 years, but you might manage 5-10 years with a single camera.

That actually seems more realistic to me too.

I'd recommend a Nikon or Canon,

I had actually been leaning toward a Nikon, not only because of real world good reasons, but for a really stupid one as well:
I got a Nikon camera,
I love to take a photograph
-- Paul Simon, Kodachrome, There Goes Rhymin' Simon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZpaNJqF4po

But seriously:

but the lenses are more important than the camera body.

From my knowledge of motion picture photography I have learned that the 35mm lens "is the closest to the human eye." It seems like everyone who has a camera with only one detachable lens has a 35mm lens.

What are other focal lengths would you think and artist would be concerned with having besides a 35mm? I want to have the lenses I will need to be flexible as an artist. I definitely plan to acquire lenses, tripod, and lighting equipment through the used market.

You must bear with me. I have only begun my studies and really am quite ignorant of photography at this point. Well I will be facing three photography classes and a class concerning Photoshop in the future. I really can't wait. I'm not even getting into the digital part of my degree yet. I have only traditional art course next semester, but I will be starting the digital aspects of my degree in the fall. (This summer my classes will not be geared to my degree. I will be taking a cooking course and a wine appreciation course through the community college.)

It's so funny. When I tell people I am getting a degree in Visual Art - Digital Art, they all get this disappointed look that I didn't say, "Molecular Biology." They imagine I will be weaving baskets and doing finger painting for four years. As soon as I say, "Photoshop," their attitudes completely change as they realize I will actually learn something at the university that pays.

Thanks Rowan. I'll see you on the Politics Board as soon as I start posting there on May 12th after my second semester at the university. I am self-exiled 'til then. If I came back early:

delriosong = Dunham/Schumer/HolidayHobo

Cheers 

I've lived upon the edge of chance for 20 years or more...
Del Rio's Song

reply

I use Nikons myself, and I would strongly recommend them.

It's actually a 50mm lens that is closest to the eye on a full frame (FX) camera, such as a Nikon D750. 35mm would be for a crop frame (DX) camera such as a D3100. FX is better if you can afford it.

My main lenses for my serious art work (for FX) are:

20mm f2.8
50mm f1.4
135mm f2
200mm f4

I also have a couple of zoom lenses.

Your budget will dictate what is possible, and make sure you include lenses in the budget. A good tripod is essential, but my experience is that lighting is only needed if you do certain specific subjects, such as studio portraits or preoduct photography.

b l u e
g r e e n

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Wow, thanks for all that great information, Rowan. It's so wonderful the age we live in allows this sort of community support to occur.

My finances are good, so the real concern is really only making sure that I don't waste money on stuff I don't really need.

lighting is only needed if you do certain specific subjects, such as studio portraits or preoduct photography.

I expect all of my product photography will simply be for school. After graduation I would be interested in doing large portraits of women in ethnic fashions and fantasy costumes. (Like Cleopatra, not a naughty nurse.) I'm dirty and perverted, but still an Artist.

Thanks again and cheers 

delriosong
HBCU Junior
Major: Visual Art - Digital Art
Minor: Theatre
Artist/Activist/Warrior/Philosopher

I've lived upon the edge of chance for 20 years or more...
Del Rio's Song

reply

I have been a pro photog for 30 years.

I recomment you get a Used Pentax K-01. This camera uses both new and older lenses from the 60s. It doesnot have a falling mirror so your photos will be sharper than many Nikons and Canons. Used lenses can be had for $30 used apiece. You could have 10 different lenses for cheap.

It is 16mb picture and this will make huge prints of 16x20.

You do not need more than 16mb. In fact, 8mb will be enough.

You can pick one up on Ebay for about $180. Read reviews about it on Amazon.

I own 12 of them.

New they are about $550.

It uses many types of lenses, Russian, japanese, Russian, etc

For the sharpest lenses, go to M42 message boards and Pentax message boards.



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