Can a good photographer use any old camera and still come out with...

@Carmetaf (309)
United States
March 15, 2008 12:17am CST
a great subject? I own a 2MP Olympus with 10X zoom lens. I have had some pictures that were great, some not so great. I had a Fuji that I thought was better, it was 4mp and had 6x zoom. My olympus point and shoot is really good at shooting sharp images in smaller format. The low light feature on this camera is awesome. I would love to get something better though. A DSLR Does anyone know of something that I could buy for less than $500 and plenty of good features to get started with? I live in a very beautiful state and hope to do some touring by motorcycle this year. I would love to have a great camera for this just in case.
4 people like this
12 responses
• United States
17 Mar 08
I think that you have to have both. A good camera and talent. Otherwise your photography just won't turn out the way you want it to. I just purchased a new camera that I absolutely love. I needed it for my jewelry business. It isn't a DLSR but for $250 it's amazing. It's a Kodak Easyshare Z712 IS. You can check out some of the pics I've taken with it at http://ridetheworldover.blogspot.com. That's my motorcycle adventures blog. It sounds like we have a lot in common :-) Where are you planning on going this year? Hubby and I are planning on heading to Deal's Gap in NC, up to CT to see my best friend, Savannah, GA and down the coast, and over to Hunting Island, SC. I can't wait!! We just bought a new Yamaha V-Star 1300. It rides soooo good. Anyway, back on the subject of the camera. If you have up to $500 to spend, I would check out eBay. You can usually get some really good deals on SLR and DSLR there. Good luck!!
• United States
17 Mar 08
Nice shots on your site Andie! I really like the one of the sewing machine in front of the window. I grew up in Southern Md, and my Mom is from NC, those picture were like going back home for me. Thanks for posting that. What do you use for software? I need to get something for watermarking like you used. What process did you use to separate the color and B&W areas in the shots of the flower and the jewelry? They look great. Sorry for the barrage of questions, but that looks like some pretty useful stuff.
• United States
17 Mar 08
Thanks for the compliment. I'm really glad you liked the pics! I use paint.net actually. If you have some more questions just let me know!
1 person likes this
@trickiwoo (2703)
• United States
16 Mar 08
It's not the camera that makes the picture, it's the photographer! However, a good camera can add a lot more creative flexibility. There are some good entry-level DSLRs that you could buy used for under $500. I would check websites like Craigslist or eBay. You can even check on photography forums for photographers selling their used equipment.
• United States
17 Mar 08
There's a pro that sells ALL his gear annually on eBay, just so he can stay current. (Obviously, it's not me. I'm practically a ludite) I've seen some of his stuff go at market value, but I've also seen some of it go WAY cheap, $.03 on the retail dollar. All of it has been in great condition. There are great deals out there. Is there a sight where we can post photos and get critique so we become better PHOTOGRAPHERS, as well as finding better stuff? I know there are fora for guitarists and songwriters, what is there for photo?
• United States
16 Mar 08
Yes, The camera is not the only factor. skill involves the use of all that yo have, the space, the lighting, the subject AND the camera.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 08
It's true. Even though I do a lot of shooting (especially for online and catalog) at low resolutions, I'm shopping for both a medium format back and 35mm format SLR with a full frame sensor. But I sure wouldn't use the higher pixel count for everything. If the final product is going to be on the web, or even a print less than 11x17 I'm pretty happy with a clean RAW file at about 4MP or less.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
16 Mar 08
I'd say that you could. When digital cameras first came out, I won a Nikon CoolPix 800 in a photo contest. It's 2MP and was 2X zoom (only count optical, digital zoom just makes the photos look bad). I had tons of photos that were great. I could print them at 4x6 or 5x7s and they'd display nicely and looked better than a lot of pictures from film cameras. The problem was, since it was a 2 megapixel camera I really couldn't print nice 8x10s (although, I did do some anyway because you couldn't tell from a distance). The thing to remember though, is that smaller images quite often are going to look better. Slight blurriness in a 4MP image might never be seen if you reduce the size to a 2MP image. I noticed when I switched from my 2MP camera to an 8MP prosumer camera (all the features of an SLR except that you can't change the lens, you might want to look into something like that as well, I had the Nikon CoolPix 8700), but I ended up with more blurry photos in 8MP... not because I became a worse photographer, but because in low lighting holding the camera with my hands, the photos were nice enough small, but shook slightly so that full size they were a bit blurry. So before you determine that your 4MP camera isn't as good, compare the images at equal sizes. There are some DSLRs out there for under $500. You could also go with a used one and then you could probably get something nicer.
1 person likes this
@thebeing (657)
• Romania
15 Mar 08
well, if you have the scene, that's like half of the image. :) Now, 4mpx is rather small. You could get a better camera (search on dpreview, they have the best camera database there) or not, but i do recommend something far more useful... a tripod. It will change your photos COMPLETELLY! There is no comparisson between the use of a tripod and the hand-held camera. Especially when light is scarce. Don't crank up the ISO (that will only lower the quality of your images), instead, use a tripod. I have a fujifilm finepix s5700, and i NEVER go with the ISO above 64 (which is the minimum ISO for this camera). Why? because i rather have somewhat darker images (which i can edit in PS), than to have images with noise (which, let's face it, can't be removed without compromissing the picture quality). When you can't use a tripod, well, use a flash. That is, if you can get close to the subject. DON'T EVER use flash for landscape photography. It doesn't work. (period) When you want to take a landscape shot and can't use the tripod (well, try and try to use it), crank the ISO, but at the lower limit of acceptable image quality (this differs from camera to camera). Goodluck!
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Mar 08
Yes. It just depends on how large you want the final image to be? 2mp will work fine up to 5x7 print if you shoot in the highest quality mode, or more than 1024x728 on screen. The drop in quality usually comes from the same things that applied to film. Light, composition, exposure and movement (camera or subject). BTW, 4MP is close to the quality of 400 ISO film in 35mm format. If you go back and look at sports illustrated from the '60's and '70's that's the quality you have available. The Olympus C730UZ that I use most (4MP) I got from eBay. I won the auction at about $25. Shop carefully and I bet you can get an lot for your $500. Really I'd tell you to get a good tripod, learn to use the self timer (instead of a cable release). Does your camera have a full manual mode?
• United States
15 Mar 08
Great! Now it's time to get the best out of what you have, do you have a tripod yet? I haven't been on I this board long enough to upload attachments, but there is a lot you can do with what you have. I just uploaded a series of portraits and a winter cityscape to my myLot page, look there under photos. The reason I put those up is because they were shot at LESS than ONE megapixel. I can print them up to 8x10 without digital "grain" Lemmee know what you think HTH
@acewings (30)
• United States
2 Apr 08
It really shouldn't matter if a good photographer would use a new or old camera because if they're truly good then they should be able to use any kind of camera and still come out with good pictures.
@hcromer (2712)
• United States
2 Apr 08
I personally believe that it takes a good eye to make a good photo, not a good camera. People have been producing beautiful images for years with basic cameras. A good camera might help you capture a better image, but as far as taking a beautiful picture, that is up to the photographer.
@feris0604 (303)
• Malaysia
2 Apr 08
I once thought that an expensive DLSR would help me to capture better pictures. How wrong I was! A good photographer is a creative person. Every picture he captures will need to go through some kind of retouching. No matter how good the tool is, the person who who uses it must be better. We are all worth much more than the cameras in the world because we can see beauty in everything!
@dancinman (119)
• United States
16 Mar 08
[u][/u][b][/b] Man the world has gone craaaaaaaazy, I have a minolta 35mm maxxum along with a 70---300 zoom lens and I wouldn't part with it. but I still get my film developed at walmart. Use 800 speed film and it will stop the white lines on the road at 70 mph. taken thru the windshield. or side window. reach waaaaaaaay out there with the zooooooom.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
15 Mar 08
I owned an Olympus C700UZ and got some great photos. If you are willing to search you might find a DSLR Canon Rebel Kit for under $500. I have seen some refurbished cameras for under $500 with a year warranty. Another good camera for under $500 is the Canon S5 an 8 MP camera with a 12X optical zoom. I have used this camera and it is a very good camera. Not quite as good as my DSLR Canon Rebel. I have heard that Kodak has a good line of cameras with long zooms. The other one is the Canon G9 but that might be more than $500. The other idea is to purchased a new but older model. A Canon Rebel 6mp with most of the features you need. Good Luck
@zenmachado (1619)
• United States
15 Mar 08
An artist is only as good as the tools he utilizes.. Any artist can produce brilliance from any object but in a way he is limited by the limitations of that object. So a good photographer can work wonders with any old camera, but when he is provided with a finer instrument he can take that wonder to another level.