Newb questions

  • Dangles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Howdy all.

Just have a few questions about peoples preferences. I have used search, but a lot of the topics that fit my questions were either old, or didnt go the route Iwas hoping.

So here goes:

I want to start to take up digital photography, as well as learn the other aspects of photoshop. I was into photography many moons ago., but have shyed away from digital for many years. Now I am at a point I would like to make an investment in a decent digital SLR and possibly a begginers drawing tablet.

Question 1:
It seems alot of you seem to favor the Nikon cameras over the Canon ones. Why is this? Like I said I have been out of the loop for a long time, but I remember the canon cameras being top notch. I was looking at the digital rebel, am I better off looking at the nikon?? If so could you give me a few reasons,

Question 2:
I have wanted to take up digital drawing and the like for a real long time, and have wanted to purchase a tablet to try this out on. I understand that the wacom tablets are the way to go it seems. Though I was hoping to get a decent size tablet and the graphire series only gets as big as 6x8 this seems awfully small to my big fat hands. But the 9x12 Intuous is around 500 bucks and a bit too many options for a novice like me. Should I go with the 6x8 or should I look for an alternative manufacturer.

Question 3:
Photoshop or GIMP? Basically says it all, I have been perusing the stickied thread from Musik showing all the links to photoshop tutorials, and wondering if I can get the same effects(to a point) with GIMP. PS is hellishly expensive, where GIMP is free. Am I just aiming too high with PS , should I go with a "elements" level prog at first, or is it best to just suck it up and save a little longer for the real thing.

Sorry for the long winded questions

Thanks in Advance!
Dangles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • neksus
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Post 3+ Months Ago

can't answer question 1 without making something up (although id love to get into photography, as far as cameras go im still a novice), but i can answer your other questions.

wacom tablets are great, they're crisp, they're sensitive, and all around a great product. if you can, id suggest it. never had a problem with one. never used an intuous, but if you really really need that extra room for your hand id go with them. theres no point getting something really good if you cant utilize it. maybe theres a way you can use it, who knows?

as for ps/gimp, gimp can somewhat achieve some of the features photoshop has. but, you get what you pay for. no layer blending, advanced filters, and not sure if gimp has this but i know when a tablet is used with photoshop theres soemthing like 155 different sensitivity measures (meaning the harder you press, the darker it appears in your caller, and thicker if you press hard). personally i recomment photoshop, but hey, i've also been using it for a few years!

all in all, if you're going to be investing in professional photo editing, then photoshop is for you. there's so many things you can do to touch up your photos that many other programs can't even come close to. and with the tablet, try it out in the store. maybe the 6x8 will be enough for ya.
  • digitalMedia
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Dangles wrote:
Question 1:
It seems alot of you seem to favor the Nikon cameras over the Canon ones. Why is this? Like I said I have been out of the loop for a long time, but I remember the canon cameras being top notch. I was looking at the digital rebel, am I better off looking at the nikon?? If so could you give me a few reasons,


All the major camera manufacturers put out top-notch cameras. Nikon and Cannon are two very popular makes. If you're asking which is better, that's going to vary from person to person, their preferences, their needs, etc.

I use a Nikon D70. It is a very respected DSLR. AmericanPhoto magazine says it's the best DSLR they've reviewed. But, again, it's going to depend on what you want.

Dangles wrote:
Question 2:
I have wanted to take up digital drawing and the like for a real long time, and have wanted to purchase a tablet to try this out on. I understand that the wacom tablets are the way to go it seems. Though I was hoping to get a decent size tablet and the graphire series only gets as big as 6x8 this seems awfully small to my big fat hands. But the 9x12 Intuous is around 500 bucks and a bit too many options for a novice like me. Should I go with the 6x8 or should I look for an alternative manufacturer.


Unless you're going to be sketching on the computer, I'd say skip the tablet. Thanks to Pierre Bezier, you really don't need one for working with vector images. I've always used a mouse (USB over PS2, better sampling rate) and been quite comfortable doing so.

Dangles wrote:
Question 3:
Photoshop or GIMP? Basically says it all, I have been perusing the stickied thread from Musik showing all the links to photoshop tutorials, and wondering if I can get the same effects(to a point) with GIMP. PS is hellishly expensive, where GIMP is free. Am I just aiming too high with PS , should I go with a "elements" level prog at first, or is it best to just suck it up and save a little longer for the real thing.


Photoshop is an industry standard and has more functionality. The GIMP is free and some consider it a viable alternative. Being that it's free, I say download and install the GIMP. See if you like it. Try the Photoshop demo. See if you like that.

Good luck!
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have never used GIMP. Photoshop is well worth the investment. I lot of people forget they can purchase student versions of the software (if your a student of course). Its a full working version just a hell of a lot cheaper.
  • NoamDesign
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Post 3+ Months Ago

how cheaper? :S i bought the "normal" version of photoshop CS... that was hell lot of money!!
  • Dangles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thank You all for the feedback. I am gonna DL gimp this weekend and give it a whirl. I think I will wait on DLing the PS trial until I get the camera, since its only a 30day trial.

As far as the cameras go, I am still unsure of which one is a better choice for me. I mainly want to take nature, and architectural photos, though I will be taking portraits in the next couple of years, if and when my wife and I have a baby. The reason I am looking for a DSLR as opposed to a point and click is that I want the availability of the other lens. I am a huge fan of the fish eye lens, and I think macro photography is awesome.

Ooh heres another question, and forgive me if I word it wrong. I understand that with the digital SLRs, that the sensors cause a truncation in either the field of view or depth of view(am I saying that right) How much of a difference does this really make? Especially taking into account lens such as the fisheye. I would hate to invest 1-2,000 dollars on a camera and have the shots be all off because of the size of the sensor in the camera. ** Not that I have much of a choice since they all seem to suffer from that aside from the super-high end canon 1Ds, but I have no need for a 10K dollar camera, though if I hit the lottery I will consider it hehe**

Anyway thanks again!!
If anyone has any other info it would be appreciated.

Dangles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

musik - if you buy an educational version of software and use it for commercial business you are in violation of the license. its as if you didnt pay for it at all :)
  • Dangles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

neksus wrote:
musik - if you buy an educational version of software and use it for commercial business you are in violation of the license. its as if you didnt pay for it at all :)


I guess thats a little grey of an area. I could have bought it while being a student, but now I have graduated. Am I unable to use the software anymore?

Dangles
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Post 3+ Months Ago

you can still use it, but anything you make a profit of off is illegal. i won a copy of macromedia studio MX for my medal at skills canada, but its educational, i have no real purpose for it. still trying to sell it :D
  • Arcath
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The Canon and Nikon digital SLR's are both good cameras. There is plenty of reviews of all the models on the internet so you can get a feel for what kind of options and quality you can get in your price range. Then if you have time, head down to your local camera shop and try a couple of the models you are thinking of.

As far as the digital rebel, it's targeted for sales as a high end consumer camera, not a professional camera, and thats pretty much what it is. It's body is cheaper plastic and probably wouldn't survive a drop. You don't have alot of the options you would expect a digital SLR camera to have, it's simple to use instead.

The Canon 10D has some great features for only a couple hundred more but more importantly it's a more of a professional camera. The body is sturdy and works with almost any accessory or flash that a non-digital camera uses.

One downside to Canon cameras in general is the lenses are usually a bit more expensive. The lense I bought for my Nikon was $83 and the Canon equivalent was $130. Not a big difference but it was a small factor in my decision of a camera body.

I reallly liked the Nikon D100 but the price difference between the D100 & D70 and a comparison of the features it was hard for me to pass up the D70. I was able to get the body for $930 online but it took 2 weeks because it was backordered, I could have got it at the local camera shop for $1000.

the bottom line I would say is don't listen to me or anyone, go find a store with both of them and try them out for yourself.
  • think.correctly
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Post 3+ Months Ago

there is always the way of d/l'ing the proggies, as long as you have a good client/website, you should be good for the programs, however, these progrmas take forever to d/l. and there is always the chance that you wont get the right program/it wont be cracked-have serial number/virus laden. this is only a good option if your short on money, or if you have a seperate comp for photo editng that you dont care about, or a good AV
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

neksus wrote:
musik - if you buy an educational version of software and use it for commercial business you are in violation of the license. its as if you didnt pay for it at all :)


Well I never said to use it for commerical use. I just meant don't forget if you ARE a student, you can get it cheaper - even if you have a student in the family there is no reason they cannot purchase it for use on one computer at home.

Commercial users should buy the full versions - then they can claim that back on their tax.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

NoamDesign wrote:
how cheaper? :S i bought the "normal" version of photoshop CS... that was hell lot of money!!


These are Australian prices:

Normal price: $1,999
As a student: $569.00
Savings: $1,430

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