Cameras For Chimeras



I wish I had a DSLR so I’d know. Advise my future purchasing!


I would say filters. UV filter for protection of the front element. The a polarizing filter for taking pictures through glass, controlling reflections of of water and changing contrast in the sky. Finally close up filters. They are fun and relatively inexpensive.


I agree with the above if you’re taking landscapes/nature photos. Plus, filters are a low cost add-on - so thumbs up! If you take portraits or family photos with that built in camera flash, you’ll benefit greatly from a shoe-mount flash and diffuser. The pop up flash on most cameras gives your ‘people shots’ that deer-in-headlights look because you’re firing harsh light straight at them. Learning to use a good flash/diffuser combo is pretty easy.

Hope this helps!


A UV Filter (~$5) is nice as insurance over the lens so you can be more mean with it without damaging. If you are taking outdoor photos including the sky, a polarized filter works.
My favorite piece I got for my old DSLR was a 50mm lens better for portraits (~I got for ~$90, now they are ~$125?) though I used it for everything non portraits as well, does not zoom.


Canon EOS Rebel T3 is $355.00 - New (not refurbished) at PrimoTronix…just saying


How well do these tripods hold up? We bought one in this price range a few years ago and it wasn’t even close to stable enough for my husband’s DSLR.


I own several used lenses that have scratches on the front element. One portrait lens has a scratch so large you can see it holding the lens three feet away. I routinely used that lens for pictures that were enlarged quite a bit (some were sold) and no one could see any evidence of any scratch in the photo. I can understand the use of filters to achieve certain results, however, unless there was no other option, why would you shoot photos through a cheap $5 piece of glass when you’ve carefully chosen lenses for their superior resolving powers?

More important to me is the lens hood I keep on my lenses at all times. The hood really helps with stray light and does provide some protection from damage to the front of the lens. I keep my camera in the bag with no lens cap just the hood attached. That way I can pull it out and start shooting right away when I need to.

Many years ago I worked the camera counter at a local chain of stores. We were always encouraged to suggest the purchase of that inexpensive filter to protect the lens along with a camera bag and other accessories. Of course, we were supposed to bring up the idea of “cheap” insurance for the lens, however, the reason was not to help the consumer protect their equipment. It was really to make more money selling more stuff with a much higher markup than the camera itself. The retailer could make a lot more money selling accessories.


Are those flashes good for still shots I am addition to video?


I 100% agree… I have a Nikon with some 2.8 fixed lenses that cost upwards of $1500 and I don’t have a filter on them unless it’s for a specific reason/effect… like a polarizer or a neutral density filter for long exposures during the day.

The UV filter that the camera store sells you is to make them more $. Non digital cameras may benefit from the use of a UV filter since you’re actually exposing film to light when the shutter is open… but with digital cameras you’re exposing the sensor (digital element) that is smart enough to handle UV.

That being said, you don’t really do yourself any harm having the filter on in most situations so if it makes you feel better then go for it.

MY opinion is that if you’re going to take on the world of DSLR shooting then learn to handle and protect your equipment and if you can’t/don’t want to then stick to one of the point and shoots or the mirror less cameras like the nikon J1 etc.

happy picture taking!


They are actually continuous LED lights as opposed to a flash. You can use them for stills but they will not be as bright as a flash.


Doesn’t really seem like much of a good deal on the t3i considering you can get it from amazon for 599, with the addition of and SD card and a bag to hold the camera. Not to mention any combo deals you wish to add such as lenses that knock 150 dollars off the price of a couple lenses.


And what about these lens pens. Are they worth the money?


Funny that woot! should be selling the Cannon EOS Rebel T3i today, for I was on Amazon earlier & looking at the SAME camera. For less money. I got me some Xmas Amazon certs to burn. Sorry, woot! Good try.


I like my Slik U212 tripod. I had ordered one of these offered today from a previous Woot and was disappointed at the weight. It should hold an old time video camera but I would not want to hike with it on my back!

Agreed on the discussion regarding a cheap UV filter being a negative. Better to get a good UV filter to protect the lens if you must.


I LOVE Lenspens. I used to recommend them to my customers when I worked at a pro camera shop, and I always keep at least one with my camera.

The mini Lenspen is good for cleaning point-and-shoot lenses, as well as SLR viewfinders and other small optics. I have no idea what that FilterKlear pen is for, though. Maybe it has a flat pad (the regular Lenspen pad is curved for a lens surface)?


What is the battery life per charge on the Sony Bloggie? Anyone?


My parents happened to get me a lenspen for Christmas - I had never heard of it and am glad they didn’t seem to waste their money. Thanks for the info.


You have a point and then you don’t. I agree, I would never cover my optics with a $5 filter. There is just no way at that price the glass would be optical quality at any level and you are putting that in front of a fine optic? However, I do protect my optics with filters but mine were not $5. An optical glass filter is going to cost quite a bit more and that cost will further go up as the diameter of the lens goes up. But, I sure would rather replace a $40 filter than send a $1,000 lens back to Canon for repair. So, I think it is somewhat reckless to not protect your camera lens with a filter. Also, for that very rare time and picture that you just don’t believe your filter is up to the challenge, simply remove it for the shot(s) and then put it back on. Frankly, with a good optical quality filter, that instance would be very rare. Lastly, many people when acquiring a new and better lens will trade a currently owned lens in on it. Try doing that with a lens that has obvious scratches on it. The cost of the filter you did not have on it when it got scratched is going to come back and bite you.


The Pop up flashes found on many DSLR’s work in a pinch and at very short distances. So, a must have if you plan on doing much indoor shooting is an accessory flash. The more flash your wallet will allow you to buy the better. With that said you can save some money buying generic flashes but factory flashes are dedicated to the factory camera and will outperform any generic you buy. It may sting a little but go ahead and buy your flash from the same manufacturer as your camera. I think this is more critical than lens and many generic lens do a great job and may be more affordable. So again, if you can, stick with a factory ‘dedicated’ flash. Also, many novices do not know about the importance of “fill flash”. This is something your little pop up flash is not going to be very helpful with but a larger flash can and will accomplish. When you are outside on a bright sun shinny day, often depending on the angle your subject is standing relative to the sun, dark and heavy shadows appear on the face as well as some areas washing out. Your option of another angle is out because in this case you want the background to be what you have and your only angle is causing these harsh shadows. You ‘fix’ this problem with ‘fill flash’. You mount your flash and allow it to fire when you take the shot. The light from the flash with light up the subject’s darkened and shaddowed areas and have no effect on the areas already lit by the sun. Your end result will be much better and much more natural looking. Try it.