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Thread: Looking to Purchase

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    Member GenesisInc's Avatar
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    Looking to Purchase

    Hi Folks,

    I am looking at getting a dSLR camera, and I thought I would see you guys for some advice.

    As I am new to SLR technology, I thought I would get an entry level camera, and was wondering if the one below is a good camera to get (inclidung the selected lenses).

    I prefer to take photos of Landscapes and Animals, if that helps. I am also currently using a Nikon L110 Coolpix Camera (but I don't like the fact the whole camera is automatic controls)

    *removed - do not post images you have not taken, on Ausphotography*
    Last edited by ricktas; 05-04-2011 at 1:45pm.

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    Not to be critical but asking what camera to buy is somewhat similar to asking "What car should I buy?" Applying the same logic - ask yourself these questions:

    What do I want to photograph?
    It's rare for beginners to know exactly what they want to photograph from the word GO - everyone loves to experiment with different genres and diciplines before finding out what they enjoy most. Using the car analogy, it'll be asking yourself - Do I want to go offroading or a grand tourer or a stripped out race car or just need to get to A to B? In your instance, you've stated landscapes and animals which will require two types of lenses - a wide angle for land scapes and a telephoto for animals (and perhaps even a macro for the smaller critters!)

    What's your budget?
    There's no point splurging $10,000+ on all the best and greatest gear if you are going to live on 2 minute noodles for the next 2 years to pay off a loan/credit card. At the end of the day, only spend what you can justify spending - even if it means you have to make a compromise in the gear you want. This leads to the next question

    What research have I done?
    Think of this as test driving a car before purchase. Not all DSLRs are made the same. Not all lenses produce the same quality image. Knowing exactly what features you require on a camera and what each camera offers will greatly assist your purchase choice. Read independent reviews on the internet and magazines to help you to make up your own unbiased decision. Pixel Peeper will also assist you in seeing the quality of lens/camera combinations from photos posted by its users. I'm sure if you're nice enough, camera stores will let you 'test drive' the camera/lenses that you are interested in.

    Hope the info helps in you deciding what to purchase.
    -Alan

    D700 | D80 | 16-35 | 24-70 | 70-200 | 30 | 50 | 85

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    Lay-z has provided some useful and accurate general advice. I thought I'd follow up with some specific comments directed at the details you have provided...

    You mention that you're most interested in photographing landscapes and animals. Unfortunately, this puts you at opposite ends of the range of lenses! Landscape photography is usually done using wide or ultra-wide lenses. 24mm (Full-Frame equivalent) is probably a maximum useful focal length for landscape photography, and ideally you would be able to go even wider (e.g. 16mm). On the other hand, animal and particularly wildlife photography requires you to be able to take photographs at a distance, requiring the use of a telephoto lens. 200mm is probably the absolute minimum useful for wildlife photography, but you could get away with 85-100mm if you're taking photos of domestic animals/pets, who will allow you to get physically much closer.

    Because these are two extremes in terms of focal length, you'll probably only have a budget to focus on one or the other of these kinds of photography to start off with. Because fast lenses for decent wildlife photography are also very expensive, whereas you don't need a particularly fast/expensive lens for landscape work, I'd recommend you go for the landscape option to begin with.

    In terms of entry-level cameras, I'd recommend a 550D in the Canon range. Not sure about the other brands, but at the moment the 550D is exceptional value and takes very good photographs.

    Cheers,
    L.
    --=3 In Veritas Lux E=--
    Bodies: Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon EOS 550D
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    Hi folks,

    First off sorry about the picture, I didn't think a screenshot would be an issue as it is not a photo.

    Secondly, thanks for the advice, I think I will still have to do a fair bit more research before I make my purchase.

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    As another newbie, I went and tried a couple of cameras in my hands as well as not all camera "feel" right. I decided on the Nikon d90 and also bought the 18-200 lens so I could have a good travel lens that would let me experiment to see what I really liked to photograph and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Good luck on your choice
    D610 and D90 with a 16-35mm f/4,a 70-200mm f/4 ,a 300mm f/4 +TC11 convertor, 18-200mmDX and 85mm micro Dx.

    Sally...CC always appreciated

    My Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/salnel

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    Use the Net to do your research and narrow the field. Go to a store and handle the cameras that you shortlist, they all feel different. Ask salespeople lots of questions. Haggle.

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    Member super duper's Avatar
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    Ask salespeople lots of questions
    Take their advice with a grain of salt, and double check it. I've had some very bad advice from sales people in camera stores.

    Both Canon and Nikon have the entry level DSLR's, the mid-range and the semi-pro in the cropped sensors. Then ther are the full-frame (very exxy). There is absolutely nothing wrong with an entry level; they take a gorgeous pic, but have a few less functions and less buttons. Some of the Nikon entry-level do not have a focusing motor, which restricts which lenses you can buy (unless you don't mind manual focus). I can't speak for Canon, but some of the Nikon semi-pro don't have an automatic mode.

    My recomendation would be the Nikon D90-great mid level, at a great price atm. (btw, I don't actually have one). I do have the 18-200mm lens which someone else mentioned, and I love it. It's a great versatile lens. I read on somewhere "it's not fantastic at anything, but it's good at everything".

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    Thanks for the advice. I am now deciding between the d3100 (18-55, 55-300 twin pack) and the d90 (18-105) cameras. I just need to work out what the difference is between the sensors and which one will fit into my budget.

    I suppose I will also have to work out which one feels the most comfortable as well

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    If you can wait, maybe check out the just announced D5100. It shares the same sensor as the D7000 and is a generation ahead of the D90 and should easily out perform it (not that D90's a slouch).
    Nikon FX

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    I'd agree with Swifty - go for one of the more recently released models (this applies to all brands).

    If you think this is a hobby that you'll really get into, take a step up of the entry level models (if your budget allows), otherwise jump in and start having fun. You'll be able to learn and find out from your own experience what your next lens option would be. Build up a couple of lenses, a bit of experience, and then upgrade to a better body in a few years time (when features will have improved, and your ability to utilise these features will have improved too!)
    http://bleepy-smurf.deviantart.com/

    Nikon D80, 18-200VR, 50mm F1.4, 18-135

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    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisInc View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I am now deciding between the d3100 (18-55, 55-300 twin pack) and the d90 (18-105) cameras. I just need to work out what the difference is between the sensors and which one will fit into my budget.

    I suppose I will also have to work out which one feels the most comfortable as well
    The D90 with the 18-105 lens will feel so much bigger and heavier than the D3100 with either of the kit lens, so go to a shop and try them both. My advice would be (if you go for either Nikon body) to get the 18-105 lens , it's a great all round lens.
    jj

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    D7000 is getting some great reviews....
    Dual SD slots, 16.9 million pixels, anyway read the reviews, sold me!
    Cheers Elteedee

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    my advice would be to get a lightly used second hand body..and spend your money on quality lens...bodies come and go..a good quality lens will be with you forever......I just picked up a 500 shutter release D300s for $1130 ..I also got a tack sharp Tamron 24-135 for $160 ..then spent big on a 70-200Vr II as the first major lens in my Nikon kit....

    look at DSLRs and lenses as two different systems...seek the future lenses you would like , then go for a body in that manufacturers line up

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    Tommo has offered good advice.

    Everyone tends to ask "what camera do you use"? But the body is really a consumable (limited shutter life etc) and will be outdated by newer models, whereas quality lenses are a long term investment.

    You'll be much better off with good lenses and an average body than average lenses and a good body.

    If you don't have a high budget, I'd recommend you start off with 1 or 2 primes (lenses that don't zoom). That idea may put you off at first but:

    - They are fast, which can compensate for a cheap camera's poor ISO perfomance.
    - Image quality is as good as it will ever get
    - They are cheap. Cheaper than poor quality zoom lenses!
    - The lack of zoom actually encourages creativity and forces you to explore the environment instead of sitting on a bench and zooming.

    My $0.02

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    DTW

    I actually bought into the Nikon system because of the 70-200 VRII....I wanted a 70-200 F2.8 thats was tack sharp at 200mm....I didn't even look at the bodies..LOL...Ive made that mistake before...with this game its all about the Glass...and what lenses are important to you as a photographer..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo1965 View Post
    my advice would be to get a lightly used second hand body..and spend your money on quality lens...bodies come and go..a good quality lens will be with you forever......I just picked up a 500 shutter release D300s for $1130 ..I also got a tack sharp Tamron 24-135 for $160 ..then spent big on a 70-200Vr II as the first major lens in my Nikon kit....

    look at DSLRs and lenses as two different systems...seek the future lenses you would like , then go for a body in that manufacturers line up
    Me too - you get much more bang for your buck this way and it will let you see if you like the brand and want to stay with it. Plus more $4 to send on great lenses. All my gear except for my fiorst body (I didn't know any better) and one lens have been bought used. That's a total of 4 Caon bodies (2& 30D, 1DMkIIN & 1DsMkII) and about7 lenses; and my current kit of H2 body, P20 digi back and 4 lenses - all used. And most of my tripods, filters and accessories.
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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