Advice needed on my first ever DSLR (Nikons)

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by chews89, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. chews89

    chews89 TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    I'd like to start off by saying what a wonderful forum this is with vast amounts of information available! I've certainly learnt a lot over the past week or so after discovering TPF :)

    Well I'm currently a Uni student in Perth, Western Australia and am intrigued by photography in general. I pretty much have no background in photography at all and was looking into purchasing my first DSLR. I hope that members here can take the time to read my post and help me out.

    I think I will mainly use my DSLR to shoot photos of gatherings/outings with friends and some scenery. I am planning to buy used as I'd like to save as much as possible and I'm looking at the older Nikon range. Why Nikon? I guess it's because nearly everyone I know who owns a DSLR has a Nikon and I've read that either going for Canon or Nikon would be the best due to the wide range of lenses available.

    So in particular, I've been thinking about getting a D70 or D80. To be honest I have a feeling that I will be fairly serious about photography. I've read that getting say the D40,50 or 60 will strongly limit my lens choices as those models do not have a "focusing motor" of some sort? I'm not entirely sure. Is the D70 sufficient enough? I know its only 6.1 megapixels but I should be able to get one for about $400AUD or less. For the D80, I think I will be able to find one on the forums for about $550AUD or so. Do you guys think it's worth the extra money? Also another thing, is it Ok for me to buy my first DLSR with a kit lens? Or will it be better to look for a camera-body only and then purchase another lense after? The maximum that I'm willing to spend on camera body+lens is about $750AUD(hopefully).

    Sorry for the long post, if you're too lazy to read all that above, here are my main questions:

    1. Is the D80 worth the extra ~$200AUD over the D70?

    2. Is it even worth getting a D70 now?(since they came out in like 2004)

    3. Should I go for camera body +kit lens? Or would it make more sense to buy them separately?

    4. Are TPF members quite open to shipping internationally? Because I've noticed that a vast majority of everyone is located in CONUS. (I actually have online feedback on ebay and a hi-fi website)

    5. What about the D90? I MAY be able to stretch my budget if the upgrade is worth it. However I might have to save up for a while for a lens.


    PS: My sister actually owns a D80 and I've played around with it a bit on family holidays and stuff. However since she already has a D80, that may push me away from getting one(just to be different) but the idea of sharing lenses certainly is cool.

    I hope some of you will be able to offer some advice/opinions and insight!

    Cheers
     
  2. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    All of those cameras will take great pictures.

    Short answer is that if you plan to get serious, get the D90. The upgrade is definitely worth the extra cash even if you will have to save for a few weeks to get a lens.

    Heck the 35/1.8 is only a $200 lens and it's a great one for the price.
     
  3. myvinyl333

    myvinyl333 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Great post. I second the D90. Better off getting the body and the len(s) you want. There are are many posts here on where and how.
    jorge:thumbup:
     
  4. Darkhunter139

    Darkhunter139 TPF Noob!

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    Agreed, I got a D40 and although its great for a beginner I wish I would have spent the extra money due to the better low light performance. Ill stick with my D40 for a while but am going to want to upgrade eventually.
     
  5. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    d200 or d90, though a d70 is still a great little camera. the d200 will give u compatibility with older manual focus lenses.
     
  6. heronfisher

    heronfisher TPF Noob!

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    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Exposure[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Exposure is different on my D80. It exposes for the darkest part of the image, meaning it often makes images lighter than I want. No big deal, I set the exposure compensation (the +/- button) to -0.7 to darken to taste. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]My D70 erred on the side of safety, or under exposure. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I have to keep an eye on my D80, or it blows out images (to my taste). Many beginners may prefer the lighter images from the D80, since many beginners thought the D70 was too dark in contrasty light. To each their own taste - this is art, you know. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]No camera knows what you want 100% of the time, so all cameras require this adjustment depending on the subject. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The D70/s and D50 only have black-and-white histograms, which are worse than useless for gauging exposure for color photos. My D80 has a fantastic color histogram which lets me make accurate exposures regardless of the color of the subject. I can't use the histograms of my D70/s and D50 for color photography. That's what I mean about them being ancient in digital-camera-years.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Focus[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The D80 and D50 have a magic mode to select automatically between AF-S, single AF, used for still subjects, and AF-C, continuous, used for moving things like sports and kids. I use this automatic selection mode all the time. This mode is logically called AF-A, for Automatic. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The D80 has a button for easy manual selection between AF-S and AF-C, as well as the magic mode, AF-A (auto).[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]None of the D70, D70s or D50 have any buttons or switches for any of this. One of my biggest whines about them is that I have to go into a menu every time I point my D70 at moving or still subjects. Menus waste time and miss photo opportunities, buttons are fast. At least the D50 has the AF-A mode, almost eliminating the need for switching it manually between AF-S and AF-C.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]If cost is an issue, just get a D70s or D50 on close out. Used properly, they all will make the same quality pictures, even on 12 x 18" (30 x 40 cm) prints. Put your money into a great lens like the Nikon 18-200mm instead. The added resolution of the D80 doesn't do anything, except fill up hard drives and memory cards, unless you're printing at 20 x 30" (60 x 90 cm) and larger (or if you're a geek who puts a loupe up to his prints). Heck, i have been on CBS TV with fantastic 12 x 18" prints I made from a camera with one-half to one-third this resolution! [/FONT]
     

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