Begginer's Camera Choice

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Samriel, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    I've just registered here a few seconds ago. To explain my situation, I've being only shooting with point-and-shoot camera's 'till now, but I've been shooting a lot, and familiarized myself with most of the functions the consumer range has to offer. I discovered I really like photography and would like to take it a step further, and do some more serious photography. So I started looking for a camera that fit my needs, one which could let me practice some more serious photography, and after reading a lot of reviews, forums and similar articles, I just couldn't make my mind up. I had the following problems:
    • DSLR or not?
    Even though there are budget DSLRs available, it still gets rather pricey compared to non-DSLRs, especially if I want more lenses. Here I got stuck comparing the Nikon D40 to the Panasonic DMC-FZ18. 500mm does sound nice after all...
    • If I decide on a DSLR, which one?
    In the DSLR budget compartment I have the Nikon D40 Double Zoom Kit II for about 600$, and the Canon Digital X Double Zoom Kit, for about 720$. At the moment I tend toward the D40, mostly because of the price, but also because I prefer SD cards to other memory formats. The reviews also seem quite similar, which is making my choice even harder.
    • If I decide on a non-DSLR, which one?
    I mentioned the Panasonic DMC-FZ18 earlier, and it does seem to have a lot of features and options for a reasonable price of about 380$. However, the build just feels extremely fragile and light in my hand. It's competition comes in the form of the Canon G9. I love the build, and the feeling in my hand, performance is relatively similar, except of course the smaller zoom. The automatic lens cap and the small size are also practical features, as expected from a quasi point-and-shoot camera. All that for a price of about 400$.

    That would be my problem. Any help or advice is appreciated!

    EDIT: Please check my post a bit lower, I need some advice concerning lens compatibility. Thanks.
     
  2. monkeykoder

    monkeykoder TPF Noob!

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    Have you been to a camera store and held and taken pictures with all of these cameras? If you plan on sticking with the hobby the dSLR is probably the way to go. If your budget is really strict Pentax has a line of dSLRs that might fit your needs. There is a thread on here explaining one big problem with the D40 and that might be enough to convince you to try canon or pentax maybe olympus.
     
  3. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    If you want to get into truly 'serious' photography, a dSLR is the way to go. You can start out with a budget/entry level dSLR (Canon Rebel XT or XTI, Nikon D40/D40x) and then build on that. The cool thing about dSLR's is that once you buy into a system, pretty much everything is interchangeable. The lenses you acquire for your camera will work on a more advanced camera body should you decide to upgrade in the future, etc.

    If you're more looking to take a step towards more serious photography to see if you want to get truly serious, then an SLR-like camera might be for you. They offer the manual controls (Aperture, Shutter, Manual) of a dSLR, but are lower in price. The downside is, of course, that they don't have interchangeable lenses.

    Just a couple things to think about... :)
     
  4. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I've read about the problem with lens compatibility and I wouldn't mind so much, as I would try to buy a better body after I have gotten some practice with the D40.

    Is there anyway that I could find out if some older Nikkor lenses are compatible with the D80? My father bought a Nikon F-501 and some lenses a long time ago, and never really used it. He'd be willing to give me the whole thing. I was wondering if the lenses are compatible with the D80, so that I could buy only the body and then use the lenses from the F-501. I would spend a bit more money. I'm short on time at the moment, so I'd like to ask if anyone knows if the following are compatible with the D80, and if they're going to make good pictures on it. So:

    • Nikon AF Nikkor 35-135mm 1:3.5-4.5
    • Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1:4-5.6
    • Nikon AF Nikkor 75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6
    Will there be any features of the D80 I won't be able to with these lenses and vice versa?
     
  5. doobs

    doobs TPF Noob!

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    D40 can't support some AF lenses. You will have to manual focus many of them.
     
  6. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    I'd advise you to get something similar to a Casio Exilim Pro EX-P505 first. (my first "serious" camera) (P.s. don't worry about the price that's listed on that site, you can get it much cheaper)

    Something like that will be more than enough to get you into photography and it will be great to learn on. It has full manual exposure stuff too. (also aperture priority, shutter priority, white balance adjust, etc.)

    It is a very fun camera, and even when/ if you finally upgrade to a DSLR you'll still like putting this extremely compact camera in your pocket for easy shots. Plus you can't forget the high quality video that this camera can produce and it's movie run time is only limited by how much memory is in your memory card.

    Anyways, that's just what I think. I just love that camera so much lol.

    You can't go wrong with a DSLR either!
     
  7. Keith Gebhardt

    Keith Gebhardt TPF Noob!

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    If the lenses usa AF-S or AF-I you can use them with the D40.

    That narrows the list down, but still gives your a wide range of good lenses. about 20 or so.
     
  8. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    Anybody has any info on the lens compatibility I mentioned before?
     
  9. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    If they're AF lenses they will work on the D80 just fine. I have no idea about the quality, but any lens will make good pictures if you can ;)
     
  10. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D80 can use all these lenses without limitations.
     
  11. Samriel

    Samriel TPF Noob!

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    Ok, that's great news - saves me a lot of money and opens up some options. Since I can use the older Nikkor AF lenses, I think I'm going for the Nikon D80. Now I have just two more questions:

    • Is the D80 compatible with the older Nikon Speedlight SB-20 flash?
    • What lens would you recommend for close-up shooting (is the term "macro" shooting used with dSLRs?)? I'm looking for a good budget-friendly lens.
     
  12. You will really enjoy the D80, have fun.
     

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