Buying first camera

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ereid, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. ereid

    ereid TPF Noob!

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    I am buying my first good camera and need a bunch of advice. I am new to this so i would like something user friendly. I dont want to start with something half assed, i would like to start off right. I would really like to get a dslr but am not sure if thats the right idea for me as a starter or not. I have been looking at the canon xt and the nikon d40, the only thing that i have been torn with is that you cant use the lcd screen as a viewfinder, i know thats probably not a justifiable complaint after i see the quality of pictures.

    Anyways any advice would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    You are on the right track, the XT (XTi) or D40 would be a great camera to start with. You can use them as simply as any camera but they have the capability to grow with you, as your skill & knowledge gets better.

    Sure, you can't use the LCD screen to preview the image...but after using the viewfinder, you probably won't miss it. Besides, holding the camera out in front of you, is one of the worst ways to shoot a camera.
     
  3. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    well if you are looking to develop photography into a good hobby or something like that, have a look at the SLRs, so Canon Rebel, Nikon D40, D80, Sony Alpha, Pentax K100D, Olympus I forget the model, and other companies. If you do go for an SLR, learn about the different type of lenses, and be prepared to invest a decent amount of money. If you don't want an SLR, have a look at the SLR-like cameras-->Canon S5, S3, Panasonic Lumixes, Fujifilms got some. All are good choices. Make sure that you have decent OPTICAL zoom, and a crapload of megapixels doesn't necessarily mean its a good camera. 4 or 5 megapixels will suffice. Oh ya, the bigger the lens is physically on a point and shoot, the better results you'll get, especially in low light. Do your research, good luck.
     
  4. ereid

    ereid TPF Noob!

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    I have been leaning more towards the Nikon D40, the only thing i am concerned with is how user friendly it is. What is the best way to learn about setting up the camera and using the settings and everything? should i be looking into taking a class or is there an easier way?
     
  5. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    just ask your best friend, the manual. there are also e-books, online tutorials, and seminars that you can take. but the manual will tell you everything. on the dial there's full auto, aperture priority, full manual, and plenty of other options, from beginner to advanced.
     
  6. jedithebomber

    jedithebomber TPF Noob!

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    The D40 is a cakewalk to learn with. All the settings menus display nice little pictures to show what situation the setting may be best for. The official nikon site for the d40 has a nice training area with video, examples, etc. Just be sure you want to go Nikon and not cannon, the glass is the real investment.
     
  7. Buszaj

    Buszaj TPF Noob!

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    c'mon jedithebomber, canon and nikon are equal!:D
     
  8. JCPics

    JCPics TPF Noob!

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    Have you thought about the D80? The price isn't so different from the D40x, and with the new camera coming out soon replacing the D200 and the D2. Anyways it also has the same sensor as the D200, and would be better for printing.
     
  9. ereid

    ereid TPF Noob!

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    now im wondering if i should pony up the extra dough and go for the D40x or the Xti instead of the D40 or XT would it be worth the extra money to step up or would the xt or d40 be good to get me started?
     
  10. Milhouse

    Milhouse TPF Noob!

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    I just bought the XTi and really like it. I'm glad I went with the XTi over the XT just for the 10 MP. The details that it grabs even when I zoom in the picture is incredible. Having said that I haven't compared the pics to ones taken on an XT.

    Olympus and Sony have models that take pics with the LCD. I had the same worry thinking that I would miss taking pics using the LCD, but I don't. Using the LCD would also introduce camera shake since the "holding position" of the camera isn't as stable as when using the viewfinder. I have also read that stray light can enter via the viewfinder (when not covered by your eye) when taking shots, affecting quality. Not sure how much that is an issue since I don't have enough experience.

    Oddly, using the viewfinder makes me feel more confident, and people think I know what I am doing :lmao:
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The live view is only good for shots taken on a tripod. For hand held shots (properly held) the eyebrow -or cheek- is the third contact point needed to hold the camera steady. Without a steady camera composition is hit or miss at best, not to mention extra motion blur.

    If you want to get good at photography, do yourself a favor and don't get the Canon XT series. There's nothing wrong with Canon but the lower end ones do not have a spot meter. Having and using a spot meter greatly enhances your ability to learn creative exposure which is one of the cornerstones (IMHO) of Photography (as opposed to picture taking).

    You can learn it without a spotmeter but it's much harder to do.

    The Pentax K10D has spotmeter but the K100D/super do not. the Canon 20/30/40Ds have it and all Nikon DSLRs have it.

    If you can wait a bit and get the D80 you might want to. The wider range of lenses that will autofocus on it is appealing and may in the long run save you money by buying used lenses.

    Just to let you know a used lens that was a good one to begin with is most likely still a good lens. A used lens that was not so good to begin with...
    If you search around and find people questioning the quality of a lens, don't buy a used one.

    This is not to say not to buy one new. For instance the 18-55 Nikon kit lens is not purported to be a high quality lens but if bought new then should give several years of good service if taken care of by a normal consumer.
     
  12. ereid

    ereid TPF Noob!

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    well after handling both the xt series and the d40 i think i have decided that nikon is the way for me, i found it much easier to understand and more comfortable to hold. However im still torn on the D40 because of the low MP, the D40X seems more appealing with higher MP, am i way off base here? is it worth the extra cash for the D40X or is the D40 good quality also?
     

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