Camera for a college student

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Blended, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Blended

    Blended TPF Noob!

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    Hello, first of all. My name is Dan. I'm an architecture student at Penn State and I'm looking to buy a camera. So, currently, I don't have any type of camera except the camera on my cellphone, which is honestly what I use to take pictures. I figure I need to upgrade a bit.

    To start off, my budget is $400-$450 (kinda stretching it). I'm in no way a professional photographer, but I do plan on photography becoming a nice hobby of mine, for sure. So, I'm looking for a camera that will allow me to foster this interest in photography. I'd like to get away from the point and shoots, but I understand that my budget doesn't really allow me much room to wander. What I would like to have in a camera is full manual control, since I want to delve into photography. However, my main concern is portability. I would like a camera that I can take with me pretty much anywhere so I can take pictures of everything. I'm not saying it has to fit in my front pants pocket, but I would like it to fit inside a larger coat pocket. I would also like a camera that has at least a decent zoom.

    I am currently looking at the Olympus Evolt e420. Currently I can get that for $400 with 3 lenses on ebay. But to be honest, I don't know much about the different cameras on the market these days.

    So, here's where I need your help, if possible. What would you guys recommend for me? I'm more than willing to answer more questions that will help me pinpoint a camera I can enjoy.

    Thank you guys very much for taking the time to help. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'd certainly suggest an SLR type digital camera, as that will allow you to expand your system as you grow into the hobby. And because you are buying into a system, I'd suggest looking at the system as a whole, and not just the best deal you can get on any camera. As such, I'd recommend looking into an entry level Canon or Nikon camera.
     
  3. Blended

    Blended TPF Noob!

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    Do you have any recommendations specifically? Perhaps in terms of portability.

    Also, how likely is it that I will find one that will fit my budget?
     
  4. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    buy used! You can get ALOT of good gear used, just be careful of where you buy from.
     
  5. subscuck

    subscuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Define portability. I can hang my 50D around my neck and go anywhere I want. For me, that's portability.

    If you're willing to go used, very. As suggested, buy it from someone reputable. There seems to be a misconception among a lot of first time SLR purchasers that a camera a couple (or even a few) generations old won't deliver good pics. This is nonsense. An older Canon Reb or Nikon equivalent will be a good tool to learn with that won't break the bank. Like any new SLR, upgrades in glass will make it even better, and at some point, you keep the glass and upgrade the body.
     
  6. Blended

    Blended TPF Noob!

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    In terms of portability, I was thinking of fitting it in a large coat pocket. But honestly, I suppose I can do with a neck strap, so that shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm absolutely open to buy a used camera, so that isn't a problem.

    Are there any specific suggestions from people at what I could look like? Because honestly, right now, I'm kinda overloaded on the amount of cameras out there.

    Thanks.
     
  7. subscuck

    subscuck No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, there is a lot to choose from. Like Big Mike, I would suggest Canon or Nikon. With Olympus, you're getting into 4/3rds and micro 4/3rds system. Google it, I won't take the time to explain it, and it's better for you to do the research so you understand it better. Canon and Nikon entry levels will be crop sensors, 1.6 for Canon and 1.5 for Nikon. Again, google crop sensors. The people who own 4/3 and M4/3 systems like them, and that's fine, but I would never own one because of the compromises, and the fact that availability of lenses is limited vis a vis Canon and Nikon. Crop sensors are also a compromise over Full Frame, but it's one I can live with, especially given the availabilty of lenses from both Canon and third party lens makers.

    A quick search on Amazon and Adorama show many Canon 400D's (Rebel XTi) for between $400 and $450, with the 18-55mm kit lens. Nikon users can point you to comparable Nikon cams. As you save more money, you can buy better lenses that can be used down the road with a better body. Any of these older entry level Canons or Nikons will teach you about photography and deliver good pics. Remember, for the most part, your pics are only as good as you, not the camera.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Neck straps suck. :thumbdown:

    The straps that come with dSLRs are shoulder straps, not neck straps.
     
  9. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    Check out this site, and scroll to "TS-E Movements", then go look at what those lenses cost and sell your car:

    Canon U.S.A. : Lens Selection

    But like the others said, a used body (either Nikon or Canon) should be easy to find in the $250-$300 range, you'll probably find a 18-55mm attached to the front of it and you'll probably find yourself always on the 18mm end of that lens.
     
  10. Blended

    Blended TPF Noob!

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    So, after some research for a few hours... I think I narrowed it down.

    Currently, I'm kinda wanting to buy a Canon S90 because of its compact size, feature set, image quality, and the fact that it can record video. Either that or the G11... Which one of these would you recommend?

    That or the Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm refurbished for $400.

    I'm not sure which way I want to go now. Should I stick with the S90 (or possibly the G11) because it has a lot of what I want, or should I go for the D3000?
     
  11. Dieselboy

    Dieselboy TPF Noob!

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    If you're getting into photography as a hobby, get the 3000, if you just want to take pictures get the S90.
     

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