Camera suggestion please?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Gabbi, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Gabbi

    Gabbi TPF Noob!

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    Hello :]
    I'm just starting to get into photography, and I need a camera. I don't want something too fancy or expensive, I don't really want to spend more than $400. I was hoping for some suggestions on a camera that's good for a beginner?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    Quite vague. Are you doing a course or just doing it as a hobby? Film? Digital?

    Personally I'm a fan of Pentaxes and at the bottom end of the market they offer the best value for money ( as well as being hugely capable and good quality cameras ) but $400 is a tight budget. Maybe look at a second K110D or K10D Pentax?

    It's hard though without knowing your asperations and plans.

    There are so many cameras out there, both film and digital, alongside options.

    Just as an example I use :-

    Digital for 'snap shots' recce' shoots and shoots where I need a quick turnaround, and sports work, Self portraits.
    120 Medium Format Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) - Street photography, Black and White work and work where the extra sharpness and quality is a benefit.
    Large Format - Architecture and work where Tilt/Shift is handy.

    I also sometimes use 35mm but that's much less these days as My DSLR or the TLR do at least as good, usually better.
     
  3. Gabbi

    Gabbi TPF Noob!

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    Sorry. Like I said, brand new to the whole photography/camera thing, and I didn't really know how much of a difference those things made. No class, just thought it would be a fun hobby, and I would prefer digital. Thanks so much!
     
  4. Moon Baby

    Moon Baby TPF Noob!

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    $400 is a tight budget...I'd suggest waiting longer and save up, you can aim to get Canon's entry level DSLR cameras. Canon XTi and XT can be had for around $400ish used or possibly new if you can find them. Their successors are the XS and XSi but they're over $400.

    You could also take a dive into film. 'imo' using film is a great learning foundation even though the learning curve is a little steep, it'll teach you to be conservative and think out your compositions.
     
  5. bchalifour

    bchalifour TPF Noob!

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    Gabbi,
    First what type of photography do/would you like to do?
    Second are you set for a high-end point and shoot (perfectly satisfactory as far as I am concerned) or a DSLR?
    Best,
     
  6. Gabbi

    Gabbi TPF Noob!

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    I could add another couple hundred onto that, but I don't really want to get too expensive.
    The only problem I have with film is that I would prefer being able to get my pictures onto my computer easily. I would rather digital, just because it's so easy to hook up to my computer.
    I'm really not sure what type of photography I'd like to do yet, I was hoping for a pretty basic camera that could be used for most things, so I can experiment with it to figure out what I like to do.
    I'd be perfectly happy with a point and shoot. A DSLR would be nice, but from what I've seen, point and shoots are cheaper and smaller than DSLRs, which is more what I'm looking for.

    Thanks to all for your help :]
     
  7. bchalifour

    bchalifour TPF Noob!

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    Go digital. You will slash your lab (processing and printing) budget, even have it down to zero if you need to and still keep on photographing. That saving alone could help you upgrade your equipment. The nice thing about P&S compared to SLRs is that you can carry them all the time; they are less visible and desirable and less likely to be stolen.
     
  8. nickisonfire

    nickisonfire TPF Noob!

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    hm i'd suggest getting a used d40/xti
     
  9. Moon Baby

    Moon Baby TPF Noob!

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    Just for argument's sake, you could easily spend around $1200 on an entry level system, or you can spend $300-$400 on an "excellent condition" medium format system and have $800 left for processing and film...it could go either way. With film, you slowly relinquish your budget and with digital it's in one lump sum.

    @ OP, you could give the Canon G9 or G10 a look. It's spec'd nicely but the only thing I've heard is their known dust issue.
    The powershot series with image stabilization is nice too and a lot cheaper than the G series.
     
  10. amba

    amba TPF Noob!

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    I made my first steps in 'serious' digital photography with a used Nikon D1.
    I have pretty good experience with buying used gear at B&H, I believe other reputable stores should also be the same (Adorama, others...).

    Here's what I could see today at B&H used equipment catalog (and I consider good cameras):

    DSLRs:

    Nikon D40 + 18-55mm lens @ $349
    Note on the D40: B&H state 'email for condition' - do that!, on most other items they have 0-10 condition figure, I'd buy anything that's 8+ or 9 without hesitation, perhaps 8 too.

    Canon EOS 350D @ $269, and a (separately sold) used EF-S 18-55mm lens @ $129


    Good non SLR digital cameras:
    Sony Cybershot DSC-F828 @ $329
    Fuji FinePix S6000fd @ $179

    As a newbie it's hard to tell if you'll want to invest more money and improve your system down the road, if you believe this will happen than SLR is the better way to start, there's always room to grow when you do have the budget.
    Nikon and Canon have the best DSLR lens collections (including third party makers like Sigma, Tokina etc) making them a favorable starting point IMO.

    Generally I've been able to find some good deals at their used equipment store, you do need to be patient though, it sometimes takes a while for a good piece of equipment to show up there...
     

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