DSLR Help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sjlogghe, May 3, 2010.

  1. sjlogghe

    sjlogghe TPF Noob!

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    I have decided to buy a new DSLR camera. I currently have an "advanced P&S", and have been wanting to get a DSLR for some time now. With tax returns - I can finally afford an entry-level one.

    I have been trying to do my research, and it seems like it just confuses me even more! I've spent hours reading reviews, going to different websites, etc. and feel I'm no closer to choosing a camera than I was before. Help!!

    I have no plans to be a professional photographer, I just enjoy taking pictures - and want to document more beautiful, artistic memories than I currently am. So I don't need a pro DSLR, just looking at an entry-level, more for beginners, not too expensive camera.

    For some reason I guess I prefer the Nikon brand. I'm looking at getting the D3000 or D5000. However, after reading some things, I now have lots of questions and am just not sure.

    Question 1 - No built-in auto focus ... problem? Like I said, I don't plan on becoming a professonal - I won't buy a ton of lenses, just the basics that I need for family/travel shots. So is the fact that there's no built in auto focus going to be a big deal?? Or if I just stick to the AF-S lenses, will I be satisfied?

    Question 2 - Which one? I know one of the key differences is that the D5000 has live view, but I've seen and been told that shooting strictly through the view finder won't be hard to adjust to in the D3000. I know there are a couple other more specific changes, like higher ISO on the D5000, but I'm wondering - for what I'll be using it for - is it really worth the extra $200 to go with the D5000?

    Questions 3 - Kit lenses. Will they be enough? I'm looking at purchasing the cameras with 2 kit lenses ... the 18-55mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 DX Nikkor lens, and the NikonZoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom Lens. Should I do this, or buy the body only and get different lenses? I've read that the Nikon kit lenses are actually fairly good, but some sites advise to just get the body and purchase your lenses separately.

    Question 4 - What does the 55-200mm zoom translate to? I still know P&S talk ... I currently have a camera with an 18x zoom lens. I like how I can get close to things from really far away - what would be a comparable lens to this much zoom? I don't know the lingo yet to know how much zoom a 55-200mm lens has.

    Question 5 - For blurring backgrounds, do I need a certain lens or can I do this by adjusting the settings on the camera?? I thought I could just adjust the settings - switch t A mode, adjust the aperture, and change the exposure time. However, someone recently mentioned a lens they had to get blurry backgrounds ... do I need it?? Or will adjusting the settings work just fine?

    Phew, okay - I think that's it for now. I am just so frustrated, because it seems like doing the research I'm trying to do is just making me more confused and indecisive! Any help will be GREATLY appreciated!!!
     
  2. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Q1: Yes it does have Autofocus, AND manual Focus just like your P&S.. No worries there.
    Q2: Go for the highest you can afford, BUT make sure it fits your hand.. Try them all out.
    Q3; The OEM Lens Kits are fine for a biginner, and can be expanded upon later. Again, depending on finances, go for as much as you can afford and what you feel comfortable with.
    Q4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoom_lens
    Q5: Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_focus
     
  3. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    What you really need to focus in on (please excuse the pun) is that the camera is only a body that will in all likelihood be replaced at a later time. Though your focus isn’t on glass per se, it really will be in the future. Rule of thumb, stick with one brand, because you can always go with another body later, and luckily, the Nikon glass is interchangeable.
    Another aspect is this: Read as much as you can on the body you get. There is a ton of features you will be using over time, but you can be overwhelmed by it all, so go slow, and don’t worry about them al. there is plenty of time to learn it all.
    Most importantly, ask, ask, ask all the time.
     
  4. tsaraleksi

    tsaraleksi TPF Noob!

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    If you don't plan on buying any more lenses other than the basic kit lenses, the lack of screwdrive focus isn't going to be a problem. What is frustrating, however, is that the lenses that are rendered MF only are the less expensive primes (such as the 50 1.8 ) that would likely represent the lenses you would buy after your kit.

    That being said, there are plenty of options, it's not the end of the world. I personally wouldn't chose to limit myself right off the bat but it's not a huge limitation.

    Why do you particularly prefer Nikon?
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Forget the Q5 Wikipedia link, that doesn't answer your question.

    The blurred background you are wanting is a function of 4 things:
    1. The lens aperture (how wide open the lens is)
    2. How far from the camera what you want to be sharply focused is (main subject)
    3. The focal length of the lens
    4. How far away your main subject is from anything in the background.
    In general, the wider a lens can be opened, the more they cost. In general, the longer the focal length of a lens, the more they cost.
     
  6. Live_free

    Live_free TPF Noob!

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    1: AF-S lenses are actually faster to focus than AF lenses, even on a body with a built in motor, like the D90. So you will want to go with AF-S lenses anyway, albeit more expensive.

    2: The D5000 has tons of P&S modes that are really fun, and for you being that you aren't getting into the "art" of it I think you would enjoy those modes. Also the D5000 is bigger and you may need that for your hand size/comfortability.

    3: For your first two lens definitely get the kit lens (18-55) as it is a great lens just to play around with for your first lens. But instead of getting the 55-200 3.5-5.6 I'd get the 70-300, which is slightly more expensive but gives you a better reach.

    4: They can't be transfered into "zoom" look on your lens of your P&S and it will tell you the mm, from there you can figure it out. The way x4 is done is bassicaly saying at max out it is 10mm then 4 times in it is 40mm, I think of maybe it times it by its self 4 times. Regardless if you look at your camera of google the specs you can figure that out.

    5:Blurring the background can be done several ways, by having a shallow depth of field is one way. For example the "wider" the aperture (lower the aperture number) the "narrower" the DOF s going to be. This really will be easy once you get the camera in your hands and play with it, may seem hard now but it will all make sense later.


    Good luck and happy shooting.
     
  7. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Something to think about with the D5000 (maybe even the D3000) - to change the aperture and shutter speed you need to go into menus using the screen on the back. If you're looking for just a better point and shoot then this will be fine. But if you decide to try manual or try different apertures or shutter speeds going through a menu may be a bit of a pain. I don't own a D5000 but it was one of the things that made me not consider it.

    I agree that the 70-300 is a better lens to get, sometimes you just need a little extra mm to get that shot. I guess kit lenses is what many of us start with, some of us progress to need/want better lenses; others stay with what they have (I'm probably going to be the latter :lol: ).

    I believe the D5000 shares some of the features of the higher end Nikons - it has the same sensor as the D90, offers live view (not anything like the P&S), has a movie function if that's something you want and ISO range from 100 to 6400 (don't know if the D3000 has this).

    As far as Nikon vs anybody else - it's a toss up with the major brands.
     
  8. gpardo64

    gpardo64 TPF Noob!

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    Vinny I am not sure in which mode of the D5000 you need to do what you are noticing above.

    Once you select the A or S mode (which can be changed with the dial on top of the camera) you can change your aperture and speed (while focusing) with the dial of control. No menus are needed.
     
  9. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, I was repeating what the salesperson told me ... I guess I got some misinformation!

     

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