Help required on buying a digital SLR

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by mindsite, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. mindsite

    mindsite TPF Noob!

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    Hello All,

    I have always had a liking for photography ever since I saw the first camera. At early days I had a Yashica film camera. Then 4 years back I got a HP camera with Pentax lens. The HP was very good considering the shots a novice like me takes. However unfortunately I broke it while trippiing over a stone. The damage is to the lens and the motor unit I guess and it would take almost 60% of the cost of the camera itself. So for now I am not inclined to touch it.

    I have been thinking of getting another one but a digital SLR this time. My budget constrains would be around $600. The problem is that I am not able to compare camera's due to the lack of the knowledge on the technical specifications that the web sites give. All I would need is that the camera fits my budget, would be compatible with lenses (i would be investing in the future).

    With this knowledge when I researched I came up with Nikon-D40. But a few ppl suggested NOT to buy this.Not sure if its because of the lenses compatibility with camera. The other one would be the Nikon D-80 or Canon 350/400. Would you suggest considering any other models?

    Appreciate your response.
     
  2. cy88

    cy88 TPF Noob!

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    I believe one of the reason with the Nikon D40/D40x is the fact that the Auto Focus is on the lens, but not the body - therefore you are not able to use alot of the other Nikon Lens, but only the specific lens with AF built in. Also I heard that it has limited features as well.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are many Canon/Nikon debates hopefully we will not start one here. If you do a search you will find out more info ont those 2 cameras. I would personally say the Nikon but if you are choosing between the 2 models you listed (Canon vs. Nikon) that really is a personal choice.
     
  4. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Also look at Samsung, Pentax and Sony. They also offer very good entry level dSLR's.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One way to approach is to decide on the lenses you want and then purchase the camera based on that decisoin. Typically the lenses are a longer more significant investment.

    FYI: Most of the "kit" lenses packaged with the camera bodies are not that great.

    With that said, Olympus, Pentax, Samsung (which is pentax rebranded), Sigma, Canon, Nikon, and Sony all have offerings for you. I am personally biased towards Canon but my second choice would be Pentax. Pentax has good value (bang for the buck) as well as backwards compatibility with all the older K-mount manual lenses.
     
  6. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Respectfully, every design has limited features... every camera is a compromise in some way or other... to say a D40 has limited features is to recognize that if you put a really nice imaging system into a package that will retail for under $600 with a good glass kit zoom lens, then there are definitely gong to be things left out of it.

    I own a D40 (just bought it last week) to go along with a couple D80's, so I can talk about it a little bit from actual experience.

    You do have to use AF-S (or older AS-I professional) lens systems for the auto focus to work, since there is no auto focus motor in the D40 body. Is this a real problem? If you own a bunch of Nikon auto focus stuff, then yes, it is. If you don't, and you will be buying all of your equipment new, then it is not as much of an issue... as long as you plan on buying Nikon. Tamron, for example, doesn't sell Nikon mount products with motors in the lens.

    Having said that, since Nikon is putting out some SWEET lens offerings at excellent prices (the new 55-200 VR for $250 bucks is a prime example), in my opinion this issue is mostly a non-factor for newbies who don't already have a big lens inventory.

    Bottom line, the D40 takes GREAT pictures, is dirt cheap, easy to use and the kit lens it comes with is of decent quality to get you started.

    When I buy a camera, my only concern with it is the lens system that is out there... a DSLR body you buy today will be entirely obsolete in 2 years, but the lens you buy for it won't. So I would pick a lens system that I like, and then decide which body fits it.

    The lens is vastly more important to image quality over many years of use than a camera you will likely replace in a year or two anyway... especially if it is a beginners camera.

    One caveat I want to mention: I don't expect my cameras to last my lifetime, I am averaging over 10,000 shots per month these days, so keep that in mind when you hear me talking about replacing camera bodies.
     
  7. cy88

    cy88 TPF Noob!

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    Nice input.

    In fact, I actually went to the store for the D40 first, then I saw the XTi. End up I was able to find a XTi @ D40 prices, so I was like "eh, why not?".

    The D40 definitely feels good in hand, and the quality if very good as well. I don't have experience with taking pictures with it, but with sabbath's confirmation, looks like it does produce some wonderful pictures with the right lens!
     

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