I am beginner w/$2000 to get me started...how should I spend it?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ufjamolei, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. ufjamolei

    ufjamolei TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I posted another thread for advice on lenses, but I would like to get advice on an overall package (Nikon or Canon only). I was leaning heavily towards the Canon 50D, and I think I want to go with that line because it seems to run less expensive overall than Nikon. This is my first SLR, so I am very much a newbie. I plan to begin classes as soon as I decide on a camera, and would love for it to turn into more than a hobby down the road if I am any good. That being said I do not want a body that I will outgrow. I am interested in portraits, wildlife & nature, and baseball photography. Should I go with a 30D instead of the 50, so that I can spend more on lenses? If you were just starting out, how would you spend $2,000?
     
  2. Henry Peach

    Henry Peach TPF Noob!

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    The first $50,000 I spent on camera gear was almost all a waste of money, so rather than telling you how I'd spend it when I was just starting out, I'm going to tell you what I would buy if I had to start over with my gear tomorrow. :)

    Canon 5D body (mk I, not the new one) $1500
    Sigma or Tamron 28-75ish f/2.8 lens $390
    Canon 50mm f/1.8 $80

    That's $2000ish with tax.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    IMHO, that is completely the wrong way to approach this.

    You will outgrow the body you choose now. Either that or you will not continue with photography as a hobby. All digital cameras become "obsolete" in a few years as technology advances.

    Since you are a NOOB, my suggestion, based on nearly a quarter century of selling high end photo gear, is to spend approx $900 or less on a body and kit lens and bank the rest for 6 months or a year.

    Take your planned classes and don't add an additional lens until you get some experience. That way you'll stand a much better chance of making an intellegent purchasing decision.

    If you insist on blowing your bankroll all at once I would still recommend the modest "high end entry level" camera and kit lens (Nikon D5000 or D90 or competing Canon models) and the rest on a better-than-basic long zoom, given your listed interests.

    Keeping the body on the modest side leaves more of the budget for better lenses, particularily the long lens. The downside is sensor and AF performance. With Nikon, the D5000 is a near match to the D90 in both, with sensor performance ahead of any of the similarly priced Canons (at least acording to DXOmark) at the present.
     
  4. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Focus on lenses more than the body.

    Get a body that has an internal focus drive also.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You know, Canon cameras don't have a focus motor in the camera body. Each lens has a focus motor. That's why they call their lens mount the EF (Electro Focus).
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Probably why I don't shoot Canon....


    Canon to me means 155 mm and charge 8. King of the Battle.
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why????
     
  8. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Canon certainly has a robust lens lineup, as well as a RIDICULOUS horde of used Canon goods. If I cared for Canon products at all I would be in hog heaven with their lineup. Having said that, the 50D is a good camera, but you'll outgrow it fairly quickly if you are "tech" minded and not function conscious. If you want the best photos that you can produce, you need to focus on the lenses you purchase, not necessarily the camera body. In that case, the 30D is a fine choice when paired with several high end Canon lenses.

    Now, if you weren't necessarily brand conscious and did want the best in class, you might want to take a look at the D300 from Nikon. Same deal here, you can purchase it fairly cheaply used/refurbed and focus on 3rd party lenses that are as good as the lenses from Nikon/Canon when used properly.
     
  9. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    The low-end Nikon cameras (D40/D60/D5000, etc.) cannot auto-focus with the Nikon AF lenses that lack built-in motors. You're limited to the more expensive AF-S lenses for auto-focus with the cheaper Nikon cameras. FarmerJ was basically recommending a D90 or D300 if you choose Nikon.
     
  10. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If I were to be looking for a dslr now, knowing what I know (easy guys) and had a $2K budget..... , go to your local camera shop to see how different makes/brands feel in your hand, how to navigate the menus, then find used gear off craiglistlist that someone is trying to unload so they can get the latest and greatest. Mid to high end entry level body with kit lens and an external flash. You're set for a year or so with money still in the bank. After a year or so, you'll have a better understanding.

    Good luck.







    Go Nikon........ hehehe
     
  11. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Actually with the way it was posted, FarmerJ seems to be just recommending Nikon with no reasoning. The interesting thing about in body focus drive, if it quits and it is you focus drive, you're either manual focusing or you're done.

    Few weeks ago the focus on my 24-70 f2.8 Cr@*ed out during a shoot. Swaped lenses and went on shooting. I was still shooting while the lens was gone for a week to be repared. Internal focus body quits I would have been done unless I had those expensive lenses. And with what I hear about Nikon service I would have been done for weeks maybe months.

    From what I understand, with the more expensive AF-S lenses from Nikon on a internal focus motor body, the lens focus motor is still the one that the system relies on.

    With that in mind, unless AF glass is superior to AF-S glass, what's the point to "Get a body that has an internal focus drive also.?"
     
  12. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that (barring someone being an idiot) their focus drive on-body will last longer than the actual bodies use.
     

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