I have no photography experience, but want to buy a camera for my wife. Need Help!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hrd2imagin, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. hrd2imagin

    hrd2imagin TPF Noob!

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    My wife was a photography enthusiast for a long time while she was in High School and College. She's been "out of the game" for about 7 years and has missed out on the digital revolution.

    I'm a web developer that just purchased Adobe CS3 (web premium), and thought that with such a powerful tool, it should be put to good use, and not just by me.

    With her birthday coming up, I'd like to buy her a great camera that can get her back in the door of photography. Something that's great for amateurs, not overwhelming, and may lead her into professional status down the road. Hoping that there's something in the price range of $500 to $750.

    Everyone's input and suggestions is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. hrd2imagin

    hrd2imagin TPF Noob!

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    Ok, so I was reading through some other "which camera" threads and realized that there's much more to it.

    So please still help me out, and ignore my price range!! :lol:
     
  3. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    With that sort of budget, you look to be comfortably in reach of things such as the Nikon D40x, Canon 400D or the Olympus Evolt, all of which would be a great reintroduction for your wife.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly, the way I see it, there are two main directions you can go here. The first would be to get a smaller digital camera (digi-cam or point & shoot, you might call them). You could get a great one for $500. They are small and easy to carry around, you can get them with plenty of control options, so a photo enthusiast would still find them fun. They can be convenient but image quality takes a back seat.

    The other way you could go, would be to get a digital SLR camera. If she was into photography in HS and college, she probably used an SLR camera of some type, so this would be more natural to her. Also, a digital SLR is a much better tool for producing great images. They have interchangeable lenses, so that if she chooses, she could get more (or better) lenses in the future. This is the choice I would recommend.

    As for camera, I'd look at the Canon Rebel XTi & the Nikon D40.
     
  5. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    There are several threads about this and I'm almost positive some with that exact same price range. I don't like to tell people to use the search function though so....

    With that price range you should be able to get any P&S including the more advances ones.

    However, a dSLR would be something with plenty of room for her to grow and is what the professionals use. The most common choices for your price range would be the entry-level or amateur models from Canon (Rebel XT, XTi) or Nikon (d40, d40x, d50, d80?) and I think the K10D or K100D (not sure which one) is in that price range as well.

    The other options a little above your price range are Canon's 20D or 30D, 5D, and 1D series. Other than Nikon's D200 I'm not sure what high-end models they offer.

    www.dpreview.com is a good place to read about all the cameras and do side-by-side comparisons and all that.

    Probably the best thing to do would be to take your wife to a camera shop and have her hold all the cameras that are candidates for purchase and see which one feels the best to her. Might sound crazy but it will make a big difference as to the ease of use and the controls and what feels natural.

    Oh, and don't forget about lenses. But thats another topic that I'm sure someone will mention before long.
     
  6. hrd2imagin

    hrd2imagin TPF Noob!

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    I'm sure I want to do D-SLR. Was just looking into the Nikon D50, D80 an D200. I'm reading that when you buy these cameras, you're just buying the body. Does that not include a lens and flash? Anything else I'm missing?
     
  7. hrd2imagin

    hrd2imagin TPF Noob!

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  8. AbelR74

    AbelR74 TPF Noob!

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    I'd like to put my two cents in and vote for the Nikon D200. I have been researching this camera for some time now and consider it a well rounded piece of equipment.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    I would not recommend that package. The camera and lens are good, but the rest of the stuff looks like crap. I'm not sure about the site/store either.

    THIS is more like what I would recommend. Add a memory card and you're good to go. The flash is another story. You can get cheap ones that do work but you (she) would be missing out by not having a brand name flash.

    I do like the suggestion of bringing her to the store any letting her hold the different cameras though. It may ruin the surprise but picking the right camera can be a personal thing.
     
  10. alrey

    alrey TPF Noob!

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    WDodd mentioned the Pentax K100D, which is what I ended up purchasing a month or so ago and I've loved it so far.

    The three most appealing things about the K100D, and what swayed me:

    1) In-body anti-shake: I've got no photography experience beyond point-and-shoots, but with anti-shake enabled I've been able to take exposures as long as 1/4 second at 50mm without noticeable blur, and without a tripod. I'm disinclined to believe I've just got a rocksteady hand, and more inclined to believe the anti-shake is a pretty useful tool. The reviews I had read beforehand seemed mixed on the effectiveness of anti-shake, but I'm glad I decided to go with it.

    2) Price: You can get the body alone from B&H for $400 even, which leaves you a little more room in your $750 budget for a nice versatile lens and other accessories you'll want. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the K100D Super, which is the exact same camera as the K100D (including anti-shake), with a built in dust removal system, for $100 or so more.

    3) Price: See above.

    The K100D also has a really solid, rugged feel to it. I don't feel like I am going to break it when I walk around with it hanging by the neck strap. It's a well built piece of equipment.

    Then again, I'm a college student and was thrilled to get a complete system with two (real) lenses, a couple memory cards, and a few more odds and ends for under $800. If you're hoping for a system that might be able to grow to satisfy the needs of a professional, I wouldn't know whether the K100D qualifies.
     
  11. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Being a 'hardcore' Canon user, I would suggest the Canon XTi for starters. It has enough features and build quality to keep her satisfied for a quite a while. The'kit' lens is not a bad way to get her going. Now the bad news.

    Choosing the brand and model is rather important. Primarily from the viewpoint that you are also making a choice of lens system.

    You might not become aware of this until your wife tells you that she needs a new (different) lens for the work she wants to do.

    Neither Canon nor Nikon are the same companies she remembers from her film days.
    I strongly suggest (as mentioned earlier) giving her a solid "hands-on" session at a retail facility.

    There is nothing more horrible than buyers remorse to a new purchaser.
     
  12. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take all of this and study it hard and then throw it out the window!

    As a husband of more than a couple of years, do yourself a huge favor and learn enough to answer questions but otherwise get out of the way!! If it's her Artistic itch that needs scratching then she needs something that she is comfortable with and not something that will be an annoyance- no matter how small. It may be that she will come down to two and ask you to decide between them but this will still be her decision. (besides, if it goes south then it won't be your fault. ;))

    If it is to belong to the two of you then by all means know what you want but if it is to be her camera then she is the one that needs to be comfortable with it.
     

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no experience in photography but i want to buy a camera