Just the right one!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Orius, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Orius

    Orius TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone!

    I'm new to these forums, and I have some burning questions about my first DSLR. I've been browsing the market, and I think I have the greatest interest in a Nikon D80, or possibly a Canon XTi, however the D80 is where I'm leaning. I'm by no means a professional photographer and there is a lot I've yet to learn; in fact, I picked up most of my digital photography technique through travelling. I believe that I can do the same thing with a DSLR... learn as I go, and study the booklet. The photographer is what makes great photos, but I think it's time to upgrade from my Nikon Coolpix 5400 to something a little more... diverse :p

    In the fall I'm going to Asia for an entire year and I've decided that now is the time to buy a DSLR to take those priceless photos that I will always cherish. Photos aren't just memories to me, they are art, and whatever camera will help me produce the best art (which would entail the most versatility) is the one I'd like. I was originally going to buy a Nikon D40x, but after hearing that it lacked the drive motor to support many of the current lenses on the market, I've opted for something better.

    The types of photos I want to take will be crisp portrait shots of people and scenes, macro, landscape, perhaps some action photos. One thing I regret is that most DSLRs don't have a video function. I realize that is something built into the more user-friendly cameras, but sometimes taking a quick video clip says it better than a photo. :)

    In any case... the D80 is on my mind and is in the upper limit of what I can afford. If I go for this camera, should I opt out of the kit lens and just get the body?

    Regarding lenses... I've also found some great kits via online auctions which include 18-135mm lenses. However, I admittedly know next to nothing about lenses so I'm going to need all your professional advice on this one! With photography I like to take shots that are far away as well as those which are near me, so a lens with a versatile zoom would be best. Also, despite years of practice, my hand is a little shaky so I might want to invest in a lens that has vibration reduction.

    Any advice? Sorry for the huge writeup, I have lots to ask! :D Feel free to fire some questions back my way too!
     
  2. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D80 is a good-for-the-price camera. If I were to find a fault it is the type of memory card it uses. This is nit-picking on my part, I like the CF style card. Just a little FYI, the reason a DSLR can't do video is because of the design elements that make it a SLR. The mirror needs to flip up out of the way of the sensor, and the shutter need to open to make an exposure. P&S cameras use an electronic viewfinder, and have no mirror or physical shutter. Electronic viewfinders have a lag in real-time viewing and can be somewhat aggravating. This mirror movement is why the viewfinder blacks out during exposure.
     
  3. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you do not intend on taking the kit lens what lenses do you already have?. Personally I am not a great big fan of any of the current Nikon consumer cameras but if this is the top end of your budget I say get it.
     
  4. Orius

    Orius TPF Noob!

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    I actually have no lenses... but my plan was to do more research and then buy a lens that meets the criteria I'm seeking.

    Why don't you like Nikon cameras?
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I love Nikon cameras D70s, D200, D2X, really not many others. I am not a fan of the D40 or the D80 as I said I don't like the current consumer cameras the pro models are excellent. But again if that is all you can afford (the D80) go for it I purchased a D70s because it was all I could afford at the time I intend on buying the D200 when I can and definately before I do my next wedding.
     
  6. Orius

    Orius TPF Noob!

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    The D200 is impressive, but I don't think I can manage the price difference. Besides, I'm a newbie to DSLRs... I don't need something over the top right now, just a good quality camera that can take photos that are above decent. I think the D80 qualifies. That said, I am still torn between the XTi and the D80... I've heard a lot of good things about Canon. Its products are reliable and all the photographers I know go with Canon. So... I'm not sure...
     
  7. hawee99

    hawee99 TPF Noob!

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    I bought the D80. I was having the same decision making issues between the XTi and D8. My first SLR also. I like it alot. There is alot to learn so far and I have gotten a little frustrated, but just due to my lack of knowledge. I also got the 18-135 lens. I wish I would have gotten the 18-200 VR (vibration reduction lens) but its way more expensive. I'm just used to my old Canon S2 with image stablization. I really like to camera, but am going crazy thinking about lenses. Pretty common advise, but purchase a UV filter right away and leave it on all the time. good protection
     
  8. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You get what you pay for, so take that into account no matter what you choose. I always looked at it like this. You want the D200, and know it's a good rig. You settle for a D80, but always wish you bought the 200. Now, you have a couple lenses and "need" a better camera. You buy the 200, are finally happy but now have an 80 to sell or sit on. In the long run I have learned to get the model I really wanted and start out happy.
     
  9. hawee99

    hawee99 TPF Noob!

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    I've been playing with mine non stop now, and have learned some and like it even more. Getting a book like understanding Exposure really helped me. But I have gotten used to the buttons, and the feel, and the size of the camera. But I'd say, go with which ever one feels right in your hands, they are both cool. From what I have been hearing and reading, don't kill yourself deciding between the two. Lenses are where it's at.
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  11. Orius

    Orius TPF Noob!

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    Sorry... I forgot to enable the notification for getting replies so I had no idea people were even responding to me.

    I've decided on the Nikon D80... as there are minor feature differences between the XTi and the D80 that make me want to lean in that direction. I've also held the body for both and prefer the feel of the D80.

    Lens wise, I think the kit lens should be sufficient (18-135mm), but I'm also considering opting out of the kit lens and simply getting the body. I have my sights set on the Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens, so opting out of the kit lens would let me put money towards that. It's really pricey, but it's my dream lens and it has the best focal range in combination with being lighter weight than a 300mm one.

    What do you all think? Would the kit lens be alright for my purposes? It's not VR.
     
  12. Sweetsomedays

    Sweetsomedays TPF Noob!

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    Hi there :) I just got my Nikon D80 last week, it rocks! I got the little kit lens and then got the 55-200 VR lens and just love it especially when I am trying to take hand held pics of the horses.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     

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