Looking for a new camera, not sure what to consider

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Shamus, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Shamus

    Shamus TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking to upgrade from my current camera, Coolpix P80. At the moment I am taking photos on a purely recreational basis. While I don't have a set budget per se, I would like to keep the purchase at under $1,000 CAD. I'm not too familiar with a lot of camera jargon, so I figured it would be best just to explain what I would be hoping to get out of a new one.

    - able to use different lenses (particularily a marco lens)
    - able to manually focus
    - able to adjust shutter speed to my hearts content (i.e. leave the lens open for longer than the roughly 5 seconds that my current camera allows)
    - an available non-button (remote/line?) trigger would be nice
    - preferably not filled with tons of useless features such as "party" settings

    I mostly take pictures of things up close - bugs, flower petals, etc., but have also attempted (rather unsuccessfully) to take lapsed movement shots of things such as streams and raindrops. I do also take the odd landscape photo, and attempt a few zoomed (no telephoto) shots of things such as birds. My current camera has a lot of recreational settings that I obviously paid for, but just never use. I would like to have full control over the pictures I take. I should also note that I am considering participating in local art shows in the future (not sure if that would affect your thoughts on the camera choice).

    If you have any questions about the features I have mentioned, or if there are other features I haven't thought of that you might think I should consider, please let me know.

    I did have one other question. What is(are) the fundamental difference(s) between a $1,000 camera, and a $3,000 camera?
     
  2. Stormin

    Stormin TPF Noob!

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    If you're just taking the pictures to have fun, I would go with a Nikon D40, and with that budget you could even pick up a Macro lens... Light, easy to use, compatible with Nikon's remote, and very capable for not to much money.

    Plus only spending $400 on the body would leave you $$$ in that thousand dollar budget for the lens, remote, and tripod that you will want and need.

    And the differences between a $1000 setup and a $3000 setup are far to numerous to list. Some of the high points would be a better image sensor, better glass and construction of the lens, stronger camera body, more features (such as in camera image processing, various adjustable settings that a pro would need, etc...), higher pixel count, and a larger memory buffer. That's just naming things as fast as they come to mind.
     
  3. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    The main differences between a $500 vs $3000 camera are build quality, sensor performance, sensor size [full frame (= to 35mm film size) or APS-C (cropped sensor, smaller dimensions)], and features. Plastic body vs magnesium, weather sealed or not, HIGH ISO performance, etc, the list goes on and on.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I'd suggest looking at the entry level DSLR models from Canon or Nikon. They should fit your needs quite well. Remember that good quality lenses cost a fair bit, and you may want accessories like a tripod, memory cards, batteries, camera bag etc.
     
  5. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you only want to start around $1000 CAD with good setup for Macro shots, I will say a low end DSLR paired with a macro lens with focal length around 100mm.

    Of course, it can be from 90mm to 105mm depends of the brand of the lens and the brand of the camera you get.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Not taking the time to become familiar with the jargon will likely cost you money.

    I 3rd the recommendation of an entry level DSLR and a decent macro lens.

    The trouble is, it's difficult to buy an entry level camera, body only. So, you'll wind up with a kit lens that can't do macro. You can always sell the kit lens though.
     
  7. Shamus

    Shamus TPF Noob!

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    Keeping a starter kit lens may be helpful, as I do still take a number of non-macro shots. Thankfully I already have most of the kit - decent tripod, a couple of memory cards and a camera bag that is older than I am (and very durable). I should have validated my statement about camera jargon. I have read several good books on the subject of photography, and am able to use what I've learned, but have trouble remembering the terms for things. :blushing:
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    I agree. Having only a 100mm macro lens would be very limiting for a lot of typical situations.

    Also consider that you can get pretty good macro results with different methods. For example, you can pair up a decent lens with extension tubes. I'd suggest something like the 50mm F1.8 and Kenko Extension tubes.
    Although, a good macro lens like the EF 100mm Macro or the EF-S 60mm Macro would be great.
     
  9. ben.

    ben. TPF Noob!

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    whats your experience with cameras and photography? do you have a camera yet? what do you see yourself doing with the camera you are about to maybe buy??
     
  10. ben.

    ben. TPF Noob!

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    anyways, i would recommend to you a Nikon D3000
    First of all its only about 500 euros, great autofocus, interchangeable lenses, etc...
    But what I like the most about the camera, after what I have read, is that in the camera system itself, there is a very easy guide program which will guide you through editing your pictures on the camera to how to adjust the shutter speed.
    Great camera for beginners or people that want to pick up photography as a hobby.
    Now talking about the macro lens, just go into the store and ask for the cheapest/easiest macro lens. Macro photography is really easy to fall into and really isn't hard.

    Good Luck, I hope I helped.
     
  11. Shamus

    Shamus TPF Noob!

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    The D40 has apparently been discontinued here in Canada. The D3000 looks like it is slated to arive in September. The estimated price put out by a few stores (for the body only), seems to put it at about $20 - $50 more than the D60.
     
  12. Jeffro

    Jeffro TPF Noob!

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    I would have to say that this is not the best advice I have ever heard. What is a easy macro lens?

    If you go into a Camera Store and ask that question I would be afraid of the answer.

    Not saying go out and sell the house but absolutely buy the best glass that you can afford!!!

    If you are at some of the better camera stores look for used items or look on B&H or Adorama! they both sell used equipment.
     

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