New Photographer Looking for a Camera

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Jeli, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Jeli

    Jeli TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone,
    I'm just recently starting to have an interest in more advanced photography, and am going to take a high school class on it this fall. So I need to choose a camera to start my adventure with.

    Going into this field knowing nothing really, I don't want to end up choosing a camera that doesn't perform the way that I want it to, or just isn't a quality camera in general.

    I'm looking for a camera that can help me start learning photography, but will offer room for advancement later. I want something that I will be happy with for a long time, and will give me manual options later when I know more about what I'm doing, but will still be easy for me in the beginning.

    I would like learn macro photography, and landscape photography. I don't really have an interest in sports or anything that will be moving.

    I can spend around $200-250 USD. Any input that you might have would be appreciated.
     
  2. Jeli

    Jeli TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention that I'm looking for a 35mm SLR camera.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    You can't go wrong with a Nikon, Minolta, Pentax or Canon. You will probably want auto focus...which almost all new SLRs have anyway.

    Any of the new entry level SLR cameras will give you the option to shoot in the four basic modes...full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority or full manual. They usually have other modes as well but those are for people who don't understand photography. ;)

    I would suggest one of the Canon EOS Rebel models like the Rebel Ti but you should probably just go to a camera shop and try out the cameras in your price range. See which one feels good in your hands.

    If you get an entry level body, it will still allow you to grow as a photographer. You might eventually find that a more upscale body will suit you better but then again you might be perfectly happy with a Rebel. One thing to avoid is the very lowest Nikon bodies because they don't have manual ISO override which may or may not be useful to you.

    If you can, try to pick up a nice fast prime lens for your new camera. The most recommended is 50mm F1.8 because it's inexpensive yet very good optically. The kit zoom lenses that usually come with these cameras are OK but can be limiting.

    Oh ya, Welcome to the Forum. :cool:
     
  4. Sash[DSL]

    Sash[DSL] TPF Noob!

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    Id just want to let you know that I got an autofocus SLR and really I often use manual focus anyway, so you also might want to consider a MF camera since MF lenses are also cheaper than AF ones.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Do any major camera companies still mass produce manual focus SLRs & lenses?

    Of course if you want to get a older used camera with manual focus lenses...there are plenty of deals to be had out there.
     
  6. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    My SLR has Autofocus and MF. Think about if you want to get a DSLR in the future, cos if you like the 300D you could go with a canon SLR system (Ive seen them at costco for about 200) and the lenses are interchangable.
     
  7. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    The Nikons to avoid are the models n50-n75 The n80 has all the features that one needs for along time. I also like the Canons though, I am a Canon user myself. Never had a problem with Minolta's though some dislike their quality of lenses. Any Camera that has a full manual function with work for a beginning photography class though. Ajustable ISO is very nice to have, otherwise you have to compensate in your head for exposure, and that can be tricky for a beginner.
     
  8. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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    As time goes on I believe more and more that to start out, a person should get a completely manual camera complete with manual focus and use it for enough time to fully understand basic principals. You can get a decent used setup cheap, use it for awhile and then sell it for what you got it for before stepping up. I think too many people go out and get the latest and greatest and go on for a long time without knowing what their camera is doing and why.
     
  9. tr0gd0o0r

    tr0gd0o0r TPF Noob!

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    If you decide to go Pentax, I'd stay away from the zx-60. I had a friend once who had it, and I hated it. the zx-30 is a good camera tho.
     
  10. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Excuse me while I support Canon for free :) I've always used Canons, started with the AE2 which was completely manual at the time and eventually got into digital first with the Canon G1 and then got the Canon 10D. I love their quality, versatility of available lenses and they are priced reasonably. Good luck and welcome to the forum. My love for photography started during a high school class and now my husband and I run a business. Never know where the photo bug might lead you!
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    This is the advice you would get from many a photog instructor. Also, considering that many mechanical/manual focus/manual most everything cameras go for about $50 used, it's not too much of an investment. Use it for a year, and you will have a much better understanding of the features you might want/need in a more modern design of 35mm SLR.
     
  12. Bosscat

    Bosscat TPF Noob!

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    I'd have to agree 100% with the advice about starting simple. A camera loaded with bells and whistles will seem overwhelming while learning about the basics of photography.You have to learn to walk before you can run so keep it simple,but most of all have fun :D
     

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