Suggestion for an SLR?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Michiyo-Fir, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,

    I just joined the forum. Let me introduce myself. I am a 18 year old college student that has just taken an interest in photography after finding out that my digital Sony Cybershot takes very crummy pictures, especially after trying to get some action shots of my dog. She's the main subject of my photography.

    I really know nothing about photography but I'd first like to get a camera!

    My choices were the Nikon D60 or Canon Xsi but after visiting the shop and feeling the cameras and playing with the buttons, I've decided that I like the D60 more. If anyone has any other camera suggestions I'd love to hear it!

    I also need a lens, and I don't plan on getting the 18-55mm lens that could be a preset package from Nikon.

    I mostly take wildlife shots, shots of my dog and especially need a lens that is suitable for action shots (dog running, jumping) preferably from quite a far distance as well. I was told that a 18-200 mm Nikkor lens would suit my needs?

    I like more vibrant/punchy colors in my photos by the way.

    I probably will take a few landscapes but not many portraits at all. Which lens should I get? For now I'd like to get only 1 just because I don't have the funds to get 2.
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Erg. Well, the 18-200 will give you the range, but don't expect it to deliver stunning quality, nor the ability to grab fast action shots with crummy light with that lens/body combo. Fast action shots from far away, like wildlife, puts very high demands on your gear, and generally demands high ISOs and fast (wide constant max aperture like f/2.8), long lenses. Such things DON'T come cheap. But, for starting out, the 18-200 will at least let you decide where your strongest interest lies, and will help you determine what lens to purchase next (a fast tele if you like shooting at the long end of the range, or a wide angle if you really like landscapes).
     
  3. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir TPF Noob!

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    What would you recommend for low light action shots then? Since I'm just starting out, I thought I would get pretty basic gear.

    If I wanted something that does fairly well in low light settings, what would you recommend?
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    See my sig :D
     
  5. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Being totally honest, nothing basic and cheap will get you there. I'll give you a simple example; my 70-200/2.8 is what I use for sports, low-light or otherwise. To get that kind of speed in a lens costs money. That thing set me back over $2k.

    Get the 18-200, and figure-out what you like doing. Then you can invest money in heavy-duty gear later.
     
  6. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir TPF Noob!

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    I think I will. Hopefully I can find a 2nd one. I don't think the 18-200 are sold in Canada? At least I couldn't find it on Nikon Canada's website.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  7. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    Get a flash - SB400 or SB600 and get a tripod for low light
     
  8. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir TPF Noob!

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    What is the difference between SB400 and SB600?


    I do need a flash probably since the winter time it's dark so soon and most of the day is pretty cloudy and dark as well. I probably won't use the built in flash much because it causes shadowing with the 18-200mm lens.
     
  9. battletone

    battletone TPF Noob!

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    If its cloudy a lot and you are using a telephoto around f5.6, you will probably want a tripod and maybe a remote.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    For low-light,indoor action shots, the 35mm f/1.8 AF-S G Nikkor prime lens is a good suggestion, at around $199 US dollars brand new with 5-year warranty.
    It is simple to use, and gives a bright image through the viewfinder,even in low light.

    The SB-400 is a good, small flash unit. The SB 600 is a more-sophisticated flash unit. It sounds like the original poster could use a heavy dose of web research from somebody like kenrockwell.com, where the emphasis is on what woks well for average beginners who want picture-taking information,and less emphasis on camera equipment.

    Indoors, a 70-200 zoom lens is not suitable for many situations, since the focal lengths are too long when the 1.5x or 1.6x FOV factor is figured in; something short, like a 35mm lens, will work indoors in houses and living rooms and restaurants. I would look at the Nikon D5000 as a good beginner's camera with an 11-area AF system and a video option as being a fun,exciting camera to begin with. The D60...I would buy a D3000 insted of a D60 if it were me. As for a lens that will get great action shots of your dog, from far away...you're really going to need a lot more background in lenses and photography before you can shoot indoor doggie pics at distance, unless you do have a long, fast lens,and some skill to go with it. Not to sound rude, but I think your expectations of how much in the way of photographic results you can "buy" right off the shelf are a bit perhaps overly influenced by things like the canon T1i's commercials, where a little Canon Rebel and 18-55 kit lens are shown snapping fantastic football action shots, even night football shots, from sandlot to NFL caliber shots, using a $100 lens.
     
  11. KenL

    KenL TPF Noob!

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    IMHO The D60 and the 18-200VR (one of my FAVORITE lenses) will get you off to a great start! This lens is the best "walk-around" lens, and I've used it for all types of photography.

    If you have enough light the 18-200VR will do well for action shots too.
    There is a slight vignetting at 200mm (slight darkening in corners that can easily be fixed in post processing) and there is a slight perspective distortion at 18mm that is also easy to fix. I have never had any problems with this lens and have used it extensively.

    You will find that Nikon keeps color, contrast and sharpeness to a minimum! This is to "protect" the quality of the shots. If you oversaturate the color it can't be fixed. If your shadows are too dark or the highlights too bright (these are called blown shadows and highlights) they can't be fixed either, nor can over-sharp images.

    Post-processing is as vital to creating a good photo. You will have to learn how to process.....it's just another learning curve!

    If you have any other questions please contact me!
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  12. battletone

    battletone TPF Noob!

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    I think that was the exact same commercial they used for the 450D, and probably used it before that too.
     

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