The big quandry - what camera to buy next!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Lazy Photographer, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. Lazy Photographer

    Lazy Photographer TPF Noob!

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    Boy it must be getting old having all these newbes like me asking for camera buying advice. I'll try to keep it concise.

    WHAT I SHOOT:
    I mostly shoot art type stuff. Landscape, wide panoramic views, interesting and odd stuff, things that lend well to tweaking in photoshop. At the moment I don't see making money at it, but maybe down the road.

    WHAT I'VE GOT NOW:
    I'm shooting with a 5 meg Panny p & s that's 3+ years old

    WHAT I WANT:
    I want to move up to a better camera with more manual controls.

    CAMERA OPTIONS:

    1. Another p & s, like the Panny LX3K, which is 10.1 megs, has a remarkable sensor for a p & s, and many of the manual controls of a dSLR ($569)
    2. A Olympus E-620 - Is a 4/3rds camera. Sounds very user friendly, but has smaller sensor than dSLR, also has smaller body. Probably better photos than the p & s, but likely not as good as a better dSLR ($749)
    3. Nikon D5000 - Sounds like a good entry level dSLR. I'm concerned about the learning curve. I like the articulating display. Not too expensive. Same sensor as the D90, but lacks some important D90 features. ($989)
    4. Nikon D90 - Cat's ass, but probably big learning curve. Also big camera. Not great for carrying around everywhere. Intimidating to me. Expensive. But, it would be the best for growing into. ($1,349)
    FINAL THOUGHTS:
    I like the idea of being able to carry around a small camera that I can simply point and shoot whenever, but also get into manual settings when need be. But I also like the idea of something I can grow into without having to spend more money a year or two from now. I'm just starting out so the more camera I buy today, the bigger the learning curve. Also, something like a D90 costs a small fortune for someone like me, so that's a bit of a concern too. If I was 100% certain my new hobby wasn't just a passing fad, maybe I'd be more open to spending a lot now.

    WHAT DO YOU THINK?:
    I'm sure many of you have been in the same shoes at one time or another. What do you think? Any advice or comments are welcome.
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    What kind of budget are you working with? What is the most you'd want to spend now?

    How serious are you about photography? The more serious you are/will be, the more camera you should get to start with.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I don't know what a Panny is. I've never owned a p&s digital camera.

    At $570 you could get a D40 DSLR or for a few dollars more a D60 at 10MP.

    Your final thoughts convince me you should stay with a p&s though.
     
  4. c0ps

    c0ps TPF Noob!

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    If you can get your hands on a panasonic lumix lx2, I can tell ya that it is an awsome P&S with almost as much manual controlls as d60. Takes breathtaking pictures at low ISO. mettering controlls. I Purchased one of these for my wife and I find I use it more than her lol.
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasoniclx2/
     
  5. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    kmh offered great advice i think . . .

    and perhaps the lumix lx3 or the canon g10?
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I say go for an entry level dSLR.

    Don't worry about the learning curve - it's not that bad. Plus, unless you're about to drop $5-7K on a body, they all still have the auto modes.

    Portability is going to be the only downside, but hey - you have a P&S, that's what they're for.

    If it does turn out to just be a passing fad, you could sell it or keep it and have really nice snapshots.
     
  7. einsamflicks

    einsamflicks TPF Noob!

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    I agree, the learning curve really isn't that bad. Plus if you want to progress quickly shooting in manual settings is a lot easier and faster to do on a d90 or d80, you don't have to go into the cameras display to change your aperture and shutter. as opposed to a d40 where you have to fumble around menus to change most the settings.

    my d80 is alot easier to use then my friends d40.
     
  8. F1RacerRR

    F1RacerRR TPF Noob!

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    Going by what you have said, it seems a no-brainer to me. Nikon D60
    Its an entry level DSLR with which you can quickly learn the basics (you'll be glad you did.)
    You say you want a small, light one to carry around, then the D60 is perfect for that.
    It takes superb shots, isnt overwhelming to the newcomer and is Nikons smallest lightest DSLR.

    D90 if you can afford it, but it does have more features to learn in order to get the best from it.

    If you have the D60 and decide that it is more than a passing fad, you can always sell it and upgrade to a D90 (I did).
     
  9. Lazy Photographer

    Lazy Photographer TPF Noob!

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    Panny = Panasonic
    P & S = Point & Shoot

    Thanks for your input.
     
  10. Lazy Photographer

    Lazy Photographer TPF Noob!

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    A 1.
    Ideally I'd like to stay on this side of a grand.

    A 2.
    Good question. Right now I feel pretty serious, but being relatively new to it, I don't know if the feeling will eventually subside. The last thing I can afford is a $1,200 dust collector. On the other hand, I see the value in buying something that will carry me through a few years. Plus, most of the digital photography night school courses I've come across require a dSLR camera.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  11. Lazy Photographer

    Lazy Photographer TPF Noob!

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    Good point. That avenue probably puts me into either a Nikon D5000, Canon T1i or Olympus E-620 (micro 4/3rds). All can be had for under $1,000 here in Toronto. I'm not sure which of the bunch of most "user friendly" though. I should mention that live view is pretty important to me. I also like AF built into the camera, for the sake of less expensive lenses and more variety, which is a knock against the D5000, if I recall.
     
  12. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Keep in mind that you'll be buying into a system too, not just a new camera.

    You may go through a couple bodies over the years, but properly cared for lenses will last (damn near) a lifetime. They will also hold their value fairly well if you ever decide to sell.
     

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