What Camera for College Photography.

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by nomotiv4all, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. nomotiv4all

    nomotiv4all TPF Noob!

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    Hi Everybody , I just registered for photography at my college my first day of photog is june 14th. I am looking to get a good camera for class, and I wanted some advice on which should i get. This particular class will be Black and white photography but in the fall im starting color photography. I am looking at a 400-450 budget for a body and lense. I was also looking at a Sigma Sa9 and Sa7 . Any advice would help me a great deal. Thanks in advance

    -Juan
     
  2. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    I've heard good and bad things about the Sigma's. As with any camera, it's a matter of personal preference more than anything else.

    Before you buy, you might want to see if the professor has any requirements. You might have to have a manual-only camera, like the Nikon FM-10 or Pentax ZX-M, both of which can be had with lens for less than $400. You might want to think about one of these, as many feel that using a totally manual camera is the best way to learn.

    If your professor doesn't mind if you have a camera with auto functions, then try to find a camera store, if possible, where you can try several different cameras in your price range, and see which ones have the features you like, and most importantly, which fit comfortably in your hand. Each brand has its own strengths and weaknesses, but overall, all the comparable models are very similar.
     
  3. ksmattfish

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

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    You should be able to find a Pentax ZX-M for $175 to $275 depending on the lens. A nikon FM-10 will cost about the same, but doesn't have as good of a meter, or as many features as the ZX-M. If you want to go Nikon for the lens mount, I'd look for a used FM 2 or FM 3. I'd think you could find them for less than $400. I don't think Nikon actually manufactures the FM-10; Cosina or somebody makes it. It's not that there is anything wrong with it, just that a ZX-M is a more advanced camera design for the same money.

    On the other hand, you could go for old and cheap. Plenty of your fellow students will be using older, mechanical style cameras. There is a wide range of great "old" (1965 to 1985) cameras that have all the features you need for a photog class, coupled with rugged durability, and a cheap price. 35mm SLRs built by Pentax, Ricoh, etc... go for as low as $15 on Ebay these days, and they will take just as good pics as any other 35mm SLR. Save that money for film and paper, and take lots of shots. That'll do more for your photography skills than expensive features.

    As DrLynn said, they really are all about the same in a given price range; for cameras with similar features Pentax and Sigma will to be cheaper than Canon and Nikon. Don't worry about newfangled, high-tech, cutting edge features, just make sure it has the fundimental features that all 35mm SLRs should have, like the ability to manually adjust ISO, and a cable release socket. Entry level Nikons don't have ISO control (DX coding only), and wasn't someone complaining on here about not being able to use a cable release with their Sigma? What's next? Cameras without tripod sockets!!!! :evil: blasphemers!!!!
     

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