What cameras best for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by bdgerfn20, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. bdgerfn20

    bdgerfn20 TPF Noob!

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    So here is the deal. I am an outdoor enthusiast and I am interested in getting into photography. I would love to get a DSLR but it might be a little out of the price range. I am interested in Wildlife, landscape and macro photography. I deer hunt alot so I would like to have the ability to take close up pictures of deer from about 50-100 yards away. I also am out and about with great opportuities to take pics of landscapes plants animals sunsets...just about anything out doors. So my major question is as a beginner (I have been doing a ton of research on this by the way) What would be the smarter route, start off with an advanced digital camera and learn more about photography before tryin a DSLR or do you think a DSLR is the way to go. I think getting the DSLR might help me learn more about photography and i will have a camera for a long time.

    Finally if you could, I would like to know what specific brand and model would be best for me. Also with the photography i am looking into what are the absolutely must haves in a camera?
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First off, what's the budget? In today's market you can get into a D-SLR and basic lens kit for <$500; top-end pro gear including "wildlife" lenses will run you well north of $20,000. Chances are, you want something in the middle.

    The other consideration is the amount of room/weight you can give to a camera. Even the smallest D-SLR and lens will take up a LOT more room and weigh more than some of the good P&S cameras.

    My guess, based on the critieria you've listed is that you want a 'super-zoom' bridge camera like the Fuji Finepix 'S' line or similar. Your best bet is to go into a real camera store (NOT a big-box store that also sells cameras) and tell the clerk what you want and how much you can spend, then pick up the various models and see what they feel like.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I find that I am agreeing with tirediron -a decent wildlife lens will set you back quite a bit and is going to be bulky and heavy - something to consider if you are hunting at the same time (though you could always hang your gun up and just go camera shooting all the time ;) ).
    The highend superzoom (bridge) cameras can do some very good work these days and will give you a good range for wildlife and a good abilty for both landscape and macro as well (most are actually pretty good at macro). Manual controls are normally a bit harder and things like manual focusing harder still (since its electronic not manual by hand) but overall they are a great compramise between quality, price, features and portability.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In short, the best camera for you is the one that you can afford. Just b/c you want hardcore super zoom lens (600mm) and having options of wide aperture, doesn't mean it is cheap or inexpensive.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As well you should! :p
     
  6. bdgerfn20

    bdgerfn20 TPF Noob!

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    Well im not really sure what my price range is but definitly under 500. I would like to spend as little as possible but i also am not going to spend the money on a camera that doesnt fit my needs. I also should mention i want good low light performance considering i may be shooting picutre ealry am and later in the afternoon. I am going to use it for hunting but i am planning on just walkin out if the woods in the offseason and taking pictures of what ever presents it self especialy fawns. Right now im lookin at the Canon sx20is and the fuji s1500. Any opinons?
     
  7. Felix0890

    Felix0890 TPF Noob!

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    Those are both better than the average point & shoot but they're not great cameras. I don't believe they're even considered DSLR's.
     
  8. Skep18

    Skep18 TPF Noob!

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    I have a Fuji s5100 and am really pleased with it. As mentioned, its no DSLR for sure. But it's always made clear pics for me for the past few years.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    that's because they are not ;) DSLRs (or even film SLRs) all have interchangable lenses as a feature as well as a mirrorbox setup so that you can see though the viewfinder what the lens is actually seeing. Of course these days there are some hybrids appearing (the new 4/3rds line which are more point and shooty but have interchangable lenses) and DSLRs without the mirrorbox setup - instead using liveview to send image data to the viewfinder.

    As for the op your budget will let you get into the high range of bridge cameras, but its not going to really be enough for a good DSLR setup for wildlife. Sadly if you want good lowlight performance the DSLR is the better rout to take. You could always go for a decent DSLR body and lower range lens now and then upgrade over time - but that is more if photography is going to be a bigger thing for you - who knows it might be but you'll have to decide if the DSLR or bridge rout is the right one for you,

    Perhaps get yourself to a camera shop and have a try of some of the gear on the shelves - just have feel for teh difference in cameras
     

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