What do I look for when buying my first camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by a1157814a, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    I am looking to buy my first camera (first as in not including the cheapest camera i bought at walmart like 3 years ago).

    I don't really know what specification to look for when buying a camera. I just think those cheap nikon SLR camera with big lenses look cool (like $450?) but I certainly don't want to buy the camera just for the looks of it, only because that's just so ignorant and retarded... lol but can you please help me choose my first camera? What specs should I be looking for? and any other advise would be appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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    I'll say this before someone else does...

    What kind of photos are you planning on shooting? Snapshots? Sports? Nature? Architecture? Portraits? We need more information before we can make any suggestions.
     
  3. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    I'm interested in portraits (modeling pictures and such), and also nature, I love the skies and the beach especially but that's just few of the nature themes that I enjoy. Big cities themes are cool too.
     
  4. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get the one that looks the coolest.

    I'm serious. I would stick with Canon, Nikon, or Sony (we're talking dSLRs, right?) and just pick the one you like the most.

    Honestly, if you don't already have an idea what to look for, you'll be happy with the offerings from any of the major camera makers. I'm not trying to be rude, just saying that if you don't have an idea on what you need the camera to do or not do you won't be let down. (If autofocus is important to you there are some Nikon bodies you might want to avoid though - I'll let someone more familiar with them elaborate on that (I shoot Canon).)
     
  5. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    What do you mean? lol I already mentioned I wouldn't want to get camera that just looks cool because I think that is just ignorant, and I also mentioned on the previous post, briefly what I want to do with the camera. I'm a beginner like I said so please ask if there are other information that I have left out and you wish to know.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    All of them can do the things you want to do. It doesn't really matter which one you get - they all take pictures. The technical differences between them will not be enough to get in your way. The aesthetic differences might - button layout or LCD size for example. Get the one that "feels right".
     
  7. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    man you are probably a lot more experienced than me in photography but honestly, your advise suck lol. basically, it doesn't matter if i get a $5000 camera or $500 according to you. of course id have to know how to use the camera but just because i don't know every features on those expensive cameras, doesnt meant it i won't learn them and i'm sure they would come in a good use later on.
     
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Exactly. If you can afford the high dollar bodies, get one. Don't feel like a cheaper body is going to limit you though. The lenses are more important than the body most of the time. Make sure you leave some room in your budget for a couple good lenses too.

    The biggest difference you will notice between the expensive and cheap bodies are the number of focus points and high ISO performance. The more expensive bodies are built a lot tougher too (usually metal instead of plastic).
     
  9. a1157814a

    a1157814a TPF Noob!

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    Sure, but if I go with what you just wrote, I would look for nothing but the price when choosing which I want to buy. There are many brands that offer different cameras with different features and costs, so I might end up finding a better deal for what I would actually need the most. .
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What will you actually need the most? (I would imagine that it's fairly common, and any dSLR you're looking at is going to have it.)

    Do you need 45 AF points, or is 7 enough?
    Will you be using ISO 3200 and higher often?
    Do you need flash sync at any shutter speed, or is 1/200th good enough?
    Do you need more than 3 frames per second?



    Here's what I would do in your situation -
    Figure out how much you can spend. Are you going to buy the body+kit lens, or body only and get different lenses? Your budget (if it's like mine) will narrow things down a lot.

    Play around with all the cameras in your price range. Get whichever one you like the most.


    All the cameras in a given price range are going to have more or less the same specs. There will be a few differences, of course - but nothing to lose sleep over.

    I think you're trying to make this more complicated than it really is. It's supposed to be fun - get the one that feels best in your hands.
     
  11. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    I guess what OIo is trying to say is

    At your level of photography, it doesn't matter what you get. The limiting factors of the cheap cameras aren't going to limit you and the expansive features of the expensive cameras aren't going to benefit you.

    Within your budget, hold any DSLR in your hand and see which works best for you.

    If you were looking to advance your photography further than happy snaps with the added image quality that a dSLR provides, then you probably would have done more research into what an SLR is, why you want one, and what the main manufacturers provide.

    You say you want to do portraits / modelling, but you don't know anything about the factors that combine into exposing a good photograph.

    To be more specific, I would probably recommend any of the following:
    Nikon D40
    Canon Rebel XTI(or is it XSI)
    Olympus E-420
    Sony A100/A200
    Pentax K100/K200

    They're all cheap, they all take great photos.

    Obviously if you're wanting to develop your photography further you may need to upgrade, but going by your experience / the detail with which you have researched things so far, I would say that an upgrade would be more than a few years off.

    I hope that wasn't insulting, it wasn't mean to be.
     
  12. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Agree with Josh here. If you are really not too sure about what camera to get, and you are look at the low end DSLR cameras, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and Sony cameras will work for you. They all can take good pictures as long as the person behind the camera can.

    So, are the low end DSLR cameras from different manufacturers made equally? No, but they are some what the same.

    Go to some review sites such as dpreview.com and check them out. Go to a camera store and check them out. If you bump into a term or feature that you do not know, please feel free to ask.

    After all those if you are still not quite sure .... then go get a Canon or Nikon. And some other people here will tell you go get a Olympus, Sony or Pentax.
     

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