Amateur < $750 Budget Summary

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by Pitchingace88, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Pitchingace88

    Pitchingace88 TPF Noob!

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    Hello to all,

    Background:
    For me, I've taken photography classes and really enjoyed the art form, but never focused on it as I didn't have the steady income to warrant quality over my phone as I was taking pictures of destinations/family that I would upload to Facebook. All that is going to change in 2 months when our first baby is coming into the world and the picture quality is going to matter a whole lot more.

    Initial Thoughts:
    I've been researching multiple forums and videos as to the best way to approach buying my first DSLR that can be a starting point for my love of photography. The body, while important, isn't something that it has been recommended to spend all of your budget. That being said, I would like a well performing camera. After looking at Nikon D3300, D5200, D5300, D5500, I believe the Nikon D3300 would be a good base and I could spend the rest on a starter lense and upgrade from the standard kit lens. Instead of the 18-55mm, I have been looking at the 18-140mm lens which would be w/in the price range and suitable for my needs for the first couple of years before my kid gets into sports.

    Accessories:
    If I search for deals I can probably get the lens and body for 600-650... what would be the next accessories to get? Attachable flash? I am not as familiar with additions aside from the body and lens.

    Advice Wanted:
    For those of you who have a larger expertise in photography and know my focus with newborn, first steps, and beyond... Any thoughts on the camera body, lens, or accessories would help immensely.

    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read and add input :)


     
  2. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Nikon D3300 with an 18-55mm AND a 55-200mm kit can be found at B&H for $646.95, free shipping. You get your 18-140mm, plus 140-200mm. ;)

    If you don't mind an "older" model, a Nikon D3200 with an 18-55mm AND a 55-200mm AND a bag AND a 16gb memory card can be found at B&H for $496.95, free shipping. :eek:

    Next accessories: tripod, remote shutter release, flash, flash triggers, and flash accessories (such as a modifier/softbox). If you go for a D3200, you'll have much more in your budget for accessories.
     
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  3. robbins.photo

    robbins.photo Yup, It's The Zoo Guy Supporting Member

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    Ok, so depends on if your looking for new or used. If your looking used, I'd probably look for a D5200 in good condition. You can find them in droves on Ebay or at outfits like KEH. I've shot the 5200 and it's a great camera, it will give you a very capable body at a very reasonable price.

    I'd recommend you go with that, and a lens - and then stop. Shoot with that for a while, and see if what your needs are. Then you can start looking at buying accessories, addtional lenses, and add ons. As far as an external flash is concerned, if it's something you won't be using often then you can get some off-brand ones that work pretty well. If it's something you find yourself thinking you'll use a lot, then probably best to invest a little more in an actual Nikon speedlight of some sort, they'll be a lot more durable over the long haul.
     
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  4. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Definitely agree. Yongnuo makes some pretty nice and cheap flashes!
     
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  5. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    Like robbins.photo I'd suggest a basic kit to start with.
    It's very tempting to but a whole host of extras, only to find you never use them. The 18-55 will cover the focal lengths you want for photographing a baby. If you decide you want a longer lens something like the 55-200 can be added later (once your child starts running off?).
    Tripod & external flash are both useful, but I know many keen photographers who rarely use either.
     
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  6. Pitchingace88

    Pitchingace88 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the quick responses!

    I had been debating between the D3300 and D5200 and wasn't sure about the price. I have been looking at moving away from the kit lens and go with body + a better overall lens.

    I was also a little skeptical about buying used as I am in the technology field (computers) and it isn't always a smart move. I know there can always be lemons, but is the overall consensus buying a slightly used doesn't compromise the photo quality?
     
  7. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Sorry, not to sound silly/terse (I'm honestly trying to understand your question better), but you say "moving away from the kit lens". Do you already have a kit and you're looking for something more? I guess I'm just confused how you can move away from something that you don't have?

    A "kit lens" isn't bad by any means. You can go out and buy a really expensive lens and a really expensive body, but if you don't know how to use them, a professional can run laps around you with a point and shoot. It'd be better to start out with the basic and move up from there. Especially if it can save you cash.

    Buy from a reputable place. B&H, KEH, Adorama?
     
  8. Pitchingace88

    Pitchingace88 TPF Noob!

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    Waday

    My apologies in the confusion. I am talking more about whether to go with the standard D5200 (or any Nikon) + 18-55mm kit it usually comes with or Body + Substitute Lens.

    I know about B&H and Adorama, but never heard of KEH, thanks for informing me so I get the best value.

    Currently I only have my phone to take pictures, I have no body or lens. Sorry for the confusion

    As it has been mentioned, the photographer skill level is a large majority of quality of the photo, but as a first DSLR, for me to get a solid foundation in Body + Lens... it appears the D5200 + 18-55mm kit lens is the option to go.

    However, found this as an option with the D5300 as it appears to be $60 more. Choices, choices, choices :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2015
  9. Emanuel M

    Emanuel M No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have bought the D5300 (body only) + the nikon 35mm f/1.8.
    I already had the 18-55 + 55-200 kit lenses.
    I am very happy with the 5300.
    I am planning on getting the sigma 17-50 f/2.8 to replace the 18-55 kit.
    In € i've spent 560€ on the body plus 180€ on the 35mm.
    That option (489$ for the D5300 + 18-55) is good, but soon you will think of replacing the lens.
    The 18-55 is not bad at all, and it produces good photos, but the aperture of 3.5 is kinda low for some situations - even at high ISO's.
    That can be solved with an external flash - for portraits and not far away objects.

    If you have the passion, buy a good body and then you can replace the lenses bit by bit.
    If you dont want to spend much money and you are not thinking of upgrading lenses, you should buy a cheaper body (3300 or 5200) a tele (55-200 is good) and a zoom like the sigma i told you about (17-50 f/2.8).
    If you love portraits, the 50mm f/1.8 is amazing - the 35mm f/1.8 is amazing also, but for wider portraits and even some landscaping.

    Cheers
     
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  10. STiZzle2010

    STiZzle2010 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was recently in a very similar situation. I was always into photography but never had a proper set up. When I found out that my wife was pregnant, this was all the motivation I needed to secure a DSLR as I wanted to have the absolute best photos to cherish forever. I spent so much time researching trying to find what to get and I ended up with a Nikon D5500 (I wanted the latest technology plus I liked the touch screen) and I choose the 18-140 kit lens. While I was initially happy with this lens choice, it fazed quickly as it was not fast enough and did not preform as well indoors as I thought it would. Outside the lens is great (not as sharp as I wanted but overall very good) but, it will be a while before you are outside with a newborn.

    For my first upgrade, I went with a Nikkor 50mm 1.8G which is much faster and sharper compared to the 18-140. The quality of the photos indoors and out, are significantly better and this is a very inexpensive lens. If I had to do it all over again, I would have purchased a Nikkor 35mm 1.8G (this lens on a crop body with equate to a 50mm and allow you to get closer to your subject compared to the 50mm on the crop which is closer to a 70mm) along with the camera body. I suggest this option to consider and you can worry about getting a zoom lens later when you will actually use it. Plus you will most likely want to get something a bit better than the 18-140. As you get more comfortable, you will always be looking for upgrades. Trust me I've learned that this is a very addicting hobby lol. I agree with some of the other suggestions above as well regarding the body. While the D3XXX series is ok, I would try and get a D5XXX series (even if used) if possible. Eventually you may find yourself in the same situation as me anxious to get a full frame ! :)

    Congrats on the soon to be new addition to the family as there is no better feeling than being a parent!
     
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  11. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get the newest affordable Nikon body based on reviews and advice here. Skip the kit zooms and get a 35/1.8. It's a 50mm equivalent, close-focusing, and fast which allows you to shoot at lower ISOs with less noise. I was a broke-ass grad student when my son arrived and, despite adding lenses over the next few years, something like 90% of our favorite shots of him were taken with an old MF Nikkor 50/1.4.

    The little 35/1.8 G DX is a true bargain for what it delivers.
     
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  12. Pitchingace88

    Pitchingace88 TPF Noob!

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    So much good advice! This is what I appreciate as I can tell you about IT infrastructure, YouTube Channel Management, Baseball without hesitation due to my experience, but in photography I am lacking...

    That will change over the coming months I am sure :)

    From all of the thoughts and advice, it appears to go with the best value D5xx and a 35mm lens. This was a consideration as I could go for a quality zoom lens once I am comfortable with the camera and improve my photographer skills.

    Does anyone still use the 18-55mm lens?
     
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