At a crossroads for what camera to buy.

Virtuosos

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Obviously I am new here, and I apologize for probablly asking the same question hundreds of asked before...but I am essentially stuck.

I have been a fan of photography for years, generally messing around with my little Casio Exilm 7x Zoom digital camera...and in doing so, I have managed to take a few 'pretty' photo's...

But, my desires are changing and my camera is aging.

I have been, and will always be, a lover of natural beauty. Being outside and away from civilization/mass buildings and cars is my ideal place due to the sheer beauty of nature. And one of the most perfect aspects of it, to me, is storms. Lightning, tornado's, heavy rainfall...yadda yadda.

Anyways, what I am trying to get at is I am starting to look for a camera that will enable me to adjust, change and perfect settings while trying to photograph lightning (as well as being able to take normal photo's).

I have been looking around and I cant find really anything that sticks out to me...

So far, I have looked at
Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera with Nikon AF-S VR DX 18-55mm lens
Nikon D3100 DSLR (would buy a shutter release as well)

But I am sure there are other options. Maybe I simply havnt looked around enough?

Anyways, price range would be topped at around $600...I would prefer not having to spend much more than that.
 

tron

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In my opinion buy a cheap nikon d40 body (used) and spend the bulk of your money on lenses. That way when you get acquainted with dslrs you can upgrade if you feel the need to.
 

PhotoTish

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^I agree with tron^ unless you want a camera which has video capabilities, the Nikon D40 is worth considering and the price would allow you to buy a decent lens. I gave my D40 to my niece who has recently shown an interest in photography and she really likes the D40 and has taken some great photos with it. I also like the Nikon D60 which, in the secondhand market, would probably be about the same price range as the D40. :thumbup:
 
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Virtuosos

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Thanks, I guess I dont really need it to be able to take video...the camera i have now is fully capable of doing video (on the random and rare chance of me feeling like shooting lol).


Thing is, as I have only ever used this casio exilm, I know little to nothing about lenses or prices.

Nikon D60 Digital SLR Camera with Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm lens

That is the D60 camera with a AF-S DX 18-55mm lens (whatever the hell that means....to me, that sounds like it allows me to zoom in a certain amount). I believe this is a brand-new D60 with the lense for roughly 590$ (refurbished for about 320)





Nikon D40 Digital SLR Camera with Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm lens (Black)

That is the nikon d40, same lens.

I am just confused, and maybe this is google's fault, but on the tech specs for the d40 and d60, the lens systems are different.

VR (Vibration Reduction) , Silent Wave Motor (SWM), aspherical lens (d60)
ED glass, Silent Wave Motor (SWM), aspherical lens (d40)

Honestly, I guess at this point my question is about the lens....Ill be doing some research on my own here shortly, but some suggestions and some basic info would be great without wading through pages upon pages of reviews/informations.

I'd probablly be leaning toward the d60 for no real reason other than my impulsive desire to have 'newer' things :er:


---------------

If someone has other suggestions for the camera itself, then please let me know.
 
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VoidnNull

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The lens are different. The VR one is more or less the newest revision of that lens
 

KenC

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It's worth also considering the Canon XS, available from B&H photo with 18-55 IS (same as VR) lens and free shipping for $479. I don't know how the specs compare, but if it were me, I'd compare if it could save me about $100. This is an older Canon model, but "newer" may not be significantly better for your purposes. The XS can take amazing pictures. The biggest difference between the XS and newer models is that the newer ones can make less noisy images in extremely low light. For most people, this just isn't a big factor. BTW, the 18-55 zoom is a good general-purpose lens which allows you to zoom from wide-angle to short telephoto settings.
 
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Alright, so i figure this:

Nikon D60 refurbished ($320)
Nikon Wide-angle zoom lens - 20 mm - 35 mm - F/2.8 (90$)
Nikon 18-55mm lens ($93)

Basically around 500 bucks which is quite good for me... However, the difference between these lens..aside from the 'wide' and 'non wide' aspect...would simply be how much zoom it has i assume? I don't personally see a reason not to buy both of em, would give me a wider variety of options while snapping photo's...

Does this sound like a good plan to anyone else?
 

chaosrealm93

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ive used the 18-55 before and i found myself quickly wanting more zoom. you may find yourself in the same situation later. if possible, get a lens with more range. the primes are a good idea.
 

VoidnNull

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Is the 18-55 also wide angle? Anything with less then 35mm equiv. should be consider wide angle. Consider getting a tripod if your going after a 70-300mm without VR.
 
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I have a decent tripod already, and if a wideangle would be debatable under 35mm, then that saves me a cool C-note :p like i said above, I know absolutely nothing about lenses so this is utterly and completely new ground for me.
 

VoidnNull

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From wikipedia, "By definition, wide-angle lenses differ from ultra wide angle lenses in that the latter have a focal length shorter than the short side of the film or sensor, which means that in 35mm, a wide-angle lens has a focal length between 35 and 24 mm, while an ultra wide-angle lens has a focal length shorter than 24 mm." But the D60 has a 1.5 crop factor, so the 20-35mm lens would be 30-52.5mm equiv. and the 18-55m would be 27-82.5mm equiv.. So both of them are consider wide angle.
 
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Alright, well then that leaves me with putting the wide-angle lens on the backburner and getting the 18-55 and the 70-300...

Something about the d60 I havn't been able to figure out is the aperature, however.

Most of the sites and advice I've read have suggest an aperture setting anywhere from f8 to f10 to f5.... from what I can tell, though, these lens will only let me hit 4-5.6 down to 2...
 

tron

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The lens are different. The VR one is more or less the newest revision of that lens

alright here are my $0.02 on the subject :blushing:

if you are looking at buying a d60, BUY THE d40! reasoning:
-the d40 has a faster flash sync rate (1/500) than the d60 (1/250)
-cheaper

yes the d60 has more megapixels but that doesnt really matter much, ive made 20" prints with my d40 and have noticed little pixilation.

as far as the 18-55 vs the 18-55vr the 'vr' stands for 'vibration reduction' which is great for telephoto lenses. this allows the lens to compensate for hand movement. this is useful on telephoto lenses because any hand movement is magnified due to the lens having so much zoom. with a wide angle such as the 18-55 your hand movements are not magnified so 'vr' is really not necessary.

also for what its worth, i quite like the 18-55. its pretty sharp, has a short focusing distance, and is super cheap.

finally when a lens says 3.5-5.6 (for instance on the 18-55) it means at 18mm of zoom your widest aperture is f/3.5. at 55mm of zoom your widest aperture is 5.6. the narrowest aperture at 18mm is something like f/22 and will be slightly more at 55mm. this is due to lens construction.


cliffs:
-i would buy the d40 body (used)
-18-55 non vr (used or new doesnt matter)
-if you want a zoom lens go with the 70-300 like you mentioned.
-throw in a 50mm 1.8 too, they can be found for less than $100

then when you outgrow the d40 you can buy a nicer body and still be able to use the lenses! for me ill be buying a d700 soon. and for people who say the d40 sucks, its definitely the photographer and not the camera (cliche i know). i by no means want to pump my own tires but i have won several competitions with photos taken with my d40.

hope that helps!
 

VoidnNull

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The lens has a variable max aperture. So depending on the zoom that's being used, the max aperture of the lens is different. However, you can minimum setting for the aperture is f22. So for example, at 18mm will have the max aperture of max f4 and the min of f22. But at 55mm the max aperture will be f5.6 and the min of f22. Usually when at the max aperture, the picture is softer so if you turn down the aperture by a few stop you get a sharper image.
 

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