Beginner to photography---help please!


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Dec 31, 2007
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I'm going to school for photography and I need help deciding what camera I should get for my classes. I would also like to know what schooling I need and what jobs could be offered for me. I'm so new to this concept. I've heard the Nikon D40 is what's best for me, but I wanted to make sure. Thanks so much. ^-^
If you want DSLR, D40 is a great choice. If money is no object, then D300. Dont forget that lenses are more significant then bodies. So better to have D40 with lenses you want then a kit D300.
You can read on here for hours on hours about the drawbacks of the D40. Lenses are very expensive. If you're going to school for photography and plan on making a career out of it, do yourself a favor and spend a little more and get the D80. I own a D40X. Its a nice camera and takes nice pics. When I started looking into lenses I realized the mistake I made.

...... on the other hand, want to buy a slightly used D40X?
Either go with a D80, or go with a different brand. Nikon is an excellent company, but the limits of the D40 are not worth it.

What's your budget?
You want to buy something you can grow into, not out of. I bought the d40x as my first dslr. I love it, its lightweight, and not as complicated as other cams. The pictures I have taken are awesome! But if I could do it all over agian, I would have gotten the d80.
Thanks for the help! I'm looking into the D80 now.

I'm also not sure if I need to go into photography. My mom says that there are not enough open jobs for me. All the colleges around for photography are FAR away and I can't attend them yet. My mom wants me to go to school for a side job for my photography career. I can do that or take online photography courses. What do ya'll reccomend?
get something that can accept more lenses like a canon rebel if you are on a budget. glass is more important than body and you want to be able to buy nice glass and AF w/ it haha
I 2nd Jbs on spending more money on your lenses.

As far as school goes, study what you love. If you're lucky, you'll get paid to do what you love. Speaking from personal experience, it's much easier sweating over exams if you are actually interested in knowing what the answers are for personal curiosity. I studied zoology, wish I'd done a minor in english and presently I work for a bank.

All the colleges around for photography are FAR away and I can't attend them yet
If you have time before you are going into college, why not try out one of the online photography courses to give you a taste, and then there is still so much more you'd learn going to college for photography after.

If this helps, here's a site of someone who went to school for photography, found work, and well I'll let you read the rest:
If you go Nikon Id suggest searching for a refurbished D50 with a warranty or, the D80. I have the D80 and, it is a great camera. With the kit lense you will get alot of play with that for awhile.
I first started with with Canon Rebel XT. It helped me to familiarize myself with all the functions. I've been building with my lenses and recently updated to the XTi. Eventually, I will change to a higher Canon and will be able to keep my lenses as I advance. Good Luck!
Don't listen to your mom. I know they have experience in life...but if you give up on something you enjoy, then what's the point of going to school at all?
I'm planning on moving away next fall for college in a totally different city 8 hours away. Just to take photography. Now, I don't know if I'll learn something...or if I'll end up with a career...but I know I'd enjoy it. And, if at the end of the day I have my name on a little paper saying I'm qualified for yada yada yada, then I can get a job doing it...cause paper means way too much in this world.
I agree with the others. If you want to go with Nikon go with a D80 instead, or a refurbished D50 would also be an excellent choice. You'll have autofocus support on all of Nikon's auto-focus lenses that way, rather than having to manually focus on anything but AF-S or AF-I lenses.

I have a D40 also, bought after my D80, and it's great for when I want something lightweight and don't need to do anything fancy. It's small and light enough that my wife can use it easily too, whereas the D80 is too big and bulky for her, and now that I put the MB-D80 grip on it it's even more unmanageable, lol. :)
First of all, I'd decide where your interests lie.
If you like sports, Nikon is terrific.
If you want to shoot low light stuff like a wedding, then Canon might be the way to go.
I'd figure out what you like first, and then maybe ask your photography teacher for council on how to get there, and what equipment might most benefit you.
Good Luck!
If you like sports, Nikon is terrific.
If you want to shoot low light stuff like a wedding, then Canon might be the way to go.
Now that's interesting, because I would have recommended the exact opposite here, heh.

For sports I'd actually lean towards Canon because their autofocus tends to be much quicker than Nikon, at least in the amateur/prosumer grade lenses. The Nikons are quick, but not *snap* instantaneous like the Canons. Canon also has fast focusing primes which are great for sports. Nikon's normal and short tele primes are all their old screw drive focus variants that tend to be on the slow side unless you have a pro level body with a beefy focusing motor that will yank the lens around quicker. The Canon bodies "tend to" have cleaner and sharper high ISO performance too, and the lenses "tend to" have smoother bokeh for those creamy backgrounds.

For weddings where you're running around and might be facing a lot of different lighting conditions very quickly, all of the automated functions on the Nikons would help you keep everything on course much easier than the Canons. Of course doing a wedding you're more likely to be shooting RAW anyways, but the Nikons can keep everything reeled in enough that you could even do JPG only for most things. That and Nikon's Creative Lighting System is great, although I'm told that Canon's flash system has come a long way in recent years. Not sure how they compare nowadays.

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