Buying a camera on a budget.


TPF Noob!
Jan 8, 2012
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So I just started more serious photography, specifically for food, and I am looking to buy a new camera.
My budget is 800$, I am looking for the best body/ lense I can get under that budget. Something with the best macro capabilities I can possibly achieve and best quality I can get.
I am pretty new, so sorry if this is sort of loosely described.
Herein lies your problem: DSLR bodies have nothing to do with the quality of macro images. It's all in the lens and to get the best macro quality, you need a macro lens. Which is expensive-easily as much as the camera body or more.
There are a few options for macro starting out without investing in a macro lens: extension tubes decrease the focus distance between a lens and it's subject allowing you to get much closer and to shoot a much larger shot of a subject.
You also need a tripod for true macro work. A good tripod isn't cheap either, but a cheap tripod will definitely get you started. It's not the greatest, but you can still get great results with it for now.

Have you looked at cameras yet and has anything caught your eye? We can tell you that we love our camera-or hate it in my case with one of mine. That really doesn't matter if it doesn't fit YOU and what feels right for you. Many of us like a larger, heavier camera. Whereas many beginners do not. Many women don't want the larger heavier cameras.
Nikon lovers love the way and features of Nikon cameras. Canon users could use a Nikon camera, but it wouldn't feel right in their hands. Same with the other brands.
About all I can tell you without any more input from you is tell you that I'd look first and foremost to Nikon and Canon then Sony and Pentax. In that order. Look at the features of each one and decide what features you really think you NEED and can't live without. Then go to a store that carries cameras and play with one of each. One should feel pretty right to you.
Well, I was looking at the NEX 5 or NEX 3, as far as lenses I am pretty clueless.
I am not a NEX fan, HOWEVER I think that for what you are wanting-macro-it might just be a pretty good option overall. There are a few guys here who have one or have used one and they can expound on more of it. The sensor in the NEX cameras is smaller. When you have a smaller sensor you have a much larger depth of field. In macro work depth of field is something that you really have to consider and it can become a pain in the butt because of using such a small aperture and needing more and more and more light because of it.

You only mention Macro. What are your FULL goals and needs with this camera?
Taking photos of food, 1-3 feet away from it.
That's it? All you are going to use this for?
You don't necessarily need to spend $800 if you want to produce amazing macro and food shots. A little lighting and a bridge camera will do that in amazingly beautiful style.
I mean, the best I can get for my budget is basically what I am asking for.
Maybe Try the Panasonic dmc fz-150 as a start. I have an older version of this camera and I recommend it, the newer version is supposedly better than mine
NEX sensors are quite large, larger than the 4/3rds. If you want those qualities, invest in lighting, backdrops, and lenses. Current camera shouldn't have much problem.

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