Buying first camera!!!!! NEED HELP

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by awiltj, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. awiltj

    awiltj TPF Noob!

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    I borrowed my brothers Nikon D3300 for a weekend and absolutely fell in love with photography! I'm looking to buy my first camera and am really getting mixed messages as to where to start. My friend who's amazing at photography suggested I start with something in the Canon t series but I wanted to get some other opinions too. My budget is extremely low (~$500) so I'm trying to look for the best bang for my buck- something that's easy and good to learn the ins and outs of photography on, develop my personal photographic style, diverse, and will last me a while. I'm about to go to college so I can't see myself being able to afford a new body anytime in the near future so I'd like something that's versatile and all around a good camera but will stay relevant for a while if possible. As I said before, I'm new, but I can see myself focusing on landscapes and portraits (candids showing true emotions of people). I'll appreciate any help you may have! Thank you so much in advance (also idc either Nikon or Canon- open to suggestions)


     
  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why not the d3300?

    Welcome to tpf
     
  3. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. Stradawhovious

    Stradawhovious Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Take a look at a used Nikon D90 and a nifty fifty (Nikon 50mm 1.8). Those should both come in way under $500 (combined), and you will have one heck of a first camera with a very nice lens to boot.

    With the D90 having an internal focus motor (unlike the 3xxx series) you also leave yourself open to being able to use almost every Nikon lens made in the last 30 years, and there are some nice low cost gems in that lineup.
     
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  5. Didereaux

    Didereaux Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    USED! go to BH or Adorama or any other REPUTABLE dealer and look in their used DSLR sections. Being a Canon user I would suggest you look at a GOOD used T3i, or even an older T2i. Under $300 and you get an excellent almost full featured camera that have produced some fine photos over the years. Your image quality will be more affected by your choice of lens than by any of the bodies produced in the last 6-8years. I will let a knowledgeable Nikon user make suggestions as to the Nikon equivalents to my recommendations. With the Canons you might look at the 55-250mm kit lens. A quite usable all purpose zoom lens.
     
  6. robbins.photo

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

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    I'd look at a Nikon D5200 with a kit lens to start with, should be well within your budget range, you can share lenses with your brother and it is a very good compromise between price and performance. You should be able to get a refurbished model for less than $500 with the kit lens pretty easily.
     
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  7. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, to be honest 500$ isnt that much of a budget, but you can get an entry level camera and a kitlens for that. As far as bang of the buck, the best option are entry or semi pro DSLRs. They are big though, but they are much better than compacts of the same price point.

    I would recomment getting the Nikon D5200 and the AF-S 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 VR kitlens. The D5200 is cheaper than the D3300 but the much better camera, with a better AF system and a flipscreen. Thats pretty much camera already.

    For the record, with a bit more you could get a refurbished D7100, which could actually be all the camera you ever need. The difference between a D5200 and a D7100 is that a D7100 is a "semi-pro" model, i.e. it has a lot more direct controls and can be configured in a way that you will hardly ever need to "menusurf" while operating the camera, given of course that you have spent the time to learn the camera in the first place. With the D3300 or the D5200 you'll often be quite a bit slower. The D7100 also has a lot of features the D3x00 and D5x00 lines lack, such as a second memorycard slot for backup, better build including weathersealing, even better autofocus than the D5200 (in fact the previous top of the line AF chip), advanced flash features, etc. No flipscreen though. Another archilles heel is a small buffer, and not that much fps to begin with. Otherwise a very complete general camera though.

    And dont worry, all these lines of cameras (D3x00, D5x00, D7x00) are beginner friendly. They offer a green mode and you can work from that point on, slowly learning the controls and what they actually mean.

    Well, the used market has all kinds of options. The D7000 and the D90 would be possible choices. They have the same AF chip as the D5200 though, not the advanced of the D7100 and D7200.
     
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  8. IronMaskDuval

    IronMaskDuval Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Are you wedded to DSLR? If not, look at Fuji XE1 or Sony nex 6 or 7. Both have a good lineup of native lenses and can shoot old manual focus lens of almost any kind. I found an NEX6 with a kit lens a few days ago for $200.
     
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  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Since I'm a Nikon owner, I recommend Nikon. (funny how that works)

    I also recommend that you try to find the highest-level DSLR you can get in your budget, because they can all be operated on "auto" until you learn other modes. You will grow into a higher level body over time, but you don't want to start out with a cheap body and then wish it was something else later on.

    You can get a cheap lens to use while you're learning the technology, and then upgrade lenses as you find additional money.

    So check out the reputable dealers that offer used gear and put together a few sample deals and re-post to get someone's opinion.
     
  10. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A Canon EOS Rebel T5 is about $400 new (not used) and would include a single kit lens -- an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with image stabilization (not the new "STM" version -- which is a much better lens.) It would come with everything you need to start *except* a memory card (memory cards are cheap.)

    A Nikon D3300 is about $450 new (not used) and would also include a single kit lens -- also an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with image stabilization.

    Both of these are Canon & Nikon's respective entry-level bodies (designed and priced to be the most affordable DSLRs they offer.)

    The kit lenses are primarily designed with affordability in mind. That means they do a good job (in comparison to non-DSLR cameras they do a fantastic job) but both companies make much better lenses than the kit lenses. The kit lens' focal ratios (both identical) aren't ideal for low-light shooting situations and, for this reason, it's often suggested that perhaps adding a 50mm f/1.8 lens would be a good idea. The 50mm f/1.8 does capture considerably more light (about 10x more light at the 50mm focal length then the kit lens -- so it's a substantial difference). BUT... that's an extra lens.

    Canon just revised their 50mm f/1.8 with a new STM version and it sells for the same price as the previous version of $125 (but currently it's $110) - a FANTASTIC deal.

    Nikon has a 50mm f/1.8 priced at about $132 BUT ... it doesn't have auto-focus and you definitely want auto-focus. The version of the lens that does have auto-focus is about $217 -- more than $100 higher than the cost of the Canon.

    You can save a bit by checking to see if either company has them available as "refurbished" cameras and lenses. A refurb comes with the same warranty as a new camera, but because it was previously purchased they cannot sell them as "new" (often times there was never anything wrong with a refurb other than the customer changed their mind and returned it to the store.) All the things that might get lost (product documentation, software, cables, etc.) tend to get replaced with "new" items in a refurb. You're basically assured that everything will be there.

    You can also get "used" but here you have to be a little careful because a used camera doesn't have a warranty and you do want to make sure that everything is working correctly. There's a lot that can go wrong that you might not notice as a buyer unless you have some experience evaluating used camera gear.

    Both cameras will do all the same basic functions ... but there are lots of subtle little differences. The differences are not particularly substantial.

    These two companies dominate the camera world. Both have an incredibly array of lenses and other accessories so you can grow the system over time.

    I wouldn't worry too much... any currently offered DSLR camera is pretty amazing these days. You'll be happy with whatever you pick.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  11. awiltj

    awiltj TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so so much for all of your help so far! The one thing I hear you guys saying is that if I want to buy used to buy from a reputable dealer. So would you advise not buying from websites such as Craigslist or eBay?
     
  12. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I personally wouldn't recommend it. More experienced photographers know what to look for in used equipment, but for beginners it's better to purchase from a place that tests it for you. B&H Photo, Adorama, and KEH.com are all reputable for used items. You can also look for open box deals at Best Buy or Amazon Warehouse.
     
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