Camera for beginners

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As I said above, I started to take pictures, should buy a good camera, or buy a normal type to get acquainted. Expect to have experienced consultants

Thank you!
 

Jeff15

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It all depends on what you want to take pictures of and how much money you have to spend.
 

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The core controls of a camera are the same no matter if its digital, film or if its high or low end; however higher level cameras are typically easier to manually control whilst lower level ones tend to be more aimed at point-and-shoot mentality and rely more strongly on automatic modes.

What budget you have, what you intend to do and how far you want to take this are all things you'll have to answer before we can give any starting point on suggestions for cameras.
 

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As I said above, I started to take pictures, should buy a good camera, or buy a normal type to get acquainted. Expect to have experienced consultants

Thank you!
What is your proposed budget? What is your tolerance for learning new technology? How experienced are the consultants? Will they be with you when you are learning?

Some beginners are wealthy, so they purchase advanced cameras, only to be confused about the technology, and eventually give up. If you get a simple camera, you can learn the functions easily, and keep the camera with you while you learn what makes a good photograph.
 

Fujidave

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As I said above, I started to take pictures, should buy a good camera, or buy a normal type to get acquainted. Expect to have experienced consultants

Thank you!

Hi and welcome to the forum. Before you do buy a camera try and go to a store and hold some cameras so you can get the feel of it and the weight too which can be important in the long run.
 

ac12

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It also depends on where you want to go.
  • Some people do NOT want to deal with the complexity of a higher end dslr. So why pay the extra $$$ for functions that you will not use.
    • They may just want to press a button, and not want to fuss with the controls of a complex camera.
    • Although some people are into status, so they have to buy the best, even if they will never use more than 5% of it. And I have a few funny stories about that.
  • Some people want to eventually get to where they have full control over the camera, but they need intermediate steps to get there. Luckily many of today's cameras have scene modes to help. But the control and menus can be/are challenging.
  • Other are capable and want to jump right into the complex cameras.
  • One sure way to get frustrated is to use a camera that is too complex for you. Some of the advanced cameras are not as "friendly" as the lower end cameras, cuz they expect you to know what you are doing.
As was mentioned budget. It makes no sense to recommend a camera above your budget.

Also, there is a very good case for having several cameras. And you can start with the simple one and move up the chain.
  • A simple P&S, or your phone camera, for the quick grab shots. Most people stay here, they just want something easy and simple.
  • A "tweener" camera for when you want more control and quality than the P&S or phone camera, but don't want to haul out the big camera. This can be a mirrorless or a smaller beginner dslr. This is the camera that I am currently shopping for. Many people stop here, they don't want to go up to the high end camera.
  • A higher end dslr for the maximum image quality, and control of the camera and lenses. Even here you could have steps.
What you are shooting makes a big difference.
  • P&S cameras are terrible for shooting fast moving subjects, like kids. They have 'shutter lag' where you press the shutter and 1to 2 seconds later, the camera finally fires. Shooting pix of kids at family parties with a P&S has been frustrating. But for scenes where you do not have that fast moving subject, a P&S is just fine.
  • If you are traveling, you may not have the space to carry a big dslr, so you want a smaller compact camera.
  • If you want to shoot in dim places, homes or restaurants, etc, without using a flash, then you want a camera and lens that can work in low light.
  • If you shoot field sports, you want a camera with a long lens, or that you can put a long lens onto.
It helps to have someone help you with configuring what to buy.
  • Example1, I use a 18-140 (1 lens) rather than a 18-55 and a 50-200 (2 lens kit). This way I do not have to switch between 2 lenses, especially if I am in that 35-80 range where I would be switching back and forth. The cost is the 18-140 is bigger and heavier than the smaller and lighter 18-55, and for a regular carry lens that may be an issue.
  • Example2. Some kits have a poorly selected 2nd lens. I would replace that 2nd lens with a more appropriate lens, so it makes no sense to buy that 2 lens kit. Those kits are configured to a price point, so they use a low cost 2nd lens, to keep the kit price down.
The more you can tell us about where you want to go and how, the better recommendation we can give.

Finally don't expect to know where you will be in 10 years. Things change, so expect that you may change your camera preference and plans in a few years.

gud luk
 

ac12

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When I say changing plans, my example is.
I went into digital with a Canon A70 P&S, then I got a Nikon D70 DX dslr, then a Nikon D7200 DX dlsr (after the D70 died).
Now I am looking at going up to a FX camera.
But at the same time I am looking at a smaller Nikon D3400 or D5600 dslr or an Olympus Micro 4/3, for a smaller, lighter easier to carry camera, when I don't want to haul out the heavier D7200 or FX camera.

I have a friend who did similar
He has a D700 FX camera, and recently got a Sony A6000 as his "tweener." The Sony is easier to carry around than his D700, so is getting used more.
 

lance70

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Hasselblad H6D-400c MS medium format DSLR should be all you need.
 

TCampbell

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As Jeff & ac12 point out... it all boils down to “why” you want a camera?

These camera phones are just amazing these days... so if what you’re after are just photos for documentary/memento purposes....

If you’re specifically wanting to take up photography as an “art” or “passion”... then it may be in your interest to get a better camera.

Most any DLSR these days is extremely good. It’s hard to buy a “bad” camera (don’t worry so much about the brand). Some cameras are more “technical” (w.r.t. focus systems, bursting rates, and other factors. The model you buy (witching the brand line) might make a difference IF your skill and type of photography are in an area where the capabilities of the camera might pay off). Also all lenses are trade-offs... and sometimes the point of a lens is to be “affordable” (there are some fabulous lenses... but they aren’t cheap.)

Before you rush out to buy the most expensive camera & lenses... the very best instruments wont land you in Carnegie Hall if you don’t have the skill to use them. In the end, the camera is just a tool... it’s YOUR skill that creates the result. This means would be some work involved in getting outstanding results. The camera itself isn’t magic.
 

ac12

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OK time for funny story.

Years ago, a pro photographer friend of mine had a daughter who was taking great photos with her Kodak Instamatic (fancy box camera of the time).
So for her 18th birthday, he gave her a Hasselblad :drool2:

A few months later she went up to her father and gave him the Hasselblad and asked for her Instamaic back. :confused:

He was puzzled. Upon talking with his daughter, he discovered that the complexity and hassle of using the Hasselblad made it harder for her to take pictures. She had to think more about the camera controls and thus less about the image/composition. So she was getting less good images with the Hasselbad than she has with the Instamatic.
Left brain vs. right brain.

You have to match the gear to the person, or you can overwhelm the person.
Same is true today. And digital cameras are MUCH more complex than the old film cameras. Luckily a lot is hidden behind the menus.

Warning, many of us are technocrats. We love our complex cameras, and think others should also. We forget that there are a lot of "button pushers" out there that want to just push a button to take their picture.
 

ac12

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Don't get too caught up in gear.
You NEED to know composition and images.
This to ME, is harder to learn than to use a camera.

If I cannot compose a decent image, a $5,000 camera won't help me compose the image.
Someone who CAN compose an image, with a $40 P&S will get a better picture than me.
 
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chuasam

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As I said above, I started to take pictures, should buy a good camera, or buy a normal type to get acquainted. Expect to have experienced consultants

Thank you!
What is your proposed budget? What is your tolerance for learning new technology? How experienced are the consultants? Will they be with you when you are learning?

Some beginners are wealthy, so they purchase advanced cameras, only to be confused about the technology, and eventually give up. If you get a simple camera, you can learn the functions easily, and keep the camera with you while you learn what makes a good photograph.
I once sold 2 Nikon D5 and 2 Canon 1Dx II plus full sets of lenses for each brand to a beginner who wanted to compare Canon vs Nikon. Why 2 cameras each? for his vacation home so he didn't have to carry it when travelling.
 

jcdeboever

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I prefer external dials, aperture rings on lenses. I want a 100% coverage viewfinder. The less time looking at the menu the better. I prefer to control my camera while looking in the viewfinder. I bought a Fujifilm XT2 because it worked like a film camera. So my procedure is the same using film or digital. That was important to me after I figured out that I was annoyed by the controls of a DSLR. I think it can be very different for many people. It took a lot of money and shooting for me to figure that out.
 

keen.observer

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There are two ways to go, and either is fine. It is up to your preferences. You can either buy an entry level camera, use it to learn the ropes, and then buy a more advanced system when your knowledge, and skills, warrant it...or you can buy the most advanced, expensive, system you can afford now, and let your skills grow into the system over time. The entry level system now, advanced system later, method costs less initially, but costs more over time...as you spend less to start on the entry level system, and then spend more on the advanced system later. The advanced system from the start method costs more to begin with, as the advanced system costs more, but you end up with only the one system, so overall costs are less over time. If you buy an advanced system now, play with it for awhile, lose interest in photography, and stop doing it, you wasted a lot of money. If you spend little on an entry system, and lose interest, and never touch your camera again, you wasted less money. How committed to photography are you? Only you can say.
 

ac12

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There are two ways to go, and either is fine. It is up to your preferences. You can either buy an entry level camera, use it to learn the ropes, and then buy a more advanced system when your knowledge, and skills, warrant it...or you can buy the most advanced, expensive, system you can afford now, and let your skills grow into the system over time.

The entry level system now, advanced system later, method costs less initially, but costs more over time...as you spend less to start on the entry level system, and then spend more on the advanced system later.
The advanced system from the start method costs more to begin with, as the advanced system costs more, but you end up with only the one system, so overall costs are less over time.

If you buy an advanced system now, play with it for awhile, lose interest in photography, and stop doing it, you wasted a lot of money.
If you spend little on an entry system, and lose interest, and never touch your camera again, you wasted less money.

How committed to photography are you? Only you can say.

There is another catch in buying high.
Technology keeps advancing over time, and it is primarily the camera/body that keeps changing.
So the advanced camera today will be the average camera of tomorrow, or even be obsolete. Example, the HIGH END 6MP cameras of about 2000-2002.
When skills have advanced, there is a good chance that one is likely to upgrade the camera anyway.
So there is a downside to buying a high end digital camera.

So as you said, there is no one right answer, it depends.
 

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