Choice of camera: beginner

magnushasto

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Im new to photographing and i wonder what camera i should choose as a starting camera. the price has to be around 750$. Im interested in nature photography, and are going to use it in bad weather. I also want a camera that is good to make films.
 

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Photographer skill and knowledge are very important for being able to consistently make quality images.
Like understanding the importance of light direction/quality and how to compensate exposure when lighting conditions are likely to 'fool' a digital camera's light metering function.
Digital Photography Tutorials

Nature is a pretty broad genre of photography. To cover most aspects of nature photography would require not only a camera but several lenses too, from wide angle for close up shots of flowers to a long telephoto lens to make images of distant animals or small birds.

Considerations for video would include use of an external microphone and having a decent set of tripod legs with a decent video fluid head.

Nikon's D7000 series DSLR cameras would be worth a look as would Canon's equivalent DSLR cameras.
 

ac12

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You need to be much more specific in what you plan to photograph.
Nature can be 6 inches away or 6 miles away, and everything in between.
Shoot a buy, or a flower, or a mountain, or a whale, or . . . .

There is no 'weatherproof' camera and lens in your price range.
You need to use some sort of a rain cover for the gear. Better yet, keep it out of the rain.
 

OldCam

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try for a kit, a nice body with a short zoomlens. that way you can decide later what kind of lens you want. i'm still happy with my 70mm kit lens as i also am a learner.
 
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magnushasto

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When you say nature, do you mean flowers and bugs or birds and beasts?
I mean landscapes, mountains and animals so mostly objects thats not so close.
 
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magnushasto

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You need to be much more specific in what you plan to photograph.
Nature can be 6 inches away or 6 miles away, and everything in between.
Shoot a buy, or a flower, or a mountain, or a whale, or . . . .

There is no 'weatherproof' camera and lens in your price range.
You need to use some sort of a rain cover for the gear. Better yet, keep it out of the rain.

I want to shoot mostly pictures of objects that are not so close, but landscapes, mountains or animals.
 

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Aperture - shutter speed - ISO

Those are the three settings you've got that control photographic exposure in any camera on the market. So a top of the line DSLR is just as easy and just as hard to use as an entry level one; because those 3 core variables are still the very same.

Of course high end come with more features and fancies; but that's all surrounding the very same core principles.


I would say any entry level Canon or Nikon camera body would do well. Canon has a bit of an edge for wildlife in terms of the lenses they make in more affordable price ranges that are long - eg the Canon 400mm f5.6 L and the 100-400mm MII (higher price but high quality zoom ideal as generalist nature lens). They've also a unique lens in the MPE 65mm macro if you've an interest in VERY VERY tiny insects and nature.

However by and large there is NOTHING one brand can do that the other can't. So either one will do you well and both have equal support from 3rd parties making a range of very good and high quality lenses now.



Weather sealing is a feature you tend to get more on mid to top range camera bodies and lenses; the only manufacturer that really takes this to the limit is Pentax; though they've less 3rd party support and I'm honestly not sure of the lenses they've got in various price ranges.
You can get a simple and effective OPTech Rainsleeve (2 in a pack) which will slip over any DSLR and lens and give you a very cheap and decent waterproof layer. There's also higher grade weather covers out there (higher grade generally means they can take more abuse without tearing). So even if the camera isn't 100% weathersealed you can still take decent and affordable steps to protect it.

After that nikon generally has the edge at present with regard to sensor quality and noise control at higher ISO's so there's a real bias at present toward being being recommended to go with Nikon in that regard.
 

Dave442

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One interesting option is the Pentax K-3 with the 18-55mm kit lens. The camera is below your price point

For landscape this body offers: pixel shift to increase resolution (not sure how good it is but sounds interesting), weather resistant body and lens (probably the only option at this price point), No Anti-Aliasing filter over the sensor (to allow more sharpness), has an optional GPS module available to tag photos. 100% frame coverage in the viewfinder (not available on most cameras at this price), Night vision setting so your eyes don't adjust while out doing those nighttime landscape shots.

I used Pentax film cameras for landscape for many years, my brother had one of their early DSLR cameras that held up very well to backpacker travels.

Another option is the Nikon D5600 to start out. This model falls just above their entry level camera, but offers some good features for someone starting out in photography. Start out with the 18-55mm AF-P kit lens, it will work fine for landscape, mountain scapes, and is easy to carry around all day taking pictures. This kit is right at your budget, they will add the 70-300mm AF-P for another $100 in the kit. Add a $10 Rain Sleeve to use in the rain.

Used cameras are a good option, but it helps if you have some experience with cameras before jumping in and buying a used model. You might not know if the problems are operator or camera error.

Remember to add memory cards, extra batteries (cold weather shortens the battery life), tripod (about $100 for the Manfrotto Compact Advanced is about as cheap as you want to use and you can easily spend more than what your camera cost), bag. So about $200 in extras.
 
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magnushasto

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Aperture - shutter speed - ISO

Those are the three settings you've got that control photographic exposure in any camera on the market. So a top of the line DSLR is just as easy and just as hard to use as an entry level one; because those 3 core variables are still the very same.

Of course high end come with more features and fancies; but that's all surrounding the very same core principles.


I would say any entry level Canon or Nikon camera body would do well. Canon has a bit of an edge for wildlife in terms of the lenses they make in more affordable price ranges that are long - eg the Canon 400mm f5.6 L and the 100-400mm MII (higher price but high quality zoom ideal as generalist nature lens). They've also a unique lens in the MPE 65mm macro if you've an interest in VERY VERY tiny insects and nature.

However by and large there is NOTHING one brand can do that the other can't. So either one will do you well and both have equal support from 3rd parties making a range of very good and high quality lenses now.



Weather sealing is a feature you tend to get more on mid to top range camera bodies and lenses; the only manufacturer that really takes this to the limit is Pentax; though they've less 3rd party support and I'm honestly not sure of the lenses they've got in various price ranges.
You can get a simple and effective OPTech Rainsleeve (2 in a pack) which will slip over any DSLR and lens and give you a very cheap and decent waterproof layer. There's also higher grade weather covers out there (higher grade generally means they can take more abuse without tearing). So even if the camera isn't 100% weathersealed you can still take decent and affordable steps to protect it.

After that nikon generally has the edge at present with regard to sensor quality and noise control at higher ISO's so there's a real bias at present toward being being recommended to go with Nikon in that regard.

Thank you so much for the useful information!
 
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magnushasto

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One interesting option is the Pentax K-3 with the 18-55mm kit lens. The camera is below your price point

For landscape this body offers: pixel shift to increase resolution (not sure how good it is but sounds interesting), weather resistant body and lens (probably the only option at this price point), No Anti-Aliasing filter over the sensor (to allow more sharpness), has an optional GPS module available to tag photos. 100% frame coverage in the viewfinder (not available on most cameras at this price), Night vision setting so your eyes don't adjust while out doing those nighttime landscape shots.

I used Pentax film cameras for landscape for many years, my brother had one of their early DSLR cameras that held up very well to backpacker travels.

Another option is the Nikon D5600 to start out. This model falls just above their entry level camera, but offers some good features for someone starting out in photography. Start out with the 18-55mm AF-P kit lens, it will work fine for landscape, mountain scapes, and is easy to carry around all day taking pictures. This kit is right at your budget, they will add the 70-300mm AF-P for another $100 in the kit. Add a $10 Rain Sleeve to use in the rain.

Used cameras are a good option, but it helps if you have some experience with cameras before jumping in and buying a used model. You might not know if the problems are operator or camera error.

Remember to add memory cards, extra batteries (cold weather shortens the battery life), tripod (about $100 for the Manfrotto Compact Advanced is about as cheap as you want to use and you can easily spend more than what your camera cost), bag. So about $200 in extras.
Thank you for good suggestions and information. Used cameras sound like a good idea.
 

ac12

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When you say nature, do you mean flowers and bugs or birds and beasts?
I mean landscapes, mountains and animals so mostly objects thats not so close.

Geez it is like pulling teeth.
Come on, get more specific.

What kind of animals and how far.
A deer at 200 ft, or moose at 12000 feet/400 yards.
 

ac12

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You can get a camera with a moderately wide lens for under you budget.

But you are going to have trouble doing that with a tele zoom. You have to go used.
Your problem is, the longer the lens the more expensive $$$$ it will get.
And beyond a certain point, you will NEED a GOOD STURDY tripod. And these are NOT cheap.
 

BrentC

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You can also go with a used Olympus EM5mkii, great for hiking around and one of the best weather sealed cameras. And get the 14-150mm (28-300mm eq, also weather sealed) and 75-300mm (150-600mm eq) lenses. These are two good quality lenses that are not too expensive but will cover a huge range.
 

OldManJim

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Good luck on your efforts. I'd say definitely bny used. I have Nikons but I believe Canon is equally good. Don't forget to budget for some ancillary items like tripod, bag (think backpack?), Rain Shield, extra battery(s)! and notebooks. Nothing is more frustrating that capturing a wonderful image but you can't remember how you did it! (aperture, ISO, Shutter speed). Get in the habit of writing everything down when you are photographing. That way, you can better understand your successes and failures.

Like most of us, if you keep up with photography, you will upgrade your equipment. By sticking with reliable name brands, you can resell your equipment to help fund new stuff. It's a never ending slope.
 

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If it were me, I would go to B & H and search for "refurbished D5300". It will bring up two choices 1. D5300 with AF-S 18-55 VR lens for $499, and 2. D5300 with AF-P 18-55 VR and AF-P 70-300 for $649. I would go for choice 1. because the AF-P 70-300 that is included in 2. does not have vibration reduction, which makes no sense to me. I would then search "refurbished AF-S 55-300". This should bring up refurbished lens at about $200. This is an older kit lens but it is adequate and has vibration reduction. This would leave you about $50 for an SD card and spare battery. You might also search "refurbished AF-P DX 70-300" to see if they have a refurbished AF-P 70-300 with VR. If so make sure it is a VR lens. If so and the price is right, it may be a better choice than the 55-300.

The D5300 has one of the best crop sensors ever made and has enough features to keep you busy learning for some time. I have never had any problem with factory refurbished Nikon equipment and B&H is great about correcting problems.

Keep in mind that refurbished stuff may not stay in stock long, so they may be gone by time you start looking. Just my $.02.
 
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