Hello! Enthusiastic Noob, Looking for Help!


TPF Noob!
Aug 21, 2013
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Hey everyone! I'm looking to get into photography with something other than my iPhone. The majority of my photos are of my saltwater reef tank and it is very hard to get close ups of corals and exhibit their true beauty with my iPhone. I'm looking for a camera that's easy to use, and something I can keep for a few years without having to upgrade. What do you photography gurus recommend? I believe I need something with a macro lens? Thank you for all the help!
Welcome to the forum, Empire! :) Wow, your first question is a big one, and not easily answered without more information, like how much you are willing to spend, if there is anyone in your family who already has a camera with lenses you might could borrow based on model, etc.

You might want to reflect on this and even re-post the question in our Beginner's forum. Take a look around, do some reading, and have fun!
Hey thanks! I have 2 pugs myself :) I'm sorry, I should have given more information. Since this will be my first camera, I'm debating bt going with something used until I get the hang of it vs waiting until Black Friday. The camera would be for my dad and myself, as we could use another father - son bonding hobby. I do not have family around me that is into photography. If I go used, I'd like to spend $3-500. Black Friday- well I guess the best deal I can find around $800.
Two pugs?! You must have one heck of a vacuum cleaner. ;) Best little friends on the planet, but they shed like crazy, don't they?

Okay, I have moved your thread over to the Beginner's forum, where you should get some suggestions for your price range. Good luck, and we will expect pictures from you!!
Welcome to the party!!!
Yes they do! I also have a pit-lab mix. Thank you! Once I get a camera, I'll post some pictures of my beloved fish tank.
Everyone has a favorite camera brand that they love. I think that Nikon and Canon are pretty comparable and are the top of the market. If you don't have anyone around you into photography, then just pick an entry level DSLR that's either Canon or Nikon. I do think that you will want a DSLR and not a point and shoot. One of my favorite lenses is the 50mm 1.8 prime lens. It is pretty cheap too, around $100. I'm not sure what other lens to tell you to get, but I use my 50mm a lot.... but its not a macro.
Empire; welcome! Use the search function (upper right corner) to search for similar threads on aquarium photography. You will see that there is quite a lot to learn about shooting into an aquarium, not all of which has to do with the type of camera. The lighting is important, and avoiding reflections.

While you're waiting for that once-in-a-lifetime deal to be announced, you can read up on it, and maybe budget for some lights and modifiers.
Hey thanks everyone! I'm leaning towards a Nikon entry level dslr. I'll keep researching. I don't mind buying used, and holding on to it until I learn the hobby well enough. What is the maximum shutter count DSLRs can have? Is it equivalent to milage for cars?
Shutter counts are usually around 100,000 before death, roughly obviously. Maybe 150-200,000 for really nice cameras, but not entry level ones. It's not so much an indicator of general health probabilities like mileage so much as it is usually literally the shutter that breaks first. And they are extremely expensive to fix usually relative to the by-that-point very low worth of an old camera.

Similarly to mileage, though, useful for buying cameras and haggling, etc. Then once it's yours, not worth worrying about much anymore.
What can I expect to spend on a used entry level beginner's kit? I guess body and 1 - 2 lens. I'm still trying to learn what lens does what so please bear with me. I'm looking at the Nikon d3100 or canon t4i. Would you suggest any other camera?
It honestly doesn't really matter. Those are pretty equivalent cameras. The 3200 seems to be cheaper, but not by much.

I really can't even think of anything to suggest to you about how to make a decision intelligently there. Flip a coin, seriously.

Lenses are less coin-flippy, and easier to suggest. I personlly think you should go for a normal kit lens in the neighborhood of 18-50 or 18-100 or so. Anything that comes with it will be cheaper than buying separately. This lens will not be your cherished favorite by any means years from now, but what it WILL do is give you a good preview of lens ranges that will help inform future lens purchases. Shoot with the kit lens for a couple months, see where you feel most frustrated by it, and then get better lenses that give you more abilities in those places that you felt most limited.

You might also consider a cheap 50mm 1.8. Both companies have them for around $100. This will give you eperience with very wide apertures, which are good for low light and for portraits or other subjects where you want very shallow depth of field (shallow focus). They will also give you a feel for what a prime lens (single focal length) is like compared to a zoom. All of this will give you more information as well about what to buy with real money in the future.
Gav, thank you for the help I really appreciate it.

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