Interested in Photography, but don't know what camera to please?


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Jun 24, 2013
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I have become more and more interested in photography. I plan on registering for some beginner classes, because I don't know the first thing about cameras other than point and shoot. I've owned some regular digital cameras in the $100-$350 range. I never learned any of the functions on them other than the power button and picture taking button. I am very interested in everyday life photography to include: home pics of self/family, nature; just to name a few. I would love to start with a camera that provides the basic necessities a beginner requires. I am trying to do my own research, but I find it very hard to understand most of the reviews since I don't know anything about cameras. The terminology is hard to understand. I don't want to show up to class without a camera, and I'm not interested in renting. I want to buy a camera, go to class, learn about the camera, keep it, use it, and keep moving forward:) My budget is $500-$1000. Any suggestions is appreciated. Thank you. -Rose
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Any entry level camera would do for you... Canon / Nikon recommended as they have the largest market shares, best support, and are widely available.

Starting a business requires knowledge. skill and experience... not just a camera. There are millions of "Have a camera but no knowledge" quasi-pros out there.... good luck with that!
RoseTX; I see nothing wrong with going to class without a camera, at least until you begin to understand what kind of camera to buy. You can seek guidance from the instructor and look around the room at who has what.

There are quite a few kits available at a wide range of prices. DSLR camera
Get the cheapest entry-level DSLR from Nikon or Canon. It takes years to master photography and years to master the business end. If you have talent, learn quickly and work constantly with a master, you could do very well within a few years, but that's a life devotion and a passion, not a few classes here and there. Start small and cheap. You can't go anywhere without mastering the fundamentals of photography or learning light, no matter what equipment you have. What others have is irrelevant. It's not the equipment that makes a great photograph. Equipment simply serves skill and vision. No, a D3100 is not as cool as a D4. So what? Coolness doesn't equate to better photography. This is the hardest point to get across but it's not the equipment; it's the photographer. You don't need resources. You just need to be resourceful. If you understand photography, you should be able to achieve better images with entry-level gear than those who don't understand get with more expensive gear.
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My recommendation is get the Nikon D3200 with the 18-105mm VR kit lens.
Start with that, you will have enough money left from 1000$ to buy maybe a nice prime lens like the 50mm 1.8G but I think for starters get this camera with this kit lens, learn the basics and then make up your mind what you need next.

The Nikon D3200 is a new modern camera suited perfectly for beginers, its very well priced and is a very good camera that will give you all your needs for the next few years till you are ready to take the next step.
Yes, I would tend to agree...Nikon D3200 and 18-105 Nikkor lens...a NICE beginner's set-up!!! SMall,light, compact, 24-MP sensor, lens with good wide, decent telephoto coverage, affordable price.

Today's d-slr cameras are really quite nice. I learned on old, 1950's technology cameras; today's modern Nikons? Amazing sensors. Great colors. And the D3200 also has the beginner's mode with the helpful "guide" system built into the camera, which helps guide you through settings and problems that might creep up.
If you have leftover budget after getting a beginner DSLR and decent lens(es), as per above suggestions, you should also consider spending a little bit more money on some basic fundamental tools of the trade that will help you learn more quickly and give you exposure to other areas of photography sooner, so you know what you like. For example:

1) A flash. This one is crazy cheap for how good it is and is about $60: Yongnuo YN-560 II Speedlight Flash for Canon and Nikon. GN58.: Camera & Photo
2) Something to let you play around with macro photography. Either bellows (~$40), or a macro reverse ring ($8, less effective), or extender tubes (also ~$40 if you don't care about electronic control, which isn't really necessary anyway (well, not nec. for Canon, where you can maintain desired aperture without electronic connection. Dunno about Nikon)
3) Tripod. Can get a decent one foe like $35.
4) A remote shutter release (wired or wireless), for $10 usually or so.
5) A remote trigger for your flash (can be really fancy and expensive, or can be as cheap as $30 which is what I recommend: CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Trigger for External Speelights with 1 Trigger and 2 Receivers (NPT-04+extra receiver): Electronics), and a cheap light stand + umbrella ($12 or so) so you can play around with controlled fill lighting and other lighting setups
6) Some well-rated books to help you learn quickly. Maybe one on light, one on composition, to start with. $30 total.

In sum, this would add up to only about $200, but massively expand your abilities and your rate of learning. Think of it as a whole kit of basic demo equipment, which is sufficient for learning pretty much any but the most advanced concepts and practicing. Upgrade any individual piece of equipment if/when you've mastered the basic techniques and if/when you know you want to pursue that area of photography more.

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