Lookin for advice on purchasing a camera

TaintedGFX

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Hey I'm looking into buying a camera, I'd like to do film however I'm currently TDY(air force stationed in TX but i'm in germany for 3 months) so I don't have means of building a dark room, so I'm in the market for a manual digital camera and would like some opinnions on what would be a good starter camera, what the price range would need to be so I can save up, or if it's reasonable enough I can purchase right away
 

JustJazzie

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It's usually best to pick a budget first, and then pick a camera. I don't pretend to be a camera expert but you can honestly spend $500 on the low end, to thousands on the high end.

What's important to you besides manual? Size for travel? Low light ability? What do you plan on shooting? All these are pretty important insight into choosing a camera!
 

goodguy

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Nikon D3200 or Nikon D5100 are in the 500$ price range with the 18-55mm kit lens, good cameras that will produce good results.
 
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TaintedGFX

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I think I'l mostly be shooting things like buildings, trees, flowers, rockfaces, mostly inanimate until I become more adept, low light ability would be nice for night shooting but i'd rather not pay for that feature if it'll jump the price on my first camera, and as long as i can hang it on my neck comfortably
 

JustJazzie

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Lots of people will steer you in the DSLR direction, and you can't go wrong there! However, I am personally a HUGE fan of mirror-less cameras right now. They are super light weight, pocket sized depending on the lens you have on and have the Same sensor (ie, low light ability) as entry level dslr's. I use a sony nex7, because it's more dslr like button wise than some other mirrorless, and I am extremely pleased with it. I use it more than I ever used my canon xsi just because it's so small it's never a hassle to bring along on walks/hikes or where ever. This model costs more than an entry level dslr, but for me the portability makes it worth it.

My favorite landscape photographer has a huge in depth review of the nex series on his blog if you are interested in checking it out let me know.
 

TCampbell

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Is there a particular reason you WANT film? If you plan to send the film out to process, it'll likely cost you in the range of $10-15 per roll... 20 rolls later and you've gone through $200-300 and can quickly see how an "expensive" digital camera ends up having a lower total cost of ownership.

A Canon EOS Rebel T3 (which is their most basic entry-level body) is now down to about $350 (and that price includes the 'kit' lens which is the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II).

Digital cameras require, but generally do not include, a memory card. Most use SD cards ... if you budget about $1/GB of memory card capacity, you'll be close (e.g. a 16GB card might be $15).

When you get a DSLR you are effectively buying into a "system" rather than just a camera... because the number of lenses and other accessories is huge (even though most people tend to only get one or two extra lenses.)

After shooting film for decades... my film cameras now sit on the shelf as conversation pieces. All my shooting is digital (and trust me... I'm much happier for it.)
 

robbins.photo

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I think I'l mostly be shooting things like buildings, trees, flowers, rockfaces, mostly inanimate until I become more adept, low light ability would be nice for night shooting but i'd rather not pay for that feature if it'll jump the price on my first camera, and as long as i can hang it on my neck comfortably

For lowlight your best bet is going to be a DSLR. The smaller mirrorless cameras (please note this does not apply to all mirrorless cameras, just the smaller less expensive models - the ones that are top of the line and are the same size as a DSLR have far better capabilities than their smaller cousins, but of course they are also very expensive), point and shoots and what they call bridge or superzoom cameras all use a much smaller sensor and as such do not do nearly was well in low light situations.

If you really want low light capabilities and you don't mind a little bit larger/heavier camera than what a mirrorless will provide I'd recommend you take a look at the D3200 or the D5100 Nikon with a standard kit lens to start with, you can get either pretty reasonably priced. The D5200 is also a very good option but a bit more expensive. If you'd like to see some images taken with a D5100 just click on the link in my signature line (My Flickr Photostream) - the images were taken with a D5100 and a 70-300 mm Nikkor lens.
 

18.percent.gary

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D3200's and D5100's are terrible choices if you are looking for the full "manual" experience. To change basic settings you need to stop shooting and go through the menus on the LCD screen to make changes. Heck, they don't even have a dial for changing aperture.

I'd recommend a good conditon used semi-pro camera like a D200 or D300 or maybe a d90. All of the necessary shooting controls are on dedicated switches, levers and dials that you can change by feel without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. Plus they're built like a tank and compared to entry level cameras.
 

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