Looking for advice on buying digital camera

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Rizali, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Rizali

    Rizali TPF Noob!

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    Sometime in the next couple of months, I'm planning on purchasing a digital camera. Budget is $300-$400, and is like a camera that I can add on to in the future. I want want that isn't too complicated, but at the same time takes excellent quality photos. Any advice?


     
  2. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In your price range the best camera is the Nikon D3300, I own it, its very good with a powerful modern sensor.
    Get it with its kit lens Nikon 18-55mm and in the future you can add more lenses.
     
  3. dunfly

    dunfly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would agree, a Nikon D3300 would probably be the best value in your price range, particularly if you can pick up a factory refurbished one. Start checking prices on some of the reputable online retailers like B&H Photo, Adorama and Cameta Camera; but be careful of some of the others, there are some scam artists out there. Also, check to see if there are some free or low priced accessory kits available with the purchase. These will usually include a case, filter(s) and SD card and maybe some other items, but it will save you from having to buy necessary items separately.
     
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  4. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, not sure you will like it though.

    Don't get too excited about buying a camera just yet. First thing you need to do is learn about photography itself. I would suggest you start here.

    Digital Photography Tutorials

    Then you need to take a look at camera systems. You're not buying a camera your buying a system. Keep in mind that photography is complicated. If it wasn't then you wouldn't be asking this question and everyone would take fabulous photos with ease.

    Cameras don't take excellent quality photos. People capture excellent quality photos. That's where it gets complicated. All the camera is is the tool to accomplish the photographers vision.
     
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  5. keethjon

    keethjon TPF Noob!

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  6. keethjon

    keethjon TPF Noob!

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    If you want a camera that you can add to, then you need a Digital Slr camera. The Canon t6 is a good Digital Slr that comes with an 18-55 lens as part of the kit. If you are not familiar with these types cameras, check Digital SLR Camera Features for a little more information about them.
     
  7. dasmith232

    dasmith232 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Uh, no... you're wrong. :1398: I have a marketing brochure right here in my hands that says if I buy their camera, all my pictures will be amazing. How could a multi-million-dollar marketing group from a global company be wrong? :76:
     
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  8. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I agree... the analogy I use is that it is not unlike never having played a piano before, buying a very nice piano, and somehow having the expectation that you'll be able to play beautiful music without taking lessons or even buying some self-study books.

    Taking the photos is actually pretty easy. It's learning to master the art that is complicated. You are trying to work your way up a continuum that ranges from simple photography to spectacular photography.

    Regardless of which modern camera the OP chooses, it will have a full automatic mode. That mode will be as easy to use as any point & shoot camera. Unfortunately the shots will probably resemble what you get with a point & shoot camera. Learning how to get those shots that everyone seems to desire from their DSLR cameras will require learning some basics about exposure and how seemingly simple changes to some aspect of the exposure will change the creative look of the resulting shot.

    One other caution is that the 'kit' lens are designed primarily to be affordable. It isn't that they're necessarily low quality... it's that they lack some features which cause lenses to be expensive... such as the ability to maintain a very low focal ratio at any zoom position (which drastically drives up the complexity of making the lens - which in turn results in a more expensive lens.) Those features are deliberately left out to keep the lenses available at an affordable price. But those desirable features often make the difference in being able to capture the more challenging shots. I don't know any photographers who buy the very expensive lenses because they have too much extra money laying around. They buy them because they do actually make a difference in the sorts of shots they are able to capture as well as the percentage of quality of those shots that you'd regard as "keepers".
     
  9. OGsPhotography

    OGsPhotography No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My advice is yes, buy a dslr. Enjoy. You can thanks me later.
     
  10. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You are what marketers and W. C. Fields would call a sucker.
     
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  11. dasmith232

    dasmith232 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    To the OP: Your inquiry is similar to some others, and I'll offer the following...

    I often hear about people wanting to "upgrade" to a DSLR (or whatever label is on an advanced camera). This step is about getting into a "system".

    The base camera and kit lens is like buying a shiny new red toolbox that has some starter screwdrivers. A Swiss-Army knife is also a nice tool option. And the knife has a lot more features in it at the beginning. But the toolbox can hold a lot more things. Over the years, it will serve in many more situations than the Swiss-Army knife because of the additional tools that have been added. But if you don't add the tools, then the toolbox is bulky and ends up doing less than the Swiss-Army knife.

    Describing a DSLR as an upgrade is like describing a car as an upgrade over a motorcycle. The "upgrade" isn't right for everyone or every situation.

    The point is, a system camera is a great foundation for lots of photography options. But only if you're going to spend more (and possibly a LOT more) than the initial purchase. If you don't "grow into the system", then you might have been better off with an advanced point-and-shoot or even a smartphone camera. You certainly could have spent less money. So if you're ready to spend money (fortunately, can be spread over years), then join in the fun.
     

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