New camera advice

MissMcCoy

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Hey guys,
I'm sure you get an absurd amount of these questions. I've kinda looked through a few threads to find my answer but not really finding my answer.
I'm a beginner. I took photography for 3 years in high school. We really just learned the basics on an old school slr camera. We also did work with full digital cameras and photoshop and what not.
My husband got me a digital camera a few years ago that I had been using, then technology came along and I've only been using my phone :/
Anyway. The itch has come back. I want to get back into photography.
Im basically looking for something that I can take great pictures of my family and animals. Something that will give me great vacation pictures. And something that will let me be creative. I really love using the macro on my digital. Flowers, insects, water droplets. I don't know. It just excites me. Also I'd like to start taking pictures of the night sky. The moon, stars, northern lights. Maybe even lightning. Even writing this is making me happy! Haha! I live in the country away from the city light so every night is a great opportunity for me.


So. What am I going to need to start?

One thing that's been recommended to me a few times is the canon rebel series. Specifically the t4i. Once I got looking into things. I think I like the 60d a little better.
Any other options that I should look into?

What about the lens? I keep reading to buy the camera body and the lens separate. Because the lens that comes in a kit is not very good quality. Any recommendations? Because I haven't the first clue!

Flash? Is the built in one enough for me now?
 

jwbryson1

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Why Canon? Have you considered Nikon?
 

Derrel

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I see that the Canon 60D is on sale at B&H Photo for $699, through early July, so it's more-affordable than the T4i. The 18-55mm, the "normal" kit zoom lens is not all that awful, but it is not a super-capable lens...it's biggest drawback is that it is slow, meaning it does not allow much light in--that is the meaning of "slow". It is f/3.5 at the 18mm end, and only admits a paltry f/5.6 at the longer ranges of the zoom...so...it's not a good lens for low light, and it can not do the shallow depth of field stuff that some people want, except in a few SPECIFIC types of scenarios. Other than that, the kit 18-55 is decent optically, but it does NOT allow a person, for example, to get into the real telephoto look that say, a 70-0300mm zoom or even an 18-105mm or 18-135mm lens would. An 18-55, or even the 18-105 or 18-135mm also do not allow no-flash photography hand-held in dim light with moderate ISO settings; for that, something like a 35mm f/2 or 50mm f/1.8 or 85mm f/1.8 single focal length lens is best.

"Most" consumer-priced zoom lenses from all brands are "slow lenses", with variable maximum light admitting aperture specifications, like "f/3.5~5.6". ALL single focal length lenses, like the 35mm, 50mm,85mm,etc. have just ONE maximum aperture, and it often admits between four,or eight, or even 16 times more light than a consumer zoom lens will.

I think that most of the canon Rebel models, or the 60D, would be fine for your needs.
 
OP
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MissMcCoy

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So quality lenses are beneficial.
I got digging into Nikon and the D5200 is looking really nice.
 

Solarflare

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Canon or Nikon, get into the shop, try out cameras of the companies, and pick whatever you like better. Or take the one your friends and family have, because then you can use each others lenses.

Canon 5D mk 3 apparently has one hand handling for picture review, that sounds nice. And Canon has some glass Nikon doesnt have, like the ultimate macro lens Canon MP-E 65mm, vice versa is true as well, though.
 

goodguy

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So quality lenses are beneficial.
I got digging into Nikon and the D5200 is looking really nice.
You are correct the Nikon D5200 is am outstanding camera, highly recommended.
 

jwbryson1

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Nikon or Canon you can't go wrong. What was said above about holding them first is correct---try them out at your local store and if you can't find a local CAMERA store to buy (Costco is fine), then buy from an online retailer like B&H, Adorama or Amazon.

Don't buy from Best Buy. Just check them out there...
 

hirejn

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You kind of answered your own question. Forums are filled with this question because beginners, and even many enthusiasts, don't understand that equipment is of minor importance. Asking what equipment to buy is like asking what hammer is best for driving a nail. Take your pick. Cameras and lenses are tools for recording light, nothing more. No combination of equipment or features can improve your photography -- none. The difference is you. Understand light. Whatever you have, learn how to use it to control light.
 

Juga

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You kind of answered your own question. Forums are filled with this question because beginners, and even many enthusiasts, don't understand that equipment is of minor importance. Asking what equipment to buy is like asking what hammer is best for driving a nail. Take your pick. Cameras and lenses are tools for recording light, nothing more. No combination of equipment or features can improve your photography -- none. The difference is you. Understand light. Whatever you have, learn how to use it to control light.

This seems to be your go-to analogy. I disagree with part of what you said but if you want to discuss that you can PM me otherwise I won't distract from OP's topic.
 

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