New camera for a beginner


TPF Noob!
Dec 5, 2007
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Hey everyone. I was thinking about getting a better digital camera. I want it to be cheap. In the $300 dollar range. Also after i buy the camera what kind of lenses and light should I get for it. Thanks a bunch
Since you're also asking about what lenses to get, I'd have to assume you're intending on purchasing a digital SLR, correct? If you look around in shops or on eBay you might be able to find Nikon D70's or Canon Digital Rebels in that price range, but probably body-only with no lens. A perfectly fine starter lens is the 18-55 kit lenses from both of those companies.

If you were able to save a bit more money, $469 will get you a brand spanking new Nikon D40 kit complete with a lens.
Hey Tim. I am sorta a newb here myself but I will try to answer your question.
I only use Canon so I will answer your question from that point.

A $300 budget is not very much money to spend on a DSLR. The Canon Rebel Xt goes for about $479 (new) with the kit lens. I own this camera and I am very satisfied with it.

Now you do have the option of buying used. A couple of good places to buy used DSLRs:

As for lights and lens........what kind of photography are you planning to do?
Ya i was just looking around and the Canon Digital Rebel XTi On amazon is about 600 dollars and im sure i could get one on ebay for cheap so i will watch ebay. I am intending on macro and landscapes but i want the lights so I can get good shots of floral arrangments.
Edited: Wups the xt and xti are the same why was i looking at amazon ur websites are better
The XT and Xti are basically the same. The difference really isn't worth the extra $$. Honestly I would go for the XT. Like I said earlier you could get that new with lens for 479. Body only would be cheaper. Nikon probably has something equal or better than the rebel in that price range. Both brands are very good.

There are basically 2 kinds of lighting systems you could go with and both need to be diffused (soft).
1. Continuous lighting (aka Hot Lights). The lights are always what you see is what you get. They would be great for still life photography but not great for portrait work because they do put out alot of heat.
You can find Hot lights at your nearest hardware lights. halogen or the cheap clamp on lights will work for this.....again they will need to be diffused and you will need to adjust your white balance. I started out with hot lights. I bought the cheapest I could find which was around $10 I think.
I moved into portrait photography and quickly dumped the hot lights and bought a strobe.

2. Strobe lighting. strobe lighting is easy on the model but a bit more difficult on the photographer because you don't see your results until after the pic is taken. Strobes are off (except for modeling light) until triggered to fire by one of the following: PC sync, wireless transmitter, on camera flash.
Strobe prices are pretty high but they are well worth the investment. Avoid alot of the "strobe kits" on ebay. most of them are junk. stay with name brand stuff like alienbees.
Britek isnt bad (i own one) but Bees are better ( i am ordering one).

You can easily make a light diffusion panel yourself. Make the frame out of PVC and stretch translucent ripstop fabric over it. Place it between your lights and your subject.
here's an example

i too am on a budget so i can relate to your situation.

alot of the accessories that you will need can be made.
I have made my own reflectors, diffusion panels. saved myself money that way.

other sources for cheap accessories. just watch what you are buying.

Good luck and Let me know if I can help you further. :wink:
Thanks I think I will start of with the hot lights then if I need to I will go with the strobe lighting.

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