Noob question


TPF Noob!
Dec 4, 2007
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Hi folks. I'm new to the forum and to photography. Looking for some plain-talk advice. I'm sure this type of question has been asked before but a quick search was not able to find anything.

I'm into woodturning (bowls, hollow form vessels, etc) and currently photograph my work with a Powershot A75. All work is shot in a 30" light tent (see example below - keep in mind I know nothing about photography or lighting so be kind. :mrgreen:).

I'm interested in upgrading to an entry-level (but decent) DSLR and am eying the D40, XT, or maybe XTi. Any opinions about these different cameras for this type of work? Are any better suited than the others? Where do I even begin???

Also, what type of lens should I be looking at for close work such as this? I know absolutely nothing about lenses so I don't know whether the package deals I find on Amazon, etc would be suited for this or whether I should buy body-only and be selective about my first lens.

Your thoughts and opinions would be welcome!

Welcome to the forum.

Firstly, any of the cameras you listed would be a good fit for this application. One thing to note is that the Nikon D40 doesn't have a built-in auto focus motor (like all other modern Nikon SLRs) it will only auto focus with certain lenses that have built-in motors. This isn't an issue if you only plan to get a few lenses...but it should be mentioned.

I would think that the 'kit' lenses that usually comes with either of these cameras, would be adequate for your needs. It doesn't look like your pieces are too small, so you wouldn't need a macro lens. Since it's basically still life, you can use a tripod, so you wouldn't need a 'fast' lens.

I would suggest that you have a look at B&H or Adorama, they are the biggest & best camera stores in the US. You can find links to both, at the top of this page.
Check out the buy and sell section of this forum or possibly You should be able to find a pretty good deal on whatever you are looking for.
The best camera of those three you mentioned is the XTi. I have it, and I love it. The only problem that I run into on a daily basis is the size of the grip. It's a little on the small side.

From B&H, the XTi is down to $550. I bought mine in late July and I paid $650 for it.

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