What is the best "beginners camera" ??

jwsciontc

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its' good to keep the P&S thought for a nice reliable back up camera that you can always carry with your and get the same results. some take awesome video too. and you save money as stated earlier
 

sjbdeebo2

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Whatever you get take a look at Abe's of Maine. They have great prices. Although they may call you after you order it to see if you want an insurance plan. Also check out nextag.com for other stores. Don't fall for the $300 XSi scheme the price is too good to be true.
 

manaheim

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You can take pictures with a point and shoot but they have limitations that will annoy you compared to an entry level DSLR. (D40,D60)

You can take pictures with an entry level DSLR but they have limitations that will annoy you compared to a "just not quite barely a prosumer" DSLR (D80,D90)

You can take pictures with an "just not quite barely a prosumer" DSLR but they have limitations that will annoy you compared to a prosumer level DSLR. (D100, D200, D300)

You can take pictures with prosumer DSLR but they have limitations that will annoy you compared to a professional level DSLR. (D700,D3)

(For convenience sake I'm lumping the D700 and D3 into the same bracket)

The difference between all of these is budget. We start off at anywhere around $100-200 and go zipping all the way up to several thousand. Every single one of them will take pictures, and every single one of them is capable of good pictures... but the less money you spend, the less capability you have. Period. It's literally a matter of absolute technical limitations.

The one exception? You can't shove a DSLR into your shirt pocket. :)
 

ANDS!

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You can take pictures with prosumer DSLR but they have limitations that will annoy you compared to a professional level DSLR. (D700,D3)

There is noting on the D300's body that annoys me, that wouldn't also be an annoyance on the D3/D700. Once you get to that point, its less a matter of whats missing/what it can do, and more a function of "the difference is really only something a 'pro' would care to have."

Having said that, anything D300 and below is suitable as a beginners camera. About the only non-newbie feature on the D300 is a lack of "scene mode" dial, but to me thats a blessing and not a curse.
 

manaheim

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There is noting on the D300's body that annoys me, that wouldn't also be an annoyance on the D3/D700. Once you get to that point, its less a matter of whats missing/what it can do, and more a function of "the difference is really only something a 'pro' would care to have."

Yeah, good point... I look at the lack of the ability to write to two cards simultaneously for fault tolerance as an "annoying limitation", but that's not really fair. It really is just an excellent feature that the D3 has that my D300 does not.

Still, I think my general point remains the same.
 

Jaq

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The best kind of camera is one that you will use. Are you up to lugging around a big bulky dSLR? Think about where you are going with this camera. I bought a dSLR as my first camera and I haven't used it as much as I thought. I bought a PnS less than a week ago and I'm using it more than I ever used my dSLR just because its difficult to lug around a big camera and still do things other than photography.

If you're sure about a dSLR then a D40 is perfectly fine. I have a D50 which is an older model of pretty much the same thing and I have no complaints other than, gee I wish I had a rediculous lens. Until lenses or money grows on trees, which ever comes first, this isn't going to happen. If you want a dSLR the D40 is perfect for a begginer/intermediate photographer.
 

mrodgers

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Keep in mind the residual value and the knowledge gained from using a dSLR.
What knowledge gained over what I'm learning with my camera? I am thinking I am learning more, for example bokeh. Sure, my f/3.5 aperture isn't really the same as f/3.5 on a dSLR, but I'm learning to pay more attention to distances to get that bokeh as opposed to just opening up the aperture further.

I can almost guarantee a D40 will sell a heck of a lot more quickly than almost any P&S.

-JD-
Sure, but to get anything out of it, you have to be ripping off the possible purchaser of your used D40 with them being so "cheap" in the stores new. Selling electronics is useless. You pay $450 for a D40, and by the time you want to sell it, you can buy one new in the stores for $200. Not worth the time and energy to bother selling it.

I just read yesterday or the day before here in the forum someone advertising selling their used D40 and kit lens. They said they wanted $400 and was firm on it because they paid quite a bit more. The D40 new right now is $450. Not worth saving $50 over new in my opinion.
 

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