Which Camera? (new photographer)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wmw71190, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2008
    After being involved with digital art for a while, I would like to try and take my own stock pictures. I want a camera that is cheap (below $500 if possible?) and takes "decent" pictures--I don't want a top of the line or really middle of the line product. Just one that works and will last a decent amount of time. Any help would be really appreciated, Thanks! :)

    btw, I searched, and didn't find anyone with a similar question, hence, here I am. :)
  2. macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I am not much help to you... I just want to say I have my eye on the Canon XSi and I am waiting to see how lower can the price drop. :p
  3. macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Well, for your price range, I would probably recommend either a Nikon D40, or the Olympus E-420 - or even the E-510/E-520
    All of these DSLR's are quite compact and light, but from my experience, the E-510 feels like a more solid build than the others, and comes with a better kit lens, which is quite important. The Olympus also has a great lineup of affordable lenses, where as Nikons tend to be a little more expensive.

    Ultimately, just go to a camera shop and try them out, and buy what you like.

    Hope this helps.
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2008
    it definitely does.

    thanks! :)
  5. macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Depending on if you mean "stock photos for me to use myself," "stock photos to give away on a site like Deviant Art," "stock photos to sell at a microstock place," or "stock photos to sell to a regular stock place" your budget might be ok or too low. The first two, you'll be fine with almost anything, the third may or may not have issues with lower-end cameras, and the last may have file size or specific camera requirements depending on the agency.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2008
    New Jersey
    I would suggest to stick with 2 major brands: Canon or Nikon. This would help you a lot later on if you will decide to go deeper into photography and also you can benefit later on if you will decide to sell your camera. Both brands hold their value much better than other brands...
    Now you have to decide which way to go :)
  7. macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2007
    Western Mass.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Yeah I'm not looking to sell any of these. I just want a camera that takes pictures that look better then those from a digital camera. Just a hobby, no money making here :p

    Thanks I'll definitely look into both of them. :)

    Great, I'll look into Pentax too.

    Thanks everyone!
  9. macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    No offense, but I've never been pleased with the quality and performance of digital Pentax cameras. Film cameras are great, but the company clearly was never ready to enter the digital revolution.

    As much as I am invested in the Canon family, I would recommend to you the Nikon D40 or D40X; the D40 is listed on Amazon slightly under $500 with a kit lens.

    Pretty good deal and a quality camera; I've played around with my friend's.
  10. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Hi there, I wrote an article on my blog about purchasing advice for a DSLR which might be useful to you. It's there for you to read anyway.
  11. macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    I think it's wise to checkout some sites before you make your final decision. Here's a good site with plenty of in-depth reviews.. example of photos taken by the pros, a discussion board for amateurs, enthusiast and professionals, if you have questions etc....


    Also spend some time in the various camera stores in your local area.
    Chances are what someone else suggest might not be what your looking for.

    Good luck.
  12. macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2007
    Western Mass.
    None taken ;), but obviously I disagree and have thousands of pictures that prove different :)

    wmw71190 - good luck in your search.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 29, 2008
    for $500, it's probably better if you stick with a Canon G9 series or whatever is affordable.
  14. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    This is really good advice. I would temper it with an addition. Its not the camera that can get expensive, its the lenses - if you decide to expand your kit. If you have a very good friend or a relative with a good collection of lenses, there is a benefit to buying a camera that can use those lenses.
  15. macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Another vote for the Pentax brand, fantastic cameras and performance. And that comes from a former Nikon user, and someone who never could enjoy the performance or feel or quality of Canon products.

  16. macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    Another vote for Pentax.

    The build quality is by far better than any budget Nikon or Canon, not to mention feature set.

    The original *ist range were said to be lacking in terms of performance, (although many users can disprove this), however newer K10D/K100D and newest K20D/K200D are very very good, not to mention having shake reduction you don't find on brands other than Sony.

    You will probably find more compatibility with these brands (eg the ease of renting an expensive lens for the day), however as these are what one may call mainstream, the smaller companies like Pentax, Olympus, Sony and Panasonic will offer you greater value for money in order to stay competitive:

    For the reasons of in-camera shake reduction (as opposed to in-lens which increases cost substantially), weather sealed body and compatibility with the awesome (and cheap second hand) catalogue of old lenes, I chose Pentax.

    Not here to bag Nikons and Canons, but be aware that other options do exist.
  17. macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location
    All these companies are going to make lenses and camera models suitable for nearly all photographers. As someone who enjoys taking photos as much as the photos themselves, I really need a camera that I enjoy using, and don't find to be frustrating to use in some way. For that reason, I think that with regards to Canon cameras, I wouldn't get something less than a 40D. It's a great camera, but out of your price range. I don't know what the new Canon 450D/XSi is like, but that's also out of your price-range. I'm sure I wouldn't get the older Canon 400D/XTi.

    With Nikon......I guess if you can get a D40x, I'd get that.

    Pentax, Olympus, and Sony make great low-priced cameras that are supposed to be quite good. The Pentax K200D should be a great camera. It's too small for my own tastes, but it's no smaller than comparable cameras on the market. :)
  18. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    DOn't worry, for $500 you will not get close to top of the line or even the middle. You'd need about 10 or even 100 times more budget for that.

    For $500 you can get an entry level digital SLR. The thing about SLRs is to think ahead. Think at least five years ahead. What lenses might you want to get later? If there is some Nikon lens you like then don't buy a Canon. Pick a brand based on what lenses and other stuff you want to buy over the next several years.

    Any company that has been selling cameras for 50 years is good. Pick from one of those: Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Petax.

    Take a good look at the used market too. It's a good way to get into an SLR system.
  19. macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2007
    This is the best advice I've seen so far. Remember, you take the picture, not the camera. An $8000 rig won't make you a good photographer. Lots of features make it easier to get the shot you want, but ultimately, it is you, the photographer, making the picture. Get the one you are most comfortable using. That advice makes the most sense with point and shoot, but it can also be applied to system cameras by investigating the accessories available and looking at bodies last.

    I'm a fan of Canon, Mamiya, and Graflex. All the cameras I use most often are from those three. My SLRs, both 35mm and digital, are Canons. My TLR is Mamiya, and my 4x5 is Graflex. All are system cameras. I bought them all with the systems in mind. Go with the system that makes the most sense to you after investigating the available systems. See which system you like the most.

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