Absolute noob needing advice on new camera.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aprofetto, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. aprofetto macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #1
    Hey guys, as stated in the title I am the definition of a beginner when it comes to photography.

    I am interested in purchasing a digital SLR and this summer my fiance and I are going to take a few photography classes run by the nearest collage.

    My problem is that the classes require you to have a camera, and I'm not quite sure what would be best for me.

    Obviously I don't need anything crazy, like I said I am a beginner, but at the same time, I don't want to buy something that in a year or so is no longer capable.

    I've looked a little, and I will definitely look some more, but I wanted to hear your guys thoughts. I've been reading through these forums and I think alot of you guys are really knowledgeable and nice, so I hope you guys can help me.

    The ones I've looked at are briefly:

    Sony DSLRA200K

    and a few canon ones.

    Any particular ones you guys would suggest? Please keep in mind I don't want to spend too much, thinking anywhere from $400-$550 CAD.

    Thanks!
     
  2. SayCheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Location:
    Thame, Oxfordshire, England
    #2
    Hi,

    You are doing the right thing by taking a college course to learn photography. As for the camera you need I would suggest something that allows full manual mode is a must. I don't see how people can learn on a camera that won't allow them to adjust the relevant settings. Other than that the Canon/Nikon range are good as you can always expand them at a later date if you want to.

    At least as the camera is digital you won't do what I did when I started studying photography and waste loads of film.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    Does the class have any specific requirements on the camera? Do they provide any more detail than "must have camera?"

    One thing you should know is that you are not buying a "camera". You are buying a "system" that has many parts. Those whould be a lens, manybe a second or third lens and a SLR body. By far, the most importent part of the system is the lens. Figure out what company makes the set of lenses you might want to own other the next few years. The most important decision is choosing the company. You will be "locked into" that company for a long time. Make sure they have what you need, mostly in terms of lenses. Look at the used market too for that companys products. Then after you know what lenses you lie and have picked a company buy the SLR in your price range. This last choise is likely going to be a "given". Most people end up buying either Nikon or Canon because those system are the most open ended. But there are others.

    The point is that is is expensive to change brands. What ever brand of body you buy today will determine what brand body you buy when you upgrad in a few years. SLR bodies are like computers, don't think you will buy just one and keep it for 10 years. Lenses do have a longer lifetime 25 years is not unreasonable for a good lens but figure a body 5 years max. Just like computers
     
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #4
    make sure the class uses digital...many, if not most, photo classes still use film.

    Chris' comments about lenses are valid, but then again, many DSLR owners don't go much beyond the kit lenses or cheaper alternatives. in that case, just about any manufacturer will do.

    if either of you are serious about photography (as in the art form), you're probably better off sticking with Canon or Nikon, since you'll end up there one way or another. if not, you should look at Pentax, Sony, or Olympus, since they offer similar cameras and performance (and sometimes more features) at a lower cost.

    as for specific models, assuming you buy new:
    Canon 1000D
    Nikon D40
    Pentax K100D
    Sony a200, a300?
    Olympus E-520 (or lower)
     
  5. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #5
    I agree wholeheartedly with ChrisA. That said, to give you some specific advice, I would suggest a used Nikon D80 or used Canon 20D, 30D or 40D based on budget. A D80, in good condition, should be around $400US. Even a D70s ($300ish) would be cool, especially with its 1/500th sync speed.

    For used Nikon gear... nikonians.org
    For used Canon gear....fredmiranda.com
     
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #6
    That's a good list, although I think I would recommend the Pentax K200D instead of the K100D.
     
  7. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    #7
    Nikon D40. Some hate him, some love him, but check out www.kenrockwell.com and read his review on the D40.
     
  8. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #8
    I know two people that have gone with sony, regretted it later and switched to nikon/canon. Sony makes decent stuff, just not the best stuff. Go to a store and play with cameras in your price range, see what feels comfortable and intuitive for you. Nobody can help you with that step and it's really important.
     
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #9
    Don't listen to kenrockwell opinion about D40, he is totally biased towards it and considers it as the best camera blah blah blah. But it is true that the D40 is a good camera especially for what you are paying it, but there are other alternatives out there too. Go to DPReview or some other site too for your search, I avoid checking kenrockwell cause his personal opinion sometime is just too exaggerated :rolleyes:.
     
  10. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    #10
    Sounds like you have a personal problem with Ken Rockwell (as do others), but yet you agree that the D40 is a good camera, especially for the price you can get it for today. I have yet to see a review from any respected site that does not think the D40 is a great starter DSLR. Just because you don't like Rockwell does not make his review invalid.:rolleyes:

    P.S. I'm not a Rockwell fanboy. I don't always agree with his opinions, but have picked up a fair amount of useful information from his site as well as others.
     
  11. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #11
    I heard they're pretty good when you start using the pricey Zeiss lenses... :)
     
  12. aprofetto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #12
    Wow guys, thanks for the responses!

    I've been doing a bit of reading and I guess what you could call research as to which camera I'm going to go with.

    I definitely think I'm going to go with a Canon, I like the idea of the wide range of lenses that seem to be compatible with alot of their models.

    Most likely I will end up getting the Canon Rebel XS. Any further suggestions?
     
  13. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #13
    I would suggest starting out with the kit lens and one fast prime, probably the 50mm f/1.8, which costs only about $90. Use those two until you have a better sense for your preferences and needs, then buy a high-quality lens accordingly.

    However, if money is no object for you, then I would revise my suggestions. ;)
     
  14. spacemanps macrumors regular

    spacemanps

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #14
    http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=CNDRXSK1855RB

    rebel xs for 414

    im in the choosing process also, have it pretty much cut down to a XS, or a d40, or d4ox... depending on pricing..
     
  15. jons macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    #15
    The new rebel looks to pack a ton of features for the money.
     
  16. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #16
    Nah, I don't have a personal problem w/ k.rockwell but I won't recommend people who don't know about dSLR to read his D40 page cause the way he make the D40 sounds as if its the best camera and there is no point into buying more expensive ones yadah yadah yadah. But if you can split his usually biased opinion and facts, then go ahead ;)

    I love my XS :)
     
  17. iTiki macrumors 6502

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    Feb 9, 2007
    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    #17
    Sounds like we are on the same page.;)

    I love my D90:)
     
  18. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #18
    You have to actually try the camera in your hand before buying it.
     
  19. aprofetto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #19
    LOL, yes I know. Thank you.

    If it doesn't feel comfortable, there's no way I will buy it.
     
  20. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    I take issue with this statement. Implying that those who use anything other than Nikon or Canon are not serious about photography is not a good thing to do. I happen to be personally aquainted with quite a few professional photographers who shoot Pentax. Have you ever heard of Benjamin Kanerek? That's what I'd call photography as an art form. His tool of choice? Pentax k20D and a bag full of fast FA and DA limited primes.

    Blanket statements about art are never appropriate!

    What should be done when picking a camera system is evaluation of ergonomics and features, but more importantly, lens availability. A real artist would see a lens he/she had to have and build a system around that. If the FA 77 mm f/1.8 limited gives a distinct look that you can't live without, then you buy a Pentax system. Gotta have the nikkir 105 f2.8 DC (where I'm at right now) you get a Nikon system. Gotta have a 5:1 macro, you get a Canon system. Love the feel of high end Zeiss glass, look into Sony. Love compactness look at Olympus. Just want a Camera and a few nice zooms, probably doesn't matter what you choose.

    But I'd appreciate it if you stopped spreading this nonsense about only buying Canon or Nikon if you're serious about Photography, it's false and you're doing a disservice by spreading it.

    SLC
     
  21. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Location:
    "No escape from Reality..."
    #21
    Yes, obviously that poster has never looked at the Photo of the Day thread with all the nice P&S pics by talented artists... :eek:

    AFA this is better than that or Nikon vs. Canon or forget this or that - heck, I'm still back at Polariod Instant vs. Kodak Pocket... :D
     
  22. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #22
    first, it was not a "blanket statement" because i used the term "probably". second, i say that because only Nikon and Canon offer 35mm cameras and a huge selection of lenses for different budgets. Canon has the added benefit of being able to mount all sorts of lenses with an adapter (including Nikkors), while Nikon obviously has its collection of MF lenses.
     
  23. NightGeometry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    #23
    Really? I guess that means the Olympus 35mm and Minolta 35mm cameras I've got are figments of my imagination (as are the Zorki and LCA+). The Leica really is a figment of my imagination.

    Or maybe you meant full frame digital? In which case you are missing at least one.

    The whole lens selection thing to me sounds exactly like 'get Windows, because it has most apps.' If the apps (or app) you need are only available on Windows, you should go with Windows, but OS X and Linux have such great variety of apps that it is rare, except in fairly niche cases, that you need Windows.

    Now switch out 'apps' for 'lenses', 'Windows' for 'Canon' or 'Nikon' and 'OS X and Linux' for 'Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma, Fuji'.
     
  24. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #24
    "full frame" is a nonsensical term, but yes, i mean that when i say "35mm". as for the Sony a900, how many would choose that over a D700 or 5D, and the lenses available to those bodies?

    no, that doesn't work, because the "art" photographer is a "niche case". and in that niche case, a 35mm sensor means something, along with a wide selection of lenses. if you just want to take high-quality pictures of your kid, would you care that Canon has a million different prime lenses to choose from? no, you'd probably just want a couple good, not-too-expensive zooms, and maybe a flash and/or one fast prime.

    there is nothing wrong with cameras made from Olympus, Pentax, etc. you would know what i think of them if you actually read my previous posts. what matters is IF a photographer wants or needs a 35mm sensor, the he will most likely end up with a Canon or Nikon, if not medium format.

    what do sensible people like ChrisA repeatedly say? SLRs are a system, so you better research that whole system before buying from a certain manufacturer. if the buyer in question wishes to pursue photography as something more than high-quality snapshots, that will probably mean he will want to end up with at least a 35mm sensor at some point. that rules out everyone except Sony, Canon, and Nikon. Sony's first attempt was rather poor, Olympus doesn't plan on entering the 35mm/"professional" market, i've no idea what Fujifilm and Panasonic are doing, and I don't believe Pentax is entering the 35mm market anytime soon, either.
     
  25. aprofetto thread starter macrumors 6502a

    aprofetto

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #25
    Sorry if I started a little bit of a heated discussion on here.

    I didn't mean to imply that Canon was better than anything else because it has more lenses. I simply said I like the idea that there's always room to expand and alot of their models seem to be compatible with most of their lenses.

    Remember, I am a complete noob at this, and I'm only able to do so much research and reading. Part of gaining experience and knowledge is to do, and the only way to do is to have a camera.

    So please if I offended anyone, I'm sorry. I really didn't mean for it to sound like I think one make is better than another.

    I want to pursue photography as a hobby, odds are it will never go further than that, but I always love to have insight before I jump in.

    Thanks everyone for the help and responses. Any other advice and comments please feel free to keep them coming! :)
     

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