Beginner SLR camera for newbie

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mariotheotaku, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. mariotheotaku macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    Hello, I was looking to purchase my first SLR camera to do some beginner photography. I am looking to do this as a hobby and I was wondering what would a good beginner camera to start? one that has lenses preferably. I am looking to do some photography on landscapes and reunions like weddings.

    I was looking to purchase the Nikon D40 DSLR but is there a better choice for a beginner? Also what is a good place to purchase for cheap? has a good deal on the D40 but I just want to make sure.

    Thank you
  2. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Please STFF. (Search The F–– Forums.) Every couple of days there's a request almost identical to yours. Also, a google search will yield a wide array of reviews.

    D40(x) is a good option from Nikon. Canon has the XTi and others. Sony and Pentax also have offerings.

    I'd suggest, in addition to searching this forum and the internet, dropping by a local camera store.

    In general, look for a) usability b) ergonomics and c) how the camera will do its job (i.e. what are you taking photos of? does one brand focus on this sector more than others?).
  3. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    The D40 with the kit lens should be a very good starting camera. The kit lens is good for general photography. Tho you might want to see if 6MP are enough for your printing needs. In most cases it is.:)

    Your other options could be the Nikon D60 or D40x, and the Canon 450D. Also Pentax, Olympus and Sony have some good cameras, but I don't know much about them.

    I haven't read about the 450D much, but by specs it seems a very good camera, more expensive than the D40, but adds some nice features. Like Live View, has more focus points, etc.

    As for where to buy, I would recommend Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo (the best as far as I know). I had recently bought at 17th Street Photo and I am very pleased with the service also.
    What price is Wolfcamera offering?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    First off you are not buying a camera sop much as a system. The system will have as a minum two parts a lens and a body. Over time you will add parts and replace some parts but the system will have a long life. Iv'e bought four Nikon bodies of the years (one being a 70's vantage F2, the latest a newer DSLR) When you buy a system you will be tied to a specific brand. So pick the brand yu are going to want to stick with because after you have bought a few lenses and so on switching brands is expensive.

    Look at the lenses and bodies and prices and decide what you might want years ahead. The trick is to plan ahead. or example Nikon makes some nice stuff and latly their prices are good too. But if you think yo mightwant a 50mm prpime lens the Nikon D40 is not for you, so it does pay off ti look ahead.

    Also, if cost is an issue look at the used market. lenes last nearly forever and old ones work well at much lower cost. Same for bodies except the technology inside bodys is moveing fast so you don't want a very old one but llens tachnollty is mature and moves slow.

    In the end any of the entry level bodies and their "kit" lens is a good starting place as long as you've done the homework to see that you have a nice growth path planed out. For people and landscapes you will not need a lens much mover 50mm, 70mm at most.

    For landscapes sometimes people like to make very large prints. If you are wanting to make prints larger then 10 or 12 inches wide then it is going to get expensive and you might be better off using film. So what are you going to do with the images? Display on a computer or TV sceen? Make huge prints?....??

    The best thing you can get right now are some big coffee table size photo books. Just look at the pictures and find out what you like. The technical end of photgraphy is easy
  5. bluesmap macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
  6. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    In terms of features, the Rebel XSi beats the D40.. Probs. is, it's much more expensive.

    There is nothing wrong with the D40.. It's an amazing camera. If I were you I would get a D40 and start saving up to build a Nikon Kit.

    I am not that sure about other cameras but I think you might be able to get a used Pentax K10D for a trifling amount.. great camera.
  7. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm biased towards Canon, but decided to look at the D40.

    Yeah it is cheaper, but then again you would expect a 6.1 Megapixel body yo be cheaper than a 12.2 Megapixel body.

    I actually thought of picking up an XSI as a back-up/throw around camera. Something I could carry on my motorcycle with little worry.

    I would not get it as a kit with that 18-55mm lens though.

    If you go with Canon - try and find just the body and pick a different lens to go with it.
  8. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Canon XTi and XSi; in addition to Nikon D40 and D40x are all great options for beginner DSLR users.
  9. Hello.there macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2007
    Here's a vote for the Nikon D40, bought it a few months ago and I love it intensely :eek:. It just takes quite wonderful photos, I've never been happier with a purchase in my whole, entire complete life. :)
  10. David G. macrumors 65816

    Apr 10, 2007
    Holding the cameras in ones hands is a must in my opinion. When I was comparing the Canon EOS 350D and the Nikon D40 I found the Canon to be much more comfortable to hold. This was a huge factor in the decision for me. Take that for what it's worth.
  11. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I think if you get the D300 you can have a great camera that you really grow into.
  12. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    Something tells me the OP isn't willing to spend that much in a camera.:rolleyes:
  13. Holgapics macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2008
    North Oregon Coast
    I would not go with the Nikon D40 for this reason. If you're planning on offering photography services potential customers are known to ask what camera you're using and how many megapixels it has. I know this sounds shallow but it does happen and if you tell them it's 6 mp often they believe that's just not enough. We know the D40 is capable of excellent prints of 8x10 and above, but the general mind-set of much of the public is that you need more than 6. I have a friend who's a commercial photographer that does family stuff and weddings and he tells me he has run into this more than once. At least the D40x bumps the megapixel count to a more acceptable level in the eyes of the public.
  14. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I don't believe the OP has indicated he wants to become a pro photographer. Anyways, the first thing I'd say to that is get some experience. It doesn't matter which camera you have "in the eyes of the public" if you can't use it with success.
  15. shinchook macrumors regular


    May 13, 2008
    New Jersey
    I vote Cannon all the way... The new digital rebel is awesome! I have a mid-ranged Cannon Pro-consumer with 8 megapixel and it rocks my socks. Also, Cannon has been known to be very compatible with Macs.
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    All good advice, above. Let me just add that if you know someone with a good kit (ie a good selection of lenses), there is something to be said for getting a camera that will allow you to occasionally borrow a lense that you don't currently own. Ask before purchasing whether your friend or family member will lend you a lense or two, and if they say "no" respect that decision - some professional photgraphers make their living from their lenses. And, remember to only borrow what you can afford to replace.

    I got into, and then stayed with Minolta for many years (pre AF days) simply because my father had a really good selection of Minolta lenses. Anything I ended using more than once or twice, I went and bought myself. That way I could try out a lense before committing myself. Plus I had a really good source of advice on the camera I was using. Hardly use it all anymore, but I still have that kit, his lenses and mine. There are some specialty lenses that I have not seen in a digital cameras.
  17. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a


    Sep 2, 2004
    ... yes, inasmuch as purchasing a $60,000 manual transmission Mercedes could be a great first car to grow into, but the learning curve might be a bit steeper than if you had started with a non-luxury car.

    I'm as guilty of plenty of others in this, but really, search the forums when it comes to an answer for this question. You will find plenty of perfectly useful advice.
  18. professornegi macrumors newbie


    Jun 3, 2008
    The D40 is definitely a good place to start. Don't automatically buy the best one you can because you probably will want to buy at least one lens other than the kit lens. Thats just my opinion though.
  19. comptr macrumors 68000

    Oct 25, 2007
    How about another vote for the Canon Rebel XSI
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I have to disagree. Back inthe days of film cameras we'd buy an SLR body and keep it for 15 years. Not any more. Now days SLR body get replaced quikly. Never buy more then you need in a body. And SLR body is very much like a computer in that they are quickly becomming cheaper and better. Just like computers the body may physically last 10 years but no one wants to use a 10 year old DSLR or a 10 year old computer. The "grow into it" idea went away with film bodies.

    Lenses are different. Lens the technology moves slowly so 10 and 20 year old lenses still work just fine. The way it works now for most people is you buy a "starter body" and then a lens and then another lens and maybe a flash and over the years you build up a collection of lenses that you keep "forever" while every 5 or so years you upgrade the body to take advantage of the newer sensor technology.

    If you are just starting out and have a decent budget try and spend half the first year's budget on lens(es) that will provide the most return on the money spent.

    Just remember "DSLR bodies have a short usfull lifespan".
  21. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    To reinforce the advice above (ChrisA).... A fantastic camera body with a bad lense (soft, low contrast, etc) will take soft and low contrast pictures. There is nothing the film/sensor can do to fix that (other than photoshop, but then do you want to spend time on every single picture? and the the fix is good only to a point).

    A really good lense on a less expensive, but decent, camera body (ie sensor is good) with fewer functions will take good pictures, though you may have to work harder since some of the automatic stuff is missing.

    Even in film camera days, the lenses were the important investment. I think digital systems this is even more so, or reasons well explained already.
  22. bluesmap macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2008
    let me just say good luck.
    no matter what camera you choose its good that you are going DSLR. that being said just get a cam, have fun, and hope you learn some things along the way. the decision initially is hard (usually canon vs nikon crap) but once you bite you will have having fun.

    take your time. ask more questions if you must but in the end have fun with your camera. you should try going to a local store and handle the cameras that you are thinking about getting. this is important too. get a feel for what your choices are.

    again, good luck. have fun with it.
  23. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Nikon D-40 is the one I am going for, based on this review.
  24. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007

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