Help a newbie? What's the best bang for your buck?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by je1ani, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #1
    I'm sorry but I know nothing about cameras or iso or dslr or any of what you talking about but I am trying to get into taking high quality photographs. My question is what is the best camera for under $1000? Also does more megapixel = a better camera? what do the different lenses do? Sorry i'm a noob :p
     
  2. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    Mar 14, 2004
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    USA! USA!
    #2
    Get out now! Once you start there is no going back.

    Maybe take up golf?
     
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #3
    Tell me about sex. I hear it's a lot of fun. Do you need men AND women, or can you do it on your own? Sorry for all the questions. I'm a noob... ;)
     
  4. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #4
    I don't like it when someone comes into other people's threads and tell them to look up the forums next time they post because the topic has been talked about to death, but this is one of those moments.

    Search the forum, and all your questions will be answered.
     
  5. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #5
    OK, I guess I have the time to answer your questions.:)

    First recommendation: before spending so much money in a camera get to know what a dSLR is, and how they work. Just reading a little theory will help you, because maybe you don't really want a dSLR and you may only want to have a nice P&S camera.

    For example, ISO is the sensitivity, the higher it is the more light the sensor would "capture", but you'll also notice an increase in "noise". You may also want to read about the meaning of aperture, shutter speed, focal length, depth of field, etc. This is a link you may want to visit.

    Megapixels does not mean you have a better camera, you might have a 12MP camera, but if the sensor size is small they won't help you much. Basically one of the advantages of dSLR are the image sensors, which are MUCH bigger than the normal P&S sensors.
    Also, you may not need more than 6MP. You have to take into account if you would ever print large photos.

    As for lenses, there are three mains types you may want to know at first: the wide-angle lens, the "normal" lens, and the telephoto lens. The wide-angle, as its name says, let's you have a wide shot, it is around the 18mm focal lenght, meaning this are generally good for landscapes, but you want to be careful when shooting persons, since this lens may deform the faces (if you are very close).
    The normal lens is just that, it is around the 50mm of focal length and is good for many things. Many lenses cover the wide and normal, specially the kit lenses.
    Then there are the telephoto, which have a large focal length (around 200mm), you may want this to shot subjects who are far from you, like in sports.

    So, which is the best camera for $1000? There is really no answer here. What you buy is more a brand, because you would usually stay with that brand the rest of your life. The body you'll change it in a couple of years, but the lenses would be there forever.
    I personally prefer Nikon. I currently have a Nikon D40x and it is an amazing camera. But I also bought a nikon because my dad already had some Nikon lenses.

    And I guess I have already wrote too much, so I'll just give you one last comment. A good photo is not the product of a great camera, it is the product of a great photographer.
     
  6. je1ani thread starter macrumors 6502

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  7. 66217 Guest

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    #7
    Where's that Christmas atmosphere?:p
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #8
    It went thaddaway... :)

    Astrophysics. That might be something I'd like. Do I need any particular equipment?
     
  9. CallsignBaron macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    NC USA
    #9
    Whew, where does one start? :)

    I like the golf idea, too! As you may have figured out from the tongue-in-cheek replies, that is a very open ended question. All depends on how serious you intend to get with photography, what kind of pictures you want to take (subject matter) and how much money you want to invest. I am not a pro and don't know if I'll ever be a pro, more of an avid hobbyist for now so feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt. I fell in love with digital photography after purchasing my first digital camera, a Canon A20. Took alot of great shots with that little 2 megapixel camera and had a great time playing with some of the manual settings. Felt I was outgrowing that camera so I purchased my current camera, a Canon S3 IS. This has been a great camera too. I have learned alot more about my hobby but more importantly I've learned alot more about the type of photography I am interested in. Now I am feeling like I am ready to step up again and considering a Canon 40D. The great thing about the S3 is I didn't have buy any lenses, don't have to worry about cleaning the sensor and capable of taking a wide range of photos. Everything from super macro to long telephoto. This camera has really helped me define the type of photography I like to do and has given me an idea of the kind of equipment I would like to have (camera, lenses, etc.). The great thing about photography is you have alot of choices and fortunately when it comes down to it those choices are personal preference. For some really good reviews and info about almost any camera you can think of, go here or here. Also an excellent resource for all things photography check out the community at photo.net. I hope this helps and I hope you enjoy exploring the world of photography.

    Best regards.
     
  10. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
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    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #10
    Terrible advice! Golf takes over your life too.


    To the OP, you need to buy the cheapest camera and lens (just one) you can find. Mess around with those, learn what photography is, and then go out and spend a fortune when your passion takes over.






    I've golfed for more than 50% of my life (12 years) and have a single-digit handicap.
     
  11. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Get an old film SLR and take pictures that interest you. You should be able to find an old 35 mm SLR for next to nothing, then you can see for sure if this is the sort of think you really want to blow $1,000+ on. As far as DSLR's are concerned $1,000 is the bare minimum as far as I'm concerned to get a decent kit. That's the camera body it's kit lens and another lens or two plus flash. And at that price we're not talking anything super high quality, we're talking consumer grade all the way around.

    Once you really get going you'll find lenses that you need (or at least think you need) that will easily eclipse the price of the camera body. It's not uncommon for some serious photography folks to have $10,000+ tied up in lenses alone.

    Anyway like I said, go to keh.com and find a good used film SLR and lens in your brand of choice (they're all the same in the end), then set out learning to use it properly and deciding which lenses you need for the types of shots you want. When you feel like you're getting the hang of things and you really enjoy photography then maybe think about going to a digital SLR, before that you risk blowing a lot of money on something that you may or may not actually enjoy.

    SLC
     
  12. sblasl macrumors 6502a

    sblasl

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    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    Heber Springs, AR
    #12
    You can pickup a used (but like new) Nikon D200 for less than $1,000.00. Check eBay or Nikonians.com.

    Great camera.
     
  13. techie4life macrumors 6502

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    Jul 19, 2007
    Location:
    Georgia
    #13
    I'm selling a Canon Rebel EOS T2 35mm film body with a Quantaray 28-90 lens. Great camera, perfect condition. Interested?
     
  14. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #14
    The two most important pieces to a camera are the ones in front of and back of the camera body.

    Start with a little P&S (Point & Shoot/snapshot camera) and learn what a good photo is all about & why. There are award-winning, museum-quality shots taken with sub-$50 cameras. There are entire schools and philosophies around Russian knockoffs that have gawdawful optics.

    The body is helpful, the glass (lens) is far more important, but the flesh and eye and brain on the other end makes it happen. Start cheap and learn to make great photographs that way, then go for the toys. It'll also give you time to learn brands & ranges and lines of glass & accessories, vendors, forums, etc., etc.

    So, you're probably wondering, just how much money does it take to be a serious photographer, then?

    All of it.
     
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #15
    If you want to disregard all of the good advice above me, and go out and buy yourself a dSLR, I'd suggest a used (but good condition) D40, D40x, Rebel XT or XTi. This, in addition to the kit lens, should give you a fell for digital SLRs without completely ruining your budget. Older models, such as the D70(s) and Rebel XT tend to go for real cheap, but they're still great cameras (see sig–I "still" use a D70).
     
  16. seahawk09 macrumors regular

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    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    Pentax K10D is a great camera for under $1000.00
     
  17. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #18
    Canon 400D (Rebel XTi in the states?) together with Sigma EX 30mm f/1.4 would be a clear winner for budget-minded. This combo costs about 950 euros in Finland (22% tax included) so it should be well within your budget range.

    The reason why I'm suggesting this is because Canon kit lenses are crap, so you would want to avoid one at all cost (which would mean you'll have to think about lens purchase to begin with). The Sigma I suggested is of very good quality even though it's not a Canon. Beats any kit lens any time, no question.
     
  18. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    Apr 5, 2004
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    #19
    Everyone has a different answer to this one.

    No.

    Different things. :p

    What kind of photos do you want to shoot? During the day? During the night? Do you prefer flash or no flash?
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #20
    Carefull what you ask for. The best bang for the buck is film. In terms of image quality only. A $100 used 1970's vintage SLR is better then any digital camera you can buy for under $1000. The reason you and everyone else wants digital is because it gives instant feedback and works well with computers, the Internet and so on.

    About megapixels.... If you have a math background the answer is easy: "the maximum print size is proportionate to the square of the "magapixel count". What this means is that if you like high quality 10 inch prints then 6MP is enough but if you want 20 inch prints (double the size) you need 4 times as many pixels or 24M which today cost s lot

    So the answer is "yes" megapizels count but the difference between 6mp, 8mp and 10mp is a lot less then you think. Going from 6MP to 12MP is a notable jump the next jump is going to 24.

    Buying an SLR is not like buying a small point and shoot. An SLR is part of a "system". You buy a lens and then maybe a couple more lenses and then a flash and some other gadgets and these are ALL going to have to be either Nikon or Canon or whatever brand you pick. But the thing is the first part you buy means every other part you buy maybe for the nest 10 or 20 years will b e that same brand. So look at the lenses that you like to buy over the next few years and then pick a brand based on the system you want five years down the road. Most everyone picks either Nikon or Canon because both have a huge selection of lenses and SLR bodies and they have a 50 year "track record"
     
  20. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #21
    Pentax has a 50+ year track record as well, let's not leave them out. They brought a large part of the modern aspects of SLR cameras to the table.

    SLC
     
  21. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #22
    And have since fallen far behind–who knows why.
     
  22. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #23
    Not far behind, have you actually used a Pentax DSLR or are you basing that on the mindless Canon and Nikon death grip on the amature market right now? And that can easily be explained when you realize that Nikon D40's and Canon XT and XTi's are widely available at Walmart while Pentax often doesn't even have a point and shoot for sale there, and never a DSLR. You've got to go to a photographic specialty retailer for them.

    If you had actually handled a K10D and shot a few frames I don't think you'd be saying they are far behind, other than in sales anyway. I used them all before buying mine (I wanted a D80 or D200), I think that in image quality they are level with the competition, and as far as innovation and value goes they are lightyears ahead. But that's to be expected from the company that invented spot metering and the penta-prism viewfinder, two of the most important aspects of the modern SLR camera.

    Pentax decided not to gun for the Professional market with their current DSLR lineup. Well not yet anyway, and still they have managed to attract some notable professional photographers to their current lineup, even while halting R&D at a camera in the same league as Nikon's D200 or Canons 40D. I think in '08 or early '09 they will have a very high end body targeted to professionals ala D3 or 1D, the FA lens line is still in production and they could make a FF camera body with little to no difficulty. Many insiders seem to concur with the idea that this will happen soon!

    SLC
     

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