Help out a noobie?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Soma 115, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Soma 115 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
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    the Chi
    #1
    Hey guys!

    Background: I'm a 17 year old junior in highschool. I'd love to get farther into photography. I'm not TOO knowlegdeable when it comes to cameras..so heres where YOU guys come in!

    I'm currently on the market for a new digital camera. I'm looking for somthing like a digital SLR type camera in the range of 450-650$. Any Suggestions?

    Thanks in Advance!

    -Dillon
     
  2. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

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    Feb 21, 2008
  3. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #3
    The Canon S5 IS is a very popular and highly recommended camera. It has good zoom, and is considered as "SLR-like"

    also the Canon G9 is another choice.

    I find a lot of info over at the Canon forums:
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/

    There are a couple of boards for P&S cameras.
     
  4. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #4
    Nikon D40 or Canon Rebel XTi

    Pentax has an offering, as does Sony, but I don't know anything about them.

    This issue has been addressed several times, and there is a multitude of information answering your very question. Search low-end dSLR.
     
  5. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #5
    OOps, I thought the OP meant a dSLR-like camera. Not an actual dSLR. Yes, there have been a million discussions on this subject.

    Try narrowing your choice down, then come back and ask more specific questions.
     
  6. archesdevil macrumors 6502

    archesdevil

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #6
    Rebel XTi is the best camera in that price range. IMHO.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    All of the cameras are good. but they are good for a different reason and each is made to appeal to a different user. So if we don't know anything about you, how you want to use the camera and what kind of subjects we can give informed advice.

    Do you see you self spending a lot of time with the camera system? Can you continue to spend money expanding the systems over the next several years.

    You wlil be buying a "system" that has at least a DSLR body and a lens. Over time you might expand the system to include more lenses and maybe a flash. The first thing to do is choose a brand. All those system components will be made by that brand and it will be hard to switch brands so the think abut SLRs is to plan ahead at least a few years ahead. Figure out what lenses you might want new or used then buy the body to fit.
     
  8. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Rebel XTi is great, I love mine. But if you want to get another lens I'm sure that the XT is good too and it's much cheaper.
     
  9. Soma 115 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    the Chi
    #9
    Alright guys, thanks to all your advice it's come down to the Xti and the D40. If you have one or both of these cameras could you tell me about your experience with it?

    Thanks alot guys you're helping more than you know!


    -Dillon
     
  10. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #10
    go with the XTi, the D40 doesn't have a focus motor built into the body (so certain lenses will have to be manually focused) and it only has a 6 megapixel sensor while the XTi has something like a 10.1MP sensor.
     
  11. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Portland, OR
    #11
    I think that the D40 is the better camera, but that's just my opinion and someone who says the Canon is the better camera isn't wrong. Look at the other bodies in the Canon and Nikon lineup and that's how I'd make my decision. Between Canon and Nikon there's not a dime's worth of difference, (maybe about 4 cents :D )

    In all seriousness, the 6 megapixels of the D40 are plenty and I think it will have a much better High ISO quality than the XTi will. But between Canon and Nikon almost all the lenses are the same, the flash system is about the same between the two, and the upgrade path is nearly the same. I'd say that the top of the line cameras between Nikon and Canon are very close in performance, the high end of the midrange cameras (Canon 40D and Nikon D300) is a bit different, I think the Nikon is much nicer there, also I don't see Canon answering Nikon's upcoming D90, perhaps they'll leave the 40D to do that. Either way, you've selected the two most similar brand names, and I don't think there's going to be much of a difference no matter what you choose to go with.

    SLC
     
  12. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

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    #12
    I don't know... I would argue that, although the amount of megapixels doesn't mean too much, once you get greater than 5 megapixels it's nice how much you can crop a 10.1MP picture without losing much quality. Plus since he's just starting out he will probably want to do a lot of post production (cropping, resizing, white balance) and the more megapixels you have the less constraining it is.
     
  13. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Portland, OR
    #13
    There are many people who get by just fine with 6 Megapixels, you can still crop with that, and as long as one shoots RAW then more megapixels means nothing in PP, it's better to shoot for minimal cropping anyway!

    I'm just thinking that Nikon has the edge (and has for at east the last two bodies) in the prosumer category ($1,000-$2000), not many people go past that so it's arguably the better brand to go with. I don't even shoot Nikon myself, but I think it's the way to go since there are just the two brands the OP in interested in.

    SLC
     
  14. Jeromie macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    #14
    You can't go wrong with either one. Don't spend too much time trying to make your decision, just pick a camera and start taking pictures. If you have friends who use one system, it may be worth choosing that one so you can share lenses and other accessories.

    (For the record, I chose neither - I shoot with a Pentax. But really - they're all good.)
     
  15. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    Oddly enough, I also shoot Pentax, 100% happy with it too! Outside of Nikon and Canon is where you need to start evaluating your shooting habits and style for the camera that best suits you, but Nikon and Canon are basically the same thing.

    SLC
     
  16. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    TX
    #16
    rah rah rah Nikon > Cannon rah rah (trails off…)

    /Dick Cheney

    seriously––at the consumer level they are very similar. pick 'em both up, check the ergonomics. I've heard Canon explained as "easier to approach" from a newbies perspective, but Nikon the only option for anyone with moderately sized hands. Go to Best Buy, whatever, pick 'em up, then go home and agonize, finally ordering online.
     
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #17
    Lenses are important....

    Both of those cameras are very good, as well as most of the other suggestions offered. However, the most expensive part of any camera system are the lenses. You aren't (yet) shooting for National Geographic, or Conde Naste so you don't need the best - you just need good. Look around at your friends and family, and see who has the best collection of lenses. Buy the camera body that will fit those lenses. Then do whatever begging you need to do to borrow them, so you can see what they do. **ONLY** borrow those lenses you are prepared to replace should you drop one. Your friend/family will also be a source of help and support as you work your way through this wonderful world. Good Luck, eh!!
     
  18. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #18
    Canon=George W Bush
    Nikon=Dick Cheney

    Take your pick :D

    SLC
     
  19. thinkband macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #19
    Now that is a hard choice. Bush or Cheney... Is there a better option?

    Anyways. Both cameras work for beginners and I went through this a while ago. I ended up with a Canon 30d which costed $600 used and is arguably better than the xti for a many reasons, especially ergonomically.

    Nikon works too and I was considering the D40x for a while until I read some bad stuff about the Nikon lens lineup. Obviously for a beginner, lens lineup does not really matter, though I sure like the idea of 'affordable' professional lenses that Canon offers.

    Both cameras are arranged differently, slightly different sized, and have different menu layouts. Go to an electronics store and try them out, but buy online at Amazon or Bhphoto.com to skip the salestax.

    Best of luck!
     
  20. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Well, not John Kerry. McCain would do it for me.
     
  21. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #21
    get a dSLR (allows different lens options)

    learn more about photography and HOW things work

    play with it in manual mode and try lots of different settings out

    after a while...

    read the manual that came with your camera (you'd be surprised how many people don't)

    make a decision before every shot of what you want the final picture to look like and adjust your settings to try to get that shot

    review your work, criticize yourself, figure out how far off you are from what you wanted, figure out what you did right that you didn't even know you did, and figure out how to get to what you really wanted

    DON'T worry about equipment. It's your skill that matters.

    and get a wriststrap so you don't drop the camera
     
  22. tony-in-japan macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Saitama, Japan
    #22
    Just ordered an Olympus DSLR myself...

    To offer you a few more options, there will be an new Olympus E-420 released in May. It is the smallest DSLR in the world (and very light too) with 10MP, Live View and Dust Reduction. Also, it fits in nicely within your budget. I think it is the best value DSLR available with the lens kit (apparently the kit lens is excellent).

    Just ordered mine and am looking forward to using it. (Was a previous Canon Rebel XT user, but have just auctioned it.)
     
  23. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #23
    An SLR-like camera would be like a Canon G9 or Canon S5. I recommend this type of camera because it is lightweight and otherwise inexpensive. The Canon G9 retains the digital negative files, and like the Canon S5, it supports a flash head that can be used for direct or bounced lighting. Make sure that you get a camera with standard controls - modes for aperture-priority, shutter-priority, exposure compensation, and manual. These modes make the camera much easier to use.
     
  24. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Two potential (but maybe not) issues with Olympus:
    a) limited lens selection
    b) who knows if they'll just stop in a few years… If they do, and you've made a considerable investment, you'll have to start over with a new system to take advantage of developing technologies
     
  25. tony-in-japan macrumors regular

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Saitama, Japan
    #25
    I think the points you have brought up are non-issues.

    (a) Although Olympus’s Zuiko collection of lenses are not as vast as the big two of Canon and Nikon, quality is definitely up there alongside (if not better in some cases). Some are even awarding winning and on www.dpreview.com site a recent Zuiko lens is the highest recommended over any other brand. The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ comes to mind here and if you are a beginner then I don’t see having a smaller collection of lenses as a problem (it could even be an advantage in helping you to define your choices).

    (b) I don’t agree with the principle of avoiding the smaller players and sticking with the companies who have the monopoly in the industry. If no one supported Apple during the 90's (I did because I wanted to be a graphic designer) then would we have a flourishing company here in the 21st century? It is a matter of buying products which fit into your criteria of needs and Olympus’s philosophy certainly appeals to me (compact and light DSLRs with good IQ and some leading innovation (e.g. like Live View, Dust Reduction) and some of the best digital lenses available). I sold all my Canon gear to support a smaller player but one I felt was more suited to my needs. I am quite happy and excited to explore another brand to discover its strengths and weaknesses regardless of how it is perceived by the majority.

    With regards to investment, entering the DSLR field is more focused with building up a lens collection, and with Zuiko lenses having such high regard amongst professional, they are likely to retain their value over time. So the investment you have made is still there as quality is always a factor in sustaining value. Besides, I do have confidence Olympus will still be a player in years to come. They are world leaders in optical technology within the science and medical industries, so to talk about them not being around in the near future I think is unfounded.
     

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