Really Really New To This and Could Use Some Advice...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by GoGoSamGo, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. GoGoSamGo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    #1
    I'm into video production and everything, and I'm going to start taking nice quality pictures to add to my video. I love film and I think I really could end up liking digial photography too. I've been looking into cameras and software to buy. I ended up choosing I want an SLR and think I'm going to go with a Nikon D40 as just a camera to begin learning. I know where I can get one for around $400, and that seems like a good price compared to other SLRs, but I'm not very educated on the type of camera. Next for a photo editing software, thanks to apple and their student discount, I could get Adoble cs3 for $300, that's a $700 discount from its normal price, and that could be very helpful with other things I use such as Motion. Would love some feedback if this is a nice road to take or not. Thank you for your help!
     
  2. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #2
    Seems like the D40 gets a lot of bad talking around here. You'll want to compare all the models in your hands. You may want to look at the Pentax K110D, Nikon D50, or even the Samsung GX-1L (I think that's what it is)

    CS3 is the way to go, though.

    You're in the right place to learn about photography, this has made me a LOT more knowledgeable with photography. :)
     
  3. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #3
    I think the main reason some people have been negative about the D40 is that it only works with Nikon AF-S lenses (these are lenses that have a tiny autofocus "silent wave" motor built into the lens itself). However pretty much all new Nikon lenses are going to be AF-S; so unless you've got older Nikon lenses lying around, or already have an existing non-AFS Nikon lens in mind for purchase, this shouldn't really be a big deal.

    I think for a starter body, the D40 or D50 should be great.

    Thom Hogan (a rather popular Nikon guru) has a review of the original D40 here. Overall he was positive about the camera.

    If you want to save money, now that the D40 has been upgraded (D40x) I bet you can get one of the original D40 bodies for a song. It's a 6 megapixel CCD versus 10 megapixel; but that's unlikely to matter to you for a long, long time (if it ever does).

    Edit: Third-party lenses with focusing motors will also work on the D40; e.g. Sigma's HSM lenses.
     
  4. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #4
    Very correct, I didn't mean to make it seem as though the D40 was a poor camera or a bad choice for a starter camera. I feel, though, that anyone should hold and work the menus on every camera in their price range before buying any of them.

    Also, think about how much you will want to spend per lens, etc.
     
  5. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a

    failsafe1

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    #5
    It all comes down to budget and getting the best you can in that budget. The optics are the important part just like in video. The image is everything. The camera body is second to glass. Nikon and Canon and several others make great glass. If you go with the D40 make sure you buy first rate lenses. Skimp on the body if you have to but don't skimp on glass. I use Nikon and Canon professionally and both do a great job. If you go with the D40 stick with fast Nikkor glass. The 10 mm is fun as well as the 17-55. That is a nice all round zoom. If you can't afford the Nikkors yet than go with fast 2.8 other lenses. I have used Tokina and Sigma but would prefer the Nikkors.
     
  6. GoGoSamGo thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    #6
    Wow so many terms I've heard of but don't know anything about. Few questions....


    What is the difference between 6 and 10 megapixels? I've searched online and all I came up with was pretty much that 10 is better if you want to edit and crop pictures. Is that true?

    Now about lenses. This is one part that is confusing me. Is there anything wrong with just sticking with the lens that comes with the D40 kit? I mean I'm not professional or anything so I don't think I would need some killer lens right away right?

    Sorry I know I'm uneducated on the topic. Even in Film I try and stay away from filming whenever possible, and have a partner that does the filming while I do the editing, suprisingly though something about digital photography sounds very interesting to me. Appreciate all the help guys.
     
  7. bluewire macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area, California
    #7
    1) the difference is they are cramming more pixels on the same size sensor. 6 megapixels will yield pretty big prints, unless you are planning to print huge poster size documents, the 6 v 10 megapixel is really a non issue. unfortunately, everyone measures camera performance by megapixels tho so its ingrained in us that more = better. in fact, more, on a smaller size sensor may be worse and noisier.

    2) the kit lens on a d40 is ok. i am fairly new to the dSLR game too and let me tell you that moving past a kit lens is like opening your eyes to sunlight. there are some pretty amazing lens out there. in fact, glass (lenses) are 100000x more important then the body of the camera. you can stick with the kit lens for awhile but inevitably, you'll want to upgrade your glass (in due time). but it certainly is something you can learn on for awhile.
     
  8. b0tt094 macrumors 6502

    b0tt094

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    #8
    when buying a camera Megapixels should 4 forth thing u think about maybe thrid... Unless ur printing for a magazine or doing a huge poster 6 mp should cover just abotu everything and then some, not only that but 10 mp take up alot more space on a memory card so unless u want to buy a 4 gig card to get 100 pics at high quality go with a smaller amount of pixels
     
  9. GoGoSamGo thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 28, 2007
    #9
    Thanks a lot guys really appreciate all the fast posts, I'm learning a lot and getting a clearer idea of what I want. Thanks again guys!
     
  10. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #10
    Do you have a Ritz near by? Or a National Camera Exchange?

    Those are good places to get a feel of any and all of the cameras in your price range.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #11
    The trouble with the D40 is it lacks an internal focus motor inside the body. So it can only use lenses to contain motors. Many of Nikon's best lenses lack motors. The D50 can use any Nikon AF lens.

    So as I always say: "Shop for the lens first" then pick a body to fit the lens. Which lens(es) to buy depends on your intended subjects. You might tell us about what you want to shoot. Mae sure you understand your needs in terms of lenses before you jump into SLRs

    As for software. Postshop Element does everything you would need. Student discounts prohibit commercial work. Don'r know if this matters to you or not. Yes the discount make PS CS3 attractive to me (my wife is in school) but what is in PS that's not in Elements that a photographer needs?
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    I agree but to be more precise. He wants to put a still image into a video frame. So it's easy to see that if the video is 1080p he needs at least 1080 pixels in the still image. ANY DSLR will have at least 2000 pixels along the vertical side. In "video speak" a D40/D50 is a "2000p camera" But what if you wan to crop or pan? again the math is easy: simply look at the number of pixels along each edge of the frames.

    Bottom line here is NOT to look at "megapixels" look at pixels along the edge -- that what matters. "Megapixels" is a marketing word. If you count pixels along the edge there is only a small difference between 10MP and 6MP -- this is why the marketing people like MP so much
     

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