Starter Kit?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RWil85, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. RWil85 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    Am looking to get into Digital Photography..

    was wondering if anyone could suggest a decent starter kit as I do not have the slightest idea what brands are reputable, what hardware/software i might need, etc..

    can someone get me started? thanks in advance!
  2. Wacky Jackson macrumors member

    Wacky Jackson

    Feb 6, 2010
    I recommend either Nikon or Canon. They are the top two camera companies. And are you going for dslr?
  3. RWil85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    from brief reading..dslr seems to be the way to go to take anything resembling semi-professional photgraphs.

    as of right now, i have a panasonic lumix DMC-FS15 12 megapixel I said in another thread, i'm pretty sure that is hardly a pro tool haha..
  4. narofx macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2010
  5. RWil85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    budget is 'reasonable'..will try to stay under $1000..
  6. narofx macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2010
    Being a Nikon user, I would suggest a Nikon D3000, D5000 or D90, coupled with Nikon AF-S 35mm f/1.8 DX lens. This 35mm lens is practically the only lens that i take photos with when paired with my Nikon D90.

    Of cos, there are other brands available but i believe i may not be the best person to advice on other brands.
  7. jlmcclellan macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2008
    I'm looking into getting my first DSLR here myself. I'm personally leaning towards the Canon T2i (aka 550D), but another great choice would be the T1i (cheaper, less full featured) or if you lean more towards Nikon the D5000 seems to be rated pretty well by consumer reports.
  8. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    A bunch of new cameras will be announced over the following month, including (as rumored) replacements for the D5000 and D90, so you should wait to buy, if only for the inevitable price drops and eBay flood of used equipment.
  9. ccolaco macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    I too am just starting out in digital photography. I was able to buy a Canon XSi (450D) with the kit lens (18-55mm), UV filter, and Velbon C-500 tripod and 8GB card for $465.

    The XSi looks like a good starter DSLR. If your looking to do a bit of video too then you would have to move up to the T1 or T2. If you are going to go the route of Canon, a 50mm f/1.8 II lens will also be a nice thing to have.

    Again, I too am just starting out so I'm more of someone who can relate than actually help you. :)
  10. RWil85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    where'd you get all of that for that price? just from a quick search, it seems as though that camera itself goes for ~$500?
  11. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH
    You can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon. Whatever camera you buy has to feel right in your hand. The only way to figure that out is to go to the local camera store, handle the cameras, and shoot some pictures. Any of the introductory level cameras are available in a kit with a zoom lens. I recommend the kit zoom rather than a fixed focal length lens until you learn more about what and how you like to shoot.

    I also recommend the local camera shop rather than the big box electronics store. While you will pay a bit extra at the local shop you will get a lot of added value, and they will work to sell you what is right for you rather than what they happen to have in stock.
  12. ccolaco macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sorry, I should have mention that I bought the camera second hand. Was not brand new. About a year and a half old.
  13. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Chiming in for diversity I would just like to say that all the interchangeable lens cameras currently made are excellent. There is not a bad one out there, be it from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Samsung, Olympus, Panasonic, Leica, Sony, or anyone I have forgotten.

    If you don't have the slightest idea you may as well either:

    a. do some reading and playing in camera shops.


    b. buy one you like the look of.
  14. viggen61 macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2002
    New Jersey
    Get thee to a camera shop!

    If you're thinking Digital SLR, the major brands: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax and even Sony are all reputable, and make good equipment. Good photos can come from any of them. Canon and Nikon are the biggest players in this pond, and have cameras from beginner types all the way up to professional kit.

    But before zeroing in on a particular brand, go to a camera shop, and handle them all.You may find one brand, or one camera that is a better "fit" for you than the others.

    That's what I did. I went to a couple shops, and handled Nikons and Canons, and determined what was right for me. I preferred one brand over the other, and one camera range over others from that maker, because of the ergonomics, feel, operation, etc. The best camera in the world is useless if it doesn't "feel" right to you, and you don't use it because it's a pain.

    Sorta like how we chose Macs over PCs, right?

  15. egis macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Bethesda, Maryland
    Any of the recommended camera bodies are good bets. Most important IMHO is the glass (aka lenses). Learn about which company offers a good range of lenses that will fit your emerging needs easily. I use a Canon and have quite a few lenses to fit the particular need and type of picture I want to capture. For example, I have a 70-300 tele, 100 macro, 18-55, 10-22, 15-85. For me the most important features I look for are flexible ISO on the camera - 100 up to and above 6400 and good glass. Glass makes the picture!!

    One more point on Canon. They are due to announce a new model the D60 on or about August 26, so you might want to hold off a few days to see what that body will offer. From what I hear it will be an excellent starter body for new photographers, but I have not yet heard what the price might be
  16. object88 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Quoted for truth. The better something feels -- the more in tune you are with it -- the more you're going to want to use it and enjoy using it, resulting in more practice and ultimately better output. So to repeat what many others have said, get to a local camera shop, or heck, even Best Buy, and try a couple out.
  17. npropes macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Personally I prefer the ergonomics of Nikon cameras over Canon. Both companies have great starter kits with 18-55mm lenses.

    My first DSLR set up was:
    Nikon D40
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
    55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR

    I paid $450 for the D40 & 18-55mm lens. I picked up a lightly used 55-200mm for $130. Later on I added a 35mm f/1.8 lens ($200) so that I could better shoot in low light. You money is best spent on lenses than a camera body.

    I would watch for a decrease in the D90 price if Nikon does update it this fall. I doubt that they will update the D5000 as it is only a little more than a year old. The D5000 is basically the same camera as the D90 in a more plastic case and without an integrated focus motor used for compatibility with non AF-S/AF-I lenses.

    If you're looking to start, and like the ergonomics of Nikon, the D5000 body should last you several years. Get it with the 18-55mm kit lens. If you want to play with telephoto lenses, the 55-200mm VR is fantastic for the price. If you want to shoot in low light without a flash, the 35mm f/1.8 is great.
  18. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    I got into a 'cheap' t2i a while ago and now I am over $3000 invested in glass. Have fun with your empty bank account! :D
  19. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    What sort of pictures will you be taking? How serious are you in terms of convenience, capability, flexibility. Where will you be taking pictures? Will you be printing many images? At what size?

    Canon and Nikon both have about 40-45% of the DSLR market. Canon is a much larger company than Nikon, and their high-end lens prices tend to be a bit lower in most countries- a consideration if you're looking at $1100-1700 lenses. Nikon's kit lenses tend to do a bit better, a consideration if you're just looking to take snapshots. Nikon's AF modules tend to be a bit better regarded. Nikon's lower-end bodies won't AF with a fair portion of the older and non-upgraded lenses (not a huge issue unless you either don't want a mid-range body or want to buy cheaper used lenses.) Nikon's flash system tends to be better-regarded for indoors work with multiple flashes.

    Sony was the only other major manufacturer to offer "full-frame" cameras, and had gotten somewhere between 8-12% of the global DSLR market. Sony Semiconductor is apparently considering shutting down FF sensor production, and it remains to be seen if long-term Sony will stay in the DSLR market and what sort of update cycle they'll be on if they do.

    Hoya bought the Pentax brand to get its endoscopy business, and their CEO originally said they had no interest in the camera part- then he backpedaled, however last year he publicly said Hoya couldn't go it alone in the DSLR market. There is a small chance that Canon may buy out Pentax to get it's Medium Format SLR business, though in that case I can't see them floating the traditional Pentax DSLR business for too long (though if I were them, I'd be looking much more strongly at Mamiya.) Because the CEO doesn't seem to strongly support Pentax as a major self-sustaining business unit, I'm wary of their long-term viability.

    Olympus makes the smallest sensor size DSLRs, and it's not clear to me that they will be able to successfully float both their 4/3rds SLRs and their Micro 4/3rds range for the long term. However, if portability is a big criteria, they offer smaller options at a slight cost in IQ (both in terms of having to enlarge more to get the same sized print as well as in terms of *very* slightly inferior lens designs for wide angles that offer compactness over total IQ.) I would strongly suggest going Micro 4/3rds if you go this route, as not only do you have more manufacturer options than just Olympus, but it's likely to be the mount that survives if one of them must be gotten rid of or Oly has issues.

    In pure terms of value, Sony, Pentax and Olympus will have more features per unit of cost than either Nikon or Canon. In terms of choices, both Nikon and Canon have significantly wider ranges of choices and upgrade paths.

    Truthfully, all of the above manufacturer's cameras for the last two or so generations at least will take wonderful images. There are differences, but if you're a casual shooter who's just taking pictures of friends/family/vacations it is a small enough difference that you'll likely be pleased with anything you purchase once you learn to use it. If you're printing up to about 11x14, the differences will be noticeable but relatively small between any body made by any of the above. If you're printing larger, then you'll see differences depending on what you're shooting, how it's printed, etc. If you're just posting to Facebook a DSLR is probably overkill and one of the new EVIL cameras is probably going to be a lot easier to carry around.

  20. RWil85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    Sorry, haven't posted back all day..

    Thanks everyone for all of the great info!

    Someone had mentioned an update to the Nikon D60 and others - I will most certainly wait for these model updates and possible price drops to older models while i learn..

    Everything I read seems to mostly be about the Nikons or Canons, will most likely pick up one of those two..I took a peek at both of them today at a local Best Buy and both, seemingly, have good feel and quality..will have to take a further look once i arrow down on specs, etc.

    Most have recommended a kit with a lens, which certainly seems common and the way to go..all in due time i guess, one step at a time here haha..

    I'll likely be shooting special occasions, gatherings with friends and family, outings, vactions, know, the usual.

    and then, i think Viggen61 said picking one camera over another due to it's feel is kinda like how we 'chose macs over PCs' haha, couldnt be more right..

    sorry for the long post, anyway..keep the ideas/experiences/info coming!
  21. scottkifnw macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2008
    Trophy Club, TX
    Other things to consider

    DSLRs are really mini-computers. It is not only important to shoot, and like the feel of the camera. Be sure the menus are laid out well for you.

    I would recommend something like Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac.

    If you have a half decent body, really, it is the lens that is the most important thing. Be sure that you can change lenses on your new camera.


  22. RWil85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    just saw "D3000 SLR Digital Camera with 18-55mm VR Lens" for $500...decent buy?
  23. Matty-p macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    Thats a relitively good deal i take it that's new ?

    Pa don't forget memory cards order from amazon or something as retail shops rip you off get 2 or three class 4 or preferably class 6. 8gb sd cards
  24. RWil85 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    Yes, that is the price for a brand new camera.

    Thanks for the info pertaining to the SD cards..I already have a couple 8gbs - was planning on picking up a decent 16gb to top it off..
  25. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about menus unless you find that you're using a particular function often and it's the only way to access that function.

    While I generally shoot with high-end bodies that have lots more bottons to stay out of the menu system, I find that even when I shoot with friend's cameras I'll generally only use the menu system occasionally.

    While switching cards is a pain, keep in mind that if everything is on a single card and that card gets lost/damaged/corrupted, that's all your images.


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