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  1. #1
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    I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    I want a dSLR, I know nothing about photography, nor anything about 99% of the cameras; yet I want to get of into it and I'm going to need a good camera that I can have and still use as I get more experienced, My Price range is anywhere upto $1200(CAD) but will be able to go more if needed.

    The main ones I have been looking at is the Sony a300/350, Canon XTi/XT/40D, Nikon D40.

    Mainly the pictures I would want to take would consist of nature, but something I want to get into is learning to take HDR photo's, that look *good* and greyscale.

    I have little experience with cameras, but want to get into it mostly so I can get a somewhat decent hobby and maybe later make money.

    Thanks alot for any and all advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Nothing against Sony, but since you seem to be wanting to get into things pretty seriously and maybe make some money some day, I would suggest either Nikon or Canon. The reason being, these two have fully developed systems that have several options at all levels - such that you can find reasonably-priced lenses and accessories to get you started, but once you decide to go towards the professional end of things, they have the equipment to fully support that as well. It's not that Sony is bad, merely that their system is not nearly as expansive as Canon or Nikon, nor as well supported by 3rd parties like Sigma.

    How to chose? Most people say just got to a camera store and see which feels better in your hand. They're all so good you really cannot go wrong. Do keep in mind that the Nikon D40/D40x/D60 can only use lenses with focus motors built-in (AF-S lable I think), but this is increasingly less of a problem, as most all new Nikon lenses have the motor built-in.
    Brad

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  3. #3
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    ok thanks alot for the info, i still need to learn alot really, mostly about the lens and such as af/af-s which im puzzled about and how it works / what it does, i decided on the D40 and actually looking at this package on ebay
    Code:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-D40-Digital-SLR-Camera-4-Lens-8GB-Mega-Kit-NEW_W0QQitemZ110236495739QQihZ001QQcategoryZ150130QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    it seems to have everything i need.. right? i mean, is there any other lenses i would need? i really know little about them, and even so have little to none knowledge on what half of the specs mean, right down to not knowing what the difference means i.e 75-300mm lense i wouldnt know what i would use for.

  4. #4
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Unfortunate that those packages look so good to the inexperienced as they are usually a good body with a bunch of cheap stuff thrown in to make it look good.
    Can't read the whole thing but I've been a regular ebayer for a long time and bought my camera from a reliable dealer there.
    The lenses will not be top notch and may serve you for a while until you want to become more demanding of what you get. There's probably a cheap tripod that they call professional and a gear bag that will be worn out and too small almost immediatly.
    I don't know whether its good or bad that photography is expensive but I don't want you to buy a bunch of stuff and then have to go and buy replacements for them too.
    My advice to anyone just starting out is to get the body they have decided on from an authorized dealer. Look for that authorized bit in their site. If it isn't there, they aren't authorized and you will not get a warranty from the dealer,(nikon). There will be a warranty but it means you have to find someone to honor it and not get authorized repairs because your body will be gray market.
    If there is an offer for the body with a lens and its a regular nikon lens and especially if its the 18-200vr and from an authorized dealer, then I'd go for it. Then when you figure out what you need besides the camera and lens you can research and buy quality items like a solid tripod that will probably last forever. Memory cards aren't all that much anymore and you can get a 2gb card for under 50 bucks. If you get an 8gb card you'll have the ability to hold many shots on the card but if something goes wrong with the card, you've lost a lot more pics too. I have three 2gb cards that hold 165 shots in raw format each. Never needed more.
    I will mention Cameta as a good ebay dealer as that is where I got my camera and they gave top notch service. Don't think they are the only good ones though, just the only one I can remember right now.
    J&K is one I would avoid..they are fast and efficient but not authorized dealers unless they've changed recently. They get good feedback because they are fast and efficient but then as people new to photography find out they may need a repair or other service from nikon/cannon/whoever, the problems start.
    Get the d40 and if you can get the 18-200 vr go for that. Its a great lens that I wish I had and will fill many of your photo needs from semi wide angle to a decent zoom. Other good lenses for a beginner are the 18-135,(the one I have) and/or the 50mm f/1.8
    Then you'll gradually learn what else you want/need and can go from there.
    Buy a book and/or take a class. Do they have community colleges in Canada?
    Also have a good look at our dealer feedback forum.
    Good luck my friend and hope you find a good deal and are posting pics here soon.
    Keep Shooting!

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  5. #5
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    D40 + 18-55 + 55-200 kit

    Two of my collegues just took the plunge and picked up the D40 kit with the 18-55 and 55-200. The D40 is discontinued so they were able to get the kit reduced. They have been raving about the results they get, especially of their children. These guys come from point-and-shoot cameras and the greater reactivity and speed they get with a DSLR has knocked them out.

    If you want to get a low-end kit - get an all-Nikon setup. It's the best quality for the money.
    Charles

    Nikon D800, D7200, Sony RX100m3
    Not buying any more gear this year. I hope

  6. #6
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    I would look hard at the in body image stabliazation cameras. Sooner or later you will probably want it. The glass for the Olympus 4/3rds system has been limited and high in the past, but with so many 4/3rd cameras hitting the market the lens is more avaliable at lower prices. The IS works and is quite impressive.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  7. #7
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Ok, thansk alot for the info, I want the D40 simply because of the name, it felt good, and I've heard so, so much about it being an ideal camera for amateurs etc.

    What I've decided (thanks to the members here, especially frog) is D40 Body
    Code:
    http://cgi.ebay.ca/Nikon-D40-Digital-SLR-Camera-18-55mm-Lens-Kit-NEW-USA_W0QQitemZ130209327321QQihZ003QQcategoryZ43456QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem
    18-200vr
    Code:
    http://www.adorama.com/NK18200DXU.html
    flash
    Code:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/TTL-LCD-FLASH-FOR-NIKON-D40-D40X-D70-70S-D80-D200-D300_W0QQitemZ110235666892QQihZ001QQcategoryZ48515QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    All of which I have tried to find respectable dealers to buy from, and everything you said frog, would you suggest any books (or sites)? also would I need anything else, Wide Angle Lenses? Telephoto Lenses? Filters? anything else for depth of field / HDR / long distance (1km'ish), high lenses (300-750ish mm)?

    I just want to start of with it all and get into it then, knowing I'll have what I need for the next few years.
    Last edited by DeadFred; 03-27-2008 at 12:53 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member brmill26's Avatar
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    Re: D40 + 18-55 + 55-200 kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Franglais
    The D40 is discontinued so they were able to get the kit reduced.
    You may have mistyped (easy to do and a large part of why the D60 is coming out), but the article I read (DPreview) said Nikon is actually discontinuing the D40X, not the D40. The D40 is staying on as the "entry level" camera and the new D60 will become the new "stop gap" unit, replacing the D40X. But, the D40 can be had for a great price now due to the natural price drop in the electronics market.

    Fred - the D40 is a great choice, but I agree with Frog, stay away from the eBay package junk deals. They're all rip offs. Definitely, absolutely be 100% sure you're buying from an Authorized Nikon dealer so that you get a real USA model and warranty.

    Edit:
    Haha, you posted as I was writing. Your first link, for the camera body, I would AVOID that deal. There's a reason it's cheap - it's probably a gray market camera. I don't see "Authorized Nikon Dealer" anywhere, which is nearly a guarantee that they are not. Also, the memory card is not name brand, and though it sounds stupid, you cannot trust them - they are known to crash, and if that happens, you have no images. Definitely get a name brand memory card.

    As for reliable dealers, I VERY HIGHLY recommend checking out this forum's list of reputable and bad dealers. You get what you pay for, especially on the internet, and if you see a price that's significantly lower than what any of the reputable sites are offering, there's a 99% chance you're going to get ripped off, either literally or with a gray market unit.
    Camera dealer list: Recommended sites and sites to avoid
    Brad

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    120 Film: Ricohflex Diacord TLR, Firstflex TLR, Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515/2 folder
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  9. #9
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Ok, thanks brmill26, I'll keep looking and make sure I get a authorized dealer, as for the card, I am planning on getting a named brand (Sandisk II 4GB SD High Capacity) card from my work, which I can get relatively cheap.

    ok fixed the link with an authorized dealer.
    ah thanks for the buyer list, will use it well.
    Last edited by DeadFred; 03-26-2008 at 09:23 PM.

  10. #10
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Don't get an 18-135 and an 18-200.....maybe I'm misreading what you're saying but no reason to get an 18-135 if you have an 18-200. The 18-55 is useless if you're getting the 18-200, also.
    Keep Shooting!

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  11. #11
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    ok thanks alot. also what purpose would that 55 be for

    and as for what i have in mind now
    D40 - factory lens - 18-200vr

    would there be any other lens ? would i be covered for wide angle / telephoto / everything?
    Last edited by DeadFred; 03-27-2008 at 02:43 AM.

  12. #12
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Its for when you don't need much zoom power but the 18-200 covers that zoom power and more so why have two lenses when one will do the same and more.
    Keep Shooting!

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  13. #13
    ZMD
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    I sell the Nikon D40 at work and have to say its a fine piece of equipment. I am farely new to the SLR game but am very excited to get into it. If looking online doesn't really suit you, or you are looking for an authorized dealer for sure, all WalMart stores are starting to carry the D40 regularly for $498. I am in a small town store where we didn't have much for SLRs but we now carry the D40, the Canon Digital Rebel, and we will be carrying the new Canon 12.1 MP Digital XTi.

  14. #14
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    ok, thanks everyone for the advice.

  15. #15
    Liz
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Ok - check out B&H - they are very reputable - both online and in-store (NYC). Here are 2 links for the D40. The first includes the 18-55 lens for $499. The 2nd includes the 18-55 and the 55-200 lens for $659.

    Click on "specifications" and "features" to get more specific information.

    It's really exciting to get your first dslr!!!!!! We ALL know how you feel! :thumbsup:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

    You might want to get a 50mm/f1.8 lens. It's versatile, great for low-light/indoor shots and portraits, etc. It runs about $80 - and is a favorite around here. Here is a link to many images done with various brands of this lens on the Viewfinder forum.

    50mm Walk About

    Liz

  16. #16
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Ok - check out B&H - they are very reputable - both online and in-store (NYC). Here are 2 links for the D40. The first includes the 18-55 lens for $499. The 2nd includes the 18-55 and the 55-200 lens for $659.

    Click on "specifications" and "features" to get more specific information.

    It's really exciting to get your first dslr!!!!!! We ALL know how you feel! :thumbsup:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

    You might want to get a 50mm/f1.8 lens. It's versatile, great for low-light/indoor shots and portraits, etc. It runs about $80 - and is a favorite around here. Here is a link to many images done with various brands of this lens on the Viewfinder forum.

    50mm Walk About

    Liz

    Ah thanks for the links, but I am going to skip the 18-55 / 55-200 lense as I can just use the 18-200 vr in place of them, and thanks, i will go for the 50mm/f1.8, as for that, those will be all the lenses ill be needing for a good while til i start getting some experience and a need for them right?

  17. #17
    Liz
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadFred
    Ah thanks for the links, but I am going to skip the 18-55 / 55-200 lense as I can just use the 18-200 vr in place of them, and thanks, i will go for the 50mm/f1.8, as for that, those will be all the lenses ill be needing for a good while til i start getting some experience and a need for them right?
    Right!! I went back and re-read the previous posts - somehow I had missed the one about the 18-200. The VR lenses are great - I'm a Canon person and the IS (image stablization-Canon's vr type lens) is awesome.

    Good luck - I look forward to seeing your images when you finally get the gear! Good choices btw!

    Liz

  18. #18
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Quote Originally Posted by Liz
    Right!! I went back and re-read the previous posts - somehow I had missed the one about the 18-200. The VR lenses are great - I'm a Canon person and the IS (image stablization-Canon's vr type lens) is awesome.

    Good luck - I look forward to seeing your images when you finally get the gear! Good choices btw!

    Liz
    Thanks!, I just need to wait about a week til a cheque clears, then to buy on ebay, then to wait for delivery, then i won't be doing anything else other than taking photos
    Last edited by DeadFred; 03-27-2008 at 05:46 PM.

  19. #19
    Canon 1DmkII Shooter rylan's Avatar
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadFred
    Thanks!, I just need to wait about a week til a cheque clears, then to buy on ebay, then to wait for delivery, then i won't be doing anything else other than taking photos

    its so addicting its i guess what you could call a drug that is good for you lol
    Canon EOS 30D | EF 70-200mm f/4L | EF 85mm f/1.8 | EF 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 10-20mm f/4 EX | Strobist gear galore

  20. #20
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    Re: I need a DSLR - I'm new, know nothing, want to get into it

    Hey one last thing, would there be any signifigant difference between using a 18-55vr and a 55-200vr other than price?

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