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New to photography

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by Coybig, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Coybig

    Coybig New Member

    hi. I’m looking to buy my first DSLR. Originally it’s (or how I’m justifying the cost to the mrs) to take photos of our new baby however would love to get into night photography and the northern lights.

    I don’t have a massive budget so was thinking Nikon D3500 as it’ll allow me/the mrs to upload lower res photos straight to my phone/Facebook. Then perhaps add a better lens than the Stock lens that comes with the camera. Or am I better spending more on the body itself ie buying the canon 800d and living with the standard lens that comes with?

    So basically question is spend budget on camera (+basic lens)only or buy cheaper cam and better lens
  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Before you decide, go and handle the Nikon and the Canon. The two handle very differently and you will almost certainly find that one suits you better than the other.

    As to lenses, the kit lens is usually excellent value for money and a significantly better standard zoom lens has a nasty tendency to be significantly more expensive. The best value is to buy the body with the kit lens. At this stage, are you sure which lens, within your budget is better than another? A good dealer will be able to guide you but if you go that route, buy from the dealer he will have invested in you and deserves his cut. If you give us an idea where you live somebody will recommend a dealer.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I got started in photography for the same family pics reason!

    The choice of camera should take into account how you respond to the handling of the camera. Some just "feel right".

    The cameras built into phones have wiped out a large market segment so there is a tendency now for interchangeable lens cameras to move upmarket but both Nikon and Canon have "entry level" models. Once you start buying lenses the liklihood is you stick with the syatem.

    There are some good compact cameras with 1" sensors that give remarkably good results but these tend to be priced more than the entry level DSLRs.

    Compact System Cameras that perform as well as DSLRs tend to be in the upper end of the market.

    Second hand DSLRs offer a cost-effective alternative to new. Personally I'd stick to the main dealers who provide a warranty. Most big camera shops sell pre-owned cameras and lenses.
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you can travel to any of the dealers who regularly advertise secondhand stuff in AP, go and handle some secondhand ones. Also have a look at their websites. Are you a 'small hands' or 'big hands' person? It's best to find out before purchase...

    There is also a helpful article in the current AP about secondhand bargains, so a trip to the newsagent will get you some good advice. You will also find secondhand camera bodies without lenses, so you could get a body and a separate secondhand Tamron 18-50 F2.8 or Sigma 17-70 F2.8-F4.5 (I have one of these). Both of these lenses should be more versatile (and expensive) than the 18-55 kit lens, but probably won't have the image stabilisation of newer lenses.

    £130 will buy you a 10 megapixel Nikon 'entry level' Nikon with kit lens (I used to work with a lady who purchased one of these - she loved it until she dropped it):

    £170-£200 will buy you a more recent 14 megapixel model with kit lens:

    I suspect these older camera bodies won't have the internet upload facility, so you'll have to do this from your PC after you've selected the best ones (perhaps not such a bad idea).

    Don't get put off by the sensor megapixel numbers - 10 megapixels is enough for a decent 30 x 45 cm print, and 14 megapixels should be enough for a 40 x 60 cm print. The 'next generation' of Nikon 'entry level' camera bodies moved to 16 megapixel sensors, and the more recent are 24 megapixels.

    If you only intend to put images online, or show them on a TV screen, then 10 megapixels is more than good enough.
    Or do you also intend to get prints done for display? If so, I'd look for a 16 megapixel model (see the AP issue).

    Re. night photography. You will probably want a prime lens with a large aperture, so think about a secondhand Sigma 30 mm F1.4 to use with one of these bodies. The lens may cost more than the camera body, but the one that I have is the sharpest lens I own and ideal for use in low light. And a tripod too - also secondhand, of course.

    I've mentioned Nikon because these are the examples I found online, but expect that similar models from Canon will be equally good. I've no personal opinion about either make - I have a Pentax, but its 16 megapixel sensor is the same Sony one that Nikon used, so I'm aware of the image quality possible when used with a decent lens.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  5. Coybig

    Coybig New Member

    Thanks for the replies.
    I did consider second hand but when I looked at what cameras come with Bluetooth/WiFi to wirelessly transfer to my partners phone (to feed her obsession with social media) I seem quite limited to going new/nearly new. Which I don’t mind as I’ll no doubt be doing prints too so the higher megapixel would be fine
    Though lenses etc will most certainly be going second hand.
    I’ll nip down the camera shop at the weekend and see how the cameras feel I think and take it from there
  6. Pandora

    Pandora Member

    I brought my first proper camera last year. I went into a recommended camera shop who were so helpful and I ended up buying a new Canon 1300d it’s been perfect for learning, I’m really pleased with it.
  7. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If you get the 'upgrade' bug, don't rush to buy a more expensive camera body, but consider another lens instead (I'm assuming you got the 18-55 kit lens with the camera body). I secondhand wide angle lens or medium telephoto will let you try different types of picture.
    The 1300D camera body should last you for many years and allow you to learn a lot. Have you put any pictures in the AP gallery yet?
    Pandora and peterba like this.
  8. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I'd second this.

    Upgrading your camera is (usually) a mug's game. Getting a better lens is often worth considering.
    Pandora likes this.
  9. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If somebody already has a decent interchangeable lens camera body purchased within the last 5 or 6 years, I would always advise investing any spare funds in lenses rather than a newer camera body. I've learned more, and been able to experiment more, by buying various secondhand lenses than I would have by 'upgrading' my camera body every year or two. It's also arguable that somebody will learn more by using an older and more basic camera body because it may require more though before taking the shot.

    However, perhaps we should encourage people who have been trained to believe that a new camera body or new version of a lens they already own will make them a better photographer, because they keep the secondhand market so well stocked.
  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Any progress?
  11. Kate Mitchel

    Kate Mitchel Member

    I am new to photography too and I currently use Nikon D3300 which is the best camera I have ever had. Although I don't have much to compare with and chose it because of its price.
    When I was looking for a camera I run into this article: https://retouchme.com/blog/the-best-camera-for-beginners-2019/
    That explains what to pay attention to. I summarised a list of cameras from an article and their prices on amazon and came up with this personal top 5.
    Nikon D3300 - £210.00
    Canon EOS 1300D - £349.99
    Fujifilm X-T100 - £339.00
    Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk III - £424.79
    Canon EOS 800D - £574.00
    I suppose they are not the best cameras on Earth, but they should be good for their price and easy to use.
  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Every one of the cameras on your list are capable of achieving results which would have been considered excellent in the 1960s, when I started taking pictures seriously. The technology we have now is not limiting the photographer.
    Learning likes this.
  13. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I believe the first 3 are now discontinued models, hence the prices. However, you have done (probably unintentionally) what I have done on purpose 3 times in the last 40 years (I don't 'upgrade' very often) - purchased a discontinued model at a decent price. Any camera that was a good model 2 or 3 years ago will still be a good one today. When you decide you want to try other types of lens (I assume you got the 18-55 kit lens with the camera body), mint condition secondhand ones are even better value than discontinued new ones. Look at the websites of any of the reputable dealers who regularly advertise in AP.

    Don't get tempted to 'upgrade' the Nikon 3300 body until you have mastered its features (or at least the ones you choose to use) and
    find that you have outgrown it (which may never happen).

    Have you put any of your images in the AP galley?

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