Suggestions for a camera for an aspiring photographer? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 06:05 AM Thread Starter
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Suggestions for a camera for an aspiring photographer?

I'm wanting to upgrade from my point and shoot and take the big step into the DSLR world. My girlfriend is bound and determined to get me a new camera for Christmas. She wants me to be able to take some very detailed macro shots. Now I understand that most cameras are capable and that it's up to the user to know how to use his/her equipment.

So on to the big question, for a person who has only ever used a point and shoot, what would be your recommendation for a first DSLR? She has given me a $550 spending limit.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 06:20 AM
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Well I picked up a Nikon d5200 I spent a quite a bit more then that. If you are okay with a few less features the lil brother the 3200, from my understanding takes great pics too. Or 3100 will give you even more room for accessories. I was in the same boat as you. Only had point and shoot. I was tired of seeing a cool photo op and my camera not being able to capture the moment. Search my threads and there are pics and people's advice.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. I'll be sure to check it out.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 06:33 AM
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D5100 refurbished body + 50mm prime = cheap set-up for around $600 that takes great pics.


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Any suggestions for a macro lens? I know they are pretty expensive and it probably won't fit into my budget, but my ultimate goal is to take macro shots.

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 04:14 PM
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Here is a macro shot with a standard lens w/ the cameras macro setting. And again I'm a beginner so take that for what its worth.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 04:17 PM
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I would get a 50mm prime, then save up for a macro lens. In the mean time you could get an extension tube, but you'd need to really light up your subject, and without a flash, that can be difficult unless your in full sun. The macro lens is going to cost you almost as much as the camera. I would just get creative. Get extension tubes, ring reverser, and a better investment would be a flash.


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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 04:33 PM
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You don't even need a 5100. You can get away with a d3100 or d3200

You should invest in lenses. Not the cAmera. Get the fAstest lens you can afford. Light is everything

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 06:32 PM
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^ Agreed. I was saying the D5100 just because it has a few more features. The D3100 is almost just as good.


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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome. Thanks for the info guys!! I'll start shopping around and see what I can find.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 07:54 PM
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It's an addictive and expensive hobby so I'd suggest starting with either the most basic intro level equipment and planning on selling most or all of it, or if you think you are going to like it, get the best body you can find and add lenses as your budget allows.

Either Canon (my preference) or Nikon can be had within your budget and if you shop really carefully you might find a Canon 5D mark 1 for around $500 used, then get a 50mm F1.8 and you are in business. It's a hell of a camera, way more than most people would think a beginner "needs" but it'll serve you well, it will force you to learn and it will still be a great camera body when you start looking at getting that $1000 lens, plus it's built to stop a truck. The D3100/D3200 sure are a great price too, but I've not played with them enough to give an opinion.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info blink. I still have some time, so I'll shop around and see what I can find.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 09:38 AM
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 09:58 PM
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My suggestion is to go to a camera shop to try a Nikon and a Canon or any other brand too see how they feel in your hands. You know to feel comfortable with the camera, the layout of the buttons, and the menu options.

A Canon guy will tell you to buy a Canon and the same goes for a Nikon guy. I have a Nikon D600. For me I like how all the buttons layouts on the camera and how I can access them easily. Now that might be different for you.

Cameras in your budget is the Nikon D3200 and Canon T3i. The body alone is your budget. You still need to get a macro lens. Depending on the macro lens you want it can range from $279 (nikon 40mm 2.9) to $1000 (nikon 105mm 2.8) As for macro lens nikon has the newest and the cheapest macro lens which is the 40mm 2.8 micro (same as macro). Canon cheapes macro lens is the 50mm 2.5 for $269.
Remember do not be like most buyers and think that the more megapixle the better. MP only makes a difference when you want to print big like billboard size photo.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenRC51 View Post
My suggestion is to go to a camera shop to try a Nikon and a Canon or any other brand too see how they feel in your hands. You know to feel comfortable with the camera, the layout of the buttons, and the menu options.

A Canon guy will tell you to buy a Canon and the same goes for a Nikon guy. I have a Nikon D600. For me I like how all the buttons layouts on the camera and how I can access them easily. Now that might be different for you.

Cameras in your budget is the Nikon D3200 and Canon T3i. The body alone is your budget. You still need to get a macro lens. Depending on the macro lens you want it can range from $279 (nikon 40mm 2.9) to $1000 (nikon 105mm 2.8) As for macro lens nikon has the newest and the cheapest macro lens which is the 40mm 2.8 micro (same as macro). Canon cheapes macro lens is the 50mm 2.5 for $269.
Remember do not be like most buyers and think that the more megapixle the better. MP only makes a difference when you want to print big like billboard size photo.
I have heard that about megapixels. I worked with a guy a few years ago who told me that with DSLR cameras its all in the lens. I just wanted to get some input in which cameras were recommended so I don't go out and buy a piece of crap and end up buying 2-3 different ones before finding something that I'm happy with. I still have to do more research on lens speeds, lens sizes and so on and so forth. Thanks for the input.

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