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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Beginner Help...Hello! I have always dreamed of getting into photography. I am now 39 and I have only used point and ...
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:22   #1 (permalink)
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Beginner Help

Hello!
I have always dreamed of getting into photography. I am now 39 and I have only used point and shoot cameras all my life. I have finally decided to get a "real" camera that will start me off as I play with it myself and take classes here in New York City. I was thinking of the Nikon D80. I went to the B&H store and even checked out Amazon.com. In these two places, the price of the D80 was almost $1,000 with a
18-55mm lens. And then I checked online again and saw this website (ExpressCameras.com) that was selling the body for $349! They also have different packages that have very reasonable but surprising prices. The one that I like is the Elite Package that costs $1699 and it includes:
1. The Nikon D80 Body
2. Nikon 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-s VR IF ED Nikkor
3. Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6D ED Vibration Reduction Autofocus Lens
4. 4GB SEcure Digital Memory Card
5. Deluxe Camera Case
6. Deluxe lens care and maintenance kit
7. Cap Keeper
8. Pack of LCD Screen Protectors
9. Full Size Tripod (Unknown brand)
10. Free Wireles Nikon Remote Control

Now, my questions:
a. Does this package and price sound reasonable?
b. Should I be scared of ordering from this place on-line?
c. As a beginner, will the above lenses be advisable for a beginner like me?
d. What lenses should I get as a beginner? I want to get three to start off, perhaps the two listed above plus one that a salesperson at B&H suggested, a wide angle 12-24mm lens. (He also recommended a 70-300mm lens and a 18-55mm lens.)
e. I was also thinking of getting a flash. Amazon.com recommends the Nikon sb-800. Is this indeed a good flash?
f. I am assuming that I should get extended warranties for the body and the lenses, correct?

Basically, I am ready to spend close to $3,000. I know I could spend more, but that's all I can afford right now, but I don't want to go too cheap on me.

Can anyone please help?
Thank you!!!
Eric
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:46   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Beginner Help

Be warned ExpressCameras has a dreadful reputation with many complaining!

Will let others answer re. the Nikon as I don't use one (but there's plenty who sing their praises!). Have you checked out our http://www.pixalo.com/reviews/

Removed your duplicate post (to prevent confusion) - oh, and
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:26   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Beginner Help

I agree 100% with what Mark has said. There are some scam dealers whose prices seem too good to be true, and they are! They will try to sell you all sorts of accessories (including ones that should come with the camera) at inflated prices, and if you refuse they'll tell you the camera is out of stock. Avoid!

Prices at B&H and Amazon are a good guide - anything very much cheaper is suspect.

BTW if you Google 'Express Cameras Review' you'll find plenty of warnings!
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:52   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Beginner Help

You have a good choice of camera, but try to shop from a reputable place. Most people buy their bodies in a shop, but that's not necessary, look at Onestop Digital and Warehouse Express - Camera Accessories and Lenses, Photography Equipment, Canon, Nikon Digital Cameras , althouh WE tend to be over priced in some departments. Many people have ordered from them with no problems.
Also, if you're not afraid of using ebay, Ian Kerr (username: Kerso) is also a very good reputable seller with great prices, and more items in stock than he lists, just drop him an email, but he's in the UK, so might not be the best option for you (oops just realised that)
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