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Welcome Forum: Discuss Hello there!...The birth of my son nearly three years ago got me snapping proudly with a wee Canon ixus-i, and bizarrely ...
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Old 26-02-2008, 00:20   #1 (permalink)
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Hello there!

The birth of my son nearly three years ago got me snapping proudly with a wee Canon ixus-i, and bizarrely I bought Aperture 2 for my Mac as I just took a notion that I needed it. Over the past week this has spiralled into a burning desire that I need a Nikon DSLR, and when I opened the paper yesterday I saw a Jessop's Ad for a Nikon D60 & VR lens for 529.99. I should just go ahead and buy it, but part of me now goes through the following process:

1) Just go mental with the dosh and get a D80 & the 18-200 Nikkor lens as you'll get hooked with the D60 & 18-55 and want to move on soon
2) Go bananas and buy a D300 and 18-200 Nikkor lens
3) Realise I enjoy taking photographs and am scared of my missus and revert back to option 1)

No matter which option I take, I look forward to learning from others on this forum. Any advice on my dilemma would also be appreciated!

The D3 can wait!
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Old 26-02-2008, 08:56   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Welcome to Pixalo frostbear

I agree with your #1. If you are not familiar with controls and settings the D300 might not be your best option. the D80 has some auto features that will give you a 'fall back' position until you develop your skills.

Before you earmark a particular make it is worth shortlisting at least two or three and then handle them to see how they feels in your hands and how easy it is to access the settings and controls. some cameras will require delving into menus where others will have buttons or thumb wheels. most shops will let you make these comparisons and will have demo models that you can actually take some shots with. Unless you are going to specialise in one particular type of photography - sports, for instance, for general use there will be little difference in the results from any of the main makes.

Cameras are very personal, so what suits me or anyone else may well not suit you. If you can get a chance, have a go with friends cameras.

You will be better off with a camera that you find comfortable to hold and operate, so do a bit of resaerch - read some reviews and, of course ask any questions you might have here.
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Old 26-02-2008, 10:06   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Hi there

Welcome to the confusing world of photography .

In the "good old days" (which even I do not remember) you just bought a Kodak box Brownie. Then when I started there were lost of film cameras but they stayed roughly the same for a few years. Now what you buy will be "obsolete" 12 months later Sure it will still take the very good pictures it always did but it will not have the latest bells, whistles and mega pixels.

As an alternative to getting as DSLR straight away when you are not 100% certain about what you need you could consider one of the bridge cameras like the Canon S5 IS. These have a non interchangeable lens but with a high zoom range and very close focusing. They can be used in fully automatic mode as well as fully manual. They will take very good pictures and the best is that they are not that expensive. Say 250 - 300 or so. There are others Fuji. Lumix etc.

Then in a year of so when you are more certain of what you want to do ( and when the D300 is obsolete ) you could get a DSLR to suit your needs. The S5 or what ever will serve as a spare or even to get you wife interested in photography. If you can achieve that then buying new "essential" lenses for the DSLR will become much easier.
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Old 26-02-2008, 17:35   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Graham, AQ, many thanks for your welcome, and your thoughtful responses - much appreciated.

The bridge camera suggestion has made me really think - I particularly like the Trojan Horse aspect of passing it onto the boss! D80/18-200 would be something I could get years of use out of, and a trip to Edinburgh and camera retailers beckons at the weekend for some handling of kit!

Thanks, Scott
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Old 26-02-2008, 18:00   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Modern bridge cameras have come a long way from their origins, and as AQ says they are more than capable. As well as the excellent Fuji and Panasonics, Sony are also probably worth looking at.

Bridge cameras are very similar to a dSLR in appearance and features, but it is worth bearing in mind a few things.

File types. All cameras will save files in the jpeg format. This is for most people the best to start with. Some cameras will also support tiff and or RAW. tiff files are good because if you open and close them there is no data loss unlike jpegs. As you develop your skills you may well decide that RAW is the way forward. I don't know anyone who has tried using RAW and has gone back to jpeg. If the camera you choose does not support RAW format you might be upgrading sooner than you anticipated.

Image stabilization. In the video world, optical is always rated better than electronic, and I guess the same might be said for stills.

Digital Zoom. Ignore. Not good for quality.

Memory cards. Some cameras support more than one type. Some only support one. Memory is cheap today, so compatibility with different cameras is not such an issue.

Frame rate. Generally about the same as entry level dSLR's, but not as good as the more advanced dSLR like a Canon 40D or Nikon D80. Some may not be as good, so if you might be shooting action it might be something to consider.

Controls. Higher - end cameras will have similar controls to a dSLR, but the entry level bridge cameras will be more restricted.

One more thing, if you decide to go down the dSLR route, remember you are buying into a system, so choose carefully as once committed, it is expensive to change brands.
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Old 26-02-2008, 18:37   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Welcome to Pixalo!
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Old 26-02-2008, 19:51   #7 (permalink)
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Old 27-02-2008, 15:58   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Hi frostbear, it's good to have you at Pixalo!

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Old 27-02-2008, 18:26   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Welcome to Pixalo

Option 1 will keep you happy for years
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Old 27-02-2008, 20:34   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Thanks for all your welcomes and help folks - looks like the D80 and VR 18-200 for me - any buying advice? Such as memory cards etc, plus good retailers/price info?

There seems to be a combo deal with an AF-S DX 18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED lens at 663.20 on Amazon UK. Is this a decent lens, or will I always regret not shelling out for the 18-200?

My uses will be taking shots of architectural features on historic buildings, landscapes, cars and planes at shows, family, friends, some sport, holidays, really general stuff! Is there a reasonably priced lens for portrait snaps?

Thanks in anticipation.
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Old 27-02-2008, 21:40   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

I think you will be better posting this question in the 'What Camera Should I buy?' forum as you will probably get a better response there.

The 18-135 did have some vignetting issues that were discussed on the forum, but I can't find the thread. The 18-200 will undoubtedly be a better all-round lens, but with the interests you list, you will eventually be needing a decent telephoto lens of at least 300mm and a wide angle too.

You could start off with the 18-70 kit lens that will save you some money, and put what you save towards getting one of the others.
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Old 28-02-2008, 06:45   #12 (permalink)
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Old 28-02-2008, 13:02   #13 (permalink)
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Old 28-02-2008, 13:43   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by frostbear View Post
Thanks for all your welcomes and help folks - looks like the D80 and VR 18-200 for me - any buying advice? Such as memory cards etc, plus good retailers/price info?
Do not buy memory cards from Hong Kong on Ebay the chances of getting a genuine one are very low. Other things from HK can be OK.
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Old 29-02-2008, 08:03   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Hi and welcome to Pixalo
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:04   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Cheers again, will try that forum Graham, thanks.

Stephano, is that the father of the lovely Nastassja in your avatar?
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Old 02-03-2008, 14:05   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Hello there!

Gulp. Gone and done it now.

Have ordered a D40 kit (242 inc. 30 cashback)
3 x Compact Flash cards, Sandisk III extremes 2GB at 13.50 each
The VR 18-200 lens, SB400 flash and the remote control for 499

Can't really think of what else I'll need - I've got Aperture 2 on a Macbook Pro and a half-decent A4 printer. I thought that by going cheap as possible with the body I could learn the ropes, and if it's for me, later move up to D300, leaving the D40 as a back-up/spare for the wife.

I cannot wait for them to arrive through the post and get started!
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