I am in the market to buy a camera for my fiancee and maybe some beginner photography courses. I like the name Nikon, but there is an overwhelming amount of information that I know nothing about when researching which to buy. This is not for a professional career or anything, just for fun and hobby time. Can someone please give some recommendations of what would be best. I do not want to skimp, I want something that would be in powerboat terms (kickazz) and expandable, maybe with the video option there as well. Price range is like 2,000 or less.. Thanks
What camera should i buy?(28 posts) (14 voices)
2000 with or without a lens?
D90 is a good start if you want to learn something about photography and controlling your shots.
D60 is also a good choice but lacking some very usable features and buttons and has slightly lower IQ.
I would invest more in lenses, for example my first choice would be 16-85 and 70-200 for DX.
On the other hand if you just want one set that does it all and you are not after an ultimate image quality then D90 plus 18-200 is very good all around choice. For the rest of the money I would buy a good tripod and high quality filters (UV and CPL).
"D90 plus 18-200 is very good all around choice. For the rest of the money I would buy a good tripod and high quality filters (UV and CPL)."
I would go this route based on what's been said.
and I will go for D5000 with 18-55mm VR & 55-200mm VR Lenses - this combo will cost You around $1000 and will give You a lot of possibilities for future upgrade, also I'll invest in some good tripod and good tripod head (go for gitzo or manfrotto) + good SD card (sandisk extreme III) + nice bag (lowepro produces decent bags)
If You think that Your finance will go for photography more in the future instead of buying d5000 go for d90
My son has two Nikkor kit lenses. The 18-55mm and the 55-200mm. When he first got them, I thought they would be junk, but I'm amazed at how beautiful his results are. For you and your finacee, I think you'll love the results
I opted for the D90 w/16-85. Cost about 1500-1600, then see what you need. Could add Sb-400 and 35/1.8, or 55-200, depending on needs.
Go with the Nikon D90 DX Format Digital SLR Camera and a Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom Lens
@ Abes of Maine for $1800
That way she has an excellent camera (to learn AND grow with) with a single lens to carry around while she is learning. The added bonus of that is that after she takes some pictures and gets familar with taking pictures she can see what type off photography she does most (wide,normal,low light, tele,etc..) and buy a lens for that purpose.
What they said.
Gentoo and Technologic nailed it. For the money, the D90 with the 18-200 gives you an unbeatable combination in terms of flexibility.
i would imagine picking up a D90, 18-55mm VR and a cheap telephoto (i.e. the 70-300mm G) would be more cost effective than the 18-200 VR, though you'd miss the VR with the telephoto... with the money left over you could add a fast aperture lens (i.e. the 50mm f1.8d) or maybe an SB-600 external flash... or both (see below)
Nikon 18-55mm VR + Bag and Cleaning Kit (?) - $220
Of course, you don't need to go out and spend $2k straight away, she may find that even just a D90 and the 18-55mm VR suits most of her needs, and thats not much more than a grand.
@fraew Edit button ftw... LOL..
oh and hopefully all that gear doesn't scare his wife away from trying out Digital SLR photography..... LOL
Unless she had extensive photo experience, I'd get her a D60 with the standard 18-55 VR kit lens. It's smaller, lighter, takes great photos and can be a great stepping stone. You'll also have $1350 let over for future needs. If she's just starting, it's hard to know where she might want to go now.
Just bought the same set-up for my Wife's Son and he's tremendously happy.
I'd go D3000 over D60 for the better auto-focus alone. Of course you can't buy one yet, so... maybe not. The D90 is such a great camera that Its hard to justify buying anything less if the D90 is already in your budget.
I do like fraew's suggestion of a SB-600 though. A good flash is the first best thing you can do to improve your results.
If you're new to photography, why don't you just get a D40 and kit lens, used... to try it out.
Try it out for a month or so, you might feel that this kit is enough for you! You might also feel that you need some wide angle or telephoto to add to the body. Either way would cost less than 2000$, you a lot of money that way, buying a big body costs a lot and their value drop really fast, so if it's just to "try photography" maybe you should start with something cheap... and see if it does the job... buy it used and if you need more, sell it back and buy something more serious.
I would opt for the SB-400 instead. Much-much smaller, cheaper and unobtrusive. Unless you need the additional functions (slave, etc.), don't get the SB-600. I have both (use the SB-600 as a slave to D90 for off-camera flash), but almost never mount the 600 to my camera.
As far as re-sale goes, the D90 and 18-200 will sell better than a D40 and a kit zoom (lots of those on the market already).
The SB-400 is OK, but the SB-600 is a lot more flash for not very much money. I'm kind of a lighting junky, I don't think most of my modifiers would fit on a SB400. It will do bounce flash, sure. But that's about it. It does get points for portability. But I think the SB 600 is a much better value.
Moving your flash off camera makes such an obvious improvement to your shots, and Nikon makes it so easy!
yeah i wouldn't touch the SB400! Doesn't add enough functionality over the pop up flash...
Makes you wonder how hard it would be for Nikon to modify the pop up flash so that it could angle upwards for bounce flash if you wanted it to.
Really, you mean your pop-up will bounce flash? For most candid situations, that's all I personally want. If you want to carry a flash bracket and additional light modification equipment, then yes perhaps the SB-600 is more capable, but why not just upgrade further then and get the SB-900?
I think Nikon's lighting system is very interesting and I like having my SB-600 slave from my camera, but I find you can't mimic a studio light set-up (I've used dynalites for years), so use available light when available with a minimal additional source.
Buy, then I'm not a photojournalist.
Actually, if you are going to let me design my ideal light, it would be the love child of a SB-400, SB-600, and a Justin Clamp. It would be tiny like the SB-400, would fire in slave mode like the SB-600 (technically, like the SB-800 as I find myself using iTTL less and less these days, and for reasons only Nikon can explain, they didn't include the more antiquated SU4 mode on the SB-600... a discussion for another day). I'd love to have a bunch of tiny "Accent Flashes" I could stick anywhere, and trigger wirelessly.
The SB400 is fine for use on camera, but for just $100 more, you get a grossly more capable flash in the SB 600. If Nikon hadn't bungled the controls of the SB 600 so badly, it would be all I ever carry (admittedly the 400 scores some points here).
For use on camera, I almost always use a diffuser dome. This softens the light, but also steals about 1 stop of output. Even my SB-600 is a no go when used indoors with high ceilings. Then I have to grab the SB-800 instead. A SB-400 just wouldn't get the job done.
I prefer shooting in available light. If I'm using flash, its either off camera to add a little more depth to the shot, or its on camera and competing with the sun-light to get rid of the dreaded "racoon eyes", or its in a run & gun event style setting.
Why don't I get a SB-900? I'm embarrassed about how my tiny D40 would look with that beast attached to it LOL. Truth is I want one, but have $6,000 of other stuff I want to buy first, so its going to be a while.
I would get the D90 w/ 18-200mm (very light wt. for zoom of this range) and 50mm f/1.8, no flash (may be a good tripod).
This will give her tools to learn to compose (and Bokeh) w/ the 50mm and w/ the 18-200mm to understand focal lengths.
The onboard flash is good enough on the D90, you might get the onboard flash diffusor (optional not necessory).
Photography class might work for someone, but I think 2 books will help her more:
'Camera' by Ansel Adams and
'Understanding Exposure' by Bryan Peterson.
Later on, she can go for more expensive gear.
you can get a flash diffuser for the pop-up flash?
There are several and here are some of them:
Professor Kobre's Lightscoop, http://www.lightscoop.com/
LumiQuest's Soft Screen, http://www.lumiquest.com/softscreen.htm
Easy Bounce Soft Diffuser, http://cgi.ebay.com/EASY-BOUNCE-Soft-Diffuser-for-Nikon-Canon-DSLR-Camera_W0QQitemZ180393918247QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCamera_Flash_Accessories?hash=item2a0050bf27&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
Gary Fong Puffer Pop-up Flash Diffuser, http://store.garyfonginc.com/puf-01.html
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