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Thread: Advice on purchase of new camera

  1. #1
    New Member Picchick's Avatar
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    Advice on purchase of new camera

    I'm new here and really shy for lack of knowledge.

    I was told that Amazon . com has some great deals on Nikon D5100 bundles, so I was shopping and learned that are a few to choose from, so I'm looking for advice on which bundle to buy, since this will be my first professional camera.

    I just started learning about lenses so I would like to choose well and could use some help.

    Thank you in advance for your willeness to help.

    Great pictures to all!

    Picchick

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    It will help if you let us know what sort of photography interests you. e.g. sport, nature, landscapes, travel, children etc.

    If you have no specific main interest I would suggest getting either a 18-200mm zoom or a two lens kit that covers at least that range. Once you get familar with the camera and develop your interest you may want to add a more specialised lens to your kit.

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    New Member Picchick's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Thank you Pnodrog,

    At the moment I am interested in nature and landscapes. I would like to be able to photograph mountains, waterfalls, trees and also small insects and flowers. Would your suggestion still be the 18-200mm?

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    pnodrog's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Picchick View Post
    Thank you Pnodrog,

    At the moment I am interested in nature and landscapes. I would like to be able to photograph mountains, waterfalls, trees and also small insects and flowers. Would your suggestion still be the 18-200mm?

    At this stage yes. Waterfalls, small insects and flowers indicates you may want to consider a good tripod as your next investment.

  5. #5
    New Member Picchick's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Thank you Pnodrog. Will do. You been very helpfull. I will look into tripod and a good backpack too!

    Many wonderful pictures to you!

    Cheers!

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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Hi Picchic,

    First of all: a Nikon D5100 is far from a “professional camera”. You want a Pro camera go for a full frame camera with serious lenses, if you can afford it.

    The D5100 with an 18-200mm lens will handle mostly anything you wish to cover. You will find yourself having that lens on your camera 99% of the time. Good choice.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Hi "Picchick",

    I assumed by "professional" you meant "not a Point and Shoot"

    I have the D5000, the predecessor of the D5100 and it has been a good camera and I would also endorse, for 'non earning a living'/"professional" use, the Nikon 18-200mm lens.

    I guess the biggest question is, am I correct? (with my first assumption)

    Could you do me a favour please?
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    This helps us keep the place really friendly - thanks.

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  8. #8

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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Quote Originally Posted by Picchick View Post
    Thank you Pnodrog,

    At the moment I am interested in nature and landscapes. I would like to be able to photograph mountains, waterfalls, trees and also small insects and flowers. Would your suggestion still be the 18-200mm?
    That 18-200 lens gives you what we call an 'Angle of View' of a 320mm lens at full zoom and when this is used with a moderate close-up lens* you will be able to take excellent photos of insects. Without the CU lens it will cover your landscape needs and for the really wide view there is a technique called stitching where you take two or more overlaping images and join them together with a 'stitch' programme ... you possibly would get that ' CanonStitch' on the CD/DVD that comes with the camera.

    While the more exacting photographers tell us that prime or non-zooming lenses give us better quality for many purposes the difference is not that obvious and I prefer the convienience of the long zoom ... hoping that I will be taking such interesting photos that very slight technical imperfections will not be noticed

    * I use a 2 dioptre lens but am in the process of getting myself a 4 dioptre for the tighter framing of shots. dioptre is a term optomitrists use to measure the focal length of a lens and is 1000 millimeters ... you divide that by the focal length of the lens to find out its dioptre power so the 2 dioptre is 1000/2=500mm or about 20 inches. The lens makes auto focus think that objects 20 inches away are at infinity and over comes the lenses inability, for manufacturing reasons, to focus close ... altogether it is an easy and neat way to take photos of insects and small flowers.

    EDIT ... Professional camera is a much misused term. You will find that professionals use all kinds of cameras from Point and shoot cameras 'upwards' depending on their needs and the situation. It is the person not the camera. In the DSLR range there are entry level cameras which do not have all the bells and whistles and sensor size of the truely 'profesional' top grade camera.

    EDIT TWO ... further that point have you considered the implicatrions of carrying around all day on a photo expedition the APS-C camera and 18-200 lens? To me as a retired person it is mildly horrific and my choice is MFT, could be either Olympus or Panasonic with a 14-140 or 14-150 lens. The only problem here is that such a rig will probably cost rather more than those you are looking at. The 14-140 lens gives me an AoV of 28-280mm, very similar to the 18-200 giving 28-320mm. For similar reasons I use a monopod rather than a tripod, which acts as a walking stick over rough terrain, instead of 'more awkward weight to carry' My tripods largely stay at home.
    Last edited by jcuknz; 10th May 2013 at 10:13 PM.

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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    Hi Picchick and welcome to CiC,

    I often have a chuckle when I hear people use the term 'professional camera' and always equate it with my fishing experience where after buying what I considered was an expensive professional rod and reel it was still the experts with the knowledge that would get the bigger, better and more frequent catches with their line wrapped around a plastic bottle.

    The 18-200mm was my first lens and although I have purchased others over the years it's still the one that is on my camera the vast majority of the time. My opinion is that it is a great starter lens and will not become redundant in your kit for a long time.

    For insects especially and flowers a macro lens is really the answer but you are unlikely to find this with the kit options.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    I think that I found an analogy

    Grahame, I cartainly know what you mean by saying the skill of the fisherman or photographer is exceptionally important but, if I were going out for 20 to 100 pound fish that would put up a good fight (albacore, the various tuna species, wahoo and others) I would certainly want top-line tackle. I have seen cheaper fishing reels basically burn up after a long fast run by a tuna and have seen lesser rods give up the ghost fighting this type of fish.

    I think that this may be an anology of some kind. For much run of the mill fishing/photography, the less expensive fishing tackle (photo gear) is quite adequate (especially when used by a capable fisherman/photographer) but, when you are pushing the envelope, such as fishing for the really big guys or shooting in venues that require a fast shutter speed in low light, the better fishing tackle (photo gear) will show its merit!
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 11th May 2013 at 02:08 AM.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Grahame / Richard, not being someone who fishes, I am probably missing the subtleties of the fishing gear analogy, but my guess is that it might be wasted on a newcomer to the sport. I think the same thing goes for cameras; making the transition from a point & shoot or superzoom to DSLR is similar. Starting with a good mid-range camera is probably not a bad plan. It can be set on automatic as you are getting used to it and it lets the photographer take manual control once they are up to trying it.

    Picchick I think you have received some fairly good advice so far. My wife does most of her shooting with the 18-200mm lens. When I first got my DSLR I opted for an even cheaper solution; the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens.

    The upside is that both lenses together cost me less than half of what she spent on her lens. The downside is that the kit lenses are not as well built, using a plastic lens mount and other features that reduce the cost (and weight) of these lenses. Optically, they have less distortion than the 18-200, a result of their restricted zoom range.

    Don't ever worry about the lack of knowledge; we all started out that way. I was very lucky when I first got into this as a hobby as I was mentored by a very good professional photographer, who taught me a lot of the mechanical skills and tools. That was not nearly enough, as I had to get out and figure out the how and why myself, and I made lots of mistakes in the process.

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    Stagecoach's Avatar
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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Richard / Manfred perhaps my analogy regarding the fishing gear was not the best but the point I was trying to get over was that for the 'starter' there's a very high probability that just by having the most expensive technically innovative and highest specification gear is unlikely to get you better results than something cheaper, e.g a D5100 with an 18-200mm.

    I find the term 'professional cameras' often misplaced, in that they are really cameras simply with top range specs that allow superior operation and results at the extremes. We are all drivers but would we rate a top of the range Ford Focus as a 'professional' car when comparing it to a mid range Ford Focus just because it can achieve a higher performance ?

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    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on purchase of new camera

    The advice you have been given thus far is top notch but I have one concern. You are planning a raid on Amazon. No problem here either but before you do that go to your local store or find a friend that has the camera (or similar model) to the one you're thinking of buying and feel it in your hand. Operate the controls and look through the viewfinder.
    We are all 'built' differently (big hands, small hands, left handed, right handed etc. ) and you will be surprised how uncomfortable some cameras are to handle. Find the right fit and you'll be out there using it. Get the wrong fit and it will sit on the shelf. That is not a bargain.

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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Grahame / Richard, not being someone who fishes, I am probably missing the subtleties of the fishing gear analogy, but my guess is that it might be wasted on a newcomer to the sport. I think the same thing goes for cameras; making the transition from a point & shoot or superzoom to DSLR is similar. Starting with a good mid-range camera is probably not a bad plan. It can be set on automatic as you are getting used to it and it lets the photographer take manual control once they are up to trying it.

    Picchick I think you have received some fairly good advice so far. My wife does most of her shooting with the 18-200mm lens. When I first got my DSLR I opted for an even cheaper solution; the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens.

    The upside is that both lenses together cost me less than half of what she spent on her lens. The downside is that the kit lenses are not as well built, using a plastic lens mount and other features that reduce the cost (and weight) of these lenses. Optically, they have less distortion than the 18-200, a result of their restricted zoom range.

    Don't ever worry about the lack of knowledge; we all started out that way. I was very lucky when I first got into this as a hobby as I was mentored by a very good professional photographer, who taught me a lot of the mechanical skills and tools. That was not nearly enough, as I had to get out and figure out the how and why myself, and I made lots of mistakes in the process.
    I agree. I have a 55-200 and although I also have some more expensive and bigger lenses, this probably the one that gets the most use. I have an older D60 with the 70-200 that I carry in my truck for unexpected photo opportunities. Although it is not built as good as other lenses, It has served me well, with reasonable care. A nature photographer friend has taken several thousand shots with his and his stuff is excellent.

    The 55-200 is one of the sharpest lenses for the money. You'd have to go to a 70-200 2.8 to beat it and that's way out of my league. I am conservative with my hobby purchases and do lots of research before buying. Along with the 18-55 lens, you will be able to take great photos and discover where your interests lie without breaking the bank. Both lenses are available in the kit at a very good price. Good luck and happy shooting.

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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    I believe that humans are a very adaptable species and most adapt to different gear quite quickly ... when I was shooting movie film I knew I could pick up a strange camera and after putting one roll of film through it ... back in the days when we used 100ft loads which gave us 2'40" or 4 minutes of recording time, and the clockwork spring gave us a maximum shot length of 22 seconds .. the camera became 'part of me'
    I am not sure I approve of using a local shop to check out items I will buy on Amazon but that is another thread and I have the experience of many cameras over the years, resulting in lots of bias

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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    I think the camera advice you have been given is first rate. My only suggestions is that if you are considering landscape photography, think about getting a good tripod and ball head.

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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Yup - I would go for the camera plus 18-55, or 18-55 + 55-200 bundle.

    Beware for any bundle which includes the 70-300 as this is invariably the cheaper 70-300. An old school milk bottle would be cheaper and obtain similar results to this crock of sh!te!

  18. #18
    Clactonian's Avatar
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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I believe that humans are a very adaptable species and most adapt to different gear quite quickly ... when I was shooting movie film I knew I could pick up a strange camera and after putting one roll of film through it ... back in the days when we used 100ft loads which gave us 2'40" or 4 minutes of recording time, and the clockwork spring gave us a maximum shot length of 22 seconds .. the camera became 'part of me'
    I am not sure I approve of using a local shop to check out items I will buy on Amazon but that is another thread and I have the experience of many cameras over the years, resulting in lots of bias
    I'm going to have to beg to differ here, and don't think the 'buy anything' approach is good advice for a newbie, an opinion shared by my photographic friends and colleagues. I admire your adaptability (or should that be flexibility ?) and personally have yet to find a universal fit size 9 shoe!
    I do agree with your point questioning the poor ethic of wasting the time of the guy in your local shop before buying on Amazon, but had in mind any of the local superstores where cameras are on display, and you won't find an assistant for love or money.

  19. #19

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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Clactonian ... thanks for your admiration but I have never tried to use my size nine shoes to take photos
    Many cameras in innitial stages was the youthful newbie jumping from camera to camera thinking each would be the silver bullet
    Even worse are the stores where you have hardly entered when you are approached ... when you have been many times and know where what you want is located ... and when you don't know neither can you find the assistance. Murphy's Law?

  20. #20
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: I think that I found an analogy

    Quote Originally Posted by Clactonian View Post
    ~ any of the local superstores where cameras are on display, and you won't find an assistant for love or money.
    In my experience Mike, they find us (no shortage in Berkshire, or NZ) .... trouble is - they know less than you or I do about the cameras

    and yes, I nearly 'swore' when recounting just how little they know, but I'm a moderator, so should set a good example

    You know it's a bad thing when you ask a question and they start reading the box, but I digress

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