My first camera

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by stedfunk, Feb 25, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. stedfunk

    stedfunk Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, it's not really my 'first' but the only other camera I've had is a cheap camera I got a couple christmas ago and now I really want to take photography serious and hopefully signing up for a photography class in the fall in college.

    I want to spend around $400 for body/lens, maybe $450ish at the max. I've found a D40 for $430 and a Sony A230 for $400 at my local camera shop. Unfortunately the Nikon D40 seems to be nearly impossible to find on a website that doesn't make me think I'm about to give somebody some money. And I am not sure if I want to buy a camera on Ebay, lol.

    The questions marked with a * are the most important.

    Budget

    $400ish, $450 at the most. Body+Lens

    Size

    Doesn't really matter much to me, my friend has a D90 and that feels pretty comfortable

    Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you?

    * What optical zoom will you need? Not really sure what this means but I wont be taking pictures from the nosebleeds in a baseball stadium or anything

    * How important is “image quality” to you? 10

    Do you care for manual exposure modes (shutter priority, aperture priority, manual)? I'm not sure what this means, so.. no?

    General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Right now I will just be using it to take pictures of stuff around the house, buildings, nature around me, I live in Las Vegas so probably take pictures at the strip (where all the casinos are) nothing professional like weddings, graduations and that type of deal

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? I don't plan to, and I don't think they will have us do that in photography class

    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? All of my indoors photos should have pretty good lighting as far as lamps, sunlight etc. Low light photos possibly, I really like taking picture during dawn/sunrise times outside

    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? No

    Miscellaneous

    Are there particular brands you like or hate? I know zero about brands, I'm new, though a lot of my friends seem to be Nikon fans

    Are there particular models you already have in mind? D40/D40x and the Sony A230

    (If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) No clue what most of those mean[/QUOTE]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Messages:
    11,164
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    48
    For $400 the Sony A230, and its 18-55mm lens, is a steal. The Sony is a much better camera than the Nikon D40, which is not even being produced anymore. The newer version of the D40, the Nikon D3000 is a very good entry level DSLR, about as good as the Sony A230, but it's $50 to $75 more expensive than the Sony. Another competitor of the Sony A230, the Canon Rebel XS, is about $100 more expensive than the Sony.

    Here are some very nice sample images taken by the Sony A230:
    http://www.flickr.com/cameras/sony/dslr-a230/
     
  3. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    A serious class will certainly want you to learn manual exposure. But not a problem, as all DSLR cameras have this.

    Again, unless the class is super basic, they will expect you to produce photos of such quality as needed for enlargements.

    If that means they will loan you some of their Nikon gear, than that makes Nikon a strong choice for you.

    The Sony A230 is a good choice for casual photography. As DSLRs go its controls are simple plus good automation. But for serious studies a better Sony would be a used A200 (which happens to be wut I have :) ).

    In addition to the Canon Rebel XS, Nikon D40, and Sony A200 another good economy choice is the Olympus E510/520.

    Kelly Cook
     
  4. stedfunk

    stedfunk Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think I'm going to order a D5000. I found a D5000 with 18-55mm VR lens, a bag and an 8gb mem card for $550. I decided against the Sony so I can use some of my friends lenses and so it was between a D40 for $420 and the D5000 for $550. The D40 lens wasn't VR and added in the cost of the bag and the memory card the total would've been around $470, so essentially it was only 80 bucks to go from the D40 to the D5000 which all of my friends told me was a no brainer, hopefully it was :)

    Sigh! The reason I was so set on the D5000 was because the cheapest D40 I could find was for $420, now though I found one for $320 on B&H, so so to compare it to the package for the D5000 lets say it's $370

    D5000
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart_accessories&A=details&Q=&sku=800685080&is=USE

    D40
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart_accessories&A=details&Q=&sku=800683464&is=USE

    Roughly $180 for the upgrade, is it worth it? I really like the video camera aspect of the D5000. Where would I notice the D5000 being superior? Keeping in mind I plan on taking a photography class, would the D5000 have more room to grow with as far as my skill? I cant decide :S
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Messages:
    11,164
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The D5000 is better than the D40 in many ways. It has features the D40 lacks - video, live view, and a movable LCD. It's also faster than the D40, has higher resolution (more megapixels), has more accurate and reliable autofocusing and faster continuous shooting.

    The D5000 you found at B&H is a "refurbished" (ie used) model. But B&H is a very reliable retailer so the camera is probably in good condition. You can pick up a new D5000, including lens, at Amazon.com for $652.
     
  6. stedfunk

    stedfunk Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't mind a refurbished model. My budget was around $450 but when I found the deal for the D5000 I decided to stretch a little because it seems like a great deal which is why I updated my post here to get your guys thoughts on whether it was worth the upgrade for $180. Spending an extra $100 for a new one is stretching my budget way too much but as you said B&H is pretty reliable and with the refurbished warranty hopefully it works out for me. Something I also failed to mention in my original post is that I'd really like to eventually shoot sports because that's what I love. It probably wont be for about a year (I'll be going to school near where an MLB minor league team plays). Does the D5000 offer anything that the D40 doesn't in regards to sports shooting? I'm assuming the D5000 being able to shoot faster would help a lot to get good shots.
     
  7. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

    Messages:
    11,164
    Likes Received:
    48
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I agree. The D5000's autofocus is faster and more accurate than the D40. Also the D5000 in continuous shooting mode can shoot 4 shots per second, compared to 2.5 for the D40.
     
  8. stedfunk

    stedfunk Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just ordered the D5000 I'm exciteedd, should be here tuesday, my first 'real' camera
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page