Looking for the right Camera



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  • Looking for the right Camera

    I'm sure this question has been asked a hundred times but here goes. I am looking at buying my first "good" camera and not sure what to get. I was hoping to spend 4-5 hundred but it looks like 6-7 hundred is more realistic. What is a good brand? What is the difference between sony, nikon and canon? What lens is good for wildlife photos and/or around the house photos? I like the Nikon D-60 with the 18-55mm AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor VR lens or the Sony A300K with a DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. Which is better? Mostly it will be used on our hunting, fishing, hiking, camping trips and for an all around camera at home. Can anyone help me? I know almost nothing about cameras and what kind of lenses or features to look for.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

  • #2
    Woahhh! slow down there Kemosabe...

    $4-500 will get you a good used body off eBay, or craigslist...& $6-700 will get you a good new kit from pretty much any store...

    Now you ask what is right? That's like asking which gun is right...it all depends on what you're looking for...& you're looking for a DSLR.

    Get yourself familiarized with SLR concepts PRIOR to purchasing an SLR, otherwise, you'll just have yourself a VERY expensive point & shoot on your hands.

    Now camera selection should include a few questions to be answered, but only you can answer them & no one else...

    #1) How does the camera feel? Is it heavy? Is it light & feel cheap? Is it just right?

    #2) Lens selection. How many lenses & what are the quality of the lenses that you can buy with your camera? There are two that stand out to mind & only one that has THE most selection, Canon, with Nikon coming in a close second. But that doesn't mean that Nikon's are less than Canon's. It's personal preference.

    #3) Warrantee/guarantee. If you buy a new SLR make sure you get a warrantee & or guarantee & stay away from the "grey market" goods. Some online camera publishers like Shutterbug, or Pop Photo have some good articles on distinguishing what are "Grey market" cameras.

    #4) You get what you pay for. SLR's aren't cheap, & if you find a cheap one, beware!

    "Which is better?" If you want a split hair answer, you should be able to find camera reviews at the above online mags, that really split hairs...
    Without knowing the particulars of the two cams you're looking at, I'd say go with the one with more pixels, but then again, more pixels aren't always the answer to more quality.

    "What lens is good for wildlife photos and/or around the house photos?" The short answer is that wildlife photos and around the house photos are two different catagories, & two different lenses...around the house, you could go with 18-55mm or 35-90mm. Wildlife you'll want 200m+...how close you get to wildlife is telling & an around the house lens won't get you the good close ups as a good high power lens will.

    "What is a good brand?" Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sony, Olympus, Minolta, all are "good" brands...it's just personal preference. But then again, lens selection is a major factor...as well as other factors...that's not an easy question to answer. Me, I am in love with Canon, & biased, I guess you could say, but untill you check out each camera, you won't know what you want, untill you find all the bells & whistles you want in your particular camera.


    • #3
      Great advice above.

      I suggest first to decide if an advanced point and shoot or a DSLR is what you want. Much more expensive with the DSLR and all the lenses you will eventually want/buy. And there is more involved with using it properly. If you want something easy to use that takes good pics, get an advanced point and shoot. That will be a camera in the $300-400 range with 15x or greater zoom, and preferrably a "steady shot" or "vibration reduction" feature. B&H Photo is a great place to look and buy from. Very trusted name among photographers. With that being said, if you are looking for a new hobby, look at DSLR's. But be willing to get a book or two and spend some time with the camera. That, along with a lens or two, will be needed to get started in the right direction. From there, you have tripods, filters (especially a polarizing filter), image editing software, etc.. that will easily sky rocket your budget. But it depends on what you are after man. For DSLR's, I would look at Canon and Nikon. Reason I say, they offer way more lenses than the other manufacturers. The lenses are more important than the cameras when you get into DSLR's. To aid in your search, go to www.photo.net and a site, photography on the net (then "forums") and post a question like you did above. You will get tons of replies. VERY active photography forums. The Photography on the net is a Canon only site, but Photo.net has Nikon and Canon forums (among others). Great resources there for sure. Maybe go out and get a few photography magazines and look around a bit. Don't rush into things. Easy to do (I did). Give your goals some thought. Consider if you will want to carry the DSLR, lenses, and accesories with you on your hunting/fishing trips. An advanced point and shoot has a clear advantage here for sure. Now that I have said all that, I got my first DSLR about 15 months back and love it. Photography is a great hobby. As far as what camera is best for you, depends on how much time and money you have to put into it and your goals. Feel free to shoot a pm if you want more ramblings. Plenty more where this came from and I am always happy to talk photography

      Below is an example of a great advanced point and shoot. Big bang for the buck in my opinion and far simpler (and cheaper) than a DSLR and all that will eventually go with it.


      If interested in DSLR's, take a look at the Canon Xti

      You guessed it, I am a Canon guy
      The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


      • #4
        Thanks for the advise. I think I have decided to go with an advanced point and shoot. Seems like that will be more practical for what I need it for.
        Former A.F Staff Sergeant


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