02-21-2014, 09:55 AM
#1
User Info
Hi,

My name's Bryan and I am a photographer wanna-be. I've done as much as I can with my iPhone 4s and my cardboard lightbox Smile. With a budget of $300, I would love suggestions with purchasing my first real camera - one where I can adjust aperture, shutter speed, and the like.

Currently, I use my iPhone 4s and my mother's Nikon which allows you to change light exposure, but nothing else (aperture, depth of field, etc --- the good stuff). I have limited to zero knowledge on the subject.

Help me find a solid starter camera - one that will allow me to take great photos / better than what I currently take, and for under $300. I'll worry about fancy lenses, etc. later.

Here are some examples of my exemplary (LOL) work:

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=406722&d=1390691189]

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=415984&d=1393003234]

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=399100&d=1388712213]

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=391916&d=1386554088]

12 715
Reply
 02-21-2014, 10:24 AM
#2
User Info
If you're serious about taking photos - as opposed to snaps - look for a DSLR with one of the standard lens mounts. That way you can get a kit with a good camera and a decent lens, and then upgrade / add more lenses later.

Personally I like Nikon and their F-mount - I can use the same lenses on my D7000 and my old FE Biggrin

3 4,373
Reply
 02-21-2014, 10:38 AM
#3
User Info
Can you recommend a few specific models to look at? Speak to me as if I don't know English and know as much about cameras as a professional athele Wink

12 715
Reply
 02-21-2014, 11:57 AM
#4
  • tdmsu
  • Banned
  • Metro Detroit
User Info
Hey Bryan,

I think you have pretty good results so far with only an iPhone.

I recommend a Pentax DSLR or a Pentax K-01, because they are able to use any lens ever made for the mount, and many others.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pent...ction.html

For me, it has been huge savings over Nikon, since their new cameras cannot meter with older lenses. Older lenses are usually cheaper and more durable - often metal, rather than plastic. I have a k-01, and I love using it with my fifty year old Super Takumar 50mm lens.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Paul

2 447
Reply
 02-21-2014, 12:04 PM
#5
User Info
(02-21-2014, 11:57 AM)tdmsu Wrote: For me, it has been huge savings over Nikon, since their new cameras cannot meter with older lenses. Older lenses are usually cheaper and more durable - often metal, rather than plastic.

Not sure what you mean by new Nikons cannot meter with old lenses. My bodies are very capable of metering just fine with AI and higher lenses. Any glass pre-AI is going to be of poor quality regardless.

As far as the $300 price point ..... I'd recommend something less than a DSLR. Perhaps a used Panasonic LX7 or LX5. Nice cameras, lots of control, good pictures for the money. I recently sold a LX5 for $200. Right now B&H photo is running a special on the LX7 which hits your maximum price point for a brand new one.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controll...&A=details

This would give you all the controls you will find on a DSLR and you can build skills until you are ready for a full fledged DSLR. DSLRs have their own Acquisition Disorder, and man is it an expensive one. Undecided

129 6,685
Reply
 02-21-2014, 12:16 PM
#6
  • tdmsu
  • Banned
  • Metro Detroit
User Info
Doug,

No offense intended! I just meant that a Nikon DSLR in his price range will not be able to meter with old manual focus glass. My wife has a D40, and it cannot meter with old manual focus lenses... I know that higher end Nikons can meter with them.

Any of my Pentax bodies can use and meter with any old glass that will fit... that's the only point I tried to make.

I like your idea of stepping up to a better point and shoot, maybe a mirror less?

2 447
Reply
 02-21-2014, 12:35 PM
#7
User Info
(02-21-2014, 12:16 PM)tdmsu Wrote: Doug,

No offense intended! I just meant that a Nikon DSLR in his price range will not be able to meter with old manual focus glass. My wife has a D40, and it cannot meter with old manual focus lenses... I know that higher end Nikons can meter with them.

Any of my Pentax bodies can use and meter with any old glass that will fit... that's the only point I tried to make.

I like your idea of stepping up to a better point and shoot, maybe a mirror less?

No offense inferred. I will stick to the same idea with a mirrorless camera as well. Anything where you can buy interchangeable lenses you will quickly want to spend money to buy this and buy that to "make it better". That's just human nature.

Ansel Adams could out shoot me with an iPhone 4 vs my D700. It's all about technique. That said, I'd never use an iPhone for serious work, but in all honesty I seldom travel with my Nikons any more. I carry a Panasonic LX7 and a Sony RX100 Mark ii.

129 6,685
Reply
 02-21-2014, 01:05 PM
#8
User Info
Thanks for the tips guys!

I posted the exact thing on a photography forum and I was PM'ed by someone selling a:

Nike D5000, full kit with a 18/55 lens package for $300.

What do you think?

I am at work and can't thoroughly read your responses yet. I do appreciate them however Wink

12 715
Reply
 02-21-2014, 02:19 PM
#9
  • CRAusmus
  • Senior Member
  • Going from Texas to Georgia
User Info
Hey Bryan.

Since you say you have next to zero knowledge on the subject I will pick on one thing that you say in your initial post.

You talk about wanting to control the (depth of field and aperture, etc - the good stuff). Do keep in mind that aperture is what controls your depth of field. The lower the number (ex. ƒ2.5) the wider the opening, the shorter the depth. The higher the number (ex. ƒ11) the smaller the opening in the lens, the more depth you have in your field. You shoot a portrait at a lower f-stop to focus attention on the subject and make the background blurry. You shoot a scenic with a tight f-stop to keep everything sharp and bring depth and scale into your image.

Aperture is one of the most important things in photography because it controls the amount of light the lens lets through and controls the depth of field at the same time. Poor lighting will kill any image. And you can imagine how not allowing that aperture to dictate what you want the viewer to see could also hurt your image. Plus depth of field is something fun to play with.

All that being said. I'd look at a film camera. You can get started easily at a pawn/second hand shop and you teach yourself to bracket your photos, write everything down, and learn from your mistakes. In turn you also learn not to rely on the view screen on the body of your camera, which isn't every really very reliable for the quality of your shot anyway. Most photographers that I know will glance at the view screen to check their composition though.

Just my .02

18 1,186
Reply
 02-21-2014, 03:10 PM
#10
User Info
(02-21-2014, 01:05 PM)bmilcs Wrote: Thanks for the tips guys!

I posted the exact thing on a photography forum and I was PM'ed by someone selling a:

Nike D5000, full kit with a 18/55 lens package for $300.

What do you think?

I am at work and can't thoroughly read your responses yet. I do appreciate them however Wink

As a Nikon supporter I'd not go for it, but it is not a terrible price. The kit lens is ok, and the camera body is several generations old now. You also are quite limited with lens choices with the 5000, as opposed to the next line up.

I see you are intent on a DSLR so it's not a bad choice.

just to clarify an above post, yes aperture controls light, but so does shutter speed as does ISO.

129 6,685
Reply
 02-21-2014, 03:12 PM
#11
User Info
Yes I am set on a dslr. I am a computer nerd and only want photos for my digital needs Wink

(02-21-2014, 03:10 PM)wingdo Wrote:
(02-21-2014, 01:05 PM)bmilcs Wrote: Thanks for the tips guys!

I posted the exact thing on a photography forum and I was PM'ed by someone selling a:

Nike D5000, full kit with a 18/55 lens package for $300.

What do you think?

I am at work and can't thoroughly read your responses yet. I do appreciate them however Wink

As a Nikon supporter I'd not go for it, but it is not a terrible price. The kit lens is ok, and the camera body is several generations old now. You also are quite limited with lens choices with the 5000, as opposed to the next line up.

I see you are intent on a DSLR so it's not a bad choice.

just to clarify an above post, yes aperture controls light, but so does shutter speed as does ISO.

What model would you recommend then? Specifically. I want to be able to get a kit at $300.

(02-21-2014, 02:19 PM)CRAusmus Wrote: Hey Bryan.

Since you say you have next to zero knowledge on the subject I will pick on one thing that you say in your initial post.

You talk about wanting to control the (depth of field and aperture, etc - the good stuff). Do keep in mind that aperture is what controls your depth of field. The lower the number (ex. ƒ2.5) the wider the opening, the shorter the depth. The higher the number (ex. ƒ11) the smaller the opening in the lens, the more depth you have in your field. You shoot a portrait at a lower f-stop to focus attention on the subject and make the background blurry. You shoot a scenic with a tight f-stop to keep everything sharp and bring depth and scale into your image.

Aperture is one of the most important things in photography because it controls the amount of light the lens lets through and controls the depth of field at the same time. Poor lighting will kill any image. And you can imagine how not allowing that aperture to dictate what you want the viewer to see could also hurt your image. Plus depth of field is something fun to play with.

All that being said. I'd look at a film camera. You can get started easily at a pawn/second hand shop and you teach yourself to bracket your photos, write everything down, and learn from your mistakes. In turn you also learn not to rely on the view screen on the body of your camera, which isn't every really very reliable for the quality of your shot anyway. Most photographers that I know will glance at the view screen to check their composition though.

Just my .02

I literally know nothing. I've never used a DSLR, never taken a course, read 5 minutes about the different settings you can adjust in a DSLR camera about a month ago.

I just wanted to generally explain my goals with the scattered, minimal knowledge I have haha.

My goals are very minimal at the moment, too.

I want to be able to shoot high quality SOTD pics with the best of them and take better ebay photos. Ultimately, I'm going to expand into other things but for now, that is all I need it for.

You need to start somewhere =]. Might as well be lucrative if you can make it so.

12 715
Reply
 02-21-2014, 08:21 PM
#12
User Info
Best of luck to you, Brian! Smile

82 21,056
Reply
 02-22-2014, 01:46 PM
#13
User Info
The Canon T3 can be had for a little over $300 with a lens. Amazon link.

But really, there's no good option for $300, unless you're just looking for a body. Bump it to $450 and you can get a Canon T3i, a very capable body that's the workhorse of many an amateur photographer. I don't know the Nikon equivalent off the top of my head, but same goes for that one.

9 3,024
Reply
 02-22-2014, 04:23 PM
#14
User Info
(02-22-2014, 01:46 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: The Canon T3 can be had for a little over $300 with a lens. Amazon link.

But really, there's no good option for $300, unless you're just looking for a body. Bump it to $450 and you can get a Canon T3i, a very capable body that's the workhorse of many an amateur photographer. I don't know the Nikon equivalent off the top of my head, but same goes for that one.

Lee is pretty spot on here. $300 for a DSLR body and lens is ...... well honestly very lowest end. For the price of the Canon T3 above you can get a Nikon 3200 with a kit lens with VR. http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/n...00_review/

You may want to consider something in the ILC (Interchangable Lens Camera which sits between DSLR and compact). Here's a link for a Nikon (I picked red, other colors are available). This is a discontinued model, but that's how it comes in your price range. B&H is a great reseller and shipping is free and no tax. So it just makes your $300 number. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/82...gital.html

129 6,685
Reply
 02-22-2014, 07:43 PM
#15
User Info
Wow, Doug! Those are some great suggestions.
I would go for the Nikon D3200 as I still have my D3000 and it is a very good starter camera that I picked up, used for $300.

82 21,056
Reply
 02-22-2014, 08:59 PM
#16
User Info
Thank you so much for the suggestions. I'm going to have to start selling some more shaving gear and save up for my next toy Smile

It looks like I've been denied by the fiancée for a camera purchase. We're saving for an apartment but my paypal money is OK with her. So it'll take a few weeks to accumulate enough.

12 715
Reply
 02-24-2014, 02:14 PM
#17
User Info
......

0 57
Reply
 02-25-2014, 03:29 AM
#18
User Info
Whoa! I didn't know there were iPhone apps to improve the camera. I remember looking for one before and coming up short.

In the meantime, that will be fantastic! Thanks.

My coworker has a Nikon D80 she said she'll give me at some point.

That seems like a perfect opportunity.

I was fortunate enough to come across a Barbasol Floating Head in the wild and have it up on ebay atm. I hear they're quite rare so that should hopefully help fund a new one if she doesn't follow through. I also have the bakelite version of the floating head. Not sure if that's worth anything. Anyways, thank you for the detailed responses!!

12 715
Reply
 03-03-2014, 07:41 AM
#19
User Info
(02-22-2014, 04:23 PM)wingdo Wrote:
(02-22-2014, 01:46 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: The Canon T3 can be had for a little over $300 with a lens. Amazon link.

But really, there's no good option for $300, unless you're just looking for a body. Bump it to $450 and you can get a Canon T3i, a very capable body that's the workhorse of many an amateur photographer. I don't know the Nikon equivalent off the top of my head, but same goes for that one.

Lee is pretty spot on here. $300 for a DSLR body and lens is ...... well honestly very lowest end. For the price of the Canon T3 above you can get a Nikon 3200 with a kit lens with VR. http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/n...00_review/

You may want to consider something in the ILC (Interchangable Lens Camera which sits between DSLR and compact). Here's a link for a Nikon (I picked red, other colors are available). This is a discontinued model, but that's how it comes in your price range. B&H is a great reseller and shipping is free and no tax. So it just makes your $300 number. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/82...gital.html

Well, after some thought and ebay'ing, I'm beginning to really like the idea of the ILC. That seems like it'd be right up my alley. I have a budget of $500 but still want to stay near $300.

What do you guys think?

12 715
Reply
 03-10-2014, 07:36 AM
#20
User Info
Alright with a budget increased to $500, I have some more options now.

I really like the Nikon D3200, but the lack of an internal AF motor worries me. I'd really like to get the next best thing with an internal motor.

What are my options now? At $500, I should have a better chance at getting something decent.

How about the D3300 or D5200? Are those the next best models?

12 715
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)