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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Recommendations for a digital camera for an aspiring photographer?

Recommendations for a digital camera for an aspiring photographer?
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Flagheimer
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Oct 21, 2007, 03:47 PM
 
I'm not even a photographer, but I've always wanted to do photography. The only camera I own is a simple digital camera (Casio EXILIM). Any suggestions for cameras that take rich, clear, "professional" looking pics? Or is that all done in post? ...see that's how "new" I am to this.

The main reason is because I've join a club in College and we throw lots of events and no one really is a camera-man/woman there, so I decided to take make it my responsibility to take pics.

Any suggestions for a good camera and anything else I would need to know/need...

This is not going to be a job, just a hobby. That's why I'll be getting a new iMac in the future and not a Mac Pro to do any photo editing on.

EDIT: I guess I should give a budget of what I am able to spend, it's small so it will most likely limit the suggestions. I can spend about up to $600. Not that much, I know...
( Last edited by Flagheimer; Oct 21, 2007 at 03:53 PM. )
     
angelmb
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Oct 21, 2007, 04:38 PM
 
I think with a budget of $600 you could get a really good camera from Canon or Nikon, albeit I am not a photographer, hell my camera is an old Casio QV4000 but if I was to spend that bucks I think I would get a second-hand Leica digilux2, but that's a matter of personal taste, as I said before $600 seems enough to me to be able to get a SLR from Canon or Nikon, and needless to say that's in another league from our cute & small Casios
     
art_director
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Oct 21, 2007, 05:50 PM
 
It all depends upon how you plan to use the camera.

If you want / need an SLR you have a few options. The Nikon D40 would fall into your budget but then you need to buy the glass (lenses). The Canon Digital Rebel XTi would also be a fine choice but a little more expensive. Both of these are digital cameras.

You could get a fabulous deal on pro-level film cameras given the shift from film to pixels.

Finally, as suggested, you could go with a Leica. These are the best of both worlds -- small (compact) with great glass. The Leica D-Lux 3 shoots RAW (slowly) and is the only fully automatic compact digital on the market. It's a wonderful camera and may fall in your budget.
     
zacharykrannert
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Oct 21, 2007, 06:02 PM
 
I highly recommend the nikon d80. It is an amazing camera. It's a little above your spending range but its worth every penny. I would pick up any digital photography magazine that has some articles about the basic and give it a good read.

zachary
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 21, 2007, 06:26 PM
 
For about $600, you could get a small slr, something along the lines of a Nikon D40(X), Canon 400D aka XTi or an Olympus E-410.

First thing: don't pay attention to megapixels or anything else of that sort. Don't let zealots who prefer one company to the other confuse your, for your intents and purposes, all of these cameras are more than sufficient. Try out all of these cameras in a shop, hold them in your hand. The way they feel in your hand and whether you can use them (quality of the lcd, how easy is it to review pictures, etc.) is a lot more important than any tech spec.

Note that all of these cameras are not to be used via the lcd, you always use the optical viewfinder (this may sound trivial, but plenty of my friends are confused about how my dslr works and even ask me why they can't use the lcd as a `viewfinder' ). Then focus on compositions. Get some books and some practice. Have fun, enjoy yourself. Download your pics into iPhoto and make some calendars or albums.

When you have a little more experience and you know what kind of photography you are into, then you can get into arguments such as the eternal classic `Nikon vs. Canon.'
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
angelmb
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Oct 22, 2007, 04:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by art_director View Post
Finally, as suggested, you could go with a Leica. These are the best of both worlds -- small (compact) with great glass. The Leica D-Lux 3 shoots RAW (slowly) and is the only fully automatic compact digital on the market. It's a wonderful camera and may fall in your budget.
I am slightly confused -since I am such a ignorant when it comes to this matter- is that Leica D-Lux 3 a kind of little sister from the Digilux 3 ??

Leica Camera AG - Photography - Digilux 3

Thanks
     
obelix112za
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Oct 22, 2007, 04:19 PM
 
I'd suggest a Canon EOS 400D or even the older 350D with a Sigma 18-200mm Lens (it's a fantastic all round lens), a perfect startup kit. It'll last you for years, and the one or two acc you'll need extra youn can buy for almost nothing these days. Like an extra flashgun Canon 220EX or the 430EX, an extra card & tripod (don't forget a camera bag) & you'll be in another world. Photography is also my hobby. I've spend around €6500 on camera gear so far & now I'm buying a new 20" iMac, printer, monitor etc... for my photography & allot of Unreal Tournament & Serious Sam Gaming.
Believe me, it's a hobby that you'll eat, sleep, drink and whatever else!

Good Luck
J.H du Plessis
New 20" iMac, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB RAM, 320HDD, Samsung 24" 245B LCD, HP C6180 All In One Wireless Printer
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obelix112za
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Oct 22, 2007, 04:23 PM
 
You can also look at the Canon Powershot S Range cameras, like the Powershot S3 IS, also called a bridge camera, cheaper that a DSLR, but no interchangeable lenses, so no extra costs & zoom range normally around the 28-300mm mark - plenty!
J.H du Plessis
New 20" iMac, 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB RAM, 320HDD, Samsung 24" 245B LCD, HP C6180 All In One Wireless Printer
Photo.net Photo's
     
Timo
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Oct 22, 2007, 04:46 PM
 
Check out the Pentax K100D. A steal.
     
Flagheimer  (op)
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Oct 22, 2007, 05:22 PM
 
You guys/gals are fantastic! Thanks for the great tips, I definitely have some thinking and research to do. I'll reply to this thread to update if anyone is interested!

Thanks again!
     
obelix112za
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Oct 22, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
Please do, as I'm really into photography, it'll be nice to see what you ended up buying.
J.H du Plessis
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brightwindows
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Oct 24, 2007, 03:08 AM
 
I can just say you should focus on the Sony and Cannon, they are good at cameras.
     
Veltliner
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Oct 25, 2007, 01:47 AM
 
First: go to a good photo store.

Let them show you different types of cameras.

Digital SLR (DSLR): Pentax K100 super, Nikon D40

Larger compact (almost the same size as a DSLR). I never owned a camera in this category, but I have heard some good things: Something like the Canon G9, a Sony with a Zeiss lens

Smaller cameras, but fully featured: Panasonic Lx-2, then there's a Ricoh model that I heard is pretty good, but can't tell you the name (it's as usual, a ghastly combination of numbers and letters, so the model name looks, reads, and sounds the same like dozens of others).

As you are just starting out, you won't be able to get a "professional" look, as this requires a lot of experience.

Look at the cameras, get a feel for them, look through the viewfinder. You need to like your camera. The way it handles. Then you will like to shoot a lot, and finally will get a good "look".

Consider, that you will need software, too, to work on those images.

Consider a camera, that shoots RAW (this is a recording format for photos, it's uncompressed, does not throw information away when you take the picture, like JPEG, which makes the image less adjustable, and also ruins skin tones)
     
   
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