I'm new, looking for beginner camera.

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by LeWidget, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. LeWidget

    LeWidget Member

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    Hey guys,

    I'm pretty much new to photography, though have wanted to do it for a while, I've never actually gone ahead with it (as a hobby).

    Someone I work with recently picked up a Nikon D3400 and is starting photography, so we usually chat about it during work, which then got me thinking about it again, so figured I'd look into maybe getting myself a camera to start.

    My main interests at this stage are;

    1. Low Light / Night sky (stars, lightning, fireworks.. though neither lightning,or fireworks happen often where I am, so will mostly be more Astro / city lights)
    2. Landscape

    Unfortunately, like many people, I'm on a 'beginners budget' of $300-$400 (with lens), so I guess my options are pretty limited, and I would be looking at either low end brand new, like the Nikon D3400 w/ kit lens (currently around $500, less if on special), or, picking up a good quality previous model 2nd hand camera...

    What do you guys recommend?
    Where do you buy?
    Any suggestions what to look out for ?
    If used, get Body + aftermarket lens ?

    Any and all feedback would be super.

    Regards,
     
  2. quwackers

    quwackers Member

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    Not too sure about what items to recommend but as for where; Digidirect have a nice selection and for the most part the best prices new.

    Second hand I'd recommend just using FB Marketplace and Gumtree, just make sure when purchasing second hand to look for any dints externally (lens and body), scratches on glass, fungus/damp patches inside lenses, stiff focus/zoom rings, rubber on the body which is not sealed fully, etc. If items are being shipped I typically ask for high res images via email dropbox or google drive so I can review them uncompressed.

    If you're interested in grey imports (new items from other countries) I'd recommend EGlobal Digital Cameras if you aren't familiar with them.

    Hope this helps :thumbup:
     
  3. krappo

    krappo Member

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    I picked up a Nikkon D3400 start of the year and its an amazing unit for the price :)
     
  4. connico

    connico Member

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    Go used...
     
    quwackers likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    LeWidget

    LeWidget Member

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    Thanks for the replies :)

    If I went used, which model(s) do you recommend I look at, and what price(s) should I expect ?

    And if I get just the body, which lens for those types of shoots ?
     
  6. SyN

    SyN Member

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    many starters dont realise that lenses stay around while bodies get boring after 3-4 years (2 two year generations)
    So you have to predict now is this going to be a long term hobby. If yes, then you better spend your money on a good wide angle prime for your night/landscape
    Otherwise, D3400 is unarguably ridiculously good image quality for the money and is suitable for a one off buy

    edit: note that low end nikon DSLRs can only focus with 'newer' lenses with builtin autofocus motors. If you get a second hand D7x00 series or above, you can have access to a wider range of cheaper second hand lenses too
     
  7. OP
    OP
    LeWidget

    LeWidget Member

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    Thanks Syn :)

    Not sure about the long term. I think at this stage, I only see this as a hobby, though how long, not sure. I might even dabble in other styles, but for now, just planning on getting started and learning about the camera settings, and shooting low light/landscape.

    I have read good things about the D3400, though price wise, a bit high for me at this stage (until there's a sale). I did come across a used D5100 with extras on Gumtree, though have yet to hear back from seller, might have to give them a call.

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/penrith/digital-slr/nikon-d5100/1175329626

    What do you guys think about this camera and accessories ? It mentions it comes with a tripod too, which is good as Ill need one.

    I was looking at the D7000 too, seems to be more feature-packed according to this site,

    http://cameradecision.com/compare/Nikon-D7000-vs-Nikon-D5100

    , but only found the D7000 around $400 with just the body (+ maybe some batteries). I'm not familiar with the features of the D7000 too, whether I need them over the D5100 (or D3400) for what I do... thoughts ?

    I've only really looked on Gumtree too, and a little on these forums, but I'm not sure where else I could go to search. Any other suggestions on sites/forums/FB pages, where there's an active marketplace that sell for reasonable pricing ?
     
  8. lonewolf1983

    lonewolf1983 Member

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    Sony A6000 used, lenses gets a bit trickier but sounds like you're in the very budget area so kit 18-55 or the 16-50 would suit
    astro will need a bit more of an investment in glass
     
  9. SyN

    SyN Member

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    Lead me to read about astro stuff, which I've never delved into.
    I thought all modern APS-C sensors were similar in performance, but seems like they can vary a fair bit for looong exposures regarding circuitry interference and noise reduction algorithms etc
    Die hard astro guys will go full frame sensors and even get 'astro mods' and even get star tracking camera mounts etc
    So its a case of how deep your pockets can go :confused:
     
  10. a_ritz_01

    a_ritz_01 Member

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    I have a used but well looked after Nikon D3300 that I bought for my first camera. Does ok for basic astro - i dabbled in that for a while too - but it's the body only. PM me if you're interested.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    LeWidget

    LeWidget Member

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    So sorry for delay in replying (work)


    Thanks for the suggestion :). I had a quick look on ebay & gumtree, though seems to be going for more $$ than the other. From what I'v read, canon and nikon have many lenses out, being popular i guess, though would Sony lenses be more costly again, and less options ?

    Seems pretty technical to me too lol :(. I was just thinking it was a matter of mounting onto a tri pod, pointing into the sky, and shooting with the shutter open for x/sec.... guess that's not entirely true lol :/ ?

    Thanks ritz, though really just window shopping at the moment. Curious though, what's the going price on the D3300? I hear the performance is close to the D3400 (same sensor?) ?

    > Regarding shutter count, would 6841 be considered high ? (D5100)
     
  12. Pinkeh

    Pinkeh Member

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    6841 is basically brand new.

    Shutters are expected to last 100,000+

    As a newbie you are more likely to replace or upgrade your camera before that happens.
     
  13. a_ritz_01

    a_ritz_01 Member

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    The D3400 is the same sensor as the D3300, they just added a couple of features to the D3400 and made it a new model. I can get back to you on the shutter count but its relatively low. As for price, given that it's the body only - with battery and charger of course - I'd be willing to part with it for $250.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  14. SyN

    SyN Member

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    it is true, but with any hobby it all depends on how much you want to nerd out.
    You could kit out with fancy tripod, star tracker device, modified camera, exotic lenses, specialist software etc
     
  15. glimmerman

    glimmerman Member

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    If you are looking for best value I highly recommend staying with Nikon/Canon because of the huge used market.

    My only gripe with the 3x00 5x00 nikon bodies is the lack of controls which you may find frustrating after a while.

    I started my photography journey 18 months ago and it went like this:

    1) Olympus EM-5, sold after 3 months and bought;
    2) Olympus EM-1, sold all my M43 gear after 3 months and bought;
    3) Nikon d7100, sold all my Nikon DX gear after 10 months and bought;
    4) Nikon d600

    So what will likely happen, is you will have a d3400 and not be able to control the camera easily and want to swap it out.

    For that reason alone, when starting out in photography I always recommend starting with used gear. Wait until you are further in and know what you are doing before buying new stuff. For that reason, even though I went through 4 camera bodies and 3 different camera systems, I didn't lose any money because I bought everything used.

    I actually made money when a lot of my equipment which I then used towards lenses, accessories etc.

    If you buy "packages" from gumtree or whatever you can then sell everything individually once you are done with it and (hopefully) make a small amount of money.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  16. ipv6ready

    ipv6ready Member

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    Do you have a friend from whom you can borrow either Nikon or Canon gear?

    Prices are about equal - New or Secondhand
    Quality is about equal.
    Body upgrade cycle is about equal.
    Lens choice is about equal.
    Every Generation in Step one Brand either leaps ahead or catch up.

    What is different though to the user, which will be forever is -that one system will just for what ever the reason feel right, be it button layout, menu logic etc etc. There is no getting around this.
     
  17. ipv6ready

    ipv6ready Member

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    It is pretty simple, in fact just as you describe it, it is as simple as mounting a camera onto a tripod, pointing it to the sky, then shooting with the shutter open for x/sec., there is no reason to complicate it, with practice you will get very good results, maybe even better than someone with $20,000 worth of equipment.

    Think of it this way, and since we are on OCAU, in context to playing COD.

    A player with 24inch 1080p 60hz, GTX970, 8gb ram, SSD does not mean vs another person with 1080ti, 24inch 1080p 144hz, 32gm ram, Ryzen 8 core that they will not be as good.
     
  18. MetaMorph

    MetaMorph Member

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    If you want to do astrophotography with the stars as 'points' then you'll probably need a reasonably fast prime. If you take the shutter speed above about 30 seconds (depends a bit on location) then the movement of the stars will become apparent and they will smear. This can be a desirable effect - it's how those star trail images are created, with exposures in the hours - but if you want to keep them as points then you have to use a wider aperture or higher ISO to get equivalent brightness. This means if you get something like a kit lens you are going to be limited, and likely disappointed.

    If I were trying to get into astrophotography on a budget I would probably get a Rokinon/Samyang wide angle prime (something like a 14mm f2.8), which can let in much more light than a cheap zoom. Second hand you can probably grab one for $200 or so, maybe less. They are manual focus, but AF is useless for astrophotography anyway so that's moot, although it does limit what else you can do with it. Still, landscapes are also pretty forgiving to manual focus, as you're usually working with a wide DOF. The wide angle will fit much more in the frame than using a 35 or 50mm prime, and will probably make it more look more impressive. A Sony A series camera, or else the cheaper Nikons you're looking at are probably best at image quality for the money, but if you can find a good deal on a lens for a particular system then it might be worth going with that.
     

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