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Thread: Camera to start with

  1. #1

    Camera to start with

    I am thinking about trying to get a camera better then my iPhone and to play around with. I have an old Olympus film SLR but film is expensive and I don't want to start by playing with film. I was thinking about getting a second hand digital SLR. Can someone give me some pointers to buying a second hand camera and getting started?

  2. #2
    Having just bought new (bought into the Panasonic micro 4/3 system) I can't offer much advice but I will ask two key things:


    Budget ?

    and

    What you primarily want to photograph ? , Far away things, close up things or neither (i.e. something inbetween.)

    You're in the UK aren't you?, I've heard good things about 'London camera exchange' , not just based in london
    Last edited by Seriously; Jan 12, 2015 at 10:49 PM.

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  4. #3
    Moderator gnuyork's Avatar
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    For Christmas, we got my mom the Nikon D3300 with kit lens. I am a camera snob, and I am impressed with this entry level DSLR. It's very good.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    Having just bought new (bought into the Panasonic micro 4/3 system) I can't offer much advice but I will ask two key things:


    Budget ?

    and

    What you primarily want to photograph ? , Far away things, close up things or neither (i.e. something inbetween.)

    You're in the UK aren't you?, I've heard good things about 'London camera exchange' , not just based in london
    More then likely close up things (aka watches). Budget I am not sure but on the low end. I guess that is part of my question if I am looking used what would be a good budget for a starter for a hobbyist. I mean is $200 doable for a used older camera or am I just being stupid? Budget will determine how long it will take me to save the money to buy a camera. I seriously doubt I will get into photography as a major hobby but I'd like to be a bit better at it and have a better tool to do it with then the point and shoot Cannon or iPhone I have now.

    And no I am in the US.

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  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    More then likely close up things (aka watches). Budget I am not sure but on the low end. I guess that is part of my question if I am looking used what would be a good budget for a starter for a hobbyist. I mean is $200 doable or am I just being stupid? I seriously doubt I will get into photography as a major hobby but I'd like to be a bit better at it and have a better tool to do it with then the point and shoot Cannon or iPhone I have now.

    And no I am in the US.
    If you want to photograph watches, you'll need a macro lens unless you don't want to get really close. To get an idea of detail achievable, filling the whole shot with dial will require a macro, however, the whole watch, bracelet and all will be doable with the lens that comes with it. $200 seems a little on the cheap side in Australia...$300 here would buy you something like a Nikon D5000 and kit lens (used) that will get you very high quality photos. I prefer Nikon, Canon, etc because they're common - which means lots more opportunities for cheap second hand lenses later on.

  8. #6
    Mountebank MarkO's Avatar
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    My favorite (non-watch) shop in New York is B&H, great store and they give good advice.
    They have a web site bhphotovideo.com which also has a used department.
    Have a look see what they have.

    My last camera from them was a Cannon EOS M a mirror less digital, it's great photos, video exchangeable lens options, worth a look.
    MB2, SOH, Aquascope, Tangente, MM300, Blackbay, North Flag, Officer, Visitor.

  9. #7
    Super Member Raza's Avatar
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    My basic thoughts on the subject:

    Decide whether you're a Canon or Nikon person. I'm a Nikon guy, but most people feel that Canons shoot better out of the box with less futzing around.

    Once you do that, buy a slightly used model of their current or recently discontinued entry level model (or new, if they have a good deal).

    Then scour Groupon or LivingSocial for a camera class in your area. Go to it.

    Once you master that camera, then you can start to go hardcore with the really expensive equipment.


    But that's just my take. I, FOR ONCE, followed my own advice. I still shoot my Nikon D3000.

  10. #8
    I just bought a macro lens for my Samsung Galaxy S3.
    Fantastic quality. Just need to buy or make some decent difused LED lighting rig.

  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    Decide whether you're a Canon or Nikon person. I'm a Nikon guy, but most people feel that Canons shoot better out of the box with less futzing around.

    Nah, go interesting. Look at the recent-ish Leica or Ricoh offerings for a nice compact camera.

    For more fun (and money) look at the Olympus OM-D range, which is in the micro 4/3 spec mentioned above.

  12. #10
    b& m8 CanadianStraps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post

    What you primarily want to photograph ? , Far away things, close up things or neither (i.e. something inbetween.)
    This is a question of lenses, not cameras, is it not? I hope so. I know very little about photography other than that I suck at it and need to get better (I sell myself on photos for a few things I do, and I'm tired of fighting uphill battles). I've been considering the DSLR thing myself and as soon as I put my toe in the water I start drowning and need an adult. If the macro thing is not just lenses and the camera itself needs serious consideration, I'm screwed. I'm willing to spend in the $600 range, but that would have to be the camera, a lens for macro, and a lens for everyday pointin' and shootin', and I can't get anywhere on making the right decision.
    It is now my duty to completely drain you.

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