Newbie looking to buy a DLSR

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Posted 1/29/2013 by Jjmikrut143 in General Photography


PeaNut 567,699
September 2012
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Loc: NJ

Posted: 1/29/2013 6:03:00 AM
I have always used a digital camera .. But I love the kinda photos a DLSR camera produces. I recently got photoshop elements 11 for Christmas which is really making me want a DLSR camera even more now, I was looking into the nikon 1 I love the style of it and all the features and the price isn't too bad.. But as I said I'm a newbie and I know nothing at all about a DLSR camera, anyone that has a nikon 1 can tell me if there hard to use? Easy to learn? Or is there a better camera on the market that's good for beginners? Thx for ur help



PeaNut 578,067
January 2013
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:28:24 AM
I don't have a nikon, I have a canon but I found them really easy to learn, there are TONS of tuts on line.

Good luck!

Sharon K

PeaNut 257,088
April 2006
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Loc: Flagstaff, AZ. YEA!! Finally

Posted: 1/29/2013 8:39:50 AM
They all have pretty much the same basic features, and are all good cameras. If you haven't already, go to the store where they carry several different brands and hold them, play with them, see how they feel in your hands. Are the buttons and knobs easy to reach, how heavy is each one. My first one was a gift, but if I were buying my first one my self, I would go for the most my budget could afford. HTH, and have a blast, I love shopping for new gear.



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Brenda D

PeaNut 188,175
January 2005
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Loc: Alberta

Posted: 1/29/2013 9:19:58 AM
I agree with Sharon - go and touch the cameras. I bought my first Nikon based on how I liked the way it felt in my hands and where the buttons were.

My suggestion also is, if this is your first DSLR - know if you want to expand your knowledge and go with a highend camera, or want to be a great hobbiest, etc. and have a camera with easy features.

A lady asked my just before Christmast about a camera, I told her about a great sale of both a Nikon and Canon - told her to go hold them, etc. She bought one, then called a camera store who told her to get a Nikon D7000. So she returned the Nikon 3100 (or about that model) then asked me again. I asked her if the salesperson at the camera store asked her what she knew about photography (she is just wanting a good camera and knows very little - also I doubt she is going beyond wanting a good picture and not to become a photographer). The salesperson did not find out her level or needs.

I recommended she go back to see if she could still get the sale price of around $500 rather than the $1800. I heard from another friend that she did go back to the original place and got a camera more suited to her wants and level. A camera that has some preset program modes to choose from - and the option to learn and use manual settings rather than the D7000 which is only Automatic or manual settings.

I feel that overbuying is not always good. Like needing a truck so buying a Semi with trailer that you never use the trailer and the Semi is way more truck than you need. Buy what you need and use the savings to actually print the great photos you will take.



PeaNut 567,699
September 2012
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Loc: NJ

Posted: 1/29/2013 12:40:46 PM
Thank you peas for all the great advice! Yea, there would be no way i could ever spend $500 on a camera without researching it first and playing with it! I know nothing about photography, my needs would be completely different then someone that knows what there buying! I like the nikon 1 for a few different reasons.. It's still semi digital and that's what I really like about it.. The buttons and options are easy to navigate and they even have creative mode where I could edit on the camera and wouldn't need photoshop for some things, I also love the fact that it comes In white & the size of it.. Is awesome! I have been wanting this camera for a very long time! & I think I'm going to finally get it!



PeaNut 292,039
January 2007
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Loc: Southeast Texas

Posted: 1/29/2013 1:42:04 PM
I started with a Canon and my friend started with a Nikon and I found mine easier to use...but I don't remember what model she had. I just moved up from rebel XS to rebel t4i. I use to only use auto mode but I am getting more comfortable in manual mode.

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PeaNut 163,207
August 2004
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Posted: 1/29/2013 2:37:21 PM
The Nikon 1 series is a compact, mirrorless camera, but I'm not really sure it can be considered a true DSLR. You might want to check out the website DPReview -- you can see the features and reviews of almost all the cameras out there and can do side-by-side comparisons of various models. I'll echo the advice to go to a store and hold and play with the different brands. When I went into the store to buy my first DSLR, I thought I wanted one brand, but after holding them and playing a bit, I loved the way the Nikon fit my hands and the controls seemed more intuitive to me. I've been a Nikon lover ever since

I'm not sure what you mean about the Nikon 1 being "semi-digital" -- either a camera is digital or it's not.


Jeepers PEApers

PeaNut 495,307
January 2011
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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:03:47 PM
I/m guessing maybe she meant semi-automatic as in having set programs where you can just point and shoot or being a camera where you have to decide on the settings yourself. I could be wrong but that's how I interpreted what she meant.

These days even the more sophisticated cameras mostly have an auto mode you can use if you don't want to bother with taking control of the settings yourself.

For me the biggest advantage to a DSLR is the ability to use different lenses for different situations and different types of pictures.

Nikon 1 is a mirror less camera and I'm not up on them at all as far as price and availability of lenses.

I guess my first advice would be to get a camera that lets you shoot totally auto, using some pre picked programs, like sports, portrait, night, etc. but will let you also shoot with aperture or shutter priority and manual modes.

That way you can progress from the complete auto, to deciding for yourself what mode suits you best, i.e. pick 'sports' when you will be shooting fast moving subject or landscape when you are taking a picture of mountains and a lake, then eventually as you get used to your camera you can move on to choosing all the actual settings yourself.

If you really get into photography you may eventually want to move up to an even more sophisticated camera, in the future, but it may be a mistake to buy the most expensive camera you can possibly afford just to find out that you aren't that into it. You can get some amazing shots with some of the lower or middle range cameras these days.

What kind of camera is it that you have now?


PeaNut 567,699
September 2012
Posts: 1,297
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Loc: NJ

Posted: 1/29/2013 5:34:15 PM
Yes that's what I ment! I don't know much about DSLR but I know that this camera is digital with the auto features like the point and shoot.. So to me that's semi or kinda digital lol I apologize for any confusion!



PeaNut 163,207
August 2004
Posts: 6,497
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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:50:13 PM
OK -- education time DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex. So a DSLR is digital. Digital refers to how the image is stored -- on digital memory such as an SD or CF card, etc. -- as opposed to cameras which store the image on film What you are looking for is a camera with some "point and shoot" or automatic features. Most DSLR cameras (except for some higher-end professional types) have some auto modes -- everything from full auto to other, more customizable modes, as well as full manual mode.



PeaNut 566,536
September 2012
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Loc: Land of Eternal Snow aka MN

Posted: 1/30/2013 11:42:34 AM
I've had my DSLR for a few years now and have only recently been figuring out how to use the manual settings. I agree with what people have been saying about going in and getting a feel for how the different models handle and feel in your hands. From what I've been figuring out, I'd also recommend saving a little on the body and using that to invest in a lens or two. In the end your lens can often make a bigger difference in your photos than what camera you're using.

I have a Nikon D5000. For someone who is never planning on turning pro, it works great. I got a good deal on a bundle and now that I've learned more about how it works, I'm saving up to get a couple really great lenses that will be versatile for my personal needs.

Good luck with your search. It's a fun purchase!!!

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PeaNut 428,396
June 2009
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Loc: Denton, TX

Posted: 1/31/2013 9:35:22 PM
After 3 years I still consider myself an amateur photog. I like to use my auto modes more than manual ones since I'm still learning the ropes on manual. I would suggest for a newbie starting out a canon rebel. I have the basic one and it is still going strong I have the kit lens and 50mm 1.8. I love the pics I get from my prime lens. I would like to buy an 85mm 1.8 next
I would play with a camera first before buying. The next camera I get I want it to have video capabilities and for the screen to pop out.

Gabrielle Watson from Denton, TX

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Happily Scrappin' since June 2009

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