What Camara to Get?
Ever since photography went digital people that would usually never grab a camera are now taking pictures all the time. With the recent inclusion of good quality cameras in smart phones everybody now has a new hobby, taking pictures. Now, we’ve seen newer trends with social networks that are photo oriented. Instagram is the largest and everybody who has access to an Android or iPhone can take “artistic” pictures, or so they say. Reality is that most people don’t know anything about the art of photography and the simple fact that they have the option of shooting anything with their phone has totally overcrowded the internet with bad pictures. There are actually some that do care and want to up their quality. Many have asked me numerous times what camera to get in order to take better pictures. I’ve told them that the camera doesn’t matter that much as long as they have a good understanding of composition, lighting and art. Of course i’m being vague here as there is some importance in what equipment you have, there wouldn’t be better and more expensive cameras if this wasn’t important. You need to understand the basics in order to jump to a big purchase. So, lets say that you’ve already gotten to the limits of your smart phone camera. What would be the next logical step?
Your phone camera is basically a point and shoot, just like the ones you have bought at your electronics store. Its exactly the same but with smaller cheaper sensors. So, if you want to make a serious jump in quality I suggest you go the DSLR way. A DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) is a camera that combines the Single Lens Reflex and Digital qualities of a camera, this replaced film some years ago. This cameras utilize a mirror and a prism system that lets the user see exactly what they are going to shoot. Its a far more accurate way of taking pictures than a digital viewfinder. These cameras can interchange lenses for different purposes. This gives you far better control of what you are pretending to capture with your camera. So, if you want to take the next step DSLR is the best way to go.
Which camera to buy.
If you’re new to the DSLR world I would suggest to get a D5100 or a D3100 from Nikon. These cameras offer the quality and build as well as compatibility to every lens Nikon offers for a low price. A new D5100 goes for around 550 dlls in Amazon which is a great deal considering that the camera has most of the capabilities of a D7000 which is double the price. You can even get a better deal with a D3100 for $450, an almost exact camera as de D5100. When I first got in to the DSLR world, a more experienced friend recommended me to buy a D40 (the equivalent of the D3100). I bought it refurbished for $350 and used it for 4 years taking awesome pictures when I finally mastered it. Now, let me get something out of the way, the D3100, D3200, D5000, D5100 and D7000 all take the same quality pictures. Pictures are practically indistinguishable when you compare these cameras. The difference lies in the knobs, buttons and features that they have. A D7000 is a bigger, tougher, more enjoyable camera than de D3100, thats why it costs almost three times more. It makes things easier to get the same result.
A D7000 has buttons that let you access more advance features in the blink of an eye whilst a D3100 would make you go to the menus and waste valuable time (if you are a more dedicated professional and know what you are doing). If you are a beginner you won’t miss these features as you don’t know they exist just yet. Get the cheaper camera, learn your way and then when you know why you need to upgrade, get the best available camera in your budget. Megapixels, ISO and all other resolution numbers are almost meaningless as you wouldn’t be using these capabilities to the max because you aren’t taking pictures professionally. The new D3200 has 24 megapixels compared to the more expensive D7000′s 16 mp. Does this mean that the cheaper D3200 is better? Of course not! This is absolutely pointless.
My suggestion would be to get a D3100 and keep the rest of your money to buy a lens and a good flash.
What Lens to Get?
Your D3100 comes with a very good 18-55mm lens that will fill almost every need in your book. You don’t really need to buy another lens for now until you master the use of this multi purpose kit lens. To me there if there’s only one lens that I would ever buy, it would be the 35mm f1.8. This is the best lens out there because of it speed and low light capabilities. You wouldn’t believe the pictures i’ve taken with this lens and my cheap D40. The quality of this lens vs the price makes it an absolute no brainer. For under $200.00 you get a high quality lens that lets you shoot indoors with bad light without a flash. This lens alone will make your pictures look more pro than what you took with your old expensive point and shoot. You’ll see the difference right away. If you want a zoom lens with a long reach get the 55-200mm, its also a very cheap lens with better than average quality. For about 150 you get a lens that will let you reach those places that are out of your reach. Many suggest to get the more expensive 18-200mm Nikkor lens, replacing your 18-55 kit lens and 55-200mm. Its way more versatile, but its also heavy and slow. I wouldn’t get this one unless you had $800 to spare.
I currently have access to a bunch of high quality lenses that make my life easier for professional use, like the 80-400mm telephoto lens that lets me stay out of the way in some situations. The 10.5mm 2.8 Fish Eye lens lets me take some wide shots with great quality, it a pretty good lens with which I’ve taken great pictures. I just tried the 85mm 1.4 pro lens which is a marvel to use. I just fell in love with it and can’t wait to use it again as it destroys everything I’ve ever used. Yes, we are talking about an $1800 toy here. Unless you are expecting to do this on a professional level, don’t waste your time trying to learn the use of these expensive purpose lens’.
As I told you before, getting in to the world of DLSR’s may seem like a complicated venture, considering the amount of choices you have regarding lens’ and other accessories. If you stick to my suggestions, you’ll have a real good time getting to know the world of DSLR cameras. You’ll never want to go back to your old point and shoot.
Posted on August 9, 2012, in Equipment, Photography and tagged Cameras, DSLR Lens, How to upgrade to a DSLR, Nikon, NIkon 18-200mm, Nikon Cameras, Nikon D3200, Nikon D7000, Recommended DSLR, Recommended Nikon Cameras, What Camera To Buy. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.