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A few camera questions.


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#1
Pauly420

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As you know, if you have seen my previous threads or w/e, I'm getting ready to buy my first dslr. Now ive been looking around and I had my mind set on buying a new Nikon D3100 with a couple lenses and bag and card kit or w/e from like best buy. But I also didnt think of buying used eather. What are the cons of buying used that someone that isn't into cameras wouldn't know about.

I am looking to spend around $1000 on the camera with the essentials mentioned above. Also would you recommend buying used.

I appreciate all the help in advance!

#2
chocobo

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Some problems with buying used is knowing the exact quality of the product. Sometimes you could run into sensor issues (dirty, hot pixels, dead pixels, etc...), shutter issues (all cameras have an estimated shutter lifespan), or just functionality (Buttons and such) issues. Usually a good seller will inform you of any issues, any repairs, and the exact shutter actuation count (the lower the better).

Just prepare yourself with some questions. This was an article I found last year that kind of states what I already have, but it a better way, plus some other things as well.
A Guide to Buying Used DSLR Gear

#3
*ColtClassic*

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What a lot of people don't realize is that today's modern SLRs are only built to last 2-3 years (with significant use). Most consumer/prosumer level dSLRs are only rated at about 100,000-150,000 firings of the shutter. This means that, while older cameras are economically logical, they may not have much life left in them.

This is also important when considering what to buy used. You may not see yourself having another thousand dollars to spare in quite some time, in which case you would want your camera body to last you a significant amount of time [as camera bodies (now-a-days) are usually the first thing to retire). This means that buying a used camera body might be more risky than buying used lenses. Lenses last a very long time and can often remain in 'out of the box' condition for years after they are purchased (especially older manually focusing lenses - fewer moving parts). From what I understand, today's Nikon dSLRs can still use old manual focus lenses - these would be much more inexpensive than todays autofocus lenses, would last much, much longer (seeing as the lens barrels are made of solid metal), and usually have faster maximum apertures (1.8-2.8 for moderate lenses, 4.0 for telephotos). Of course, you would be giving up autofocus capabilites and completely accurate metering, but this are all things you can overcome with patience, practice, and skill.

#4
johnja

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I would recommend getting your body new, as you could run into the problems stated above. Plus you want to start your actuations fresh and have a long life if you're going to invest that much into your camera. Lenses, however, last far longer and you can buy used ones in confidence. I bought a slightly older 50mm f/1.4, its AI-S so its completely manual (manual focus, aperture ring, and no metering) but that isn't too much of a drawback. I was able to get it on Craigslist for $60, whereas retail is $400-460. It took a bit to get used to focusing things manually, but its an incredibly sharp lens and works fantastic I don't even miss the AF

#5
Pauly420

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Thanks for the help everyone, I am now not considering buying a used body :). I think I may spring for eather a D3100,or D5000 I really like the movable screen they have on them, and i think it seems like a very useful option. As for lenses, I will probably get the standard one that comes with the camera. Are there any lenses you would recommended?

Edited by Pauly420, 08 June 2011 - 03:05 AM.


#6
PurpleStreak

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I have the D5000 and love it. It's great for learning how to use a dSLR. I started with using the auto settings and playing around to teach myself how to adjust manually. I've never really found use for the moveable screen until recently when I was shooting at a rainy rugby match, but it's convenient to be able to move it to keep it clean.
As far as lenses go, I only have two so far. The 18-55mm it came with is what I use for most, everyday pictures. I purchased a 70-300mm, which is what I use for rugby and when I want a really good zoom.

#7
chocobo

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The D5000 seems to have kind of a whack interface. Not as user friendly as other Nikons (in my experience). I'm not putting it down or anything, just a little heads up to give it a check out if possible. A lot of things (if I remember correctly) seemed to be buried in the menu. Maybe it was just a firmware issue (hopefully resolved), I don't know. Maybe, I'm just a little crazy.

The swivel screen is great. Granted, you'll get the most accurate image using your viewfinder, but the screen can be very helpful in shooting angles that might be otherwise difficult to get a good reading on through the VF. It's also nice for setting up shots when light is limited. Just my two cents on the swivel.

Finally, I'd recommend if you have any cash left over, straight away, buy yourself a 50mm f/1.8. Great sharpness, great bokeh (if you're into it, I dig it), and all around great lens for using any time. Not to mention that f/1.8 speed is handy in low light situations. I think it only costs right around $120 as well.

#8
Pauly420

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I was thinking about picking up a package like this Nikon D5000 12.3MP DSLR, Backpack, Battery, 8GB Memory Card, Extra 55-200mm Lens or something like that. Could you tell me what the second lense would be helpful for? Or should i just "build my own package" and get that lens you recommended chocobo? along with a seperate case sd card and extra batt or w/e

#9
chocobo

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It's not a bad package. The 55-200mm is a smaller telephoto. It's basically meant begin where the 18-55mm left off. Common uses are event photography (weddings, sports, concerts, etc...) or anywhere where you're not able to get the shot you want with a smaller lens. Also great for wildlife and a spot of astro.

Large memory card is nice because you'll likely be taking images in the RAW format and possibly video (HD I believe 720p). An extra battery is always a good thing. Especially if you decide to pick up a battery grip. You never want to loose out on that shot because your battery died.

If you were to build your own kit, I'd recommend the the 50mm F/1.8 and the 70-300mm. This way you'll have your wide angle (18-55mm) your telephoto (70-300mm) and your prime (50mm). This way you have all your bases covered. You're pretty much ready to shoot any situation.

#10
johnja

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It really comes down to what uses you want to get out of your camera. I got the Nikon D90 that came with a 18-105 kit lens, which is a short telephoto and good for general use. If you're looking to do any still life, portraiture, low light, or something that requires a shallow depth of field I definitely recommend getting a prime lens (fixed length: 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, etc). These have a low f stop and will get you those desired effects. The cheapest for these is generally f/1.8 which is great! The difference in the length is another story..
If you're more into sports shooting, nature, or a bit of landscape you would want to look into more telephoto lenses like the 55-200 or 70-300 and if you need it for faster things (sports, animals) then you will want to look for an f stop around 4

As for the memory card, you probably won't need 8GB to start out with. Unless you're planning on taking over 300 RAW shots in a session, you don't need to go out of your way for more than 4GB. Its better to get something high speed, like 15 Mb/s or better so that your camera won't lag at all if you need to take a few shots in a row. Though the 8GB card that best buy is including in that package is a deal in itself...

#11
Pauly420

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I appreciate all the help guys! I am going to pick up my camera today, as Best Buy is having a sale on the D5000 for $640 w/ tax! So im gonna go scoop it up today and then pick up the other accessories when i have more money.




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