ART DSLR for beginner hobbyist?

Tie5to

New Member
Aug 18, 2005
3,497
New York
I recently borrowed my sisters T3 while on vacation for a few days. Needless to say, I'm hooked and want to pick up a DSLR of my own. Quite a big difference from my old school Nikon Coolpix POS I had back in the day.

I'm primarily interested in landscape & macros, and the occasional portrait shots. I'm looking to get into this as a hobby with a budget of $700 although I have a little wiggle room. Since I'm still "new" to photography I'd like to buy something that will retain its value in case I end up not being as interested as I thought I'd be.

I've read a few threads on here (although older) and on other forums, but would like your opinions based on what I've mentioned above.

I don't mind buying off Craigslist/used, unless suggested otherwise. Right now I'm eyeballing a Nikon D80 with Nikon Nikkor DX 18-135mm Lens for around $500.
 

huntz0r

New Member
Apr 18, 2005
15,859
Charlotte, NC
On the Nikon side the D80 is a nice enough camera if you can't swing a D90, but I'm not sure it's all that big a step up from a much cheaper D50 or D70s. The advantage there would be having enough left over for a proper macro lens, like the Tamron 90mm or a used Micro-Nikkor 60, since none of the 18-xx kit lenses is going to do much for you in that department.

If you can find a D70s with an 18-70mm lens that would be a pretty decent starting point for cheap. It can even command those little SB R1 flashes for macro work if you ever wanted to get a little more crazy with it, stuffin your lens all up in some bug's grill.
 

legendr34

Titanium Member
Jun 26, 2000
4,427
SoCal
D80 + a prime or two. I say the 35mm 1.8 and the 85mm 1.8. even the 50 1.8 is good. for macro, you can get the 60mm 2.8, which is super sharp
 

bawlinmo

Neighborhood Graphic Designer
Aug 8, 2003
1,033
Houston
I got a D5000 with kit lens. Then I got a Nikkor 55-200. Then I got a 35mm f/1.8. Now that lens never leaves my camera.

I'd recommend a D3000, D3100, or D5000 with the kit lens. Then buy only primes as your budget can afford them.

Prime lense > zoom
 

dmora

But seriously, get a used body and a nice lens.

Used D70-80-90-200, or what ev is a good canon.
 

FryingPan

Certified Thread Killer
May 19, 2000
51,116
Raleigh, NC
I got a D5000 with kit lens. Then I got a Nikkor 55-200. Then I got a 35mm f/1.8. Now that lens never leaves my camera.

I'd recommend a D3000, D3100, or D5000 with the kit lens. Then buy only primes as your budget can afford them.

Prime lense > zoom

Primes and zooms both have their advantages and disadvantages.

For example, with my 24-70, I'm able to replace 3 lenses in my bag for run-and-gun photography like events and photojournalism. Conversely, my 50mm f/1.4 lets me shoot in the low light stuff where even a fast zoom like the 24-70 wouldn't hang.

To say one is better than the other is just. . . childish.
 

tun

Active Member
Jul 22, 2002
49,545
New York City
I'm primarily interested in landscape & macros, and the occasional portrait shots.
Those are 3 very different types of photography that generally require different lenses. Try out a Canon 40D + Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and go from there. Should be around your $700 budget.
 
Last edited:

bawlinmo

Neighborhood Graphic Designer
Aug 8, 2003
1,033
Houston
Primes and zooms both have their advantages and disadvantages.

For example, with my 24-70, I'm able to replace 3 lenses in my bag for run-and-gun photography like events and photojournalism. Conversely, my 50mm f/1.4 lets me shoot in the low light stuff where even a fast zoom like the 24-70 wouldn't hang.

To say one is better than the other is just. . . childish.

to bump an old thread... I meant in the "beginner" price range, primes are better than zoom.

My 35mm f/1.8 was $150. I'm going to assume your 24-70 was a minimum of 3 times that price.
 

michael

Florida Man, Esq.
Dec 21, 2001
112,498
The ether
I got a D5000 with kit lens. Then I got a Nikkor 55-200. Then I got a 35mm f/1.8. Now that lens never leaves my camera.

I'd recommend a D3000, D3100, or D5000 with the kit lens. Then buy only primes as your budget can afford them.

Prime lense > zoom
D5100.
 

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