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Author Topic: best camer for beginner  (Read 10768 times)

dramamom2008

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best camer for beginner
« on: January 25, 2012, 07:56:45 PM »
First time on the Forum and I am enjoying it.  Question:  I am 50yr young women who always loved to take pictures and have been told I have a great eye for photography.  Now with the kids grown its time for me to go further into photography.  I know very little about photography but start classes on Monday night.  What I need to know is the best camera for a beginner who wants the camera to grow with her.  I have my eye on 60d and need to stay in that price range.  I want to do everyday photography but get into sports and weddings down the road.  Like I said I am a beginner so please reply in the best laymens terms you can, and yes I have lost a few brain cells through the years.  Thanks so much for your time and patience.

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best camer for beginner
« on: January 25, 2012, 07:56:45 PM »

albron00

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 08:44:58 PM »
60D is very good camera for beginner as well, in my opinion. My first camera was 500D, five month later I've got 7D and very happy. We learn very fast on digital cameras (you can see the result instantly after the shot)

neuroanatomist

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 09:00:20 PM »
The 60D is a good choice, but...consider that your total budget should also include a lens or two.  The kit lens (likely an EF-S 18-135mm) is ok, but as your skills grow you'll probably want better image quality.  Lenses are an investment - if you stick with photography, you'll keep good lenses through several camera bodies.

Still, the kit lens is inexpensive when bought in the kit. I would recommend also getting the EF 50mm f/1.8 II ($107 from Amazon) to experiment with depth of field and low light shooting.

Unless it's a requirement that you show up to your first class with a camera, why not wait and ask the instructor for some recommendations?

One suggestion - for just a bit more that the 60D + 18-135mm, you could get a 50D ($620 from B&H) and an EF-S 15-85mm.  Yes, the 50D is older - but IMO it's a better camera in many ways. The ergonomics are more like the higher end cameras, it has autofocus microadjustment (a feature that helps you get the best results from better lenses, which they 'took away' from the 60D leaving it only in the 7D and up), the image quality of the 50D is not that different from the 60D, the autofocus system is the same, etc.  The 15-85mm is optically much better than the 18-135mm; the 18-135 is a consumer zoom, the 15-85 delivers optical quality equivalent to the L-series professional lenses. 

Good luck with your decisions!
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bvukich

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 09:03:47 PM »
The 60D is a great camera, but I'm not sure if it's the most suitable for a complete beginner.  You stated that the 60D was in budget, but what's you budget for lenses and accessories?

If I were going to recommend a kit for a beginner, someone that had a limited budget, and need to be able to learn and shoot a wide range of subjects; I would recommend the following:

T3i
EF-S 18-55 IS II
EF-S 55-250 IS II
EF 50/1.8
430EX II Flash
Tripod (something in the $150 range with head)
RS-60E3 (remote shutter release)
A decent bag
SDHC memory card 8GB is probably big enough.  I'm partial to SanDisk (Extreme or better), as long as you don't go super cheap you'll probably be fine though.

That should be enough of a start that you can learn and figure out what you like to shoot, and upgrade lenses appropriately.

katwil

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 09:06:28 PM »
Based on your price range, if you want to start shooting right now, the best choices are probably the 60D or the 3Ti.  I have the 3Ti, and have been very happy with it.  It has the same processor, sensor, ISO range and number of pixels as the 60D.  If you think you may use the video feature, both have articulating screens .  That’s a feature that I have found to be very helpful, and why I’d suggest the T3i over the T2i.  Since they are so close in features, you may want to go to a camera store and get the feel for both of them.  If you don’t find the T3i to be too small or too light, it may be the camera for you.  The extra couple hundred bucks you save can go towards getting a good lens.

You may have already noticed announcements about replacements for both these models.  I wouldn’t worry about that.  I still get a good amount of use out of my 40D that’s more than four years old.  Yes, Canon updates the Rebel series (3Ti) about every year and the xxD series about every 18 months, but they don’t suddenly become obsolete.  Having said that, there’s good chance you may want more than either of these camera can deliver in a few years’ time if you really get the bug.  But based on your budget I’d suggest the T3i unless you really prefer the 60D.

Good luck, and please post what you decide.

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 09:44:09 PM »
I'm going to give you some different options.  The cameras mentioned are fine, but, I'm of the opinion that a less expensive camera and better lenses will be usable professionally right away.  The kit lenses are too slow to be used in low light without adding external flashes or other lighting.  That will be your next purchase. 

Buy a camera bag at Walmart, and a 8gb SD card from Costco or Walmart.  Buy a brand name card, Lexar or Sandisk.  No need to scrimp on a cheap card.  My Canon DSLR burned out when I sold it to a buyer who used a cheap memory card that was shorted internally.  (The camera was in Warranty, and Canon repaired it free).

You did not state a total budget, but a 60D plus a kit lens will run about $1200 at online prices.  It comes with a 18-135mm lens which is just OK.


A basic camera with a good lens is a winning combination, and can be used for weddings and other low light occasions.  This 17-55mm lens is one to keep - for a long time.  Camera bodies come and go, but good lenses hold their value.

This is a refurbished lens, direct from Canon.  It has a 90 day warranty and 14 day return rights, in the case you do not like it, or something is wrong.

http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_275777_-1

This is a refurbished Camera Body direct from Canon, same warranty.  The camera includes a 18-55mm IS kit lens which you can sell on craigslist, or even to another student for about $100.

http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_204269_-1

The total price will run 352 + 944 = $1296 plus tax and shipping, and like I said, sell that 18-55mm IS kit lens, or keep it to put with the camera body when you decide to upgrade..  The teacher will know you are serious when he sees the lens you have chosen.

http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10051_10051_204269_-1


As a alternative, just spend $352 on the Basic Camera and kit lens until you are sure you want to continue.

Good luck!

katwil

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 10:58:07 PM »
I agree entirely with an earlier post about investing in good lenses.  A good lens on an average camera is better than an average lens on a good camera.  That post also contains a link to the Canon XS.  I have one of those, and have used it with solid results.  In daytime lighting the XS does a very good job.    A word of caution though: I did attempt to use it at several minor league baseball games with less-than-successful results.  With a maximum ISO of 1600 the XS made me compromise between shutter speed and noise (grain) in my shots.  If you’re not interested in the combination of fast action and low lighting, or video, the XS is a great value.

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 10:58:07 PM »

dramamom2008

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 12:02:42 AM »
Thank you all so much, you gave me alot to think about.  I will let you know what I decide.  It seems like the lens is the key. 

Hillsilly

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 12:08:05 AM »
I'm sure you will love the 60D.  It's a great camera.  Lots of features and should be useful for a long time to come.  It will be perfect for what you want to do now.

But....you've come to a rumors site!  We enjoy gazing into crystal balls, reading tarot cards and tea leaves to foresee the arrival of newer cameras, and lenses.  We can also foresee the future camera purchases that people will make.

If you're long term interests are in sports and wedding photography, and you're budget was marginally higher, I can see that you would be happier with a 7D or 5Dii.  If you take up photography professionally (or at least semi-seriously), chances are that is the direction you will head in.  Looking into my crystal ball, I can see that Canon will replace the 60D, 7D and 5Dii with some excellent new models this year.  You will be kicking yourself that you didn't grab a run out deal on a 7D or 5Dii, or pick up one of the new ones.   

Therefore, I'm going to echo some of the previous comments.  Buy a cheaper body and buy some better lenses.

Better lenses will make taking great photos easier.  Feature-wise, there isn't much difference between a t3i and a 60D.  Image-wise, I believe that they are virtually identical.  Then in a few year's time, once you've got a good understanding of where your interests lie, maybe consider a newer body that is more tailored to your needs (eg with more frames per second, better autofocus, less noise etc).  You'll have some great lenses to use in the mean time.  And if you decide to upgrade bodies, one of the real benefits of buying Canon is that there is a huge interest in second hand equipment.  You won't lose too much on your old camera.
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Emeyerphoto

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 11:51:19 AM »
Purchase a 40/50d from KEH and a 28-135 lens from them.  Will save you money and purchase a great camera with a decent lens. 
5d Mk2, Canon 40d (backup), 24-70 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L

BobSanderson

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 01:09:33 PM »
The Canon EOS Rebel T2i ( or some of the other Rebels)  is a great choice. It is well priced and it leaves you some cash to concentrate on the lenses that best suite what you will be shooting. Do not consider this the last camera you will ever buy but rather a great tool to learn on. For most people this is more than enough camera to get excellent results. If you feel you, after you learn the craft, that you are being limited by the equipment you can always sell and upgrade. Good luck.

jaduffy007

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 02:36:47 PM »
I agree with some above....in your shoes, I would get a used 40D and better glass versus a 60D and less quality glass.  Craigslist, Fred Miranda.com, etc for used gear.

mb66energy

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 03:36:55 PM »
I agree with some above....in your shoes, I would get a used 40D and better glass versus a 60D and less quality glass.  Craigslist, Fred Miranda.com, etc for used gear.

jaduffy007 has proposed a veritable option.

I myself love my 40D because it is easy to use, very sturdy and delivers great images - despite or because of it's moderate resolution. The only thing I miss is video - if you want use your cam for video also ... go for a newer model!

I restarted photography in 2005 with a 20D and the EF-S 60 Macro. I don't know your style of photography but for me it was a better option compared to a zoom lens: I like to take photographs of details and I like to cut out interesting parts of landscapes or buildings. The EF-S 60 Macro is - FOR ME - the most versatile lens because it equals 100mm in 35mm (old film) land.
ADD: This lens is relatively small, light weight, sturdy (no moving parts outside) and very contrasty and sharp from f/2.8 on!

If you buy a 2nd hand body perhaps you can buy a versatile (in terms of focal length) standard zoom AND a versatile (in terms of reproduction ratio) macro lens?!

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« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 03:39:39 PM by mb66energy »
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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 03:36:55 PM »

dirtcastle

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 03:58:35 PM »
Canon 40D was what I started on. Used copies are a very good deal.

I also 2nd the comment about going for a less expensive body, but with a better lens than the vice versa (great body, cheaper lens).

If you really want to learn about the full range of photography, then you need a fast piece of glass to give you the full range of f-stops. Shooting at f/1.4 is very different from f/4.

The ISO performance on a 40D and other less expensive models is not so good and will be very noisy. So fast glass is especially helpful with these bodies (20-40Ds and Rebels).

With regard to focal length, just make sure you have something that gives you anything in the 18-85mm range, whether it is a prime or zoom (crop or full frame) doesn't make much difference to learning fundamentals, imo. Exposure is the first thing to learn. Composition comes next, for which you would probably need a zoom or additional primes.

I started with a Canon 40D + 50mm f/1.4. And that is what I would recommend for a beginner. Although a 40D + 35mm f/1.4 L would be even better :-)
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 04:41:25 PM by dirtcastle »

Marsu42

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 04:11:34 PM »
60D is very good camera for beginner as well, in my opinion. We learn very fast on digital cameras (you can see the result instantly after the shot)

I've got a 60D, but I really wouldn't recommend it as a first camera - esp. for a woman, because one flaw of the 600D and below (small grip size) is not valid.

While the learning curve is of curse steeper on digital - it still takes a *lot* of time, because it's the picture-postprocessing cycle that really matters. And by the time a beginner really needs to adjust exposure compensation frequently with the wheel, 1/250 flash sync, cross type af the 70D or 80D is out.

My recommendation: Get a used 550D and good lenses instead of a kit. Like a tele lens, an ultrawide or a macro. Add an external flash if you shoot indoors or want extra light with a macro.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 04:13:37 PM by Marsu42 »

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Re: best camer for beginner
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 04:11:34 PM »