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Old 06-03-2012, 05:57 PM
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Default Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Not sure how many here are into photography, but I'm thinking about getting my first DSLR to play around with. Not a serious photographer, but would like to have the ability to get better photographs while fishing, hiking, camping, etc. I've done a bit of looking around on the 'net, and the D5100 seems to get great reviews. They are a bit pricey, but I'm willing to pay for quality and hopefully something I won't outgrow soon after purchasing. After feeling the camera, and the Cannon T3i, I think I liked the Nikon the best. However, is this too much camera for a beginner? Are there better options out there I should be looking at?


The lens' I will get to start with are a 18-55 and 55-300 I believe. The new package of lens' and body look like they'll come to around $900. Does that seem too high?

I'm also a bit afraid to buy a camera used, just because I don't know much about them and wouldn't know what to look for as far as abuse/misuse. Because of that, should I stay away from buying used?
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Old 06-03-2012, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Hi Ted,

I've been using a Nikon D80 since 2007 and the link I provide here: Nikon D80 SLR review will give you a review I wrote a few years back. Since writing the review I have picked up a couple more lenses but the learning thing is still ongoing. I can answer questions you may have in further postings here. As for buying used I would not point you in that direction for a first one of these. There is always a chance of finding someone who is selling because they couldn't handle or perhaps better put, utilize the camera and so are selling before it becomes outdated but why risk buying a problem. At least with new you have some recourse if you find something not right.

If you check into the Lodge Den forums here we have several very active photography threads going. The Photography Chat thread is a good place to post questions to have them spotted by our more seasoned DSLR users, we even have some pro's posting here.

Ard
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Thanks a bunch Ard. I'll post up the questions in the Photo Chat thread to see if they catch any more eyes. This is an intimidating venture to say the least!
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Go to Cameras from Nikon | D-SLR and Digital Cameras, Lenses, & More and search for refurbished equipment in the store.
Refurb by Nikon and 90 day warranty. Sometimes there are good deals there.
I've been using a D70 and D90 for several years, I love them when I don't shoot film.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ted4887 View Post
After feeling the camera, and the Cannon T3i, I think I liked the Nikon the best. However, is this too much camera for a beginner?

The lens' I will get to start with are a 18-55 and 55-300 I believe. The new package of lens' and body look like they'll come to around $900. Does that seem too high?

I'm also a bit afraid to buy a camera used, just because I don't know much about them and wouldn't know what to look for as far as abuse/misuse. Because of that, should I stay away from buying used?
If the Nikon felt better, then by all means buy it. The camera has to feel good. The reason I dont use nikon SLRs is I dont like how they feel and where buttons are placed. I like the Canon design much better, but thats me. When you get down to it, you really cant go wrong with either company.

$900 for a body with a pair of lense isnt a bad deal. the 18-55 is a basic kit lens thats going to do plenty well for you. Same with the 300mm, if you were going to be doing some professional stuff then dont even waste money with buying lenses like that.

There is nothing wrong with buying used. Pretty much everything I have has been used. If you have a reputable camera shop locally, then you should have no fear what so ever with buying used. i traded in a camera to one and man, they went over that thing with a fine toothed comb making sure it was in working order. I would probably avoid buying used from craigslist or something like that since you are new to it and dont know what to look for, but you shouldnt have a problem buying used from a good camera shop.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

If you do buy used, ask for the shutter actuation count, it's found in the menu under exif.
DSLR shutters should last 100,000-150,000 clicks.
Used with a couple thousand clicks is decent.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:16 PM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Thanks a bunch for the info guys! It's info like this that will help me greatly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by stl_geoff View Post
Same with the 300mm, if you were going to be doing some professional stuff then dont even waste money with buying lenses like that.
Humor me, but what do you mean by that? Just that the lenses will be of poor quality, or.. that the professional stuff uses different lenses?


My main purpose for purchasing this is for some occasional wildlife, some landscape, and just the random daily pictures that I'll take.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Professional level lenses will be many things...Clearer glass, faster auto-focus, faster apeture, fixed apeture ( ex F2.8 thru whole focal range ), build quality is usually much better ( dust and water sealed, aluminum instead of plastic etc) and they will generally cost atleast as much as your camera body if not 2-3x more.

The lenses in that kit for everyday use will work just fine and dandy. if you were going to say im quiting my day job and using this package to become a professional wildlife photographer, you would not be wise. Plus another thing to think of it that most the wildlife pros, are using 500mm or greater lenses, and those around 9-10 grand new/used. Will you notice the difference in them looking at the computer screen....maybe..maybe not. will you notice the difference when they are printed at 30"x42" at 600 dpi on GOOD photo paper...yes, yes you will. BUUUUUTTT it doesnt mean its a BAD image vs a GOOD image. its just the pro lense will be crisper and cleaner edges and details.

To make you feel better, here's a picture of a killdeer I got very close to and shot with my canon version of that 300mm lens...

Click the image to open in full size.

See, it takes perfectly fine pictures.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

1,000$ on the big giant internet superstore (you know the one) will get you a nice Nikon D90 and a lens. Put a grip on it, add a decent lens (fixed aperture) and you are shooting pro-style......Glass is waaaaaaay more important than body....Too a certain extent.....Beginners want a nice body....Intermediate users want good glass......advanced users want good light....Just words of wisdom I read somewhere,

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Old 06-15-2012, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Nikon D5100 for a first DSLR?

Lots of good input already but here is another option for you: If you plan to carry the camera with you during FF sessions, the dSLR+lens combo can be heavy / unwieldy. I have been an advanced amateur photographer for a while and shoot the Canon 7D as my main body. I love the camera but rarely use it during my fishing sessions. With the body and one of my L lenses, the outfit becomes super heavy around my shoulder. I only carry it if I am going with a friend or my wife. That way, they can fish while I shoot.

You might want to consider one of the advanced PS cameras (Canon's G series or the S100). DPreview is a great comparison site for cameras. The S100 has dSLR mimicking quality in a much smaller package. It also allows you to shoot RAW. Nikon also has their counterparts. Alternatively, the new mirror-less interchangeable lens cameras (Olympus, Fuji etc) are also a great option.
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